... a bit Suffolk
|1st Feb 2010|
A lot of people ask what specification G4s have to be in order to compete in various forms of racing. Here is our view.
In European and North American club racing almost anything goes. For a British owner at FIA events in Europe you can only use a round tube Ginetta G4 with a 1000cc engine and an A series axle (this should not be so but it is the current thinking). This will give you GTS papers for which the Ginetta G4 was homologated. You can run an original car or a continuation car with a historic technical passport.
Otherwise you can run GTP papers providing your actual car is running to the specification that a G4 ran internationally in period (prior to 1966) and you have proof! A G4R (Independent rear suspension and Lotus twin cam engine) raced at Sebring so it should be possible to get an HTP for one. European owners seem to get GTP papers a little easier.
The Classic Sports Car Club allow any G4 to 1960s specifications i.e. Both round and square tube cars of any age are eligible as long as they have period engines.
HSCC will only allow 1960s production specification or FIA cars. So unless you have an FIA car or a production 1000cc, 1200cc, 1300cc or 1500cc car you will struggle as twin cam engines and independent rear suspension are not deemed "production" and are effectively banned. Spoil sports. Too many scared Elan drivers there we fear! However, Dave Randal has achieved outright wins and the overall championship with 1500cc.
The best source of information on the remarkable Ginetta G4 is "Four Brothers' Four" by our friend Trevor Pyman. Now out of print and hard to find, we sometimes find the odd copy which we can sell to interested folk.
Over the years we have assembled detailed histories of most of the individual G4s produced and our records include copies of factory documents. There are some gaps in chassis numbers as at the time the likes of Lotus and TVR considered this fashionable and Ginetta saw no reason to buck the trend! We are confident we can identify some of the not so real cars that are about!
The G4 was first produced with a round tube chassis. Very early cars had different front suspension to the later models and also a rare finned tail body moulding. Most round tube cars also started life with a bonnet as illustrated in one of the pics on this page but we don't know which because the webmaster has been pratting about with them. If the car was supplied with a standard Ford single downdraft Weber rather than the more competition orientated twin 40 side-draft Weber then an additional hump/scoop was bolted on. The "sensual" double hump bonnet was developed later but many cars have gained this over the years.
In general the round tube cars were fitted with the Ford pre-crossflow engine; 1000cc, 1200cc, 1300cc, 1500cc, and 1650cc in the main. There were also other versions - buy the book! Both the period Ford and Austin A40 axles were used during production. In general the Ford item was heavier, stronger but with few available ratios. The Austin being lighter suffered half shaft failure.
By the time the Ginetta G4 chassis numbers reached the mid 200s in 1966 production was moving over to a chassis made of square tubes. There was no clean cut-off point in production. This is further confused by the fact that almost every Ginetta G4R, the "Racing" version with independent rear suspension, was built with a round tube chassis even after the "standard" G4s were being produced with a square tube chassis. As time went on the square tube cars were supplied with Ford Kent engines, usually 1600cc. The last cars in the 1960s gained headlights which flipped up manually only to flip down once the natural high speeds of a Ginetta G4 were achieved! Many such cars have been subsequently fitted with an earlier bonnet as they undoubtedly look much better.
In 1989/1990 a batch of 30 or so G4s was made by the factory which by that time had moved north of Watford, away from Witham. This batch was essentially for the Japanese and European market but a few lucky owners in the UK did manage to get their hands on one. The cars appear to be from the original moulds and the square tube chassis vary very little from those of the late 1960s. The axles we believe were Ford Escort or Morris Ital. Most were fitted with a 1700cc Kent engine and twin Weber 40 DCOEs. A 5 speed sierra gearbox was used.
The revised edition of this definitive G4 book comes in largish (6.75" x 9.75") soft back format and is stuffed full of pics and info.
Published in 1990 this book has a foreword by Ivor Walklett, is fulsomely illustrated and "a tribute to the skill of the four brothers".
FOUR BROTHERS '4' The History of The Ginetta G4 by Trevor Pyman
A limited edition, numbered, signed and in a slip case.