Events , Results ,Tales, tall and true
Fancy competing your self? it’s not hard…and not as expensive as one might think.
Below is a write up of 800KBH and her adventures at Wiscombe for the first time (well, for many years!)
This describes what you need to hillclimb or sprint. Circuits like Silverstone or Castle Combe are slightly different. but don’t worry, we can help with that too.
Trials…the mud plugging type…we have experts in this field as well…Some of our members take their Bucklers in for all sorts!
KARTS, No problem…we have experts for everything, except web design! 😉
These rules are governed by the MSA who produce the BLUE BOOK.. some of the rules may change, largely safety things, like helmets, overalls etc. If you want to try your luck for the first time please get in touch with our Competition Sec. We will be able to help here
A Magical day at a Magical Hill
The write up of the days Hillclimbing in 800 KBH Simon and Keith Ambrose.
Duncan Rabagliati, Colin Rawlinson and The 500 Owners Association had kindly invited Bucklers along to their meeting on the 8th of May 2004 at Wiscombe Park.
My father Keith had decided that I should drive 800 KBH at Wiscombe hill climb. I was over for a wedding and could stay on a little longer to allow a visit to Devon. Stan had sent the application forms for an MSA licence.
I was a little late with the application so I had to pay extra for the express service which processes the form and posts off your licence within a week.
The following week my National Speed B licence arrived with a package of stuff including ‘The Blue Book’ of rules and regulations.
The application to the 500 Owners club day had been returned. We were entered in the Road Going Sports and Saloon Cars pre 1970 class.-
Vigorous reading of the blue book….
Finally we found the relevant page to discover that the car was almost up to spec. – all we needed was an oil catcher attached to the crankcase breather- we found and old windscreen washer bottle and a piece of pipe, drilled a hole in the bottle to accept the large pipe and stuck it in a space just behind the radiator- and a timing strut – constructed by myself from a handy piece of aluminium from the back of an old fridge neatly cut to the specified size and sprayed matt black.
Then we drove to Merlin Motorsport and purchased the racing numbers, 4 quid, a Proban suit for 80 and an up-to-date helmet for 50. (The regs. stated the helmet must be post 2002 vintage, Dad’s is a Cork model dated 1960.)
note: this has now been changed, the fireproofness ratings are different in 2018. please check your Blue Book or contact us
Then off to a quiet country pub. We emerged after lunch to find we had a puncture. First one for years Dad reckons. On our return to Bristol we stopped off at a quick fit tyre place to discover that they don’t sell or repair tubes any more, something to do with an EU directive ?… so a quick trip round various tyre shops eventually found us a new tube for two pounds. A lesson to be learnt here, carry a spare tube if heading off on a decent journey in your Buckler!
We loaded Dad’s van with some spare parts and a thermos of coffee, not forgetting Malcolm’s nearly fully restored Kart and stand, put on our coats and set sail for Wiscombe very early the following morning. I was driving the van and could hardly keep up with Dad as we made the most of the early start.
When we arrived Mike Furse showed us the ropes. We stuck on the numbers and attached the timing strut to the front numberplate.
Next minute the scrutineer arrived and did his stuff. We were picked up on two very important safety items that (as far as I can ascertain) are not mentioned in the section of the afore mentioned Blue Book.
The quick release filler cap had no locking device to prevent it opening in the event of an accident, this, the scrutineer kindly suggested could be fixed with some tie wire. Dad raced back to the van to procure a piece from the tool kit. The other item was a large label to indicate to any marshal, how to turn off the electrics including the fuel pump. Mike seemed to have the appropriate sticker in his pocket and whilst he dealt with cutting it out, I donned the smart new overalls and we were off. 800KBH proudly wearing her scrutineers approval sticker.
The first practice run was about to start. The whole arrival had been rather hectic so I had no time to be nervous. Dad I fear did all the worrying. I just concentrated on getting up the hill cleanly. This I achieved and I was rather pleased with myself apart from one crunch of the gears no problems…..
I should tell you a little about the track. It is 1000 yards of smooth tarmac, leaving Major Chichester’s beautiful country house, over a stone bridge (the start line is virtually on the bridge,) then a hard left in second. up a long straight (ish) hill to The Gate, this stone gate is right on a right hander I managed to take in third, then up the revs to take me through the esses to Sawbench Hairpin.
