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Homepage. This page: A head-on picture of a Costin-Nathan GT coupe at a UK racing circuit in the late '60s.

The Costin-Nathan GT coupe.

One of several old photos that turned up a little while ago, featuring competition cars parked in a racing circuit paddock, in the late 1960s. This head-on photo shows a Costin-Nathan GT coupe, a low-volume sports/racing car powered by a tuned Hillman Imp engine, and featuring amongst other things, a wooden central chassis.
Front view of a Costin Nathan coupe
The Costin-Nathan Imp, as it was first called, made it's debut at Brands Hatch in 1966, which is possibly the venue for the shot shown above (albeit a couple of years later). The open-top car was a joint venture between Frank Costin and Roger Nathan. Costin previously had worked for Lotus Cars, and then went on to form the Marcos car company (whose early products also featured a wooden chassis). In 1965, plans were drawn up between Costin and Nathan to build a new competition car. In the early 1960s Nathan ran a tuning company for the Hillman Imp, having previously raced Lotus Elites with some success, and it would be his tuned powerplants that would feature under the aerodynamic Costin bodywork. Twin-choke Weber carburettors, in addition to other revisions, would help the 1 litre Imp engine produce a quoted figure of 97bhp.
The Costin-Nathan Imp would make six race appearances during 1966 in spyder form, before a new, closed coupe was completed, destined to compete at Le Mans in 1967. The new coupe would be known as the Costin-Nathan GT, and cost 2150. The run at La Sarthe saw the car suffer electrical issues, leading to an early shower for it's drivers. Shortly afterwards Costin pulled out of the project, leaving Nathan to continue with the car's limited production run. The latter continued competing with the car, entered as either the Nathan GT, or Astra. Several privateers also took the GT to circuits across the UK. Whether the car above was driven by Nathan, or a private owner, I can't be sure. If anyone can shed light on the actual car shown here, or knows where it is now, please get in touch.
Interestingly, this thread on the forum dating to March 2009, looks at a rare surviving Costin-Nathan GT that has turned up in a garage.
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