|Leeds, West Yorkshire, United Kingdom
|Lawrence Tomlinson, Chairman
Ginetta Cars is a British specialist builder of racing and sports cars based in Garforth, Leeds, West Yorkshire.
Ginetta was founded in 1958 by the four Walklett brothers (Bob, Ivor, Trevers and Douglas) in Woodbridge, Suffolk. Their first product sold as the Fairlight was a glass fibre body shell priced at £49 for fitting to Ford 8 or 10hp chassis. The first car, not destined for production, which subsequently became known as the Ginetta G1, was based on a pre war Wolseley Hornet six.
From their original base, the company moved to Witham, Essex in 1962, and between 1972 and 1974 operated from larger premises in Ballingdon Street adjacent to the railway bridge Sudbury, Suffolk before returning to Witham where they remained until 1989. Under the Walkletts, Trevers was mainly responsible for styling, Ivor for engineering, Douglas for management, and Bob for sales.
Following the retirement of the Walkletts in 1989 the company was sold but failed, and was then bought by an international group of enthusiasts, based in Sheffield, and run by managing director Martin Phaff producing the G20 and G33
In late 2005 Ginetta was acquired by LNT Automotive, a company run by experienced racing driver and successful businessman Lawrence Tomlinson. His aims remained in line with the original founders of Ginetta; to continue producing innovative, capable and above all, great value sports cars.
In mid-2007 Ginetta moved to a factory near Leeds, with a target to sell 200 cars a year. Trained engineer Tomlinson himself penned the base specification for the Ginetta G50, which was produced to celebrate 50 years of Ginetta production, and became a successful GT4 car.
In March 2010, Ginetta acquired the Somerset-based sports car manufacturer Farbio, and re-badged their car the Ginetta F400. In March 2011, Ginetta launched the G55, running in the Michelin Ginetta GT Supercup and built to the GT3 class regulations. In October 2011 Ginetta launched the G60, a two-door mid-engined sports car developed from the F400 and powered by a Ford-sourced 3.7-litre V6 engine.
Models produced by Ginetta include the following:
The first car, the G2, was produced as a kit for enthusiasts and consisted of a tubular frame chassis to take Ford components and aluminium body. About 100 were made.
G3 & G4
The G3 was introduced with a glass fibre body in 1959 to be followed by the G4 in 1961.
The G4 used the new Ford 105E engine and had a glass fibre GT style body and the suspension was updated to coil springing at the front with Ford live axle at the rear. Whereas the G2 and G3 had been designed for competition the G4 was usable as an everyday car but still was very competitive in motor sport with numerous successes. Over 500 were made up to 1969 with a variety of Ford engines. In 1963 a coupé was introduced alongside the open car and a BMC axle replaced the Ford one at the rear. On test the car reached 120 mph (190 km/h) with a 1500 cc engine. The series III version of 1966 added pop-up headlights. Production stopped in 1968 but was revived in 1981 with the Series IV which was two inches wider and three inches (76 mm) longer than the III.
G10, G11 & G12
The G10 and G11 from 1964 were higher-powered versions with 4.7-litre Ford V8 and MGB engines respectively. The G12 was a mid-engined competition car.
In 1967 the G15 was launched utilizing a rear-mounted 875 cc Sunbeam Imp engine. This two-seater coupé had a glass fibre body bolted to a tube chassis and used Imp rear and Triumph front suspension. Approximately 800 were produced from 1967 to 1974 and the car was fully type approved allowing for the first time complete Ginetta cars to be sold. Eight G15s were engineered for Volkswagen engines and called the "Super S".
In 1970 the G15 was joined by the larger G21, which was initially available with either a 1599 cc Ford Kent engine, or a 3-litre Ford V6 engine. The 1725 cc Sunbeam Rapier engine subsequently became the standard four-cylinder engine for the car.
G24 & G23
The G21 was later updated to become the closed G24 or open top G23.
The G19 was a single seater Formula 3 racing car of which only one was produced.
G26, G27, G28, G30 & G31
Following reorganisation the company moved to Scunthorpe and started making cars in kit form again in the 1980s starting with the G27 and followed by the G26, G28, G30 and G31, with all cars using Ford parts.
