Cars – Silodrome https://silodrome.com Gasoline Culture Fri, 20 Apr 2018 16:04:40 +0000 en-US hourly 1 18077751 The Art of Adam Ambro https://silodrome.com/art-adam-ambro/ Thu, 19 Apr 2018 03:00:23 +0000 https://silodrome.com/?p=76243 The Art of Adam Ambro

Adam Ambro is an architect based in Golden, Colorado, with a passion for both art and cars. His day job keeps him busy, and in 2013 he won the AIA Denver Young Architect of the Year Award, followed in 2014 with him being named an Engineering News Record Mountain States Top 20 Under 40 Professional....

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The Art of Adam Ambro

Adam Ambro is an architect based in Golden, Colorado, with a passion for both art and cars. His day job keeps him busy, and in 2013 he won the AIA Denver Young Architect of the Year Award, followed in 2014 with him being named an Engineering News Record Mountain States Top 20 Under 40 Professional.

Adam’s art is immediately recognizable due to the fact that he frequently uses newspaper as his canvas, he draws the automotive icons using pens and markers, and then scans in the original artwork to create a series of prints – each poster is a digital press print on long-lasting 111 lbs cover stock.

Each of Adam’s pieces can be ordered in sizes ranging from 8×10, 13×19, or 20×30, and you can choose to have your print framed or unframed – with both black and white frames on offer.

Buy Here

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1973 Porsche 911 Carrera RS 2.7 Lightweight – Factory Built For Finnish Racing Driver Leo Kinnunen https://silodrome.com/porsche-911-carrera-rs-2-7-car/ Wed, 18 Apr 2018 08:00:35 +0000 https://silodrome.com/?p=76206 1973 Porsche 911 Carrera RS 2.7 Lightweight – Factory Built For Finnish Racing Driver Leo Kinnunen

All surviving examples of the Porsche 911 Carrera RS 2.7 are special, but this one is more special than most. It was built to a specification laid out by legendary Finnish racing driver Leo Kinnunen, who used it as a personal car while competing in Germany in the Interserie – a popular European motorsport series. The...

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1973 Porsche 911 Carrera RS 2.7 Lightweight – Factory Built For Finnish Racing Driver Leo Kinnunen

All surviving examples of the Porsche 911 Carrera RS 2.7 are special, but this one is more special than most. It was built to a specification laid out by legendary Finnish racing driver Leo Kinnunen, who used it as a personal car while competing in Germany in the Interserie – a popular European motorsport series.

The Porsche 911 Carrera RS 2.7

The Porsche 911 Carrera RS is considered by many in the motoring fraternity to be the pinnacle of the 911. Porsche have built many extraordinary cars since 1973 of course, but so far as the 911 goes, the Carrera RS set the bar in both looks and performance.

500 cars were required for Porsche to homologate the 911 Carrera RS 2.7 for touring car racing in Europe, and it wasn’t known at the time if the company would be able to sell them all – they had a price tag well in excess of $10,000 USD and the executives at Porsche weren’t at all sure that demand for the car existed. They needn’t have worried. The model sold out less than a week after first being displayed at the Paris Motor Show, and Porsche would go on to build 1,590 examples over the course of the production run.

Porsche 911 Carrera RS 2.7

Porsche offered the Carrera RS in two trim packages – Touring and Sport Lightweight. The Touring package included things like carpeting, a radio and other modern amenities whereas the Sport Lightweight variant was a stripped out racing car designed to be just barely road legal.

The list of celebrity owners of Porsche 911 Carrera RS 2.7s is too long to list here, Jay Leno, Jerry Seinfeld, Jay Kay, and Jenson Button are all either owners or former owners – and the list goes on a long way from there.

The performance of the RS (an abbreviation of Rennsport, German for race sport) is remarkable, especially when you consider that this is an air-cooled car build in the early ’70s. The 2687cc flat-6 was capable of 210 bhp and 182 ft lbs of torque, giving it a 219 bhp per tonne, a top speed of 150 mph and a 0-60 mph time of just 5.6 seconds.

Porsche 911 Carrera Side

The 1973 Porsche 911 Carrera RS 2.7 Lightweight Shown Here

The tangerine example of the Carrera RS 2.7 Lightweight you see here is special for a number of reasons, not the least of which is that it was built for 24 Hours of Daytona winner Leo Kinnunen.

The story goes that Leo ordered the car to do practice runs for the 1973 1000 Lakes Rally in which he was to compete, and perhaps also to practice ahead of the Targa Florio. It must’ve worked, because Leo still holds the all-time lap record for the Targa Florio – beating the previous record by 90 seconds.

When specifying this car, Leo ordered it with larger ‘ST’-style wheel arches to accommodate wider wheels and tires. This would be the only 2.7 RS fitted with a “tea-tray” spoiler (as used on the latter Carrera 3.0 RS), it was also fitted with a limited-slip differential, a Matter alloy roll cage, a pair of Recaro rally seats (with thumbscrew-adjustable backrests), Repa racing harnesses, a larger-than-normal steering wheel to allow better control on loose surfaces and a raised passenger seat to improve co-driver vision.

In the years since it passed from Leo’s ownership, the car has belonged to a small number of enthusiasts, and it’s now due to roll across the auction block with RM Sotheby’s on the 12th of May in Monaco. If you’d like to read more about it or register to bid you can click here to visit the listing.

Porsche 911 Carrera Rear

Porsche 911 Carrera Window

Porsche 911 Carrera Main

Porsche 911 Carrera Interior

Porsche 911 Carrera Interior

Porsche 911 Carrera Gear Knob

Porsche 911 Carrera Front

Porsche 911 Carrera Bumper

Porsche 911 Carrera

Porsche 911 Carrera Engine

Porsche 911 Carrera Dash

Porsche 911 Carrera RS 2.7

Porsche 911 Carrera Back

Porsche 911 Carrera Wheels

Porsche 911 Carrera U Joint

Porsche 911 Carrera Trunk

Images: Remi Dargegen ©2018 Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

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The Rare German Batmobile: An Unrestored 1975 BMW 3.0 CSL “Batmobile” https://silodrome.com/bmw-3-0-csl-batmobile-car/ Tue, 17 Apr 2018 07:01:50 +0000 https://silodrome.com/?p=76137 The Rare German Batmobile: An Unrestored 1975 BMW 3.0 CSL “Batmobile”

The original BMW 3.0 CSL Batmobile is an almost mythological car that has graced countless teenager’s bedrooms walls in poster form, and features prominently in many adult’s automotive bucket lists. The BMW 3.0 CSL Batmobile BMW introduced the 3.0 CSL in 1972 as an homologation special based on the popular 3.0 CS/CSi sporting coupe. The...

