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.
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 KGs 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.
A Vertigo was sold to Philippe Streiff, a former Formula One racing driver, left handicapped after a tragic accident during the ’89 Brazil GP.
It was a special version, driven through a joystick and an automatic transmission, presented at Bercy (Paris) in December 1994.
The stage was set for another deed: to be present at the Detroit Auto Show in January 1995, making there a great step towards the American market. The reaction was overwhelming: a media coverage from more than 30 national and international televisions and an enthusiast response from the American public. That first step was taken forward when a Vertigo was sent to Eric Bachelart, a Belgian driver in the US IndyCar racing championship, for his whole season of racing, thereby promoting the car at each race.
Meanwhile in Belgium, the Vertigo was chosen to be the pace car for every race of the ProCar championship in 1995. The latest achievement, the presence of the car in Monaco during the last Formula One GP, caused many heads to turn, including His Highness the Prince Albert of Monaco, who asked for a personal ride at the wheel on the prestigious circuit.
At the end of 1995 the society was asked to develop a race Vertigo which would take part at the BPR Championship. Therefore a new body has been designed, and the first car corresponding to this new design was launched at the Brussels motor show in January 96’. The first race Vertigo, equipped with an engine prepared by RAS (a famous Belgian engine preparator), was finished at the beginning of March 96’.
Still in March 96’, the Automobiles Gillet decided to diversify their activities and they did it by realising various works in composite materials, using the know-how they had developped by making the Vertigo. They realise all types of works, going from the design to the making of prototypes and the production. In a few months they built strong commercial relations with numerous customers, mostly coming out of the auto-world.
From 1997 on the Vertigo is also available with gullwing tops, since a new model has been designed.
In 1998 the Vertigo has been given a brand new hart: the V6 3L engine of the famous Italian car constructor Alfa Romeo.
And 1999 must be a famous year in the history of the Vertigo since the Automobiles Gillet ally themselves with the MRS Team Leuven to take part in the Belgian GT Championship: the Belcar.
In 2001 the new Streiff model was designed and it has been presented begin 2002 at the Brussels Auto Show.