Thursday, March 31, 2011

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Does anybody recognise this chassis?

I was wondering if someone could help me in identifying the chassis of a newly acquired Buchanan. I have been told that it could be a Wolseley or a Sunbeam. As can be seen in the photo's it has leaf front springs and have been told a later model English (?) rear axle. The body was cream in colour and has a Buchanan Body Tag # 98. 

The overall: length of the chassis is 132 inch
Rear chassis width is 31.6 inch
Front chassis width is 20.6 inch
Wheel base approx is 91inch
Rear wheel track is 43.6 inch

The only history that I know about the car is that it got to Griffith (NSW) in the early 60's through a local car yard and was purchased by a local.He owned it for years until it was stolen off his farm and was recovered in Griffith shortly after. I don't know if it was stripped then or was done at a later date. I purchased it from Griffith last year.

Any information would be greatly appreciated. 
David Homburg

Monday, March 28, 2011

Commodore coupes

The very beginning of Commodores in Australia was in 1979 when Brock and his mates staged that 1-2-3 with the VBs in that "gruelling" round Australia trial. However, Opel had been going with Commodores in both 2 and 4 door versions for some time before that. Here's a very unfamiliar (to us) 1972 Opel Commodore coupe.
The coupes continued through the years and here's an Opel Monza that roughly conforms to a VH.
Around that time Brockie was over in Europe to race at LeMans (this was an important time for me  as we had to make special white, yellow and orange racesuits for Peter and Larry and never before had anyone ever taken our racewear to LeMans). They were given Opel Monzas to drive around in while they were there. This inspired PB to consider HDT Monzas as a bit of an idea. At least a couple of bodies were brought over and and a prototype was built, beefing the car up for Australian conditions and installing a decent powerplant. I don't think the second car was completed and I'm not sure why the project became stillborn. Anyway, a car was built and still exists today. Years later it turned up for sale in Darwin.......
Darwin must be the place for prototype Holdens. I recall a "strike-me-pink" XU-1 that came out of Darwin that turned out to be the genuine XU-2 V8 prototype as verified by Harry and Leo. Even though it now has the 202 in it, all the V8 bolt holes are there.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Tears to my eyes.

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Bolwell Mark 5 Coupe Unique Restoration Project
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Saturday, March 26, 2011

Borgward powered Goggo

I mentioned this hot little Goggomobil in my post on the Hunter when both of them competed at Castlereigh in 1964. A month later the Goggo was back.
Bruce Leer was back too, this time in the Milano.
Like the Goggo, this particular Milano GT was road registered.
Here's the Goggo once more getting the jump on the hemi Plymouth.
Colin, I've been searching for the SCW article on this little sleeper. It wasn't in any of the 1965 editions anyway.

Show 'n' Tell.

From the AHOC mag. some Bolly shots at last month's Healey concours at Docklands, Vic.
Looks like a well chosen spot - shortest distance to the bar.


This is a 1973 Volkswagen Karmann-Ghia.
Made at the VW factory in Brazil.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

From Grant, obp tech session - How to disconnect the ABS.

Ok an interesting situation has come up that I feel it is necessary to cover.

I have had an issue with a client that has a Drift car that is using a Hydraulic handbrake. The idea of the Hydraulic handbrake is so the driver can snap the back end and create a controllable drift.

He had a problem and could not lock the rear wheels. We asked him has he removed any valves or compensators that may be in the system? Has he looked at the brake schematics to make sure there were no systems preventing the cars wheels from locking up? He told us he had removed all these systems and fitted new brake lines through out the car.

Ok at this point we were scratching our heads!! One of our technicians asked me has he removed the ABS, I could not remember asking a direct question on that, however we had discussed removing all systems that would prevent the wheels from locking.

So I asked him "Have you removed the ABS from the car"?

I am sure you can guess what he said "No he is still running the ABS".

Ok now we have the solution to the problem.

The Antilock Brake System (ABS) is a fantastic development that was developed and designed as most of the good safety systems in F1.
However on Race Cars, Rally Cars, Drifting or Track Day Cars it is no good unless you have a very expensive system that has a very high pulse rate as fitted on some F1 cars or other works race cars.

