Finally after correspondence with Lee, we finally got to meet the man himself, the founder of Noble and his latest venture Fenix.
I must say, right from the off, i thoroughly enjoyed the visit. It took us two hours to get to his house. The satnav coordinates that he gave us took us to his area, but not his house, in which we had to ask an old lady to direct us to his house.
We arrive at a pretty white house in the countryside, i was excited but nervous about meeting my design hero, we rung the doorbell and the man himself answered
"Sat nav take you the wrong way", he says, "They all do that" he added. He was a very nice man, as soon as we came in he asked us if we wanted a drink and invited us to go into the living room, as we were heading to the living room we noticed a half-built M12 sitting in the back garden, "I'm doing it up for a friend" he says
We head into the living room, we sat down, and Lee was more than happy to answer any questions that i had. In my conversation, i asked how many M12's and M10's were built?
As regards the m12 said Lee he wasn't 100 percent sure because of the American market, but reckoned he had built about 1700 cars, now as regards the M10, he said 6 and he started to recount the M10's in order and who had bought them, which was good because it was 11 years ago.
I wondered where his passion for designing cars came from, he said that he had wondered about that himself but from being young he had had a job repairing lawn mowers, and also use to design and build model aeroplanes with his dad, i suppose that's where his design and mechanical interest started.
The conversation turned to his early cars, such as the Ultima and the Prosport, and told us amusing stories about his racing days, including one where he went a whole night mending his Lotus Europa and still won the race in it the next day.
I asked him about the Midtec spyder, i said "Yeah, the Midtec, it looked a bit..." "Weird?" Lee finished, he said he'd done the chassis, and left it to a workmate, who used to live in a caravan, and would go to the gym for 9 hours at night to design the body.
After the Midtec, while lee was chatting, i pulled a book out of my bag, a Brooklands book of Noble sports cars ( which compiled a list of road tests from magazines from the M10 to the M600 ) He'd never seen it before and was really interested, so interested, he has now become it's new owner.
After giving him the book, we asked him a big question, what was his greatest achievements, for engineering, he said it was the M12, for design the M14 and for interior he chose the M15.
He went on to talk about the M12 and how reliable it was, he told us a problem regarding the oil sump which was something he didn't dismiss, he spent the whole weekend resolving the problem, which happened on the first 20 cars, what that impressed on me, was here was a man who took pride in his work and wanted to do a job well after all his name and reputation was attached to the car.
We later got around to talking about the new Fenix which is something he is very excited about and without giving anything away in a word is going to be AWESOME.
My conclusion about my visit to see mine and many enthusiasts design hero is, here is a man that is so passionate about designing and building sports cars that which each design he just gets better and better but i think deep down inside he lives for the challenge to build the ultimate sports car. Roll on 2011, bring on the fenix...!