In 1957 John Scott met South African Bob Van-Niekerk who had plans to build a sports car in South Africa. John told Bob that if he one of his cars won a race in Britain he would arrange to manufacture them in the UK.
Bob with fellow South African’s Willie Meissner and Verster de Wit who was responsible for the body styling produced a mould in the UK and sold the first body built in the UK in order to pay the cost of shipping the moulds to South Africa.
Above John Scott’s son Clive is seen standing next to his grand son, John’s great grandson, Ben behind the 1962 GSM Delta Clive purchased in 2009.
Bob went back to South Africa and set up GSM (Glass Sport Motors) with Willie Meissner and started production of their first vehicle which carried the Dart name.
Immediately competitive in South Africa, scoring 1-2 victory on it’s debut in a 4 hour race in Cape Town in 1958, by 1960 one of the GSM Dart’s found it’s way to the UK in 1960 and won first time out at Brands Hatch. True to his word John started a second production shop for the GSM in West Malling, Kent renaming the car Delta, as Daimler had already found out the Dart name was the property of Chrysler in the USA.
Power for the GSM Delta came from off the shelf Ford’s from 1 litre / 61 cui to 1.5 litres / 92 cui in size, the motor seen here is one of the larger pre crossflow Ford unit’s. Ford components were also used for the steering, brakes, gearbox and rear axle.
When Clive bought this car in 2009 he was surprised to find that he recognised his mothers handwriting in the log book.
Among the winners in the British built GSM Delta’s between 1960 and 1965 was Dutchman Jan van Niekerk, Jeff Uren, 1959 British Saloon Car Champion who is also known as the man behind the “Savage Cartina’s“, John Glyde Walker, Joe Krupwicz Americans Bob Clift, Bill Osband, Dave Johnson and Don Grohs.
Figures vary as to how many GSM Delta’s were built between 1960 and 1961, Clive puts the number at “approximately 40” of which he believes fewer than 10 remain. The car that Clive owns won the 2001 Paul Matty Challenge in 2001 and the 2006 Aldon / HSA Championship.
My thanks to Clive for his help with today’s blog.
Thanks for joining me on this “Family Affair” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres”, I hope you will join me again tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !