View Full Version : Hello from an enthusiastic non-owner

13-12-2007, 07:31 PM
Hello all

Not an owner here, just a lifelong enthusiast who still has a rag eared copy of Hot Car from 1974 with a Nova on the front - the first car mag I ever bought aged 6!

I messed up my chances of building a Nova way back when. Aged 15 I had my dad's old 412 sitting in the garage to donate engine and Eberspacher heater, started collecting bits (a really cool Lancia Trevi dash and Fiat 128P rear lights) then got diverted into easy stuff like Capris. I knew I had made a mistake when some students in the town ran a lime green Mk1 (the ONLY way to fly!) for a couple of years. Actually it was chasing around for pics of a lime green one that brought me here, so 3 cheers for that nice one with Weller steelies on (just what I would have put on mine sob sob)

It's sad to see so few on the roads these days, last I saw away from a car show was 1999! Never mind my 10 year old son was really impressed when I showed him one, maybe what should have been a father and son project in the 80s can skip a generation for me and the laddo.

I doubt I have anything to contribute yet, but wish you well with all yours, and I'll say hello if I come across the club at any shows next year.


13-12-2007, 07:37 PM
its never too late!.

there abouts in the uk ar you the?


13-12-2007, 07:51 PM
North East, last running car I saw was a red one in Middlesborough. You never know it could happen, not sure how the missus would react to another "daft" car though; a few years back I satisfied a lifes dream and bought an orange Esprit (lime green, orange, noticeing a common thread here?!). That's going nowhere, so maybe I can "persuade" my son how nice they are :nonono: might have to pay for it to seal the deal!

13-12-2007, 08:09 PM
i'm in south yorkshire and my car will be finished and on the road early next year. so far its taken 5 years so cant wait to live out my dream


13-12-2007, 08:12 PM
welcome aboard

Don't give up hope. Seeing a bunch of roadgoing Nova's at the Stoneleigh Kit-Car show on the Club Nova site a few years ago re-kindled my interest. I was visiting Coventry Uni with my son, trying to decide which Uni he wanted to go to, when we drove past Stoneleigh and decided to have a quick look round on the way home.
I now have a Nova that is slowly heading towards being a roadgoing example (three years and counting).


14-12-2007, 12:11 AM
Well this owner had ( yes ) never seen a Nova until I hit my 50's, now I owner one and am enjoying the driving and the updating bits, so it's never too late and you only live once.

14-12-2007, 09:15 AM
Hi Sympatico, welcome to the forum. I've had my Nova for nearly 18 years now, but have only had it on the road for 2 of those years. The remaining 16 have been a catalogue of frustration and tears, I know what I would rather have been doing!

But my build was somewhat, um, unconventional :D

Hmmm - The Big Orange (Vauxhall Firenza flat-front), Top Banana (Group 2 Firenza Droop Snoot), The Fish (Plymouth Barracuda, bright orange), Green Machine (Nova)... Do I detect a similar penchant for high impact colours?

Like the guys here say, its never too late, although advancing years and arthritis can make ownership less pleasurable!


14-12-2007, 09:31 AM
Hi Simpatico - I had a Nova as my first car (used to go into school at 6 every morning cleaning to save up for it :shock: ) then had a 20 year break before realising how much I enjoyed owning one and got another. (BIG plus is that I can afford it now!) If you've always fancied one, (and don't absolutely need it as your daily driver) go for it. You must have seen how little they go for on Ebay (relative to pretty much anything else) and the longer you wait, the more likely it is that the regulations will make putting one back on the road impossible.........

Big Birds Car
14-12-2007, 02:38 PM
I think the long road has already started for you :shock: as you are now hooked.
Get help from people here and it could be finished for when your lad gets a licence :rofl:
Good Luck.

14-12-2007, 09:51 PM
hey where in the north east r u? i live in stockton on tees and i have one, you are welcome to come and see it any time you like! its like kd said its never too late! but if you want to come see then let me know and we will arrange a day you can come! :clapping:

also i have a nova body that is not doing anything, its not on a chasis but it has most of the bits there ( you may need to source some parts) ill sell it for really cheap and i live in your area so to speak! OR if your not looking to buy it now then i could keep it for you! (its been there for 5 years already!) just let me know!

