Today’s featured Mercedes Benz 300 SL is a regular on the award winning Mercedes Benz stand at The Classic Motor Show, NEC, Birmingham.
Last year the owner of this 1961 Gullwing Coupé, that was first registered in the UK on the first of May 2002, allowed visitors to the Classic Motor Show to sit in the car in exchange for a donation to the Huntingdon’s Disease Association and raised £460.
During the event the interior leather suffered some accidental damage which was kindly repaired gratis by another exhibitor Jason Payne from the Leather Repair Company in Knaresborough.
Thanks for joining me on this “Huntingdon’s Fund Raiser” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow for a look at a 1924 Delage. Don’t forget to coma back now !
In 1969 Gilbern launched the first of series of Invaders which were improved versions of the Gilbern Genie larger brakes and only powered by the larger 140 hp 3 liter / 183 cui of the Ford Essex V6 motor.
In 1970 the first Estate / Station Wagon or more correctly shooting brake versions of the Invader began to appear and in 1971 a Mk II version of Invader was built of the type featured today which was built in 1972 with a with stiffer chassis and MG C front axle.
During the period of Invader production owners Ace Capital Holdings Ltd, whose primary business was in slot machines, were sold to Mecca whose portfolio included a large stake in the Bingo Hall and related gambling operations and the Miss World Franchise.
Car manufacture did not fit in with Mecca’s business plan and so Gilbern was sold in a management buyout to first Maurice Collins 1970 and then to his former co director Mike Leather in 1972. For a very short period in 1972 production reached a break even point of 4 cars a week. In all 212 GT and 104 Estate Invader Mk II’s were built up until September 1972 making the MkII the most successful of all Gilbern models.
Production of the Genie started in 1967 and the following year Giles Smith left Gilbern, to be replaced by Mike Leather and Maurice Collins as joint managing directors after securing Gilberns future by selling out to slot machine manufacturer Ace Capital Holdings Ltd.
Between 1967 and 197 Genies were built before the Genie’s successor the Invader was introduced, today’s featured Genie is a 3 litre 1968 example seen at last years New Years Day Cotswold Classic Car Club meeting at Frogmill Andoversford.