How can you disconnect the ABS?

Anti-lock brake systems save lives and should be maintained.
However, Motorsport drivers often want to disable the system.
For example, Rally competitions, Drifting events and sports driving are not suited to ABS controls. Skids and hard braking are overridden by ABS. This causes the brakes to pulse on and off and prevents the brakes from locking. Locking the brakes is the goal for most sports and competition driving events.

Here are three ways to disconnect the ABS:

Raise the bonnet of the car and open fuse box that contains the fuses and relays. Locate the ABS fuse and remove it. This will disable the anti-lock brakes without damaging any components. The brakes will function normally, but the anti-lock controls won't.

Remove the main wiring connector that plugs into the anti-lock brake module. This module is located next to the brake master cylinder. Steel lines go from the master cylinder and are routed into the module. By disconnecting the wiring connector, you are disabling all the anti-lock brake functions.

Raise the car with a jack and place jack stands under the frame. Disconnect the anti-lock brake sensor on each wheel. This interrupts the sensor signal to the anti-lock brake system and effectively disables it.

This information is for race drivers and not to be used on the general high ways.

Please make sure that any modifications of this type are carried out by professional race preparation companies.

I hope this has been of interest to you.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

How's this for a Vodafone ad?

They took the McLaren up to Bathurst today. Jenson smashes the outright lap record by nearly 20 secs. What's really amazing though is that Craig was only 1 second slower and he'd never parked his bum in an F1 car before.

Sunday, March 20, 2011


For all those Tatra fans here's one I bet you don't have in your photo album.

1964 Bond Equipe GT4S coupe

This Bond Equipe is currently for sale on eBay, not in this country.
If you are thinking it has a familiar look about it, it's to do with its donor car, the Triumph Herald because not only do they use the Herald chassis and running gear, but also the scuttle, windscreen, doors and sills.
This is from an advertisement for a 1965 model.
This is an earlier one. The front looks like a Turner don't you think?
I wonder if there is any connection.
Really, they had come a long way from their first effort, the Bond Minicar.
Still, they sold nearly 27,000 of those which is not insignificant.
Just by coincidence, Duane has launched his blog on the restoration of his 1967 Bond Equipe (see links). It should be a good read as it's a major job. It was in the Port Wakefield wrecking yard and had had a major whack up the Khyber Pass. The back was almost nonexistent. Norm has had a hand in the reshaping of the rear bodywork I think. Duane's car is a six cylinder example. I have a feeling that's pretty rare.

Motorsport in Abu Dhabi

 You've got to watch this. Col W. reckons it's what you get when you've got too much money and too much sand. It kinda reminds me of the sand drags at Ponde which were mainly for stinking hot motorbikes, mostly Harleys with V8s, but with a hillclimb thrown in for good measure.
My friend, Bilal, in Lebanon, has this nice new Nissan for desert rallies.
Trouble is he hasn't used it yet. Things are a bit dicey down south in the desert regions.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Compressed air.

I'm mainly posting this because because of the previous talk about a compressed air powered Bolwell for Lake Gairdner. The project fell through but who knows?

Is this for real? Or do you think it is a lot of hot air?

Air  Powered Car
 Tata  Motors is ready to introduce Air Car - Will it be the next big  thing?  Tata  Motors is taking giant strides and making history for  itself.  First the Land Rover/Jaguar deal, then the world's  cheapest car, and now it is also set to introduce the car  that runs on compressed air.
With  spiraling fuel prices it is about time we heard some  breakthrough!

India's largest  automaker, Tata Motors, is set to start producing the world's  first commercial air-powered  vehicle.
The  Air Car, developed by ex-Formula One engineer Guy Negre for  Luxembourg-based MDI, uses compressed air, as opposed to the  gas-and-oxygen explosions of internal-combustion models, to push  its engine's pistons.  Some 600 zero-emissions Air Cars  are scheduled to hit Indian streets by  August 2011.
The  Air Car, called the "MiniCAT" could cost around Rs. 3,475,225  ($8,177.00) in India and would have a range of around 300 km  between refuels.

