Ken Smith

Ken Smith was the proprietor of the Jolly Farmers pub in Enfield. After several seasons of motorcycle racing, he switched to 500s and built a series of specials. The first Smith Special was built during the later part of 1947 and early '48. His first appearance was for a sprint at Great Auclum in July but he failed to finish. He had more problems at the Brighton Speed Trials but finished eleventh (last?) but things improved at Prescott in September with a respectable sixth. A split fuel tank put him out of the Grand Prix in October to end the year. Ken was unable to race at all in 1949 but returned in '50. Success finally came with a second, to Don Parker in the Non Production race at Brands in August but disaster struck in October and the car was destroyed. Undaunted and realising that the first car could not compete with the production cars of Cooper, Kieft and JBS, he commissioned a space frame chassis form Buckler of Reading to which he attached the remaining suspension from the first car. The result, known as the Smith-Buckler, was a far more competitive proposition and Ken won the Non Production car race at the Commander Yorke meeting in August 1951 and at Snetterton plus some good heat placing to take second place in Autosport Trophy to Jack Moor's Wasp.

1952 started with a fourth at Boreham and third in his heat at Snetterton in May. The Commander Yorke meeting at Silverstone in August brought mixed results, a win in the heats but a DNF in the 100 Mile final but a return to Silverstone on 6th September brought a win and third on aggregate to Don Parker and Reg Bicknell. and a fourth place on the 20th.

1953 brought a third at Snetterton on 18th April to Parker and Gerard, a spin in the International Trophy at Silverstone in May meant a DNF then a third at the same circuit on the 16th and a second to Parker on the 30th at Snetterton. Disappointment followed in the Grand Prix but Ken took another second at Snetterton on 1st August, this time to Jim Russell and finally a win at Silverstone on the 8th. He was second in the Non Production car race, to the Revis of Reg Bicknell, at Silverstone for the Commander Yorke meeting and won the Silverstone 100, beating Moore, Bueb, Russell and Brise. September brought a third at Snetterton on the 12th then a fourth at Castle Combe on 3rd October and third at Silverstone on the 10th. A very successful year for a special, for which Ken received the Autosport Trophy for Non Production cars.

Ken gets it all wrong at Snetterton, June 1954

Ken continued with the Smith-Buckler into 1954 but with limited appearances and was in the final Smith Mk III before the end of the year, taking a third at Silverstone on 11th September. Shortly after, Ken sold the car to Henry Koring and retired.