Friday, July 31, 2009

"The Beast"

This is not to be confused with another well known Mk7Chev that we used to refer to as "Docker's Beast". I have been asked many times today if I have any photos of "The Beast". Tony didn't because most of his photo albums went in the bushfire. I'm sure someone out there has some. Anyway, here's a couple. The first one is when it was a black coupe, posing with Garry's Nagari. The second is as a blue convertible. Note the tail-lights Chris.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Farewell Tony.

Most who know Bolwells know Tony Opie. Tony passed away a couple of hours ago and I feel really awful. That's fairly selfish of me I guess. How must his family and really close friends be feeling? I've given up getting angry about people with everything to live for going before their time but it does get hard to take. Tony himself has been saying you just play the cards you are dealt. Well, that's true, but gee, a devoted wife, the loveliest little ten-year-old daughter, a Nagari to build........... I know what Tony reckons we all have to do, go down to the Tonsley and have a beer and a laugh about all the fun times way back when. As you all know Tony had that ever changing Mark 7 called The Beast which, in its most memorable form was a roadster with a big Chev in it. A couple of years ago it was completely destroyed along with his Mark 5 in a bushfire that went through their property at Kangarilla. Lots of people will recall this little episode on the edge of the Murray at Renmark, 22 years ago. R.I.P.

Leyburn entry list

Here it is. You know the drill. Click to enlarge.

Leyburn is coming.

The Leyburn Sprints are coming up on August 15th & 16th. John Davies has his entry confirmed. He comments that the entry list is interesting as in addition to B8/26, there is the Peter Kordic Mark 7, the 2 Hinton Milanos, John Goodwin's Milano (no, not the Bolwell John Goodwin), Whelan's Fairthorpe Electron Minor, Bevan Batham's genuine 1962 Elfin Mallala and Centaurs, about 8 Ford V8 side valve specials and of course many of John's MGCCQ friends in their various interesting cars. There's lots of other very interesting entries too. I now know where all of the XYGTs have gone although how many are genuine I'm not sure. I'll post the list shortly, as soon as this computer starts to behave itself again.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

A pictorial history of B8/46 - part 3.

When CAMS in their wisdom decided to allocate the Australian Sports Car Championship to a different branch of sports car racing, it left a large number of people with huge investments in their cars with nowhere to race except in insignificant club events. Barry decided to put his car on the market but for the above reason, buyers were a bit thin on the ground. Eventually he decided to dismantle it and sell the bits. Naturally, after all those years of racing, the chassis was well sorted and developed and Rob Luck bought it to form the basis of his concept car (below).
The body went to become part of the Holden V8 powered car built by John Van Wokum. I don't know John personally, it's a fact of life that you can't know everybody, and I've seen his last name spelt in a variety of ways, so, in advance, I'm making my apology for possible bad spelling. I believe John is one of those Bolwell stalwarts from way back because his name crops up from time to time in conversations about Mark 4s and Mark 7s.
Anyway, he built this rather different looking Nagari with very substantial "T" roof and flat side glass.
Many years later the car turned up in Western Australia in rather poor condition I'm told. A very impressive restoration job has been done on it as you can see from these two photographs below.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Found another Mark 5

Ages ago Trevor alerted us to a rumour of a Mark 5 in Roxby Downs. Recently, when I asked him about it, he couldn't remember who had told him about it, let alone any details. Usually these leads come to nothing (I just about turned Narranderah upside down to no avail after Col Watson was told about a Mark 5 in that town, for example - and I can tell you about a few others). Anyway, a very old friend, Ray Goldie, runs the newspaper in Roxby Downs, "The Monitor". I asked him if he knew of a Mark 5 Bolwell in Roxby. He didn't even know what a Bolwell was (he does now!). Anyway, he offered to ask around via the newspaper. I sent him a photo of Bill's yellow Mark 5 (complete with plastic plate and tennis ball on the bonnet - you know the one) and he wrote a great little article about Mark 5s (obviously some homework was done). A couple of days after publication, while I was out feeding the chooks, I get a telephone call from John Webber of Roxby Downs, proud owner of a Mark 5 Bolwell. He wants to come down to Adelaide to a club meeting and to see a restored and complete Mk.5. He has problems with a rusty old chassis, a common Mark 5 complaint, and we might be able to help him with that or at least join him in grumbling about it. Isn't all that amazing! Some of us thought we may have uncovered one of the lost SA Mark 5s, but no, this one came from Tasmania. Anyway, thank you Ray, a great outcome.

