Classic Car Catalogue
Nearest to completion is Nat Buchanan's close-coupled coupe, based on Ford mechanical components. A partner in a large firm which builds expensive, high-quality radio phonographs and television sets, he has also branched out with a subsidiary firm called Buchanan Motors, whose interests so far has been the sale of hot bits of various sorts, including the Buchanan-Warnerford Consul and Zephyr conversions.
Meanwhile, work has been progressing on the Buchanan which, with a range of finished and unfinished fibreglass bodies for home constructors, and completed sports cars will eventually form the main side of Buchanan Motors interests.
The body is of unusual interest for the layman in that it is made compete in one piece - bonnet, wings, roof, tail and bracing inside, including the scuttle. The mould - which is a replica of the outside of the body - is built up in pieces upside down and the body material moulded into it.
The mould itself is of fibreglass and was made from a complete plaster mockup of the finished car. In the Buchanan car earlier imperfections in moulding technique, induced the constructors to put in an intermediate step of pattern - mould - pattern - mould - finished body, but in future designs no such intermediate step will be taken.
In the mould, the body is formed by spreading polyester resin over the mould, then layers of fibreglass mat, then more resin. After drying me mould is dismantled and removed from the body in pieces.
The doors, bonnet lid and boot lid a moulded separately.
The chassis was designed after much experience in chassis building for a racing, and consists of two long box section rails swept up over the axle with five tubular cross braces.
Front suspension is independent by transeverse leaf, with lever-type dampers with integral wishbones.
The motor in the standard car will be the latest Ford Consul engine increased in power from 55 to 70 b.h.p. but the Zephyr engine, which develops about 80 b.h.p. as standard and 120 b.h.p, without much modification, is available at extra cost.
The gearbox is the standard three-speed Zephyr unit used with the conventional rear axle and semi-elliptic springing. Rear axle will be 3.9 standard or 4.4 to order.
Body accomodation is for two, with occasional seating for two children or adult behind. Luggage is accommodated behind this seat.
There is no true boot-lid, but an opening hatch gives access to the spare wheel and limited access to the luggage.
The petrol tank holds 10 gallons. Overall length is 13', width 5'2", height 4'8", wheelbase 7'7", clearance 7".
Standard Zephyr brakes are used. Lining area for a kerb weight of only 16 cwt. is ample.
The other half of the venture is the supply of open bodies for sports cars. The bodies, similar in line but without the fixed top of the saloon can be supplied to wheelbases of 7'3" to 8'.
They will be supplied unpainted and without fittings and furnishings, or complete with seats and all fittings. Indeed, a tubular chassis can be supplied as well with motor and transmission.