Thursday, 1 November 2012

The non-Australian Nota Fang

You know the Nota Fang and you know it was Australian. Right. But did you know that the sharply styled, rear wheel driven and Mini powered Fang (or Nota Type 4) was built and offered for sale in the UK, too? It was. As a matter of fact Nota instigator Guy Buckingham was an Englishman. He used to be a clock maker in Buckinghamshire before he moved over to Australia in 1952 and started building the Fang there. He made a few other models first, of which one was featured here before as a legendary motor (see here and here). But with the Fang production grew more rapidly. Buckingham's son Chris helped building the cars and expanding the company and in the 1960s they'd become a small motor manufacturer in Parramatta, New South Wales.

But while Chris stayed Down Under to run the company, Buckingham senior returned to the UK in the early 1970s. And it didn't take long before he decided to set up a branche of Nota Engineering there. In fact the Fang was offered for sale from Wootton Bassett, Wilts in early 1972. I'd seen a press picture of the UK-built Nota and there was a report in Custom Car magazine, too. But more recently Richard Heseltine sent me a copy of a brochure I'd never seen before (thanks!). It shows the same car as in the article, registered 'EUD 715K' and I wonder if it's the only non-Australian Nota Fang? According to Peter Filby "It seems no more than two or three cars were ever built here" but is that true? And if so, where did these cars go? Questions, questions...

A press shot of the British-built Nota Fang with back drop that cannot be other than English
Picture Jeroen Booij archives
According to Guy Buckingham 'EUD 715K' was hastily put together. Is it still with us?
Picture Richard Heseltine archives  

The same Fang was road tested by Custom Car magazine in their July 1972 issue
Picture courtesy Custom Car 
On a London roof top. But were there ever more Nota Fangs in the UK?
Picture courtesy Custom Car 

This is the British brochure of the car I never knew existed
Brochure via Richard Heseltine


  1. In the book "The Nota Files" by Rob Moore and Bruce Bloodworth there is a photo on page 53 of Guy in front of this fang with the caption "Guy with the only Fang in the UK. That is until his Fresian Bull tripped over it and flattened it". According to various reports I have read it was wrecked after an "accident" involving a bull but no details as to what happened to it afterwards .

  2. Hi there, yes this UK made Fang was flattened by a bull at the family farm in Oxfordshire. It wasnt repaired and was also the last UK made Nota.

    Guy went on to form a small 750 racing team known as Teal Engineering. They competed for a few years with one off cars as well as modified Hillman/Sunbeam Imps.

    Guy, now 93, doesnt have any involvement in car work today, but last year was reunited with the 4th car he designed, built & raced back in 1954 at a local hill climb event called KopHill. It was a predesessor to the Nota marque and known as "Arnold" it was the first time he had seen the car since the late 50's.