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Thread: Bolwell Nagari and more.

  1. #1
    338
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    Bolwell Nagari and more.

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    (Split this out from the other thread.)

    Quote Originally Posted by TampIt View Post
    The car one really hurts. Bolwell (Oz guy Cameron Bolwell) started winning races and setting lap records in the early '60's. So ADR 27A was legislated meaning that Cameron had to get his 100th car of each crash tested (i.e. provide 6 of them to be wrecked at his cost). Then CAMS (Confederation of Motor Sport) legislated that you needed to sell 500 cars a year to be able to compete at Bathurst. That meant he could never expand beyond 99 cars a year AND never get a racing profile on the main stage. Having raced a Falcon HO phase 3 and driven a Bolwell Nagari (Bolwell's street sedan, not the actual racing cars) both in the same year, there is no way the Bolwell would not have taken Bathurst out (in record time at that). Think of multiple lap margins by the end.

    Tamp(venting a little)It
    Off Topic - Tamp it, would the Bolwell's have even been eligible to run at Bathurst? Know the Bolwells pretty well, had a very hard look at buying a black 302 roadster Nagari at one stage and definitely were an impressive vehicle in the day, especially considering the tiny run and resources they had (Bruce Maclaren had some similar interesting things happening at that time). The Nagari was 100% sports car, not a sedan at all - two seats and two doors. If it had been eligible then the Nota Fang would have cleaned up the Mini class, as they used the Mini motor?

    My memory may be fading, but I thought ADR27A was the emissions rule which we all complained about so much for so many years. Happy to defer to your superior automotive knowledge, just remember whinging to my mates for years about this. Thanks for the great memories in your post!

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    Quote Originally Posted by 338 View Post
    Off Topic - Tamp it, would the Bolwell's have even been eligible to run at Bathurst? Know the Bolwells pretty well, had a very hard look at buying a black 302 roadster Nagari at one stage and definitely were an impressive vehicle in the day, especially considering the tiny run and resources they had (Bruce Maclaren had some similar interesting things happening at that time). The Nagari was 100% sports car, not a sedan at all - two seats and two doors. If it had been eligible then the Nota Fang would have cleaned up the Mini class, as they used the Mini motor?

    My memory may be fading, but I thought ADR27A was the emissions rule which we all complained about so much for so many years. Happy to defer to your superior automotive knowledge, just remember whinging to my mates for years about this. Thanks for the great memories in your post!
    G'day 338

    "superior automotive knowledge" you must be kidding! That post is from from 40+ years ago recollections. You are correct - there was a whole suite of ADR 27's (and other ADRs) around the same time. The numbers restriction is in there somewhere. Memories fade. I now recall that ADR27A was the one that gave us the "ball bearing solution" (blocking the recycling system that otherwise screwed up performance by running engines hotter / less precisely on mixture / cooking the oil of the day). We lived with that one for over 10 years on the track. Off the track I will not comment...

    The first time I had heard of Bolwell was in 1964 / 1965. A "Holden 6" Bolwell (Mk V?) held the lap record at Wanneroo racetrack until 1979... just shows how far ahead it was at the time. I cannot recall if that was "official" or "merely" used the official timing setup. It was well over 2 seconds quicker than the phase three I was involved with in the early '70's - light years in racing terms.

    If Bolwell didn't make a 2 + 2 Nagari then one of his customers modded one. It would have been easy enough. There is an British racing green 2 + 2 Nagari I spotted on the Nullarbor Plain (Nundroo Station) fueling up in 1987. The 1984 "stock 302" 2 seater Nagari I drove blew off the racing spec phase three "HO" in a straight line, outbraked and out cornered it by an equally silly margin. Wheels or Modern Motors also did a comparison review a few months later and reached the same conclusion - it was around 1 1/2 seconds quicker over a quarter mile alone! Considering you can "warm up" the 302 for racing, it would have been utterly embarrassing for Ford and Holden at Bathurst. Visions of a Falcodore halfway down Conrod straight when a "racing spec" Nagari comes down the mountain, passes it and disappears before the chase... Yep, it was that really much quicker. Great high speed handling dynamics too. I still kinda regret not buying one (I had only just bought a house when the Nagari came out, the begging bowl was beyond empty).

