Buckler Special HBC 508 also known as BBS
Special ( very confusing as the Bucker
single seater commissioned by Rivers
Fletcher in the 1960's is also called
Date of Manufacture March 1951. First
registered 29 September 1951
Model Mark 5
Builder H.M.Barron who used his second name
address in May 1951 : 7 Palmerston
Boulevard, Leicester .
Chassis and suspension assemblies etc
delivered from Bucklers by passenger train
31 May 1951.
Original 1951 spec states:
Engine Ford 1098 cc. Probably an 1172cc
Ford linered down to compete in 1100cc class
Buckler independent front suspension
Buckler close ratio gearbox type C.
Aluminium cycle wing body colour silver.
In June/July 1955 the Fiord engine was
replaced with a Morris 10 engine with
In 1956 the Morris engine was replaced by an
MG 1500 cc engine with twin 1 1/2" SU carbs.
H Malcolm Barron is reputed to have competed
the car in at least 20 events, including
Mallory Park, Silverstone, Snetterton,
Westbrook Hay. I do not have a list of
results except a 3rd at Brighton in 1956 (
probably the "Speed Event" promenade
The car was sold in May 1965 to P Gamble
Loughborough who later moved to Mickleover,
Derby. ( not sure what happened during the
period 1956 to 1965 )
A later owner was Roger Dunn of Netherseal,
Burton on Trent.
Then Gordon Bell and then to his son in July
then to Andrew Gill in Dec 1969 and he is
reported to have used the car for 3 years
and is still listed as the owner.
In my only photo attached, HBC has the
racing number 4. Another Buckler ,driven by
Robin Carnegie later to be the Earl of
Northesk, is on the back of the grid reg
and racing number 35 or 38?.
Malcolm Buckler and Peter Silverthorne
of letter from Pete Cresswell Jan 2009
In an idle moment this afternoon I did a
Google search for Buckler Cars, and of
course came up with the club site. The
reason is, I bought an engine in 1970 which
came from a Buckler - I wasn't sure which
model but I now know it was a Mark V. The
car in question was HBC508 and the engine
was a 1500cc MG XPEG. I see from your
register listings that HBC 508 was a 1951
car fitted with an 1172cc Ford engine, so
perhaps the information I know of the MG
engine would be of interest to the current
owner (if you know them) or to further the
history of HBC 508 for the club generally.
In 1970 I bought a racing MG TC (FBD 64)
from Mike Zimmerman in Solihull, Birmingham.
The car came with a box of bits 1250cc
supercharged engine, fitted with high
compression pistons. After reassembling the
engine and persevering with the supercharged
engine for at least 1 Curborough sprint, I
saw an advert for in Exchange & Mart for a
1500cc MG racing engine. The person
advertising it lived in Mickleover, on the
south side of Derby. The engine was
complete, and had the following spec:
1466cc MG XPEG as fitted to the MG TF 1500.
Cylinder head had very large ports and
valves - much bigger than found on racing
T-Types. The inlet ports still had the stud
boss in them and the combustion chamber was
was more of the shape of a BMC B-series
engine than the Nuffield XPAG/XPEG heads. A
external pipe took water from the rear of
the block to the rear of the head, and a
remote oil filter was fitted. A central oil
pick-up was fitted in the sump, with an
external pipe to the base of the oil pump.
The camshaft was the MG Works racing cam.
The bottom end was balanced, and fitted with
a solid centre plate clutch witha spring
type cover assembly.
The engine was complete with exhaust
manifold which was a long swept back system,
and had 1.75" H6 SUs. The engine (I was
told) was built by Peter Gammon with a Harry
Westlake modified head, and produced about
100bhp. The engine number plate carried the
registration HBC 508 so I assume which I
still have somewhere
All in all it was a good buy for £65! I
rebuilt the engine in time for the 1970 MGCC
race meeting at the end of May, fitting a
45DCOE carburettor and a Derrington exhaust
manifold. I sold the exhaust and inlet
manifold along with the SUs to a friend,
Nick Taylor and he still has these fitted to
his racing MG TB today.
Unfortunately other than the parts Nick
Taylor has nothing remains of the engine
today. The rigours of racing took their
toll, and the block was severely damaged in
a blow up at Silverstone in 1975. The web
that supports the centre main bearing was
cracked almost all the way round, so I then
used a high reving 1350 block. The head
survived until after I sold the car to Paul
Smeeth in 1989, but I understand a broken
valve damaged it beyond repair.
So at sometime in the late 1950's HBC 508
was fitted with a very special racing engine
of 1500cc, similar to those fitted in the
works Lotus 6s, one of which was driven by
Hope this helps fill in some history of HBC