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Buchanan-bodied Specials


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#1 Clark Watson

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Posted 05 August 2008 - 11:01

Hi Everyone,
I would appriciate any Photos no mater how small, blury,dirty,faded of the Australian Built Buchanan Specials.
My good friend and I are in the process of restoring one and have been sourcing any old racing photos of these Aston Martin rip offs tearing around the dusty tracks of OZ. In addition to photos, any information regarding the mysterious Buchanans would also be fantastic.

Our Buchanan is mounted on an old MG Y type Chassis and was campaigned by the Late Wally Mitchell of Burwood in Melbourne using a Repco headed Grey Motor for propulsion. The car was raced from 1959 to the last days of 1961 until which time it was sold from person to person until eventually someone came along that was silly enough to restore it.

Any photos of any Buchanans would be Fantastic and warmly recieved!

Cheers
Clark Watson

Clark_watson@internode.on.net
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#2 Clark Watson

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Posted 05 August 2008 - 11:13

Posted Image


Alright, I'll get the ball rolling this photo of John Raeburns Buchanan which is now raced in America with a bunch of Historic astons than run around as a modern "Kangaroo Stable". It's owned and raced by Aussie Ex Pat "Kean Rogers" who runs and maintains the Buchanan website. If you're interested follow the link.
http://www.buchananm...an articles.htm

Thanks Clark

#3 Ray Bell

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Posted 05 August 2008 - 11:39

Well, there is a photo somewhere on this forum (in the Australian photos thread?) of Wally Mitchell at Bathurst...

I think an MG Y chassis was a fairly popular choice for specials of this era.

#4 Clark Watson

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Posted 05 August 2008 - 12:14

Thanks Ray,
and yep that's poor old Wally at Bathurst all right! 1960 to be exact the footage of the crash has been posted on youtube by a generous super 8 owner ( I suggest you turn your sound down unless you think you'll enjoy 7 minutes of projector noise). Wally's crash apears at 2:40 and is a very hairy moment, the movie has some great footage of knife edge driving on the mountain.



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I expect this was the photo you where refering to.

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And then the aftermath,
Wally explains the concept of oversteer to his Wife Ruth, We received this photo from the Mitchell Family.

On an unrelated matter, I'm not sure if you would remember but we met via Max Stahl at Wakefield park earlier in the year. I was taking some photos for the magazine and enjoyed your stories of the old days very much. I hope to catch up with you later on during the year for a chat.

#5 bradbury west

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Posted 05 August 2008 - 12:17

See if you can find a copy of last month's Vintage Racecar. There is an excellent article in it on the Gladiator which has Nat Buchanan connections. There is a useful amount of probably relevant history there for you. Kiera Rizzo is a new contributor to TNF - see article for relevance. Also consider Tom Sulman's influence from a body history point of view.
Roger Lund.

#6 Clark Watson

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Posted 05 August 2008 - 12:26

Thanks Roger,
The Gladiator is one the best looking Buchs out there, I'm off to the newsagent first thing in the morning. And in regards to Nat Buchanan, I understand he made Televisions and Radios in Annondale NSW. Does anyone know any other details???
Posted Image

THE GLADIATOR

Cheers
Clark Watson

#7 Sharman

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Posted 05 August 2008 - 15:43

Its mother must have been frightened by a Rochdalian

#8 ellrosso

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Posted 06 August 2008 - 08:03

Hi Clark, there are shots of the Buchanan Holden which raced in Tassie by Graham Springer (from Launceston)for many years on the oldracephotos.com website if you want to have a look - just type Buchanan or Springer into the Advanced Search will bring up pics.Went like a shell in its final form too - he may still have the car too.

Regards, Lindsay Ross

#9 Dick Willis

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Posted 06 August 2008 - 10:19

I had always thought the Buchanan crashed by Wally Mitchell at Bathurst, as in the above photo, was the ex Wal Anderson Lotus Holden which had a replica Lotus 6 chassis. From what is visible in the crash pic it looks like a space frame and a split Ford 10 front end rather than an MG Y front end. Glad to hear that the story on my Gladiator has been well received.

#10 Clark Watson

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Posted 06 August 2008 - 10:32

You bet Dick, your dead right.
The White Lotus based Buchanan pictured was in fact the Ex anderson car and is being restored by Greg Smith of Brighton as we speak. We're in the middle of restoring Wally's Red Buchanan which is mounted atop a Y type Chassis which has been drilled to resemble swiss cheese. Sorry for the confusion.