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The Rare German Batmobile: An Unrestored 1975 BMW 3.0 CSL “Batmobile”

The original BMW 3.0 CSL Batmobile is an almost mythological car that has graced countless teenager’s bedrooms walls in poster form, and features prominently in many adult’s automotive bucket lists.

The BMW 3.0 CSL Batmobile

BMW introduced the 3.0 CSL in 1972 as an homologation special based on the popular 3.0 CS/CSi sporting coupe. The addition of the “L” to the model name meant “leicht” (German for light), as the entire unibody structure was built from thinner gauge steel for weight savings, accompanied by deleted trim and soundproofing, aluminium alloy doors, bonnet, and boot lid, and Perspex side windows.

This lowered the weight of the 3.0 CSL by almost 200 kilograms (440+ lbs) compared to the 3.0 CS – 1,270 kgs vs 1,420 kgs. The engine fitted to the first series of 3.0 CSL vehicles was the standard 2,985 cc BMW M30 inline-6, producing 180 hp at 6,000 rpm and 192 lb-ft of torque at 3,700 rpm.

BMW 3.0 CSL Batmobile

The nickname “Batmobile” has now become almost an official model designation for the car thanks to an eye-catching aerodynamic package – this included a large front air dam, fins running along the top of the front fenders, a spoiler on the trailing edge of the roof, and a tall rear wing. Interestingly, the rear wing was never installed at the factory, but it was left in the trunk in three parts for the owner to install, as wings were illegal on German roads at the time.

The second generation version was fitted with a Bosch fuel injection system in place of dual Zenith carburetors, and the displacement was increased slightly to 3,003 cc to allow the car to compete in the over-3 litre class. Power was increased to 200 hp at 5,500 rpm and torque was increased to 204 lb-ft at 4,300 rpm.

The third and final generation had its displacement further increased to 3,153 cc thanks to a longer stroke, giving an additional power boost to 206 hp at 5,600 rpm and 215 lb-ft at 4,200 rpm.

BMW Badge Logo

All versions of the BMW 3.0 CSL were fitted with a Getrag four-speed manual gearbox, sending power back through a limited slip rear differential. Disc brakes were fitted to all four corners, encompassed by Alpina 7 x 14 inch alloy wheels, shod with Michelin XWX tires.

Although the horsepower and weight figures may not seem particularly impressive by modern standards, the competition version of the 3.0 CSL proved almost unbeatable on track – it won the European Touring Car Championship in 1973, and then again every year from 1975 to 1979. In 1973 it took a popular class victory at Le Mans, it won a slew of races in the IMSA GT Championship in 1975, and countless victories in sports racing car competition around the world in the mid-to-late 1970s.

The 1975 BMW 3.0 CSL Batmobile Shown Here

The car you see here is one of the first 110 Batmobiles built, and remarkably it’s still in largely original condition throughout thanks to its low mileage and gentle use over the decades since it was first delivered to the BMW dealer in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria in 1973.

The car retains its original Chamonix Metallic exterior paint with which it left the factory, as well as the original “Batmobile” aerodynamics package (including the front air dam, twin front fender spoilers, roof spoiler, and three-piece rear wing). The interior retains its original black and red Scheel sport seats remain along with the original three-arm steering wheel (which is specific to this model). Most importantly, the original numbers-matching engine, reading just 39,072 km from new, remains installed in the recently tidied engine bay.

It’s entirely likely that this is the best preserved original BMW 3.0 CSL Batmobile in the world, so it’ll be interesting to see what it sells for when it crosses the auction block with RM Sotheby’s on the 12 of May in Monaco. If you’d like to read more about the car or register to bid you can click here to visit the listing.

BMW 3.0 CSL Batmobile 2

BMW 3.0 CSL Batmobile Interior 2

BMW 3.0 CSL Batmobile Steering Wheel

BMW 3.0 CSL Batmobile Back

BMW 3.0 CSL Batmobile Front

BMW 3.0 CSL Batmobile Interior

BMW 3.0 CSL Batmobile Engine

BMW 3.0 CSL Batmobile 1

Images: ©2018 Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

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Bolwell Nagari – The Essential Buying Guide For The Australian Classic https://silodrome.com/bolwell-nagari/ Mon, 16 Apr 2018 04:00:52 +0000 https://silodrome.com/?p=74425 Bolwell Nagari – The Essential Buying Guide For The Australian Classic

The Bolwell Nagari is a car that few people outside Australia have heard of, much less seen or driven. Bolwell were, and still are, Australia’s sports GT car, designed and made by a group of brothers who built their first car whilst ditching school as teenagers. This is a GT car that reflects the Australian...

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Bolwell Nagari – The Essential Buying Guide For The Australian Classic

The Bolwell Nagari is a car that few people outside Australia have heard of, much less seen or driven. Bolwell were, and still are, Australia’s sports GT car, designed and made by a group of brothers who built their first car whilst ditching school as teenagers.

This is a GT car that reflects the Australian “Jack’s as good as his master” culture in which it is expected that everybody will be given a fair go. For the Bolwell brothers that fair go meant that Australia’s GT car should be made using Australian made parts that were affordable and accessible: and that the car should be kept inexpensive so that an average bloke could afford one.

Early cars were made available as kits for an owner to build themselves: the last of the original Bolwells, the Mark VIII Nagari, started out as a kit, but soon the kit car option was taken away and customers could only buy a complete car.

Bolwell Nagari kit

To put the cost of the kit car version into late 1960’s perspective, a new Ford Cortina or Datsun 1600 (i.e. Datsun 510) cost around AUD$2,000.00. The Bolwell Nagari kit cost AUD$2,795.00: so if you could afford a new four cylinder Ford or Datsun you could probably afford a Bolwell kit. This was a GT car for the ordinary guy, and it offered the performance and handling of some of the more exciting Italian exotics, being similar in many ways to the Bizzarrini GT Strada (aka. Bizzarrini GT America and Iso Grifo Competizione), except with Australian characteristics.

