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  Nomad Mk 1 Ford
 

  Article Image gallery (8) 001 Specifications  
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Country of origin:Great Britain
Produced in:1968
Numbers built:1
Designed by:Bob Curl
Successor:Nomad Mk 2 BRM
Author:Wouter Melissen
Last updated:September 25, 2014
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Click here to download printer friendly versionFollowing spells as an engineer at Lotus and Elva, Bob Curl set up his own shop during the 1960s, specialising in preparing and repairing Lotus Elites and Elans. Among his customers were Mark and Gabriel Konig, who campaigned an Elan in club events. They would go on to provide the incentive and means for Curl to turn his dream into reality and create a sports car from scratch. Known as the Nomad, three of these mid-engined cars were constructed between 1967 and 1970 in Curl's shed in East Sussex.

Built to Group 6 sports car regulations, the first Nomad featured a straightforward multi-tubular spaceframe chassis. Suspension was by double wishbones and a Lotus 33 derived multi-link layout at the rear. Considering Curl's day job, it was not surprising that the Nomad was powered by the Lotus twin-cam engine also found in the Elan. Mated to a Hewland five-speed gearbox, it was mounted amidships. The rolling chassis was clothed by Williams & Pritchard with an elegant aluminium coupe body with hints of the Ferrari 250 LM previously raced by Mark Konig.

Tested briefly at Goodwood and Brands Hatch, the still unpainted Nomad Mk I made its debut at the 1967 Crystal Palace Anerley Trophy where Konig placed eighth. During the next outing, at Clermond Ferrand, Konig finished seventh overall and first in the 1.6 litre class. Late in 1967, a larger version of the engine was tried. For the 1968 season opening Daytona 24 Hours, the 1.6 litre engine was back and held on long enough for Konig and Tony Lanfranchi to finish 24th overall in the gruelling event.

Once back in England, the engine experiments continued and a 1.8 litres version of the twin-cam Lotus unit was fitted to explore the limits of the two-litre class. It proved hopelessly unreliable and halfway through the year, Konig decided to abandon the Lotus engine altogether. The Nomad was equipped with a BRM V8 instead. Although it displaced just 1.5 litres, it proved both more powerful and reliable than the four cylinder engine previously used.

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  Article Image gallery (8) 001 Specifications