HomeThe MarketCostin-Nathan revealed after its restoration

Costin-Nathan revealed after its restoration


The unveiling of the restored Costin-Nathan race car was among the highlights of the 25th Spring Autojumble held this past weekend on the grounds of Britain’s National Motor Museum at Beaulieu.

For Costin-Nathan owner, Michael Plitkins of California, the Autojumble was the first time he’d seen the car, which he bought by phone at auction and immediately commissioned its restoration.

“I’m really pleased with how it has turned out,” Plitkins was quoted in the Beaulieu news release. “When it came up for auction, I decided this was a rare opportunity to buy a racing car quite rare in design and completely original in concept. I got in touch with Roger (Nathan) and commissioned him to oversee the restoration. It’s tremendous, utterly fantastic. I love the car.”

Nathan created the wood-bodied car in 1965 with Frank Costin, and then drove it in the 1966 Coupes de Paris race at Montihery, France.

Autojumble, Costin-Nathan revealed after its restoration, ClassicCars.com Journal
Car owner Michael Plitkins and his Costin-Nathan

“It’s been wonderful and a great privilege to have a second chance to drive it, like having a second life!” Nathan said at the Autojumble.

“The Costin-Nathan is a wonderful example of a racing car and you can see the innovation in its design with wood, metal and aviation technology,” said Lord Montagu, host of the event, who added that the car now heads to its display space in the National Motor Museum.

More than 8,500 visitors and nearly 3,000 exhibitors attended the silver-anniversary Spring Autojumble, which featured wares offered a nearly 1,000 sales booths. 

Also present was Edd China, former star of the Wheeler Dealers television show and some of the wacky “vehicles” he’s created. 

Autojumble, Costin-Nathan revealed after its restoration, ClassicCars.com Journal
Edd China sits on his ‘Casual Loafer,’ a motorized sofa, while promoting his new biography

Another feature was a grouping of 60 Mini Coopers celebrating the vehicle’s 60th anniversary. 

The Dorset branch of the Morris Minor Owners’ Club celebrated with its MoggyFest event and re-created the front cover of the first Spring Autojumble show guide in 1994, which pictured a Morris Traveller laden with spare parts en route to Beaulieu. With a Traveller in the same rare color tracked down specially for the show, seemingly every detail was replicated to mirror the original image.

The Autojumble was sponsored by Practical Classics magazine, which displayed its project car, a 1968 Austin Mini estate that has been off the road for more than 40 years. 

The car is owned by the magazine’s projects editor Matt Tomkins, who didn’t have an ignition key but found one while searching the sales stands at the Autojumble and used it to start the car.

Autojumble, Costin-Nathan revealed after its restoration, ClassicCars.com Journal
‘Bluebell’ was saved from scrappage

Also popular at the magazine’s display was “Bluebell,” a 1959 Standard Ten Gold Star that was saved from destruction during Ford’s scrappage program. Like the Costin-Nathan, Bluebell will be moving into display in the museum through the summer.

On Sunday of the two-day event, a special Lane Rover Rummage was featured alongside a display by the Solent and District Lane Rover Club. Also on Sunday, a Trunk Traders event allowed people to sell spares, tools, books, etc., out of the “boots” of their vehicles.

Beaulieu has another swap meet scheduled for September 7-8.

Larry Edsall
Larry Edsall
A former daily newspaper sports editor, Larry Edsall spent a dozen years as an editor at AutoWeek magazine before making the transition to writing for the web and becoming the author of more than 15 automotive books. In addition to being founding editor at ClassicCars.com, Larry has written for The New York Times and The Detroit News and was an adjunct honors professor at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.


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