    BTW, the Australian car industry received the same treatment from the 1930s to 1960s when the local manufacturers were officially replaced by the foreign owned Holden and Ford plants. Meanwhile Jack Brabham designed, built and drove a world championship winning formula one car.

    Shades of the aviation black boxes - Menzies awarded the contract to Boeing, who had to ask the Oz inventor how to build it(!). The original was at a Melbourne museum in the '70's - probably still there as far as I know.

    I reckon the Oz gov at the time could not believe a local could manufacture anything, and ensured it was true by shafting them. Adding "political donations" from some major foreign firms did not help the locals much either (sigh).

    TampIt

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    Senior Member Lyrebird's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TampIt View Post
    Meanwhile Jack Brabham designed, built and drove a world championship winning formula one car.
    With the very able assistance of Phil Irving (ex Vincent motorcycles) in the design and build bits.
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    Hi Tamp it,
    Never saw one of the Mk V in the flesh, though read about them. It must have been a WA thing to make a 2+2 out of the Nagari, there were a few floating around Sydney and all strictly two seaters as the factory intended. I actually think it would have been hard to turn that Dinoesque rear into a 2+2, kudos to the guys who did a good enough job to make you think it was factory.

    Lyrebird thanks for expanding my knowledge about Sir Jack. Still an amazing effort in these days of multi million dollar teams, hard to imagine a few blokes having a go - geniuses or not.

    This thread needs pics:



    sports-cars-of-australia-bolwell-nagari-rear.jpg

    image-20150305-1949-1qjdfcc.jpg

    47839.jpg
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    Quote Originally Posted by TampIt View Post
    Meanwhile Jack Brabham designed, built and drove a world championship winning formula one car.
    Quote Originally Posted by Lyrebird View Post
    With the very able assistance of Phil Irving (ex Vincent motorcycles) in the design and build bits.
    Sir Jack was a talented pilot and Phil is a legend but Frank Halam was the one that made it go faster than it should have.

    His sons were very clever too and built some amazing stuff over the years. They also resurrected one of my nitrous racing heads when others laughed at the alloy damage. Paul oven fired it and rebuilt cam journals and half the head a few aluminium tacks at a time before machining to tighter tolerances than it was, he worked all night and I collected it early morning and was back on the racetrack that day.


    Speaking of the Bolwell Nagari...

    The Bolwell Nagari 500 is slated to be unveiled at Motorclassica in a month.
    Mid mount LS3 in a 1 tonne rollerskate --- that's gotta be a fun day out.



    https://www.motoring.com.au/bolwell-...-return-117820

    The below picture was registered as "2006 ORANGE INDIVIDUAL CONSTRUCTION VEHICLE COUPE" and the rego was cancelled May 2017.

    Will be interesting to see what the 2020 Bolwell Nagari 500 will be.
    Attached Images Attached Images
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    Great info about Frank Halam Andy, had never heard of him. Great personal connection and sound like the sons have the fathers dedication and talent.

    Good story on the new Nagari, not many sub 1000kg anything these days - especially not with 500hp!

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    Senior Member Lyrebird's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andy View Post
    Phil is a legend but Frank Halam was the one that made it go faster than it should have.
    Interesting info.

    My understanding is that Frank Hallam was the manager of the Repco division that made the motors and Phil Irving was the chief engineer and designer. This article from one of the people in the machine shop at the time would appear to bear that out.

    The first brewery I ran had a funny little three wheel forklift made by Climax of Coventry, the company mentioned in the article as having cancelled the engine for which the car was originally designed, so like Repco it looks like the racing engines were a sideline.