14-12-2007, 11:55 PM
I feel for you Simpatico - I really do. This is the start of a slippery slope.

I built my first Nova back in 1984 - sold it 2 years later in 1986 and thought that was it out of my system.

However, I maintained a secret desire for these cars and more recently I started doing web searches to find out more about the marque. Before I knew it I was addicted to this design once again and I recently succumbed and bought a shell followed by a more complete project car.

If you're not careful this will be your fate too.

15-12-2007, 12:15 AM

RUN.... Just RUN.... If you value your sanity and your son values his college fund... RUN....

I'm in a similar boat. I saw my first Sterling in a classified ad in the news paper when I was 10. Had to have one. It took me 22 years, but I finally got one.

Happy browsing.

15-12-2007, 08:41 AM
Hasn't Mark still got a fairly complete one on a chassis to sell, with screen? I think I've got the moulds for the bits he was missing now.........(You can find him by looking up 'Mark' in the members list and PM him from there if you're interested.)

15-12-2007, 12:40 PM

Go on you know you want to, reistance is useless, once bitten it's in your blood.

A lot of us here have had the bug for centeries and even I am so smitten by them that I brought my reek over from Oz just to be with me (and I'll get it finished soon)

So stop flitting around the fringes & get a project to sink you teeth into. & then you can come & party with us all.


15-12-2007, 06:27 PM
yeah i still have one for sale. needs a front undertray and a rear panel though, and some tlc!

15-12-2007, 06:33 PM
Well there you go Simpatico - I've got moulds for Mk 1 and Mk 4 front undertrays, that would only leave finding a rear end and you'd just about have a car....... :cheers: :cheers: :cheers: :clapping:

15-12-2007, 07:42 PM
Hello again

Thanks very much for the warm welcome, especially as I don't even have one!

I sort of lost touch with the whole kit-car scene after about 1989, so things like SVA have passed me by. Especially interested by the comment that regs will eventually prevent you putting one back on the road - can anyone expand on that??

I think it will happen but perhaps not straight away. I have just cleared an Opel Manta Exclusive project car off the back yard, not sure how the missus would react to her washing area being taken over for another few years!

I love looking back on my collection of Alternative Cars and Kit Car magazines, it now looks like a very different world back then. Freedom of intent and expression - all very hard to achieve these days. I often wonder where all those lovely cars went, I mean they had everything going for them (rust proof, great looking). Every once in a while I'll recognise some sad looking thing on Ebay, like a Piper GT or something, and recognise it from an Alternative Cars centre spread! Time is not kind.

2 of the Novas I always drooled over were the blue one in AC built by Michael Tait (and according to DVLA searches still exists, see below) and that wacky one in Kit Car with all the murals (crap paintjob, but Lotus Twincam power mmmmm).


This one was nice too, always wanted to see a colour pic;


It was all a long time ago, but thanks to info on this forum about the various revisions I now know why I could never get away with the Mk2 shape (it was the awful mods to the roofline - I always wonderd why the screens on some looked like they didn't fit!). It would have to be a Mk1 and as original as possible, and as simple as possible too, as having lived with mid engine specialist cars the plumbing is a nightmare. Theres something pleasingly simple about air cooled engines, just look at that Beetle that followed the Top Gear presenters all over Botswana!

* Acid2000 - I would love to come and have a peek at your car; I have 2 weeks off over Christmas starting next weekend, I'm sure we could hook up

*Nic - I saved pics of your car from the web ages ago, it's really nice. When on holiday in Florida a few years back I went looking around a few Musclecar dealers in Clearwater (US Musclecars are another passion of mine) and came across a really well finished Sterling, I couldn;t believe how James-Bondian they could look in white;



Oh just as a PS the person who reminded me about all this Nova madness was Adrian Heath who I met on an Esprit forum (he actually has a mirror image of my Esprit). HE says he was involved with the owners club and with Sam Cobley, does anyone here know him?? I'll send him a link for this site (unless he's already here)


15-12-2007, 08:59 PM
Yes I know Adrian. In fact he and his Esprit were featured in Classic and Sportscar magazine this month.

