By on October 29, 2019

In what may be a Rare Rides first, today’s featured coupe is sporty, aggressive, and completely off the map. Don’t bother searching TTAC for Gillet, because there are zero results. Let’s learn a bit more about whatever this is, as it’s surely very good.

Not to be confused with the razor blade company, this Gillet was the creation of a Belgian company founded by retired race car driver Tony Gillet. Since 1992, Gillet has built hand-made cars using carbon fiber construction.Mr. Gillet got his start doing things like hill-climb events and the Paris Dakar rally. In the early Eighties he branched out into automobile importation, becoming the official Belgian importer for Donkervoort. Based in the Netherlands, Donkervoort has produced hand-built lightweight sports cars in the style of Caterham since 1978. But that’s another Rare Rides; today we’ve got Vertigo.The first Vertigo was a cross between the Donkervoort and a Caterham, and Gillet had it in prototype form in early 1992. Finalized in its design thereafter, a production version was shown around the glitzy Euro car show circuit in 1993. The first production car was built in 1993 or 1994 and was used for crash testing and certification.The Vertigo also went racing between 1998 and 2008, though it’s unclear exactly how many original Vertigo racing and passenger examples exist.Along the way, the Vertigo added power. Initially it used a Ford Cosworth 2.0-liter mill, but switched after a few years to a 3.0L Alfa Romeo V6. A revised Vertigo .5 (and a half?) debuted at the Brussels auto show in 2008, bringing us to the current version.With a considerably less Caterham-like exterior, the modern Vertigo features a lightweight carbon fiber body and an Alfa Romeo V6. When it started life, said engine was a 3.6-liter, but was reworked by the engineers at Gillet to 3.9 liters in displacement. The transmission is manual, and the interior errs on the workshop side of basic. The front is very long; the rear deck very short.

Gillet still exists today, and has a current website and a factory location. Take this one to your local voiture et café for $209,000.

[Images: seller]

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19 Comments on “Rare Rides: A 2017 Gillet Vertigo – The Best a Man Can Get?...”


  • avatar
    notapreppie

    I get the feeling they started designing it at the rear bumper and then couldn’t figure out how to stop when they got half way down the hood so they kept going like this run-on sentence and you really just wished they’d stopped a while back but nothing you can do will have any impact because it’s already too late since the work is done and now you just have to hate the jerk who created it.

    This is just a hunch.

  • avatar
    ToolGuy

    When I said “carbon fiber is the answer,” this is not *exactly* what I had in mind…

  • avatar
    JMII

    This looks like a Hot Wheels car. If you want to draw a crowd at Cars and Coffee this your car. Its like someone saw a Prowler and thought hmmmm what if we cranked it up to 11? Why did they bother with doors? It appears the sills are 2 feet wide and 2 feet off the ground. This is the very definition of bath tube interior.

  • avatar
    R Henry

    I bet that thing is a BLAST to drive!

  • avatar
    indi500fan

    Don’t like the styling but applaud the weirdness….daring to be different.

  • avatar
    Add Lightness

    I love the styling but can’t help but think it looks like a Merc SLR that was made out of wax and left in the sun.

  • avatar
    FormerFF

    It’s layout is similar to Bill Thomas’s Cheetah :

    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/e/e2/Bill_Thomas_Cheetah.JPG/1200px-Bill_Thomas_Cheetah.JPG

  • avatar
    Arthur Dailey

    The leather/suede covering the top of the dashboard/instrument panel reminds me of when an intoxicated friend glued fake ‘fur’ to the top of the dashboard of his ’65 Galaxie.

    And to make matters worse they have also stitched/glued something similar onto most of the steering wheel.

    Why do the engine ‘vents’ extend into the door panels?

    In short, that is one heck of an expensive go cart.

  • avatar
    scott25

    The Vertigo is far less obscure than most of the “rare rides” since it was featured in Gran Turismo 3-6, so its familIar to the PS2 generation

  • avatar
    Morea

    The engine is the famous ‘Busso V6’ named after Alfa engineer Giuseppe Busso.

    Check out audio clips on YouTube.

  • avatar
    dukeisduke

    Now you need to feature a Mitsuoka Orochi.

  • avatar
    MRF 95 T-Bird

    The Ace and Gary car with added Buick portholes.

  • avatar
    dal20402

    I’m sure it sounds great with that Alfa V6. As a bonus, if it drives away to show off the sound, I won’t have to look at it.

  • avatar
    PeriSoft

    I produce electronic music.

    Sometimes you’ll work on a track and keep working and working and reworking, and you start out with good ideas, but you get ear-blind and just expand and extend and distort them without realizing it. So you end up with something that you think is just amazing, because it took these basically good ideas but you’ve gotten used to this gradual but huge extension and distortion of them until it’s totally unlistenable to anyone else.

    I feel like something similar may have happened here.

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  • PrincipalDan: We still need to applaud Honda for offering a 6 speed manual with the 2.0T.
  • FreedMike: I’ve actually heard good things about how that car drives. What turned you off?
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