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the Saga of SUG 55

 
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Rhys Nolan
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Joined: 01 Jan 1970
Posts: 5

PostPosted: Sat Mar 16, 2019 1:37 pm    Post subject: the Saga of SUG 55 Reply with quote

SUG 55, the “Staniforth Buckler”.
When I went to look at the 2 Bucklers which had been in the custody of John Gough, sadly now deceased, I had no idea that one of them might have been such a significant car in so many ways.
Seeing the car surrounded by brambles and weeds it was obviously still savable but that it would be no small task. I was very concerned about the Mk10 nearby, in a whole lot worse state, should be saved, but hugely beyond my capabilities. I really hummed and harred about the Mk 5, still had no idea, but in discussion with John’s family we agreed a deal.
The next major issue for me was where I might put it, and associated parts. As the executors said, he (John) was a hoarder, but at least in an orderly way, but he had kept the original photos and such, many sets of papers for Ford 10 type vehicles that he must have dismantled, as there were many sets of axles, electrical components and sundry “stuff”. Amongst all of that out popped the V5C for SUG. What a joy!
As I travelled home my mind was in the “What have I agreed to?” mode, but being Bucklerless has been preying on me since I let TTX go to the flipper who had me jump through hoops a while back. Once I got home and passed on the fact that I was going to rescue the car the floodgates opened! Thanks to all of you who have brought me up to speed on the significance of SUG 55.
Allan Staniforth has been one of the inspirations for me hanging about on the periphery of motorsport since my older sister bought me High Speed Low Cost for one of my birthdays, probably my 19th, and that’s 50 years ago. I still have the book, and some of his others. To be able to bring back to life a car of which he says “It is pretty clear that the Austin 7 and even more the Buckler laid the foundation of a lifetime of enjoyable obsession with racing and hillclimbing for wheeled vehicles” can only be a good thing? And meant to be?

So here we embark on a journey, from where it is now, surrounded by weeds and brambles, to perhaps close to how it was when he used it for almost everything, rallied, raced, hill climbed, daily user and office duties in his employment as a journalist, trips to France….

Having seen it in the garden did have me trepidatious, but when the lovely folks dealing with the estate offered to get some friends around to help drag it to a trailer, I thought it might be easier. So, I arranged to hire a trailer, phoned and emailed Buckler folks to extract all the other “stuff” and assist in paying for the house clearance.
The adjacent small garden shed was stacked to the brim with Ford parts, so an agreement was reached to salvage that for the common good. I think we took away 5 engines, several gearboxes, multiple front and rear axles, and a lot of starters and dynamos.

When I arrived Jon (nephew in law of John Gough, deceased owner) had a number of friends, so we each grabbed something and went to lift/drag it out, however it simply rolled up the slope of the garden with all wheels rotating! The steering was less co-operative, however we simply pushed it up onto the trailer, and then proceeded to load other parts around, on top of and inside, both the trailer and my estate car.
The other car wasn’t much more difficult!
Now this photo of apiece of aluminium may not seem too significant, however, if you look at this wonderful photo which Allan gave to the Buckler Register when he wrote the foreword for the Buckler book, you will see that actual piece as the seat base in the passenger side, and I have both sides, as well as the driveshaft “tunnel” which can be seen under Allan’s left elbow.
Of course, there are a myriad of pieces missing, however such little jewels which connect the heritage are very valuable, to me at least. One of the delights was to find the bracket which holds the dynamo (generator in my language) It can also be seen at the front of the car, and according to his letters the holes were drilled by hand!


Having got the assemblage home it was an interesting conversation with the “household management” Understandable?

