LOVE OF ADRIAN'S LIFE: Joy poses with the original Buchanan in 1957-58.
LOVE OF ADRIAN'S LIFE: Joy poses with the original Buchanan in 1957-58.

Sports car love affair leads to biggest 'Joy' of his life

BACK in 1957, Hervey Bay's Adrian Daniel would never have dreamed that his love affair with a sports car would ultimately lead him right to the biggest 'Joy' of his life - and now his wife of 53 years.

Historian Bev Cornwell with the assistance of Joy and Adrian Daniel, recently took a step back in time to record where it all started.

Adrian, now retired, was a well-known and respected solicitor in the region for more than 40 years.

This is their story:

TO do justice to this love story we need to travel back to the very beginning in 1957 when an 18-year-old Adrian Daniel's first car was a 1952 10HP Ford Anglia Tourer.

With a yearning for a sports car, he sold the Ford. Knowing that an MG was out of his reach, he started saving every cent he earned as a junior clerk in the Maryborough Court House to fulfil his dream of owning a sports car.

He was on a low wage but was so determined to get behind the wheel of a sports car that he decided to build one himself. He saw some adds for fibre glass sports car bodies, placed a direct order with N. H. Buchanan Motor Company in NSW for a body to suit a 1949-50 Austin A40 sedan, paid the deposit and waited.

In November 1957 he received a telegram to inform him that the body was ready for delivery and paid the balance of $510, which was a lot of money in those days.

WHAT A BEAUTY: Joy Daniel couldn’t believe her eyes in 2011 when she first saw the fully restored Buchanan. Adrian spent 12 months, secretly restoring the car as a surprise for his wife.
WHAT A BEAUTY: Joy Daniel couldn’t believe her eyes in 2011 when she first saw the fully restored Buchanan. Adrian spent 12 months, secretly restoring the car as a surprise for his wife. undefined

The final product would be a correlation of many and varied components with the base being a seven-year-old Austin A40 wreck that had been rolled, but the chassis was straight and it had to be completely stripped back to basics.

Adrian has no idea how many hours of love and toil were spent bringing his dream car to fruition but he worked basically every night and weekend until it was able to be registered.

Living in Maryborough at the time, some of Adrian's mates were heading to Hervey Bay and convinced him to go with them; it was a decision that changed his life and it was through these mutual friends he met Joy.

Joy reiterates that she never knew what an Austin A40 even looked like and there was never any mention that that particular part of this car was the chassis only of a very classy racing car that was to change her life completely.

Joy recalls the day she saw the slinky Buchanan when it arrived at her home.

Although, it was still minus the hood but it was painted immaculately in black and gold.

Hervey Bay was a very small town in the late 50s and with no mobile phones to record the sight, it was the old box brownies that did the job.

Adrian recalls that it was in 1958 that the windscreen and hardtop arrived and then side curtains completed the car.

Adrian and Joy did all their courting in the much-loved Buchanan and it was a big part of their life for the six years that followed and that flashy car with its dashing young driver caused quite a stir in the late 50-60s whenever it appeared on the street.

They were married in 1963 and with the arrival of their first daughter in 1965 it became evident that a baby and a Buchanan didn't mix.

Adrian had to make the painful decision to part with his dream car. Joy still maintains that the baby took the last ride in the Buchanan on the way to the hospital and it was a tight fit.

Since 1965 Joy says they have owned and Adrian has restored some 20 cars but he has never recovered from the loss of his beloved Buchanan. Apparently it was always on his bucket list to own another one and, he did.

In 2011 Adrian once again brought another Buchanan back to life, but as a complete surprise to Joy. This time it is based on a 1500 MG TD/F and carries the original registration number from the first Buchanan which fifteen years earlier Adrian had purchased from the Department of Transport.

He got the personalised plates in the hope he could one day build and restore another Buchanan. With the help of two mates (who could keep a secret), Adrian completed the project in a year. He keep it all a secret from Joy and when she saw the mirror image of their first Buchanan, complete with the same number plates, she was ecstatic and knew the love that Adrian had shown in doing this project for her.

The final chapter of this love story came on June 20 when, due to health problems, Adrian decided it was time to part with the Buchanan.

It was advertised and sold immediately to a another car enthusiast in Tasmania.

Adrian and Joy both firmly believe that the original Buchanan in 1957 was the catalyst to their wonderful 60 years together and 53 years of marriage.

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