Motorized Mayhem; an interview with professional stunt driver, Steve Buckley

“Stunt driving itself is an act of motorized mayhem; making a vehicle look out of control yet remaining in control at all times”
— Steve Buckley

Professional stunt driver, Steve Buckley has been working in the industry since 1979. In his words, a stunt driver is “behind the wheel anytime there is risk involved; skidding, sliding, vehicle impact with other objects, close proximity driving to other vehicles or people and going airborne or flipping…. Stunt drivers must be able to drive any car, in any condition, in any environment.” Mr. Buckley is one of the foremost authorities in the stunt driving community. “I have attended countless performance driving schools; Jim Russell, The British School of Motor Racing, AA FunnyCar School, Counter-Terrorism driving school, DirtFish Rally School and NASCAR driving programs.” Due to his long list of credentials, Buckley is ranked in the top ten best stunt drivers in the industry. “These schools weren’t necessarily meant to enhance my  stunt driving skills as much as giving me a full spectrum of knowledge to my overall driving ability” Though he has made an impressive resume being a performance driver, Mr. Buckley mentioned that his original intent was to go into some sort of law enforcement.

Success is never effortless. It takes commitment and resilience to pursue any type of dream
— Steve Buckley

In the early years of his career, Mr. Buckley was on the outside looking in. “I never knew if the time I was spending chasing the dream of being a professional driver was actually going to pay off.” He says, “Patience, timing, ability and a solid reputation go a long way when it comes to any form of professional driving.” In order to refine his skill, he worked on many low budget films before targeting larger stunt projects. Mr. Buckley has had a hand in an abundance of projects for numerous TV and film companies. Some of his favorite projects however, were some of the low budget ones. “The stunt driving industry works the same way any other contracted business works. You build your reputation; you make contacts and you send out your resume and credit sheet to production companies and keep your fingers crossed.” His advice to those wishing to enter the motorsports industry professionally would be “Start at the most economical level and learn the craft. Talk to people about shadowing them and possibly working odd jobs just to be involved. Not every driver starts behind the wheel; there are plenty of other jobs to be done to keep the current driver behind the wheel, out of trouble and for you to learn the inner workings of the motorsports industry.”

Mr. Buckley offers Performance Driving Consultation for track, personal and professional drivers. If you would like to contact him please send an email to: stuntdriver911@hotmail.com

My favorite thing to do is execute any type of performance driving WITHOUT the addition of computer generated effects. I want the adrenaline of balancing a vehicle on two wheels and driving around a track perfectly balanced; drifting in-between two cars and parallel park, jumping a car 200 feet and landing on one catch car, driving bumper to bumper – door handle to door handle at high speeds. My second favorite thing to do . . . is survive the day.
— Steve Buckley