1969-74 Bolwell Nagari: Once a kit car, now a cult car.
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1969-74 Bolwell Nagari: Once a kit car, now a cult car.

By JoeKenwright - 03 January 2014
Colours can change the whole aura of the Nagari more than most cars. Soft-sheen metallics seem to integrate the various body details and make its fibreglass construction less obvious. The early Cortina parking/indicator units which Bolwell recessed into the body seemed purpose-made for the Nagari.

The Nagari marked Bolwell’s transition from kit car to factory turn-key sports car. Because of tiny local volumes, the Nagari owed as much to readily available local components as inspired design, highlighting the fundamental difference between it and mainstream factory rivals. Yet the Nagari has stood the test of time as the only all-Australian sports car ever that can boast a production run of four years and an estimated 118 examples, many of which raced successfully. 

The Nagari, first seen as a Mark VIII kit powered by anything from a Ford Kent four to a Holden six according to an owner’s whim and finances, was pushed into factory production to protect the integrity and quality of the V8 design. Its Aboriginal name translates to something that flows, appropriate given the fibreglass body and the way it looked. The Nagari badge was used to separate its factory-build status from those before it.