RE: Ginetta G20: Spotted

Tuesday 19th December 2017

Ginetta G20: Spotted

Bored of Caterham? Ginetta's bare-knuckle roadster is an even more unorthodox way to see the countryside



Ginetta celebrates its 60th anniversary next year, and in that time has shown remarkable bravery when it come to the perilously expensive business of designing, engineering and building new cars. Not for it the conservatism that has kept Caterham mostly circling the same concept; its original founders - the Walklett brothers - moved with the times and while the firm's reputation was built on motorsport and the curvaceous G4, by the late 60s it had gained type approval on the Coventry Climax-powered G15 in hopes of accessing a wider audience. Others followed, most typically in kit-built G27 format, but also in the more ambitious shape of mid-engined prospects like the G32.

There's rare and then there's rare!
There's rare and then there's rare!
The endless desire to reinvent itself did not depart when the Walketts retired, and under new management Ginetta started building the G20 - which featured a derivative of the G27's all-round wishbone chassis underneath and more than a hint of fibreglass G4 shapeliness on top. The car was kept elementally simple: the two-piece body was intended to be easy to fix (i.e. replaced) and wasn't needlessly cluttered with a roof or proper windscreen. Or even doors, for that matter. No, Ginetta wanted you to bound in like a Spitfire pilot (or certainly with the equivalent amount of luggage, at any rate) and fire off to the horizon. 

The firing part was handled by a 1.8-litre Ford Zetec engine (although the subject of today's Spotted apparently runs a 2.0-litre lump) mated to a very manual five-speed gearbox. In stock format the four-pot only developed around 125hp, but the G20 around it weighed just 660kg or so; making it spirited enough to easily outperform the contemporary Mazda MX-5 - or even an entry-level Porsche Boxster. 

There's bare and then there's bare!
There's bare and then there's bare!
Of course you probably wouldn't be quite as comfortable: Ginetta having pulled no punches with the G20's spartan brief (much like today, the model's pedigree as a track car being considered of much greater importance than its appeal as a road car). Inside there are bucket seats, a handbrake, a smattering of dials located well away from your eyeline and only the most essential (i.e. required by law) switchgear. There's no ABS or power-assisted steering either, needless to say - or much of anything else to get between you and a very tactile sensation of driving. 

15 years ago a turnkey G20 would've cost you around £13K, making the £16K asking price for this 2004 model mildly speculative. That said, there's no questioning its rarity - especially in factory-built roadgoing condition. The car in question has reportedly only covered 5,000 miles with three owners, and started life as a brand demonstrator. One for the 'minimalist enthusiast' says its advertiser (which is undeniably true) and also, as the modern iteration of Ginetta sprints characteristically for the future, an easy-on-the-eye example of what the previous 60 years have produced. 


SPECIFICATION - GINETTA G20

Engine: 1,796cc 4-cyl
Transmission: 5-speed manual, rear-wheel drive
Power (hp): 142@N/A rpm
Torque (lb ft): 119@N/A rpm
MPG: N/A
CO2: N/A
First registered: 2004
Recorded mileage: 5,850 miles
Price new: £13,999
Yours for: £15,995

[Spec for 1.8-litre version]

See the original advert here.

 

 

Author
Discussion

jason61c

Original Poster:

2,819 posts

105 months

Tuesday 19th December 2017
quotequote all
GKD bought the rights to the g27.

It became this

https://www.pistonheads.com/news/ph-driven/driven-...

What would be nice is a lovely little Dare G4.

Andy665

2,181 posts

159 months

Tuesday 19th December 2017
quotequote all
Very pretty little car - photographs do not do it justice

daveco

3,504 posts

138 months

Tuesday 19th December 2017
quotequote all
Why does the rear end look so out of proportion compared to the rest of the car?

mrtwisty

2,393 posts

96 months

Tuesday 19th December 2017
quotequote all
A wonderful little thing smile

Only a handful were made iirc?

Olivera

2,947 posts

170 months

Tuesday 19th December 2017
quotequote all
Hideous
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givablondabone

2,504 posts

86 months

Tuesday 19th December 2017
quotequote all
Lovely but I'd change the wheels. And stick a V8 in........................... getmecoat

Mark Benson

4,765 posts

200 months

Tuesday 19th December 2017
quotequote all
I raced one of these.

First, the wheels are like boat anchors - we put 16" Team Dynamics on ours which look better and are significantly lighter.
We also flat-floored it, which makes a huge difference to high speed stability (the bonnet acts like a parachute and lifts the front end), whilst we did that we opened a hole behind the radiator to let the air from under the bonnet escape, the factory holes aren't big enough.
Then we dropped an ST170 engine in which, with a mild tune and exhaust gave us 185bhp (standard is I think 130).

With the above mods it was a very quick car, certainly the better of an R300 in competition - close to an R400 but in total it cost us £10k to buy and build.
Pic in my profile.