Down to second, the loud pedal hard to the floor… oh no wheelspin… lift then floor it again, up the straight in to fourth. Hard on the brakes, down to third, round Martini hairpin as wide as poss… Third wasn’t the right choice… down to second in a bit of a panic a crunch of gears as I didn’t get the revs quite right and I’m over the finish line !!
Wiscombe has no return road so cars are held at the top paddock ready to drive down again. Mike was already there to help me out of the car. I was a bit shocked that it was all over so soon. We walked over to the fence at the Martini hairpin to watch the rest of our batch attempt to get round it smoothly. This was very educational and Mike was very helpful, it’s also a great place to gossip with all the other drivers about how it should best be approached. We all seemed to agree on the correct line… very few of us achieved the ultimate line. When someone did manage it they would shoot over the finish line like a rocket.
I was engrossed, next thing Mike was tapping me on the shoulder and we were off again. A slow procession of wonderful machinery made its way back down the hill to the delight of the audience and marshals.
Dad and I went to the sausage sandwich van for a feed and water (tea actually). We watched the 500s and the Supercharged Austin Sevens head up to the line. Where was Colin?? Seconds later it was our turn again – second Practice !!
I was enjoying it now. I knew I’d done better than the first time. Mike congratulated me and told me the time he had heard announced over the tannoy.
I had improved by 2 seconds !!
I must have been grinning from ear to ear. Back down again this time for lunch.
My sister Jane had arrived with a huge picnic fit for a king. I was too nervous to eat much, so a scotch egg and a small glass of grape juice was consumed next to the Kart, proudly displayed. It’s stand’s legs buried in the grass to prevent it tipping over in the now quite windy weather.
Off again. This time it’s for real… another second off !!! Wow. I’d gone quicker than that beautiful black XK120.
Back down again. Much fuss was being made by all the competitors now checking tyre pressures etc. My pit crew- Dad, Graham and Jane had headed towards the beer tent so I just left the old girl alone.
Colin Rawlinson, in the meantime, had suffered a minor technical hiccup with his spark. This was eventually fixed with the help of one of his friends who just happened to have a spare JAP magneto. Colin only managed to get one run as a result, but by all accounts it was a very quick run. I missed seeing it as I was being yelled at by Mike….
It’s my turn again…. My last turn…
YES… faster again… not by much admittedly but enough to still be quicker than the AC Aceca and the Jag.
I was just beaten by the Porsche 356 and the Volvo rally cars. (Not enough Bucklers showed up to have our own class)
Mike Furse did better than all of them in his RaceCorp, his Buckler calling in sick the day before.
What a day! The DD2 managing 63.21 on her first hill climb since the early sixties. Dad was so pleased he might give her an engine rebuild for Christmas.
We met lots of very interested people. Peter Tutthill was very excited when he found out KBH was Buckler based. He had once decided to purchase a DD2 frame and a AKS MK1 body in 1960 . He wrote to Bucklers for a quote and still has the reply. I don’t have any contact details for him as we met at the top paddock and I didn’t have a pen – a note should be made to all Buckler competitors at these events, – always carry a pen and piece of paper (for lightness it could be a pencil cut down to a just manageable length). He is the author of a book about The Cornish Davidstow Motor Racing Circuit.
Also a couple of other interesting chaps. One who has a friend (who he hasn’t seen for years !!!) who happened to be a Stunt Driver and had – or may still have – a Buckler. He had it for years and lived in Devon near Sidmouth. He says he will look him up and get in touch.
After much chinwagging it was sadly time to leave. So off to Jane’s for supper. Dad drove 800 KBH up over the Quantocks – the car not complaining once.
The next morning we opened the bonnet for the first time to check the oil and water. Nothing added, we closed her up again and after breakfast drove back to Wiscombe to spectate at the VSCC day. A lovely day was had by all. Unfortunately we missed Bob Halls and the Boyce’s, I don’t know how, I stood by the beer tent for the majority of the day!
Keith and I would like to thank Colin, the 500 Owners Association and Mike Furse for making this such a fantastic day.
