A Car from Cape Town – 1960 GSM Delta

south africa fiberglass body project restoration shellUpon first glancing at this car, little more than a fiberglass shell located in Plaistow, New Hampshire, my first guess was that it was an Elva Courier. That charming glass-bodied British roadster had a similarly appointed nose as well as the raised fins on the tail, but this car is no Elva. It’s not even British, but at one time many years ago it was indeed a sports car. Advertised as a Delta, this thing was built by the short-lived South African firm Glassport Motor Company. Founders Bon van Niekerk and Vester de Wit, inspired by some of the sports cars that were coming out of England, decided to learn the art of fiberglass. In their brief run between 1958 and 1964 GSM built two real models, the Dart and a coupe called the Flamingo. In the European market, the Dart was renamed the Delta.

It’s hard to make money in sports cars, and GSM didn’t succeed. In all, only a few dozen GSM’s were ever made, most of them either staying in South Africa or going to Europe. This left-hand drive example was apparently in the Netherlands first before making its way to this side of the pond, and it’s unclear what kind of life it led before that other than that it was raced in Europe. What is clear is that this is one project that’s going to take a while, and probably include some fab work since these things are so rare. It is advertised with an appropriate Ford 105E motor, brakes, gauges, seats, and assembled suspension. What’s missing is, well, plenty, and the seller admits that there are a few cracks in the shell.

A lot of people like obscure cars, and this one is hard to beat. It’s a restoration that won’t be for the faint of heart, but it’s one worth doing. And once it’s done, either as a quirky show car or an eye-catching vintage racer, the new owner is almost certainly never going to see himself coming the other way. For inspiration, check out the 1961 GSM Delta at this year’s Monterey Pre-Reunion.

Check out the 1960 GSM Delta here on eBay, where the “Buy It Now” price is set at $8,695.95 and open to offers. It’s hard to comment on a market for a car like this because there really isn’t one, but getting into such exclusivity for under ten grand doesn’t seem too bad.

Comments

  1. Stephen Swain says:

    Now THAT is a project car! Better call Peter Egan of Road & Track fame and see if he could give some useful hints. He is the master of these basket case projects.:)

  2. always wanted one these but this one is beyond both my ability and wallet…

  3. The GSM Dart and the Flamingo were built in Cape Town in the 60s but in the last decade two companies starting remaking this iconic car. The one is called the Haydon Dart and the other one the Levy Dart. Would you believe that their is a GSM register and many Darts and Flamingos are seen at classic car shows around South Africa. I believe in its day it was every bit as good at the Lotus 7 on the track.

  4. Pauli Sminth says:

    You can always get a fair idea about the websites by reading these testimonies about them. You can take help from some of your friends who are already aware about the Status of various sports betting websites. They can definitely guide you well and you can also trust them.

  5. Great to see this car in the USA as I own a GSM Hayden Dart in the UK and as Bob van Niekerk was my business partner in Bobkat Boats for many years before his death last year in 2012, this little car is very close to my heart

    Bob was an incredible engineer and catamaran designer who went on to design the Bobkat race boats and range of high speed commercial craft that are so innovative and that we build today, and his legacy is still being built today in the USA by All American Marine in Bellingham as this Teknicraft design inspired Nic de Waal to take the Bobkat hull shape and form Teknicraft

  6. Peter Gough,Richie Jute and a number of other Race drivers raced G S M Darts, and Flamingos very sucsesfuly in and outside South Africa from 1958 into 1970.and beyond. There are about 5 or 6 still being raced in Historic / Classic Car races at present. Richie Jute is rebuilding his original Dart at present,which was badly wrecked during its life with about 5 other owners (it had) after Richie sold it in 1968 to buy furniture as he was getting married to Elaine Foster..

  7. Thanks for your great information, the contents are quiet interesting.I will be waiting for your next post Japan used cars .

  8. The GSM Club’s web page makes interesting reading
    http://www.gsmcarclub.co.za/index.html

  9. Anonymous says:

    I am from Cape Town and there are hundreds of Darts and Flamingo’s here.
    Here is why …
    http://home.telkomsa.net/haycox/car/modern.html

  10. I have a cast alloy GSM valve rocker cover (works entry?) for 105-E type cylinder head in as-new shape – Best offer?

    • Gary Lownsdale says:

      Paul, What is your asking price for the GSM alloy rocker cover? I own 3 GSM Delta’s and have had a total of 7 Delta’s over the years. I loaned one of my alloy rocker covers to another GSM enthusiast and never got it back. My phone is 865-384-7622. Thanks Gary Lownsdale

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