Launched by GTM Cars Ltd in the UK kitcar market in 1998 the Libra was the result of three years of collaboration between GTM directors Peter Beck and Paddy Fitch, designer Richard Oakes and suspension designer Bryn Davies. The GTM factory is located at Kingswinford, West Midlands, U.K. Oakes, a well-known and respected automotive stylist is responsible for penning the design. The GTM Libra is a more up-market sports model with fewer compromises than that of previous cars launched beforehand.
All of the mountings on Libra were bolted straight to the GRP monocoque tub, and no subframes were used as it was conceived as a lightweight sportscar. An unequal length of wishbones of GTM design were used in the front located uprights from the Rover Metro/100 range and a forward mounting steering rack for extra legroom. Both the engine and transmission units are held in a frame that is hanging off the rear bulkhead. This frame is also where the rear hinging engine cover is which incorporates a good sized trunk.
The ‘clamshell' front holds the radiator, master cylinders and battery along with managing to hold a full size spare wheel. For an open top experience, a removable roof panel can also be stored behind the seats. Designed to rival the Lotus Elise and the Caterham 21, the finished Libra has over 20 box sections in its design.
The Libra was first introduced with the 1.4 liter Rover ‘K' – Series engine. Since then, the Libra has been fitted successfully with 1.6, 1.8, 1.8 VVC and KV6 2.5 liter Rover engines along with some Honda units and the Audi 1.8 turbo engine.
In 2002, the GTM Spyder was launched to complement the Libra. Currently, both cars are available in kit form or as fully built factory vehicles with a wide range of engine options from the acclaimed Rover ‘K Series'. The following year GTM Cars changed hands under the ownership of RDM Group. In 2004, GTM moved into the RDM premises in Coventry.By Jessica Donaldson