And thanks Lindsay,
I've got those pics in my collection as well as a couple from Autopics.com of the ex anderson car, but other than that Buchanan photos are like Hens Teeth.

Cheers
Clark

#11 buchanan holden

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Posted 09 April 2009 - 15:51

The second of the "Works" built Buchanan racecars has resurfaced in Melbourne. The Buchanan Fiat was the second racecar built up by Nat Buchanan and Bruce Maher at the Buchanan "Works" in Annandale. It raced at Bathurst in 1957 in the NSW Championship for Sportscars, winning on handicap. SCW Feb 1958 Fast Future Fiat It was on a Rizzo twin tube chassis with Fiat 1100 engine, mechanicals and suspension. The Buchanan "Works" built up 3 race cars in total, all driven by Bruce Maher. They were the 1957 Buchanan MG, 1957 Buchanan Fiat and 1958 Buchanan Holden hardtop. All competed at Bathurst. There were plans for a fourth racecar, a Buchanan Standard, but these were shelved and the Buchanan Cobra built using Standard mechanicals, a new body built by Stan Brown and chassis designed by Jack Pryor.

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#12 2Bob

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Posted 10 April 2009 - 02:53

There is one photo on the Autopics site:

http://www.autopics....c.html?cache=no

They may also have the original negative of the pranged one at Bathurst - my photo originally but I passed nearly all my negatives to Autopics figuring that they were in better hands there.

As an aside one of my early exciting moments was when the family was touring the Snowy Mountains scheme and we stopped for petrol and inside the garage was the just (or nearly) completed Buchanan racing car. The RM Spyder I think. I guess I was 12 or 13 at the time. Dad had trouble getting me back into our car to continue our travels.

#13 Clark Watson

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Posted 10 April 2009 - 03:21

HI Kean,
Great to see you on the forum mate. By the way the new updates on the website look fantastic. Keep up the good work.

Cheers
Clarky

#14 ellrosso

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Posted 10 April 2009 - 12:52

The Buchanan of Graham Springer in Tassy was developed into a very quick race car by the early 70's and would no doubt have been the quickest of its kind anywhere I'd imagine by 1974-75. One of the fastest front engined sporties bar none.
Cheers, ellrosso

#15 onelung

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Posted 12 April 2009 - 22:57

From the Buchanan website (go see here.. very interesting!).
What caught my eye was the sports racer in the background which I believe to be the Holway. Wonder where that is now?
Posted Image Ricardian/Capricornia Bruggeman/Newmarch ... and didn't it sound just wonderful!

#16 buchanan holden

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Posted 10 August 2009 - 19:57

Completed some more work on my Buchanan including some new tyres to raise the ride height and balance out the looks.

Posted Image
Posted Image
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Roo
www.buchananmotorcompany.com

Edited by buchanan holden, 10 August 2009 - 21:49.


#17 Ray Bell

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Posted 10 August 2009 - 21:54

Ya gotta love those FJ wheels!

Where's the scenery?

#18 buchanan holden

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Posted 11 August 2009 - 01:49

Ya gotta love those FJ wheels!

Where's the scenery?


It's my front yard, about 1200 feet above the mighty Columbia River in Oregon, USA. Here's another shot where you can see the river. Views a bit average, you can only see the river and two snow capped mountains from the house! :rolleyes:

Posted Image

#19 Terry Walker

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Posted 11 August 2009 - 12:16

Better view than I have: the houses on the other side of my street . . .

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#20 cory

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Posted 12 August 2009 - 11:01

I purchased a wrecked Buchanan MG from a wrecker in Goulburn NSW around 1971. I understood the driver had been killed in the accident but that could have been folk lore. This was bought for a spare engine for my MGTF. I believe it was MGTC based but it could have been Y type although I'm almost certain it had the TC's beam front axle. It was a mess, even before the accident it was dodgy and it had sat in the open for several years. I ended swapping its mortal remains with a chap from Wollongong for a set of gas welding gear. Amazingly as I type this I have the MG badge salvaged from its boot lid in my desk.
I've a number of photos of these in various books and magazines but it seems you've got a good array already.
Many people confuse these with the Buckle which was a more professionally developed car using Zephyr bits built mid to late 60s.