15-12-2007, 11:06 PM
hi, that would be cool ill give you my mobile 07775518860 my name is simon give me a call or a text message and we will arrange a day you can come and see it! :cheers:

i am undergoing some major work to it at the moment the whole back axle and gearbox is detached at the moment but the rest of it is ok!

16-12-2007, 01:04 AM
Thanks, just exploring the rest of the site I see you have Fiat Coupe front lights; I tend to prefer unmodified shapes but that is very cool and something I'd pondered over before!

16-12-2007, 02:02 AM
Yep, I remember Adrian Heath well….in fact somewhere I have great sketch of a Nova fallen into disrepair that Adrian did. If I can find it I will scan it and post it, its actually very well done

Can someone post the picture of his Lotus... curious now :confused1:

16-12-2007, 04:30 PM
Mine's the same just without the rear wing;


Just a posh Nova really!

16-12-2007, 08:35 PM
very nice, i nearly bought an esprit earliier on this year but there are too many horor stories about them going wrong

17-12-2007, 12:50 AM
Ignore the stories from bar stool experts, mines been more reliable than my Volvo. Keep a level head when buying and bear in mind they all look good, even the dogs! Sure theres some expensive bits but compared to contemporary sports cars they're not bad, actually compared to ANY car they are not bad. Thinking of the absolute worst thing to go wrong, say a blown Turbo or cracked exhaust manifold, the bill can run to £1500 and more easy. A neighbour has just paid that to have the automatic tranny rebuilt on his 2003 Passat! A bloke at work paid that in 3 months ownership of a Renault Laguna.

Worth mentioning the factory support is brilliant. I had the Esprit platform manager hunting around stockrooms for a part for my heater, and the Managing Director regularly turns out to club events - he stayed overnight for the drinks and buffet at last years club factory bash - try getting Mr Porsche to make an appearance like that!

17-12-2007, 01:07 AM
what about gerboxes? That was the main concern i seem to remember?
sorry going a bit of topic!

I did not notice if you mentioned where abouts you are but i'm in barnsley s/yorks if your not to far my nova is always open to viewings but at the moment is away having some work done so can only see it with prior arangement. if you can wait untill say jan or at the latest feb it should be finished with a nice new paint job etc


17-12-2007, 08:30 AM
Adrian was editor of the club newsletter at the time I first showed my chassis, in 1993. It was him that came up with the whole "Nova for the Nineties" thing. Running my chassis article side-by-side with a series on the Lamborghini Miura didn't hurt either.

Trouble was it took me a lot longer than 10 years to get the car on the road, and spaceframes were old-hat by the mid-60's anyway...

I've still got a letter from Adrian saying how much he would like to drive the car when its finished. Sounds like he has moved up to bigger boys toys now. The sharp-edged purety of the original Guigiaro Series 1 has always done it for me, in James Bond white of course. Maserati transaxle, classic all-alloy 900 series twin-cam, Wolfie slot-mags...

Strange tyre choice though, 60 profiles on the front and 70 profiles at the rear, but it certainly didn't do the handling any harm (particularly in the wet) if contemporary road test reports are anything to go by...

Is that the extent of your mid-engined exotica Sympatico, or do you have other dark, mid-engined secrets???


17-12-2007, 09:03 AM
Hey KD and Simpatico - don't forget you can always use the PM feature to arrange meets and compare notes without derailing a thread! :cheers:

17-12-2007, 09:32 PM
KD - The gearboxes are only an issue on the V8s; they are detuned to 350bhp so the box can take the torque. Stronger parts are available for tuners. The biggest issue is with the V8 engines which can fail (cylinder liners). Lotus do a nice trade in brand new £5k engines (cheaper than a rebuild!). Thats the reason why most people of average pocket-depth stick with the 4 pot cars.

