Sunday, January 14, 2018

Thursday, January 11, 2018

What were they thinking? No.1

10 years ago.

This article  appeared in Unique Cars - 2007.
From the archives: Homegrown hero
First published in Unique Cars #270, Feb/Mar 2007 


Thirty-three years after production ceased, the Melbourne-built Bolwell Nagari was coming back. Although ranked among the most competent and exciting sports models of its era, sales of the original V8 Nagari totalled just 140 cars.
However, late 2006 saw the Bolwell Corporation tease everyone who mourned the Nagari’s passing with a glimpse of the revived and restyled version – a car likely to be powered by a Toyota V6 that packs even more kilowatts than the Ford-engined original.
Brothers Campbell and Graeme Bolwell built their first fibreglass-bodied sports cars in the early 1960s and by 1964 were selling kit versions of a MkIV model. Around 50 were made before production switched to the MkV – a spectacularly-styled coupe with elements of E-Type Jaguar in its design and a huge perspex rear window. Where Bolwell’s earlier cars were built around four-cylinder mechanicals, the MkV used a Holden six-cylinder engine and was able to reach 190km/h.
Bolwell’s next project took the low-volume manufacturer to new heights. Again using a Holden engine, the MkVII replaced the earlier coupe’s controversial styling with smooth fastback lines and an inset ‘Kamm’ rear panel.
The majority of MkVII Bolwells were supplied in kit form for completion by purchasers. However the company would also deliver fully-built cars to those who simply wanted to write a cheque and enjoy ownership of a car with spectacular looks allied to mechanical simplicity.
That philosophy transferred to the Nagari when it made its 1969 debut. Purposeful in style and powered by a 5.0-litre Ford V8, the Nagari was capable of 210km/h and a 0-400m time of 14.8secs. Initially the car was only available as a coupe, with doors cut deeply into the roofline for easier access. Later, 13 soft-top Roadsters would be built. Cars with the larger and more powerful 5.8-litre Ford V8 were said to reach 160km/h in less than 15secs.
One open-top Bolwell would dominate production sports car racing during the 1970s – Ross Bond virtually unbeatable for several seasons in a modified Nagari roadster.
While specialist manufacturers around the world failed due to soaring 1970s fuel prices, Bolwell voluntarily withdrew from the market rather than submit to harsh safety regulations. The company returned briefly to the automotive market in 1980 with the odd-looking Ikara but just 10 were made. Bolwell continued to prosper as a supplier of commercial fibreglass products and await the opportunity that may now materialise.

Sunday, January 7, 2018


& NOW.

You know, I think I'd rather have the Brescia.

I'd get more enjoyment from driving it.

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Go back to Bollyblog, Saturday July16th, 2016.

That Kiwi Ferrari again.
Graham Guy's Photo from Old NZ Motor Racing.
This is an unbelievable story. The 1960 F1 Ferrari that Phil Hill drove to victory in the Italian GP — a race boycotted by the British teams because it used the high-speed banking to give Ferrari a better chance at winning a race. Bought by Pat Hoare just two months after that victory and the 2.4 litre V6 F1 engine was replaced by a 3.0 litre V12 sports car engine at the factory and sent to NZ. After two seasons — the second more successful than the first — Hoare wanted to upgrade to a 1961/62 "Sharknose" F1 car, again repowered with a bigger engine, but he had to sell his other car first. But it never sold. He advertised in internationally, but it was simply an old, front-engined car that was well past its use-by date. So he had it converted into this ugly, ugly, ugly GT car which was dubbed a GTO, but it looked nothing like a GTO. And please don't tell me it is beautiful. But, in this form it was sold to an Hamilton school teacher Logan Fow. Fow used it around the roads and had Donald McDonald drive it at a speed record attempt on Tram Road near ChCh when Laurence Brownlie drove the McBegg sports car. Fow eventually did a deal with British classic racer Neil Corner as, by now, it was a valuable collectable car. Corner swapped Fow for it by providing Fow with a brand new Ferrari road car — maybe a 308? But Corner didn't want anything to do with the GT body, so it was stripped off the car in ChCh and the original body was also located and it was shipped to the UK where it was turned back into a single seater and repowered by a F1 2.4V6 engine again. The original body was still in ChCh as late as this time last year, but could be bought. It was a bit hush-hush. Logan Fow took delivery of his road car in the UK and had a holiday, driving it around Europe before shipping it home. However, he didn't read the rules properly and when it arrived in NZ he was presented with a customs bill which he refused to pay. Customs seized the car and sold it and Fow got nothing. However, the GP car still races in classic events in the UK.T

Found in Classic Auto News.

Friday, January 5, 2018

Bolwell and speedway.

Many of us are aware of this "Nagari" speedway car in the Canberra area in the 80s. In that area there were a number of road car crashes on the highway for some reason. Chris C. was fairly proficient in gathering them up so I would assume that the body panels for this car came from one or more of those.

Down in Tassie, there was a husband and wife team that used identical Nagari super sedans.
There was in Adelaide, a similar car built by Phil Forrestal but I don't recall it making it to a track. I wonder where that is now.

One of the Adelaide Mk.5s made its way to Broken Hill in the 70s or 80s. When we had our Easter up there in 2012, Stacey and Barry used their built in Bolwell magnets to suss it out. It had been used for speedway up there.
I'm sure it could still be had for an offer in the low hundreds.

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Angry Alan.

Remember this? Ross gave Alan a bit of a touch up and over he went. Next time around out came Alan to sink the boot into the Bolwell. That showed him!


This is Greg's ex-Maclurkin/Gourlay Nagari when Richard Gac had it, competing in a club motorkhana in the K-Mart car park on Anzac Highway.
(One of Henry's photos).

Is there really any other colour for a Bolwell?

Tuesday, January 2, 2018


Monday, January 1, 2018

A response to a March 2009 post

Where we were talking about this 1962 Milano GT when it was owned by Bruno Von Rotz in Switzerland. He bought it from Justin in the UK who is getting the yellow Nagari ready to race.
This car came across from Wa in the 80's, straight off the trailer ran a sub 13's at Castlereigh drag strip was painted white and red, EJ tail lights MG magenta gear box EH diff and holden red motor, it was 100% street registerable had a windscreen, Barry Ekins painted it back to original black after he purchased it from my father, I did love the car but Sam spent a long time talking me out of having anything to do with it. had the pleasure of dinner with sam only 4 weeks ago. 
Rod Polain.

Aircraft carrier.

Remove the boot lid and you've got a Crewman.

No doors.

That's one way to strengthen the body up.