Let’s hope that some more Bucklers can attend the next event.
This page is a little out of date…for that I apologise!
(working on it!)
2 Bucklers are entered for Shelsley Walsh Classic Nostalgia
28th July 2012 and Sunday 29th July 2012 Please try and visit to give them support!!
Richard and Keith had a great time…with Richard pulling 7000 on the top straight!!
The Westmorland Motor Club will run an invitation class for flatheads if sufficient of us show interest.
That will be at the meeting on Saturday 16th June:
It is not Class Z and not part of the HSA Championship, but a lovely little hill in a delightful setting with a superb local inn.
Richard de la Roche rounding Wis Corner at the
Wiscombe May 1012 500 OC meeting in the Smith/Buckler 500 sounding and looking great!! photo © Barry Harwood (thanks again Barry!)
This year’s French adventure was fantastic thanks to Johan and the Vannes Retromobile Club there are some 300 pix posted
here …pour votre amusement
See the next ‘Bucklering’ for more…
Keith Thomas about to go…. Wiscombe May 09. Keith managed a faster time than the Bobtail seen behind!!
This is a fantastic day and surprisingly easy to prepare for.
Award winning stand at RaceRetro 2008
Race Retro was a great success with Chris Johns fantastic set for SHO. David Montgomery had set up a great slide show which attracted lots of interest.
There was a static display for The historic Kart club that featured number 76 – seen on the right. photos to follow.
David Malin got a Silver Medal in the MCC Exeter this month
See David in action here (Allen Oakes video)
Race Retro 2008
The Kart display at the rally track was amazing. The atmosphere was fantastic and it was fun to see all the different karts actually belting round the equivalent of an Australian outback road. I didn’t actually hit a kangaroo but it sure felt like it in the pub afterwards. The pushers also deserve a thank you.
Simon had a technical hiccup but was able to show off a bit on Saturday and was caught on camera by the paparazzi trying to fix it with a big hammer. The other Mk2a ran quite well. We all suffered the terribly rough surface with bits falling off all over the place. 5 Buckler Karts were present… (6 if you count the static display) not all running but quite amazing that they have survived at all.
Thanks to the organisers for all their hard work.
800KBH has been spotted again at Wiscombe for the MGCC event
The Buckler Day 9th July 2006
The 2006 Buckler Register summer meeting, run and pub lunch near Rugby was a great success with 10 Buckler cars on the road ranging from early Mark 5’s ( one supercharged) to a competition prepared DD2. Supporting friends also brought along a couple of Shirley Ford Specials and an E93A based veteran replica and a Register member arrived all the way from Sunderland on a Rotary Norton, promising to drive his Buckler down as soon as restored.
In the hall at Long Lawford, wonderful refreshments were very kindly provided by our female navigators. There was a mind boggling Power Point presentation, albums of priceless old photos and a resin model of the prototype 90 ( now available to order). All in all an excellent day with good weather after a light shower. A meeting always worth attending.
Reports are coming in from The Historic & Classic Kart Club for Great Britain run Shennington meet where 117 classic karts appeared. 4 of them Bucklers ! more soon…
Re Barbon, Cumbria/ Yorkshire border, Nr Kirby Lonsdale.
The correct date Saturday 17 June.2006
Keith Thomas Mk5 & Keith Ambrose DD2 running.
Contact Westmoreland Motor Club for details ( their website not been updated since 2005!! )
A great day out apparently report soon !
STOP PRESS…Wiscombe 2006 was a great success with six Bucklers attending. Watch out for write ups in the new Buckler Newsletter
After a great weekend as a spectator at the ‘Speed On Tweed’
I have some news.
The Festival of Speed is a fantastic event, marred only by the lack of a Buckler racing round the Streets of Murwillumbah in New South Wales.
I met lots of interesting people, even a friend of Mr Roycroft the famous New Zealand driver who once owned the Simpkin 90 now owned by Steve Sharp.
Bruce Bloodworth is President of the Nota Register. He told me about his drive in the DD1 and that the Roycroft 90 was green with a yellow stripe from it’s very early days.
He also mentioned the Leighton DD2 and it’s Coventry Climax engine, that ended up in a Nota Prototype.
More write ups to come soon