Wednesday, August 20, 2008

4 Nagaris

Here is a random picture that happens to show four Nagaris. I dragged it out because of the relevance to some discussions that have been taking place recently. It was taken at one of the early Mt. Gambier Easters. We had 18 Bolwells at this particular event which was pretty good for those early days. In the foreground is the yellow example of Garry Warren's, which to this day, remains in very original condition (even retaining the original yellow colour). In the first year of its life it was an auto but in its subsequent 37 years has had the customary 4-speed. Next to it is car number 35 (2 numbers before Garry's). It, too, started life in the same shade of yellow, as did Henry's no.36. That's at least 3 in a row. I reckon they must have had a 44 gallon drum of yellow paint. All 3 cars were kits. I even heard that Henry took delivery of his chassis and worked on it while the body was being made and then took the rolling chassis back to the factory for the body to be fitted. No.37 was the first Nagari assembled at Daryl Siggs' Governor Young Auto Port. Anyway, back to number 35 which by then (still in the seventies) had become dark metallic green with 2 white stripes up the centre. It was powered by a 186 Holden 6 and had auto trans and was owned by Colin Sullivan. This was one of about 3 or 4 Holden 6-cylinder powered Nagaris and it has been mentioned before that all of them have been turned into Ford V8s in the end, as was this one in 1983 after it had been acquired by Peter Bartolo.

The orange Nagari disappearing out the gate was, believe it or not, powered by a 4-cylinder Ford Pinto or Cortina engine. It seemed quite adequate and was able to propel the car along at 100mph. What more could you want really. Tim Backhouse owned it at the time. I have no idea where he bought it or where it went after Tim disposed of it. I have heard though that it did end up with the customary Ford 302 in it. Not knowing its chassis number I can only guess. All I have been able to come up with is Sean Brennan's orange coupe, no.14. The only car to fit the bill, being an early one, orange and relatively basic. Sean has had the car for donkeys-years now. It sits in a museum in country NSW as Sean currently resides overseas. Perhaps if Tim or Sean or the original builder or someone else reads this they might be able to throw some more light on the subject.

Finally, the green car, which was a Porsche colour, number 84. This car belonged to Michael Hodgson. After many long years Michael came out of the blue and contacted the forum. I said I thought I could produce a photo of the car but so far this is all I have been able to come up with. In 1980 it was sold to Peter Carpenter and subsequently painted red.


Anonymous said...

Hi John
Now Sean Brennan brings back memories - he had a Nagari in his days in Canberra and borrowed the bonnet from the convertible body that I fitted to what number - Van Elsen chassis no 86. I recently heard of Sean at the Waterhouse - Reliance workshop as he had visited in yet another recently purchased high horsepower machine. He copied the bonnet at a local fibreglass shop. I will now ask the questions of how to get in touch.


Tony Briton
PS there appears to be a few cars coming out of the woodwork - are U sure there were less than 200.

Anonymous said...

John, I've got some photos of B8 84 when Peter Carpenter owned it and painted in Guards Red, another Porsche colour. If I can remember to scan them on the weekend I'll send them to you.