The cost of a refill  would be about Rs. 85 ($2.00)

The MiniCAT which is a  simple, light urban car, with a tubular chassis that is glued,  not welded, and a body of fiberglass powered by compressed  air.  Microcontrollers are used in every device in the car,  so one tiny radio transmitter sends instructions to the lights,  indicators, etc.

There are no keys - just  an access card which can be read by the car from your  pocket.  According to the designers, it costs less than 50  rupees per 100 Km (about a tenth that of a petrol car).   Its mileage is about double that of the most advanced electric  car (200 to 300 km or 10 hours of driving), a factor which makes  a perfect choice in cities where 80% of motorists drive at less  than 60 Km.  The car has a top speed of 105  Kmph.

Refilling the car will,  once the market develops, take place at adapted petrol stations  to administer compressed air.  In two or three minutes, and  at a cost of approximately 100 rupees, the car will be ready to  go another 200-300 kilometers.
As  a viable alternative, the car carries a small compressor which  can be connected to the mains (220V or 380V) and refill the tank  in 3-4 hours.  Due to the absence of combustion and,  consequently, of residues, changing the oil (1 liter of  vegetable oil) is necessary only every 50,000  Km).
 The  temperature of the clean air expelled by the exhaust pipe is  between 0-15 degrees below zero, which makes it suitable for use  by the internal air conditioning system with no need for gases  or loss of  power.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

That's my kind of Mark 4

Beven's mate John sent this photo of his mate Nick's Mark 4 taken last October. It runs a 302 Ford with cast iron Celica box, Volvo brakes and is very well balanced.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

A Bolwell owner at last.

Remember those outrageous New Year shows we used to have? I'm only mentioning it because a new member I'm about to introduce has really been around for a very long time. This is Nav as a particular type of diver at the 83/84 New Year.
And this is him at the following 84/85 show. Just so you'll recognise him. He actually has less hair now.
In more recent times he could be found at the start line at our Macclesfield stage.
Well, Nav now has the Nagari body and chassis that Tony Opie was wanting to turn into a complete car. He also has the remains of the Dennis O sports. He still needs LOTS of bits.

Forgotten Hero

Well, in my humble opinion anyway.
We all know who this guy is, a legend in ProdSports.........
.......but do you know who this is?
The number 45 and Jolly Roger Marine on the boot lid tells us it's Ross Donnelly. He was a really quick aggressive driver yet these days you hardly hear of him. Before moving up to the Bolwell he ran an extremely fast E-type. The E-type got pranged I think, but it was fixed up and sold to Mike Finnis down here who worried the life out of Bernie with it before picking up the Latham Porsche. Anyway, the Bolwell was a beauty. Which one is it and where did it go?

Here's the two Rosses at the same corner at Amaroo.
And here's a couple more shots of the car for good measure.
And the red coupe again.

Monday, March 14, 2011

50s Ford models

Simon sent a number  of photos of Ted and Sharon Forbes' formidable collection of 1950s North American vehicles on Vancouver Island.  Mostly convertibles and mainly Ford products, but there was a Parissienne and there was an Impala. However, it was a few Ford/Mercury cars that made me reflect on the Australian equivalents in the 50s. The Customlines of 1955, 1956, 1957 (and 1958 in Australia) shared the same body with annual trim changes.
This is Ted and Sharon's 1956 Ford Sunliner. In Australia we had that form of trim throughout 1957. For 1958 we weren't quite ready for the Barge Fairlane (which came out as a 1959 model) so we had an interim car called the Star Model Customline.
Now these two cars are Ted and Sharon's 1956 Mercuries. The Mercury wasn't available in Australia. But look! That's the side trim on the Star model.  They obviously dipped into the Mercury parts bin.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

A Wells Buchanan.

Just going through some old photos for Graham's Easter page and came across this one from the Bolwell Easter at Bairnsdale in 1996. It's only fair to share it among the Buchanan fans.

Dino lookalike

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I was directed to this entry via a telephone call from a prospective buyer. It turns out to be a kit car called a Karma of which 1100 were made in the UK. The moulds originally came from America. The missing windscreen might be a bit difficult to source. It's from an American Ford Pinto.