“Don’t start up a cold engine and then leave it idling while you rush indoors to pay a belated farewell to your wife.In the interests of minimum engine wear, skip the farewell and drive away. When facing the music on your return in the evening, make a mental note henceforth to adopt a definite sequence of events prior to your morning departure. You will achieve substantially diminished wear from your engine and deserve greater affection from your wife”.
From the Gordon Keeble Handbook, 1964
It’s difficult to think of anything more quintessentially English than the Gordon Keeble motor car. True, it was an heroic failure, but a failure accomplished with style, panache and above all humour. At a time when cars were being called Mustangs or Zephyrs this muscular sports car was given a tortoise as its symbol, because a pet tortoise happened to wander in front of the car during a photo-shoot. John Gordon and Jim Keeble had the misfortune to launch their new supercar in the 1960’s, when income tax was as high as 98 pence in the pound and unions ordered a strike at the drop of a hat. It was a strike in the factory which made their steering gear which finished them off. Only 99 cars came off the production line. And unlike Aston Martin, who went through several bankruptcies, but managed, just, to survive, Gordon Keeble never became an iconic marque. But they went down with style and have the honour of having the one and only Slow badge.