Gilbern Classic Cars for Sale

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Gilbern

Producing sports cars between 1959 and 1973, Gilbern was a Welsh manufacturing company located in Glamorgan.

The History and Development of Gilbern as a Manufacturer

The company was founded as a joint venture between Giles Smith and a German glass fibre engineer named Bernard Friese. It is notable that the Gilbern series was one of the only automobiles to be built in Wales. Interestingly enough, Mr. Friese had produced a car for his personal use and this model was employed as the template for the initial series of Gilbert automobiles. Kit cars were first manufactured within a facility in Llantwit Fardre and soon after, complete units were available to the public. Unfortunately, Gilbern vehicles were thought to be exceedingly expensive during the time that they were produced. This aspect was further complicated when the company was acquired by Ace Capital Holdings Ltd. and subsequently by the entertainment group Mecca Ltd. Mr. Smith left the company in 1968 and production was halted in 1973.

Notable Gilbern Models

Gilbern was noted to have produced a few interesting vehicles during their era. The Gilbern GT was manufactured between 1959 and 1967. It was a two-door compact car that was able to reach speeds from 0 to 60 miles per hour in 13.8 seconds. This vehicle cost £978 pounds. This did not include taxation charges and only 280 were ever produced. The Gilbern Genie was considered to be a more upmarket model in comparison to the GT. It enjoyed a three-year run from 1966 until 1969 although even during this time, only 197 were built. It offered the driver a Ford Essex V6 engine and overdrive was optional on all models. According to 1969 prices, the Gilbern Genie cost £2000 pounds. The last vehicle that Gilbern produced was the Gilbern Invader. The Invader enjoyed a run from 1969 through 1973. More robust brakes and a larger chassis were two defining features of the Invader. Estate versions and subsequent models (MkII and MkIII) were offered in 1971 and 1972. Still, only 603 units were ultimately produced during this four-year interval. Unlike other models, the Invader was not available as a kit car. This factory-produced vehicle cost £2,693 pounds in 1962. The only other notable model was the Gilbern T11 concept car. While boasting a sleek and streamlined look, it was eventually recalled (although slated to make an appearance at the Geneva Motor Show in 1971). The only one ever built was eventually restored between 2009 and 2010. The Gilbern T11 was mentioned in a few classic car articles soon thereafter.

The Gilbern Logo

The Gilbern name and logo are combinations of the names Giles Smith and Bernard Friese.