Saturday, November 7, 2009

A European Nagari mystery.

Most of the Bolwell fraternity would, by now, have read in the club forum or by the various other means of the Spanish Nagari. A large number of photographs (just a few are reproduced here) and correspondence was relayed to the now almost defunct Bolwell club website and susequently relayed to the recognised spokesman for all things Bolwell, Graham N. I will summarise the letter from Madrid which was written by "Joe". Joe is a car restorer working solely for a 78 y o man by the name of Ramon who drives and races, among other things, such delectables as a Porsche GT2 993 (525bhp), a 1963 Ford V8 powered TVR Griffith 400, a split window model Corvette Panamericana racer, a 2000cc BMW powered (210bhp) Chevron B8 GT and a Seat Leon 2 litre "endurance version" (310bhp). Ramon also has a Bolwell Nagari coupe (see pictures below) and it has come time for Joe to begin its restoration, hence the letter seeking advice and parts sources. Ramon was formerly proprietor of a Renault dealership and now, in retirement, plays with his cars with Joe as his full time employee. The Bolwell is B8/44 (see chassis plate). The owner is aware that the car was originally delivered to a South African customer and the original colour was yellow (another one).
I have a somewhat sketchy knowledge of the car which is as follows. Yes, it went new from Australia to South Africa minus engine and gearbox I believe. Some time in the nineties it turned up in the UK ("for sale" advertisements stated that it was from South Africa I seem to recall). On the 14th July 1997, Ramon Lopez Villalba of Andorra, Madrid, wrote to the Australian Automobile Association in Canberra requesting information to assist with the restoration of his car, Bolwell Nagari B8/44. Some time later the letter was passed on to the NSW Bolwell Club to deal with. Prior to this (early 90s I'm told) it was briefly owned by Victorian member and UK resident, Chris Camp, who owns a Mark 7 over there. In 1999 a Nagari coupe, painted in the pale blue and tangerine colours of Gulf Oil and believed to have been B8/44 was advertised in "Autosport" magazine for 15,000 pounds which was quite a sum in those days we thought. Anyway, in 2007 and 2008 we were aware of a Belgian man, living in Holland who raced a Nagari B8/44 in European GT events, predominantly in Germany. The homologation papers to allow him to race were based on that chassis number which produced the year of manufacture. I have copies of those papers somewhere. I must dig them out. I must say I haven't heard from Leo, the Belgian race driver, for about a year now. Anyway, if Ramon has had this car sitting in his garage all along, are there at least two Nagari coupes in Europe?


John L said...

Heard from Joe last night and He's going to let us know a bit more about the car but meanwhile is assuring me that "THIS CAR HAS BEEN HERE WITHOUT A MOVE FOR THE LAST 20 YEARS OR MAYBE MORE".

John L said...

He's had a rethink and now realises that they've had the car for more than 30 years, and sends his regards to our whole Bolwell community and "thanks so very much for your warm welcome to this Spaniards who will soon fire up a Cleveland into a new born Bolwell Nagari Mk 8".

softech said...

Interesting… I might try some of this on my blog, too. It’s quite interesting how you sometimes stop being innovative and just go for an accepted solution without actually trying to improve it… you make a couple of good points.

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