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Roger Nathan (Costin Nathan) Imp Twin Cam


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#1 dinglem

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Posted 29 November 2011 - 07:57

Hi all,

Does anybody have any information regarding the Imp twin cam head that was built by Roger Nathan in the mid to late 1960's? I have been trying to contact Roger Nathan himself but no luck so far.... From what i gather two(?) of these heads were developed for the 1967 Costin Nathan LeMans entry, but development was never completed and the project was shelved; the LeMans car eventually reverting back to the SOHC Imp head.

I have seen a photograph of said twin cam engine sat on display on top of a Costin Nathan racer at a Race Car Show labelled as 1967, but there is precious little information out there.

I have also been told that two imps were used for testing this set up with an eye towards producing an twin cam Stiletto but again this was shelved due to costs, although again information is vague.

If anybody has information or maybe even contact details for Roger Nathan then i would be very pleased to hear from you.

Cheers Martin.

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#2 Barry Boor

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Posted 29 November 2011 - 08:22

I have an e-mail address for Roger but there are two problems.

The computer on which the address is stored is currently in a container approaching Genoa on its way to Malta. I probably won't get access to it until around December 18th.

The other thing is that last time I had any contact with him he was in Africa, mining for gold or diamonds or something of that ilk. If you don't get any joy, Martin, remind me around the date I just mentioned and we'll see what we can do. For all I know he may be back in Blighty by now.

#3 simon drabble

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Posted 29 November 2011 - 10:38

check your in box I have sent you Roger's email address and he is indeed still in Sierra Leone

#4 dinglem

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Posted 29 November 2011 - 10:58

Hi there Barry,

Many thanks for the swift reply. I have an email address for Roger at the 4x4 centre in Wales but i did not think he was there anymore; i had heard he was out in South Africa as you mention.

I am hoping he will be able to remember all about the twincam development and might be able to give me some information on it.

It would also be interesting to discover the whereabouts of the other twincam head, as i know where one of them is currently located.

I'm out of the UK myself until the 16th December so i will remind you again nearer the time if i still haven't had any joy contacting Roger directly.

Many thanks again,

Martin.

#5 dinglem

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Posted 29 November 2011 - 11:04

Thank you Simon! I'll drop him a line and let you know how i get on :clap:

#6 gray chandler

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Posted 29 November 2011 - 11:56

Hi all,

Does anybody have any information regarding the Imp twin cam head that was built by Roger Nathan in the mid to late 1960's? I have been trying to contact Roger Nathan himself but no luck so far.... From what i gather two(?) of these heads were developed for the 1967 Costin Nathan LeMans entry, but development was never completed and the project was shelved; the LeMans car eventually reverting back to the SOHC Imp head.

I have seen a photograph of said twin cam engine sat on display on top of a Costin Nathan racer at a Race Car Show labelled as 1967, but there is precious little information out there.

I have also been told that two imps were used for testing this set up with an eye towards producing an twin cam Stiletto but again this was shelved due to costs, although again information is vague.

If anybody has information or maybe even contact details for Roger Nathan then i would be very pleased to hear from you.

Cheers Martin.
check this link on Lynton Racing Twin Cam engine. cheers.

http://www.google.co...=...VsQ&cad=rja


#7 dinglem

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Posted 29 November 2011 - 15:01

Thanks for the information guys... interesting to read about the Lynton head.

Appreciated!

#8 Rallye Imp

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Posted 30 November 2011 - 10:17

Do you want one? What details do you want to know about the head? There's one sitting in my mate's shed.

#9 dinglem

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Posted 01 December 2011 - 05:30

Yes, very interested. You have a PM.

Edited by dinglem, 03 December 2011 - 19:24.


#10 dinglem

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Posted 03 December 2011 - 19:22

Well i did manage to get in contact with Roger, and he told me to say hi to yourself Simon, and thank you for passing on his contact details. We have exchanged a few emails, photographs and a LOT of information... looking forwards to his next reply in fact :)

Edited by dinglem, 05 December 2011 - 17:02.


#11 cedricselzer

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Posted 05 December 2011 - 09:31

I do know a bit about these 2 engines. The Lynton was the brainchild of Colin Lister (ex Rhodesian). Colin was a motorcyclist who had a serious accident I think at Nurburgring and was unable to race again. He made the first disc brake for motorcycles but unfortunately did not patent it. The rest is history. He wanted to build a 500cc engine for side car racing and hit on the idea of using half an Imp engine. Colin's problem was that he was broke. He found a benefactor by the name of Paul Brothers who owned Lynton Garage. Colin persuaded him to finance the whole project. The head had 4 valves per cylinder. The idea was to manufacture complete 2 cylinder engines and 4 cylinder heads for Imps. They had huge problems with porous heads and machining into water ways through poor castings.This project died through lack of funds.

The Nathan head was designed by Ron Burr from Coventry Climax. The head was had 2 valves per cylinder and was a dead ringer of the Coventry Climax V8 (FWMV) but made to fit onto an Imp block. This project also died through lack of finance.

The bizarre thing was that Colin Lister and Roger Nathan who were in opposition worked right next door to each other. I don't think either of them did a proper costing based on market potential.

#12 dinglem

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Posted 05 December 2011 - 17:22

Wow - some fantastic information there. Many thanks for your post. I had heard about the porosity issues as Nathan had the same problems initially, until they eventually changed companies that made the castings. They went to Aeroplane & Motors in Birmingham and this made huge improvements.

I actually own one of these now very rare Nathan twin cam heads and am at the moment in the throws of building it up (well i have an Imp engine specialist doing it for me). It has obviously been run previously and as such I am hoping everything checks out ok with it. It has been pressure-tested and looks good. Certainly an interesting project and it will be fascinating to see the potential there with a bit of further development. Did you have any ties with Lynton back then per chance? I have seen the aforementioned picture of a built-up Lynton twin cam and have heard stories of how it ran, but there was never really any proof of this and there is little-to-no information out there on the subject.... Do you know if it was ever installed in a Imp back in the day? To be honest i'm a little surprised that one of the Nathan heads hasn't already been built up and slotted into a freshly restored Costin-Nathan race car.

Edited by dinglem, 05 December 2011 - 17:24.


#13 simon drabble

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Posted 06 December 2011 - 08:57

Well i did manage to get in contact with Roger, and he told me to say hi to yourself Simon, and thank you for passing on his contact details. We have exchanged a few emails, photographs and a LOT of information... looking forwards to his next reply in fact :)

pass on my best to him - Roger is one of motor racing's great characters and has achieved as much after racing as he did behind the wheel.

The reason they are not used today is because the cars out there use Lotus (or possibly BMW) twin cams. I presume one was used in period with a lotus endgine

Edited by simon drabble, 06 December 2011 - 09:00.