Sunday, November 29, 2009

Unknown car makers - the Australian Buchanan

Very few people know what a Buchanan is, but most historic racing car enthusiasts know the car that was used to mould the body of the first Buchanans - the Aston Martin DB3S.
Here's what you can find on

N H Buchanan Motor Co Pty Ltd was an Australian kit car manufacturer. It made sports cars in the 1950s.

The original body produced by Buchanan was a fibreglass item based on an Aston Martin DB3-S racing car. Buchanan borrowed a DB3-S and pulled moulds from it while it was in Australia. The styling was altered by filling in the scallops either side of the bonnet and reshaping the grille opening to be oval. Because the target market was for rebodying of early model MGs, the Buchanan moulds were cut and extended between the door openings and the rear wheelarches, adding several centimetres to the body length.

Racing car kits were also produced, consisting of this type of body plus a fabricated X-frame racing chassis manufactured from steel channel sections welded face to face to form box sections. The chassis used mechanicals from an FJ Holden, with the front suspension crossmember and rear axle assembly being shortened to suit the narrower body.

The second model, the Buchanan Cobra was introduced in 1958 as a production vehicle based on Standard 10 mechanicals. Only 7 were manufactured.

Buchanans were used on the road, but also raced quite successfully. You can see some of the cars pictured on the side. (pictures taken from "Buchanan Motor Company")

To some extent Buchanan can be compared with Devin or JWF. I like this breed of course and wouldn't mind owning a Buchanan.


areopagitica said...

Freundlichen grussen, herren! This is Looking Back Racing (in the USA) again trying to repost your article to my own blog, but not finding the proper button to do so. I have hotlinked your overall site twice, but would like to cite specific entries, so far not possible at least with my limited skills. Say hello if you are still monitoring your old articles for new comments.

Brian Norman said...

I bought Buchanan Cobra 001 from the son of the original owner in 1986.

Paul Schilling said...

I am the owner/keeper of Buchanan Cobra build number 3, I purchased this car around 12 years ago in Victoria and have restored it to it's current standard.
I have raced and hill climbed the Cobra through the Victorian Historic Racing Register as a Group S.A. car.
The Cobra is now on Club Plates and getting a little more use.
I have a plethora of photographs of the Cobra and I would be pleased to publish them on this site.
I believe that my Cobra is he only one left that is a complete vehicle and also the only one with a racing history.