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  • Electra ‘Buck 2A’ Tether Car

    The car comprises of a ‘Buck 2A’ chassis kit by Electra with hand made polished metal bodywork. A 6cc Stentor engine drives through a clutch providing power to a rear axle. Wheels and tyres are original ZN, which with the other components would date the car to about 1947/48. Fuel tank and ignition coil lurk behind the nose of the car which sports a badge from the North London Society of Model Engineers.

    In 1944 the Drysdale Press publication, ‘Model Race Cars’, had printed details and plans for Gerry Buck's 2A car; The chassis rails were pressed aluminium, tapered in depth and width and splayed at the front, so very difficult to make. Sometime after 1946, Sid Smith, who was operating from Chatham under the Electra Engines name, produced a number of chassis kits based on the design of Buck’s 2A model.

    The North London Society of Model Engineers was founded in 1944 to promote model engineering and it’s related pastimes.

    Dimensions: 47.5 cm/18¾ inches (length) x 22 cm/8⅝ inches (width) x 16 cm/6¼ inches (height)

    Tether Cars are model racing cars powered by miniature internal combustion engines. The cars are attached to a central post by a steel cable in such a manner that they are able to repeatedly run around a circular track. Tether car racing started in California in the late 1930’s. The cars race individually and the winners are determined based on average speed of several laps. Early engines (prior to the 1950s) had spark ignition systems. Later engines use glow plug ignition. A Glow Plug engine, or Glow engine, is a type of small internal combustion engine typically used in model aircraft, model cars and similar applications. Glow engine fuel generally consists of methanol with varying degrees of nitromethane content.

    Early in the 1940’s with several cars already under construction around the UK, the emerging sport of tether car racing received significant promotion from D.A. Russell, owner and editor of the Aeromodeller magazine. As well as describing the building of his magnificent 1/5th scale model SS100 in 1942, Russell also organised a competition and presented the ‘Aeromodeller Trophy’ for tethered cars. This brought entries from a number of modellers who would become the backbone of the sport in its early years. None of these would be more influential than Gerry Buck from Stoke on Trent who won the over 6cc class and would lead the pursuit of speed for the next 6 years.
    Following the success of the Aeromodeller competition, a rally was organised in 1943. This would be the first proper tethered car meeting in the UK. Gerry Buck travelled down from Stoke with his #2 car, and he amongst others would go on to form one of the earliest clubs, The Pioneer Club, based at the Horticultural Halls in London.
    D.A. Russell formed the British Model Car Club in 1944 and later, through the Drysdale Press, published Model Race Cars, which described many of the early cars and advertised plans for 7 of the ‘pioneering designs’ to encourage the ‘home constructor’. These included Gerry Buck’s Buck 2A, the most successful and well-developed car of the period, increasing the outright speed record on numerous occasions and becoming an iconic image of British tethered car racing.

    Frederick Gerald (Gerry) Buck was born in Hanley, Stoke on Trent on the 18th August 1916. After education at the junior and High School in Hanley, Gerry was apprenticed to Howell Stanway, a very large electrical engineering company in Hanley. His love of models was already well established, and so it was a short step to joining the newly established North Staffs Model Engineering Society where he was introduced to the delights and possibilities of internal combustion engines. He had previously built a whole succession of model boats so the combination of model boats and small internal combustion engines was too strong to resist. 1943 brought his best known creation and the most easily recognised tethered car ever, the ‘Buck 2A’. At an informal meeting that year, run on 14ft lines, 2A averaged 67mph for the ¼ mile for a new, but unofficial, British record.
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    Price £10,000-20,000

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