Bolwell Mk. IV

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Bolwell Mk. IV

1962 - 1964
Usually Ford 4 cyl.
1600 cc
4 spd. man
Top Speed:
Number Built:
4 star
Bolwell Mk IV
Bolwell Mk. IV
Reviewed by Unique Cars and Parts
Our Rating: 4


The Bolwell Mk IV can be considered the first serious commercial model to be released, following the previous "hobby" versions.

The Mk IV was manufactured in component form and sold as a kit, meaning the purchaser had to either assemble the car themselves, or pay someone to do it.

This slight draw-back did, however, come with a few advantages, not the least of which was that the purchaser was then able to choose their favourite engine, gearbox, and other components they wanted in their vehicle.

Although the car was designed for a Ford Cortina 1600cc 4 cylinder engine, other alternatives were available including the Peugeot 4 cylinder, Ford Falcon and Holden grey six cylinder engines.

The car body was offered in either a gull-wing door hardtop or open convertible style. In their first year some 55 units were sold, predominantly the open convertible with a Ford Cortina engine.

Sales would eventually exceed the 200 mark by the time the Mk IV was pensioned off.

The Bolwell brothers were strongly influenced, it was said, by Lotus and Elva designs, both marques having secured an enviable reputation in the UK, in many ways contributable to their dominance of the UK motor racing scene.

It is difficult to imagine that none of the Bolwell brothers had an automotive engineering or design background, given that they were able to create such attractive, low slung, sleek and profiled cars that obviously captured a certain market. Its design was dominated by smooth flowing wings over the wheels.

The body had one piece lift-up bonnet, in the style of the Triumph Spitfire and the Jaguar E-Type, underneath which was a tubular space framed chassis, similar to an Elva of the period.

By the time they had updated the design (the Mk IV/B), Bolwell had decided that a monocoque design was stronger, simpler, quicker and most importantly cheaper to produce.

Text and Images courtesy Bolwell Car Club:

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