Auction Watch : Gordon-Keeble GK1

Gordon-Keeble GK1

With just 99 built, the Gordon-Keeble GK1 is one of the rarer delicacies of the British motor industry – so one coming up for sale is a bit of an occasion.

This one’s in excellent condition with an amazing history file – and is understandably attracting strong bidding in its online auction. However, it’s the story behind the interesting marque badge as set out in the sale’s description that really tickled us pink. We really hope it’s true.

Apparently, the Gordon-Keeble badge is a picture of a tortoise standing in a puddle of urine. Seriously… Back in 1963, when the first prototype was completed at the company Slough headquarters there was no badge or bonnet mascot.

Gordon-Keeble GK1

The prototype was wheeled out for the company’s management to view and just as they were looking at it, a pet tortoise from a neighbouring industrial unit waddled into view. As a joke, one of the Engineers picked it up and placed it on the car’s bonnet as a mascot, whereupon the tortoise proceeded to relieve itself all over the freshly painted bodywork.

The tortoise inside a yellow circle became the company’s emblem from that day forward, but then Gordon-Keeble was never a company to do things in a conventional manner.

With one owner since 1995 and a genuine mileage of 47,000, this has to be one of the nicest examples of this delectable Great British grand tourer. Whether it’s time to buy a V8 right now, is down to you – but, on looks alone, this one’s a winner.

Gordon-Keeble GK1

Keith Adams
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  1. I saw this earlier on the Auction site.
    For me it’s a rare If Only I had the Money sale!
    In the mid 1960s I used to see one of these every day in Birmingham on the way to school.
    Then at Bicester Heritage two were parked quite at random in the visitors area.
    In my opinion it’s hard to beat a British carvwith an American V8 It ticks all the boxes.
    My funds ran only to an MG ZT 260 V8 so this GK is a definite dream car!

    • I always thought there was 100 cars. Nice and extremely rare. If you have the money it would a nice motor for the garage on high days and holidays. Personally I prefer an interceptor….

        • Maybe, but a gk only comes with a chevy 327 small block. The interceptor comes with a Hemi big block in 383 and 440. The Chevy is nice but a Hemi wins in my mind everyday of the week.

          • Not to be too correcting, but neither the 383 nor the 440 were Hemi’s. They were fine, and the 440 Six Pack as used in the Interceptor SP packed quite a punch. But they were dramatically less expensive, much lower revving, options in Chrysler Corp. cars compared to the Hemi. Hemi’s in the period you are talking about were the 426 Hemi’s (in contrast to the 426 Wedges from the same period). I am neither a MoPar nor a Chevy guy, but the 327 was an immensely modifiable and flexible engine, and I would not sell it short. It was used in the GK and other great cars, like Iso’s, to great advantage.

  2. Haha, Paul B – that looked more like MG B to me. I suppose niche manufacturers have to grab whatever mass-built gear they can get for cast stuff like plastics… The GK is a pretty car though…

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