More odd cars from Down Under

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GBt
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James Elliott
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Chris Martin wrote:

Just tweaked that Buckle photo as it was a bit dark, hope it shows better now. And if anyone is interested, that is a 1934 supercharged Graham lurking behind.

I can't see the Volvo similarity myself, but coincidentally, as with the Austin A40 sports above, Jensen also built the early Volvo P1800s. There seems to be a common thread going on here, I wonder if Mr Buckle had spies at Jensen, or the other way around?

C.M.

I'm another who reckons there is more than a passing resemblance to the Jensen 541 in that. Then again, if the Jensen didn't come out until 1955 either, it seems unlikely it was cribbed in that time.

 

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Chris Martin
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James Elliott wrote:

Chris Martin wrote:

Just tweaked that Buckle photo as it was a bit dark, hope it shows better now. And if anyone is interested, that is a 1934 supercharged Graham lurking behind.

I can't see the Volvo similarity myself, but coincidentally, as with the Austin A40 sports above, Jensen also built the early Volvo P1800s. There seems to be a common thread going on here, I wonder if Mr Buckle had spies at Jensen, or the other way around?

C.M.

I'm another who reckons there is more than a passing resemblance to the Jensen 541 in that. Then again, if the Jensen didn't come out until 1955 either, it seems unlikely it was cribbed in that time.

 

Well you may be right, but I just checked in my copy of 'Giltraps Australian Cars From 1879' and it says that the prototype was made in '55, but the photo shows a different car, with a rather plain typical fifties kit car look to it. However, the listing implies that production was from 1958 to '60, so the production car may well have been influenced by the Jensen.

Confusingly though, the entry in 'The Pictorial History Of Australian Cars' by Andrew Clarke states that after 25 cars were built in four years, Bill Buckle was losing money and threw his lot in with Hans Glas in 1958 to collaborate on the Goggomobil. The chronology is a bit conflicting according to which source we believe.

There is more info at;

http://www.carsguide.com.au/site/news-and-reviews/car-news/my_buckle_gt_tourer

and the report on that site interestingly claims that the chassis was designed by my one-time employer Ron Tauranac, Small world innit?

C.M.

 

AndrewWA
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Ha - am I the only person who has had a ride in both a Lightburn Zeta and a Giocattolo? From the sublime to the ridiculous I think...

Andrew Stevens

Chris Martin
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AndrewWA wrote:

Ha - am I the only person who has had a ride in both a Lightburn Zeta and a Giocattolo? ...

Quite possibly!

Tell us more..............

C.M.

 

Chris Martin
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James Elliott wrote:

I'm another who reckons there is more than a passing resemblance to the Jensen 541 in that. Then again, if the Jensen didn't come out until 1955 either, it seems unlikely it was cribbed in that time.

Further digging into Jensen history reveals that the 541 was first shown at Earls Court Show in October 1953! The prototype was bodied in aluminium and it was registered JEA 541, later restored with the registraion 674TBJ and is believed to still exist. The first production car in glassfibre was registered MEA 244 in October '54 and road tested by both Autocar and Motor magazines.

So it is more than possible Mr Buckle was, shall we say, influenced by the Jensen.

C.M.

 

Chris Martin
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Ok, so more Goggomobils then. Bill Buckle, as mentioned above, went into business with Hans Glas of Germany to prodice Goggo's under licence in Australia. I have no idea what he was thinking of, the roads here were the worst this side of the Carrera Panamericana, and a tiny low down plastic bodied kiddie buggy was not top of everyone's shopping list, but hey - it worked. The Goggomobil Dart produced by Buckle between 1959 and '61 weighed just 345kg and was powered by either a 300cc or 400cc twin two-stroke. About 700 were made, and they are today highly collectable. Other Goggos included imported Glas produced TS coupes and the Transporter van.

Glas by the way was bought out by BMW in the late sixties - Ultimate Driving Machine in the making?

C.M.