1998: Birth of Mamba Motorsport
Mamba Motorsport was founded in 1998 as a stand-alone company devoted to developing and producing the C23 sportscar. The original designs, jigs and patterns had passed from Lee Noble through Auriga Designs (ceased trading 1997), changing focus from Lee Noble's original pure-bred racing car to become a road-going kitcar.
With lots of early interest in the car, the first kit chassis rolled from the small Northamptonshire facility in 1999 with the design little-changed from the previous Auriga offering. Of course the kitcar market was changing rapidly at this time with the advent of SVA and the success of companies such as Westfield and Caterham. In order to compete the Classic 23, as it was known, was overhauled with some significant improvements to suspension, brakes and steering and offered with options of engines including Yamaha R1 and Honda 1600VTEC. The car was faster, lighter, better built, SVA-compliant and used more modern componentry but the Honda powerplant failed to enthuse customers and the blistering performance but harsh ride-quality were too much for many as a road car.
2002 concluded with satisfied customers but low sales.
2003: A Space Problem
The site in Northampton was simply too small to allow for having the machine shop, clean engine-build area, welding bays, wheel-alignment rig, stores and office space required. The solution - a new purpose built factory building located in the 'Formula 1 Belt' just south of Oxford. For 18 months all orders were turned away and Mamba Motorsport supplied race spares only while the chief Engineer turned his project management skills towards the new factory construction.
2005: A Bit More Than Just Back to Basics
With a full machine shop and space to move, a new development phase began in earnest. During the shutdown the Honda-Powered Factory Demonstrator had been showing clean heels to all manner of exotica on Trackdays around the UK. Lee Noble had built an excellent racing car using the parts and technologies available at the time, technology has moved on and the C23R project was initiated. The new Aluminium Alloy Ford DURATEC engine was already proving light and powerful with excellent delivery and durability due to the high torque output. In fact a torque output so high that the traditional transaxles used in this type of vehicle will struggle to handle the power. Some inspired research, a lot of CAD drawings, some custom castings and a satisfying roar later and the Mamba Motorsport DURATEC / AUDI Engine Transaxle combination was born and literally tore past the expectations of all involved. To put such an engine combination in the existing car would have been asking for trouble so out went the donor parts (ALL of them) and in-house designed and manufactured alloy-uprights, all-alloy steering racks, alloy calipers and alloy shock absorbers joined a host of other race-oriented goodies on the stronger, lighter, bronze welded spaceframe chassis.
The test driver was so excited he bought the car and can now be seen racing in SRGTC against 600bhp Cobras and the lovely Irish offering, the Crossle.
2006: Mamba Motorsport Today
The C23 is being offered in two flavours, the C23R and the C23T for racing and trackdays respectively. With fully built cars starting below £28,000 and complete kits from under £12,000 the C23R must be one of the best value race cars available today (especially when running costs are added up). The DURATEC Tuning has proved so successful in the C23 that Engines, Engine and Transaxle combinations and Tuning Kits are all offered for sale as individual items along with other race-components used in producing the C23.