Wednesday, March 31, 2010

A couple of Mid-Victorian Mark 4s - (2)

Here's the other one. It's John Goulden's beaut little Mark 4B. It's 1750 Alfa powered. He bought the body and chassis in Shepparton many years ago. The boot was installed earlier. (You'll note Allan's 4 has a boot too.) Does anybody remember Col Moffitt had a Mk.4 body that was similar about 20-25 years ago. It could possibly be the same car.

A couple of Mid-Victorian (area not era) Mark 4s - (1)

The Eddington Sprints were on last weekend. This is a quarter mile sprint on a public road. I don't know how long they have been having them but I recall going to one in the mid 80s (I think) with my VSCC mates. From the YouTube videos it hasn't changed much and I did notice 2 or 3 of the "Thirsty" Vauxhalls in attendance. Anyway, a couple of the local (Bendigo) Mark 4s were competing. This blue one is the one owned by Allan Thomas, now sporting a new silver stripe. It was Geoff Storr's car and ran in the Targa Tasmania in about 2000. It was entered as a Bolwell Geviva, remember that? It turned out that it was built by Geviva Engineering in Tassie. It is fitted with an Alfa 2 litre and has a transaxle, which makes it much heavier than John Goulden's similar car which is in the bottom picture in this post.
Peter Garvin was telling us recently about Allan driving the 4 in the late afternoon along one of the local Bendigo country lanes and was suddenly joined by a kangaroo in the passenger seat. Both Allan and the kangaroo scrambled to exit the car as it was slowing down. Pete thinks the roo may have scratched the upholstery as it was getting out. Above is Allan's other car, a Corolla powered Lotus 11 replica alongside John Goulden's 4. Allan recently sold his white ex-Colin McAllister Mark 7 to a new owner in Sydney.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Mark 4s and Mark 6s.

Well, we shouldn't really say Mark 6s should we? Because if they happened to be referred to in plural it would cause a stir across the country. Anyway, Steve Rowley and I were discussing the SR6 the other night and in particular how it evolved. After comparing Mark 5 and Mark 7 bits we decided that they probably started off by messing around with Mark 4 panels. There are similarities in the front around the light recesses and wheel humps and probably the widths are similar but we came to the conclusion that a Mark 4 nose couldn't be adapted to a Mark 6 or vice versa not that you would ever want or need to. In the event of a prang in the SR6 (heaven forbid) there are very nice moulds to take care of that. Anyway, here's a few shots of a 4 and the 6 together to make some comparisons in the flesh.
.....and look at that nose, it's quite short isn't it.

Some beaut old Chevs

On Friday night we went to a fundraiser for the building program for Barossa Carers Link (in the form of a quiz night) which may not be significant to some but it happened to be at the Barossa Junction which is also the site of the greatest collection of Ariel motorbikes and older Chevs that you can imagine. At the end of the evening and approaching midnight and being a bit of a Chevrolet fan from days of old, I couldn't resist slipping in to reacquaint myself with some of the good old Chevs and here's a few pictures.
Below is a look under the bonnet of a big 1917 Chev. Yes it's a V8, predating the Ford V8 by many years. It's not, however, the first American V8 but I think it might be the first OHV one. Cadillac introduced their V8 in 1914 in their Type 51 (314 cu. in.) but that was a side valve. The side valve Cadillac V8 continued until 1948. This 288 cu. in. Chev V8 only lasted until 1918 and then there wasn't another one until the small block in 1955, due to the Chevrolet Motor Car Company being acquired by and merged into General Motors in 1917.
This is the car itself, a big tourer, much more luxurious looking than the little 4-cylinder ones that followed.
This is the Chev 490 of about 1918. Not quite as common on Australian roads as the later Superior and National Chev 4s (I don't think), the 490 was reasonably popular (Ivan Venning has a green one which we see from time to time). It was called the 490 because it was priced at $490 to compete with the Ford T which was $495. Chevrolet nearly went out of business in 1920 when 100,000 cars were stored at factories unsold for some time. They were still being built in 1921 however.
These two black cars are 1939 and 1940 models. The 1939s are significant to me because I have had two of them. One had the supposedly revolutionary knee action front end and the other had a beam axle and leaf springs. This black one was of the leaf spring variety. The 1940 is significant because Jane's dad (Frank) has an identical one as the family car when she was a kid. I remember it in the carport many years later after he had moved on to DKWs, Goliaths and an EK wagon.
This last one is a very attractive 1934 roadster behind a not so common 1933 model.

Monday, March 29, 2010

One for the Turner fans

Here's another little Turner that's bobbed up (I was going to say turned up) in America. They're not uncommon over there. This one is a 1959 model with 948cc Austin engine and box. No doubt giving the Spridgets a run for their money.

Brand new tail light lens

Currently on ebay with 20 hours to run as I type this, (left hand only) 1966/67 Toyota Crown (Bolwell Mk.7) tail light lens, see link below.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

SR6 again

No real reasons for these 2 photos except that I was just clearing some piccies out of my camera.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

More on Mark 7 front ends and steering.

Peter Kordic has sent us this photo and comments. Very interesting.
John,If you are looking to improve the handling of you car I seriously recommend that you review the geometry. If you look at the attached photo the pivot point of the steering is in the centre of the rim. This greatly reduces the scrub radius allowing 235 profile tyres to fit inside the mudguards and leaves the steering light enough that I only use a 13 inch steering wheel and the steering is light and responsive. A little heavier when parking of course but still ok. Would be no dearer than adding power steering either.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Power Steering on Bollies.

