Brooke Double R – Sports Car That Looks Like A Racer

Sneaking into the group of small but incredibly fast sports cars is the Brooke Double R. It was launched a while ago, but has been updated and improved by a couple of experienced engineers, and this lovely and tiny car is now in production. You get tremendous acceleration and cornering for your money.

Performance is sensational, and depends how much power you want. The most powerful Brooke Double R – 300 bhp – has a claimed 0-60 mph time of 3.2 seconds, while 260 bhp will get you to 60 mph in less than 4 seconds, and all the excitement that goes with that performance. To match it you will need a Noble M400 or Porsche 911 Turbo.

Clearly, the Brooke Double R is a real firecracker. The fact that the top speed is only about 155 mph – the same speed that many a supercar is limited to electronically – is not what it’s about. It is acceleration, braking and cornering that gives the real thrill of driving fast, and you will get it here.

Most of these open wheelers have front engines, but the Brooke Double R has a mid-mounted 2.3 liter Cosworth Ford engine, which develops 190, 260 or 300 bhp according to your choice. It is just like a mini version of a mid-engined racing car, just made a bit wider to get two people in.

Optimum weight distribution

To get near ideal weight distribution, the engine is mounted fore and aft instead of crosswise. With the engine mounted across the frame in unit with its transaxle, you get at bit too much weight at the back. On the other hand, with the engine in front of the transaxle, you get better weight distribution and a slimmer body – which is what the guys that designed the Brook Double R wanted.

Five-speed transaxle

To make this work, they had to find a good transaxle at a realistic price. Brooke has opted for a Renault five-speed unit, as a six-speeder would have cost a lot more. You might think a six-speed box was obligatory these days, but this is not the case for road use. With five well-chosen ratios you can get the same performance as with six-speeds, which often have too high gearing on the top two or even three ratios.

The car is clothed in an elegant and simple body with a tiny wraparound windshield, and cycle-type fenders – it looks just like a racing car for the sixties. The headlamps are concealed, and you raise them up manually. All nice and simple.

Cockpit like a racer, too

The cockpit is also simplicity itself – absolutely not a frill in site! You sit behind a small Momo steering wheel, with a flattened bottom rim section, and a big rev-counter set in an instrument binnacle off to one side. The gear lever is on the opposite side to normal – like on those old racing cars – which is to the right on right-hand drive cars and vice versa.

There is a neat pedal box with floor mounted pedals – as on the best cars – and a simple moulded seat.

You can have either a very low windscreen, or a slightly taller one. Both are still low with no room for wipers – they are really wind deflectors which you look over. Choose the lower one, and you will want a helmet on at speeds over 75 mph, despite the twin headrests.

Cosworth-Ford up to 300 bhp

In choosing a Cosworth- Ford engine Brooke has gone for quality and ease of obtaining parts needed for servicing. Cosworth provides a range of tuned Ford engines, modified to give the necessary durability for the power output, and as they are four-cylinder in-line units they are compact.

The base model comes with 190 bhp, then you can go to 260 bhp at 7,500 rpm with 200 lb ft (271 lb ft) torque at 6,100 rpm, or you can go for all-out power with the 300 bhp unit.

Suspension and steering are on classic lines, with double wishbones front and rear, of airfoil section because they need to slip through the air, with aluminum alloy suspension uprights. Coil springs and adjustable dampers are fitted front and rear.

Buy a Brooke Double R with 190 bhp and you will spend about $50,000 (£27,995) but if you want a manic, likely-to-lose-your-licence 300 bhp version you will need to fork out around $70,000 (£36,995). It will help if you live where there is plenty of sunshine and not much rain!

The Noble M10 Sports Car

The Noble M10 – A close look at this sports car including performance, technical data, features, comparing rivals, history, used prices

from Classic to Modern


Sports car builder Noble was established in 1999 in Leeds by Lee Noble, and specialised in fast, mid-engined, rear wheel drive cars.

Prior to launching Noble, he was involved in the design of other sports cars, with brand names such as Ultima and Ascari.

The body and chassis of every car was produced by Hi-Tech Automotive in South Africa on the same assembly lines as Superformance rolling chassis for such distinctive cars as replica Cobras.

Upon completion of the body shell, it was then shipped to the new Noble factory near Leicester, at which point the engine and gearbox were added, and the finished car was tested.

