There are a number of famous British car manufacturers, ranging from Aston Martin to Mini. They established themselves by creating iconic motors. Other manufacturers have gone for a specialist approach, such as Ginetta. The marquee is known for building race and sports cars. Ginetta has been around for decades and it’s created several vehicles like the G4 and G15. We’re looking into the history of this unique marquee to see how it got started.
Founded by four brothers
Ginetta was founded by Douglas, Trevers, Bob and Ivor Walklett in 1958. They set up a base in Woodbridge, Suffolk and each brother was assigned a different role. Trevers focused on styling, Douglas was a manager, Ivor was the engineer and Bob sold the cars. Their first product was a glass fibre body shell that fitted to a Ford 8 or 10 hp chassis. Ginetta based its first car on the pre WW2 Wolseley Hornet six, but it was never produced.
The first car to be produced was the G2, an open two-seater sports car that was similar to early Lotus cars. The G3 came with a glass fibre body. In 1961, Ginetta brought out the G4, which featured a Ford 105E engine and glass fibre GT style body. While the G2 and G3 were built for the race track, the G4 was designed for everyday use. The car proved to be popular with the public.
Ginetta soon moved to Witham, Essex in 1962. Ginetta produced the G10 and G11 in 1964, but a car that made an impact was the 1967 G15. It came with a rear-mounted 875 cc Sunbeam Imp engine and glass fibre body bolted to a tube chassis. Between 1967 and 1974, 800 were produced.
The Walklett brothers continued to run Ginetta until 1989. After they retired, the company was sold and eventually bought by an international group of enthusiasts who were based in Sheffield. Under managing director Martin Phaff, Ginetta produced the G20 and G23.
Ginetta changed hands again in 2005 when it was bought by racer Lawrence Tomlinson, who also owned LNT Automotive. Tomlinson aimed to carry on the Walklett’s legacy of producing high-performance sports cars. The marquee moved to Leeds in 2007 and Tomlinson personally sketched the specifications for the G50. Developed as a GT4 class-vehicle, the G50 was made to celebrate Ginetta’s 50th anniversary. 2010 was a good year for Ginetta because it acquired the Somerset-based sports car manufacturer Farbio.
Ginetta have gone from strength to strength and they haven’t lost sight of their goal to produce memorable vehicles.
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