Blue Costin Nathan prototype from 1968 with BMW Alpina motor (2000 cc, four cylinders). Max. speed: 220 km/h. Made in UK.
Costin Nathan is the name for a series of racing cars that Frank Costin developed together with Roger Nathan.
After various projects in racing car construction, including at Vanwall, Lotus, Lister, Maserati and Marcos, the aircraft engineer and aerodynamicist Frank Costin turned to another project in 1965/1966, the construction of an ultra-light mid-engine racing car.
Based on one of his favorite plywood monocoques, two open racing cars were initially created, one of which Roger Nathan successfully used. Buoyed by this success, a coupé version was developed from 1966 and offered to private drivers alongside the Spyder at the 1966 London Racing Car Show. All Costin-Nathan were initially motorized with prepared Hillman Imp engines with a displacement of 998 cm³. Thanks to their aerodynamics and very low weight, these small coupés were quite successful in racing, including the 500 km race at the Nürburgring in 1967 and 1968.
However, problems were caused by the filigree subframes in the rear, which did not always withstand the stresses. From then on, further assignments only went through Roger Nathan because Frank Costin had withdrawn from the project because he was supposed to construct a Formula 2 car for the 1967 season for racing team owner Ron Harris, the Protos.
Nathan entered the Costin coupe in the 1967 24 Hours of Le Mans and the 1000 km of the Nürburgring. A further development with a more powerful BMW engine was still being tackled, as was one with one of the proven Lotus Twin Cam units, but Roger Nathan was already working on a racing version for the 1969 season, the Astra racing car, in which he resorted to essential construction details of the Costin coupe, such as the plywood chassis, which he adopted almost unchanged.