1958 HRG Buchanan Holden "Godfrey Special"

Mike White UK since 1985

1948 Original HRG 1500 chassis laid down in 1948, chassis # 174
1955 Ryman Special with Holden Grey motor fitted
1958 After bad accident reappeared as the Godfrey Special, fitted with a lightweight Buchanan body.
1958/59 Raced at Strathpine, Lowood, Bathurst and Leyburn by Jack Edwards.
Bought by Joe Marano from Brisbane, Repco Hi-power head was on car when purchased.
Rebuilt by Joe as front cross member was cracking, body removed, engine rebuilt.
Sold to Blair Shepard in Brisbane, still with Repco head
Sold to Toowoomba, Repco headed engine removed and put in speedboat.
Turned up in Adelaide and rescued by Ted Newsome from under a peach tree.
1980 Jim Russell commences restoration.
1983 Sold to Ron Hunt of Woodonga who raced it at Mt Tarrengower Hillclimb in October.
1985 Acquired by Mike White  and shipped to UK in March 1986, full restoration and FIA papers obtained.
1986 on Raced at hillclimbs including at Prescott, Loton Park and Shelsley Walsh.

Special Buchanan lightweight race body with no passenger door, no passenger dash cowl, no bootlid and headrest fitted

The original HRG 1500 chassis, number 174,  was laid down on September 2nd. 1948, however it wasn't until February 21st. of the following year it was completed with engine number C1085 Sc and axle number 200/2/A.  It was the first of three exported to Brown & Dureau in Melbourne Australia where cars were fitted with locally made bodies, in this instance a special body was built for the chassis.

Come 1951 and Greg McErvin was the first owner, entrusting maintenance and development to Don Reimann.  It was raced successfully at Woodside, Sellicks Beach, Port Wakefield, Fishermans Bend etc. Independent front suspension and hydraulic brakes were fitted.  In 1954 Don Reimann bought the car from Greg and sold it on to Morry Maurice who continued to race it until the engine expired.

By 1955 Reimann fitted a hot Grey Holden engine and the car became known as the Ryman Special racing in Western Australia at Caversham, Northam etc. It was advertised for sale in April 1956 by Morry and described as the fastest special in W.A.  Eventually it ended up in Jack O'Dea's hands in Victoria who raced it while advertising it for sale in November 1957.

After reportedly suffering a bad accident it wasn't until May 1958 that the HRG chassis reappeared, this time clothed in a lightweight Buchanan racing body.  Now known as the "Godfrey Special", it was owned and raced by Jack Edwards, Bill Whittaker subbing for a few events.  A string of races at Lowood, Strathpine, Toowoomba and Bathurst followed in 1958/59 until the car was next seen in the hands of Joe Marano at Strathpine in 1960. He eventually put it up for sale in March 1961 advertising it as a Repco Holden. It did not sell.

Joe rebuilt the car after the subframe that held the front suspension was found to be cracked and moving around. he removed the body and had a new and stronger subframe fabricated and refitted. He rebuilt the engine at the same time.....rings, bearings, etc. He actually did his mechanical apprenticeship at Holden way back in the late '40's so he knew those old grey motors inside out. It was finished in 1963 and appeared in Joe's hands at the Burleigh hillclimb. He also campaigned it at Lowood.

A good photo showing the original Buchanan lightweight race body with no passenger door, no passenger dash cowl, no bootlid and headrest fitted

The Repco Hi-power crossflow head featured exhaust pipes exiting on the left hand side of the car, as can be seen in the picture after the 1963 rebuild was completed.

He sold the Buchanan to a car dealer friend in Brisbane called Blair Shepard who was also a well known speedway racer, but he on sold it to someone out near Toowoomba. The new owner then removed the Repco head and fitted it to a speedboat.

The car disappeared for a few years until surfacing under a peach tree in a suburb of Adelaide in South Australia. Ted Newsome dragged it out and back to Melbourne where it eventually passed into the hands of Jim Russell who commenced restoring it in 1980. By 1983 Ron Hunt in Woodonga had acquired the car and competed at the Mt. Tarrengower Hillclimb in October.

Finally in 1985 the HRG Buchanan was to find a long term home back in the UK, Mike White acquiring the car and shipping it home in March of 1956.  After years of neglect a full chassis up restoration was undertaken. The car emerged with the UK registration of TFO 643 and full FIA papers.  Mike focused on hill climbs competing at Loton Park, Prescott and Shelsley Walsh.


Chassis - HRG 1500 #174, modified front section for independent suspension, roll cage.

Engine - Holden Grey 6cyl, bored out to 2400 c.c., balanced and lightened, Micky Thompson cam,
             gas flowed head, triple SU carburetors, extractor manifold, 100 bhp on rolling road

Gearbox - Jaguar, believed Mk5, clutch shatter shield fitted, mechanical clutch operation

Differential - Original ENV axle, differential and half shafts

Front Susp. - Peugeot transverse leaf spring with telescopic shock absorbers, fully adjustable uprights

Rear Susp. - Original semi elliptic leaf springs with 4 lever arm shocks, lowering blocks and tramp bars

Brakes - Original HRG drums to rear, Healey drums to front, twin master cylinder

Steering - Morris rack and pinion

Wheels - 15" wire wheels

Body - special lightweight Buchanan fibreglass body, race version with no passenger door/boot,
           single scuttle hump and headrest

Racing History 1958-1963








Event 3 "A" Grade Scratch Race

3 rd

Jack Edwards

Event 5 Open Handicap

1 st

R. Whittaker

    Event 7 Racing Car Handicap 2 nd

Jack Edwards




Race 4 DNF Jack Edwards retired, run bearings
Strathpine 11-May-58     Jack Edwards
Lowood 15-Jun-58     Jack Edwards
Strathpine 20-Jul-58     Jack Edwards
Strathpine 3-Aug-58     Jack Edwards Lap time 1.14
Lowood 31-Aug-58 Race 1 DNF Jack Edwards retired, sheared cam drive
Toowoomba 20-Sep-58     Jack Edwards
Lowood 26-Oct-58 "B" Grade Scratch Race 2 nd Jack Edwards
    Encourage Handicap   Jack Edwards Fastest lap
    "Courier Mail" Queensland Tourist Trophy 3 rd Jack Edwards
Lowood 12-Apr-59     Jack Edwards
Bathurst Easter-59 Event 4 DNF Jack Edwards
  Event 7 DNF Jack Edwards
Lowood 26-Oct-59     Jack Edwards
Strathpine Dec-58     Jack Edwards


    Joe Marano
Burleigh 1963 Hillclimb Joe Marano
Lowood 1963 Joe Marano


1980's Hillclimb Mike White 56.96 s

Loton Park

1980's Hillclimb Mike White 69.75 s

Shelsley Walsh

1980's Hillclimb Mike White 43.78 s