Ginetta G4R Series IV Lotus coupe

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G4R Series IV Lotus coupe





Ginetta Cars is a British specialist builder of racing and sports cars based in Garforth, Leeds, West Yorkshire.

Ginetta was founded in 1958 by four Walklett brothers (Bob, Ivor, Trevers and Douglas) in Woodbridge, Suffolk. Their first product, the Fairlight, was a glass-fibre body shell priced at £49 for fitting to a Ford 6.0 or 7.5 kW (8.0 or 10.1 hp; 8.2 or 10.2 PS) 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.

The four Walklett brothers each had their areas of expertise: Bob was the managing director, Douglas was the mechanical engineer and also handled the electrical work, Ivor was the designer and Trevers was the stylist, working closely with Ivor.

Ginetta's first car, the G2, was produced as a kit car for enthusiasts and consisted of a tubular frame chassis to take Ford components and aluminium body. About 100 were produced.

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 along with the suspension updated to coil springing at the front with a Ford live axle at the rear. Whereas the G2 and G3 had been designed for racing, the G4 was usable as an everyday car but still was very competitive in motorsport with numerous successes. In 1963, a coupé variant was introduced alongside the open-top variant and a BMC axle replaced the Ford unit at the rear. In road tests, the car attains a top speed of 190 km/h (120 mph) with a 1,500 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 51 mm (2 in) wider and 76 mm (3 in) longer than the III. Over 500 units were made up to 1969 with a variety of Ford engines.

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.

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. The Series IV was powered by a 1,599 cc Ford four-cylinder engine.

In 1988, the Walklett brothers needed bigger premises and so moved the company to Scunthorpe where they could expand. On 7 November 1989, the Walkletts sold Ginetta to an international group of enthusiasts, based in Sheffield and run by managing director Martin Phaff. Ginetta was in a strong financial position at the time of its sale and the Walkletts went on to retire. Under Phaff, the company went on to produce the Ginetta G20 and the Ginetta G33. It was during this period that the company hit troubled times.

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