A Buckler Special

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139

Sir,

A photograph for your collection. I have owned this car since 1966 and suddenly I feel an urge to boast about it, since I think it is quite unique.

You possibly can’t place it but I’ll bet you knew something about it at the time it was built. It is, in fact, a Buckler “BB” and I believe it to be the survivor of only two built, the original being a road-going version built for the 1960 Racing Car Show while this one was built for a Mr. Moor who owned a garage in Chipping Norton. The shell is built the hard way from aluminium, the frame of small-diameter steel tubing is of a Y-shaped “backbone” (hence BB) configuration, the front-mounted 100E Ford engine lying at 45 degrees in the “Y” while the 100E Ford rear axle is suspended on coil-spring/damper units and located by an “A” bracket, the apex of which is attached to the diff, and the legs to the frame just behind the cockpit, and single parallel links. These characteristics, I believe, anticipate the Lotus Elan and Mark 1 Lotus Cortina by a year or two, and I wonder if there is any connection since the Technical Director at the time the Buckler BB was built was one Peter Hilton who subsequently left Buckler’s and, I believe, joined Lotus; I remember seeing something to this effect in Motor Sport.

It cannot have escaped your notice that there is now a Buckler Register and some 25 of these cars are now registered, oddly enough most of them Mark 5s. Only one Buckler 90 appears in the list, odd because I would have thought quite a number were built, since I built one and two others were building at the same time within seven miles. The existing Buckler 90 is an extremely pretty one with a body by Maurice Gomm— now there’s food for thought!

I can’t help thinking that the late Derek Buckler never really received the credit which was his due in his contribution to the space-frame for, as I understand it, he was racing a car with a space-frame years before much better-known manufacturers saw the light.

hope I have not bored you with these “Fragments on forgotten specials”.

Burton Latimer J. C Orpin

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