Rare Racer: 1987 Ginetta G27

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Ginetta Cars Limited is a British builder of racing and sports cars that date to 1958. The G27 was a two-seater derived from the earlier G4 and was in production in some form between 1985 and the 1990s. This street-legal version of the car was imported without an engine or transmission, but they have since been added. These are seldom-seen automobiles in the U.S. and it appears this one needs nothing but some final touches and a new home. Located in Temecula, California, this right-hand-drive beauty is available here on eBay where it can be had for $16,800. Our thanks to “Susuman” for the tip on this neat machine!

As was the case with other Ginetta cars, the G27 would borrow some of its technology. For example, it used the front suspension from a Triumph Vitesse, a modified Jaguar independent rear suspension, and could be fitted with a wide range of engines up to the Rover V8. The company was sold in the late 1980s and the G27 became the brand’s major “earner”, but the car was not cost-effective to produce. Though this blue beauty is said to be a 1987 model, it was not first registered in England until 1999 and the odometer only reflects 2,000 miles of usage.

We don’t know when this G27 made it to the U.S. but because it was imported without a drivetrain, it’s registered in California as a special construction/kit car. It was more recently fitted with a Ford Zetec 2.0-liter engine with a Ford Type 9 5-speed  manual transmission. It has its original intake manifold and exhaust from England. However, it’s not yet running because the rest of the hardware under the hood has not been hooked up. That’s on the seller’s to-do list and once done, the asking price of the vehicle will go up – unless you buy it first.

According to the seller, this car’s not for you if you’re over 6’ tall as the cramp passenger compartment is better suited to smaller folks. When completed, this should make a neat weekend cruiser or show car that should catch a lot of attention because there aren’t many of them around on these shores. The blue paint is gorgeous and the use of yellow stripes helps the car to stand out in a crowd.

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  1. angliagt angliagtMember

    Looks like it could be a lot of fun on the street.
    It doesn’t say what engine was in it originally.
    That Red piece of paper with a “3” on it is just
    a temporary permit ,which means it’s not legal to
    drive on the street (in CA) when the permit expires.
    That might be why they’re trying to sell it quickly.

    Like 2
    • John EderMember

      From my experience of decades of dealing with the California DMV, if you have a post-1975 vehicle that isn’t bone stock with all emissions control equipment in place, you are basically screwed, unless you have a “friend” in the smog testing business.

      Ironically, I had an 89 Volvo for my kids that required massive amounts of prayer (kidding) prior to taking it in for every biannual smog test. Amazingly, it passed (barely) every time. When California announced a buy back “get them off the road” program, my prayers and request to my smog guy changed to, “Please make it fail”, as this was a requirement. I got $1,500 for it from the state- way more than I could have sold it for after suffering at the hands of two teenagers.

      On a side note, this reality isn’t a total negative thing. I remember not being able to see the mountains east of L.A. “back in the day” due to air pollution. It wasn’t good for anyone to breathe that stuff, and tight regulations have significantly cleaned up that mess.

      Like 3
      • Gregg

        Hey John! I also grew up in the LA area… do you also remember the “Smog Alerts” that would happen fairly regularly? When they would suggest, usually on the weather reports, that people should “stay indoors as much as possible and avoid strenuous outdoor activity”?

        Like 0
  2. Dave

    A temporary registration is issued so you can drive it to a state inspection. Since it’s a composite car I’m sure Cali wants a good look at it. It’s a real pretty car.

    Like 0
    • angliagt angliagtMember

      Not completely true – it shows that you’ve paid fees,
      & allows you to drive it on the street,& to get the things
      done to bring it into compliance.When that Red permit
      expires,you can’t get another one.
      I’m guessing that he got the Red permit so that he could
      drive it on the street,but knows he will never be able to
      legally register it for the street.
      I’m thinking that the seller’s trying to project the idea
      that this will be legal to register so he can find a buyer,who
      will probably have a rude awakening after they purchase

      Like 1
  3. Maggy

    Neat looking car. I don’t know if I could get used to rowing the gears with my left arm.Like to give it a try though. I would have got her up and running especially if all the parts are their then list it. But maybe he or she doesn’t have time or resources.Kinda like selling a convertible when the top doesn’t go down.Top goes down price goes up.glwts.

    Like 2
  4. bill tebbutt

    You would be surprised how easy it is to shift with your left hand. For many, the bigger issue would be driving from the RHS, but that comes easy to me….

    Ah Ginetta! These have always been wonderful cars for those who know. The price seems extremely reasonable. Again (it seems I have said this fairly often lately), if it was a LOT closer……

    And I think an easy, less modern-looking wheel swap and a headrest fairing delete would really complete the look


    Like 3
  5. Fred Veenschoten

    My guess is there is no top for this car. Great looking car!!

    Like 0
  6. healeydays

    From the seller:

    ” Hi, this was a running/driving car in England before we brought it over. We had the owner remove the engine and transmission so we could import it as “parts” so it could be registered for the street as a “Special Construction” vehicle, like a kit car.
    The heavy mechanical is done. The engine and transmission are installed and at this point it is mainly reconnecting the wire loom to the engine and connecting the water lines.

    The to do list:
    Connect wire loom leads to sensors
    Connect water lines to pump
    Mount and connect coil
    Mount alternator and serpentine belt
    Blead brakes
    Adjust clutch cable as needed
    Install battery

    I am planning on doing a bit of work on the car this week and next. It was down at my parents house (3 hours away) so it was hard for me to make time to work on it. I brought it up to my house last week when I took it in for the CHP inspection so I should be able to dedicate some time to it now.”

    Like 3
  7. Howie

    This will be a blast to drive!!

    Like 1

    What do you not understand about the DMV here. If you want to sell this car you need to act like it. Get this thing fully registered in the peoples republic of Californian, then you have a base line for title transfer. Look this becomes a pig in a poke if it does not run. If you could start and drive this you may well get some bids. Or you can be lucky enough to find someone who is not at the casino and wants to gamble on the health of this car. This is not a car that is very easy for which to find parts. Do that and go ahead and ask $20K, you will have better luck.

    Like 1
    • Slimm

      @JONATHAN DAVID BIEDERER Who are you talking to?

      Like 0
  9. Martin Horrocks

    I´ve had a few Ginettas and they are very pure and raw, great steering and dynamics. I´ve had G33, with 3.9 Rover V8 engine, G15 with rear mounted 100bhp Hillman Imp competition cengine and currently am restoring a 1960s G4 for vintage racing. All quite different, all good looking and all great driving cars.

    The Zetec offered with the car is probably the original (seller says the car was complete when bought, and Zetec was a popular choice. I had that engine in a G20 (which was a subsequent model, despite the number….) and it was very quick.

    So if this can be registered in CA, that´s a minor mirackle, but for the money it would be a great value sports and track car in any other state

    Like 4
  10. Frank Barrett

    Ginettas have a fine racing reputation, and this would stand out at your local cars and coffee. The Zetec is a good engine. A project like this is tempting but would do better on BringATrailer–or finished. Price seems fair as-is, especially if you live outside California.

    Like 0
  11. Bruce

    I drove a Ginetta once. Small is an understatement. Make sure you fit before you buy.

    Like 1
  12. PRA4SNW

    The car went unsold, so what should a seller do? Why RAISE the price of course, to 24K this time around.

    Like 0

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