This Sunday, August 1st, was our first time participating in the Atlanta Caffeine and Octane event. First time participant, long time attendee. We met some great people and saw some amazing cars. However, one car stood out to me because, well, I like weird stuff.
A Noble Car
Nestled between a few Mercedes was a Noble M12. Noble Automotive LTD is a small British car company that builds a very limited number of cars (assembled in South Africa). I had never seen one of these in the flesh, so I decided to do a bit of research.
The Company was started in 1999 by Lee Noble in Leeds, England. From the information available, there appears to have been 220 M12s imported to the U.S. in their production run which started in 2000 and concluded in 2008.
The M12 was constructed with a steel frame, full roll cage, and a fiberglass body. The car is a two seater powered by a Ford turbocharged V6. Some variants came with a 2.5 liter while others had a 3.0 liter. Power ranged from 310-425 BHP (231-317 kW). Plenty for a sub-2400 pound car. Published acceleration was an impressive 0-60 in 3.7 seconds, however Road & Track testing showed the actual 0-60 time to be 3.5 seconds. Better to over deliver than over promise I suppose.(Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Noble_M12)
Though the ride quality is said to be very good on the street due to forgoing the standard anti-roll bar set up found on almost every modern car, the M12 is a track car you can drive on the street. Noble builds “driver’s cars”. There are no electronic nannies on the M12, not even ABS. Colin Ryan in his 2004 review for Top Gear Magazine said ”This marriage of grip and speed is endlessly stimulating. And the deeper your own talents as a driver are, the more profound your appreciation.”.
Noble’s current vehicle is the M600. There appear to be significant improvements in the specs and amenities, but let’s save that until I see one of them in the wild.
Something For Everyone
The Caffeine & Octane events never disappoint. Twenty yards away from the Noble was this, wooden spokes and all. There is always something for everyone…and coffee. If you are at one of the events in Atlanta or Jacksonville stop by our tent and talk about cars with us.