Since we sold it I've been looking for a road car to do something similar with.


But not at £15k......

blueg33

19,636 posts

155 months

Tuesday 19th December 2017
quotequote all
givablondabone said:
Lovely but I'd change the wheels. And stick a V8 in........................... getmecoat
Ginetta did that before the G20

This is my G33. 4l V8, 250bhp, diferent wheels. Also slightly wider and longer






givablondabone

2,504 posts

86 months

Tuesday 19th December 2017
quotequote all
blueg33 said:
Ginetta did that before the G20

This is my G33. 4l V8, 250bhp, diferent wheels. Also slightly wider and longer



beer

suffolk009

3,772 posts

96 months

Tuesday 19th December 2017
quotequote all
Jeez who writes this crap.

You might want to do a quick fact check - google or wikipedia can help you avoid looking like you have done precisely no research or fact checking.

ETA ...or indeed just take a look at that lovely "mid-engined" G33 pictured above.

Edited by suffolk009 on Tuesday 19th December 14:12

SimonTheSailor

9,012 posts

159 months

Tuesday 19th December 2017
quotequote all
givablondabone said:
Lovely but I'd change the wheels. And stick a V8 in........................... getmecoat
Oh yes wink



miscfiles

1 posts

7 months

Tuesday 19th December 2017
quotequote all
suffolk009 said:
Jeez who writes this crap.

You might want to do a quick fact check - google or wikipedia can help you avoid looking like you have done precisely no research or fact checking.

ETA ...or indeed just take a look at that lovely "mid-engined" G33 pictured above.
You might want to check that. The article mentions the G32 - which is indeed mid-engined - and not the G33.

Also good for a quick game of "spot the 1980s Ford parts".

British Beef

1,108 posts

96 months

Tuesday 19th December 2017
quotequote all


My Fisher Fury, which I sold last year.

Same sort of thing, but with more power and less than half the cost, plus it was tax free which was a bonus.





suffolk009

3,772 posts

96 months

Tuesday 19th December 2017
quotequote all
miscfiles said:
You might want to check that. The article mentions the G32 - which is indeed mid-engined - and not the G33.
The article has now been corrected!

The G15 used a Hillman Imp engine not a Climax. There were a few G15s exported to American that used VW Beetle engines.

Also, last time I looked Spitfires has doors. They fold down - a bit like a Lotus XI.

blueg33

19,636 posts

155 months

Tuesday 19th December 2017
quotequote all
G33 is Front/Mid engine, IIRC weight distribution is pretty much 50/50, or with me in the drivers seat, when it was corner weighted is was very slightly biased towards the rear.

The Hillman Imp engine was a Coventry Climax unit with a few changes to the head by Rootes.

Edited by blueg33 on Tuesday 19th December 16:14


Edited by blueg33 on Tuesday 19th December 16:38

tgx

60 posts

81 months

Tuesday 19th December 2017
quotequote all
It is sooo not stylish compared to the original G4. Not sure what it is, just looks
like a gussied up Miata.

Edited by tgx on Tuesday 19th December 17:01

blueg33

19,636 posts

155 months

Tuesday 19th December 2017
quotequote all
tgx said:
It is sooo not stylish compared to the original G4. Not sure what it is, just looks
like a gussied up Miata.

Edited by tgx on Tuesday 19th December 17:01
That will be the MX5 lights then

blueg33

19,636 posts

155 months

Tuesday 19th December 2017
quotequote all
miscfiles said:

Also good for a quick game of "spot the 1980s Ford parts".
Doors, mirrors, wheels, rear lights,

Matt97

487 posts

59 months

Tuesday 19th December 2017
quotequote all
Would love a G4 or G33, both way out of my price range though! The G20 in the advert was for sale when I bought mine and that was a couple of years ago! Personally I think it's overpriced but it does look quite good. Those KN wheels are so heavy, I have a set as spares but would like to get a lighter set of alloys to replace them. I've enjoyed every minute of owning mine so far, one thing that helped me decide to buy it was the fact insurance is relatively cheap for me (I was 19 when I got it). Like with most kitcars, people either like it or they hate it but I didn't buy it to please other people biggrin .
Here's a couple of pics of mine...

With another G20 during a trackday at Castle Combe..




blueg33

19,636 posts

155 months

Tuesday 19th December 2017
quotequote all
Matt97 said:
Would love a G4 or G33, both way out of my price range though! The G20 in the advert was for sale when I bought mine and that was a couple of years ago! Personally I think it's overpriced but it does look quite good. Those KN wheels are so heavy, I have a set as spares but would like to get a lighter set of alloys to replace them. I've enjoyed every minute of owning mine so far, one thing that helped me decide to buy it was the fact insurance is relatively cheap for me (I was 19 when I got it). Like with most kitcars, people either like it or they hate it but I didn't buy it to please other people biggrin .
Here's a couple of pics of mine...

With another G20 during a trackday at Castle Combe..



Looks great