Here’s hoping the lightweight racer will get to see better days from now on – maybe after a careful and caressing restoration work even hit the race track for some good sprints.
You know a fan when you see an unrestored British racer in the barn find category sell for 71,000 pounds ($92,070) – the actual payment was of no less than 81,224 pounds ($105,340) after fees. H&H Classics actually though the model would only sell for something in between 25 and 30,000 pounds ($32,420 to $39,000) – but the ratty barn find, a 1966 Costin Nathan works prototype, proved them otherwise. The bidders clearly saw it for something special – and they may be nostalgic about the 1960s – back then motor racing was for anyone actually because you could simply build a chassis, source an engine, and go head to head with official factory teams.
Lotus engineer Frank Costin was the author of this lineage design, following Colin Chapman’s “add lightness” rant – a wood monocoque chassis and tubular steel subframes at each end took care of housing the independent suspension and brakes. The body was made out of aluminum and a 1.0-liter Hillman Imp four-cylinder engine was retuned for close to 100 hp. Sitting in the garage for almost half a century has taken its toll on the beauty – and the owner has its work cut out, because not even the original powertrain is there anymore.