Spacenut - Adrian and I were just discussing the other day how the Nova predated the Esprit in the styling stakes by a few years - who was influenced by who eh? The S1 is still the daddy styling wise, but they can be the most problematical to own. Esprits have always had odd wheel/tyre sizes back to front, all in the cause of handling natch. PS I've had some carcking cars but no other mid engine lovelies I'm afraid; this is a lifes dream come true, although if I had money I'd add a Miura or a DB4 to the stable! Just for you below are shots of the latest no-expense spared restos in the Esprit world...if only eh?

Alzax - this thread is bouncing around like a pinball, I don't think theres any chance of losing direction!



18-12-2007, 08:46 AM
Thanks for the pictures Sympatico - that's got my Esprit fix for the day, particularly the orange one :D

Its interesting how much the styling of the Austrian Nova derivative (the AS Ledl) parallels the Esprit. No doubt who was copying who there!

As far as the Nova styling is concerned, I believe the only similarity between the two is that they were influenced by mid-engine configurations. The Nova is more clearly influenced by the Miura, although the side tumblehome may have been inspired by one of Guigiaro's earlier efforts, the Maserati Boomerang (shown in pushmobile form in 1971, later exhibited alongside the nascent Lotus Binomiale), or the prototype Lamborghini Countach (the LP500, also shown in 1971).

Guigiaro was always his own man when it came to styling, I don't think he copied anyone else. He always did good interiors as well, which was a rare thing in those heady days. The poor bugger sitting behind the wheel so often only saw a boring plank of a dashboard, while everyone on the outside was oooohing and aaaahing!

The original Boomerang dash is a case in point - outrageous!


18-12-2007, 10:51 AM
Oh I didn't think anyone was copying that was tongue in cheek, just that the Nova was as big a leap forward in styling as the Esprit IMHO. That white US Sterling above above makes a feature of the middle body join just like Lotus did. It's that whole "proud to be plastic" thing from that era that really floats my boat! And just for you Spacenut my favouritest Nova pic ever;


Incidentally I have been reading some old topics elsewhere on this site and notice the thread about Bernard Beaujardin and that Concordia thing. For some reason there was an article on this bloke (who didn't seem to have an original idea in his head) in Alternative cars years ago. It showed his rebodied Sterling, the "Stinger". An interior shot showed he had ripped off the Boomerangs dashboard, I'll scan it and post it up

04-01-2008, 06:34 PM

FOW 718L; one of the two original ADD demonstrators, and easily my favourite :D

04-01-2008, 10:51 PM
I wonder why!

Then you won't mind this, drooooool ;


It was in a World Car Guide alongside other exotica from the best Italian styling houses and didn't look out of place

Incidentally heres that Sterling Stinger ripoff from Beaujardin, including his ripoff Boomerand dash;


05-01-2008, 09:24 AM
WELLLL I love the dash innovation, whoever it was copied from! Great way of having lots of leverage on big tyres with a wheel that big too. And do the headlight cover louvres drop down or lift up? (is there a difference?) RICK that's what moulded in wing mirrors would look like, even if they don't pass break away regs! Does the car still exist?

05-01-2008, 03:41 PM
:clapping: I love it! Great innovations, especially with the mirror setup. If they don't stick out from the bodywork, do they even exist to an MOT man? It's just a piece of bodywork forming the car - not a separate piece that can break off...
And I love the dash! How cool is that? Though it would take some getting used to, and it's non-adjustable for taller folks.


05-01-2008, 11:53 PM
The passenger would be very cool sitting in front of those airconditioning vents

07-01-2008, 01:01 PM
Wow - that's the first time I've seen the dash on the Beaujardin thing - it's a dead-ringer of the 1972 incarnation of the Boomerang, which used a Maserati Bora for all its internals. Speedo cable went through the hub of the steering wheel!

The original pushmobile prototype from 1971 had an even more extreme version of the dash, with all the instruments integrated into a single backplane. Guigiaro claimed the chain drive steering was a safety feature, as you were less likely to be impaled in a front end accident. The other advantage is you can set the steering angle to suit the driving position, which in the case of the Boomerang is a little extreme!!!

The first Ford Probe (1979) resurrected the idea, and I believe a Mazda concept from the early '80's tried to go one better by replacing the steering wheel with a segmented rim around the (rectangular) instrument binnacle... could have been interesting!