    The brewery was built into the space formerly occupied by a terrace house next to a hotel in North Melbourne, so space was tight and the Climax was the only thing that could manouevre the malt pallecons into the conveyor building.
    Last edited by Lyrebird; 6 Days Ago at 07:08 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 338 View Post
    Great info about Frank Halam Andy, had never heard of him. Great personal connection and sound like the sons have the fathers dedication and talent.
    You will find lots of info on Frank Hallam, an interesting and very clever man who even in his later years was never happier than when covered in grease. Sadly Frank left us in the mid 90's, his business that had a lot of rally cars builds at the time turned into a bike bias and his sons continued to build mostly superbike and drag race engines. Andrew and Paul were the secret ingredient to many a championship performance but they never chased the limelight, instead happy on the farm, in the shed building the next thing... more complicated the better.

    Andrew and Paul always had something interesting in the corner of the workshop that was tinkered on out of hours. I watched individual billet parts machined each visit which eventually built a V twin motor but was sworn to secrecy at the time. Then on later trips to the shed saw trick suspension, frame, carbon bodywork... it was mind-blowing at the time, the stuff of fiction which made Wayne Gardner's current GP bike look vintage but you could actually touch this!

    As family's go, the brothers had a falling-out, Paul then partnered with Rod Hunwick to form Hunwick Hallam and later they fellout and the project became Hunwick Harrop and eventually fizzled into history. There was obviously a lot more to the story but it was more than 20 years ago so I won't try and tell it but insert lots cash-flow and ego problems and it's not really a surprise. Very sad though. Andrew and Paul could have taken on the world.

    Their superbike prototype would eventually be known as the X1R and Mal Campbell would do some laps at Phillip Island to unveil it.

    Hunwick Hallam_X1R-003.jpg



    HH Article 13.jpg

    Sheeze, I moved this thread from another as it was going way off-topic in the off-topic area and now I'm talking about superbikes in it -- sorry.


    Good story on the new Nagari, not many sub 1000kg anything these days - especially not with 500hp!
    My daily driver is a 547kW LS3 but it weighs twice the Nagari (it also carries 2.5 times the bums on seats).
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    CoffeeSnobs Owner Andy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lyrebird View Post
    My understanding is that Frank Hallam was the manager of the Repco division that made the motors and Phil Irving was the chief engineer and designer
    ...sigh...

    Phil Irving - Project Engineer
    Frank Hallam - Chief Engineer.

    repco.jpg

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    Quote Originally Posted by Andy View Post

    My daily driver is a 547kW LS3 but it weighs twice the Nagari (it also carries 2.5 times the bums on seats).
    Interesting!! Commodore based?


    No wonder 200mph on a bike seems like another Sunday ride to you!

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    Senior Member Lyrebird's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andy View Post
    ...sigh...


    Not sure what you are sighing about.

    You said that Frank was
    Quote Originally Posted by Andy View Post
    the one that made it go faster than it should have
    not Phil Irving. So far you haven't produced anything that backs that up and the article I linked, written by someone who was there at the time, says otherwise.

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    Interesting read Lyrebird, and a few others on the same site. Love one of the first photos with motor on dyno, everyone's hands in the motor and Hallam and Irving both haves smokes hanging out of their mouths

    I assume this alloy buick motor it was based on was the same design which went on to power Rovers (p5, sd1, etc) and Range Rovers for many years? Does anyone know?
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    CoffeeSnobs Owner Andy's Avatar
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    So far you haven't produced anything...
    ...except a copy of a Repco document from the day captioning Phil Irving as Project Engineer and Frank Hallam as Chief Engineer.
    That's a pretty good source!


    Quote Originally Posted by 338 View Post
    Interesting!! Commodore based?
    No wonder 200mph on a bike seems like another Sunday ride to you!
    Yeah, my first and only "dunnydoor" - (Director with some Walkinshaw black magic, great family commuter)

    ...and no, 200mph on the bike is still an insane rush.
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    338
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    Well in case anyone is wondering the going price for Nagari is about $60k with a couple for sale. In my opinion probably still the best looking car we ever made in Australia. Plus you could just about service everything on it with a flathead screwdriver and a shifter!



