Friday, February 27, 2009


I heard from George May this week. He was verifying that the red Nagari sports at Racecraft was his as I expected. I recall George having a really nice Nagari sports in NSW in the 80s and 90s. I suppose it's the same one.
There is absolutely no doubt about the quality of work that comes out of Racecraft and this series of photos reinforces that. It's an EFI conversion on a Lotus Elan which is another little car that is dear to my heart. Not because of its connection to Bolwell with its similar backbone chassis and Graeme Bolwell's employment at their factory, but for the cars themselves which when you drive one you wear it like a shoe and it just goes where you point it. The amount of enjoyment from driving one is immeasureable.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Flat out in a Volvo.

Here's one for all those Volvo critics. They should be delighted. It made me think of that back window sticker "The only good cat is a flat cat".

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

A glut of new cars

Here's a few arial shots from around the world. Looks like new cars are a bit hard to sell at the moment. Maybe Nissan aren't using their test track much lately. A drive down Philip Highway reveals quite a number of new Commodores too. Haven't driven past the Bolwell factory recently though. If you haven't seen enough of these helicopter shots click on this link.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Mark 7 restoration project

I don't think anyone would want to take on this one. I was over at Tony and Katherine Opie's the other day so couldn't help taking a few photos of Tony's bushfire damaged Mark 7. The concrete slab it is standing on is what remains of the shed that it was in. Alongside the transmission tunnel is a small pile of grey fur. That is the remains of the body. The front right hand wheel is the only one that didn't melt into oblivion, but you can see the wires wrapped around it from the tyre that was once on it.

Monday, February 23, 2009

The red Nagari

A query from Peter G :-
Maybe this is one for the NSW boys Sam and Graham.
In the photos you posted last Monday of Matt Jenkins' Mk7, the 2nd photo showing the 7 on a hoist had a red Nagari Sports in the background (it also appears on the poster, top right). Is this possibly a Fibrecar? The door mirrors, interior colour and large bulge would suggest it is the same car that appears in the John Canilho Auto Interiors website and also featured on the Custom Kitcar magazine website, I'll attach the photos.
BTW the coverage of Matt Jenkins' build is excellent, keep up the great work.
I guess it's George's car.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Another Australian car.

From Peter G again. He just keeps finding them:-
I'm sure you will love this one - it's a "CAC Deliverette". I took the photos at Museum Victoria today (20th). The vehicle is unique, it was built as a prototype by the Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation, to solve the delivery problems encountered in cities such as Melbourne, with its warren of narrow lanes, the driver sat on a bicycle seat. It was powered by a 2cylinder 2-stroke. The construction is very aircraft like with riveted aluminium panels. The vehicle was built after WW2 and the project abandoned around 1950 with the start of Australia's involvement in the Korean War.
Could this have been the inspiration or the forerunner of the Kookie Coach?
It just so happened that I was going down South Road the other day and happened to notice a very smart looking deep blue Cookie Coach in a yard alongside a factory. The only thing stopping me from rushing in and offering to buy it was that I had nothing to offer. I did mention it to a friend who is starting to question what drugs I am on. I can report that there's no drugs, lunacy just comes naturally.
Anyway, back to the Deliverette. Apart from the many different types of aeroplanes Commonwealth Aircraft have built over the years, there have been quite a few roadgoing projects that have come from there including lots of different types of buses, built in the same manner.
The Deliverette takes me back to one of my earliest jobs when I used to be a milkman, delivering milk in the Dulwich, Toorak Gardens area. The vehicle used was constructed similarly but was only one horsepower. It was a very smart "drop-centre van" that you could jump into from either side, even while moving. It was blue with "Bluebell Dairy" painted on the sides by one of the artistic signwriters that existed in those days. I haven't got a photo of it but it was very similar to this baker's van below.
Being a milkie wasn't my chosen career path. It was thrust on me when my dad, whose business it was, got bucked off a horse, landing on his car bonnet and breaking his leg. I was in "Leaving" at the time and got pressed into service to take his place. I think I slept in class more than I paid attention. Needless to say I failed that year. I did, however, get my Leaving Certificate in the end.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Speedway Nagaris

These are the two Nagari super sedans that were campaigned in Tasmania by Janet and Albie Francis who were well known down there for their efforts in both clay and blacktop speedway as well as their Hobart speed shop, Jan 'n' Albie's Performance Centre. These little clippings are from Oval Track Magazine, August 1986.
I remember Peter Jones saying there is a good story to be told about these cars. We'll have to quiz him about that.

There was another Nagari super saloon built in Adelaide. Phil Forrestal couldn't bring himself to drive a General Motors powered car in that class and decided that the Nagari would be perfect to utilise all of his Ford bits. He made a rolling chassis, fitted a piping hot Windsor and Shakespeare Fibreglass made him a Nagari coupe shell. How far he got with it I'm not sure.

