My Car Quest

June 19, 2019

Car Of The Day – A Gordon-Keeble For Sale

by Mike –

Here is my pick for the classic car for sale today that I would like to own – a 1965 Gordon-Keeble.

This is the car that inspired Renzo Rivolta to build the Iso Rivolta GT. The Gordon-Keeble is an exotic four passenger 1960s European GT car styled by Giorgetto Giugiaro, while at Bertone, and powered by a Corvette 327 cid engine with a 4-speed manual transmission. It is fast and stylish.

This rare Gordon-Keeble is for sale at a dealer in Germany (not here on My Car Quest) – price on request.

Gordon-Keeble

The front headlights remind me of a Ferrari 330 GT 2+2 quad headlight version. Notice the hood scoop is identical to the one on the Iso Rivolta GT.

Gordon-Keeble

The dealer writes,

Year: 1965
First registration: 01/01/1965
Milage: 32,032 mls
Design type: Coupé
Exterior color: red
Upholstery Type: Leather
Interior Color: black
Steering: RHD
Displacement: 5,355 cc
Power: 206 kW / 280 hp
Cylinder: 8th
Engine type: V-engine
Top speed: 217 km / h
Transmission Type: Manually
Years of construction: 1964 – 1967
Built Number of pieces: 99
Price: Price on request
Location: Munich

Let us know what you think in the Comments.

 

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Gordon-Keeble GK1 Logo

Thanks to Bruce Caron for sending this to me.

Summary
Car Of The Day - A Gordon-Keeble For Sale
Article Name
Car Of The Day - A Gordon-Keeble For Sale
Description
The Gordon-Keeble was the inspiration for the Iso Rivolta GT.
Author

Comments

  1. very lucky to have owned one of these but be careful when buying they always looks great from the outside but built like a birdcage under the Fiberglas and boy do they rust especially English cars mine had very special knock on wheels and solid lifter cam engine with quilted interior it was blue,car was sold to a guy in Nottingham England, i wonder if my mate in Birmingham mike major still has his,
    cheers
    Gary New Zealand,ex Nottingham UK

  2. Robb Northrup says

    Mike: Thanks for the story. I did two stories (AutoWeek and Corvette Fever) many years ago on a GK in the Detroit area. I also had a chance to drive this marvelous car. It’s history is very much like that of the Apollo GT: An incredible design that experienced three attempts to maker it in the marketplace.

    What many don’t know is that it was the inspriation of a USAF fighter pilot stationed at a NATO base in the late 1950s. Capt. Rick Nielsen was racing a ’58 Corvette in club races in the UK when he discovered the Peerless GT, the car produced by John Gordon. Nielsen retained Jim Keeble as his race mechanic and fabricator, so Jim was familiar with the small block Chevy motor.

    Nielsen was the one who proposed a Peerless with a Chevy V8 and Gordon hired Keeble to do the conversion. This, then, led to the bigger project of the Gordon GT as it originally was called. Nielsen had contracted with Gordon to assemble Gordon GTs in Arizona — upon his retirement from the Air Force — for the American market.

    A number of things conspired to prevent this from happening.

    I learned this while visiting with Nielsen at his home in Arizona.

    As a side note, I spent a day with designer Jim Keeble at his home in Titchley (by Southhampton), England while in the UK on business. This was about a year or so before his death. What a wonderful man who’s engineering firm was busy designing automatic transmissions and develping a unique commuter car.

    He was active to the day he died. And the Gordon Keeble was/is and exciting grand touring auto.

    Robb Northrup

  3. Robb Northrup says

    Mike: About the tortoise badge:

    Jim Keeble told me himself that when he took the Gordon GT prototype (made by Bertone out of steel) out for a photo shoot, someone complained that the car lacked a badge.

    Keeble spotted a turlle at the side of the road and picked up up and placed on the nose of the car. “Here’s your badge!” he exclaimed. The turrle promply relieved himself on said Gordon GT, damaging the red paint!

    And the logo stuck…

    Robb Northrup

  4. Robb Northrup says

    Mike: Sorry to hog the comment line! The Gordon was Giugiaro’s first assignment at Bertone. His sketch for the car was used in the original Gordon GT brochure. In that, the headlights were less “slanted” than on the prototype and production car..

    Of intersting note, the Gordon prototype was featured in the British racing film “The Green Helmet.”

    Robb Northrup

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