Thursday, January 31, 2019

Justin's Tale..

A Tail of Two South African Nagari’s

After several years of research that included communication with most of the
previous owners of the car in South Africa, UK & Belgium, plus various club
members in South Australia, VIC and NSW, I have come to the conclusion that
this is about as up to date as one can get regarding the history of chassis
B8/44 & B8/46.
Sometime in late 1971 BOLWELL CARS PTY LTD shipped a Nagari to Port
Elizabeth, South Africa. This was chassis B8/44. It came in as an almost
complete car, minus engine and gearbox. To be received by the business
partnership of George McGill and Rudolf Weston. They had made an
agreement with Campbell Bolwell of BOLWELL CARS PTY LTD to produce and
market the Bolwell Nagari locally.
Bolwell had even specified chassis numbers starting with B8/1/ZA.
A 2 nd shipment left on the “Australia Star” on the 6 th of April 1972. This was
basically a full chassis jig, body moulds and a complete new body with all
doors, boot, bonnet and some suspension components. But crucially it also
contained a complete chassis believed to be what was left of the first of two
Peter Warren race cars. Both of which shared the number B8/46.
Peter Warren at the wheel of his 2 nd B8/46. Oran Park NSW 1974
This shipment was held by customs on the 31 st of May 1972 because duty had
not been paid. It was still there on the 7 th of July. And eventually released.
This was just the beginning of an on going nightmare for anyone involved in
the business of importing bits or, for that matter, complete Nagari’s into South
In the meantime in a letter dated 29 th of October 1971, Campbell Bolwell had
not only given McGill & Weston sole rights for 3 years to import and market
the cars in South Africa, but also a contract letter with Ford to supply engines.

But customs had other ideas. A letter dated 13 th of Jan 1972 from the
“Department of Industries” informed George that:
“Phase 3 rules do not permit the introduction of a new model to the South Africa
So this was basically the end of the whole plan to sell Nagari’s in South Africa.
Mainly because of this, things did not go well between the partners and they
broke up. George McGill sold Nagari B8/44 & the kit that was B8/46R to a Mr
Nicolas Loubser but Rudolf Weston repossessed both back from him, as he
was the rightful owner. In lieu for all his trouble on the 19 th of November 1972
Rudolf Weston eventually signed over the unfinished project that was B8/46,
to Nicolas Loubser including and relinquished all claims and rights thereof.
It was around this time the two Nagari’s went their separate ways.
Mr Weston and B8/44 had moved to Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe), to 72
Rhodesville Avenue Salisbury and registered the car there as 131538A.
At this point the trail of B8/44 went cold until the mid 80’s in Spain.
In early 1973 a certain Harry Roscoe met up with Louis Loubser and he was
offered a body, chassis and any remaining parts of a Bolwell Nagari. This was
the on-going project that was B8/46. Harry made contact with Linley Hughes,
the sales director at Bolwell, via a letter on 19 th May to clear it with him and
make sure all was as it appeared to be.
Linley was glad to hear something about the project after nothing from McGill
and Weston for almost a year. He even offered Harry the rights to make
another attempt at importing the cars.
Harry just wanted to finish this one.
He even fitted a Jag rear end instead of the Ford one and designed and fitted
his own front air dam.
Right up until 1979 he was still trying to get parts from Australia, the door
glass being the major problem. Harry did manage to get a front screen and
rubbers after 6 years.
He also used locally sourced Opal GT round rear lights instead of the UK
Lucas/ Hillman ones.
By this time the chassis jigs and body moulds had gone missing as well.
Harry eventually lost the will to continue and sold the still unfinished car to
Phil Howie, a local Historic Racer. According to his son Rob (a well know
international off-road Dakar competitor with Toyota) Phil never completed
the task. After nearly ten years he also threw in the towel.

