The Bowdens Collection -
A carnut's Paradise Down Under
© The Bowden family Wolfgang Kohrn - Last updated on February 13th, 2006
would like to thank the Bowdens family for their outstanding hospitality for my
wife and myself,
a deep insight into australian racing and the gratitude to see the full scale of their restoration facilities
and car collection of about almost 90 cars. We enjoyed our stay very much.
Deep Nose Coca Cola racer, the heartbeat of Down Under in the 70ies followed by a rare Falcon 351GT HO with fuel injection. Look at the stance of the Moffat car - optimized aerodynamics with a sectioned fender and engine side wall - a trick back in the late 60ies/early 70ies.
A first impression from the Main Hall, the Bowden's so-called office, rear left you see Paul Faheys 1966 Shelby Group 2 car #14 restored to its glory days in 1969, on the right a true 289 Cobra and a Competition 289 Cobra, right rear Pete Geogheans Mustang Hardtop racer.
The Bowdens typically don't make a big show out of their cars, at least not in its entirety. Most invited enthusiasts get a glimpse of the collection in the main hall, the show-pieces of their collection that of course includes the most famous Australian race car - the Coca Cola sponsored Alan Moffat race car.
This car had been featured in a last years Australian Muscle Car magazine and its documentation in the Bowdens archive goes still way beyond the 15 pages article that readers could enjoy.
The full collection might be around 90 cars, I did not have much time to count ... listening to Chris Bowden, who gave me an insight into each of the cars race history like a tour guide. Being not so knowledgable of the australian race scene it was tough to follow, but at the same time very interesting to learn more about Ford, Holden, Toranas, GT HOs Phase 1 to 4 and whatever might be just a word for you like it was for me.
What drives the Bowdens is the preservation of Australian racing history for the time to come and mix the best ingredients to do so. Research is the basics, the archive is unbelievable, David Bowdens 40 feet long desk (it looked like that to me) plus numerous shelves and cabinets in a separate room contain probably the biggest private racing library, photos, documents, letters, drivers reports and anything you can think of and you'd like to have. It would have taken certainly 2 weeks to browse through this material. This research is the base for a perfect restoration, trying to find genuine people, drivers, mechanics and team leaders to add details about specific items on the car.
The Bowdens also have one of the best mechanics available to do the restoration work, who joins forces quite often with genuine people that worked on a specific car in its heydays. At the time of being there a Camaro was in and its past driver was reunited with it and working on it. Others in the shop were a white/blue Race Falcon and two 67 Shelby Group 2 cars.
One of the most famous australian race car of the early 70ies - The Coca Cola sponsored BOSS 302, driven by Alan Moffat. Through Alan the Bowdens got a lot of insight in the cars history and a big lump of parts in addition.
An original GT40 #?1034 as raced by Paul Weldon in the UK
Pete Geoghegan's Mustang racer restored to its glory days
Another "shed" on the Bowdens Estate - any race car that got a name or a decent finishing place in Australia, is right here.
Pete Geoghegan's 351 GT Falcon in which David Bowden used to be Navigator on the right. (e.g.Bathurst 1996 Rallye Legends)
Lotus Cortinas have played a major role in AUS as well. Plus two John Player Specials BMW were brought by BMW Down under and left there because of the return costs. These 2 BMW's were actually race shells built up by Frank Gardner's race team here in Australia and raced by Jim Richards.The Bowdens put finally their hands on this nice couple that will certainly increase its value in the time to come.
A nice pair of Falcon 351 GTs, both Alan Moffat cars
A few of the Porsche rarities, a very valuable Porsche Carrera RS included
Another look into the resto-shop, where a Falcon is just under close inspection and restoration.
The Bowdens Paradise
BTW - Did I mention it yet - The
Bowdens are selling the best car care stuff you've ever seen - with a
sense of humour, their booklet is worth to read, probably the only one
in the car care booklet world, that is worth to read, just for a good