By David Roots
All text and photographs by, and copyright of, the Author unless otherwise stated.
Editor’s Note: David’s ‘The ‘Essence of the Car’ range are sculptural studies of important vehicles from which a mould is created and resin models produced to 1:43 scale. They are intended to capture the shape, and spirit, of the vehicle rather being a detailed model.
The Ginetta G4 was made by Ginetta Cars, a specialist builder of racing and sports cars based in Garforth, Leeds, West Yorkshire.
The G4 used the new Ford 105E engine and had a glass fibre GT-style body along with suspension updated to coil springing at the front with a Ford live axle at the rear. Whereas the G2 and G3 had been designed for racing, the G4 was usable as an everyday car but was still very competitive in motor sport with numerous successes. In 1963, a coupé variant was introduced alongside the open top variant and a BMC axle replaced the Ford unit at the rear. In road tests, the car attained a top speed of 120 mph with a 1,500 cc engine. The series III version of 1966 added pop-up headlights. Production stopped in 1968 but was revived in 1981 with the Series IV which was two inches wider and three inches longer than the III. Over 500 units were made up to 1969 with a variety of Ford engines.
As every model is made to order, most common colour choices can be accommodated.
Sunbeam Land Speed Record Car
The Sunbeam Motor Car Company found Grand Prix racing too expensive and stopped competing in 1926. Meanwhile Henry Segrave had stopped racing cars completely to focus solely on upon setting land speed records. Sunbeam had previously supplied Segrave’s Land Speed Record cars but these had been modified race cars. Louis Coatalen was the managing director of Sunbeam and understood how speed records would translate into car sales. He knew that a specially-designed LSR car would be able to achieve much higher speeds than the current record. He also knew that such a car could be built fairly inexpensively by utilising many unused parts at the Sunbeam factory. So, he agreed to build a special LSR car for Segrave, and their target was 200 mph (322 km/h).
The new LSR car was designed by John Samuel Irving in 1926 and built by the Sunbeam works in Wolverhampton. Its frame and cross members were made of channel-steel. Two Sunbeam V12 Matabele aircraft engines would be used to push the car to 200 mph. The two engines in the car had actually been salvaged from the four used in the Maple Leaf VII powerboat, which sank during the 1921 Harmsworth Trophy Race on the Detroit River in the United States. Because of its shape, the workers at the factory referred to it as ‘The Slug‘.
On 29 March 1927, Segrave set off to Daytona Beach, determined to get every bit of speed he could out of the ‘Slug’. The first run hit several problems. The car was prepared for its second run: tyres were changed, new brakes were installed, and fuel and water were replenished. A short time later, Segrave ran the Slug with the wind to the south and at the end of the course. Segrave and the Sunbeam 1,000 hp Mystery Slug had set a new LSR of 203.793 mph, an astounding 29.569 mph faster than the previous record (held by Campbell). This was the first time the 200 mph mark had been exceeded. Segrave was the first non-US citizen to make a record attempt at Daytona Beach. Likewise, the 1,000 HP Sunbeam was the first non-US car to make a record attempt at Daytona Beach. The Slug ushered in a new era of large, streamlined machines designed solely to break the LSR.
These models are available direct from the maker only. Prices, contact details, more about the models as well as the ability to order the models are available on the Essence of the Car website at www.theessenceofthecar.co.uk