However, he was already getting noticed back in the 1980s, when he began Noble Motorsport Ltd - better known as Ultima, a company that is still going very strong today, having recently revealed the 1200bhp V8-powered RS.
The first car produced, dubbed the Ultima, was designed in 1983, and three years later Autocar had its first experience of Noble's talent.
Looking like a Group C Le Mans car, the Ultima was based around a tubular spaceframe chassis and used various bits from the Austin Princess (radiator), Ford Cortina (uprights, brakes and steerings), Lancia Beta (rear brakes) and Renault 30 (engine and gearbox), plus some components of Noble's own design.
Perhaps unwisely, we decided to drive the Ultima to Leicester Square in central London (because it was built in Leicester, right?), and it was on the way that the first of several encounters of the copper kind would occur.
Apparently, this "Mulsanne refugee" didn't quite tally with the Renault family hatchback that NUT 602P showed up as on the police database. The next, rather irate constable called it "the stupidest thing he'd ever seen". "Oh well, the things we do for art," we said.
"Now, driving the Ultima around town is an interesting exercise," we said, "because you sit so low that you virtually see under Range Rovers, let alone lorries, and rearward vision is decidedly non-existent. Except for the wing mirrors, so named because all you see in them is wing.
"Moreover, the beast is pretty wide. Your ego works overtime on the outward view, all sculpted Can Am-style wheel arches, but then suffers a massive crash with the rending sound of glassfibre graunching pavement.
"At least you can be comforted that it's relatively easy to drive, docile and tractable, and the noise! Never before has a humble Renault V6 sounded so like a burbling Chevy V8. It's muscle without the tears."
Perhaps more of a challenge than threading through narrow streets was keeping away public attention. The effect on passers-by was apparently "something akin to Samantha Fox removing her dress in an army base".
On our fifth try, we finally got the Ultima parked in front of the Empire cinema with police permission, only for "what seemed like half the world to descend upon it", half of them drunk and all of them desperate to have their photograph taken with it – even if only one reveller didn't need telling exactly what the Ultima actually was.