It was in 1999, about two decades ago, when the Nobel Automotive was founded. The testing team was reluctant at first, but they decided to test the vehicle, and just after a few days, the car was declared as one of the most exciting mid-engined, two-seater produced in Britain. It was the start of this manufacturer’s journey.
The car left some powerful memories for us and we remember it vividly, even though it’s been 14 years since we last drove it. None of the many cars that we have tested left such a mark on us.
But we missed the GTA, the first version of the vehicle, and this is the vehicle from which the company’s story began, and it’s been two decades since it was launched and delivered to the first customer, quite a lucky customer we would say. This is when the company became a real challenge not only for the low-volume sports car manufacturers but also for the premium brands. This was a great achievement and not many low-volume automobile manufacturers have achieved this.
The main reason why the vehicle had such a great success in the market is that in 2001 the car market was imploring for such a vehicle. There was a good market gap at that time, and the vehicle managed to fill it perfectly. It came with twin turbochargers and nearly the double power as the previous version offered, as well as a fiberglass body. And the price was quite reasonable as well.
We talked with the company’s founder Lee Nobel and asked him what he thinks of this vehicle after two decades. He said it was the car that was ahead of many low-volume car companies but still it has been slightly overlooked. You can argue about the fact that maybe better options were available in material or technology terms, but no one would argue its cost-effectiveness and dynamic characteristics if offered. We also asked him when he drove this vehicle the last time and he said around five years ago when he was on a trip to meet Prince of Kent.