As a keen follower of Australian Sports Cars and a Bolwell Nagari enthusiast, any book with a picture of a Nagari on the cover is bound to attract my attention. This book is a real bonus as it is dedicated to, not surprisingly, Great Australian Sports Cars and Specials.
In fact I have two copies, a hard back edition and a soft cover edition, both published in 1987 by Australian Consolidated Press (ISBN 0 908463 15 4). Authorship credits are given to Mike McCarthy, who is described as Technical Editor of Wheels Magazine and the book is described as “A Wheels and Sports Car World publication”. Obviously having access to the resources of two of Australia’s leading motoring magazines meant that Mike McCarthy had plenty of information to use in completing this book. To top things off, Mike McCarthy actually built an “Australian Special” that is featured in this book – Project X.
Other great Australian cars included in this book range from specials and prototypes build by big names in the Australian automotive industry, including the Holden GTR-X and the Repco Mystere (based on the V8 Torana); through to sports cars and specials built in reasonable numbers, including Bolwells, Purvis Eurekas and the Goggomobile Dart; to specials that only existed in single prototype form or very, very low production numbers.
A complete listing of marques and models includes: Ascort, ASP Clubman, Bolwell Nagari, Bolwell Ikara, Brolga, Buchanan Cobra, Buckle, Bulanti, Canstell Clubman, Elfin, Geneer Outlaw, Goggomobile Dart, Holden GTR-X, Ilinga, J&S Hunter & Trail Buggy, Milano, Mirella & Mirella TS230, Moir Renault, Nota Fang, Pellandini, Proctor, Project X (the author’s own special project), Purvis Eureka, Recaro Mystere, Repco-Dean, Tontala, Toohey, Velacia and Zeta Sports.
Some of these cars will be well known to classic car enthusiasts, whereas there will be other cars on the list that are completely unknown. There are, of course, other Australian sports cars and specials built during the period covered by this book that are not included, including the Taylorspeed Mini Jem, Pandarus, Perentti, and more. Overall, however, it is a comprehensive list and each car is given a decent write-up and a number of colour photos. This book serves as a great testament to those Aussies who have “given it a go” to build a better Australian car.
If you are a fan of Australian made sports cars and specials, then you should have a look out for this book, but it might be hard to find. Specialist motoring book stores or eBay might be the best bet.
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