It was designated the M10 since it was the tenth design by Lee Noble.

As the designer of his own cars, the basic philosophy was to begin with a lightweight space frame, to which was added a powerful engine and a sporty aerodynamic body.

His design encompassed a mid-engine format which would provide good handling characteristics.

In terms of marketing, he pitched the price of each car such that it would be positioned in the affordable sector of the sports car market, and so reach a wide audience.

He resigned from Noble in 2008, and went on to create a new venture.


The Noble M10 was the first car to be designed and produced by the company.

It was launched in 1999 with a price tag of around $30,000 and, interestingly, he built the first two units in a garage situated near his home.

Since the car was superseded a year later by the more impressive M12, few of the M10’s were actually sold since potential customers changed their allegiance to the forthcoming model.

The M10 was a two seater, only available as a convertible, with a composite fibreglass body and chassis, and a corresponding curb weight of only 960 kg.

It was powered by a Ford Duratec 2.5 litre, 24 valve, V6 engine that developed 168 bhp, and 162 ft/lbs of torque.

Linked to a five speed manual gearbox, it produced a top speed of 135 mph, with a 0-60 mph time of 5.9 secs.

It was fitted with 10 inch vented disc brakes all round.

Following the launch of the M10, Toyota introduced their MR2 convertible that same year which, outwardly, looked very similar to the M10. Technical data:


Some of the typical competitors of the Noble M10 included the following: Lotus Elise, Porsche Boxter, BMW Z4, and Mercedes SLK 350. Noble performance:

This concludes my Noble M10 Sports Car Review.

The TVR 400SE and 400SX Sports Car

A review of The TVR 400SE and 400SX Sports Car, covering development, important features, and technical data of this classic car.

From Classic to Modern:

The TVR 400SE

In 1988, the TVR 400SE was launched, and was very similar, in all respects apart from the engine, to its predecessor, the 390SE.

However, one important facet was that the 400SE represented the end of the wedge shape styling, with the last of these cars being built in late 1991.

It was powered by a larger Rover V8 engine, this time increased from 3905 cc to 3948 cc.

It developed 275 bhp at 5500 rpm, and 270 ft/lbs of torque at 3500 rpm, which produced a top speed of 145 mph, a 0-60 mph time of 5.6 secs, and a 0-100 mph time of 14.8 secs.

The body styling was as per the 390SE Series 2, and it retained the rounded nose section, and the large aerofoil at the rear positioned under the body,

The bonnet was now vented, and a large spoiler was fitted to the rear.

However, the existence of a large transmission tunnel limited space in the region of the footwell.

Furthermore, the presence of a huge engine in a fibreglass body caused the interior of the cabin to remain unduly hot.

However, this was more than compensated for by the scintillating acceleration and booming exhaust sound.

By now, vented front disc brakes and 15 inch wheels were standard equipment, whilst power steering, initially an optional extra was, later on, a normal fitment.

The TVR 400SX

In 1989, the variant TVR 400SX was introduced as a successor to the 350SX.

It featured the same engine as the 400SE, but with the addition of a Sprintex Supercharger, from DPR Racing.

Although exact output figures were not available, they would likely be comparable with the 350SX, which produced an increase of 30%+ over that produced by the 350SE.

The supercharged variant was noted for producing an excellent mid range power surge.

It is likely, as was the case with the 350SX, that only a handful of this variant was ever built.

The TVR 430SE

In 1991, the TVR 430SE was unveiled at the Birmingham Motor Show of that year.

It was powered by the 4280 cc Rover V8 engine which would also used in the TVR Griffith, a model due for release in 1992.

It developed 280 bhp at 5500 rpm, and 305 ft/lbs of torque at 4000 rpm. Unfortunately, no further performance figures were available.

Only 3 units of the 430SE were ever built, all in 1991.

Each of these variants was based on a fibreglass body fitted to a space frame chassis, in the form of a two seater convertible, and using a five speed gearbox, with four wheel independent suspension.

This marks the end of my Review of the TVR 400SE and 400SX sports car.

I will be reviewing, in some detail, in future articles within this website, the entire range of TVR sports cars which were featured in the memorable era spanning 1946 to 2000+.

I hope you join me in my nostalgic travels “down sports car memory lane”.