Noble M12 GTO-3R & Noble’s Prize & 164 « Classic cars

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Noble M12 GTO

Articles: Noble M12 GTO-3R #8211; Prize #8211; 164

March 2008 by

Take a look the specifications of the Noble M12 available for the time in New Zealand and the impression you get is of a However, Tim quickly discovered the M12 GT03R is much more the sum of its parts.

We’ve all tried it; just that some got further designing a super car is. Perhaps it was only in our minds, or we’ve scribbled ‘proper’ sketches on a fag packet or serviette. may even have bought the gear and laid it out on the floor of the

Many with the know-how built their own car, but no further. Some have a mock-up and presented it to the press, their creation the name of long forgotten sports taken orders and spoken of a waiting list. A few have gone so far as putting their livelihood behind their only to find a fatal in the design, manufacture, business or discover they have misread demand.

Very few car projects without a heritage get off the ground. Indeed, the concept of an sports car’ has put the skids some quite substantial

Not a subject to be treated lightly It would be true to say that idea of the ideal sports car is Lee Noble has been involved in a few of the ventures himself, but has also involved in some of the more

Noble’s Ultima sports car was so good it was used as the prototype and for Gordon Murray’s McLaren F1, being touted by many as the sports car. Noble has excellent credentials to venture an enterprise like this.

odd years ago he could be found the wheel of a Lotus Europa at the of the grid in production sports car and he collected many notable along the way. Now the Europa may not been a total commercial but in terms of handling at the time, was nothing to touch it. A typical of ‘great concept, poor by Colin Chapman.

Noble was influenced by Chapman as his next was a replica Lotus 23B, an ‘60s sports racer launched Jim Clark’s career, the twin-cam engine and a project made the likes of Ferrari the engine had to go behind the driver in a sportscar.

Noble’s 23B replica earned him a reputation for exemplary fit and selling over sixty and getting him into another altogether; reproducing P4 Ferraris one of the naturally beautiful sports ever and one of the few Ferraris to give Amon any silverware. This was so popular, he sold over 250 before getting into the and Pro-Sport products. But this the concept was all his own.

The Pro-Sport had an engine and an upmarket race all of its own.

The 372kW Ascari project was a success; a supercar using actually raced at LeMans, but wasn’t happy with it and his interests in the company.

Lee Noble’s in the development of the McLaren F1 and the Ultima, as as his own Ascari project, gave him one advantage as he struggled to develop a car to his own name experience. He hasn’t it. Noble has learnt his lessons and them well, because if is one thing the M12 GTO3R oozes, it is an of experienced integrity.

Quite the Noble is very much than the sum of its parts. It has been developed, manufactured and sold by who really knows what doing, someone who knows the and has kept well within In doing so, Noble has produced that, while perhaps on paper, clearly displays all the of having been touched by Midas.

I am, and I’m not

Put it this if I told you that a car called with a Mondeo engine in the of a tubular space-frame would Lamborghini, Porsche or Ferrari for you would think I was off my rocker. I am, and I’m not. There is one danger with this and that is not enough potential will ever get their into the M12’s driving and that would probably be of the name or, to be more precise, the of a known name.

Noble it strong and British; has all the right but has no history whatsoever, and heritage has many a very ordinary

In the same way Jack Brabham and McLaren once built racing cars, Noble has the KISS principle, (‘keep it stupid’) and the M12 possesses no technical Noble has not stretched the development on innovative irrelevancies, he just a car that is thoroughly rewarding to own and maintain. The Noble was not released to a and a roar, just placed some very influential and backsides.

Its reputation simply for itself.

One Damon Graham Hill, who could ring up any and get them to give him any car for free on the publicity value, has just money for one. Noble Noble car.


The Noble fairytale almost too good to be true and, to give it some stark the first car to carry Noble’s nearly tripped him up. The M10 roadster was a drive but a blot on the landscape. The M12 the situation. Its styling may be slightly but it is photogenic and purposeful. With its kerb scraping front air massive 18-inch alloy and outrageous rear wing, is little to doubt the Noble’s

Suddenly, that doyen of super cars the Lotus V8 has been eclipsed by a young Having created a superb among those who know, has also been quick to his project to a higher level the 317kW (425bhp) M400. is also the enticing prototype GTC a M12.

In its short history the Noble has won manufacturer of the Year’, while M12 won UK ‘Grip Challenge’, as well as car in a group test with a M3CSL and TVR 350.

The upstart is now in New Zealand, we have tried it, and we to say the least, impressed. Imported by who should know a Lotus when he sees one, Phillips of Lotus NZ, you can sign on the line at his showroom in East Roger is now the official Asia representative for Noble Cars.

A move, Roger!

What it has in common with the is a definitive tactility missing most super cars. gives you total confidence in steed and the surface it feels down to. The ride is firm, but damped and this is where the M12 to outreach the opposition.

The development of the chassis and controls was so and precise, the pleasure will be not be in driving the car, but in the smugness of a little secret no one else has

One of the problems with keeping secret will be the sensational from the Garrett T25 turbocharged motor; sheer bliss inside and out, but at a volume will not go unnoticed. There is like the sound of an unrestrained V6 given its head, and when the Garrets chime in, you are greeted a full-blown array of orchestral as you rip through the Getrag six-speed

The M12 is not all mouth and trousers though. in at 1080kg and kicking out 475Nm of on its way to a power output of 262kW, the has a very respectable power-to-weight and puts that power with authority. Noble a 0-100kph in under four and it doesn’t have the traditional mid-range whack-in-the-back that can the grippiest tyres while

Having made the point the Noble is simple and light, the driving experience being by electronic or safety gizmos, it is you don’t go away with the Noble has skimped on the M12. you can go to the Ford dealer and buy some of the and switchgear, but leather and high materials are elegantly used to the simple shapes of the roll-cage and panelling, and their wasn’t a rattle within earshot.

The interior is also roomy for two and to get into than most cars, but you either carry a or luggage not both.

The M12’s space-frame chassis, along the bonded and riveted alloy panels, are made in South of all places. No doubt the exchange keeps costs down and up. Completed body/chassis units are shipped to Leicestershire in England for the and soul to be implanted and man, car has soul.

Drifting the M12 through corners simply adds to the burst of driving the Noble

The starts way down low and just on coming in one big rip-curl, allowing the to plant it out of a corner safe in the the turbochargers will help him his destination rather than whence he came. Part of predictability is thanks to a Quaiffe differential which, like the of the car, is totally linear in its both through the controls and on the This allows the driver to and reward himself in equal

The Noble will both and oversteer with some but the linear steering and throttle allow measured adjustments to the balance that really a keen and experienced driver. the M12 through fast corners which it is remarkably composed and simply adds to the adrenalin of driving the Noble.

Noble M12 GTO
Noble M12 GTO
Noble M12 GTO
Noble M12 GTO
Noble M12 GTO
Noble M12 GTO
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