To put the driving experience of the Bolwell Nagari into perspective consider that the car used the same engine and transmission as that of the Ford Falcon GT, but installed all that lovely power into a fiberglass bodied GT car that weighed quite a bit less than the four door sedan.

I first came to appreciate the power of the Falcon GT in 1970 when I did a competition driver’s course at the local race track, and one of the course participants had a somewhat tweaked Falcon GT Phase I sedan. That car would smoke its tires in first and second gear, and you could hear the tires howling as they tried to get grip in third. So if you can then imagine that sort of power in a lightweight fiberglass sports car you have an idea of what driving the Nagari was like.

Bolwell only recommended British Avon tires for the Nagari to keep the power under control. Behind the wheel for a “brisk” drive the first impression was of being glad it had headrests as the acceleration was everything one could have hoped for. Despite its having a live rear axle the car was stable, controllable, and enormous fun, and you could build that fun for yourself for AUD$2,795.00.

The History of the Bolwell Nagari and Bolwell Sports Cars

The history of Bolwell sports cars has humble, almost Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn beginnings. A sixteen year old Campbell Bolwell along with his brother Graeme, skipped school to get into building a sports car. This the sort of scenario that a few of the major sports car makers have come from: Bruce MacLaren started out with a tweaked Austin 7, which you can see to this day on display at the MacLaren Technology Centre.

In the case of the Bolwell brothers it was not an Austin 7 but a 1937 Ford V8 chassis. The body panels were hand fabricated and the boys discovered that the car could actually outperform the Austin-Healeys, which were one of the premier affordable sports cars in Australia at the time. That first car survived for a couple of years and then Campbell and Graeme got stuck into their second creation based on a MG chassis. The MG chassis was low, light, and because it had been designed as a sports car it had good weight distribution. To their surprise the boys discovered that his new creation was a tad quicker than the first car despite the fact that it only had a four cylinder engine.

Campbell worked in the Public Service and then at Coles as a trainee and by 1962 a twenty year old Campbell Bolwell had amassed the sum of two hundred pounds. This might not sound like much nowadays but back then a good wage was about twenty pounds per week and most people got rather less than that. With that two hundred pounds behind him Campbell Bolwell quit his job with Coles and started his own car building business. It is a story not unlike that of Bill Harley and the Davidson brothers.

The first kit car built by Campbell and Graeme was called the Bolwell Mark IV. It was built on a space frame chassis with a fiberglass body and was powered by either a Ford Cortina four cylinder engine of 1,600cc capacity, a Peugeot four cylinder, or Australia’s own Holden 6 cylinder “grey” engine.

The body was supplied to be built as either a coupé with gull-wing doors or as a convertible. The Mark IV was succeeded by the Mark V and Mark VI. In 1966 Campbell and Graeme Bolwell went for a short working holiday in the UK and spent some time at Lotus Cars. The time there convinced them of the need to graduate from just producing kit cars to building fully built cars. On their return to Australia the brothers designed what they hoped to be their last kit car, the Bolwell Mark VII. This car was built on a backbone chassis whilst the engine was the relatively new Holden “red” engine, which was an in-line six cylinder with a seven main bearing crankshaft. That engine was made in a number of versions with capacities of 149 cu. in., 179 cu. in., 161 cu. in., and the 186cu. in.

Bolwell Mark VII

It was the Mark VII that really established Bolwell as Australia’s sports car maker, an Australian equivalent of Britain’s TVR and Lotus. Bolwell had by this time become expert in fiberglass fabrication and the quality of their fiberglass work was excellent. The Mark VII was made to use off the shelf Holden components except for the gearbox which was initially a Ford unit as Holden were not yet making a suitable four speed, and the Holden three speed with no synchromesh on first gear was not a worthwhile choice for a sports car. Because it used such common generic parts the Mark VII became a popular choice for motor racing as well as for road use. About 600 Bolwell Mark VII kits were sold between 1966 and 1972.

Campbell Bolwell had a vision to create something that might just prove to be a world beater however, and that meant creating a car that would be the equal of the famed AC Shelby Cobra. This was to become the Mark VIII, better known as the Nagari. The Bolwell Nagari was based on a backbone chassis made of 14 gauge steel, similar to the Mark VII, but made to accommodate a Ford 302 cu. in. Windsor V8 engine. This was the engine fitted to the Ford Falcon GT Phase I that had been making quite a name for itself as the “Broadmeadows Bogan”: Broadmeadows being the location of Ford’s Australian factory and “Bogan” being an Australian colloquial word similar in meaning to the English word “hooligan”. So if a fast British car might be described as being suitable for a “gentleman thug” then the Falcon GT was being given a similar epithet. This was the car that Campbell Bolwell would take the engine and transmission from and insert them into his lightweight sports car to create Australia’s answer to the AC Cobra.

Bolwell Nagari Specifications

The Bolwell Nagari did not use the Falcon GT suspension however, but Bolwell created their own with a view to making the car handle at least as well as a Shelby Cobra, even if it wouldn’t be able to compete with a Bizzarrini 5300 GT (which had an American V8 engine and gearbox, but used an independent rear suspension). To this end the front suspension was by unequal length wishbones with coil springs and telescopic shock absorbers, whilst at the rear the Ford Falcon’s leaf springs and live axle were replaced by trailing arms, coil springs and telescopic shock absorbers to much better locate the Ford live axle. Over the top of that technically promising foundation Bolwell fitted a svelte fiberglass body that made the car look like a world class GT.

Bolwell Nagari coupe roadster

The Bolwell Nagari (Mark VIII) entered small scale production in 1969: initially available as either a kit or a fully built car with a hard-top coupé body style. A soft-top convertible style was also offered but these are much more scarce than the hard-tops. The kit car option was phased out as quickly as Bolwell could manage it however. There isn’t an exact known number of the Nagaris produced, but probably around 130 give or take a few. This was the era when the US government was introducing emissions controls regulations for automobiles, and safety standards. The Australian Government decided to follow suit and brought in emissions controls and the “Australian Design Rules” (ADR) which mandated crash performance for automobiles. No provision was made for small scale specialist makers such as Bolwell to be exempted from crash testing etc. and so it became simply uneconomic for Bolwell to continue to build cars. Production of the Nagari ceased in 1974, and Bolwell moved on to creating fiberglass moldings for a variety of industries.

