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GSM Delta

GSM Delta - (1960 - 1965)

Glassport Motor Company (GSM) was a South African Company founded by Bob van Niekerk and Willie Meissner in 1958. The Company was based in the city of Cape Town and between 1958 and 1964, they produced two fibreglass sports cars called the Dart and Flamingo, but the story began a little bit before this.

Bob van Niekerk and Willie Meissner were looking for a way to produce a good looking sports car, when in England in 1956, Willie Meissner stumbled upon fibreglass. The first body came out of the mould in 1957, and was subsequently sold, which paid for the moulds to be shipped back to Cape Town. On 1st January 1958 the prototype GSM Dart made its racing debut at Gunners’ Circle in Cape Town. The Dart was equipped with the Willment OHC conversion on the 1172cc 100E Ford Engine and GSM was born. By the end of 1959, 41 further Darts had been produced and sold to race enthusiasts.

Interest for the car was shown in the UK, but before a deal could be done, Bob van Niekerk and Willie Meissner had to prove the cars credentials. John P. Scott and his partners put up the money for the parts required (engine, box axles etc) but Bob van Niekerk had to assemble the car single handedly in less than ten days to compete in a race that the car had been entered in to. The car raced for the first time on 18 April 1960 at Brands Hatch’s Easter Races and not only finished the race, but Bob won the 1000cc class.

GSM Delta

A deal was done and the car was put into production by GSM Cars, at a factory at West Malling in Kent. The car used a variety of engines including the 1500cc Coventry Climax and Ford Anglia 100E and 105E units fitted into a ladder type chassis with transverse springs at the front and coil springs at the rear.

GSM Delta

Tuned, the engines developed (997 cc) 72 bhp at 7,000 rpm or (1,498 cc) 116 bhp at 8,000 rpm.  This gave top speeds of 112 mph (180 km/hour) or 125 mph (200 km/hour) respectively.

The first cars had a glassfibre open two seat body fitted, which was followed by a hardtop version at a later date. This hardtop had an Ford Anglia 105E type reverse raked rear window.

GSM Delta

The “Dart” name couldn’t be used in the UK though, as this was a trademark of Chrysler / Dodge, so the name was changed to “Delta” (mimicking Daimler having to change the name of their “Dart” to the “SP250”)

  GSM Delta
Production 1960 - 1965:
(see below for No Built)
Bodystyle Two seater sports
Engine Various
997cc Ford 105E
1172cc Ford Side Valve
1498cc Ford
1500cc Coventry Climax
Engine position Front
Driven wheels Rear

116 GSM Darts were produced in South Africa before production ceased in 1964.

There does seem to be conflicting information about the number of UK cars produced.
This ranges from 35 (Wikipedia) to 76 (GSM Car Club) before the UK concern folded in 1961

(Article Copyright MellY Designs - Please do not Reproduce without Permission)