Monday, July 27, 2009

A pictorial history of B8/46 - part 2

In 1977 AIR had a round of the Australian Sports Car Championship and the big black Bolwell was one of four (and the highest placed) Nagaris at the event. Allan Hanns was still in his Datsun and Robbie Rowlands was still in a Healey then. Another big black car was Rusty French's Pantera (still no match for the Allan Hamilton Porsche).
Here's a few Nagaris in the pits and among the people here are Beven, Barry's bum, Tim Sherman, Maryanne Van Elsen, Bobbie Gay and Bruce Tonkin.Some time later Barry picked up a reasonably substantial sponsorship package from Brian Wood Ford hence the change of colour scheme to that beautiful blue with the red and yellow stripes, just like Murray Carter's Falcon. The Bridge Hotel was Barry's pub at Werribee and that's Barry's off-sider, Norm Hamilton giving him some last-minute instructions.
The sponsorship didn't go as far as getting the Bolwell into this snazzy transporter but the grandstand on top was pretty nice.
Finally, here's one of B8/46 at Baskerville after an allmighty spin and stall.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

A pictorial history of B8/46 part 1

This is where it all began, it was raced for some years, mainly in Sydney by motor dealer, Peter Warren, seen here at Oran Park in 1974. There were a few Nagaris racing up that way and names like Webb, Bond, Clearihan, Donnelly and Ullrich come to mind.
Some years later, when Peter went on to other things, Barry Main purchased the car and it moved South where in Victoria competed with the Nagaris of Gourlay, Edwards and Latham among other interesting sports cars. From time to time, Barry and his friends used to come over to SA to get a bit more racing. Here he is (no.33) on a start grid at AIR. The other cars in the picture are the red Nagari of Bernie Van Elsen, the white Mark 7 of Murray Willmott, John Veale's Austin Healey and Peter Smeets' Sprite.Probably the same meeting, Mike Finnis in the E-type is seen here giving Barry a bit of a hurry-up. Michael was a pretty hard punter, later going on to race the ex-Latham Porsche.
In the pits at AIR. Sharing the same bedroom with B8/46 is B8/26 and the sensationally quick Motorlab Asp of Jim Doig. I included this photo because of the familiar faces of Beven Young, Alwyn Harris (well, the back of his head) and Garry and Rosemary Warren.
And this is a youthful looking Barry, same pits, different occasion.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

This is how I'd like to be.

Just have a look at Kevin with his Model A based racer telling some young blokes what it's all about. That car goes like the clappers and it and Kevin have been at it for donkeys years. No signs of either giving up.
I'd like to be doing that when I'm his age or older. I'm younger than him you see.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

A very nice Queensland Mark 7

Here is Peter Kordic's completed car after registration. It looks magnificent and I hear it goes pretty hard too.

Nagari for sale

For those who haven't seen this month's Unique Cars, this might send a few scurrying down to the newsagents. For a while now I have had a heap of photos of this car in its many guises sitting on my desktop waiting for a story about its exploits in 3 states. I'd better get my finger out. I didn't know Andy Hamilton had a hand in this one but am very much aware of the good work he has done over the years on Nagaris and the extent he goes to to make or procure the right part for the job. I recall his having steel templates for glass side windows and have bought some many years ago.