G32 & G33
It was decided to re-enter the complete car business with the mid-engined G32 with a choice of 1.6- and 1.9-litre 4-cylinder engines available as a coupé or convertible and the G33 convertible with 3.9-litre Rover V8 capable of 145 mph (233 km/h) and a 0-60 mph time of 5 seconds. In 1990 the G32 coupé cost £13,700, the convertible £14,600, and the G33 £17,800.
G4 Series IV
The G4 was re-introduced in 1981 as the G4 Series IV, with a new chassis. It was produced through to 1984 with approximately 35 examples built.
After Ginetta was acquired by Lawrence Tomlinson in 2005, the company began work on the design of the Ginetta G50 - a 3.5-litre V6 engine, producing 300 BHP - to celebrate the company's 50th birthday. In 2007, the car competed in its first race in the European GT4 Cup in Nogaro France, finishing second.
Soon after this success, the machine was officially launched at Autosport International in early 2008 alongside its sister car, the Ginetta G50 GT4. Together, they have become Ginetta’s biggest selling machine, and have raced (and won) in almost every continent, including the Dubai 24 Hour endurance race in 2012 with Optimum Motorsport.
In March 2010, Lawrence acquired the Somerset-based sports car manufacturer Farbio, and in doing so inherited the F400, which was subsequently redesigned, redeveloped and rebranded from the Farbio Marque, into a Ginetta G60; a two-door mid-engined powerhouse which shares the same 3.7-litre V6 engine as its G55 GT3 stablemate and is capable of 0 – 60 mph in 4.9 seconds, with a top speed of 165 mph.
In 2010, Lawrence implemented a newer, safer car into the existing Ginetta Junior series and in doing so, replaced the old Ginetta G20 race car with a G40J.
Following the success of the G40J, Ginetta decided to introduce a Ginetta G40 Challenge car for the adult racers in its Challenge series. With the same engine as its sister car, the G40 Challenge car is capable of 165 bhp and competes against existing G20 models. Today, the car features heavily in the Total Quartz Ginetta GT5 Challenge.
Ginetta unveiled its second road car - the Ginetta G40R - in 2011, designed to mimic the Walklett brothers' original vision of 'a race car for the road'. Capable of 0-60 in 5.8 seconds, the G40R shares a number of characteristics with its racing siblings.
2011 saw the introduction of the G55 Cup car to the Ginetta GT Supercup, which, until that point, had only featured the G50 Cup car. Offering a 3.7-litre V6 engine with 380 BHP, the car provided Ginetta with the basis for their Ginetta G55 GT3 Car; a larger spec machine which gives GT teams a 4.35L V8 powerplant.
Michelin Ginetta GT4 SuperCup
The Michelin Ginetta GT4 SuperCup is a single-class race series which features both the Ginetta G50 and G55 sports cars; running in support of the British Touring Car Championship.
The championship began as the Ginetta G50 Cup in 2008, supporting the British Formula Three Championship and British GT Championship. In 2009 it moved to support the BTCC. In 2011, with the introduction of the Ginetta G55, the championship became the Michelin Ginetta GT4 SuperCup.
The 2014 season will be the fourth running of the Michelin Ginetta GT4 Supercup, but it will be the first year in which the G50 GT4 and G55 GT4 cars are consolidated into one single class. In order to maintain fair competition, the two models will be equalised through a balance of performance test.
Protyre Motorsport Ginetta GT5 Challenge
The Protyre Motorsport Ginetta GT5 Challenge offers a unique, low-cost opportunity to race in a single-make racing championship, over seven race weekends supporting the British GT package. For 2014, the series will once again return to Spa for an international round alongside the Swedish Ginetta Challenge series.
A popular entry-level championship for many GT racers, the series boasts packed grids with close racing. All weekends are triple headers, providing 21 races throughout the season, with all races counting towards the final championship positions.
Ginetta Supplies customer LMP3 cars for the European Le Mans Series and Asian Le Mans Series as well as the IMSA Prototype Challenge. Ginetta has also confirmed it will take part in the LMP1 class in the 2018 24 Hours of Le Mans.