#21 buchanan holden

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Posted 12 October 2009 - 01:25

If anyone is looking for badges for their Buchanan Bodied cars I have done a limited run using an original 1958 badge as a pattern. You can find more details at the Buchanan website http://www.buchananm...chanan Blog.htm
I just wanted to add a thanks to Nat Buchanan's grandson who contacted me out of the blue and sent me an original unused Buchanan Cobra badge which I used to make the new Buchanan Body badge from.

Posted Image

Edited by buchanan holden, 15 October 2009 - 17:56.


#22 buchanan holden

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Posted 15 October 2009 - 17:56

A number of Buchanan owners sent me photos of the original body serial plates which I have made replicas from for anyone needing them to complete a restoration on their car.

Posted Image


#23 D-Type

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Posted 15 October 2009 - 21:13

I do hope (for obvious reasons) that you have included a feature that makes the replica plates recognisable as such.

#24 buchanan holden

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Posted 15 October 2009 - 23:39

I do hope (for obvious reasons) that you have included a feature that makes the replica plates recognisable as such.


Not quite sure I understand what you are saying Duncan. These are not chassis plates for the cars (to be honest I'm not sure they had any) but copies of the metallic stickers Buchanan put on the bodies he built to number them. The body number is not recorded on any registration document nor does it have any legal standing. I know my car was registerd in Australia by its engine number of all things! I doubt Buchanans are as rare or valuable as a D-Type, where cloning of cars has taken place, and at least half a dozen new Buchanan Bodies have been made from new molds over the years. Considering there were almost 150 bodies built by both the Buchanan Motor Company and J & S Fiberglass, there's more than enough to go round.

#25 VFR65

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Posted 28 October 2013 - 10:24

HI All,

 

We have the late Wally Mitchell's 2nd Buchanan "the Red car".

We are trying to piece to together its life....  { I know ok,  at least try }

 

Wondering if anyone can help with any info at all on the red coupe, would really love to know if the Y type chassis started out with another body, or if Wally built it. We know he raced it a little, but white car mainly. { probably every time he broke the white one}

 

 My big question is what happened to the 2x Buchanan's after the estate sale?.

 

Its has many shades of paint over the original red{'s} has roll hoop holes, road lights, and was orange last.

 

We have been I touch with P. FFrench that worked on Wally's car, and owners of it in the last 20 years. Smithy's the last owner of it we have been in close contact with.

 

Regards Matt

 

Our car along with John Reaburn's.

 

hskk.jpg
 



#26 bradbury west

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Posted 28 October 2013 - 11:38

What motors were those two running? The bonnet architecture varies and the wheels look possibly too small for a Holden variant, unless that was just period size. FIAT engines, like in the SCW article? Fascinating stuff. Much appreciated "over here"
Roger Lund

#27 VFR65

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Posted 28 October 2013 - 12:00

Very True,  without going to the file  the car in front ran, mga and mga twin cam, then grey holden.

would be either mga plants,  Johns car behind was grey motor  at that stage.

yes, the Buchanan's ran all sorts of chassis/engine configurations.



#28 vonzac

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Posted 29 October 2013 - 11:49

Hi Clark and Buchanan enthusiasts, I thought that I should reply to your entry on the forum relating to Buchanan cars.

I am the proud owner of Buchanan Cobra body number 3 which I have had for about 9 years and have campaigned it regularly through the Victorian Historic Racing Register which is based in Box Hill in Melbourne.

I have run the car for that period of time in Regularity, Hill Climb and sprints events on a regular basis and have enjoyed some success and a great deal of satisfaction and fun whilst doing just that.

I recently gave the car a freshen up with a motor rebuild, body restoration and repaint and now it looks the part.

I would be very interested to hear of any other Cobras that are 'out there' (if any) as well as any Buchanan cars in general.

There are a couple of cars bobbing up on the landscape and I would love to be able to share news, knowledge tips and information that any body would have on those cars or any other Buchanans.

I will try to put some photographs of my Cobra onto the forum as soon as I am able to drive it properly.

