Friday, June 26, 2009


A couple of weeks ago I had an email from Michael Mira, a doctor who lives and works in the Balmain area. He was wondering (as you do) where his old Nagari might be. As it turned out I was reasonably familiar with his "old Nagari". He was able to tell me that he had "bought it in 1974 from a Dr. Opie in Turramurra who had had it built up by the garage in Haldon Street, Lakemba, the NSW Bolwell agents at the time. It had a warm 351 Cleveland (personally I'd say it was warmer than warm!), red in colour, green carpets and an airconditioner which extended through the bulk head into the boot. Can't remember the build number but, when it was sold to a Paramatta Rd dealer in 1980-1981 (to finance my final year of medicine) it was still registered OP 009."
Well, Michael's old car was B8/76. I recall Dr. Opie as being quite a character who already had a 302 powered Nagari that he used to race. When he decided on a road car it had to be much more powerful in case he had the need to outrun the cops.
Somebody in Brisbane bought it from the Paramatta Road dealer and eventually sold it to Peter Ingram-Jones in Cairns. Peter had the car for 20 years before Peter Schmidt from South Australia bought it in about 2006.
I sent Michael some photos of the car which were taken when it was living here with us in Kapunda for a while so I thought I'd share them with everybody else, see below.
They look fairly nice when you click on them to enlarge them. So nice, maybe, that Michael wanted to know if the present owner was sick of it yet. I can confidently report that the answer is "no" to that one. Anyway, Michael is in the market for a Nagari and last I heard he was checking out B8/5. B8/7 and B8/49.


Anonymous said...

John, I have a P. Opie as possibly being the original owner of B8/7 prior to Steve Webb, does that correspond with your records, we know that the car was rebodied by the factory as a Sports during Steve Webbs custodianship, do you know any of it's previous history?


P.S. B8/76 seems to have had lots of body mods, but I think it's the first car I have noticed with the cast wheel centre or steering wheel centre as it's front nose badge.

John L said...

B8/7. That's Dr. Opie's race car that I mentioned. If Michael buys that one what a co-incidence would that be? Prior to Peter having it down your way, Michael was very aware of it because Andrew, who owned it then, lived just around the corner from him. I bet he doesn't know it used to be a coupe even.
Yes, B8/76 has had a lot of mods, more than you think, and that's a story in itself. I might have to do that one on the weekend.

Glenn K said...

Hi John,

I used to go the school with Dr. Peter Opie's son, also named Peter.

When I was about twelve, I used to ride in his 351 Nagari... but only after we gave it a good wash as payment!

I remember him once taking us for a Sunday morning blast up the expressway heading north out of Sydney. We pulled up next to a cop at the toll gates at Berowra. He asked Dr. Opie, "How fast does she go?" After a bit of banter, they agreed to have a race to Mt. White. We beat the police car there by several minutes! I recall Dr. Opie commenting on the fact that the front was starting to get a bit light. I looked across at the speedo and we were doing something around 150mph.

My mother was not impressed when I got home and told her the story!

If that car ever came up for sale, I would love to buy it to replace the Nagari I sold to Keith Connor. What a mistake that was! No offence Keith :-)