On Graeme Bolwells return from a working holiday in
the UK (with much time spent at Lotus), work soon commenced
on the MK VIII. In fact this new model was released in
1969 while the MK VII was still in production!
The fish mouthed "E-type" front was replaced by a redesigned
Graeme acknowledged that the rear
screen was very much like the Lotus Europa and that
the doors were similar to the Lamborghini Muira, but
the tail was pure Bolwell - although the shape had
to be tempered to take proprietary tail-lights (similar
to the Aston Martin DB6).
For the first time a Bolwell had protection with the bolt-in
front and rear bumpers, a design breakthrough by Bolwell.
But the biggest change came with the power plant and other
The MK VIII moved from Holden to Ford power, utilising
a 302 or 351 cubic inch V8 engine to propel the 920kg
body and its occupants - a very light-weight, very high
Other changes were just as significant. The
new vehicle was given a name, the Nagari. The whole vehicle was produced in the factory to turn-key
finish, and became the best known Bolwell.
was a Ford top-loader. The MK VIII design came initially
from the Mk VII body, which they first reinforced so that
it would hold its shape and then built up into the new
shape they wanted.
At manufacture stage, the body of the Nagari was made
in one piece, just like the Lotus, unlike the previous
technique of making sections in individual moulds and
glassing them together.
In 1972 a convertible was introduced
and this had its "Y" forked chassis strengthened and
steel reinforced. In total, some 127 coupes and 13 convertibles were manufactured.
Text and Images courtesy Bolwell
Car Club: www.bolwellcarclub.com.au