First introduced in 1960 as the Gordon GT, it wasn’t until several years later that the 1964 Gordon Keeble GK1 was introduced. To be frank, besides its rather clunky, funny name (it reminds me of dog food, for some reason) the GK1 was an excellent car. It was styled by the young Giugiaro, the chief stylist at Bertone, who at 21 years old was already making quite the name for himself, and relied on American V8 power for propulsion. Underneath was an excellent chassis, with superb handling, thanks in part to its rear deDion axle and suspension. The only sour note, from a driver’s perspective, was the fact that the steering was unassisted, heavy and prone to give a little bit too much feedback. Ok, a lot.
The GK1 was fast. Very fast. Fitted with a 5.4-liter V8 engine directly from the Chevrolet Corvette, and developing a good 300 horsepower, it could reach a top speed of 135 miles per hour, and accelerate 0-60 mph in 7.5 seconds. The engine was paired to a fluid four-speed manual transmission; it could even reach 70 miles per hour in first gear, although I’m certain that wasn’t recommended.
The problem with the 1964 Gordon Keeble GK1 was that they couldn’t produce it fast enough, which meant that whatever buzz had existed when the car was launched was long gone by the time they could deliver. It remained in production until 1966, when it was cancelled and the company went bankrupt.