Heroshot

1964 Gordon-Keeble GK1

Bonhams Les Grandes Marques du Monde 2021
Wednesday, 3 March - Wednesday, 10 March 2021
€65,000 ($77,350)
Not sold at a high bid of
€90,000 - €120,000
Est. Range
Yes
Reserve
148
Lot Number
#2-
Older restoration
Bonhams
Auction House
Chassis no. C14F1004RD; Engine no. F070IRD. Blue over black leather. RHD, 327/300hp Chevrolet V-8, 4-speed manual, centerlock alloy wheels, four-=wheel disc brakes, woodrim steering wheel, power windows.

Evaluation: Car number 14 of the 99 built. Sold new to William David Ormsby-Gore, the British Ambassador to the United States from 1961-65. He shipped it to the U.S., and reportedly drove Jackie Kennedy around in the car a few times during their brief fling. Damaged in an accident in 1975 but quickly repaired. Restored in the 1980s. More recently had the interior re-trimmed. No major paint issues visible in the photos, but it is likely old and the badges are visibly aged. Used but maintained and recently cleaned up engine bay. Very good interior. A very rare, attractive, and fast Anglo-American hybrid, styled by Giugiaro at Bertone.

Bottom Line: The Gordon-Keeble is a sexy car with a decidedly un-sexy name and an ironic badge – after a tortoise walked into the shot during early photo shoot for the car, Gordon-Keeble chose a black tortoise on a yellow background as its official emblem. Underneath the fiberglass body is a great interior that looks as good as any GT car of the era with ample gauges, toggle switches, and leather swathed with diamond stitching. The 327 Chevrolet engine, meanwhile, made the Gordon-Keeble a great 140-mph continental cruiser, but the car was too expensive and after a brief 1964-67 run the venture went bust.

Most of the 99 Gordon-Keebles built still survive, but they still hardly come to market. Price obviously depends on condition, but in recent years they have sold for as little as £51,750 or as high as £105,100. The reported high bid here didn’t see this Gordon-Keeble off to a new home, but it should have been at least close to an acceptable number for the seller.

by Andrew Newton
18 March 2021
A story about
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Condition definitions
Condition #1: Concours
Condition #1 vehicles are the best in the world. The visual image is of the best vehicle, in the right colors, driving onto the lawn at the finest concours. Perfectly clean, the vehicle has been groomed down to the tire treads. Painted and chromed surfaces are mirror-like. Dust and dirt are banned, and materials used are correct and superbly fitted. The one word description for #1 vehicles is “concours.“
Condition #2: Excellent
#2 vehicles could win a local or regional show. They can be former #1 vehicles that have been driven or have aged. Seasoned observers will have to look closely for flaws, but will be able to find some not seen by the general public. The paint, chrome, glass and finishes will all appear as excellent. No excessive smoke will be seen on startup, no unusual noises will emanate from the engine. The vehicle will drive as a new vehicle of its era would. The one word description for #2 vehicles is “excellent.“
Condition #3: Good
#3 vehicles could possess some, but not all of the issues of a #4 vehicle, but they will be balanced by other factors such as a fresh paint job or a new, correct interior where applicable. #3 vehicles drive and run well, but might have some incorrect parts. These vehicles are not used for daily transportation but are ready for a long tour without excuses, and the casual passerby will not find any visual flaws. “Good” is the one word description of a #3 vehicle.
Condition #4: Fair
#4 vehicles are daily drivers, with flaws visible to the naked eye. The chrome might have pitting or scratches, the windshield might be chipped. Paintwork is imperfect, and perhaps the body has a minor dent. Split seams or a cracked dash, where applicable, might be present. No major parts are missing, but the wheels could differ from the originals, or other non- stock additions might be present. A #4 vehicle can also be a deteriorated restoration. “Fair” is the one word that describes a #4 vehicle.
Condition #5: Poor
Running, but battered, incomplete, and perhaps rusty.
Condition #6: Parts car
Parts car.
N/A
Hagerty only assigns condition ratings to vehicles we can inspect in person or, for online listings, via high-quality photography.