The Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences acknowledges Australia’s First Nations Peoples as the Traditional Owners and Custodians of the land and gives respect to the Elders – past and present – and through them to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are advised that the MAAS website contains a range of Indigenous Cultural Material. This includes artworks, artifacts, images and recordings of people who may have passed away, and other objects which may be culturally sensitive.
2008/192/1 Drawing, Nota Fang automobile, paper, designed and made by Chris Buckingham, Nota Engineering, Parramatta, New South Wales, Australia, 1971-1973. Click to enlarge.

Nota Fang automobile drawing by Chris Buckingham

Made by Buckingham, Chris in Parramatta, New South Wales, Australia, 1971-1973.

This cutaway drawing is of the Australian-designed and built sports racing car the Nota Type IV ‘Fang’. It was drawn by the car’s designer and builder, Chris Buckingham, in the early 1970s. Nota Fang sports cars were manufactured by a small, Sydney-based automobile manufacturer, Nota Engineering, of 40 Smith Street, Parramatta. This firm is probably the oldest specialist manufacturer of sports cars in Australia, with 105 production Nota Fangs being built between 1971 and 1975. Over the last five...


Object No.


Object Statement

Drawing, Nota Fang automobile, paper, designed and made by Chris Buckingham, Nota Engineering, Parramatta, New South Wales, Australia, 1971-1973

Physical Description

The drawing is reproduced on a sheet of plan paper and features a cutaway line drawing in black ink of a generic type of a Nota Fang sports car. It is drawn from a three-quarter view looking from the offside rear towards the front. The Nota Type IV 'Fang' is an open, two-seater, sports roadster with a doorless body over a space frame tubular steel chassis. The radically positioned, transverse, mid-mounted engine, in the rear of the chassis mounted behind the driver, is clearly seen in the drawing together with its SU carburettors. The rear end of the car is particularly well detailed showing the independent unequal length 'A' arms with telescopic shock absorbers and compressed rubber cone springing. The cockpit features two parallel quilted seats in a semi-reclining racing-style position for both driver and passenger.



1010 mm


550 mm



The Sydney firm of Nota Engineering was established by a former aircraft engineer, Guy Buckingham, who began building racing car specials in England in 1952. The curious company name was inspired by the inability of Guy's infant son, Chris, to pronounce 'motor'.

In 1964 Nota Engineering began making their first purpose-built road car in the form of a sleek roadster, called the Nota Sapphire. It was the first car body designed for the firm by Guy's son, Chris, then a teenager, who went on to produce most of the subsequent Nota bodies.

As well as producing racing cars during the 1960s, Guy Buckingham's contribution to Australian motor sport was considerable. He was largely responsible for laying out Oran Park Raceway, spoke on racing car design in a weekly television show called the "Westinghouse World of Sport" and introduced low-cost motor sport in Australia with the Formula Vee. In 1970 Guy returned to England and passed the running of the company over to his son, Chris, who had learnt much from his father and was well equipped to take charge of the company.

In 1971 Chris Buckingham built a prototype Nota Type IV which he named the 'Fang'. In the 1960s the term 'fang' meaning, 'to drive a car at high speed', was in common use amongst young Australian men, being derived from the famous racing car driver, Juan Fangio. Printed references to the name date back to 1969, as used by the Australian playwright Alexander Buzo, "Let's hop in the B and fang up to the beach".

Chris' body styling for the Nota Fang was minimalist. The car had no doors, a bare minimum of instrumentation and little room for the two occupants. More time was spent in search of optimum aerodynamics at the University of NSW's Fluid Box test facility than trying to produce a particularly aesthetically pleasing design. Nevertheless, the result was certainly eye catching and appealing. The cockpit of the Fang, a steel under tray and polished alloy sides, was constructed in a similar way to an old open wheeler while the fibreglass panels were designed to be lifted off like a racing car. The unusual front suspension was mounted on a single, wide-based wishbone and four-wheel independent suspension provided excellent handling. Its distinctive appearance was achieved with the then-radical transverse mid-mounted engine set behind the driver but in front of the rear wheels. This gave the car good weight distribution (60 rear/40 front) making it predictable and safe to handle. At this time the only other sports cars to use this configuration were the expensive 246 Dino Ferrari and the Lamborghini Miura. The engine could be easily removed by undoing five bolts, jacking up the back of the car and wheeling it out from underneath.

The Nota Fang came in three basic models, the SL (Sports/Luxury), TS (Track/Sports) and the RT (Road/Track). Initially BMC Mini Cooper S engines were fitted followed by the larger BMC 1300cc Clubman. All were modified from the standard and fitted with SU carburettors. These more powerful versions gave a competitive edge in their respective racing classes as well as providing a more potent road car. Options included a canvas hood and tonneau and GT console panel.

Between 1971 and 1975 a total of 105 Nota Fang sports cars were manufactured by Nota Engineering, the firm's largest production run. The car was an immediate success and the company was forced to move from its Parramatta premises to a new, larger, factory in the western Sydney suburb of Blacktown. Sales were made not only in Australia but New Zealand, England, South Africa and Papua New Guinea. Because of its cheeky styling the car appealed in the early 1970s to professionals due to its appearance rather than its undoubtable sporting ability.

Information provided by Chris Buckingham

Information provided by Steve Normoyle

Davis, Tony. "Aussie Cars", Marque Publishing Co, Sydney, 1987, p.124

Davis, Pedr. 'Australia's Own Sports Car', in "Modern Motor", Vo.36, No.4, September 1989, pp.84-87.

Heseltine, Richard. 'A Notable Guy', in "Classic & Sports Car", March 1998, pp.98-101.

Normoyle, Steve. 'The Nota Notebooks', in "Sports Driver".

O'Reagen, Gerry. 'Hey Big Nota', in "Australia's Sports & Classic Cars", June/August 1996, pp.62-64.

Sewell, Tony. 'Notable Aussie', in "Sports & Classic Cars Australia", Vo.2, No.2, October 87-March 88.



The drawing was made by the designer and builder of the Nota Fang car, Chris Buckingham in the early 1970s. It was drawn from a series of photographs taken by Chris when he was dismantling one of his cars. He was always interested in drawing and thought it would be interesting to capture the internal layout of the car in a single drawing which was undertaken from the photographs.


Credit Line

Gift of Chris Buckingham, 2008

Acquisition Date

19 September 2008

Cite this Object


Nota Fang automobile drawing by Chris Buckingham 2018, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 20 May 2019, <>


{{cite web |url= |title=Nota Fang automobile drawing by Chris Buckingham |author=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences |access-date=20 May 2019 |publisher=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, Australia}}


This object record is currently incomplete. Other information may exist in a non-digital form. The Museum continues to update and add new research to collection records.

Know more about this object?


Have a question about this object?