Bolwell Models and Specifications

Bolwell Nagari 301 cubic inch V8

The Bolwell Nagari was made as one basic model with the main difference between the early and later cars being that the early production cars were fitted with the Ford “Windsor” 301 cu. in. V8, but when that ceased production Bolwell began fitting the Ford 351 cu. in. V8. In the interest of getting the best possible front to rear weight distribution the heavy V8 engine was placed as far back in the backbone chassis as possible, so far back in fact that the flywheel was located behind the windscreen line. Getting the weight distribution even was going to be important to the Nagari because it was going to be pushing a lot of power through the back wheels and there needed to be weight there to ensure the car kept traction. The location of the engine was quite like that of the Bizzarini GT 5300 and both cars suffered from the same problem, heat in the passenger compartment. Insulation can only achieve so much and to really make a Nagari comfortable air-conditioning is a good idea.

The Ford 301 cu. in. (5 liter) V8 was fitted with a Holley 2 barrel 500 cfm carburettor and produced 220bhp @ 4,600rpm with torque of 300lb/ft @ 2,600rpm. This engine gave the Bolwell Nagari a standing to 60mph time of 7 seconds and a top speed in the vicinity of 130mph. The later 351 cu. in. Ford V8 engine produced more power but shoehorning it into the Nagari’s chassis required some modifications. With a 351 cu. in. V8 under the hood one road tester claimed the top speed was 147mph. We suspect that finding that out was a bit of a “white knuckle” experience.

The engine and carburettor fitted determines the bonnet/hood profile. The 301 cu. in. cars have a modest air-scoop on the bonnet and one very early one appears in photographs with that small air-scoop reversed. The earliest display Nagari for the 1969 Melbourne Show had a flat bonnet/hood which was only made possible because the carburettor was removed from the engine. There are a few variations on the hood bulge depending on the carburettor(s) and engine fitted.

Bolwell Nagari 351 cubic inch V8

The front suspension was fully independent by unequal length wishbones and coil springs, this being mounted on the front of the “Y” fork of the backbone chassis (see diagram above). The rear suspension was mounted on a “T” section at the rear of the backbone chassis incorporating trailing arms to provide positive location of the beam rear axle with limited slip differential. Again coil springs were used. The propeller shaft passed through the chassis backbone to the rear axle. The steering was originally a rack and pinion unit from the Austin 1800 sedan which Bolwell listed as having 3.3 turns lock to lock: this was subsequently replaced with an Austin Kimberley steering box with 4.2 turns lock to lock. Turning circle was 34′.

Brakes of the early Nagaris fitted with the 301 cu. in. V8 were 11¼” vented discs at the front and 10″ drums at the rear, the brakes being servo assisted with dual hydraulic circuits as was mandated by the ADI at the time. Brakes of the later 351 cu. in. V8 cars were discs all around. The Nagari was also fitted with alloy wheels which Bolwell described as “heat dissipating wheels”. Original wheel size was 14″x6″ and the tires were 185×14 radials. With the light weight of the car and the tires available on the market back then, Bolwell advised Avon tires for the car. Having the wrong tires on a Nagari did not help its handling, nor its handling of power at the rear wheels. The Nagari with the Ford Windsor V8 weighed 18cwt/2016lb, so it was about the same weight as a Ford Cortina of the late sixties or a Datsun 1600 (Datsun 510). It was a car that would benefit from twenty-first century wheels and tire technology.

The Nagari was only 44″ high, comparable to the Bizzarrini GT 5300 which was 43″ high: consequently neither car is particularly easy to get in and out of. For those of us who are not 6′ tall it is perhaps a bit easier, but those of Jeremy Clarkson proportions may find it more of a challenge. Once in the car one becomes aware of the limited room in the foot well: the backbone chassis construction pretty much ensures there is just not quite enough space there. All the Bolwell Nagaris bar one were made in right hand drive. The one exception was made for an American client who didn’t take delivery of the ordered car, so it was purchased by someone in Australia who used it for racing where the fact that it was left hand drive was not a big issue.

Buying a Bolwell Nagari

Bolwell Nagari Body and Interior

When looking for a Bolwell Nagari your best first port of call will be one of the Bolwell car clubs. With so few Nagaris in existence and almost all of those located in Australia they will tend to know of most cars still in existence. The backbone chassis was made of 14 gauge steel and steel can rust so it is your first concern, although you also need to look for cracks and the integrity of welds. A new chassis can be constructed but there is a significant cost in doing that. Pay particular attention to the rear box section as that is a rust trouble-spot on both Nagaris and Mark VII cars. You must get the car up on a hoist and check for corrosion and accident damage. Check all suspension mounting points, suspension bushings etc. Most Australians live in coastal cities and regularly visit the beach so expect that the car you are looking at has been exposed to salt air.

Bolwell Nagari advertisement

On a test drive you are looking for signs of shock absorber failure (knocks, vibration), steering wandering or excess steering free play, movement or rattles in doors or body panels. Check door operation and fit. Jacking up the car and checking the opening and closing of the doors can provide tell tale signs of chassis flexing.

Check tire wear patterns. Chassis or suspension/steering problems will often show up in unusual tire wear patterns.

The fiberglass bodywork on Bolwell cars was very good, better than many, so you are mainly looking for damage from accidents or collisions with wildlife such as kangaroos or wombats. A collision with a kangaroo will tend to result in its going over the hood/bonnet and if the windscreen is not laminated it can finish up in the car on the driver’s lap. The end result of such a scenario is damage to both car and driver, the kangaroo often survives and hops off once out of the vehicle. Wombats will cause low front damage and they normally finish up going under the car, as do road-kill kangaroo carcases. So look for damage consistent with collision with animals as well as traffic accident damage.

