Campbell Bolwell’s introduction to building sports cars began in the late 1950s at the ripe old age of 16, when his younger brother Graeme and Graeme’s school mate Linley Hughes wagged school and borrowed Campbell’s pride and joy, a 1937 Ford V8 sedan, and took it for a spin. The end result was that nearly every single panel on Campbell’s hard earned £50 motor vehicle investment was destroyed.
Once over his initial dismay, Campbell set about using this opportunity to build a sports car that would be the pride of the neighborhood. The body panels disappeared out in the bush somewhere and the rebuilding began. The body was replaced with a light tubular frame and metal covering to save weight. The original three speed gearbox was replaced with a four speed, indestructible truck gearbox; bucket seats from a Singer were fitted; and a universal joint was incorporated into the steering column to lower the driver’s seating position. And so the first Bolwell two seater sports car, now known as the Bolwell Mk1, was born. Campbell claimed his car would do 0 to 50 mph in about 8 seconds, which was about Austin Healey time in those days. Importantly for a teenager, the car was a great “chick magnet”.