This is where Pete du Toit, a well know racer and car collector appeared and
took on the project. With the help of John Ten and his various connections
(Pete owns Zwartkops Race track in Pretoria) B8/46 was completed painted
blue and raced by Pete in 1990 to 92.
To quote him: “Huge bump steer, which we put down to the Elan Type chassis
flexing. It was a nightmare to drive and always ran hot. With lack of attention
and development we rated it as unsuccessful in our hands.”
Well, I guess that’s being honest.
Pete eventually sold the car to Brian Tyler of “Rolo Motors” Standton
Johannesburg in 1995. I’m not sure what Brian did with it until it re-appeared
for sale in 1997.

At this point Chris Camp in Kent UK, Bolwell Club member & Mk7 racer with
the HSCC purchased the car and shipped it to the UK. He registered it EKP
224K and added an orange stripe and gave it chassis number B8/04471.
The extra numbers must be for compliance with UK registration. Or were they
“officially” issued by BCCA-VIC ?
You’ll notice that B8/44 is in there. Chris was sure at the time that this car was
the “only” South African car. But as we know this is not the case.

The real B8/44 had re-appeared.
John Low, South Australian club member and fount of all knowledge Bolwell-
related, found a red Nagari hiding in the garage of a certain Ramon Lopez of
“Hispakart” fame, in Madrid Spain. Ramon was a Renault dealer at the time,
now retired. The owner left the Nagari there for some work (33 years ago)
and never came back!
Ramon now runs his own classic race car restoration business at the same
address. He did race a TVR, a Ginetta, a Corvette, a Turbo Porsche and a SEAT
in touring car events. He'd be well into his 80’s by now. They dragged the
Bolwell out about 5 years ago and started work on it and have since put it on
the back burner.

John said “I had to gather up a number of parts including a windscreen and ship
them over”

This can only be B8/44. How it got from Zimbabwe to Spain in the early 80’s is
unknown at this point. And who was its ‘owner’?
Tracking this down sounds like a good project.
Chris Camp kept B8/46 for less than 2 years and he never appeared on the
racetrack with it. He sold it via Chris Alford’s historic race car business to a
Dutch chap living in Belgium, Leo Kusters. Leo wanted something special to
race in FIA events.

He exported the Nagari to Europe in Jan 2001 and after much correspondence
with Bolwell and CAMS he managed to get the full FIA papers for the car in
April 2001 as a 1971 model (strangely he gave it or was given chassis number
B8/42, this belongs to Barry Currie’s car back in Western Australia). Leo set
out, with driver Ab Flispe to compete in the Euro Youngtimers Trophy GT
series and the Belgian Historic Cup.

Over the 14 years of ownership they won their class several times. And with
various sponsors the car went from red to blue and green and then finally

This is where I joined this merry band of enthusiasts/adventurers.
I was looking for another Aussie car to race in the UK (I sold my JWF Milano
GT in 2009) and asked Chris Camp what ever happened to that Nagari he had.
After a little online search I found it in Belgium for sale at Classic Cars Roes in

After two visits over two years between Christmas and New Year (my wife’s
Dutch) I took the plunge and purchased the beast in May 2015. And imported
it back to the UK.

Upon arrival and with closer inspection it was a proper mess. Bart Roes had
attempted a restoration and had made a proper pig’s ear of it.
He’d only really managed to spray it yellow. (including the tyres)

The “new” engine was seized and (apart from the body) the whole car needed
a rebuild.

There were some hilarious home bodge jobs done to it over the years. I have
no idea who was responsible or in what order it all occurred, but here is just a
few examples:

- The roll cage was mostly made of 2” exhaust pipe tubing.
- It had 11” AMC rear brakes adapted to the Fairlane axle with 10mm spacers
“inside” the drums!
- The tie rods had an extra 8” threaded piece welded onto the ends (badly) to
extend them because the rack was not wide enough. Bump steer anyone?
- There is a square box section bonded to the bottom of the car to mount the
roll cage into and a bracket welded to the engine mounts for a bolt on brace
across the bottom of the “Y” just in front of the bell housing. This might
actually have been useful in an attempt to stop the chassis twisting.
- Someone drilled 3” holes throughout the engine bay to remove heat.
- And a hole was cut in the floor to drop the seat down. Ab the Dutchman was

It’s December 2018 and the beast is finished and road legal. Once more
registered as EKP 244K and I kept chassis number B8/04471 to simplify the
UK registration process.
I won’t list the work that’s been done or the pain and expense suffered by me,
let alone the 9 or so previous owners. But I think the end result will be well
worth it as she continues into her 48 th year. Not only will it be once again the
only Nagari racing in the northern hemisphere but the only one in the world
with FIA papers.