The quality of the paint will depend on how recently the car has been painted. The old gel-coat finish was not as good as modern finishes and getting a good re-finishing on a tatty looking car will do some wonders. For replacement body panels contact your Bolwell club. The Victorian club has original molds for the fiberglass panels of some Bolwell car models.

Bolwell Nagari cockpit interior

The interior of the Nagari poses no great difficulty for an automotive trimmer. Instrumentation was generic and should prove to be repairable or replaceable. If the car does not yet have inertia reel seat belts they will be a worthwhile fitting for the additional comfort they provide. The Nagari was made to be a kit car or production car and so everything is made to be owner fixable.

Check the that the door seals actually seal, on the original cars they sometimes didn’t. Your first trip through a car wash is often the time you find out whether there are leaks or not.

Bolwell Nagari Engine and Transmission

Whichever of the original engines the Nagari has these units are solid and pretty agricultural. Normal checks will be for leaking oil seals front and back, rocker cover seals etc. Check for rattles or sounds that should not be there. Check for exhaust blue smoke indicating piston ring problems or valve guide problems. Do a cylinder leakage test. Check the radiator coolant for milky deposits indicating oil in the coolant. Check for signs of water in the oil, again, if oil and water come together there will be milky deposits.

Check the transmission for operation, the four speed Ford gearbox is a joy to use. The most common place for gearbox problems to show up is on second gear because it gets so much use. Make sure second gear engages smoothly on the over-run, such as slowing down for a right angle left hand corner, and that it has no tendency to pop out of gear. check for excess play in the propeller shaft joints. When driving the car listen for knocks from the transmission.

Bolwell Nagari Electrical System

If the electrical system is original then it is decades old and due for replacement. If the car has been re-wired then things should be all working perfectly. Whichever scenario check that everything does in fact work as it should, an auto electrician can do the necessary testing better than most of the rest of us can.

Documentation

Look for service records and documentation of work done. The Bolwell club will often be a good source for the history of the car you are looking at.

Conclusion

The Bolwell Nagari had the potential to be a great success not only in Australia, but also in world markets such as Europe and the United States. The design and engineering is perhaps not at the sophisticated level of an Italian thoroughbred but it is about the equal of a Shelby Cobra, and the Nagari is a great driver’s car, it’s enormous fun to drive. If you are looking for a car that provides AC Cobra excitement and owner tweak-ability then a Bolwell Nagari is a car you’ll without doubt enjoy.

The Bolwell Car Company still exists and they have a new model, the Bolwell Nagari 300. At time of publication the list price was AUD$197,000, so it is not so much a car for the average bloke as the original Nagari was. But if you are looking for something exotic and unique then you will find the Bolwell Nagari 300 on the Bolwell Car Company website.

Bolwell Nagari roadster

Editor’s Note: If you have tips, suggestions, or hard earned experience that you’d like to add to this buying guide please shoot us an email (the address is in the footer). We’re always looking to add to our guides, and your advice could be very helpful to other enthusiasts, allowing them to make a better decision.

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Racing Documentary: The Seven Second Love Affair https://silodrome.com/the-seven-second-love-affair/ Sun, 15 Apr 2018 04:00:35 +0000 https://silodrome.com/?p=76125 Racing Documentary: The Seven Second Love Affair

The Seven Second Love Affair is a documentary that follows the trials and tribulations of one of the most likable (and successful) men from the golden era of American drag racing – Rick “The Iceman” Stewart. If you’ve seen the iconic Bruce Brown documentary On Any Sunday you’ll probably see a parallel between the two...

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Racing Documentary: The Seven Second Love Affair

The Seven Second Love Affair is a documentary that follows the trials and tribulations of one of the most likable (and successful) men from the golden era of American drag racing – Rick “The Iceman” Stewart.

If you’ve seen the iconic Bruce Brown documentary On Any Sunday you’ll probably see a parallel between the two films, though they’re made by different teams they both offer a window into forms of motorsport that were (and largely still are) a bit of a mystery to the majority of the population.

This film is the work of Bob Abel (director) and cinéma vérité documentary filmmaker Les Blank (cameraman), it was filmed in 1965, following racing driver Rick Stewart and his rail dragster, narrated by well-known character actor John Dehner with an original soundtrack recorded by the Canned Heat Blues Band.

With a total running time of just under an hour, The Seven Second Love Affair is a captivating ride through a world most of us never got to experience firsthand. If you’d like to buy a copy of the DVD direct from Les Blank and support his work, you can click here to visit his website.

Rick Stewart Drag Racing Seven Second

Rick Stewart Drag Racing Seven Second Love Affair

The Seven Second Love Affair Film

Rick Stewart Drag Racing Seven Second

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5-Time Daytona 24-Hour and Sebring 12-Hour Competitor – 1981 Porsche 924 GTR https://silodrome.com/porsche-924-gtr/ Sat, 14 Apr 2018 04:01:01 +0000 https://silodrome.com/?p=76078 5-Time Daytona 24-Hour and Sebring 12-Hour Competitor – 1981 Porsche 924 GTR

The Porsche 924 GTR was the mightiest iteration of the 924 – Porsche’s first road-going car to have a front-mounted, water-cooled engine – a configuration that would later be used on most of Porsche’s best-selling cars including the Cayenne, Macan, and Panamera. The Porsche 924 Porsche originally developed the 924 in partnership with Volkswagen, the...

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5-Time Daytona 24-Hour and Sebring 12-Hour Competitor – 1981 Porsche 924 GTR

The Porsche 924 GTR was the mightiest iteration of the 924 – Porsche’s first road-going car to have a front-mounted, water-cooled engine – a configuration that would later be used on most of Porsche’s best-selling cars including the Cayenne, Macan, and Panamera.

The Porsche 924

Porsche originally developed the 924 in partnership with Volkswagen, the plan being to sell the new model as VW’s range-topping sports car. During development it was code-named “Project 425”, VW had specified that it had to use a VW/Audi engine and gearbox to help reduce costs, but the designers at Porsche had carte blanche with the design of the body.

They chose sleek, aerodynamic styling with pop-up headlights and a tapered rear-end. The design of the new car didn’t really reference anything in the VW or Porsche line-up at the time, it was developed as car for the future, with a light-weight 4-cylinder engine up front, and a rear-mounted transaxle giving almost perfect weight distribution.

