Thursday, December 20, 2012

Bond Drives Again

I know, guys don't give their cars guys names, but this time I have an excuse. When you car has a vin code ending in 007 I think it gets a little lee-way. So Bond it is.
The story begins back in 1967 when the car was first purchased and continues through 45 years later with my purchase of the vehicle. John White was the first owner of the Bolwell Mk 7 as pictured in the black and whites.

Ric Kemp was the next owner of the car and proceeded to use it as it was supposed to. A little bit of track work at club level in Victoria including sprints and hill climbs, and he also proved that a Mark 7 could work in a paddock. Unfortunately he's no the only one to have driven a Bollie in a paddock, but at least he didn't drive it in to the Swan River.

Graeme Muir was the next owner of the car and he took it as a challenge to upgrade the car. This resulted in a hatched rear, sunroof and bonnet bulge being added. The reason for the bonnet modification was to ensure that the Nissan turbo 6 he put in it would have enough space. This is where some of the subsequent chassis modifications came into play later in the story. Around this time the car made its way over to Perth for one of the national Bolwell Easter Meetings.

Graeme Jenkins then got hold of the car and swapped the turbo back to an original type Holden red motor with a 5 speed supra gear box. These were the days of the car living in Bendigo.

 Then one fine day I received the car and have been enjoying it (when I can) since.

In February of 2012, Bond came across from Bendigo Victoria and was greeted with much enthusiasm and excitement in a loading yard in Welshpool. There was a low slung red car in the middle of slightly more modern and mundane commodores, falcons and camrys. A few pictures and a pre-inspection later and the car was on the road in Perth. Temporary permit wise anyway. After a weekend at home fumbling through some electrics with dad to try and get all the lights working properly and installing a window washer, it was off to the inspection centre in Midland with the thought that I would be driving the next weekend in a licensed classic Aussie car.

Turns out that a couple of bits of the car weren't valid when trying to register a car in WA for the first time. There were 5 inspectors looking at, under and through the car at one time. But at least they were friendly. A bit of chassis rust and a notch in the frame weren't looked kindly upon. No worries there as for future safety sake these were good to be picked up and repaired. Thanks to Phil for sorting these for me.

The car was sitting 20mm too low, so some new springs in the rear end resolved this and also results in a slightly less firm ride and the tyre size matching between front and back wasn't legal for WA either. The after market fuel tank and the repairs made to the chassis needed an authorised engineering sign off and then a couple of minor bits and pieces around the engine and flywheel needed some attention. These were eventually all attended to over the next few months around work, laziness and schedules.
Around this there were temporary movements involving the odd Bolwell Car Club of WA meeting as well. Sometimes these even coincided with a nice day in the Swan Valley or a wet hockey game in Fremantle.

So, off for inspection number two. Back at Midland and this time only one person going over the car. At least the list of things to amend was shorter this time and nothing a repeat of what was on the first list. Because the seats were not the originals they needed another engineering sign off. As did the roll cage which had been in their since the car was built and the seat belt mounts due to them not being original either. The car also has a sliding drivers seat and a light to show the handbrake is on. And because it's a 1967 model, the dash is wired to mph. But the dash isn't original so the speedo says kph and he didn't like that either.
So it didn't pass try number two.

These got fixed and nearly 4 months later (after a few more club meetings, hockey games and days in the valley) bring on inspection number three. This time abandoning Midland for the new inspection centre in Ellenbrook armed with lots of engineering checklists and sign offs, lists of reported and fixed defects and a little bit of hope.

An hour later and the news is good.
Down past Midland licensing centre to finalise the paperwork and receive the license plates and happy to know I'm now driving a road legal car and don't have to worry about a temporary movement permit again. At least not for Bond anyway.

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