This site is my story of The Bolwell Ikara.
|The Bolwell Ikara is a kit car designed by Campbell Bolwell in Melbourne, Australia. The little 2 seater was launched late in 1979 to much fanfare and critical praise. Look through the site to find out more about these cars.
|Well it certainly had me hooked, but as a 17yo there wasn't much I could do. Still, every few years I would come across the magazines and the brochure and reread them, daydream some more. In 2002 I came across a black Bolwell Nagari convertible parked near my local shops. Straight away I was thinking about the Ikara. They planned to sell hundreds, and that was just in Australia. They had plans for sales all over the world. You would have expected to see the occasional one within the last 20 years! Onto the net and straight away I found the Bolwell Car Club of Australia (BCCA) web site....it told me they made about 20 and sold everything to a company in Greece.|
|OK so they didn't make many, it would still be nice to see one. In the second half of 2003 I was in Adelaide for a week. Before I went there I contacted the local BCCA members who put me in contact with the owner of Ikara #2, who very kindly gave me a ride in his car. I was genuinely shocked at how small the car was, but I was hooked (again!). A few days later I saw Ikara #1 and had a few hours chat with its owner. Seems they only made 12, while the club only knew the whereabouts of 5 or 6 of them. I decided that if I wanted one I should start looking for all of them.|
|The detective work started. First it was phone calls, then ads in papers. I uncovered a few...cars 3 and 4 in particular. Very early in January 2004 I went back to Adelaide to have a look at Ikara #11 (at Murray Bridge actually). Then in February Ikara #8 appeared on the market out of the blue. I went to have a look at it, paid a deposit, then worried about whether it was the sensible thing to do. A few weeks later I was back in Healesville (Victoria) to pick up Ikara #8.|
|I felt that the first major thing I should do is have the windscreen sorted out. There is a bit of a knack to getting in and out of the car - a strong windscreen frame is a must! I ended up taking the car to an engineer in Mittagong who did a fine job in reinforcing the frame without detracting from the original look. This was also a moral boost as now the car looked like it should. Then came all the normal resoration work...completely replacing the braking system.....replacing anything with rubber in it...when does it all end?|
|In September 2004 I travelled to Adelaide for 3 months, the Ikara was still an unregistered work in progress...so I towed it down with me, a very slow trip from Sydney! For about a month it lived in Kapunda until we managed to get it registered.......thanks John for all your help. It was registered on a Wednesday and that weekend Louise and I travelled, tentatively, around the Barossa....both grinning! I managed to drive it around Adelaide a fair bit, trips down south through Mclaren Vale to Port Elliot and lots of trips through the Adelaide Hills. What great roads they have so close to the city|
|So, more than 20 years later, I have managed to resurrect a boyhood dream...and I'm so glad I did. There is still lots to do but I feel I'm on the home stretch. During my research I promised a lot of people I would do a web site, so here it is! I hope you find it an insight into Campbell Bolwell's Ikara.
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