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  Aston Martin Nimrod
 

  Article Image gallery (22) Chassis (3) Specifications  
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Country of origin:Great Britain
Produced from:1982 - 1984
Numbers built:4
Author:Wouter Melissen
Last updated:August 05, 2019
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Click here to download printer friendly versionStrictly speaking not an Aston Martin, the Nimrod sports racer was the brainchild of British car dealer and gentleman racer Robin Hamilton. He had raced a V8 Vantage based Group 5 car during the late 1970s and was interested in stepping up to the prototype ranks with a bespoke, Aston Martin powered machine. He commissioned Lola's Eric Broadley to design the car and established Nimrod Racing Automobiles to build it.

Broadley was not immediately sold on the idea as his previous experience with the Aston Martin V8, in the back of the 1967 Lola T70, was a bitterly disappointing one. Hamilton did manage to persuade the Lola founder, who set about create an aluminium monocoque that, even though only a handful of parts were interchangeable, was an evolution of the T70 raced a decade earlier. During the early testing a T70 derived body was used and the final design did feature an identical windscreen.

Known internally as the T385, the rolling chassis created by Broadley and Lola combined a sheet aluminium monocoque with a tubular spaceframe to house the mid-mounted engine and rear suspension. The V8 used was based on the Aston Martin production engine, which was developed for racing by longtime partner Tickford. The all-aluminium and fuel-injected unit produced around 520 bhp. This was mated to Hewland's very sturdy VG five-speed gearbox.

Initially developed for use in the GTP class in North America, the Nimrod featured a flat bottom design. The curvaceous bodywork used showed similarities to the open Lola sports racers built during the previous years. The long tail featured a full width rear wing. Built and tested during the 1981 season, the first GTP-specification Nimrod was ultimately not raced. Instead, Hamilton focused his attention on the new-for-1982 Group C class.

Among the backers of the project were Victor Gauntlett, who was the chairman of Pace Petroleum and owned 50% of the Aston Martin shares, and American enthusiast Peter Livanos. In Aston Martin enthusiast and president of the owners club, Viscount Downe, Hamilton also found a customer for at least one Nimrod. Run with Pace Petroleum backing, Hamilton intended to field a two-car team in 1982, although the second car was not run until the start of 1983 season. Viscount Downe, with the help of Ray Mallock, fielded an additional car in Bovis colours.

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  Article Image gallery (22) Chassis (3) Specifications