top of page

Roger Nathan left school aged 15 to work in Hamley's a famous toy shop in Regent Street, London.  After a brief and successful selling career, he moved to the family motor business and became interested in motor racing.  Aged 17 he started his racing career in a Lotus Elite.  At 20 he became the youngest driver to win the coveted National British Autosport Championship. Next followed a highly successful season with a Brabham BT8 Climax including winning the Martini International Trophy race at Silverstone.  

17_edited_edited.jpg

Roger Nathan's GT Imp, Wins International 500 km - Nürburgring September 1968

Roger Leading two other Hillman Imps in very close company! at Brands Hatch
Hillman Imps at Brands Hatch
Lotus Elite Crash Brands Hatch 1962
GT BMW Brands 68 Chassis No. GT2-68-030
Costin-Nathan Brands Hatch 1966
Crystal Palace 18 Sept 69 BRS Race

He went on to become the leading Hillman Imp conversion specialist. In 1966 he started with the renowned aerodynamics expert Frank Costin, designing and building his own series of sports racing cars named the Costin-Nathan. 

BT8 D. Mirror Trophy Croft.jpg

 They were unique in having a wooden monocoque construction and were highly successful with a GT version built for the Le-Mans 24-hour race in 1967. These were followed by the Astra series of sports racing cars. All were winning and record-breaking cars. During his career, he achieved more international lap records than any other British driver, a total of 29, mainly in cars of his own manufacture. 

Prototype Nathan GT Imp 1967 Racing Car Show

While in West Africa, he started his own successful airline service in the region and additionally established lucrative gold and diamond alluvial mining operations in Sierra Leone. 

In addition to these achievments Roger was the leading Hillman Imp conversion and race specialist.

Winner of Northern Daily Mirror race at Croft Autodrome in Brabham BT8 Coventry Climax 1964

Le-Mans 1967 Start.jpg

Start of the Le-Mans 24 hour race 1967

Inadvertently becoming involved in two civil wars, the first in Lebanon in the Mid-1970's and the second in Sierra Leone, West Africa in the Mid-1990's. During the latter, he was instrumental in securing the release of 7 Italian Nuns held captive by rebel forces. The Nuns later met with the Pope in the Vatican.  Additionally, 'special missions' were undertaken on behalf of the United Nation and others, during this volatile period. He received a letter of Commendation from the UN for services rendered.

 

Nathan GT BMW at Silverstone 1989, Roger purchased this restored car from it's owner Harm Lagaiij, who was head of design for BMW

Aged 27 he left motor racing to start flying. 

NATHAN BMW GT ex-Harm Lagaay- Jenny Dell

 He now lives in London, acting as a consultant and has completed an epic restoration project of the prototype Costin-Nathan that emerged as a 'Barn find' after being 'lost' for 45 years.  This car is currently on display at the National Motor Museum at Beaulieu in the U.K.

Costin-Nathan 1 at Beaulieu.jpg

Prototype Costin-Nathan in National Motor Museum Beaulieu 2019

bottom of page