1966 Gordon-Keeble GK1 I.T.

Owner: Roy Dowding

Matching the elegant styling of Giorgetto Giugiaro, then working for Bertone, with the 5.4-litre V8 oomph of Chevrolet, and put together in the UK, this truly transatlantic creation is a wonderful example of 1960s grand-touring elegance. The Gordon-Keeble GK1 was one of the fastest cars on the road at the time of its birth, thanks to its lightweight glassfibre body.

Of 93 GK1s built, the last six made were I.T. models (for International Touring), such as the one on show at Concours Savile Row. They were believed to have been company co-founder Jim Keeble’s idea to differentiate the models made from scratch at Sholing, Southampton, England. Production of this particular car began in 1965, but it wouldn’t be registered until 1966. The vehicle was supposed to be entered into the 1966 Le Mans 24 Hours, but the company went into liquidation the day before testing began. The liquidators ordered the GK1 to be finished and sold as a road machine; it had already been stripped out for motor sport.

However, it is believed that there were no original roof-lining parts left, so one was sourced from a Ford 400E van, which was produced near the Gordon-Keeble factory. And the story behind the unusual badge? During the car’s first photoshoot, a tortoise wandered into shot and was placed on the bonnet to simulate a badge. The company owners, seeing the irony of such a slow animal on a fast machine, turned it into the firm’s logo.

Power: 300bhp | Top speed: 138mph | 0-60mph: 6.2 seconds