Gilberns in Competition Today
Only one Gilbern model was ever FIA homologated in period, and this was the MGB powered GT1800
Today there are an increasing number of these cars running in historic events, as drivers discover they are a competitive alternative to all the MGBs.
In 2014 Mike Bell ran his lovely blue GT1800 at both the Goodwood Revival, and the Spa 6 Hours
At Spa Mike, and co-driver Iain Rowley had an almost trouble free run to finish the gruelling 6 hours, coming 19th out of 25 in class. This class was mainly made up of 2.0 Porsche 911s, so very stiff opposition, but the Gilbern very much held its own. This result earned Mike the club’s Peter Cottrell Memorial Trophy for performance in competition.
Another very historic GT1800 (AMJ 630C) is the ex Dr Paul Scott car
Which he raced, and hillclimbed extensively throughout the Sixties, Seventies, and Eighties. Brian Gent brought the orange car back to the track in 2014.
This was at the Five Clubs Wiscombe Park hillclimb, where he won the club’s Wiscombe Cup
This Cup was first awarded in 1972, to the best Gilbern on a handicap system, at a selected Wiscombe Park hillclimb each year.
There are many 3.0 litre V6 cars currently being prepared for competition
Mike Griffiths debuted his immaculate silver Invader Mk 3 in 2014, but this is an Invader with a twist. Mike has replaced the V6 engine with a 2.3 litre 4 cylinder engine from his Ford Escort rally car. The highlight of his first year in 2014 was beating 16 of the 18 Ferraris competing at the August Curborough sprint.
For the second year running two Gilberns GT1800s start, and finish the Spa Historic 6 Hours in September.
Mike Bell was having his annual outing with his blue GT1800, also known as Gilbert, with Iain Rowley co-driving again. Despite having a back axle change in practice, they had a trouble free run to finish an excellent 32nd overall out of over 100 starters
Even better was a 5th in class, in the ultra competitive GTS11 category, which had 37 entries, including TR4s, Morgans, Marcos, Porsche 911s, MGBs etc!. Tom Smith won the class in the MG Motorsport MGB, followed by Morgan, Marcos, 911, and Gilbert.
The second GT1800 was Bob Binfield again with his son Sam, and Will Nuthill co-driving his dark blue example. They also had back axle woes in practice, breaking a driveshaft, but took their place on the grid, with a new driveshaft fitted. Despite some engine problems they still finished a respectable 72nd overall, and kept the Gilbern 100% finishing record at Spa.
Bob, and Sam also did many 1 to 3 hour races in the UK including the Brands Hatch Masters, Donington Park Masters, and the Silverstone Classic. They always finished, but often seemed to have little problems losing them time, and slipping down the order.
McLatchie takes everything before him in Devon
After doing a few hillclimbs in Scotland, Colin McLatchie brought his GT1800 down South to do the Wiscombe Cup weekend again, at Wiscombe Park. He took away a Gilbern class win each day, as well as the Wiscombe Cup, for the best improvement of a Gilbern on the Sunday.
A Gilbern returns to the Chateau Hillclimb
Brian Gent secured a prestious entry to the recently revived (from the 1960s) Chateau Impney Hillclimb, in his ex- Dr Paul Scott GT1800, We believe this is the first time a Gilbern has raced at Chateau Impney since 1964. Brian was swopping times with A35s, and Lotus Cortinas. He also did the Wiscombe Cup, and, Brighton and Hove’s Eagle Sprint at Goodwood in August, where he was in a large class of modern cars.