Curbside Outtake: 1965 Gordon Keeble GK1 – The CC Effect At Work

(first posted 7/4/2017)      Back in March this year, fellow Curbivore Tatra87 gave us an excellent summary history of the Gordon Keeble Company and the GK1 Coupe. And yesterday, I saw one, for probably the first time. Given the number of Gordon Keebles (Gordons Keeble? Gordons Keebles?) there are, that is a definite example of the CC Effect. Parked in a normal street, where you’d expect to see Ford Fiestas and Peugeot 406 estates, was a Gordon Keeble GK1, one of just 100 built.

The Gordon Keeble was a Chevrolet V8 engined GRP (or fibreglass) bodied sports coupe, priced to complete with Jensen and Aston-Martin, and significantly more expensive than an E-Type Jaguar. Its place in the market perhaps best matches that currently occupied by the Bentley Continental now.

I first saw the car from about a hundred yards away, and my reaction was “Lancia Flavia”. We don’t see many of those either, so you may understand my mistake. I then speculated briefly about an Alfa Romeo 2600, or even a Ferrari or a Maserati. As I pulled up behind it, I was still thinking Lancia though. The cry of “it’s a Gordon Keeble” was heard quite clearly some distance away.

Given the styling, the Lancia call is perhaps understandable, as the styling has similarities with the Flavia, although the Lancia was styled by Pininfarina and Gordon Keeble by Giugiaro, then at Bertone, and who also styled the Alfa 2600.

Tatra87 makes reference to the interior having a more Italian than British flavour, and this evident. There’s no wood on show, the binnacle is not very British, and the gearlever location looks a bit odd. There appears little wrong with the material used, though.

Google suggests that this car has been restored – it was advertised for sale coloured red with a gently worn tan interior and is in show standard in dark blue with grey, having been at the Nation Classic Car Show in November 2016 in these colours. Going by the photographs, the blue suits it better than the red.  And, without tapping the panels, you’d be unlikely to know it was GRP and not aluminium either.

So, keep an eye out, for the CC Effect has no boundaries.