Restored Costin-Nathan prototype racer to be unveiled at Autojumble

Restored Costin-Nathan prototype racer to be unveiled at Autojumble

700-pound wooden car with a Hillman Imp engine was a David beating the Goliaths of its era

Edd China and some of his wacky motor machines aren’t the only featured attraction appearing at the 25th annual Spring Autojumble scheduled for May 18-19 at England’s National Motor Museum at Beaulieu. The one-off Costin-Nathan prototype racing car has been restored and will make its public debut before going on display in the museum.

The museum calls the car “a David which slayed Golaith on the competition track half a century ago.” 

At 3 p.m. on May 18, Roger Nathan is scheduled to be back in the car and to start up its engine. Nathan also led the restoration effort.

Car has lightweight wooden chassis

“With its unusual wooden construction and highly tuned Hillman Imp engine, the 1965 Costin-Nathan was the brainchild of Nathan and automotive engineer Frank Costin,” the museum explains. “With Nathan at the wheel, the prototype made its mark by winning the Coupes de Paris race at the Montlhéry circuit in 1966 – beating the big race teams. Nathan also posted the race’s fastest lap, averaging 119.762 km/h.

The car also was entered in the Le Man 24 Hours, won a race at Mallory Park in England and continued to compete into the early 1970s.

The car was rediscovered in 2016 and was sold at auction to an American who commissioned Nathan to handle its restoration.

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Also being featured at the Autojumble, the British version of a swap meet, is the Mini 60 display by the Mini Cooper Register featuring more than 40 “rare and remarkable” examples, including an ex-BMC Works rally Mini, a Mini Cooper police car, Mini vans and pick-ups, an Italian-built Innocenti Mini Cooper and the luxurious Radford Mini used in the 1966 BBC TV series Adam Adamant Lives!

Autojumble sponsor Practical Classics magazine will show its project car, a 1968 Austin Mini estate that has been off the road for more than 40 years.

The magazine also will show the 1959 Standard Ten Gold Star that escaped Ford’s scrappage plans.

How the car looked before its restoration began

“This low-mileage family saloon, known as Bluebell, captured the hearts of thousands of classic enthusiasts who joined a campaign to overturn its destruction order,” the museum said, adding that the car will go from the Autojumble to the museum display for the summer.

The Autojumble will feature more than 1,000 vendors stands selling classic car parts, literature and a variety of automobilia.

Beaulieu’s Autojumble celebrating its 25th anniversary this coming weekend

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