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GTM

The GTM marque was launched in 1967.
Filed under:  Companies
 
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GTM Cars are one of the most established British kit car manufacturers, producing high quality, high performance vehicles in factory-built or kit form.


gtm logo

GTM logo.

The GTM factory is located in the heart of the UK's motor industry in Coventry, Warwickshire.

With 10,000 square feet of design, development, and manufacturing facilities which are open to customers so that they can view at first hand how the vehicles are manufactured.

Company History.

The GTM marque was launched in 1967 when Cheshire garage owner Bernard Cox and a friend Jack Hosker created the Cox GTM (Grand Touring Mini). The car was mid-engined and the fibreglass bodywork contained more than a hint of Ferrari Dino in its styling.

The Cox GTM's unveiling at the January 1967 Racing Car show created great interest and a small group of staff began to assemble kits as fast as they could in Bernard Cox?s garage in Hazel Grove.

Howard Heerey, who had helped Jack Hosker with the styling of the car, raced the road registered prototype during the 1967 season achieving several class placings. For the 1968 season, Heerey raced a specially built lightweight GTM racer, however by the autumn of 1968, Bernard Cox had decided to cease production and it is believed that just over fifty kits had been produced by the Cox garage.

Having raced the Cox GTM the young Howard Heerey knew the car's potential and in February 1969 Howard and his father (who ran the Midland garage, located only 100 yards from the Cox garage) took over the project and the car was renamed the GTM. Heerey continued to improve the design and in early 1971, after some 170 cars had been built by the company (now known as Howard Heerey Engineering Ltd.), the Heerey GTM 1-3 was announced (model 1, variation 3).

Despite all the development work and strong sales, disaster struck the company in March 1972 when a compulsory purchase order by the local council for a road widening scheme forced the company to fold. Around 70 Heerey GTM's had been built.

In June 1972, a Hartlepool fibreglass company bought the demonstrator car, moulds, jigs and spares. The company never produced a single car and in 1976 KMB Autosports bought the GTM project. KMB headed by Mike Smith started supplying spares for existing cars but never made any new ones. Around this time, Peter Beck, the owner of a Heerey GTM came across KMB Autosports and tried to order spares from them to keep his car on the road. Peter had, like many people, dreamt of designing his own car. Events at Peter's workplace forced him to look for alternative employment and led him into discussions with a struggling KMB. In 1980 Peter, his friend Paddy Fitch and another partner, Dougal Cowper became the new owners of GTM.

The company moved to its current Sutton Bonnington site in 1982 and during the next 20 years GTM produced a string of new and innovative cars such as the Coupe and Rossa models which sold in large numbers.

In the summer of 1998 the GTM Libra, a more up-market sports model with fewer compromises that those of previous cars was launched. Richard Oakes, a well-known and respected automotive stylist who had worked with GTM on many occasions, penned the new design. The Libra was a coupe with a removable roof section and a fibre glass monocoque, and was designed to rival the Lotus Elise and the Caterham 21. The finished Libra has over 20 box sections in its design resulting in a very rigid structure. (The Lotus Elise has a tortional stiffness of around 10,000 Nm/Degree while the Libra has been tested to 14,000 Nm/Degree).

In August 2002 the GTM Spyder was launched to complement the Libra. A true British open top sportscar, the Spyder has been acclaimed by the motoring press for its stunning looks, superb performance and uncompromised handling. Both Cars are currently available in kit form or as fully built factory cars with a wide range of engine options from the acclaimed Rover "K Series".

March 2003 saw the latest development in the long and exciting history of GTM Cars when it was acquired by RDM Group, a leading automotive design, development and manufacturing company. RDM supplies some of the world's most famous car manufacturers and leading automotive suppliers with designs, products and systems. Combined with the skills, experience and technology of RDM, GTM's future looks assured as one of the great British sportscar manufacturers.

RDM has now made many further improvements to both the Libra and the Spyder, including significant changes in the suspension to further improve the ride and handling of the cars. In November 2004, GTM moved into the RDM premises in Coventry from where it now operates.

(source: GTM)


gtm badge

GTM logo.

gtm gt

GTM GT Coupe. (source: John Lloyd)

LINKS
GTM   Official site.
 
 
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