1964 GSM Flamingo
Legends are pleased to offer this rare and beautifully presented GSM Flamingo once owned by Gordon Murray.
Glassport Motor Company (GSM) was a South African motor manufacturer based in Cape Town between 1958 and 1964. They produced the Dart and Flamingo sports cars. The name Glass Sport Motors is due to their use of fiberglass. GSM narrowly missed being South Africas first sports car maker, beaten by the GRP Protea. A Dart, Flamingo and Protea can be viewed at the Franschhoek Motor Museum in South Africa.
The company was founded by Bob van Niekerk and Willie Meissne in 1958 after Meissner went to England and stumbled upon fiberglass, a new technology at the time. He wrote a letter to van Niekerk asking him to come to England and further study fiberglass crafting. They came into contact with South African designer Verster de Wit (who was working on the Sunbeam Alpine) who helped them style their first car design and taught them the design process. The pair finally found an attractive design and produced a mould. One body was made and sold in England to fund Bob's trip back to South Africa. On returning to South Africa, they built the first prototypes of the GSM Dart. GSM's were mainly sold in South Africa and England although several seem to have made it to Canada.
The Flamingo coupé was produced by GSM from 1962. The original intention was to use a forthcoming Ford V6 but it did not appear in time and so it was initially powered by a 1.7-litre Ford Taunus engine and later by the 1.5-litre Ford Cortina (non-crossflow) engine. Although similar in appearance, the Flamingo is a very different car. The front suspension replaced the transverse leaf springs of the Dart with two wishbones compressing Mini rubber cones, and later small coil springs. The rear was cleverly designed to stop one wheel spinning faster than the other under power through the use of different trailing arm setups on each side. Capable of cruising at 100 MPH with a top speed in excess of 120 the Flamingo was is a formidable GT car from the early 1960’s.
Owners include Gordon Murray who has a 1964 example.
Bill Trotter, a GSM Club member from Hillcrest KZN owned this Flamingo from 1988 but after restoring it in 1991 deterioration lead it to be for sale again in 1998.
Andrew Nash brought the Flamingo in 1998 with registration number NC1111. Andrew did a total restoration. He removed the body from the chassis and repaired it by sandblasting it and spraying it with red oxide. He removed the 1500 pre crossflow engine and fitted a 1600cc Escort Sport engine with stage 2 cam. The car was sprayed in its original specification yellow with black interior. The car won the pre 1974 concourse at the 2000 Wild Coast Sport Car Run. Andrew really enjoyed the car but with space limitations he decided it was time for the Yellow Banana to move on. On the 13th of February he informed the GSM Car Club he wished to sell the car.
In 2002 Andre Loubser. A GSM Club member bought this Flamingo and sold it to his friend Gordon Murray, the famed F1 designer.Andre shipped the car to England on the 16th June 2002 to McLaren Cars Ltd.factory in Surrey. Gordon said it did really look out of place with the other McLarens. Gordon’s staff was fascinated with the Flamingo as they had never seen one before.
On the 3rd of April 2007 Patrick Morton bought the Flamingo from Gordon. It was stored indoors until Patrick passed away on the 21st of November 2019. Patrck’s brother Dennis, provided the storage for the Flamingo as Patrick’s son Steven lives in New Zealand. The car is now once again available for sale.