    Can't imagine 200mph on a bike ever being anything other a huge rush mixed with huge dose of fear and alertness
    Last edited by 338; 6 Days Ago at 03:21 AM.
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    Senior Member Lyrebird's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 338 View Post

    I assume this alloy buick motor it was based on was the same design which went on to power Rovers (p5, sd1, etc) and Range Rovers for many years? Does anyone know?
    In the article above it says that the Repco motor was based on the Oldsmobile F85 motor which was similar, but not identical, to the Buick 215 on which the Rover was based. The main difference is the number and arrangement of cylinder head studs, the Olds engine was designed from the get go for forced induction.
    Last edited by Lyrebird; 6 Days Ago at 10:11 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by 338 View Post
    Well in case anyone is wondering the going price for Nagari is about $60k with a couple for sale. In my opinion probably still the best looking car we ever made in Australia. Plus you could just about service everything on it with a flathead screwdriver and a shifter!
    Seems a low price considering that Holdens and Fords of the same era are fetching those sorts of dollars. If it was an American niche build sold in America they would be selling for 5 or 10 times the dollars.

    I think the modern way of selecting a car has buried things like the Nagari and kept them low priced. I love the ability to search for exactly what I want on carsales but it's not the same as flicking through the classifieds in the back of a magazine.

    Can't imagine 200mph on a bike ever being anything other a huge rush mixed with huge dose of fear and alertness
    Fear and alertness combine to produce laughing maniacally in the helmet because you know it's insane.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andy View Post
    ...sigh...

    Phil Irving - Project Engineer
    Frank Hallam - Chief Engineer.

    repco.jpg
    Thanks for the info Andy.

    Jack's book shows both of them contributed heavily (as you would expect).

    Not a bad pit crew... evidently they both did that for him as well sometimes.

    Love the Vinnies as well - just replace that dreadful brass swingarm bush with a stainless one and the handling is stable for years. A lucky friend of mine brought three of them out from England in the early 1960's - only the Rapide had done 6,000 miles (his daily drive in Armadale W.A.), the others (a Black Knight and a Black Shadow) were both under 100 miles and stripped down. He even had the proper aero sidecar for the slippery one.

    The bastard refused to sell them to me (and about 1,000 others) so I wonder where they are now?

    Good thing to move this "whole mini thread" off topic for car and bike "aficionados" aka nutcases.

    I managed 280Kmh for 196Km (Caiguna to Balladonia in 1981, timed by the servo guys at both ends) on my "aero 11" (DCP Concorde fairing) and laughing maniacally is only exceeded by the concentration level needed. I ran out of revs, and being a shaft drive it is hard to alter the gearing. I really wanted a 6th, 7th and 8th that day.

    TampIt

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    Speed, eh....

    OK, here's my "speed demon" moment.

    I took my Fairlane across the strait to Devonport in Tamania. There are some straight stretches of road between that port town and Launceston. Yes, there are in Victoria too, but being out of town in another country...er, state, gives you false impressions.

    Sp I chose my moment and put the hammer down.

    100...110...120...125...126...

    The alertness level rose and rose, and sweat beads started to bloom across my brow. Arms tensed at the wheel...
    Eyes darting between the speedometer, mirrors and fast-approaching road ahead.

    This was not only illegal, but insane.

    127...`128...130! Yes, 130 kilometres per hour.

    That was enough. Pedal off the metal...back to sanity.

    Whew! And, folks, I survived...and I am here, years later, to tell the tale.
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    Thanks Lyrebird, read about the 4 and 5 stud difference, and new the Rover was an ex GM design, just wasn't sure of the linage.

    Andy agree on the Bolwell, if it was a half page in used cars it would catch your eye, if you hadn't heard of one you wouldn't know to look. You are right all the older cars are getting big money, made me think when you mentioned your 550kw Walkinshaw, probably worth keeping when you are done driving the family around in it. The next 550kw car you get wouldn't be in the same price bracket or will have 2 tonne of batteries involved. Getting into the irreplaceable bracket now.

