The Ginetta G32 is an 80s sports car that remains entirely unknown to most, even those who thought their youngtimer car trivia was infallible.

At first the styling of the G32 often leads people to think it’s a Toyota MR2 or a Toyota MR2-based vehicle. It isn’t. This is a completely new car designed and built by Ginetta in England from 1989 until 1992.

Fast Facts – The Ginetta G32

  • The Ginetta G32 is often compared with the Toyota MR2 however the styling of the G32 was directly influenced by earlier Ginetta cars, specifically the G25 and the G26 which predate the Japanese sports car.
  • The G32 uses a steel chassis with a steel safety cell around the occupants for safety. The body is fiberglass and the engine is mid-mounted.
  • Ginetta is a low-volume British automaker that has been developing and selling unusual sports cars since 1958.
  • Just 115 examples of the Ginetta G32 were made and they come up for sale only rarely.

Ginetta Cars

Ginetta Cars was founded in 1958 in Suffolk, England by four brothers – Bob, Ivor, Trevers, and Douglas.

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Image DescriptionThe styling of the G32 has been compared with the Toyota MR2, however it was actually influenced by the Ginetta G25 that pre-dated the Japanese sports car by a year.

The first car built by Ginetta was the G1, a very simple two-seat design based on a Wolseley Horne chassis. The G1 would set the fundamental design ethos of the company for lightweight sports cars made to a budget, typically affordable to everyday people.

The first production car was the Ginetta G2, a kit car with a tubular steel chassis, an alloy body, and Ford running gear. After the G2 would come the G3 with its fiberglass body, this would be the material used for almost all Ginettas going forwards due to its ease of fabrication, low cost, and low weight.

In 1983 the company showed the Ginetta G25 for the first time, a new model with a far more modern, angular styling than its predecessors. This model would be followed by the G26 with similar styling, and both of these would directly influence the mid-engined Ginetta G32 released in 1989.

The Ginetta G32

The Ginetta G32 is a two-seater coupe or convertible with a mid-engined configuration designed by Ivor Walklett and released in 1989 as a production sports car.

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Image DescriptionThe interior is well-appointed by the standards of low-volume sports cars from the 1980s. Many Ford parts are used which makes sourcing spares far easier that it would otherwise be.

The company’s had high hopes for the G32, an advanced car with modern styling they hoped would help save the company.

The structural design of the G32 was somewhat similar to earlier Ginetta cars, it has a steel chassis with a steel safety cage around the two occupants. A fiberglass body is fitted over the top, and the car makes use of many parts from larger manufacturers to help keep costs down.

Power was provided by up to three engine options including the 1600cc Ford four-cylinder unit with a carburetor, the same engine with fuel-injection, a turbo version of the 1600cc engine, or the slightly larger 1900cc engine with fuel-injection.

All cars used a manual 5-speed transmission sending power to the rear wheels, and the car was fitted with independent suspension on all four corners, and four wheel disc brakes.

Ginetta’s hopes for the G32 would unfortunately not come to fruition, just 115 examples were made before the company ceased production, facing significant financial difficulties.

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Image DescriptionThis car is fitted with a transversely-mounted Ford XR3i engine producing 135 hp – good for a 0 to 60 mph time of 8.2 seconds and a top speed of 120 mph.

The 115 cars that were built are now the subject of much curiosity when they attend shows and cars and coffee events, with very few people able to identify them on sight due to their rarity.

The Ginetta G32 Shown Here

The car you see here is a Ginetta G32 hardtop from 1989, the first year of production. It’s one of 97 coupes that were made, with the other 18 being convertibles.

Interestingly, this is one of the G32s that were used as a media demonstrator car, it was used in a number of period magazine tests and it’s featured on the front cover of the G32 brochure.

Many of the components were sourced from the Ford Fiesta or the Ford Escort, and it’s powered by the Ford XR3i engine. This typically works in the owner’s favor as it makes sourcing spare parts considerably easier.

With a weight of just 807 kilograms (1,779 lbs) and 135 bhp with 107 lb ft of torque the car can do the 0 to 60 mph dash in 8.2 seconds and on to a top speed of 120 mph.

This G32 is currently being offered for sale in a live auction by The Market by Bonhams, if you’d like to read more about it or register to bid you can click here to visit the listing.

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Images courtesy of The Market by Bonhams

Published by Ben Branch -