For trade stand No. 157 at the Earls Court Motor Show in 1967 Ginetta prepared a vehicle that they said “No enthusiast should miss”, the new Ginetta G.15 was billed as being capable of 100 mph and achieving 40 mpg with ‘fantastic’ road holding and all for the low price of just £849 in kit form.
However Ginetta had over sold them selves since they had not sorted out their supply chain out sufficiently to start production until 1968. However once they got going according to Ginetta’s engineer Ivor Walkett “we could not build them fast enough” for a while Ginetta moved into a new factory to cope with the demand which eventually was just short of 800 units.
Built around a steel space frame with glass fibre pannels the G.15 used proprietary Triumph Spitfire front suspension and like the later Clan proprietary rear mounted engine and suspension from the Hillman Imp. Ginetta also had the car type approved for turn key sales.
The G.15 was a big hit on the tracks and hills, Chrysler engineer Brian Tavender used his in sprints with is own specially prepared motor and gearbox, until an accident at Castle Combe in 1975 Barry Wood was successful running a works backed car in the modified sportscar (Modsport) class while 3 years after production had ended in 1974 David Beams became 1977 Production Sports (Prodsports) Champion with his G.15. Two years later Alison Davis repeated the Prodsports feat to become the first woman to win an overall circuit racing championship.
The end of G.15 production in 1974 was brought about by the usual suspects for the period, dreaded Value Added Tax (VAT), a three day working week due to fuel shortages, with the additional threat of the end of supply of the Hillman Imp motor. Several G.15s were built for the US market with Volkswagen motors and Ginetta considered using a Skoda motor to replace the Hillman unit before cutting their losses and calling it a day for the model. Subsequently Ginetta moved back to their original factory.
Today’s featured G.15 belonging to Andrew Russell was seen at Prescott a couple of years ago.
Thanks for joining me on this “No Enthusiast Should Miss” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres”, I hope you will join me tomorrow when I’ll be looking at an early turbocharged Bristol. Don’t forget to come back now !