Peerless, Warwick, Gordon, and now Gordon-Keeble
The above names have, in the past, caused a considerable amount of correspondence to and from this office regarding the whereabouts and/or makers of these cars. Readers may remember that the Peerless started life as a Triumph-engined GT car which soon changed its name to Warwick (see Motor Sport, November 1961 for Road Test). When the car assumed the name Warwick it was handled by Bernard Roger Developments but after a short career in which it gained a good reputation in the specialised car market the fibre-glass-bodied Warwick with the De Dion rear suspension announced its swan-song despite last-minute efforts to resurrect the marque by replacing the Triumph TR3 engine with a Buick engine. After this came the Chevrolet-engined Gordon GT, but nobody saw much more of the car despite rumours that production would commence in Ireland. At this year’s Motor Show the Anglo-American-Italian Iso Rivolta was alleged to be the result of the Gordon factory going broke on an order for Bertone bodies with the designer Rivolta stepping in to design a chassis and to give the ex-Gordon GT the name Iso Rivolta. However, there was no confirmation that this Chevrolet-engined vehicle was, in fact, the aftermath of the Gordon, alias Warwick, alias Peerless and we were subjected to another period of nothingness until a press release arrived in our offices announcing the 1964 Gordon-Keeble, which in many of its ideas resembles the Iso Rivolta shown at Earls Court.
The 4-seater Gordon-Keeble is a result of a tie-up between John S. Gordon, who gave his name to the Gordon GT and Jim Keeble, who has been responsible for designing the space frame, which uses square section tubing throughout. Bertone of Italy have been responsible for the bodywork which bears a resemblance to the Iso Rivolta and the engine is a 300 b.h.p. version of the 5.4-litre Chevrolet V8 which is claimed to produce torque figures of 300 lb./ft. on a rev. range covering 800-5,200 r.p.m. The transmission is through a 4-speed all-synchromesh close ratio manual gearbox which is claimed to give a maximum speed in excess of 140 m.p.h. and a 0-100 m.p.h. time of 18.9 sec.
Rear suspension uses the De Dion layout with Armstrong Selectaride telescopic dampers and sturdy parallel arms fabricated from square tubes. At the front the suspension is independent by means of wishbones, coil springs and telescopic dampers. Disc brakes are used all round in conjunction with Dunlop disc wheels of the knock-off pattern.
The 2-door Bertone-styled body is constructed in steel although the prototype was made in fibre-glass and in England body production is in the hands of Williams & Pritchard at Southampton, in the factory where the car is assembled. Production is geared for two or three cars for the early part of this year until a second body mould has been completed, when production is hoped to be stepped up to five cars, with a 1964 overall production target of 200 units. Cost in the U.K. will be £2,798 inclusive of purchase tax. – E. L. W.