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Gillet - marque/manufacturer information

List of all Gillet cars

Gillet is a Belgian automobile manufacturer, started in 1994 by Tony Gillet, which produced the 'Vertigo' sports coupe powered by a 3.0lt Alfa Romeo V6. Tony Gillet is a former racing driver.

How the Vertigo was born

As a racing driver, the first part of his career, he constantly pursued perfection. Hill climbing races champion of Belgium for several consecutive years, builder and driver for two Paris-Dakar rallies, he came to the automobile industry in 1982, when he became the Belgian importer for Donkervoort (a Dutch Lotus Super Seven-styled car). He broke the record for 0 to 100 km/h, in 3.85 seconds, in January 1990 with a specially modified Donkervoort. More recently, the Vertigo holds the current 0-60 time for regularly produced autos, with 3.1 seconds.

The production Vertigo differed from the first prototype in several points. First of all, the chassis was now made of carbon fibre and honeycomb materials (a technology directly borrowed from Formula One), insuring a greater strength and resistance, while being lighter (58 kg for the bare chassis).

Secondly, the design was changed to be more fluid, with higher side windows and retractable headlights, being now even closer to the designer's first drawings. The first Vertigo prototype, achieved during 1991, was unveiled at the 71st Brussels Auto Show in January 1992.

Two years followed in which the car was finalised for production and went through the difficult process of European certification while touring great auto shows (Paris '93, Geneva '93).

This required the building of two more cars : the second prototype, which was the final version that was to be commercialised, and a first production car, which served for every aspect of the car's certification, including the frontal crash-test, seat anchorage resistance and safety belts anchorage resistance. The Vertigo succeeded all those tests with flying colours.

A Vertigo was sold to Philippe Streiff, a former Formula One racing driver, left handicapped after a tragic accident during the pre-season testing in 1989.

It was a special version, driven through a joystick and an automatic transmission, presented at Bercy (Paris) in December 1994.

Racing

Gillet is also active in Motorsport with the Racing version of the Gillet namely The Gillet Vertigo Streiff. Since 1998, the Belgian car has been competing in the BELCAR (Belgian GT Championship) and FIA GT Championship boasting moderate sucesses with a car somewhat out of place against the more powerful Ferrari 360's/430's and Porsche GT3's. It competed in the G2 Class as it is faster than the GT3 class but Slower than the GT2 class. In 2004 the FIA Sactioned that the Vertigo was slow enough to compete in GT3 which caused much confusion and was scrapped in 2005. The FIA had trouble placing a 245hp Lightweight Car not in GT3 (Porsche GT3 Cup cars output close to 400hp but have restrictions with bodywork whereas the Vertigo is a full out un-restricted race car) but after stronger performances than previous years in '04 - FIA re-positioned it in G2 as it could keep up with the tail-end of the NGT's. Development has been steady and still continues in the hands of Bas Leinders and Renaud Kuppens. The car's crowning race every year is the Proximus 24Hours of Spa-Francochamps in Belgium where the team hopes to fly the flag for their home car.

List of all Gillet cars

Source: Wikipedia

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