MAGAZINE ARTICLES ON BOLWELLS.
Restored Cars- May 1989 - Nagari
The owner of these cars is Guy S. of Melbourne, Victoria. The coupe he has owned for 2 1/2 years
and during that time it was off the road for 10 months having an engine and transmission rebuild.
He fully rewired the car and fitted his own designed integrated air conditioning. The car Guy says was produced in 1973 and it was originally sold to a Eric C. The car is powered by a Ford Boss
302 V8 motor, of 300hp and runs a top end loader 4 speed with a BW 7ins. rear end of 2.92 to one
ratio. The car has been timed over a 1/4 mile in 14.3 seconds on March 19, 1989.
The sports (Roadster) was first sold in 1972 to a South Australian customer. Guy has only owned
this car for 3 months. It runs the Aussie built 302 Clevland V8 of 240hp. Trans engine is a Ford top
loader running another 7ins. BW rear end of 2.92 to one ratio. Other specifications are detailed below.
The Bolwell is a milestone in Australian fiberglass home brew sports cars. It was a strong and reliable
car which history has now certainly proven. Again it was put out of production by being unable to
bear the cost of meeting the continual process of building vehicles better suited to operating in the
environment in which we live.
Our sister publication, "Custom Rodder Magazine" tested both an assembled Mk7 and factory produced Nagari in 1969-70 and were very impressed with the performance of the cars. As with most kit cars the degree of experience of the builder determines what the end result will be. Too often many a reputation of a good kit car is destroyed by bad workmanship. Such was not the case
with the Nagari as the factory assembled the cars to the complete stage and attention could be given to quality control. The finish was quite good but not luxurious. The Custom Rodder test likened
the car to an "Aussie Corvette" and even in those days when the car was a good seller it was not
a common sight on the Australian roads. People passing by were unaware of its origin and the name
Bolwell did bring a lot of puzzlement.
It wasn't a real cheap car and pricing was actually above that of a new GT Falcon. The car with it's
light weight is extremely "torquey," you can drop it into top gear at 10mph and pull away with ease.
In a test in Sports Car World by Peter Robinson back in the mid 70's, he praised the virtues of the car. Robinson was impressed with its acceleration and the fact it was faster than an XA GT Falcon being used as a pace car. He did find fault with a low first gear and the four turns lock to lock. (A
1988 Mustang has 2 turns lock to lock). He couln't come to like the too small leather bound steering
wheel or the brakes. The ride did find favor for a sports car even at the 130mph maximum. Robinson
claimed the car could be driven in two gears and he said its felt stronger in top gear than an E-type
The problem with the Australian market is it is far too small to provide a healthy industry for independant manu-
facturers. This has been proven by the long list of companies making an attempt to produce cars and eventually,
expiring. Bolwell eventually failed with the Nagari due to new emmission laws introduced into California in the mid 70's. Bolwell were set to market the Nagari there, plus more severe local Australian Design Rules and a
smaller market, Bolwell finally forced the compan from the scene. The Bolwell Nagari was well thought of in it's day and it still holds a good reputation with many today. The Bolwell car club, established in 1968 is going well
and can account for most of the cars that have been built.
Make, Model & Year of Manufacture: Bowlell-Nagari Sports 1972
Price when new (or approx.): $6925;
Engine-type: Ford cleveland, V8;
Bore & Stroke: 4" x 3";
Displacment: 302 cub. ins.;
Max B.H.P. @ R.P.M.: 240 @ 4600;
Max. Torque @ R.P.M.: 300 @ 2600;
Compression Ratio: 9.5:1;
Induction System: Holley 500;
Exhaust System: Extractors + 2" pipes;
Electrical System: Alternator;
Clutch-Type: Hydraulic 10" dia.;
Transmission-Type: Ford Top Loader;
Ratios-1st: 2.78, 2nd: 1.93, 3rd: 1.36, 4th: 1.00;
Synchros: Yes, all 4 gears;
Differential-Type: Borg Warner 7";
Drive Axles: LSD;
Steering-Type: Rack & pinion; Turns Lock to Lock: 4; Turning Circle: 34";Steering-Type: Rack & pinion; Turns Lock to Lock: 4; Turning Circle: 34";
Brakes-Type: (Front) Ford disk (Rear) Drum; Drum Diameter: 10"; Front Disc Diameter: 11.25"; Servo Assisted: Yes; Chassis & Body-Frame: Steel backbone chassis;
Body Construction: Fibreglass;
Body Style: Sports Coupe;
Suspension-Type: Coil springs; (Front) Unequal length wishbones, (Rear) Live axle, 4 locating arms;
Wheel-Type: Bolwell 14"x205;
Wheels-Colour: Bolwell design, polished alloy,
Overall Length: 158";
Overall Height: 44";
Overall Width: 66";
Front Track: 57"
Rear Track: 59";
Ground Clearance: 6";
Curb Weight: 2284 lbs.;
Capacities-Crackcase: 1 gal., Fuel Tank: 12 gal.;
Fuel Consumtion-Best: 24mpg, Average: 22mpg,;
Performance-0-30mph: 2.1 sec., 0-40mph: 3.9 sec., 0-50mph: 5.3 sec.,
0-60mph: 6.4 sec.;
Top Speed (Estimated): 130 mph;
Gauges-Type-Speedo: Stewart Warner, Oil Pressure: Stewart Warner, Fuel: Stewart Warner, Tachometer: Stewart Warner,
Water Temperature: Stewart Warner.