The Tortoise & the Sports Car

09 March 2023

In 1964 Jim Keeble and John Gordon launched a two-door, four-seat, 327 Chevrolet V8, 140 mph, 4-speed, Giorgetto Giugiaro (Bertone) designed motor car, the Gordon Keeble GK1.

The GK1 was promoted as a serious competition for Mercedes-Benz, Ferrari and Jaguar.

The business started in 1964 and sadly closed its doors in 1967 due to fiscal malaise.

Only 99 cars were built, of which I believe 90 remain today.

Unfortunately, Gordon-Keeble is remembered for its logo, not its car.

At a marketing photoshoot for the GK1, a pet tortoise drifted slowly in front of the car. One of the engineers thought it would be funny to place oi on the bonnet of the GK1, where it promptly relieved itself.

The juxtaposition of high and low speed seemed remarkably humorous.

Thus, the birth of a logo, a tortoise placed on a yellow background edged by a laurel wreath.

Fisk. GK1 Logo