2004 Noble M12 GTO 2.5

Courtesy of Silverstone

British entrepreneur, car designer and engineer Lee Noble founded Noble Automotive Ltd. in 1999.

Using experience from his time spent at Ascari, Noble quickly established his company’s commitment to designing and manufacturing high-performance sports cars with a mid-engine, rear-wheel-drive layout. As chief designer, he oversaw the evolution of the company’s first model, the M10, into the M12, which was first produced in 2000. This soon became a benchmark for its incredibly compliant ride, pin-sharp handling and impressive power delivery, receiving almost universal praise from the press.

Lee Noble sold the company in August 2006 to Peter Dyson, and he moved on to work on other ventures in 2008. As well as being a knowledgeable collector of exotic cars and a successful business entrepreneur, Dyson was an M12 owner and a huge admirer of both Noble Automotive and the M12’s attributes.

Dyson has taken Noble Automotive forward, with new high-tech premises in Leicestershire, and their current model, the M600, is a highly regarded supercar and a serious competitor to many more established and revered marques.

The M12 was produced in four versions (GTO 2.5, GTO-3 3.0, GTO-3R 3.0, with the M400 being the ultimate variant), all being powered by a sympathetically tuned twin-turbocharged Ford Duratec V6 engine.

The basic structure is a steel tub with a full steel roll cage and GRP composite clamshell body parts. At launch, the M12 had 310 bhp with the help of its pair of Garrett T25 turbos, giving a top speed of 165 mph and a 0–60 mph time of 4.1 seconds. With its quasi-racer feel, heightened by the very visible, Alcantara-trimmed roll cage and no-nonsense instruments, this really is a driver’s car.

There was no ABS, no traction control and no ESP, just real engineering integrity and a brilliant design. These special cars were able to compete dynamically with the best junior supercars of the day.

The car offered here is a 2001 M12 GTO 2.5. Rarely for a Noble, we are informed that this car has only ever been used on the road, and its fantastic condition and originality would strongly support this.

 

Paul Hardiman

Paul Hardiman - SCM Senior Auction Analyst

Paul is descended from engineers and horse thieves, so he naturally gravitated toward the old-car marketplace and still finds fascination in the simpler things in life: looking for spot-weld dimples under an E-type tail, or counting the head-studs on a supposed Mini-Cooper engine. His motoring heroes are Roger Clark, Burt Levy, Henry Royce and Smokey Yunick — and all he wants for next Christmas is an Alvis Stalwart complete with picnic table in the back and a lake big enough to play in.

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