During the halcyon days of the fifties and sixties,
sports cars were less compromising and offered no pretense
of sophistication or luxury.
Expectations rose during
the 1970's (led in many ways by Mercedes seeking to make
their expensive sports cars appealing to the Hollywood
It was inevitable then that the Bolwell Nagari also
evolved as more a "grand tourer". It was against this
background that Campbell conceived his next and last
vehicle. In 1979 the Ikara (Mk IX) was born.
But he decided it had to be different - different from
the past and different from the competition.
priority was to make the car extremely light, and so he
choose to revert back to the space frame chassis.
Instead of doors the Ikara used step over sills, just like that
of the Elfin Clubman of the sixties.
High strength-to-weight fiberglass body panels and a mid-engined
configuration made the Ikara a real driver's car.
It used a VW 1600 Golf single overhead camshaft power plant and
a manual 4 speed transmission.
The motor could be converted to use either natural gas
as well as gasoline, and was good for around
180bhp. Everything about the Ikara was super lightweight.
A high raked windscreen and Targa enclosed roll bar enhanced
the simple styling. About 20 were made and sold in Australia before the concept
was sold to a company in Greece.
Text and Images courtesy Bolwell
Car Club: www.bolwellcarclub.com.au