Thursday, April 30, 2009

Yet another Mark 7

I almost forgot. There was another Mark 7 at Tanunda over Easter. The Hamiltons brought along their ceramic example. Here Ewan and Alec are taking it through the witches hats with great dexterity.

The other 3 Mark 7s

Here is Ron Westren's ever reliable bronze example attracting a local furry creature early in the morning. I think I'll alter that statement. It's not necessarily the car that is reliable, it's more likely to be Ron. The car arrives at every gathering of Bolwells that's going, but often not without effort. I remember once we were going up to Jamestown or somewhere for the weekend and in the middle of the night a rocker arm broke. Not many people have spare rockers in the back of the car but Ron did. On his own, on the side of the road and in the dark and the cold, the changeover took place and the car and driver arrived at our destination after we had gone to bed. On other occasions, things (major things) have broken and he's gone home, replaced the item and turned up late with the car fixed. Many of us would say "bugger it" and get the other car out. The next two photos are of Peter Mac's Mark 7. The car is not far from home in these pictures as Peter lives in Birdwood. You will recognise this car as it is last year's calendar car.
The final two photographs are of Lynne and Roger Trethewey's familiar convertible. From time to time this car holidays at the Birdwood Museum. When you have something of a collection of nice cars, you can't drive them all at once.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

3 yellow Mark 7s

No I hadn't deliberately forgotten the Mark Sevens at the Easter weekend, I'm just taking my time. There were 6 in all, 1 from Victoria and 5 from SA. Here's 3 yellow ones. In the very early days of the Mark 7, they mostly seemed to have a citrus flavour (e.g. yellow, orange or lime), then red took over. Now the yellow ones are coming back. All of these photos were taken at Birdwood on the Easter Saturday. This first car is Jon Gutte's. He lives nearby in Lobethal. His front verandah is right on the street and makes the perfect grandstand on Lobethal Grand Prix weekends. The history of Jon's car has been highlighted in previous posts.
The above two photos are of Brian Deckert's Mark 7 which also has appeared in previous posts.

Finally here's the John and Penny Hartney Mark 7 which has also been mentioned in despatches. It's looking more like a Mark 7 these days. John is pretty fussy with it, wielding the chamois and polishing rag almost as much as Col and Wayne. This car, being the ex Peter and Debbie Marr one, can still be read about on the Peter and Debbie Marr website (see links). Debbie and Peter were at the Easter event but without the Nagari, opting for the comfort of the soft riding but hard driven 350Z.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Another Victorian idiosyncrasy

Have I discovered another Victorian idiosyncrasy? 3 Nagaris came from Victoria this year. Look at their bonnet scoops.

Nagari soft tops and Easter 2009

Here are the four Nagari convertibles that came to Easter this year.1. The silver example of Phil and Lachie White, father and son combination from Victoria. We are used to seeing Phil in his Cobra replica at Easter time. At last he is Bolwell mounted. Still has the Cobra though.
2. This is Jim White's from Whyalla (no relation I believe).

3. This is a blindfolded Scott Baxendale from SA being ably navigated by his daughter Emily.

4. Here's Victorian president, Wayne Murphy, calling in on a former Victorian president, John White, on his way to Tanunda.

Has anybody seen this car?

This is the Mark 7 reported to have been sold into South Australia a while back. Has anybody in SA sighted it yet?

Thompson Special

This photo has been sitting on my desktop for ages waiting for me to get around to posting it here. It is Ray Kenny in the Thompson Special and it looked to me to be so much like a Mark 4 that I wanted to ask via this forum whether the body had Bolwell origins like the Williams Special. Anyway, Ray turned out to be yet another former Milano GT racer so I was able to ask Ned McGovern that very question. The answer turned out to be "no". It is a copy of a Lola body. In Tasmania in the 60s, Bruno Carosi (now a Jaguar man) raced what was unmistakably a Bolwell Mark 5 as a Carosi Special. In Victoria, Bill Hamon also raced a Mark 5 but his car was called a Bolwell. Years later, when I tried applying for an historic log book for my Mark 5 (unsuccessfully I might add), I was told by CAMS that I would be more successful if I called the car a Hamon Special. I couldn't really do that because it wasn't the actual car. I was also told that if I was trying to logbook a Lotus it would be easier because Australian sports cars were not held in very high regard in Australia. I'm sure things have changed a lot since then. However, you can see what Bruno von Rotz is up against with his Milano GT.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Nagari coupes and Easter

Even though they were outnumbered two to one by the rarer Nagari convertibles, there were two very nice Nagari coupes at the Easter gathering this year.
This one is B8/76, the glorious sounding 351HO coupe of Pete Schmidt's which managed to return home completely unscathed compared to a trip to Mildura a few years ago. This yellow coupe is B8/36 of Henry Stork's on its first long trip following an extensive update and refurbishment.
And here is the EFI system we were all waiting to see.
There were in fact three coupes attending this year as Michael Radin brought along B8/110, arriving at Birdwood with his houseguests from Perth in the M5 just after most of us had slipped up the road to the pub and missed him.
It was, in fact, something of a homecoming for B8/110 because it used to live at the museum. Here it is after being brought out into the sunshine and photographed on the back lawn a mere 100 yards from where we had our concours. The occasion was a feature in "Australian Classic Car" where a competition winner got to actually drive the car he had always dreamed about.
Almost unrecognised I guess, with its different wheels, different bonnet scoop, different shade of red and still with its sunroof.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Ikaras and Easter

