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Gordon Keeble

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A Gordon Keeble is a totally unknown brand in the Low Countries that originated from the brain of John Gordon who was previously involved in the British sports car brand Peerless, which also passed away. In 1959 he came in contact with his fellow countryman Jim Keeble. Together they put the Gordon GT together. That was actually nothing more than a chassis of a Peerless equipped with a modified carriage and a Buick 3.5 liter V8 engine that powered the Rover at a later stage.

In a next step, these men put together a tube chassis and opted for an 4.6 liter Chevrolet V8 engine. That technical part was shipped to Giugiaro's design studio with the request to provide the decoration. This was inspired by the appearance of the Lancia Flaminia, the Lagonda Rapide, the then Rolls-Royce with four sloping headlights, the so-called Chinese eyes. The aluminum carriage was finally built at Bertone. The resulting Gordon Keeble became a real Edelkoets. Super luxury, lots of leather, lots of meters and lots of buttons, but especially interesting for that time, lots of engine power and disc brakes on all four wheels. The final result was shown to Gordon in March 1960 as Gordon at the Geneva Motor Show. Due to all kinds of problems with suppliers, this thing was built at Bertone in just 27 days. That were the days…

USA

After an extensive testing program, the Gordon was shipped to Detroit in the United States where the then General Motors management was introduced to it. This resulted in GM supplying Corvette engines and gearboxes to these British tinkerers. Production could - finally - begin, but not after several other changes had been made. For example, a 'thicker' Corvette V8 with a capacity of 5,4 liters was fitted and the famous coachbuilders Williams & Pritchard Ltd. the assignment to modify the Bertone bodywork. A mold was made of this and the bodywork was made of polyester. That was much cheaper.

The factory (...) of the men's car manufacturers was initially located in Slough. That workshop quickly became too small and so they moved to Eastleigh and then to Southampton. The first Gordon Keeble produced in Great Britain saw the light of day at the end of 1963 and was delivered at the beginning of January 1964. During the entire production process, the company was mainly confronted with delivery problems of necessary parts. Also the - for then - absurdly high price of £ 2.789 (that was then slightly more than 28 mille of rock hard Dutch Guilders), meant that supplies were scarce and that eventually led to the company's bankruptcy. The smoking messes were purchased by fortune seekers Harold Smith and Geoffrey West, who are Keeble Cars Ltd.. called. They were not going to make it either. The new cars dribbled out of the workshop.


The end

A few months later it had happened again. Of the remaining parts, they managed to put together a few copies that were sold in 1967. After presumably 100 copies, the Edelmerk finally slid into the history books. Although the American "businessman" John de Bruyne still saw light at the end of the tunnel. In 1968 the (Gordon) Keeble was listed as 'De Bruyne' at the New York Motor Show. It remained with the two examples shown and then it was really 'over'. If you have ever seen a Gordon Keeble (or a Keeble) in person, you will be surprised why a turtle adorns the badge. That too is characteristic of the entrepreneurship of Messrs Gordon and Keeble. Just when photos of the car were taken, a turtle was walking in the picture ... Apparently it had such an impact that one made such an animal immortal for that car by using it in the emblem.

Photo: A Gordon Keeble is a very interesting car. And beautiful too!

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