Tuesday, 9 May 2023

Bill Buckle passes away

Another legendary motoring man who fitted in so well with Maximum Mini has left us today: Bill Buckle, who designed, built and marketed his coupe version of the Mini from his Brookvale BMC dealership in Australia: the pretty Buckle Monaco. After having visited the 1953 London Motor Show, Buckle came up with the idea to launch a fibreglass bodied car in Australia. This became the 2.5 litre Ford Zephyr engined Buckle Coupe, which was made in very small numbers. His next vehicle, the Goggomobil Dart, was a real hit with about 700 made. 

In 1966 Buckle announced the Monaco as a conversion for the Mini. For $400 you could have your Mini or Mini Cooper converted in a sleek coupe with fibreglass roof. This new roof was made of polycarbonate and was supported by added hoops. The standard Mini front screen was raked back to give the body better aerodynamics. The rear screen was made of polycarbonate, while the side screens were Perspex. Around 30 Monaco’s were built, most based on Australian-built Mini Cooper S's.

Bill Buckle (left) in conversation with another legendary Aussie Mini man: Brian Foley
Picture Jeroen Booij archive, source unknown

The Buckle Monaco made its debut at the 1966 Sydney Motor & Boat Show
Picture Jeroen Booij archive

'Wheels' magazine was the first to test drive the car and this was its cover shot
Picture Jeroen Booij archive

'BB 818' was Buckle's demonstrator which featured in a great number of ads and articles
Picture Jeroen Booij archive

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