An hour or so later and it was all somehow squeezed into my workshop, which already had 2 cars, so squeeze was the appropriate term.
Next day (Sunday), I proceeded to pull it all to pieces. Engine and gearbox out, front suspension off. Coffee time, then the rear axle came out. As we all know a disassembled car usually takes up more space than a complete one, so there is now part of the body shell in the back garden, chassis is now on it’s side , also in the garden awaiting the very minor piece of tube replacement, the front section of the body has migrated up the road to a neighbour’s driveway and the rest is somewhere in the shed.
Working on my personal principle that I should do, buy, make something every day, progress has been made.
The entire front axle is now ready for paint ready to go back into the frame when it has been fixed, stripped and painted. The brakes already had NEW components entirely. Brake adjusters, wheel bearings, studs, hub nut, brake shoes, operating system, the lot apart from drums, and they have seen little use, no scoring, pitting etc. All that was needed was a bit of time and emery paper to clean off the light brown surface rust.

The photos show that Allan had used the Buckler “Split axle” suspension system, however that is gone. Given his later prowess, and statements about fixed roll centres, camber change and such like I wonder if he changed that before the car left his ownership?
David Montgomery had spotted that the frame triangulating the rear axle had been moved, and it’s now confirmed this is the correct rear axle for the car, with a higher ratio differential. Yet another AS part!
Well what would you expect? I have just pulled the first rear axle brake drum off, apart from the spider’s webs inside, clean, shiny and new.
Oh, and I freed up the pedals, they are all now moving nicely!

Today raised another highlight in that, through the efforts of Keith Thomas I have been put in touch with a family friend of the Staniforths. We had a longish chat and he is going back to them to ask whether they have anything more to offer, and if they would like to see this epistle.
Now I have established contact with Clare, Allan’s daughter. How cool is that?


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Dave-M
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Joined: 20 Jan 2006
Posts: 293
Location: Yorkshire, England

PostPosted: Sun Mar 17, 2019 9:16 am    Post subject: MK 6 Reply with quote

Rhys, I have a couple of questions to ask about your car, would you like me to start a new post, to keep this thread totally about your restoration, or ask them here?
Regards, Dave
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Rhys Nolan
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Joined: 01 Jan 1970
Posts: 5

PostPosted: Sun Mar 17, 2019 12:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Where ever is fine Dave. As long as things are on topic I'm happy.
Today's task was stripping off the tyres from rims, doing it the old fashioned way, levers and a rubber mallet. I had forgotten how hard 40 year old tyres are.
They are now at the tip, and the wheels ready to cut the rims off and fit NEW "hoops". After all Lotus rims as per the original advert which was osted on the facebook site are exactly that, Ford centres, 15" outers welded on.
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Dave-M
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Location: Yorkshire, England

PostPosted: Sun Mar 17, 2019 12:12 pm    Post subject: MK 6 Reply with quote

Rhys, I promise to stay on topic.
What I would like to ask is:-
1) Why is there no water pump fitted to the motor.

2) The engine looks to be in very good condition externally, was it rebuilt and fitted recently? It looks too good to have been buried under grass and brambles for any length of time and is it a Saniforth modified engine?
Regards, Dave
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GT with Rochdale Chassis
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Rhys Nolan
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Joined: 01 Jan 1970
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 17, 2019 12:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Of course the photo is "as found". My understanding is that it got this far when owned by 2 brothers by the name of Duggan who lived in Abertillery and was advertised for sale like this in 1976. They had purchased it in 1973.
It was then in Wolverhampton until a few weeks back, when I collected it.
No water pump, I suspect the Duggans never got that far. As I have very close contacts with a cooling system company it will be as well looked after in that area as I can. It won't get an "export water pump" as they aren't known for their efficiency, but will have some out of period 21st century technology.
Engine? Equally I don't know about when or what. There is no front engine mount plate, nor engine mounts. It seems to me to be probably unmodified, note oil bath aircleaner, single carb..There were several engines with the "stuff", none with the twin carbs or anything, so probably long gone.
Allan in much of his notes mentions , twin SU, "crude 4 branch manifold", of course 1172 Formula at that time mandated standard camshaft, but he did admit to playing with the head. I have several, one looks to have been modified some.
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Dave-M
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Location: Yorkshire, England

PostPosted: Sun Apr 14, 2019 5:23 pm    Post subject: MK 6 Reply with quote

Rhys, Any developments?
I am waiting with great anticipation on the restoration of this important Rochdale.
Regards, Dave
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