A very Noble sports car

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Lee Noble wasn’t even old enough to get a driving license when his father bought him a used Hillman Imp. But instead of driving the car, the young Noble explored its mechanical components. He later established a successful Triumph restoration business and in the 1980s, built and won championships in his own racing cars.

His Nobel Motorsport also produced a series of replica kit cars and in 1999, he launched Nobel Automotive to produce what was basically an affordable supercar, the mid-engine, Ford V6-powered M10, and subsequent models.

Advertised on ClassicCars.com, and the Pick of the Day, is a 2006 Noble M400. The car is located in Pontiac, Michigan, but is being advertised for sale by a dealership in Philadelphia.

The car is chassis NUS0121, and had some “tasteful mechanical upgrades,” and has been driven less than 2,500 miles since new, the dealership reports.

The cockpit

“(Nobel’s) first offering was the M10 which had slightly quirky styling but backed it up with solid performance numbers,” the dealership reports. “In 2004, Noble released the M400 which was a more track-oriented version of the M10 and M12. With 425 BHP and a curb weight of just 2337 lbs, the M400 was able to achieve a power-to-weight ratio of 400 bhp/ton, which is where the name comes from.

“Power for the M400 came from heavily worked twin-turbo 3.0L V6 Ford Duratec engine. This massaged power plant was able to propel the little Nobel 0-60 MPH in 3.2 seconds and onto a top speed of 187 MPH.”

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The car on offer is done in Indigo Blue metallic paint with black interior and has factory air conditioning. The interior is finished with Alcantara upholstery over the carbon fiber seats and other surfaces. The car has a built-in roll bar and Willans racing harnesses. It also has a Pioneer/Infinity auto system.

“The current owner took extremely good care of the M400 on offer here and not much maintenance has been needed as the car currently has such low mileage but all basic things such as oil changes were done,” the dealership notes.

The engine

“The car has been upgraded with a TurboHoses R&D air intake an upgraded exhaust, blow off valve and a larger intercooler, all of which have been installed perfectly and complement this car’s performance and appearance.”

Struggling to deal with the recession in 2008, Nobel sold the rights to produce his sports car but later resumed car building, this time doing a dune-buggy-style vehicle.

The 2006 Noble M400 is offered for $68,000. To view this listing on ClassicCars.com, see Pick of the Day.

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.

7 COMMENTS

    • Yeah, these are pretty rare. I only knew what it was through an older Brit mag I used to get from my stepuncle, who stayed in Britain after his WW2 stint and was a kitcar fan.
      I’ve read these are rippin’ good sports racers, sort of a Brit Mosler or Hennessey Venom, but in all my travels I’ve never seen one.
      I’d like to stretch it out, tho’.

  1. I’d heard of the Noble before, but never knew much about it. Thanks for a very informative article! I imagine this would be a pretty quick little car with a 3.0 Duratec Twin-Turbo. The 3.0 Duratec is essentially the same block as Ford’s current 3.5 Ecoboost offering; which as we all know is an absolute screamer in the proper tune! I’m not a big fan of turbo-charged vehicles as daily-drivers but the performance numbers don’t lie about the performance benefits of twin-turbo’s. I wouldn’t mind stretching this car’s legs myself to see what it feels like on the track. But I don’t have $68k.

  2. Happy to report I am now the proud new owner of this car. Cant wait to get it! You can follow the car on Insta @mellowyellow_gts

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