They only made a dozen Ikaras and two of those went overseas so it was amazing that so many Ikara people attended this last Easter. There was Rick Dathan, Graham Nichols, Henry Stork, Ross Lowe, Kevin Ratsch and John Low that I can think of yet the only sign of an Ikara was printed on Henry's T-shirt. There was one registered and going Ikara garaged nearby but its owner, Tony Rolton was holidaying in Bali. I can think of 5 Ikaras that have attended Easters in the past, 2 black ones, 2 red ones and a yellow one.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Ascort brochure

4 pages of an Ascort brochure.

Well, it's really 2 long pages.

Ascort way back then

Here's a couple of Ascort publicity shots from the late 50s.

Mark 1

What an amazingly long sportscar the Mark 1 was. This is because the original Ford V8 chassis was never shortened. I presume the Ford body was removed and then the sports bodywork was fabricated and fitted which was a lot of fun for young blokes in those days, I can vouch for that. I bet it went like the clappers. Look at the gap between the block and the firewall.

John Scott's MG Milano for sale on ebay.

1959 MG MILANO Historic Racing Car. Historically significant group Lb sports racing car built and driven by Bruce Leer and raced successfully against Coopers and Lotus cars into the early 1960's. Won best restoration in 1985 and raced successfully in historic events by owner mechanic John Scott. Has won Frank Gardener trophy three times for Lb cars. Recently acquired MGTF1500 engine rebuilt and fitted with billet steel crankshaft, Argo conrods, forged pistons, steel flywheel, extensively modified cylinder head and valve gear. Produces 87 BHP at 6500RPM at rear wheels and weighs only 500Kgs. 10inch brakes with specially made drums are adequate. Strengthened MGJ2 chassis, Needham c/r MGTC gearbox and BMCA diff centre give excellent performance. Has many wins to its credit. Original fibreglass body replaced with lighter unit by Sam Johnson of JWF fibreglass in 1985, shape similar to 1955 Monza Ferrari. Very reliable. Handles extremely well so is very easy to drive. Comes with many spares and single axle trailer. Track times: Eastern Creek 2.00 mins. Wakefield Park 1min. 16 secs. Car is in excellent condition and ready to race.

If interested phone John Scott. Mobile:0433405649
Thanks Steve Murphy for finding this one.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Dave Ecclestone's - Bolwell Mk 7

An email:-

Hi guys

Was a long time ago that I built my Mk7 - in 1970 - was red - first registered in NSW as AIO752 - saw it again many years ago in a dealer's yard then painted yellow - rego LIZ--- Build No was 316 or 319 ?? on the compliance plate.

I wonder if she is still on the road or if she has gone to the land of parts ??

Any records guys ???

As you can see I am still playing with plastic toys.

All the best.



This looks very much like a Glasair SH2 TD. These were good quality "Amateur Aircraft Kits" made in Arlington, Washington and marketed in kit form for home builders. The SH2 tells us that it would be a 4-cylinder model as opposed to the larger 6-cylinder ones. The TD refers to the landing gear, this one being a "tail dragger". Is this a natural progression for car builders to move on to planes? Roger Trethewey is now building up a plane down at Goolwa airport.

As for your Mark 7, Dave, by having your email on this blog, a reader may recognise it and let us know.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Underbonnet intrigue

You can learn so much from the various approaches to chassis layout. Here's the 2 Mark 4s. So vastly different aren't they.
And the neat chassis on the Mark 5, so different to the one we have here in Kapunda.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

A celebration of earlier model Bolwells

With all due respects to the many striking Mark 7s and Nagaris that appeared at the recent Easter gathering (and more about them in subsequent posts), a highlight for me was the presence of the Mark 4 and Mark 5 models. It took me back to the very early Easters over 30 years ago when the Jones' Mk.4 coupe, Dinky, and the then dark green Mk.5 of the DiPalmas were regular attenders, not to mention Colin McAskill's orange Mk.5 being the only Bolwell present at the very first Easter gathering at Mt. Gambier in 1973 and the subsequent appearances of the Lewis Mk.4s and Paul Smith's rotary powered example (did I see him ever so briefly at Birdwood?). All the way from Perth, the ever-so reliable red Mk.4 of Barry and Chris Currie.

This is the striking blue example of Colin and Sharon Watson, the very deserving concours winner this year after about a 5 year build.

And here's Bill Davidson's yellow Mark 5 which certainly turned heads all over the Barossa.

I must say that these blokes are not afraid to use these cars either after witnessing some amazing turns of speed on the Truro -Eudunda Road.

This is us trying the Mark 4 for size before committing to owning one. Now committed!