Porsche 924 GTR

Project 425 would never make it into production as a VW sports car as the project was cancelled, but Porsche realized they could sell it as an entry-level car themselves as a replacement for the Porsche 914. They bought the rights for the design back from VW, but kept the VW/Audi engine and gearbox (albeit with significant modifications).

The Porsche 924 made its first public appearance in 1975, many loved the styling but noted the lack of performance from the somewhat mediocre 2 litre, 4-cylinder engine – with just 95 horsepower in North American specification.

Over the course of its 1975 to 1988 production run the Porsche 924 received power upgrades, including both a 2.5 litre version and a turbo version, but the ultimate version was the car shown here – the GTR.

Porsche 924 GTR

The 1981 Porsche 924 GTR Shown Here

The GTR version (often referred to as the Carrera GTR) of the Porsche 924 was based on the 924 GT road car – a homologation special that was the first version of the model to use the flared wheel arches front and back that would later be used on the 944.

Porsche tuned the 924 GTR to produce in excess of 375 hp, just 17 were made in total, and they were entered into almost every major sports car racing event in the world including the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the Daytona 24-Hour, the Sebring 12-Hour, as well as the Watkins Glen 500 Kilometres, the Portland 3 Hours, the Charlotte 500 Kilometres, the Lime Rock 3 Hours, and a slew of other events.

The GTR you see here is a 5-time Daytona 24-Hour and Sebring 12-Hour competitor, with a long list of other period entries. During its early racing career it was switched to a space frame but maintained its original running gear, and in more recent history it has competed at the Le Mans Classic, Rolex Monterey Motorsport Reunion, and the Oldtimer Grand Prix at the Nürburgring.

During the course of 2016 and 2017, CHF 80,000 (~$83,000 USD) was spent on the car with marque specialists See-Garage Portmann AG. The car has also been entered and accepted for the upcoming 2018 Le Mans Classic – and could be driven there by its next owner if they wish.

If you’d like to read more about this car or register to bid you can click here to visit the listing on RM Sotheby’s.

Porsche 924 GTR

Porsche 924 GTR

Porsche 924 GTR

Porsche 924 GTR

Porsche 924 GTR

Porsche 924 GTR

Porsche 924 GTR

Porsche 924 GTR

Porsche 924 GTR

Porsche 924 GTR

Porsche 924 GTR

Porsche 924 GTR

Porsche 924 GTR

Porsche 924 GTR

Porsche 924 GTR

Porsche 924 GTR

Porsche 924 GTR

Porsche 924 GTR

Images courtesy of Tim Scott via RM Sotheby’s

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Award-Winning Restoration – 1970 Plymouth Hemi Cuda https://silodrome.com/1970-plymouth-hemi-cuda/ Wed, 11 Apr 2018 09:01:56 +0000 https://silodrome.com/?p=75950 Award-Winning Restoration – 1970 Plymouth Hemi Cuda

The Plymouth Hemi Cuda is now recognised as one of the most collectible of the original generation of muscle cars, it was first offered in 1970, but due to its significant cost increase over the other Cudas it sold in relatively limited numbers. Plymouth charged a $871 premium for the Hemi 426 V8 option –...

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Award-Winning Restoration – 1970 Plymouth Hemi Cuda

The Plymouth Hemi Cuda is now recognised as one of the most collectible of the original generation of muscle cars, it was first offered in 1970, but due to its significant cost increase over the other Cudas it sold in relatively limited numbers.

Plymouth charged a $871 premium for the Hemi 426 V8 option – almost 30% of the standard car’s value, and as a result just 652 hardtops and 14 convertibles were made in 1970. Buyers realised they could order the almost-as-quick 440 V8 for just a $250 premium, and they could still keep up with the Hemi till 60 mph or so.

The Plymouth Hemi Cuda

The Plymouth Barracuda was first introduced two weeks before the original Ford Mustang, the marketing team at Plymouth had originally wanted to call it the “Panda”, but thankfully senior designer John Samsen suggested the name “Barracuda”, and the name stuck.

The first generation Barracuda shared a significant number of parts and panels with the Plymouth Valiant as a cost saving measure. Although it’s impossible to know how much of a part it played, the fact that the sporty Barracuda shared a very similar look (particularly the front-end) to the more sedate 4-door Valiant meant that it had much lower sales figures than the Mustang.

When the second generation Barracuda rolled out in 1967 it had all unique body panels and its own front-end, though it did still share the same basic A-body platform. It now featured characteristic Coke-bottle side contours and a more streamlined overall design – a feature that would be further refined on the next generation introduced in 1970. The other major feature released on the second generation car was the ‘Cuda trim package – it was based on the earlier Formula S option, with either the 340, 383, or the new 440 Super Commando V8.

Plymouth Hemi Cuda

The beginning of the ’70s would see the introduction of the now legendary Plymouth Hemi Cuda. It had an all-new body sitting on the Chrysler B-platform called the E-body. The Dodge Challenger shared the same basic platform, but the Dodge was 2 inches longer.

Plymouth offered a wide array of engines and options in the new Barracuda, from a 198 cubic inch slant-6 right the way through to the 440 cubic inch (7.2 Litre) V8. Despite the slight capacity difference, the 426 cubic inch Hemi V8 was a significant performance upgrade over the 440 V8 with 425 bhp vs 375 bhp.

Chrysler had first experimented with hemispherical combustion chamber design during WWII for the inverted V16 that was intended for the P-47 Thunderbolt – but it didn’t fly until 1945 when the war was drawing to an end. The development work didn’t go to waste however, and the efficient hemi combustion chambers became synonymous with many of the company’s high-end V8s over the subsequent decades.

Plymouth Hemi Cuda

1970 would be the first year for the Hemi Cuda – with its prominent “shaker scoop” on the hood, so named because the scoop is attached to the top of the engine and protrudes through a hole in the hood – meaning it can be seen shaking when the engine is running.

Plymouth only sold the Hemi Cuda in 1970 and ’71 due to increasingly stringent emissions standards, the model disappeared from the line-up in 1972. Despite its short production life the model is a major highlight from the early years of the American muscle car – and surviving examples and been skyrocketing in value.

