Return of a Legend

One of the most competitive, exciting and technologically advanced hillclimb cars ever seen will return to competition this weekend following a long period of re-development and fettling.

Nik Mann Mannic Beattie

Mega Mannic monsters the kerbs at Ashes (thanks to Simon McBeath)


The Manic-Beattie was developed over a ten-year period by former Morris Minor V8 pilot Nik Mann and since its first appearance back in 2001 it has reset the Outright Sports Car records at both Gurston Down and at The World Famous Shelsley Walsh.

Nik developed the car from a slightly improbable base, the centre section of the chassis originates from a Mallock spaceframe chassis, albeit seriously modified. The car is powered by a very special John Beattie developed Cosworth BDT engine, similar to those used in the stunning Ford RS200 Group B cars. This particular BDT has been built specifically to be laid down in the chassis and run on its side in order to reduce the frontal area of the car (always a problem for large-engined Mallocks), the engine also features a rather novel approach to boost control…

Nik Mann Mannic Beattie

The complicated engine bay of the Mannic Beattie


Nik Mann Mannic Beattie

Mega exhaust system on the John Beattie developed BDT


Since the banning of Nitrous Oxide on the hills back in the late-80s/early-90s, turbo-engined cars had struggled to overcome the lag which is inherent in heavily boosted engines. In order to keep the turbo spinning though, Nik uses a small auxiliary gas turbine to constantly drive the compressor. The result of this is no lag, loads of boost and a very unique sound!

The immense power and torque of the combination is kept under control by another unique feature of the Manic, it runs a four-wheel drive system which allows it to combine the high power and grip of a rallycross-type car with the lightweight and agility of a pure-bred sports racing car.

We have hardly seen the car since 2009 as Nik has been further developing the already spectacular specification. We spoke to Nik at Shelsley back in May where he was having a fun run in the Morris he used to compete in, and he told us that he had done a lot of work on the Manic and that, with the pace currently being shown by Rob Stevens in the purple-peril Force SR4, it had inspired him to get his act together and get the Manic out!

Nik Mann Mannic Beattie

Andy Russell gets the low-down on the Mannic in the Gurston Paddock, August 2011.


The rumours are that a larger turbine has been fitted to the Manic in a search for more horsepower, but also apparently this bigger turbine also drives an F1-style blown diffuser.

It will be fascinating to see what this incredibly clever engineer has come up with as there will almost certainly be lots of little tweaks since we last saw the car run, it will also be great to welcome a driver with the talent Nik has back to the hills.

Can’t wait to see the beast in action again!



  1. Pistonbroke says:

    I can’t wait either! A superb machine to watch (and listen to).

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