Buckler Cars

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The Buckler Cars company founded by Derek Buckler and based in Reading, Berkshire, England produced approximately 400 cars between 1947 and 1962. The Company made many of its cars in Crowthorne, Berkshire and a plaque can be seen on the site of the former factory.

Unusual in featuring spaceframe construction at this date, the high quality cars were supplied either fully built to order with a works body or optionally and mostly in component form for home completion. They were designed to accept a range of mechanical components to enable buyers to create a lightweight sports car suitable for road use and in rallies, trials, speed hillclimbs or racing. The first model, based on Derek Buckler's own very successful 1947 Buckler Special, was called the Mark V, allegedly because he did not want people to think it was the first car. After prolific success in the early and mid-1950s, Buckler's popularity waned during the later 1950s as other manufacturers came on the scene and when the kit-car market suffered a reversal in the early 1960s. However Bucklers had considerable success entering the new Kart market in the 1960s but the founder had to sell his company as a going concern circa 1962 due to failing health. After that time the company seemed to lose momentum and the new owners closed down after a few years of spasmodic trading. Derek Buckler who had been in poor health for some time, died in 1964.

Jack Barlow, who had led the kart development, started his own company Barlotti in Reading. They produced karts until 1990.

As well as making cars, Buckler made gear sets for other companies including Lotus Cars. They also built the first racing car chassis for the Brabham MRD.

Car models[edit]

It was the policy of the company that the specifications of all the cars was very flexible around a central design concept, as each car, kit or chassis was built to order. Basically there were about 12 model types over a period of almost 20 years.

Model Name Year
Mark V 1949–1955 1172 cc Ford engine. Top speed 80 mph (130 km/h). Open 2 seater. 90-inch (2,286 mm) wheelbase.
Mark VI 1950–1955 Long 94-inch (2,388 mm) wheelbase version of Mark V.
Mark X 1950 1172 cc Ford engine. Open three seat aluminium body.
Mark XI 1950 Long-wheelbase Mark X.
Mark XV 1950 BMC A-Series engined cars.
Mark XVI 1950 MG based version of Mark XV.
90 1953–1957 1172 cc Ford engine. UK Works aluminium body designed by Derek Buckler. New Zealand bodies designed by Ferris de Joux.
DD1 1956 Coventry Climax 1098 cc FWA engine or FWB 1460 cc. De Dion rear suspension. Body as per Buckler 90 model above.
DD2 1957–1962 Various engines up to 2 Litres. Optional De Dion rear suspension.Mostly Microplas Mistral G.R.P. bodyshell, also Convair and AKS etc.
BB100 1958–1962 Backbone tubular steel chassis. Aluminium body designed by Derek Buckler.

See also[edit]


  • A-Z of Cars 1945-1970. Michael Sedwick and Mark Gillies. Bay View Books 1993. ISBN 1-870979-39-7

External links[edit]