STEVE HOLE tells the story of the GINETTA G10 and G11 models. Similar cars with a V8 engine used in the G10 and a 1800cc B-Series in the G11. Plus comes news of a G10 Continuation model from Ginetta Cars.

The news that Ginetta Cars has announced a ‘continuation’ G10 model intrigued me. I think it’s great that Lawrence Tomlinson is recognising his company’s magnificent heritage which stands at a marvellous 74 years and counting.

L-to-R – The Walklett brothers – Ivor, Doug, Bob and Trevers

Certainly, even though Ginetta is one of the revered kitcar marques I still think that the exploits of the founding Walklett brothers is still somehow underrated.

They haven’t made kits since Lawrence took over in 2005 but they’ve definitely got some classics in their back catalogue that they could plunder for ‘continuation’ purposes. Leaving aside the G4 and G12 – the licences for those models reside with Ivor Walklett’s DARE Engineering, of course – I’d definitely suggest that a recreation of the G15 would be a good shout.

Anyway, the G10 was launched at the Racing Car Show of January 1965 and was the brothers’ first attempt at a ‘big banger’ Ginetta, with power coming from a Ford 289ci V8, all 4.7-litres of it. That was good enough Hi-Po guise to produce around 330bhp. Indeed, the G10 was similar to what Lotus had done with their own V8 289ci powered model, the Type 30.

The G10 was quite sophisticated for its day with independent suspension and brake discs all-round with the rears mounted inboard.

The company’s American dealer George Kipps had been asking Bob Walklett to supply a car that could compete in the SCCA’s sportscar championship and the G10 was that car.

G10 V8

At launch, it was well received although some wags said it bore a resemblance to the MGB, which was slightly unfair, but not surprising in some ways, given its use of steel MGB doors and windscreen.

Ivor later developed a fixed head version with a revised appearance with bespoke front and rear screens. The launch price was £2250 (about £30,460 in today’s money) plus purchase tax.

Ginetta’s works driver, the irrepressible Chris Meek, was certainly rapid in it, beating established class front runners such as lightweight E-types in a sportscar race at Brands Hatch.

Things were just looking promising for the G10 when a problem arose. A big one. The SCCA had refused to certify it for use the class Kipps wanted to run in as Ginetta hadn’t built 100 of them. Instead, it would be in the ‘Libre’ class up against established big hitters like Lola T70 and McLaren M6. Not ideal.

This news was a disaster for Ginetta as Kipps immediately cancelled his order for six G10s (four fixed heads and two convertibles).

The Walketts took stock and put the project on the back burner for a while. Within a few months, a slightly revised G10 had morphed into the G11, with fatter wheel arches, Triumph front suspension and MGB ‘live’ rear axle, plus the 1.8-lire B-series engine from the same source, rather than the G10’s V8.

This version launched at the Racing Car Show of 1966 with turnkey prices set at £1325 (approx £17,258 today) and £1098 (approx £14,301) for the kit. Sadly, the response, although good, didn’t result in a flood of orders and the G11 was quietly dropped. Regarding numbers, there were probably around three G10s and a further two G11s.

Then, of course, there are the four G11s produced by Birmingham engineer Russ Madden. He’d previously been a G4 owner and went to Ginetta’s Witham factory to buy the last G11 body/chassis kit (less MGB doors) and also the remaining stock of chassis. Madden’s cars were said to be beauties, particularly a dark blue one that starred in Cars & Car Conversions magazine in the October 1972 issue.

Meanwhile, Ginetta’s new, limited edition continuation model, or ‘classic remastered’ as they describe it on their website will be built using the original moulds and feature an LS3 6.2-litre V8, weighing in at under 1000kg. There are also whispers of an electric version, too … more on this when we get it.

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