Saturday, September 6, 2008

Bolly 5's Mark 5

We have a guest author today. It's Alex, AKA Bolly 5.

Here's the run down on my Mark5.

My brother and his girlfriend bought the car from Barry Sparks in Geelong at around 1977/1978 for $700. It housed a grey motor with triple SUs and a three speed box and, if I recall correctly, 135 mph was its top speed with a tendency for the front end to lift.

It was painted silver and registered (LFO-???) but a bit of a wreck with odd sized rear wheels, broken rear bubble window, ripped seats etc.

It was housed next door at his girlfriend's parent's house as there was no room in our dad's garage. He relied on his mates to work on it as he is not mechanically minded. After a few years he and his girlfriend broke up with no progress on the car having been made except for some parts having gone missing. I then decided to buy it off them, my brother giving me his half for nothing and I paid his ex $350 for her half. I was able to stow it in dad's garage for a short time.

Around that time I started a motor mechanic apprenticeship. The first two years of my apprenticeship were carried out in Melbourne and having exhausted the use of dad's garage for storage, I took up an offer from a work collleague to store it at his mother's place. So off to Gippsland's ninety mile beach it went and stayed in the open for about two years. Too far to travel even if it was to have been housed so that you could work on it. The only progress made was by others having removed more parts.

I then left that job and continued my apprenticeship in Geelong where once again the car was housed in dad's garage, this time for four years. Being a single car garage, you just didn't have the room to work on it. I then went into the Navy and the car was transferred from the garage up to a 45 acre bush block that dad and I purchased. There it remained, placed up on blocks and covered over with a Vic Rail tarpaulin for ten years.

When I got out I was married with two kids and settled in a town near Geelong called Bannockburn. Now I have my own big shed to house and work on my car. Seven years later, having worked around the house, working a full time job and never having money to spare for the Bolwell, no progress was made. Having realised that our house has not got a dishwasher, we then commenced to build a bigger house in the same town. This once again means a big shed to house the Bolwell, work around the house, work a full time job and never have money to spare for the car.

We recently sold the bush block and I said to the wife "the one thing I've always wanted is a yank tank" and a yank tank I got. I used to drive a big Yank Chrysler when I was about 16 and ever since then Tanks have stayed close to my heart. It's a 1961 Chrysler Newport with fins and, as far as I can find, there are only two others in Australia at present.

Anyway, now that the work around the house is slowing up and the kids are growing up, I can spare some time on my cars. All that is left of the Bolwell is a rusty chassis, with the body, bonnet and doors in poor condition, new rear window purchased a few years ago, front end, tailshaft, rear leaf springs and windscreen. Well there you go, John, that's Alex's Bolly 5 story. I'll be continuously after information, John, so if you don't mind I'll pick your brains as much as I can.

Via the blog, Alex, you can pick the whole country's brains. I look forward to progress reports.


Jim said...

Thanks for writing about your car, Alex. Is the chassis a sheet metal "monocoque" one? Is it restorable or will you need to fabricate a new one?

bolly 5 said...

Hi Jim,
The chassis consists of sheet metal flooring.
With regards to "monocoque", I believe you are inquiring if it has been strengthened through the tunnel to which the answer is no it has'nt.
I will need to fabricate a new chassis partly due to the exposure to weather the bolly has been subject to and partly due to the poor workmanship in the original assembly.

Jim said...

Thanks Alex. Good luck and enjoy the process.

Colin said...

Good luck with the project Alex. I will be towing through Melbourne early the week after next with my MK 5 if you need any measurements and such. I realise you are Geelong way tho. We spaceframed my first sheet metal monocoque in 1973 as the entire car had developed a bad flex due to incorrect chassis repairs. Thats me in the photo John put up on the blog showing the standard rear of an orange Mk 5. My current car is to undergo a cosmetic restoration prior to Easter 2009. Its a spaceframe car built by Ian Napier in North Balwyn in 1968, last registered in 1977 but will be on Historic rego by Xmas this year.

bolly 5 said...

Hi Colin,
I work in Port Melbourne just off the highway. If you let me know the exact day you are travelling thru, I can check my roster to see if I'll be at work and if so that would make it easier for both of us.

Colin said...

Hi Alex.
we will be in Melbourne overnight so I will be able to meet you. I am on 0404 379 271.

bolly 5 said...

What day are we taking?
I'm a shift worker which means I'm not there everyday.