Friday, February 20, 2009

A second drag Mark 7

Peter G has written -
This is a strange one. Any knowledge of this chopped Mk 7 Drag car? From Aust. HOT ROD 1976. I have a vague recollection of a Nagari speedway car, was it in Tassie? I think there may have been a Sale notice in Auto Action but I haven't found it yet.
Peter. This drag car appears to be a different one to the Queensland one we have seen pictures of way back then, Does anybody know anything about this one?
There wasn't one speedway Nagari in Tassie, there was a team of two. Tomorrow I'll post some photos.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

1986 calendar

A small quantity of these calendars have become available. On behalf of the Bolwell Club I am making them available to readers of this blog for $5.00 each plus $5.00 for P&P. This I will do for a reasonable period of time before putting the residue (assuming there is one) on the ebay market. These are a worthwhile piece of Bolwell memorabilia.
Interested parties can respond to this offer via the comments provision at the bottom of this post or email me at or telephone me on 0413 226 009.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The Peter Kordic Mark 7

The most recent photos of the Matt Jenkins chassis (see yesterday's post) were, it seems, actually of the Peter Kordic chassis, which was also built at Racecraft. This may well answer at least two queries I have seen on the blog about there being two chassis in one of the photos and what is the story.

This is revealed in the following email to Graham Nichols after his release of the Feb.2009 NSW Slipstream yesterday.

Thanks for sending the Slipstreams as I appreciate reading them. Minor point however, the photos of the chassis & engine on page 13 are in fact of my car in Jan.2007. My chassis was used as a template for Matt's car with several differences. Matt's has a direct brace down the sides from front to rear while mine has to divert around the lowered floor. George May did the suspension and mechanical on my car as well as making several changes to the chassis that I wanted. He did do excellent work however as the car handles excellently. Not completed yet however. Have attached a photo of my chassis taken in Jan.2007.
Peter Kordic." We may get the chance to meet Peter in April as he has indicated he is coming to Tanunda for the Easter event.

The Brighter Side

Personal disasters don't have to be forever and the same goes for me. I reckon things are on the way up and even the camper van is making its way back from Gilgandra. I'm lucky to have some really good friends and, putting on my deepest Ricky Ponting/John Laws voice, I'd like to say to Louise Pearse, Tony Opie, Chris Clearihan, Colin Lucas, Pete Schmidt and Lynne and Roger Trethewey, "You know what I mean".

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Same car different author part 2

3 more photos from Sam.
Incidentally, Sam had reported to Beven that his very quick blue Mark 7 has been sold to South Australia. Have any South Aussies seen it around?

Monday, February 16, 2009

Same subject, different author.

Here's a few more photos of Matt's car. These have come from Sam Matandos who sent them to Graham Nichols who has passed them on for this blog for those who may not have access to the NSW Slipstream.

Sam's comments:-
I thought that the Bolwell Car Club may be interested in another fantastic in-progress build by George May at Racecraft. It has flown under the radar for about 12 months, however these pics give a sneak peek at just how well built and innovative it is. Things like front end tilt, side intrusion bars, raised roof, independent rear are just a few things to mention.
George has built several Bolwells to date and all of them share a common thread of being a versatile and well engineered sports car.
Stay tuned.

Progress report no.4 (engine mounts) - Matt Jenkins

It is great to have some outside interest and motivation. As you would know not many people know Bolwells.
Anybody who looks at my car can only see an 'old car shell' and I have had comments like "haven't you even painted it yet?" and "it looks like it did when you started"........
Anyway, you will like the engine mounts. The engine is mounted from the front to allow extractors to fit.
As you would know, modifying is great, but there are always unforeseen problems to overcome. Note the way we made an allowance for the steering shaft after the driver's side mount was made. Ahh...the joys of having a mate with a CNC mill!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Progress report no.3, door hinges - Matt Jenkins

George pointed out the fact that the original Holden door hinges just attached to the glass and that is not good. Also there is so much play in them, as well as it causing the paint and glass to crack in the door pillar due to the weight of the door.
George has designed and helped me build what must be nearly the best, dearest and well engineered door hinges I have seen! We used stainless steel and the original arms. The arms travel on spherical stainless steel heim joints that are tightened for adjustment. The whole system attaches to the inner kick panel and does not touch the pillar at all. I have included a pic as they really have come out very nice!
The hinge then attaches to an intrusion bar (zinc plated since pics) to improve safety, then the striker will bolt through the glass and attach to the roll cage to make it really safe.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Progress report no.2 - Matt Jenkins

I've also been changing the dash and trying to plan for everything that needs to go in as the whole dash and firewall will be carbonfibre with clear 2 pac (see exhaust cutouts) before fitting all the guages.

Progress report - Matt Jenkins

Thought you may like to see a couple more pics. I wanted a new hatch but have never been keen on the opening 'tailgate' look. I think chopping a hatch into the body looks ugly. So, after much thought I have had a new rear window made from 5 mm glass. Then I glued a piece of 4 mm mdf around the edge and took a fibreglass mould of the window. Now I have glassed the mould into the car, 12 mm deep to allow door rubber to seal the rear window.The hatch is glass only now, with a 4 mm gap all around to clear the body,and is flush with the body. I have a hatchback that looks like fixed rear glass.

Also you might like the billet fuel filler under the rear window in the middle of the car.
Did you notice I elongated the side guard vents?? I think they look better a bit longer. Factory ones look too short for the wide guard panel..........well that's what I thought anyway.