The Nagari was a bonafide Aussie attempt at a supercar and one of the very few that made it from fertile suburban imagination into a 3D reality.
While no official records now exist, the best guess is brothers Campbell and Graeme Bolwell built just over 100 Nagaris in their Melbourne workshop before the 1974 oil crisis curtailed production. The 920- kilogram two-door powered buy a Ford 302 Windsor V8 which meant it could accelerate from 0-100 Km/h in 6.4 seconds and dash across the quarter-mile in 14.3 seconds.
Over the years the Bolwell's have continued to dabble in developing cars.
Not that special now, perhaps, but in 1970 these were stunning numbers and a little bit terrifying considering the steering came out of and Austin Tasman and the built quality was . . . variable to say the least.
Mindbogglingly, later Nagaris were fitted with Ford's more powerful and heavier Cleveland 351 V8 that slashed acceleration time and lifted the top speed beyond 240 Km/h - if you were brave enough to go there. The Nagari not only walked the walk, it also talked the talk thanks to a beautiful low-slung all-fibreglass body inspired by the Lotus sports cars of the day. Both coupe and convertible versions were made.
Not only was the Nagari's body fibreglass, it was constructed in one piece rather than moulded in bits and then glued together. It was some ground breaking stuff for that time. It was also the first car the brothers gave a name rather than a number, although it's also known as the Mark 8.
Nagari is an Aboriginal word meaning 'to flow'.
The Bolwell's arrived at the Nagari after years building kit cars, collecting experience and knowledge along the way. They decided to assemble the Nagari themselves so they could could have 100% control over the process.
But the oil shock hit the brothers hard, as did new Australian Design Rules that required more stringent pollution testing and mandatory crash testing. Building a car not only to wreck it was not something the Bolwell's have afford. Instead, they took their amassed fibreglass and composites expertise and translated that into a successful multinational company that has since made everything from small components to ocean-going yachts.
Minimum price for Nagari: 1974 Model =$9998 MRRP (Manufacturer's Recommended Retail Price)
Check out the 1970-74 Bolwell Nagari's:
* Toby Hagon and Bruce Newton, Kings of the Road - 50 Cars that drove Australia Pan MacMillan Australia 2018