Say Nota Ordinary – 1959 Nota KM-200 Prototype

1959 Nota KM-200

Update, August 6th, 2015:  The 1959 Nota KM-200 has undergone a price adjustment.

There are many forgotten machines that could easily go missing off the radar of enthusiasts, and many times these types of cars provide some of the most intriguing stories. The sporting cars that English aircraft engineer Guy Buckingham of Nota Engineering brought to the table in the 1950s and ‘60s fit this criteria to a tee and deserve some extra attention.

With origins that can be traced back to the early ‘50s when Buckingham campaigned his clubman-style racers against the likes of Colin Chapman, Nota was at the right place at the right time. Building competitive hill climb and Formula Junior racers, the Australian-based firm would eventually branch out from their open-wheel roots to make alloy-bodied sports cars known as “Streamliners”. Following this, their “Sportsman” series of cars, which shared more than a few similarities to the Lotus Seven, would carry the brand into contemporary times.

As if Nota’s most obvious cars aren’t obscure enough, we have a reader that rescued one of Buckingham’s more striking pieces of work. Named the KM-200, the ‘KM’ in the name references Keith Morrison, an engineer with history with the now-defunct Rootes Group. Keith was responsible for the KM’s attractive skin that is said to been influenced by the Jaguar D-Type. One of the first onto the automotive fiberglass scene down under, Keith’s KM-200 and 300 were generally sold as kits utilizing the Hillman Minx and Holden engines.

What separates our reader’s car from the conventional KM ‘kit cars’, is that it utilizes a sophisticated space-frame chassis that was a product of Nota Engineering. Chassis 11* is described to have been built using drawings supplied to Nota, bearing distinct similarities to the Elva Mk 1.

Below is a timeline for Chassis 11*:

  • 1959: Chassis No. 11* built by Nota Engineering
  • 1960: First raced by Spencer Martin as the Herald Special (See Bathurst Book, page 261)
  • Early 1960s: Raced and road registered (NSW CHD-630) by Ray Strong
  • 1968-1972: Raced by John and Ivor Valentine
  • 1969: Car converted to Ford powerplant
  • 1983: Purchased by current owner
  • 2003: Set an unbeaten MG Car Club Mt Cotton Group O club lap record
  • 2011: 1st place finish in Group C, Frank Gardner Guards Memorial Sports car series
  • 2012: 2nd place finish in Group C, Frank Gardner Guards Memorial Sports car series

The car is sold with the following items:

  • Spare engine
  • (1) Set of alloy wheels
  • Body panels and molds.
  • CAMS Historic log book and Certificate of Description

Chassis 11* is described to still utilize its original chassis and bodywork. The car is sold with a fresh engine, overhauled gearbox, Peter May heavy-duty rear axles and is said to be in “Excellent, race worthy condition”. For reference, the seller explains the car will lap Lakeside International Raceway in 63 seconds.

Representing something of a Lotus-like quality, the brand has an immense importance down under and its obscurity only adds to its charm. Its ownership history is highly interesting, and the car would continue to be a strong vintage racing candidate, but we feel it would be just as fit for hill climbs and long distance rally events.

This 1959 Nota KM-200 Prototype is offered at $46,000 $36,000 USD and is available for immediate inspection.  For questions, or to schedule an appointment to inspect the car at its Brisbane, Australia home, please CLICK HERE.

1959 Nota KM-200 Prototype For Sale – Photo Gallery (click image for larger picture)


  1. Douglas Rae says:

    HI I built a KM 200 from a bare fiberglass shell on a early Fiat 500 chassis with a Simca motor and g’box and it was road registered. Some 5 years back I found a chassis and body which I assembled and fitted BMC diff and 1300 BMC ‘A’ type motor. I competed in hillclimbs with it before selling it. The car is now a regular competitor in historic events here in NSW Australia. Doug Rae.

  2. Hello. I have the Geoff Bernhagen ‘Simca Swallow’ – KM200 body and chassis with all Simca 1300 running gear. Geoff built it with the Brewer brothers (Austral Motors). in 50’s and raced it extensively in Queensland. Have many pics of it at Lowood circuit etc. Was built as road registered race car, french blue and high quality upholstery. Also have many pics of Keith Morrisons own KM with Hillman running gear and wire wheels.

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