Tag Archives: Walkett

Another Napkin Job – Ginetta G33

By the mid 1980’s Ginetta were looking to return to their glory days of the G15 in terms of volume and they developed a mid engined vehicle known as the G32 and invested in type approval so that the car could be sold as a turn key model. The Walketts even sold out to a team led by Martin Phaff and Mike Modiri with Ivor Walkett remaining as Technical Director to secure the companies future in 1989.

Ginetta G.33, Beale, Gurston Down

The G32 was scheduled to be launched at the 1990 British International Motor Show at the NEC in Birmingham. A couple of months earlier Mark Warklett and Noel Palmer, a former TVR employee, were eating pizza in a restaurant when they hatched a plan to fit a ubiquitous all aluminium Rover 3.9 litre / 240 cui V8 developed from the 1960’s Buick 215 V8, into a 4 cylinder Ginetta G27, sketching out the idea on a napkin.

Ginetta G.33, Beale, Gurston Down

While preparing the G32 for it’s launch Ginetta managed to find the time to squeeze a Rover V8 into a G27 which became the prototype G33 that appeared next to the G32 on Ginetta’s stand at the 1990 International Motor Show. The Prototype G33 was tested by Tiff Needell on Top Gear and before they new what was happening Ginetta received a flood of enquiries about the G33 which could reach 60 mph from rest in 5 seconds and had a top speed of 150 mph from it’s standard Rover V8 which produced 205 hp.

Ginetta G.33, Beale, Gurston Down

To meet the unexpected demand Ginetta rushed the G33 into production with a steel space frame chassis and fibre glass body that was wider than the G27 to accommodate the V8. Not having the resources to get the car type approved the G33 was sold in virtually complete form, as was possible in those days, with instructions on how to finish the car off for the same price as a modest performance saloon/sedan.

Ginetta G.33, Beale, Gurston Down

It is thought 90 G33s were built, many with subtle differences due to the lack of time to develop the model properly, up until 1993 when the company had to be rescued from financial difficulties with insufficient resources to continue production of the G33. A prototype 4 cylinder Ford Cosworth powered example of the G33 was built but the car was stolen from the factory before it was developed.

Ginetta G.33, Gurston Down, Classic Motor Show, NEC, Birmingham,

To raise cash the rights to manufacture along with the G33 moulds were sold to a Swedish concern called Gin 1, pronounced Gin Ettain Swedish who manufactured the renamed G34 with a turbocharged 2 litre Volvo motor taken from the 900 Series.

Ginetta G.33, Gurston Down, Classic Motor Show, NEC, Birmingham,

16 Gin 1s were manufactured before they folded with the manufacturing rights and moulds returning to Ginetta who based their 1998 40th Anniversary G40 model on the G33. The #78 seen at Gurston Down is being driven by Graham Beale and according to the programme is fitted with a 1993 cc turbo charged motor, possibly a Ford YB RS Cosworth motor.

Thanks for joining me on this “Another Napkin Job” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be looking at the very last complete car to leave the Bristol factory. Don’t forget to come back now !


No Enthusiast Should Miss – Ginetta G.15 Coupé

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.

Ginetta G15, Prescott

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.

Ginetta G15, Prescott

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.

Ginetta G15, Russell, Prescott

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.

Ginetta G15, Prescott

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 !


Race On Sunday Work On Monday – Ginetta G4 Coupé by DARE

In 1958 brothers Bob, Ivor, Trevers and Douglas Walkett built their first car the Ginetta G1 based on a pre 1939 Wolsey Hornet in 1958, the car never went into production but a range of successive road/race vehicles, both turn key and self builds, gained a reputation for sporting prowess that has continued to this day despite the original company failing after the Walketts retired in 1989.

Ginetta G4 By DARE, Castle Combe

One of the companies most successful models was the race on Sunday work on Monday Ginetta G4 which was launched 1961 powered by a 1 litre / 61 cui motor sourced from the Ford 105E Anglia, of the type recently made famous by the Harry Potter films.

Coote, Ginetta Zetec G4 By DARE, Wiscombe Park

G4 production continued in both Roadster and, from 1963, Coupé forms until 1968. The Series III variant introduced in 1966 featured pop-up headlights, powered by a 1500cc / 90.5 cui motor a G4 was capable of 120 mph.

Ginetta Zetec G4 By DARE, Castle Combe

In 1981 a slightly longer and wider Series VI Ginetta G4 was launched. After the company had been sold in 1989 to Martin Phaff and moved to Scunthorpe it appears that continued demand for the G4 persuaded DARE UK a company based in Colchester Essex to take up production of the G4 in the mid 1990’s.

Ginetta Zetec G4 By DARE, Castle Combe

Today’s featured G4 was built by DARE UK in 2000 and is powered by a 1796cc / 109 cui Ford Zetec engine which will produce a minimum of 165 hp. The car is seen in the paddock at Castle Combe and returning to the paddock at Wiscombe Park with Exeter’s Roger Coote at the wheel.

Thanks for joining me on this “Race On Sunday Work On Monday” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be looking at a Bristol. Don’t forget to come back now !


Project Panda – Ford Zodiac Mk4

In 1961 Vice President of Engineering at Ford of Britain Harley F Coop, who had worked on the Continental Mk II and Ford Falcon , became involved with Project Panda to design a vehicle to replace the Mk3 Zephyr / Zodiac range. The cars were to be fitted with V6 motors replacing the straight 6’s which had been used.

Ford Zodiac Mk 4, Goodwood Revival

Despite having a shorter motor the resultant Mk 4 Zephyr and Zodiac models had a long bonnet and short boot, this was because of the independent rear suspension which could not accommodate the spare tyre in the rear so, Coop placed the spare tyre at an angle ahead of the radiator at the front of the car.

Ford Zodiac Mk 4, Goodwood Revival

The Zodiac powered by the top of the range 3 litre / 183 cui V6 made an excellent towing vehicle however it would appear that the one off camper carried by this 1970 model, seen at the Goodwood Revival, was designed and manufactured by the Walkett brothers who are best known for their Ginetta sports cars.

Thanks for joining me on this Project Panda edition of ‘Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres’, I hope you will join me again tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !

12 05 08 While searching for information about the Ford Corsair I came accross a myth about the Corsair setting a number of records at Monza in 1967, it transpires these records were actually set by Eric Jackson, Ken Chambers, John Beckhart, Michael Bowler and John Maclean driving a Ford Zodiac MK IV averaging 100 mph for an entire seven days and nights on the Ford repaired Monza banking.

PS Don’t forget …

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