Nota News

Evolution of the Species: Nota Clubman

ON Saturday the 29th August 2010 the Clubman Drivers Club of Australia had their AGM at the Nota workshops in Dural. There was quite a turn up for the AGM and to look at what Nota were doing and the projects they were involved with.  Notaís workshop had all manner of Notas that they were working on.

Starting with some of their 50ís cars, there was Bruce Richardsonís Nota Streamliner which had run into the wall at Eastern Creek Race Track at over 130kph resulting in extensive damage. The body and chassis had been written off to the rear seat bulkhead. However due to its historic significance a totally new body and chassis werenít an option. A chassis from the rear bulkhead was fabricated and the bonnet was repaired, keeping the car's historic registration alive. Fortunately the engine and gearbox werenít badly damaged. Some of the suspension was also usable but Nota had to make new wishbones for the front and trailing links for the rear. A massive undertaking in any ones books but something Nota seems to take in its stride.

Another car of this vintage was the ex Sid Howard supercharged Nota which, in the hands of ď Sideways SidĒ, was pretty formidable. Sid, at Warwick Farm's Tasman Series race, beat both Stirling Moss and Jack Brabham into the first corner in the wet. It was also very successful in hill climbs. This car is undergoing a ground up restoration back to how Sid used to use it and is now being set up for use in historic competition in the hands of our racing politician Wayne Merton.

In the main workshop there is a 60ís vintage Ferrari P1 206 V6 which is again undergoing a ground up restoration and suspension revision. Also a number of alteration have been made to the body work allowing 3 down draft webers to be fitted as well as air intakes for oil coolers and inboard disc cooling.

Nota Streamliner and Consol at Nota's 50th Anniversary

Sid Howard's supercharged Nota

P1 Ferrari and Nota F1 at Nota

In keeping with the Clubman Drivers Club, I had my Clubman there too. Itís the ex David Medley 1968 Clubman Champion ship winning car which Iíve restored and registered so I can use it on the road. When I purchased the car it was in a very unloved state and really tatty, It was also sporting a poorly fitting Elfin nose and guards. Further the engine and carburation were sticking untidily through the bonnet. I quickly rectified that by making the rather distinctive bonnet blister and also supplied it with a genuine Nota nose and new guards on all 4 corners. Hopefully it can once again wear its Nota badge with pride.

David Medley Championship Winner

Restored ex David Medley Clubman

Aside from the historic cars in the workshop there were current Nota creations there as well. Starting with my Nota FI, the yellow FI with the black carbon fibre bottom. It's fitted with a Quad cam V6 Toyota engine and gearbox mounted transversely behind the driver and in front of the rear wheels. It ss quite quick as well as it only weighs in at 680kgs. In 1996 I was invited to the initial Melbourne GP and went there in the Duttons Rally where my car was tested over the standing Qtr at 10.6secs achieving a terminal speed of 241kph and that was with a standard Toyota engine.

Also in the workshop was a Nota Le Mans; these cars were originally made for 2C Supersport racing and were fitted with either 1300cc Suzuki GTi engines or later with Hyabusa motor bike engines, the former weighing in at 406kgs and the latter at just 386kgs. The road going Nota Le Mans cars are now available with naturally aspirated or supercharged and intercooled Aurion engines. The supercharged version having over 400bhp and weighing just 780kgs. Weíve also commissioned a Le Mans GT style windscreen for its closed in format and perhaps later GT racing.  

Nota F1 with Le Mans in background


Nota F1 at Melbourne Grand Prix


Nota Le Mans showing its rear venturi


4 cylinder Nota Le Mans

V6 Aurion powered Nota Le Mans



But, perhaps the car most of the Clubman members wanted to see was Notaís new mid-engined Clubman. Nota have been building clubman cars for as long as Lotus, so they are no new-comers to the marque. They have also been building mid-engined cars since the early 60ís so the amalgamation of the two styles isnít a problem. Remember that Nota have built over 500 sports and racing cars in all manner of formats from single seater racing cars like Formula Juniors and Formula 5000s on one hand to Clubmans and road going GT sports cars on the other.

Nota Formula 5000 Prototype


Nota Formula Junior at Goodwood


Nota Levanti


1960 Nota Clubman

Current Nota Clubman


To bring about this new mid-engined clubman, Nota started off with one of their front engined clubman chassis but mounted the engine behind the driver and in front of the rear wheels. With the front and rear suspension in the original positions, the wheel base remains the same. Fitting the engine in this new position required the rear alloy body work and spare wheel to be moved back 40mm and the seats forward 90mm. Apart from moving of the rear spare wheel carrying body work back by 40mm, the rest of the body is straight from one of our existing front engined clubman cars.  The benefits of this mid-engined design are quite numerous:

Other benefits are the lack of engine, gear box and tail shaft in the passenger cockpit giving heaps more room in the car allowing for greater creature comfort. You can even drive it in your work boots.  

Mid-engined Nota Clubman chassis

Clubman front pushrod suspension

Clubman rear adjustable suspension

Nota have incorporated a few other niceties into their new clubman; the front suspension utilizes Notaís push rod design which, aside from reducing the unsprung weight, reduces the frontal area. It also incorporates Notaís ride height adjustment system which allows for ride height adjustments without changing the spring rate and preload on the springs. The multilink rear suspension, like the front, uses alloy shocks and also allows ride height to be changed without changing the spring rate. As well as this, it has a vernier camber and slip joint toe in and caster adjustment. Further the clubman boasts other high tech componentry like alloy/phenyl resin matrix laminates which give phenomenal strength whilst being very light. This is complimented with the use of Kevlar and carbon fibre composite panelling.

All I can say is I want one.

Chris Buckingham
Nota Sports and Racing Cars


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