The 1970 Plymouth Hemi Cuda Shown Here

The 1970 Hemi Cuda shown here is fitted with an original “Slap Stik” shifter, an automatic transmission that allows the driver to rapidly “slap” it from 1st to 2nd, and from 2nd to 3rd. This was developed specifically for drag racing, allowing the driver to push the car to the required rpm before moving up a gear with a quick hand gesture, without having to press the button on the shifter first.

In order to slow the car down it’s fitted with power brakes, and there’s a 4.10 Dana 60 Sure Grip rear end, sending power to the period-correct Rallye wheels and Goodyear Polyglas tires.

The car currently shows just 9 miles on a recent concours restoration, and it won both the Best in Class Portland Roadster Show 2018, and the Best Restored engine Portland Roadster Show 2018. If you’d like to read more about the car or register to bid, you can click here to visit the listing on Mecum.

Plymouth Hemi Cuda

Plymouth Hemi Cuda

Plymouth Hemi Cuda

Plymouth Hemi Cuda Interior

Plymouth Hemi Cuda Door

Plymouth Hemi Cuda Dashboard

Plymouth Hemi Cuda

Plymouth Hemi Cuda

Plymouth Hemi Cuda

Images – Jason Brant courtesy of Mecum Auctions

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Original Survivor – 1983 Toyota Hilux Pickup Truck https://silodrome.com/toyota-hilux-pickup-truck/ Tue, 10 Apr 2018 09:18:28 +0000 https://silodrome.com/?p=75926 Original Survivor – 1983 Toyota Hilux Pickup Truck

The Toyota Pickup Truck (known also as the Hilux in many world markets) is respected as one of the toughest 4x4s of its era – they’ve been to the Arctic and Antarctic, and survived all manner of abuse at the hands of Jeremy Clarkson. Although we now associate the Hilux with Toyota, the model has...

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Original Survivor – 1983 Toyota Hilux Pickup Truck

The Toyota Pickup Truck (known also as the Hilux in many world markets) is respected as one of the toughest 4x4s of its era – they’ve been to the Arctic and Antarctic, and survived all manner of abuse at the hands of Jeremy Clarkson.

Although we now associate the Hilux with Toyota, the model has its roots in the Briska line of small pick-ups made by Japanese company Hino starting in 1961.

The Third Generation Toyota Hilux Pickup Truck

It’s the fourth generation version of the Toyota Pickup Truck that most people picture in their minds when talking about the model, many of us grew up either in or around them, and many bought them secondhand as a first car.

The first generation began production in 1968, built by Hino Motors in Tokyo. The short wheelbase model had the internal designation “RN10”, and over the course of its 1968 to 1972 production run it was offered with a variety of wheelbases and engines – the latter ranging from 76 hp 1.5 litre units up to 2.0 litre units with 109 hp.

Toyota Hilux Pickup Truck

The second generation appeared in 1972, it kept the quad-headlights of its predecessor, the largest engine was a 2.2 litre unit, and the interior was significantly revised to offer a little more comfort. In the US market the name “Hilux” would be phased out in favor of “Truck” or “Pickup Truck”, though the majority of world markets would keep the original name.

It was the third generation of the model that really set the standard for the design language going forward, and even modern versions share a clear link to it. The quad headlights were replaced by single headlights on either side, and the overall design was cleaner and simpler. This would be the first Hilux to offer 4WD, and it could be ordered in either 2-door or 4-door variants.

The toughness, relative cheapness, and reliability of the Toyota Pickup Truck had already established its reputation by the time the third generation was replaced by the fourth generation model in 1984. Today there are collector communities around the world dedicated to preserving these early trucks, and countless forums and websites to get advice, order parts, and arrange meet ups.

Toyota Hilux Pickup Truck Engine 2

The 1983 Toyota Hilux Pickup Truck

The Pickup Truck you see here is one of the cleanest survivors we’ve come across in recent memory, it was originally a gift to the Flagstaff Coconino Country Sheriffs Search and Rescue Department in Arizona by Toyota, to celebrate their 25th year of truck building.

It remained with its original owner until 2017, and still has its original owners manual and sticker from the dealer who delivered it. Under the hood you’ll find its factory-fitted 22R 4-cylinder 2.4 litre engine, which is connected to a 5-speed transmission offering real highway usability.

The odometer reads 60,447 original miles – very low for a truck of this vintage, and the pristine overall presentation will make it a major attraction for the burgeoning ranks of vintage Japanese car collectors.

If you’d like to read more about this Pickup Truck or register to bid, you can click here to visit the listing on Mecum.

Toyota Hilux Pickup Truck

Toyota Hilux Pickup Truck

Toyota Hilux Pickup Truck

Toyota Hilux Pickup Truck

Toyota Hilux Pickup Truck Engine

Toyota Hilux Pickup Truck Interior

Toyota Hilux Pickup Truck Interior

Toyota Hilux Pickup Truck Rear

Toyota Hilux Pickup Truck Rear

Images Patrick Ernzen – Courtesy of Mecum Auctions

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1 of 404: An Original 1968 Shelby GT350 Mustang Convertible https://silodrome.com/shelby-gt350-mustang-convertible/ Thu, 05 Apr 2018 07:00:36 +0000 https://silodrome.com/?p=75824 1 of 404: An Original 1968 Shelby GT350 Mustang Convertible

The 1968 iteration of the Shelby GT350 Mustang benefitted from a relocation of the production line from the California-based Shelby factory to the larger and more modern Ford plant in Ionia, Michigan. The advantage of this move was that 1968 and onward Shelby Mustangs tended to have overall better build quality, though purists do often...

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1 of 404: An Original 1968 Shelby GT350 Mustang Convertible

The 1968 iteration of the Shelby GT350 Mustang benefitted from a relocation of the production line from the California-based Shelby factory to the larger and more modern Ford plant in Ionia, Michigan. The advantage of this move was that 1968 and onward Shelby Mustangs tended to have overall better build quality, though purists do often prefer the earlier California-built models.

The Shelby GT350 Mustang

From 1968 onwards the Shelby GT350 Mustang became the Shelby Cobra GT350, a naming convention chosen because Carroll Shelby’s AC Cobra had achieved no small amount of global fame, and attaching it to the Mustang would do no harm to sales.