    Tamp it, we need to get better quality watches for servo guys! 280km average for 196km on a road with corners is a big claim!
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    CoffeeSnobs Owner Andy's Avatar
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    Not a bad pit crew... evidently they both did that for him as well sometimes.

    ...along with Peter Holinger too. That's a racers dream-team for sure, I can't think of a better qualified crew ever.


    Whew! And, folks, I survived...and I am here, years later, to tell the tale.

    Love it. Gotta know your limits and you can only find them by pushing the barrier.


    I see people everyday who can't judge an apex at 60kmh and go from white-line to white-line 3 or 4 times in the radius. I can only assume they are looking 2 feet in front of the bonnet and reacting to the change in direction every 3 seconds. Those same people are "allowed" to drive at 100 on the freeway.




    Getting into the irreplaceable bracket now.

    I swapped it for a V10 M5 that was pilling up the miles too fast and was about to get expensive. I thought the stock LS3 would be plenty but it as a yawn after the M5 so it only took a week to get the W547 treatment. The last of the Australian assembled V8's and I've never owned a dunnydoor besides, I know my next car will run on tofu.
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    338
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    Those V10 were epic! They will never build those again. Mate had one and I thought it was fantastic, needed way more revs than you expected for an executive express but then hang on. Another car which will be worth a bomb when we are all driving tofu cars in 20 years time.

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    CoffeeSnobs Owner Andy's Avatar
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    The V10 was epic, 8250rpm shifts and it sounded like a 1980's F1. A track day at Phillip Island and was lapping under 2min in a large 5 seat family car. That thing was on rails, amazing handling and braking and only managed to get ugly once on the track coming out of Siberia when I squeezing more than the track would take. I bought it with low km's and more than doubled that. Future service work would the price of a new car so when someone made an offer it made sense. On fatter pockets we wouldn't sell anything.
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    Ridiculous times for a big family car. I never realised the shifts were that high, real sports car territory. In 30 years time, the same way we all look and say how much for a Phase 3, A9X, SLR500 or even just plain Monaro or Torana, your son will be telling his mates 'yes Dad had a Walkinshaw Director, M5 V10, etc can't believe he let it go for $xxx'. I think we will be even more nostalgic when the internal combustion engine becomes the minority - probably only a generation away - and having one of these feats of engineering will be like keeping a beautiful horse at home. Both were once transport and now moving into the recreational stage.

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    CoffeeSnobs Owner Andy's Avatar
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    We have horses at home too, a Clydesdale (Paula's) and a quarter horse (Sarah's) and half a horse (Tiana's). The boys of the household lean more towards horsepower ...but you worked that out already.
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    It takes a very talented cowboy to get those 500 horses into the stall!


    Java "*zoom*zoom*zoom*" phile
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    Toys! I must have new toys!!!

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    338
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    I am guessing you don't live on a 600 m2 lot in the middle of Geelong Andy?

    A friend of mine with two horses just bought herself a Polaris and a .... pooper scooper for horse crap. Reckons it is the best thing she has ever bought in her life, says horses have some sort of magic power to convert one cubic metre of feed in to two cubic metres out...
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    CoffeeSnobs Owner Andy's Avatar
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    Nah, we live 32km from work (halfway to Ballarat) on 10 acres, we grow rocks and horse poo. No public transport (2 buses a day) so a car is still a must have but I can get all the way to work with only 1 traffic light and most of it at 100kmh cruise control. The drive is nice as long as the roos stay in the bush.

    We don't have a poo vacuum but I will admit to looking seriously at a small street sweeper on Grays once, I recon Sarah could make a good living driving that around people's paddocks then selling the manure to the garden supplies. Of course, if we put a supercharger on it she would get it done faster.

    It takes a very talented cowboy to get those 500 horses into the stall!
    Don't let the girls see that math or they WILL try and match us.
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    Super Moderator Javaphile's Avatar
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    Then they will need that sweeper, along with a fire hose!


    Java " " phile
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    Toys! I must have new toys!!!



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