The Buckler Cars company founded by C D F Derek Buckler (pictured) was based at 67 Caversham Road, Reading, Berkshire, England and produced approximately 400 cars between 1947 and 1962.
In about 1947 Buckler took over the Welco Farm Implements Ltd at Crowthorne, Berkshire and a plaque can be seen on the site of the former factory.
In 1939 Buckler started a precision engineering business in Reading which undertook work for the motor trade. In 1947 they began to produce sports cars, primarily for racing.
Buckler's were unusual in that they featured spaceframe construction. The cars were of high quality and 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. Buckler allegedly 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 ill health Buckler sold his company as a going concern in 1962. Once Buckler sold the company it seemed to lose momentum and the new owners, Mike Luff and Frank Fletcher, closed it down in 1965. 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.
In addition to making cars, Buckler's made gear sets for other companies including Lotus Cars. They also built the first racing car chassis for the Brabham MRD.
During the 1950s Buckler's were exported globally. In New Zealand Arthur Harris managed Buckler (NZ) Limited. The first Mk90 registered to race in New Zealand in October 1956 was owned by Merv Mayo and powered by a Ford 100E engine.
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.
|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 GRP bodyshell, also Convair and AKS etc.|
|BB100||1958–1962||Backbone tubular steel chassis. Aluminium body designed by Derek Buckler.|