A year earlier in 1967 the Mustang had undergone a significant change to a new body, it retained the key styling cues of the original Mustang, but it was slightly larger and offered more space under the hood for larger engines. These changes would be further expanded in 1968, with Shelby American developing a new nose with a larger radiator opening, twin hood scoops, high-beam headlamps inside the radiator opening, and a roll-bar which was most prominent on the convertible version.

Shelby GT350 Mustang Convertible

The 289 cubic inch V8 used in previous GT350s made way for the 302 cubic inch V8 for the 1968 model, fitted with an aluminum Cobra intake manifold, a Holley 600 cfm carburetor, and an optional Paxton Supercharger. In naturally aspirated form the engine was capable of ~250 hp, which increased to 335 hp in the supercharged version.

Power was sent to the rear wheels via a 5-speed manual gearbox with a single, dry-disc clutch. There was a 3-speed automatic version offered, though these tend to fetch less money in collector circles due to the lower driving engagement. Power assist brakes were standard, with discs up front and drums in the rear.

The suspension on all Shelby Mustangs saw significant attention, and the 1968 model was no different. Up front there are unequal-length control arms, with coil springs, performance shock absorbers, adjustable tube arms, and an anti-roll bar. In the rear there is a live axle with either a 3.89:1 (manual) or 3.50:1 (automatic), with multi-leaf, semi-elliptical springs, and performance shock absorbers.

The handling on Shelby Mustangs was a world apart from their original counterparts, and the future Boss and Mach 1 Mustangs would take significant inspiration from the Shelby cars.

Shelby GT350 Mustang Convertible Right Side

1968 Shelby Cobra GT350 Mustang Convertible

The car you see here is an original 1968 Shelby Cobra GT350 Mustang convertible, interestingly this model would shoot to stardom decades after they were released, when a modified version with off-road wheels was used in the 1999 remake of The Thomas Crown Affair.

This is one of the desirable 4-speed manual cars, with factory-fitted air conditioning, and it has a dashboard signed by Carroll Shelby. The blue and white color combination is arguably the best choice for a GT350, this one has a matching white folding roof, alloy wheels, and period-correct Firestone Wide Oval tires on all four corners.

If you’d like to read more about this car or register to bid you can click here to visit the listing on RM Sotheby’s.

Shelby GT350 Mustang Convertible Rear

Shelby GT350 Mustang Convertible Logo

Shelby GT350 Convertible Interior

Shelby GT350 Convertible Face

Shelby GT350 Convertible Engine

Shelby GT350 Convertible Engine 2

Shelby GT350 Convertible Carroll Shelby Dashboard

Shelby GT350 Convertible 2

Shelby GT350 Convertible Trunk

Shelby GT350 Convertible Shifter

Shelby GT350 Convertible Roof

Images: Taylor Shenuski ©2018 Courtesy of RM Auctions

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Frame-Off Restoration – 1973 Land Rover Series III SWB https://silodrome.com/land-rover-series-iii-swb/ Sat, 31 Mar 2018 07:00:05 +0000 https://silodrome.com/?p=75586 Frame-Off Restoration – 1973 Land Rover Series III SWB

The Land Rover Series III The Series III Land Rover was the last to wear the “Series” designation, and some view it as the last of the original Land Rovers. Ever since the first Series I had rolled off the production line in 1948, Land Rover had been constantly updating the design to improve its capability...

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Frame-Off Restoration – 1973 Land Rover Series III SWB

The Land Rover Series III

The Series III Land Rover was the last to wear the “Series” designation, and some view it as the last of the original Land Rovers. Ever since the first Series I had rolled off the production line in 1948, Land Rover had been constantly updating the design to improve its capability off road, its usability on road, and its reliability. The Series I was built between 1948 and 1958, it was then replaced with the significantly updated Series II which was built between 1958 and 1961, before being replaced with the more refined Series IIA.

The Series III made its first appearance in 1971, and in many respects it was an incrementally updated Series IIA. The changes were more subtle things like a new dashboard, a synchromesh gearbox, and a higher compression ratio giving more power.

Many Land Rover aficionados consider the Series III to be the best model if you want balance between originality and day-to-day convenience. One of the great benefits of the Series Land Rovers is their aluminium bodies that were light weight and obviously don’t rust, although that said, they were fitted with steel chassis and bulkheads that were susceptible to the same corrosion problems as their Japanese and American counterparts.

In recent years we’ve seen a surge in popularity around vintage 4x4s, with a huge amount of attention focussed on vehicles like the original Ford Bronco, the Toyota FJ40, the 2-door Range Rover Classic and the Series I/II/III Land Rovers. This trend shows no signs of abating, in fact it’s widely believed that it’ll be the next sector of the vintage car market to see sustained gains in value.

Land Rover Series III

The 1973 Land Rover 88 Series III Shown Here

The Series III you see here is one of the nicest examples we’ve seen in recent memory, it’s had a complete frame-off restoration, with a range of upgrades throughout to make it far easier to live with on a day to day basis. The steel chassis has been galvanized, solving one of the major potential headaches with any vintage 4×4 that spends time off road getting covered in mud and water.

A new canvas roof has been fitted over the new Land Rover Green paint work, colors like this have become deeply associated with the brand however when they were first being painted in the late 1940s the only paint colors available were army green hues, as the paint was military surplus from WWII.

Inside the passenger compartment, the Series III is far better appointed than it would have been from the factory, with tan upholstered seats in the front and rear, upholstered door panels, tan gear lever boots and checker plate panels on the floors of the footwells.

As you’d expect with any vintage Land Rover, this one has its spare tire mounted on the hood, with steel wheels all-round and traditional chunky tires for green laning.

RM Sotheby’s will be auctioning this Land Rover off on the 6th of April with an estimated value of between $25,000 and $30,000 USD, if you’d like to read more about it or register to bid you can click here to visit the listing.

Land Rover Series III

Land Rover Series III

Land Rover Series III Seats

Land Rover Series III

Land Rover Series III

Land Rover Series III

Land Rover Series III Engine

Land Rover Series III

Land Rover Series III Seats

Images Ryan Merrill ©2018 Courtesy of RM Auctions

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