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Tuesday, May 19, 2015

The Coolest Sports Car You’ve Never Heard Of Is For Sale


Copyright © 2015 Bold Ride LLC.
gillet vertigo sports car photo

Think “sports car” and a few big names come to mind. Many times, a few big German names – Porsche, Mercedes, BMW. Deutschland can sure build a perfect sports car, but the Germans aren’t the only Western Europeans to have mastered the trade. 
And here’s proof. Hailing from Belgium, this is the Gillet Vertigo. Its moniker might not be as commonplace as 911 Carrera or Z4 roadster but make no mistake – this low-production, wildly-styled coupe is one heck of a performer. Better yet, this rare 1996 example just popped up for sale on eBay in Ontario, Canada.

gillet vertigo sports car image

The Vertigo was born unto this world from the mind of Tony Gillet, a Belgian hill-climb champion turned Donkervort car importer. In 1991 Gillet produced his first Vertigo prototype – a variation of the strikingly styled shape you see before you. By the time the production version emerged in 1994, it had set a Guinness World Record for the zero to 60 mph sprint at 3.26 seconds.

Yowza. Mounted far back in the front of the chassis lies a 2.0-liter turbocharged Cosworth four-cylinder, which came in a few flavors of tune. This model appears to have the base 220 horsepower mill. However there was also a 300 horsepower version, and a searing 360 horsepower edition. Later in the ‘90s came an Alfa Romeo V6-powered variant, followed by the most recent Vertigo.5 Spirit, which totes a 420 horsepower Maserati V8. Heady stuff.

Understandably, the Vertigo held its own quite well during stints in sports car racing, and made appearances as an official pace car.

gillet vertigo sports car ebay photo

Record setting performance aside, it’s quite the piece of eye candy. The Vertigo’s butterfly doors fold gracefully upwards and its lightweight carbon fiber body and chassis are sculpted elegantly yet purposefully around its necessary mechanical bits. For a car that was very much a product of the ‘90s, it’s still a head turner.

Judging by the photos, this Vertigo appears to be a fairly good knick, and very well may be the only one in North America. There is one rub however… and it’s a big one. The seller affirms it can’t be registered in the US, so it would appear this exotic will remain north of the border for the time being.