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HBC 508

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 "BBS".)

Date of Manufacture March 1951. First registered 29 September 1951

Model Mark 5

Builder H.M.Barron who used his second name Malcolm.

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 events.

Buckler independent front suspension conversion.

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 Laystall head.


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 sprint).

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 1968.

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 number NPO307 and racing number 35 or 38?.

Malcolm Buckler and Peter Silverthorne records

Extract of letter from Pete Cresswell Jan 2009 (Thanks Pete)

Dear Simon
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 Peter Gammon.

Hope this helps fill in some history of HBC 508.

Best regards




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