Wednesday, July 23, 2008
Thursday, July 17, 2008
I've had this article on the Hoverjet (made by Bolwell) for ages. I was wondering, if you care to publish it on your blog, that someone may recall which issue of Aust. Playboy it appeared in. I suspect early to mid eighties.
Well, I remember the Hoverjet and I remember that you rode on it like a horse, a very wide horse, Clydesdale maybe. I also remember the Playboy article, it was written by NSW Club member, Rob Luck. I have a copy of it somewhere, I'll try and dig it out. Meanwhile, by the time I do that, hopefully someone will have answered your question via the comments provision.
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
Saturday, July 12, 2008
I took these pictures at the Goodwood Road tramstop about forty years ago. The place has certainly been tidied up since then. You probably didn't recognize it.
Wednesday, July 9, 2008
But wait a minute, it's white. Now this photo below was taken by me at Sandown in 1978. Holden used to take their specials on the road and this particular display, as you can see, features a tricked up Gemini panel van. I remember this particular occasion well as it was when Fangio ("the maestro") raced the W196 Mercedes GP car against Sir Jack in the BT19.
Anyway, this car at Birdwood was a white one but it didn't look freshly painted. In fact it looked remarkably like the white car in the GTR-X brochures. Then I started to think - wasn't there a time when the one and only GTR-X had a permanent home at the National Museum? Now that was a silver car. It stands to reason that there are two cars. I remember in the publicity of the time that they were supposed to have produced 3 cars. There was also talk around about then that there was an unused body out the back of the factory for ages. Everyone would have loved to have gotten their hands on that!
Monday, July 7, 2008
Sunday, July 6, 2008
B8/59 is well remembered by older South Australian Bolwell followers because that is where it began its life and because it was, and probably still is, a very formibable (change that to awesome) vehicle. It was put together in Daryl Siggs' workshop and used a GENUINE Cleveland Phase III HO engine, clutch, close ratio gearbox and LSD. Daryl was very generous in sharing his car and those of us who haven't driven it have certainly ridden in it. Many can attest to its ability to reach 90mph in 1st gear. In the hands of Keith English and Claus Malusczak it became a very brutal drag car and its battles with the 454 Corvettes in the early seventies are still remembered by ardent drag fans. Talking of Daryl's generocity, B8/59 became a self-drive wedding car for Ken and Monica Stratton. Locally, both the News and the Advertiser featured articles on this car and nationally, it appeared in Sports Car World on more than one occasion as well as Classic and Sports Car magazine.
In 1974, when Bolwell ceased producing the original Nagari and the South Australian dealership turned to other things, B8/59 and the coupe B8/90 were sold to a West Terrace prestige car dealer, Roger May Motors. This dealership was the subject of a bankruptcy petition and all the vehicles in the showroom, including the 2 Bolwells, disappeared overnight. B8/90 did reappear in another car yard some time later and some Jaguars turned up years later in Sydney but B8/59 was gone forever we thought. It did, however, reappear in Sydney as well and was used by Peter Wherrett in his "Torque" program on the ABC where we used to see it burst from a tunnel each week at the beginning of the show. Wherrett also wrote of it in his book of the same name. Part of that chapter referred to its penchant for overheating but I do recall that when it was driven it had the front opening filled with a "Torque" sign. After Peter Wherrett had used the car, we were informed that its owner had written it off in an accident, never to be resurrected.
I don't know who that Sydney owner was but I do know that it came to be owned, in 1976-77 , by a young woman in Surfers Paradise. She married a farmer who had no interest in it so for 2 years (1978-79) it was stored in a farm shed in the Armidale area.
Mike and Kerrie Pett, school teachers from Armidale, were out for a drive in the countryside in their MGA when they spotted the nose of what they thought was a Jensen-Healey sticking out of a shed and went to investigate. It turned out to be B8/59 and despite the roosting chickens, they bought it, with only 29,000 genuine miles on the clock. For two years, (1980-81) they used it regularly, even venturing to South Australia, where a number of us enjoyed their company on a winery tour of the Barossa Valley.
This is the car with a couple of familiar coupes, the yellow one being Garry and Rosemary Warren's B8/37 and the red one is B8/26, then owned by Deb and Udo Selter. B8/26 used to be yellow too and those two cars were almost twins and there's another story there too.
B8/59 was subsequently sold to finance the building of a new house and the new owner became Max Ullrich of Sydney. Many people may remember that Max brought it to the Mildura Easter weekend that year and I took a yellow Austin-Healey 3000 Mk.1. However, Max drove the Healey back to Sydney and the Bolwell came back to Adelaide as we swapped cars. B8/59 spent most of 1982 with Leah and me as Max went overseas for that time.
Here the car is sharing the company of B8/107, our silver coupe of the time. There's some interesting stories about that car too.
The above picture shows Max and one of his sons leaving our place (with an over-full boot) for the long drive back to Sydney.
Max sold the car soon after, as he became interested in racing Group N. All I know about the next owner is that his name was Les and he, too, was in NSW, but some time later the car went to Western Australia when it wa acquired by the Extravaganza Esplanade in Albany wher it was housed in the Paul Terry International Collection, until 1993 when the now red car was one of the major items in the Sotheby's Auction of the 12th of December. This is the relevant page from the catalogue.
It was bought at the auction by a Sydney man, over the telephone. I have never known who that was. Daryl Siggs tells me that he heard that he was a wealthy manufacturer of jeans. Who was he and does he still own it? Does anybody know?
Saturday, July 5, 2008
However, in between those 2 occurrences it lived in Spain. On the 14th July 1997, Ramon Lopez Villalba of Andorra, Madrid, wrote to Australian Automobile Association in Canberra asking for information to assist with the restoration of his car, Bolwell Nagari B8/44. This letter was passed on to the NSW club at the time. Ramon was the proprietor of a company called Hispakart, competition kart fabricators. It is interesting that Leo's young son, Jordy, races karts. I wonder if there is any connection. Leo has campained B8/44 for some time now. I wonder if he bought it in England or whether there is another country on the way to Belgium/Holland/Germany.
Meanwhile, UK Bolwell fanatic, Chris Camp, is racing a Mk.7 in historic events over there. (At least I think he still is). His car is featured in the gallery section of the UK Holden Register website. Hence the link.