► Ginetta’s Yorkshire home in pictures
► A peek inside the independent British marque
► How modern specialist sports cars take shape
► Photography by Mark Riccioni
Great Britain is still home to a uniquely large number of independent specialist sports car companies, building cars by hand in small quantities. It’s all very different, but no less fascinating, than the vast scale of mass production at major mainstream manufacturers.
Yorkshire-based sports and racing car maker Ginetta is one such example. When we picked up our long-term Ginetta G40 earlier in 2015, we ventured inside the factory doors for a first-hand view of 21st century low-volume sports car production.
Ginetta’s large, airy (and spotlessly clean) factory is based in Garforth, near Leeds. Originally founded by the Walklett brothers in 1958, the marque was taken over by Lawrence Tomlinson’s LNT Group in 2006 and today builds a wide variety of racers, from the neat little G40 (pictured) to fearsome Le Mans prototypes.
The engine and gearbox shop, where the G40’s Ford-sourced four-pots and the G55 Supercup’s V6 are breathed on with Ginetta racing sumps and throttle bodies, and hooked up to a variety of gearboxes, from racing sequentials to road-going H-patterns.
Here’s what’s hidden under our Ginetta G40 long-termer’s body. More than 100 tubes form the chassis, which doubles as a full race-approved rollcage, many times stronger than it needs to be to pass FIA racing regulations.
Or perhaps sir would prefer the next size up? Here’s a larger Ginetta Supercup car’s spaceframe, a little further down the production line.
And here’s the finished article. The brutish Ginetta G55 GT4’s long bonnet covers a 355bhp 3.7-litre V6 and giant six-pot brakes.
More extreme still is the G55 GT3, with 4.35 litres of aluminium V8 and only 1100kg of (dry) weight to push along. This pair are Ginetta’s factory team cars from the 2015 British GT championship.
The mid-engined Ginetta G60 supercar (the two orange and grey cars under the Ginetta sign) has been put on ice for the time being. Still looking very pretty, though.
Read CAR’s review of the Ginetta G60 here.
Aside from cars, Ginetta’s also ventured into footwear and clothing, with its Ginetta Lifestyle sidearm designing a range of motorsport-inspired brogues, boots, and even rucksacks.
The carbonfibre shop’s kept busy all year round, clothing new cars pre-season and patching them up during it.
Keeping the brand in touch with its lengthy heritage, there are more than a few classic Ginettas inside the modern factory, including this smart G15.
The Ginetta-Zytek GZ09S was raced (and crashed, following a puncture) in the 2010 Le Mans 24 hours by no less than Nigel Mansell. Ginetta will return to Le Mans in 2016, hoping for better fortune…
Ginetta run multiple one-make championships on the British Touring Car Championship support bill, including the frenzied Ginetta Junior Championship and high-speed, high-stakes Supercup, both with a dedicated G40 safety car.
A significant proportion of Ginetta’s production is exported, to markets including North and South America and Japan.
This is us leaving Ginetta’s factory in our long-term G40 earlier in 2015. Read all of our adventures in the road-legal racer here.