We can think of few better ways to reappropriate a well-regarded Ford engine than by dropping it into a bona fide purebred sportscar.
That’s exactly what Mr. Lee Noble did in the year 2000 when he dreamt up the Noble M12 GTO, installing a twin-turbocharged version of Ford’s lauded Duratec V6 somewhere behind the driver. What resulted was a steel-frame, fiberglass-bodied performance sportscar with a full roll cage and a minimum of 310 horsepower, capable of threatening even the most established of sportscar marques.
Now, a 2001 example of the Noble M12 is headed to auction at a Silverstone event in Coventry, England. It’s propelled by Noble’s 2.5-liter twin-turbo Duratec V6, which is the smaller of the two Ford engines used throughout the sportscar’s lifespan. Nonetheless, performance is blistering, with a 0 to 60 mph time of around 4.1 seconds, and a 165 mph top speed.
Moreover, the Noble M12 is a purist’s dream: a true drivers’ car. It has no anti-lock braking system, no traction control, and no stability control; just an engine, a 6-speed manual transmission, and some wheels.
The example headed for auction is finished in Viper GTS Blue, and has done just 15,540 miles since new – amazingly, none of them on the track. It’s expected to fetch somewhere between £27k and £32k ($38,600 to $45,800 US).