Car number 77 at the recent MSCAV event at Sandown Raceway kept catching my attention and it wasn’t until I saw some preliminary race results that I realised that this car was entered as a Jaguar Elgaram. In other words, this was the original Bolwell Mk3b, owned by Graeme Bolwell.
The driver of the car did confirm that this had been Graeme Bolwell’s car but that he never referred to it as a Bolwell. He told me that he was at the MSCAV event as a “shakedown” before Historic Sandown in November.
Unfortunately the driver was busy sorting out an issue with 4th gear and couldn’t chat, but hopefully we’ll catch up with him and get some more details soon.
Here’s a brief rundown as to the history of the Bolwell Mk3b:
The Bolwell Mk3 started life as a Jag/Healey special originally built by Graeme Bolwell’s dentist. It featured a new Austin-Healey chassis with Austin-Healey front suspension, rear axle, wire wheels, and had Dunlop SP racing tyres on it. It came with a hotted up Jaguar Mark VII engine and gearbox that had D type valves, cams and other go faster gear, and it performed very nicely. It would do a standing quarter mile in 13.9 seconds at 102 mph.
The original fibreglass body was a bit heavy and was generally considered to be “ugly”. Graeme didn’t like it so eventually he put a body of his own design on it. This was to be the first fibreglass body built by Bolwell. There was a centre bulkhead made out of tubular steel and covered in aluminium. The doors were made out of steel but fibreglass was used for the bonnet and back panels. Graeme utilised the rear window from an FE Holden as his windscreen.
Graeme’s Bolwell Mk3 was advertised for sale in “Australian Motor Sports” magazine December 1963 as a Jaguar-Healey Sports. The car was eventually traded in at Pitstop Motors in Frankston and purchased by Rex Styles in February 1964 for the sum of £17. Rex used it as a road car and raced it in hillclimbs and other events as “The Elgaram” (this was based on Maragle Street spelt backwards). The Elgaram has since passed through several owners and has had considerable changes since its first inception, including being fitted with a Ford Customline engine, a Holden FC engine, and a Jaguar XK120 rear end.
The last that was heard of the Elgaram was that a new owner was restoring it back to its original Bolwell specifications with a 3.8 litre Jaguar engine, and so on. It is interesting that car number 77 at the MSCAV event at Sandown was recorded as having a 3800 cc engine capacity. Hopefully we’ll learn more soon.
Click Here to visit the Bolwell Car Club of Australia website.