The name Ginetta may conjure up images of an Italian supercar, but its origins are entirely British. The company was founded in 1958 when the four Walklett brothers, Bob, Ivor, Trevers and Douglas, set up their organisation in Woodbridge in Suffolk. Like many classic car makers of the time, the original prototype Ginetta was intended for personal use only, but after the G1 met all the brothers' expectations, a commercial enterprise was soon to follow.
The first production car arrived in the late 1950s and was originally available in kit form only. The Ginetta G3 that succeeded it was a similar model with a glass fibre body, but it wasn't until the Ginetta G4 was produced in 1961 that the brothers went on to enjoy true commercial success. A year later, the company relocated to larger premises in Witham, Essex, as it began to enjoy a busy period of production.
Up until 1961, the motor racing enthusiasts that formed Ginetta had produced cars that were solely intended to race. The Ginetta G4 broke with that tradition, however, as the company branched out to provide a very popular road going car. The G4 was harnessed by the power of the new Ford 105E engine and although its primary target market was for the domestic user with a love of stylish high powered cars, the vehicle was still very successful on the track.
The G4 continued to be made using a variety of Ford engines right up until 1969 and for classic car enthusiasts and collectors today, this particular marque is arguably the most sought after of any vehicle that bears the Ginetta name. Unlike many of their contemporaries, Ginetta managed to withstand the economic crises that engulfed some of the most famous names in motorsport's past and that is why production of Ginettas carried on through the 1960s to the 1970s and beyond.
This success was achieved in the main thanks to the company's willingness to experiment and diversify and through the many incarnations of their vehicles, there have been some exciting and creative examples. The Ginetta G15 model was powered by an Imp engine, while the G21 had the advantage of a 1725 cc Chrysler Unit. These vehicles also marked a return to the early days of Ginetta production as both were available in either kit or complete form.
In the 1980s, Ginetta came full circle, with an updated version of the G4 that was also available in kit form. Known as the Ginetta G27, the new model carried all the historic characteristics while bringing the engine and other technology right up to date. Ginetta as a brand continues to the present day and its most recent model is the G40, which was produced for the junior racing market in 2010. Prior to that, the current owners brought out the Ginetta G50 that was issued to mark the fiftieth anniversary of the company in 1958.
But it's those historic Ginettas that continue to inspire a nation of classic car lovers and while it's good to see the company still in existence, the brand marks all that is good about the golden ages of motoring in the 1950s and 1960s. Today, the demand for classic Ginettas is higher than ever, with the original G4 still commanding the most attention from enthusiasts and collectors right across the world.
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