Friday, October 31, 2008
Picture 1 shows the car under construction at the old Bolwell factory in the 60s.
Picture 2 shows Alan Newton about to gobble up (hopefully) the big blue Elfin in its heyday.Picture 3 is taken at Calder when John White was its custodian.
Picture 4 is from Queensland when it went up there for a crack at the big time Group A sports racing. Note the big wing on the back. In this photo you can see that they are in the process of extending the wheelbase.
Picture 5 is how it looks today basically, back to eligibility for historic racing. Ken Messenger transformed the car and campaigned it for a while before passing it over to Trevor Lambert who enjoyed a fair amount of success with it. Trevor has moved up to the big black Elfin ME5 which he bought in Germany (if you watch this space long enough, I'll have to do some stories about this monster) and now Colin McAskill is the new owner. Colin intends to keep it pretty much as it is except for the fitting of a larger driver's seat perhaps.
Thursday, October 30, 2008
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Here's a few photos of B8/91, "before and after". Peter Jones discovered this car in pieces somewhere back of Cairns. It was a very original car that had been stripped down after a front end smash and the owner never got around to rebuilding it. I was looking for an original car with ID plates etc to restore to add to my sports (B8/81) and after following a few leads, eventually Paul Smith put me in touch with Peter and a deal was done. The problem of getting a damaged car, fully stripped, down from Cairns to outback SA, was solved ingeniously by Peter. His business in Cairns shipped auto parts to the south sea islands and had an industrial shrink wrapping machine. From the photos you can see the tape holding the panels to the body and the shrink wrapping still intact after the journey from Cairns. The only extra damage was to the front suspension, which collapsed on the way to SA. All the bits and pieces were safely cocooned inside the shrink wrap and all arrived intact. One photo shows the car after body repairs. This car was originally sold new in Adelaide, then travelled to Sydney before ending up in far north QLD. It took me almost 5 years to restore it and I drove it for a year before deciding that two Nagaris were one too many. I sold it to the Healey Factory in Melbourne and I believe the car is in Victoria.
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Monday, October 27, 2008
Sunday, October 26, 2008
Saturday, October 25, 2008
Friday, October 24, 2008
Robert H. Grant don't seem to appear in the Yellow Pages any more and I'm not sure if they still exist. I haven't checked 274 Ferntree Gully Road on Google Maps to see if a foundry is still there. It's quite possible because these days EPA issues preclude using land like that for most other things. Well that's the situation around here anyway.
Thursday, October 23, 2008
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Friday, October 17, 2008
Below is Colin (Lucas not McAskill) using a razor blade on the bonnet to get back to blue with a big wide red stripe up the centre. When it is all off it will be interesting to see what this colour scheme is like. It is difficult to walk past the car without compulsively peeling a bit more off, a bit like biting fingernails I guess.
Monday, October 13, 2008
This one, above, is a monstrous Australian Special which is now called "Big Red" mainly due to its Barossa connections. It was built in the 50s on a Mk.4 Jaguar chassis with a Customline motor and it goes like the clappers. Carl Lindner owns it and Doug Lehmann gets to drive it.
In this picture is the DBR2 inspired special of club member Ken Messenger (Ken is a former owner of the Bolwell SR6). Alongside it is the Ricardian which every ageing SA racegoer will be familiar with and will have to be a subject of discussion in a future post one day.
Here are two identical Healeys (well, almost). They are both genuine 100S models and both painted in that familiar white and dark blue livery. One of them, and I'm not saying which one, donkeys years ago had a crash which required a reconstruction of the front panel. The job was done to perfection and the untrained eye would not notice that the grille on one is in a lower position than the other.
Tony Cullen (of Ikara fame) has built this Alfa as a tribute to the one he used to have as a boy. He's not afraid to give it a bit of stick either and the lighting up of the tyres on the few corners of the Lobethal circuit were something to be seen. I reckon this would have had to have been the most photographed car of the weekend.
I don't seem to be able to present a collection of nice old cars without including a Vauxhall 30/98, or "Thirsty" as we used to call them. There were 2 there this weekend, the other one was a yellow Velox bodied one. In the twenties, when they were built, there were as many sent to Australia as there were remaining in England. Many of them are finding their way back to the UK these days. Must be more money over there. Patrick Ryan's 30/98 sticks in my mind more than his early Bolwell special, I'm slightly embarrassed to say. I've never owned one, but did have an example of its little brother, the 14/40.
Friday, October 10, 2008
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
Tuesday, October 7, 2008
Monday, October 6, 2008
Meanwhile, here's some photos I found of the same car when it used to live at Roger and Carole's in Northcote, home to some pretty good pre and post 6-hour parties.
The Cortina air extractor vents are evident in one of the pictures. They lived with the car for a very long time. I like the front blinkers. This must certainly be the car from the Mark 5 brochure, because, apart from the very rare (for Bolwells) Rudge Whitworth hubs and wire wheels, the bar through the centre of the mouth is noticeable in one photo.
Sunday, October 5, 2008
"I'd be willing to bet a considerable amount of your money that it is the Austin Freeway/Cambridge rear window! I had heard years ago that it was the Austin one but can't remember from whom. Maybe George or Royce." Not only the Freeway and the Cambridge, but the back windows were also shared by a particular model Morris Oxford and the Wolseley 24/80.
I used to have a photograph of an Adelaide based Mark 5 (whereabouts now unknown) that even had the chrome surround. It looked very smart. Beven may now have the photo because I remember seeing that very image on the cover of the August 2005 SA Slipstream.
Saturday, October 4, 2008
Someone told me that they were from FB/EK model sedans, then somebody else reckoned that FE, FC, FB and EK were all the same. I've just had a look at an FB up the street and neither is true. They seem to have a bit more of a curve in them. I remember Campbell saying years ago that he thought they had used Austin Freeway back windows. Here's an Austin Freeway back window below. Maybe he's right. I still support the Holden notion.
I've never broken one so haven't had to worry about it really.
I recently read in a Jaguar Club publication that the "Elgaram" windscreen was also an FE/FC back window. There are pictures of it elsewhere in this blog. What do you think? It doesn't look much like a Mark 5 but by comparison, it has much more of a rake on it.
And here it is being pushed into the yard. I get to steer. I get all the easy jobs. Yes that is a WW2 Willys Jeep in the background (being tidied up for the Bay to Birdwood the following Sunday). The Mark 5 has now been fitted with a brand new starter motor so at last we could start it up and it sounds great. It has a Commodore rear end, hence the flares that were on it, but unlike the front spoiler, they will go back, but will be moulded into bodywork. I will keep posting photographs from time to time as progress is made.
Friday, October 3, 2008
From time to time I have had a bit of a hand in sourcing some of the parts that make it authentic. Steering wheel, steering wheel centre badge, gearshift boot and chrome surround, door handles, window winder mechanism, interior mirror, switches etc. etc.
Peter Jones found the car in Tasmania where it had been stored in a shed since 1984 and had it transferred to Cairns where he was then living. He and his good friend and co-owner, Ron Cheeseman, then set about a meticulous rebuild that involved a complete strip down with everything being restored and replaced bit by bit. The only things missing are the "Bolwell" and "Nagari" badges for the rear panel which somehow got lost in the process. New ones have been ordered and will be fitted when they arrive. It would be fair to say that they have over-spent on this car and would never be able to recoup their outlay. It would also be fair to say that the $72,000 asking price would be very realistic because it is better than new as everything is new or restored anyway. It drives very, very well.
Any interest can be directed to Ron Cheeseman on 0419 655425 or 07-4032 2622 or email him on firstname.lastname@example.org