Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Kapunda - Week 104.

This VN Commodore buzzes around Kapunda regularly. No it's not a police budget cut, just a hark back to the eighties.
I wonder if that's impersonating a police officer.

Saturday, November 9, 2019

In the Financial Review.




Motoring Writer


He’s in his late seventies, but Campbell Bolwell still wakes up each day dreaming of building the next great sports car. He’s done so for more than 60 years now, though by his own admission the succession of coupes and convertibles bearing his family name has never made money.
The ultra-passionate Victorian engineer and designer remains a hero to many, a sort of antipodean version of Lotus founder Colin Chapman. This year Campbell is celebrating a half century since the launch of his most acclaimed model, the Bolwell Nagari coupe, and he’s marked it by previewing an all-new two-seater model.
It’s called the Nagari 500, has a 6.2-litre V8, and a claimed weight of under 1000 kilograms. By comparison, the Chevrolet Corvette from which the engine is borrowed is more than 50 per cent heavier. The Nagari 500’s unitary body construction uses fibreglass, carbon and Kevlar in various combinations, incorporating aerospace technology and proprietary Bolwell processes.
“It’s basically a showpiece for our composite technology,” says Campbell. “We use the materials to maximise efficiency, that’s how we can get a supercar like this weighing less than one tonne.”
Bolwell has used its composite expertise to build everything from flight simulator cabins to playground equipment, turbine blades, yachts, caravans, truck bodies and garden furniture. But cars have always been the major passion for Campbell and the two brothers – Graeme and Winston – who joined him in establishing a large and diverse business. Bolwell now employs 90 people in Thailand and 60 in Australia building a wide array of products.
“It is all based on the cars, because people know us from the cars, and it opens all the doors to potential customers because they say ‘if you can do that, you can do this’.”
Campbell built his first car at 16. He began working at Coles as a management trainee, but his mind was elsewhere. “I was a petrol head and when I got to the age of 20 I sacked my boss.” With just £200 in the bank, he told his headmaster father he was going to build sports cars. “He rolled his eyes. But he’d always told me, ‘Campbell, whatever you put your mind to you can do.’ That was his philosophy, so he couldn’t really say no.”
A succession of low-slung machines followed, mainly with Holden mechanical components and fibreglass bodies. “I’ve got to admit I hated fibreglass, wet and sticky … the splinters get in your skin, you itch like crazy. But it allowed us to do complex curves. And of course the technology has gone a long way and you can see the result of technology we’ve now developed.”
Hundreds of the early Bolwell cars were sold, though mostly in kit form, and many were badly built by their owners. The brothers believed they could establish a reputation for high quality only if they sold a “turnkey” car. “Graeme worked at Lotus in the mid-1960s,” says Campbell, “and he came back bristling with ideas which we put into the early Nagari.”
This was their turnkey model and the spectacular styling (by Campbell and Graeme) made it the star of the 1969 Melbourne Motor Show. With an eight-cylinder engine it was also quicker than any of its predecessors. “We hate to say it sometimes, but we are a V8 culture,” says Campbell. “It struck a nerve with the motoring public immediately.”
That’s why the new car has a V8 – and one with 372 kW and the further option of adding a supercharger. A 2008 predecessor known as the Nagari 300 had a V6 and failed to sell. Campbell claims there were plenty of buyers, but they walked away after government approval processes that should have taken six months dragged on for four bureaucratic years.
The styling of the new car is a further development of that body, with a smoother profile and more balanced proportions.
About 100 examples of the original Nagari coupe were built, along with 18 convertibles. The 500 version is a one-off prototype, but Campbell insists it is almost production ready. He says his dilemma is whether to build a handful a year in his factory in Seaford, Victoria, or try to partner with a big manufacturer. “It has a lot of interest from overseas and they’re not talking ones and twos, they’re talking serious volumes.”
Either way, he can’t even guess a price as it will depend on so many factors. “But it’s not going to be cheap, it’s a hand-built car.”



Friday, November 8, 2019

More on the Brooksfield reunion.

 
Bob Hampton was one of the original members of the Crusaders Rod and Custom Club, one of the 4 Hot Rod clubs that got together and built the track. You don't seem to see working bees of this magnitude these days. He has directed us to this website.....http://www.speedwayandroadracehistory.com/two-wells-brooksfield-dragstrip.ht
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Bob waxes lyrical about Ken Virgin as everybody did in the period. Ken was a clever VW specialist who drove a beetle in every form of motorsport going at the time and winning always AND driving the car to and from the track on most occasions.


Some good work going on here.

This is Kevin Schramm's Nagari coupe, B8/51, with Fibrecar chassis. As you can see he's getting stuck into it. Kevin is in the Apple Isle.

Roger to the rescue.

We've featured this car before but it's raised its head again which is understandable as it's a regular around the Port Adelaide area. A rego check reveals it as a Simca but that is only because it once had a Simca engine in it.
Roger Wright Ok guys. Well we are going back a while here.
This car was built in Adelaide by a colleague of mine who worked with me in DCA, when I had my Bolwell Mk7 (RFN145) in the 70s.
The car was a Simca and the inspiration was a Ferrari Daytona.
The owner builder had the initials GAL and from memory they were attached to the front of the car.
While the car initially had all Simca running gear Peter Nelson and I suggested that the engine and gearbox be changed for something more modern. A Mitsubishi Sigma engine and gearbox replaced the Simca.
Good to see this car still in use and looking good.

Run to the Eagle.

Here's some more of Ben Finnis' photos.
Pete S. says...... I went in the Run with Howard Parslow in his 1951
LandRover....NEVER AGAIN!!! Bone jarring, slow, uncomfortable, noisy......but for a $1000
you would be happy with it. It made it there and back!!
Now, Ben, I bet you've got a duck in the Strathalbyn duck race.

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Favourite 3-wheelers No.56

This is a Reliant. Must be a fore-runner of the Robin.

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

The Bend West Circuit Clubman Nationals 2019



This is what the West circuit looks like.    Clubbie Nationals last weekend.

Monday, November 4, 2019

Babe.


Adelaide Rally.

The Adelaide-built Brabham BT62 will be seen at the Adelaide Rally this December. The 700hp supercar will be viewable at both the Gouger Street Party on Friday December 6th and will hit Rundle Road at Full Noise in a dynamic new addition to the rally for 2019 named The East End Finale. Here spectators can view the car traversing the specially created 500m long course on Rundle Road before seeing it up close along with just-released vehicles from manufacturers such as McLaren, Audi, Mercedes, BMW and Lamborghini. Rundle Road was historically used as part of the original Adelaide Grand Prix Circuit. Over 250 cars taking part in the Adelaide Rally will take to the course over 3 hours at the free event which commences at 2:30pm. All cars will be on display in the East End until 9:00pm.

Bolwell photo bombing.

A red Nagari among the Canstels.
And a familiar blue Mk.7 at the start of the Run to the Eagle.
I usually plan to get to the Eagle destination every second year when they head North but this time I had to stay home and wait for the arrival of a plumber who didn't turn up anyway. There were some very nice cars on the run.
What else happened on the weekend? Well, Corina got a new car for a start.
And then there was the Brooksfield Dragway Reunion.

Saturday, November 2, 2019

Kapunda - Week 103

The army comes to town.