And what’s more it will work as an historic race car. I’ve returned it as close as
possible to original. Using as many Ford Australia parts as I could get hold of.
With its 10-point full FIA cage mounted to the chassis to stop the flex.
A wider Mustang steering rack. A bigger radiator, extra air intakes in the nose,
exit vents in the bonnet and the headers powder coated to help with the
engine bay heat. And with some Dynamat around the tunnel and floor, it will
be tolerable (just)

The plan is to race it with the Historic Sports Car Club in HRS Class A with the
rest of the V8’s. It should show TVR Griffiths and Moggy +8’s a clean pair of
heals, if I can keep it in a straight line.
I will also try to get to as many UK & Euro FIA events as I can afford.
Watch this space.
Justin Murphy
Aussie ex pat living in London

Sunday, January 27, 2019

Some conjecture.

About the world's fastest Holden [that's grey Holden]. Here's 3 versions.

Saturday, January 26, 2019

Funeral notice.

GASCOIGNE, Christopher Fairfax. FAMILY and FRIENDS of Chris are invited to attend his Funeral Service, which will be conducted on THURSDAY, January 31, 2019 at 4.00p.m. in its ENTIRETY in the Chapel of Berry’s Funeral Home, 204 Magill Road, Norwood. Please enter the Chapel car park via Prosser Avenue. No flowers by request CHARLES BERRY & SON Norwood.

Thursday, January 24, 2019

Who in their right mind?

Would choose a sh@t brown Dino?
There's a red one right alongside it. That's more like it. You can understand it ending up in a museum. You wouldn't want to be seen driving around in it. I bet it has very low mileage.

Terrible news.

Sadly, I have to report that our good friend, Chris Gascoigne, passed away suddenly and unexpectedly this morning. That's awful. Love to his small family.

Saturday, January 19, 2019

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Nice try but...'s not easy to turn a Cobra into a Nagari coupe.

Sunday, January 13, 2019

The things you can do.

With an MR2.

Should be "Sir Ron".

Ronald Sidney Tauranac : Born 13 January 1925.
Tauranac is a retired Australian engineer and racing car designer, who with Formula One driver Jack Brabham founded the Brabham constructor and racing team in 1962. Following Brabham's retirement as a driver at the end of the 1970 season, Tauranac owned and managed the Brabham team through 1971, but sold it the following year to Bernie Ecclestone. He remained in England to assist with a redesign of a Politoys Formula One chassis for Frank Williams in 1973 and helped Trojan develop a Formula One version of their Formula 5000 car.
After a brief retirement in Australia, Tauranac returned to England to establish the Ralt marque (a name he and his brother Austin had used for some 'specials' in Australia in the 1950s, winning the NSW Hillclimb Championship in 1954 with the Ralt 500). The first "modern" Ralt was the Ralt RT1 chassis, to be raced in Formula Three, Formula Two and Formula Atlantic. The chassis proved successful, winning the European Formula Three championship in 1975 in the hands of Australian driver Larry Perkins. The 1978 season also proved successful for the RT1 chassis, winning the European F3 championship for Jan Lammers.
Tauranac designed the Theodore Racing F1 car for the 1978 season. Two new designs were created for the 1979 season: the RT2 for Formula Two and the RT3 for Formula Three. The RT3 chassis won the 1983 European F3 championship for Pierluigi Martini and five consecutive British F3 titles. A joint venture with Honda resulted in the RH6 chassis, which won the 1981, 1984 and 1985 titles. In October 1988, Tauranac sold the Ralt business to March Engineering for £1.25 million.
Tauranac has remained involved with various aspects of the sport since departing from Ralt, including racing-school cars for Honda, a Formula Renault car, consulting work for the Arrows Formula One team, and continuing his relationship with Honda that goes back to their early Formula Two days as engine supplier to Brabham in the 1960s. He has moved back to Australia but retains an interest in the sport. Tauranac can be seen each year as a design judge at the Formula SAE Australasia competition in Melbourne, Australia.
(ph:, source:

Lasos still for sale.


