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Thread: Gilbern Genie 1966-1969

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    Sep 2006
    The Netherlands

    Gilbern Genie 1966-1969

    Gilbern Sports Cars (Components) Ltd was founded by Giles Smith (previously a butcher, who died in 2003) and Bernard Friese, a German engineer with experience in glass fibre mouldings, and was one of the few cars to be made in Wales. Friese had made a one-off car for himself and the two partners used this as the basis for the first Gilbern car. The premises were a tiny workshop in Church Village, Pontypridd but when production started the business moved to a new location at the old Red Ash Colliery at nearby Llantwit Fardre. The cars were available at first only as kits but later complete cars were also available. The name, Gilbern, was a combination of the first three letters of the name of founder Giles Smith and the first four letters of the name of his co-founder Bernard Friese.

    The GT, a 2+2 two-door coupé was the company's first car and was made between 1959 and 1967. In 1966 a larger, more up-market model, the Genie, appeared at the London Motor Show. It could be had with either a 2.5- or 3-litre Ford Essex V6 engine and gearbox with optional overdrive, but the steering and back axle were still BMC units from the MGB. The engine was fitted with a twin-choke Weber carburetor on most cars, although a small number were built with Tecalemit Jackson fuel injection. The rear suspension differed from the MG in having coil-spring/damper units and trailing arms. On early Genies, the rear axle was located with a Panhard rod, which was then changed to a Watts linkage on later examples. The 2.5-litre version was dropped in 1968. In 1969, a complete car cost around £2000.

    Source: Wikipedia
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