The many colours of 38 (part 2)

Photo 5. John in the multi-coloured Bolwell lined up at Calder alongside the previous owner in his TVR Griffith V8.
Photo 6 shows the car in the black, red and yellow colours of sponsors Contour Photographic Images.
Photo 7. All black at a Show'n'Tell in 1984.Photo 8. One year later as a road car at an Easter event. It's the one on the left of course. So far this is it's last colour.

The many colours of 38 (part 1)

Further to Peter's comments about this car's many guises, here are just a few of them. I am using the word "few" genuinely because there are others that I am not including in this 2 part series of 8 for copyright reasons so if you have photos in your collection that could be added, please feel free to send them in.
Photo 1 is where it all began when Ranald introduced the car to Sportscar racing.Photo 2 still in Ranald's hands but now with red and yellow stripes through the centre.
Photo 3 after a couple of other colour schemes it became red and white as Ranald secured some assistance from Litre Motors. The wheels and flares are a bit wider here. As time goes on you will notice the flares growing even larger.
Photo 4, now in the hands of John Gourlay it becomes a deeper blue with a yellow hip line.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Alloy half cage

George at Racecraft has had to build a half cage for one of the racing Silvias he looks after - "alloy for weight reduction and looks not half bad all polished up!"

Press release - Drewer now 5th in Championship.

The "Goodies" days.

Following my last post (I was almost tempted to put LAST POST in inverted commas following an unusual email I received yesterday referring to the demise of this blog), Peter G has asked a question:-
"B8/38 raced with many liveries during its long career. At various times the Original Pale Blue, then with Stripes then later with multistripes along the hip line, later Pale Blue with Red Roof, White with a Red roof (Litre Motors), Dark Blue with Yellow along the Hip line, Black(?) with multi striping along the Hip Line (Contour spons.), and probably most recognised (remembered) of all Goodies Speed Shop Purple with Yellow diagonal striping across the sil panel (circa 1980). I'm not sure of the exact sequence, but it was painted Red during the Steve Bernard/Richard Gac street registered period after retiring from track duty.
I have attached the only photos I have of the famous Goodies Livery. Do you have any colour photos of this Livery?"

Isn't that amazing. I have to admit that I don't have any colour pics either. I agree that the car is well remembered in that form. It was so bright and looked spectacular. I have photos of just about, if not all, plus a few others, of the colour schemes described by Peter, in a few cases with the assistance of Henry, and a pictorial might be in order, but not in purple and yellow. I'm sure someone out there would have and if they don't mind, we could show it on the blog as well as any other pictures of this car. My email address is listed in my profile.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Bolwell race cars from AA

2 action shots in the one newspaper. This is Auto Action, November 20, 1981. Firstly we have John Gourlay leading at Calder in ASSC round 4 in the "Super Bolwell" and secondly we see Matt Pintar in the Mark 7 at Amaroo.

The next hot item.

Well, this is my prediction anyway. With Cobra replicas, GT40 replicas and Clubman sportscars consuming the attention of car builders and would-be car builders around the world, what's next? It has to be Hotrod replicas. It may well have been happening for a while already and I haven't taken it on board to any great extent. Earlier in the year when at the Healey Factory, the Ford coupes/roadsters with beautiful paint jobs and leather upholstery didn't go un-noticed. My last post on the Veskanda didn't attract much interest in the sportscar but a few emails arrived enquiring about the rods in the same picture. Then look at the roadsters that get to the salt racing at Lake Gairdner and all of the early 30s coupes etc. that go on the various rod-runs around the country. I suppose it's like that all over the world. It looks like a huge cult following to me. Some time ago Colin alerted me to the professional way a company in America called Factory Five went about the production of Cobra and GT40 replica kits. Last week, "Winding Road" visited Factory Five to take a look at their latest offering - sure enough, '33 Ford Hotrod replicas. Just look at the chassis and suspension packages and that body. I think it's great. In a way, the concept is not unlike clubman building - same only different.

I suppose Mike Davidson is aware of all this. Then again he's still engrosed in his twin flathead
engined streamliner and renewable energy projects. I'll be watching the replica hotrod scene with interest.