Heard from Rob Luck last week. He posed the question - "How many Mk 7s and Mk 8s do you reckon have been fitted with power steering? If so how many worked, or were OK?"
I can't answer that. Maybe someone else can. From where I sit Bolwells with power steering are a bit thin on the ground. Come to think of it there were one or two Nagaris with power steering.
Anyway, I picked up a UC Torana front end and have been thinking about it a bit myself. I think it was Graham Nichols who pointed out to me something on the internet about the subject. Matt, the owner of this great looking A9X picked up a TF Cortina power steering rack as well as a WRX STI one, did all the homework and finally settled on the Subaru example. He's done a step by step description, complete with photos and graphs for bump steer and adjustable camber and castor ranges.This can be found on Car Domain "Top Rides Blog" pages 2 to 4 of "Matt's Holden Torana - Little Red Torvette". Worth bookmarking.

Buchanan Body No. 55

This fine looking Buchanan belongs to David Hutton in NSW. David is looking for some history. This car lived a good part of its life in SA. There are a few South Australian Buchanophiles. Maybe someone can throw some light on its past. Below is a letter from David. Hi,
I own the above vehicle. It appears to be on a MG TD chassis and runs a MG engine/gearbox/rearend of that origin. I know very little of its past except for when I bought it the seller had purchased the vehicle in South Australia.
If anyone can supply any information I would be most grateful. The car is on full NSW registration and fairly original except for seats (early MGB I believe).
David Hutton.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010


No, this is not one of those towmotors from the Adelaide Railway Station pulling floats in the Christmas Pageant in retirement. It's a genuine Bugatti racer - Ettore's attempt at aerodynamics.
......and while on the subject of slippery shapes, here's the new Audi for LeMans this year.

A very versatile Nagari.

Remember this ad?
Well, Bernie's dropped the price to a more reasonable $100,000 ono. It must be the week for price drops. He's still on the same number, see the ad.
Why versatile? Well, you can put it on the track and blow other sports cars into the weeds one week, put it in the Duttons Rally the next and then later on drive down to the deli for the milk.

New badges

The South Australian Bolwell Club have commissioned batches of high quality car badges beginning with the 4 types below,
This first one, the traditional Bolwell shield is a replica of the old badges and measures two and a half inches by two and a half inches.
The badges below come in silver and black and are 2" across, designed for wheel centres etc. The one above is a nose badge and is slightly larger.They are extremely well made and there are no delamination problems as were experienced with somebody's old yellow ones I believe. The shield ones are $25 each and all the others are $5 each plus postage. If anybody wants to use a credit card they can do so through the Beven Young Automotive Bookshop website. Remember there is no "a" in "Beven". When other designs are produced I'll post them here.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

A couple more.

SR6 undressed.

A couple of shots with its clothes off.

SR6 body moulds

On the weekend Andrew and I went down to town to bring back the moulds for the SR6 body. Here they are still on the trailer. This is part of the SR6 package and is a nice little insurance policy really. I must say they are the finest set of body moulds I have seen for some time.

Friday, March 19, 2010


Have a look on Carpoint. As of yesterday the SR6 is featured there. And at an amazing price reduction. $60,000 for this significant Historic Racing Car, ready to hit the racetrack, is surprising and of good fortune for the buyer.
It comes with body moulds and a spare engine. There have been suggestions of a group or syndicate buying it and sharing it in a properly drawn up contractual arrangement. If anybody finds that interesting, I am happy to discuss the possibilities as I am with any other aspect of the car. Call me on 0413 226 009.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Kombi lights - an email from Peter Marr

G’day John Christine & Mark Wells’s Mk7 sport in Vic has these lights too (pretty burgundy coloured car ex Paul Smith) personally I think they are a little too big for a mk7, I think they make the rear look a bit out of proportion but each to their own. When I was doing my Mk7 I looked at lots of different tail lights ( trying to find something that suited the car but couldn’t be instantly identifiable as being from something else, if that makes sense). At that time my body was off the chassis and upside down in the shed . This meant that I couldn’t get any further away from the back than about 1 metre. Anyway I decided that lights from the last rear engine Kombi (T3 Kombi ?) were “the” light. (later model kombi light than in Peter Kordic’s car, larger with square corners) Anyway I bought a pr of said lights and fitted them up in the car. All good so far. It was only later when I put the body back on the chassis and moved it that I was able to get a good look at what the lights looked like. A mate was there with me at the time helping me put the body on. We both stepped back, looked at the lights and then at each other and shook our heads. Lights didn’t look good at all, just wrong, big time. Eventually I settled on lights from a Suzuki Grand Vitara. They were almost the same size as Nagari lights but with slightly larger rounded corners and were set into the body. I reckon they were perfect for a Mk7 if you didn’t have/don’t want to use, the original Toyota lights. John has since changed them for surface mount rectangular LED lights. Have a nice one. Keep up the good work with the blog. Thats first on the list every morning. Peter Marr Technical Assistant

XAP-999 diff

There's been a lot of interest in XAP-999 so I thought I'd include a shot taken of it when it was being built in WA way back in the late 60s, early 70s. This is the Medcedes diff I was telling you about.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

More VW tail lights

This is Peter Kordic's car. He reckons his tail lights are VW. They certainly suit the car don't you think?

Monday, March 15, 2010

Inside the red car

Off to bed in a minute, but before I go, for those who have asked me, here's a couple of shots of the interior of XAP-999.
Sorry about the grassy bits on the seat and carpet. The local detailer, Steve, was at the Clipsal all weekend.You can see the wear on the edge of the driver's seat. Apart from that it's not all bad.
A new set of plugs means it goes how it should again.