London

31 October 2012

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Lot 138

1970 Astra RNR2 FVC Racing Car

  • Chassis no. 38

Sold for £44,800


245 hp, 1,790 cc Ford Cosworth FVC inline four-cylinder engine, Lucas fuel injection, five-speed Hewland FT 200 gearbox, double wishbone with magnesium upright front suspension, bottom wishbone, top links and radius rods with magnesium upright rear suspension, and four-wheel disc-brakes with Girling AR callipers.



• Ex-works and ex-Roger Nathan

• One of two RNR2 FVC racing cars built

• A beautiful piece of British racing history



Frank Costin met Roger Nathan while working on the design of a Hillman Imp engine sports racing car. Roger Nathan injected cash, helped in the development, took the wheel, and was almost unbeatable in the newly created Costin-Nathan. The overall look of the car was stunning. When Colin Chapman first saw the car he joked, “You’ve done it wrong, Frank, you’ve made a good looking car”.



The Costin-Nathan GT followed in 1967, before Frank Costin and Roger Nathan parted from the company. Further models, such as the Astra RNR1 FVA and Astra RNR2 FVC, would be evolutions from the initial Costin-Nathan design. In 1970, the Astra RNR1 FVA was not competitive against its main opposition, the Chevron B16. It was decided to order the new Cosworth FVC engine for the 1970 season. The modified car was named the Astra RNR2 FVC, and chassis number 38 was one of two Astra RNR2 FVCs built. This car, dark blue with an orange stripe, was raced by Roger Nathan, while chassis number 39, yellow with a dark blue centre section, was raced by Guy Edwards.



The second event entered by chassis 38, on 12th April1970, was the BOAC 1000 of Brands Hatch. Racing with number 79, Roger Nathan finished in the 16th position of the overall classification. The next event was on 3rd May at Hameenlinna in Finland. For the second heat, Roger Nathan was forced to retire due to a wheel-bearing failing. Finally, on 25th May, at the Alcoa International Trophy meeting at Crystal Palace, Roger Nathan finished 1st, driving chassis 38.



Further success followed on 6th June at the next round of the RAC Sports Car Championships. At the Martini Trophy at Silverstone, on the Grand Prix Circuit, racing under the number 2, Roger Nathan again won the race. After that win, Roger Nathan was now in third position in the RAC Sports Car Championship. All did not go well for the next race on 11th July at Croft Autodrome. The very bumpy surface affected both of Guy Edwards’chassis 38 and chassis 39 during practice. Both Nathan and Edwards decided to withdraw their entries.



In July 1970, chassis 38 entered another European Sports Car Championship qualifying race, the GP of Mugello, which was held on a public road. It did not finish the race because the lower rear wishbone had failed, leaving the car with only three wheels. The final race for Roger Nathan driving his Astra RNR2 Ford chassis 38 was the “Automotive Products Trophy” on the Silverstone GP circuit on 15th August 1970. Quoting from Autosport’s article on the race, “Roger Nathan’s Astra FVC was in a class of its own, being two seconds faster than anyone else in practice and well under the special GT lap record”.



Mr Leman, living in Etampes, France, bought the car in 1974 and sold it in 1981 to Philippe Fravallo, who passed it to Yvan Mahé in 1989, the well-known French specialist for historic prototypes; he raced and restored it, finally parting with it in 1995. It has been in its current ownership since 2005 and was raced in the Classic Endurance Series between 2005 and 2007; despite ownership changes, it has been maintained by Mr Mahé since 1989. Strongly believing that such a piece of British racing history should be actively raced, the present owner now offers this well-looked-after historic example.

Alexander Weaver

aweaver@rmsothebys.com

+1 864 313 6844
California, United States

Alexander Weaver joined RM Sotheby’s in 2011 as a Car Specialist after graduating from Furman University in South Carolina. Born... read more

Augustin Sabatié-Garat

asabatie-garat@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 74 1511 4179
United Kingdom

Augustin Sabatié-Garat joined RM Europe in 2012 as a Car Specialist after more than a decade in the collector car hobby. Gradua... read more

Barney Ruprecht

bruprecht@rmsothebys.com

+1 203 912 7168
Ontario, Canada

Barney’s interest in classic cars began at an early age after being introduced to his father’s all-original 1965 Porsche 911. Barney l... read more

David Swig

dswig@rmsothebys.com

+1 415 302 2247
California, United States

David Swig joined RM Sotheby’s West Coast division as a Car Specialist in May 2015. David is a life-long automobile enthusi... read more

Don Rose

drose@rmsothebys.com

+1 617 513 0388
United States

Don joined RM in 2006 after several years of professionally trading sports and classic cars, and after earning a reputation as a noted... read more

Donnie Gould

dgould@rmsothebys.com

+1 954 566 2209
Florida, United States

Donnie Gould joined the RM team in 2002 as a partner and Car Specialist after more than two decades in the vintage automobile auction ... read more

Gord Duff

gduff@rmsothebys.com

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

Gord Duff began his journey with RM Sotheby’s in 1998. Since then, he has gained an intimate knowledge of a variety of marques a... read more

Jake Auerbach

jauerbach@rmsothebys.com

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Jake Auerbach got his start in the automotive industry at an early age, spending his summers during high school working at a classic c... read more

Kurt Forry

kforry@rmsothebys.com

+1 717 623 1638
California, United States

Having worked for Bonhams’ Automobilia department for over 10 years, Kurt Forry joined RM Sotheby’s with more than a decad... read more

Matt Malamut

mmalamut@rmsothebys.com

+1 805 231 6410
California, United States

A long-time car enthusiast and Southern California native, Matt studied Automotive Technology at San Diego Miramar College and complet... read more

Michael Squire

msquire@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Michael Squire joined RM Sotheby’s European Division in the summer of 2016. He comes to RM with a prestigious racing background ... read more

Mike Fairbairn

mfairbairn@rmsothebys.com

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

As one of the three founding partners of RM Sotheby’s, Mike has a long-standing interest in the classic car industry. Graduating... read more

Oliver Camelin

ocamelin@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 75 0110 7447
United Kingdom

With an extensive background in exotic sports car history and sales, a particular passion for American curves, and fluency in three la... read more

Paul Darvill

pdarvill@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Paul Darvill joined the RM Sotheby’s European team at the beginning of 2015. Paul holds a degree in French and Politics from the... read more

Pete Fisher

pfisher@rmsothebys.com

+1 519 784 9300
Ontario, Canada

Pete Fisher was first introduced to antique cars in high school, working for Classic Coachworks in his hometown of Blenheim, Ontario. ... read more

Shelby Myers

smyers@rmsothebys.com

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Shelby Myers grew up with the classic car industry infused into every aspect of his life. He had the unique opportunity to watch the R... read more

Tonnie Van der Velden

tvandervelden@rmsothebys.com

+31 653 84 19 60
United Kingdom

Tonnie Van der Velden joined RM Sotheby’s European division in September 2015 as a Car Specialist. A lifelong enthusiast, Tonnie... read more