This is body number 7, the last one built in Medindie in Adelaide by John Taylor and Peter Brady.
These bodies were fitted on a variety of Chassis. This is one of several originally built using Singer parts. It did have a South Australian registration history and was driven on Adelaide streets for some years. In the early 70’s it was refitted with a space frame chassis and 120E Ford Cortina running gear. It has existed in this form since 1977.
I have been unable to find any competition history – but who knows?
It now exists as a substantially complete rolling chassis with engine and gear box. It is a project in need of a fair amount of work but none of it difficult. Some welding and fibreglass work and your special touches will make a great cheap GEAR type track car, come road car.
For more information contact Steve on 08 8553 7338.
I am looking for $7500 but am negotiable with a serious buyer.


Saturday, January 12, 2019

Some Qld. Mk.7 news.

Jason found some time to catch up with Peter Parnell on Brisbane's North side. Peter is doing a great job on Col Cuthbert's old car which he documents on a blog called "Mark 7 Bolwell" like, for example, the fitting of a 178 KW RX8 rotary which sits back 400mm behind the front cross member.
Jason liked the outside door handles that sit flush with the top and side of the door but I think they're from a particular model Toyota Crown and were popular among early Mk.7 builders.
Here is the stance the front of the car takes.
The rear lights are impressive but they too have been tried by others and are also from a Toyota Crown that was slightly newer than the Crown that provided the original lights.
According to Jason the IRS is a work of art and the the car sports 2 x 20L fuel tanks that sit behind each seat. The last photo shows a fuel tank and a bit of the rear suspension.
Thanks to our Queensland corespondent.

Dave Hamlin's 7 looking good.

Thursday, January 10, 2019

A product of the 60s.

The Byers, an American kit car.
Now being built 50 years later. Not a bad looking unit. A case for bringing back the Mark 4.
Corvette V8 power.


A significant part of the Chapman/DeLorean story.

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Favourite 3-wheelers No.39.

Martin Stationette-1950
James V. Martin was a prolific inventor who spent years designing cars that he hoped someone would be willing to produce. The Stationette in front of you is his last attempt. Produced by Commonwealth Research Corp. in New York
 City, NY, this car is an all-wooden monocoque construction. It features no axles, shock absorbers, or propeller shaft which Martin claimed made it cheaper to build. It was designed to fit the needs of the suburban commuter – as popular acceptance would greatly ease traffic congestion. The Stationette was shown at the 1954 World Motor Sports Show and offered as “America’s economy car of the future.” Martin failed to convince anyone to produce this car. Like the two cars he had previously designed (the Martin Aerodynamic and Martin Martinette), the Stationette remained a one-off prototype.

Monday, January 7, 2019

Another V8 Sigma.

Remember the blue Sigma sleeper George May built a while back?
Well, he's done another one but this one is a 2-door Scorpion.
The blue Sigma is Matt's. You'll remember him finishing off the yellow V8 Mk.7 [similar to Peter's, they all come out of the same Racecraft workshop]. Anyway, George has made a red one for himself.
They both feature Windsor V8s, Matt's is a carby version and George's is EFI.
Both cars have 4-speed autos, big brakes & air cond and power steering.
Cool Huh?

Saturday, January 5, 2019


Fold-out picnic table.

Ross's latest project.

Ross Allen always seems to have something on the go over in tuna city. This time he's improving an old Morris Minor.
He's after a motor and gearbox for this projct. He's thinking along the lines of Toyota 4AGE, Mazda MX5 or Suzuki Sierra/Jimney. As we all know, the Corolla and MX5 are well proven in Clubman cars. I'm not too sure about the Jimney. Surely he's not talking about two stroke!
Anyway, if anybody has something siutable at the back of their shed, don't be afraid to comment.

Just a thought, how about a rotor?

Anyway, here's Ross in the Monaro at the Shannons Willunga Hillclimb.