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Bolwell is back

Neil Dowling
Contributing Journalist
Herald Sun

13 Nov 2008 • 2 min read

It's been nearly 30 years but the name Bolwell is poised to be driving into Australian car-making history yet again.

Picking up the name of its 1970s coupe, the Bolwell Nagari started production last month and director Owen Bolwell — son of founder Campbell — won't exceed 25 units a year.

"That's the maximum number a small-volume manufacturer can build and sell before we're required to start crash testing," he said.

The first person who will own the latest Nagari — which is priced from $198,000 — is an un-named West Australian involved in the mining industry.

He put his deposit down — car unseen — at Bolwell's reveal at last year's Melbourne Motor Show.

The Nagari follows the principles of Campbell's 1970s model with a lightweight body and a high-performance engine.

But where the predecessor had a fibreglass body over a steel backbone chassis and a front engine driving the rear wheels, the latest gets a carbon-fibre passenger `tub’ with alloy sub-frames and a rear-mounted, transverse V6 supplied by Toyota.

The base Nagari gets a tweaked 220kW 3.5-litre V6 from the Toyota Aurion but there is the option of one with a Sprintex supercharger.

It is available as a six-speed sequential automatic with steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters though a six-speed manual will be optional.

Performance potential is shown by the Nagari's light 920kg weight.

Owen Bolwell didn't release acceleration data though indicated that the supercharger would be "for those who don't mind losing their licence".

"We aimed to create a very high-performance sports car that could double as a spacious, comfortable and well-equipped car that could be driven each day," Owen said.

Underpinnings include double-wishbone suspension with fully-adjustable springs and dampers, power steering with tilt/telescopic adjustment and ventilated ABS brakes.

Features are leather sports seats, airconditioning and cruise control with including a Polaris GPS stereo unit with sat-nav and rear camera.

The Bolwell Car Company, a division of industrial fibreglass firm Bolwell Corporation of which Owen and brother Vaughn are directors, will start delivery of the Nagari early next year.