Lot 168 - 2001 Bowler Wildcat 200
|Odometer reading||11,000 miles|
|Result||Sold - £54,880|
- Winner of multiple Baja Rallies
- Recent engine rebuild
- Fully road legal
The company was founded by Drew Bowler in 1985 after modifying a Land Rover Series I to drive competitively. Achieving considerable success, he started taking orders from others for similar vehicles. The company began with eight people designing and building aftermarket parts and rally road vehicles in the Bowler family farm in Derbyshire. Bowler originally designed and produced the Bowler Tomcat followed by the development of the Bowler Wildcat. In December 2007 the manufacturing rights to the Wildcat were sold by Bowler to QT Services, to provide support to existing Wildcat owners while Bowler concentrated on production of their newer vehicle, the Bowler Nemesis. Bowler has a long history of successful involvement with motorsports, with both company and private teams participating, and winning, in the Dakar Rally, British Hill Climb Championship, French Baja, and many other extreme off-road events. On 15th November 2016, all pages on Bowler's website were changed to a single page holding an official statement by the company, stating their founder, Drew Bowler, had died suddenly on Monday 14th November 2016. They said that his death ‘came as a huge shock to the company’, but that they would ‘continue his vision’. Jaguar Land Rover acquired Bowler Off Road in December 2019 and Bowler became part of Jaguar's Special Vehicle Operations division.
This Bowler Wildcat, #004, was first registered to off-road rally driver Hugh Haines in May 2001. Competing both domestically and internationally, Hugh gained multiple successes in Wildcat #004; his most notable wins include the 2006 Baja de France, 2006 Baja Great Britain and the Scottish Hill Rally. It starred at the 2005 Goodwood Festival of Speed and has been shown all around the country, it also features in many photographs and articles on the internet. The current owner, a rally car enthusiast, with the intention of competing with the car, commissioned John Eales of J.E. Developments, a specialist in competition Rover V8 engines, to rebuild the five litre V8 engine which when completed this year Dyno tested and showed 334bhp at 5,000rpm. A new differential and brakes were also installed this year followed by the car being repainted. Finished in red with original Bowler black seats and original Bowler safety harness, this Wildcat is supplied with a UK V5C registration document, an MoT test certificate which expires in June 2022, two spare wheels and a file containing period rally participation documents together with Bowler paperwork, photographs, invoices and recent Dyno results. A fantastic car for competition or, being road legal, to take to the next Goodwood event or just down the pub, but sure to be a talking point wherever it goes.
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