Keeping track of Buckler's cars
My recent recall of contesting trials alongside Derek Buckler in his Buckler Specials has brought a letter from his youngest son, telling me that the Buckler Register has records of more than 250 cars and specials made by Derek, who died in 1964, his company being wound up four years later. Not all are still traceable, but the Register thrives.
Derek’s Mk5 was based on his first special and the Mk10 was a refined version of it. In 1954, the streamlined Mk90 was introduced and the spaceframe DD2 followed, with coil-spring suspension replacing the transverse springs and the option of a de Dion back axle and inboard Alfin drum or Dunlop disc brakes. It was too heavy for competition work in its I172cc Ford-engined form but was suited to Coventry-Climax FWA and FWB power units. So Buckler designed the backbone-chassis car, which weighed just 7.5cwt, with a Ford Ten engine, but it was intended for the then-new Ford 105E ohv power plant. His son Malcolm drove the racing prototype on the road despite the fact that it had minimal weather protection.
It is estimated that 300 to 400 of these individual cars were made, in 12 model types, plus one-offs which included a Salmson-powered Mk5 for Cedric Brierley, a V12-Lincoln-engined special, the Daimler V8 DD2, Gordon Parker’s twin-engined ‘Jaguara’, and some chassis for Jack Brabham’s FJ racing machines. Colin Chapman used to personally collect the close-ratio Buckler gears for his 1172cc Lotuses.
Following our recent reference to Siddeley Specials, a reader sent us a photo of a very unusual car seen at VSCC Silverstone. The handiwork of Derrick Moores, this supercharged sports Siddeley is probably lighter than a blower Bentley and about as powerful. The original saloon body was too dilapidated to save, so the chassis was shortened to take a twoseater body. A Marshall blower with twin carburettors sits between the front dumb-irons, Bentley-fashion; new pistons and conrods have been installed. This fast and handsome car is a credit to its owner, who has been an Armstrong-Siddeley expert for many years.