John Morrison’s HARDDRIVERS….


WELCOME to this, my extreme auto-enthusiast’s blog site …

The Design Details

– from philosophies, fabrication to engineering, fashion & ultimate performance driving …

The thinking behind the shape of the Nichols N1a project & supercar.

Steve Nichols – Co founder and Technical Director Nichols Cars Limited

John Minett – Co founder and Chief Operations Officer of Nichols Cars Limited

With the Nichols N1A, I’ve gone back to the very first McLaren sports car for inspiration, combining lots of classic lines with modern engineering for a car of extraordinary performance and presencethe idea of taking a fresh look at the “M1A”, had great appeal.

Compare the elegant simplicity of Steve’s MP4/4 with the visual presence of the Nichols N1A and it’s not hard to see the hand of the same designer at work.


Acceleration is brutal. Grip and handling familiar only to those who have driven racing cars of the highest calibre.

Sat in the fully reclined driving position, you get an idea of what Senna  and Prost experienced in the MP4/4; the main difference being that it is  possible to experience the N1A on the open road.

In a modern World of over-saturated computerisation, the N1A offers the chance to experience the rawest power-to-weight ratio. Coming in at 900kg with over 600bhp and masses of torque, the performance is ballistic.

Power is from a 7 litre V8 engine hand-assembled by renowned specialists Langford Performance Engineering.

Every surface & control is there to put the driver at the centre of an unequalled driving experience in this unique and most focussed of sports cars.

Throughout the process, the Nichols Team has identified world renowned experts in each of the various disciplines.

Herewith, the first running concept prototype that covered thousands of miles & sessions in the wind tunnel. An enormous yet satisfying undertaking.

The Nichols has been designed as a tribute to a car from an era when aerodynamics and the trade-off between downforce and aesthetics was not appreciated or understood. Nevertheless, the aim of tuning aerodynamic to produce a car with balanced, positive downforce front & rear has been superbly achieved.


From concept to N1a prototype to production prototype has been an undertaking of the same technologies & disciplines as if it were a state-of-the-art Formula One racing machine..

Underneath the skin the N1A is thoroughly modern chassis structure featuring a bonded  extruded aluminium and carbon fibre chassis. Bob Mustard, founder of Stalcom Limited was instrumental in lightweight aluminium design used on the Lotus Elise and by Aston Martin amongst others. The complete assembly is a study in rigid lightweight, coming in at under 100 kgs, including subframes.


The all important suspension configuration in the work of ex Lotus, ex Atom (and many others) designer Richard Hurdwell who works with a highly theoretical and analytical approach using the latest computer technology.

The result is put into beautiful works of art, by another ex-Formula One McLaren man, Austin Metcalfe.