I can be contacted on john.schilling@bigpond.com

Regards, Paul Schilling (1/-)

#29 ron simmonds

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Posted 29 October 2013 - 20:37

Very True,  without going to the file  the car in front ran, mga and mga twin cam, then grey holden.
would be either mga plants,  Johns car behind was grey motor  at that stage.
yes, the Buchanan's ran all sorts of chassis/engine configurations.
[
/quote]Spoke to John Reaburn yesterday, and he confirmed that the car in front is that of Wally Mitchell, taken at Southern Loop Phillip Island, John tells me that he is about to overtake Wally .



#30 Ray Bell

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Posted 29 October 2013 - 20:53

Oh...

 

It must have still had MGA power then?

 

The body language of the cars shows Mitchell is working harder, obviously because he had less power at his command than the bloke following.



#31 VFR65

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Posted 29 October 2013 - 21:13

Yes John Reaburn has been a big help in our endeavor's.   {I bet he passed Wally a fair bit...}

 

  He was the first person we meet, after we bought the car. I rang him out of the blue one night to ask about the cars.

   2 weeks latter we are having a bbq lunch with him and going through all his record's. 

 

 Now proud to say he's  a close friend, a great man and one hell of a driver.

 

His work over the last few years for Australian Motorsport is to be commended.!

 

Not to mention one of the Last GT40 pilots in the southern hemisphere!

 

Clark and I meeting John, some years ago now, and a picture John had painted of his Buchanan.

 

3ps2.jpg
 

 

yrzt.jpg

 


Edited by VFR65, 29 October 2013 - 21:25.


#32 VFR65

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Posted 29 October 2013 - 21:22

I reckon most of Wally's cars would have been working hard.....  

 

Spoke to Peter Ffrench last week, he said "man he was hard on cars"

 

2 quotes... Peter told me.    Wally came in and said I have a flat tyre,  the l/h chassis rail had actually broke in two, again Wally's comes into the pits "is missing bad not running on all cylinders"  yep! cause there is a hole in the side of the block.

 

Ray, do you have know anyone that may have been at Wally's estate sale ?

 

Here's what the car looked like when Greg Smith acquired it.

 

ln56.jpg
 



#33 mouserat159

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Posted 12 January 2014 - 10:02

I came across this photo of the late Ron Hunt's Buchanan taken at the Riverina Sports car club's Display in Albury in 1983.

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#34 Ray Bell

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Posted 12 January 2014 - 23:23

VFR... sorry, I hadn't seen your question before... it was posted while my wife was in hospital...

 

No, I don't know. But I would think among people who had an interest in getting a Climax engine and that sort of stuff, maybe someone wanting Cooper stuff as he'd built the car from Cooper remains.

 

Nice pic Joel.



#35 MKI220

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Posted 26 January 2014 - 22:08

Going through some pictures with my old man and one of his old friends and came across this one at Catalina:

 

BuchannanCobra_zps82a13b3e.jpg



#36 DanTra2858

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Posted 12 February 2014 - 01:42

merc-060858_zps30d44028.jpg

Photo from Illawarra Mercury August 1958

#37 275 GTB-4

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Posted 26 February 2014 - 08:43

Here you go John...over to you!

Bathurst1221957_zpsa68fcabf.jpg

Easter Bathurst 1957
Event 5 - Sports Car Handicap - 6 Laps
B. Maher Buchanan MG 1466cc
First! 21:07.7....Fastest Lap 3:25.9

AND

Easter Bathurst 1957
Event 7 - Sedan and Sports Car Handicap - 6 Laps
B. Maher Buchanan MG 1466cc
UNKNOWN couldn't find whether a DNS or whatever....

[Event detail from: Bathurst Cradle of Australian Motor Racing - John Medley]

Edited by 275 GTB-4, 26 February 2014 - 08:46.


#38 artracing

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Posted 18 March 2014 - 10:23

Yes sorry - photo above from Bathurst 57 was taken by my father who caught the train from Canterbury for his first visit to a motor race. Apologies for the hole in the photo which was caused by my partner's cat......  I gather this car is still around and in Tassie, so if the owner wants the photo he can get in touch with me at artracing@bigpond.com.  I race Peter Williamson's old MA61 Supra in Group A historics, and whilst it's a bit different from the Bathurst cars of the earlier eras, I guess it is to me what these cars were to my father at the time.  

 

Regards, John  



#39 lyntonh

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Posted 16 April 2014 - 13:19

IMG_0386_zpse672b49b.jpg

 

IMG_0387_zpsef1f5c1c.jpg

Adelaide Motorsport Festival 13th April 2014