The unique 1971 Gilbern T11 sports coupe created in Llantwit Fadre, Mid-Glamorgan was destined for the Geneva motor show that year, but the project was pulled and the only show car ever built is now fully restored and will be seen in Wales again at the inaugural Celtic Manor motoring festival.
Judged in the Welsh Wizardary category, Gilbern Sports Cars (Components) Ltd was founded by Giles Smith and Bernard Friese, a German engineer with experience in glassfibre mouldings.
It was one of the few cars to be made in Wales at the time. Friese had made a one-off car for himself and the two partners used this as the basis for the first Gilbern car.
The premises were a tiny workshop in Church Village, Pontypridd but when production started they moved to a new location at the old Red Ash Colliery at nearby Llantwit Fardre. The cars were initially available as kits, but later complete cars were also sold.
The name Gilbern was a combination of the first three letters of the name of founder Giles and the first four letters of the co-founder Bernard.
Designed by British designer Trevor Fiore, the T11 was built in 1970 and was due to show at the 1971 Geneva Motor Show. However, the company recalled the project and the one example produced was restored and completed in 2009-2010.
Also on view will be a West Wales produced tarmac racing Darrian GTR sports car along with a Shadow F1 car as used by the late Tom Pryce, the only Welshman to win an F1 category race. Darrian hope to bring along a selection of their bespoke sporting coupes.
The event on 16 June will also be visited by Welsh speed kings David Llewellin , Matt Edwards and Nicky Grist, who have also competed in WRC teams. There will be hypercars, supercars and rally and race cars to look at as well.
For those who wish to make it a Father’s Day to remember for motoring-mad Dads, there will even be a Drive-In Experience at the event, offering a once in a lifetime chance to sit next to a pro in the magnificent machines and feel the thrill and exhilaration first-hand.
All proceeds raised from the Drive-In experience will be in aid of charity partner, Mission Motorsport, which helps ex-service men and women race, retrain and recover to rebuild their lives within the automotive and engineering sector.
To find out more about Motoring at the Manor and to book tickets, visit www.celtic-manor.com or call the reservations line 01633 410 262.