Bowler Motors is not just any company: it was born in 1985 with the idea of developing impressive off-road vehicles based on the timeless Land Rover Defender. The idea of Drew Bowler, its founder (he died in 2016), was to offer very capable models in British off-road tests.
But soon this goal fell short: they began to prepare cars for the Dakar, for the Morocco Desert Challenge, for Baja Aragon, and from there, his creations went on to be seen in competitions all over the planet. So intense was the work of its engineers that they even developed a new chassis not only for competition but also for the British Army and emergency services; a car so evolved that next to the original Defender it was almost a real racing car.
As it turns out that Bowler’s successor, Richard Hayward, has been amassing a collection of these cars consisting of at least seven spectacular specimens, we suppose that because he was in love with his company’s creations and some ‘rare’ Land Rover specimens (let’s think that somehow paid them let’s not be bad).
Well, the cars in this collection will find a new owner on February 13 at the auction for individual lots that RM Sotheby’s will carry out in Paris. And we suppose that there are already a few Arab sheiks and extravagant Middle Eastern billionaires who have set the date to bid by phone and have a new toy with which to navigate the dunes.
There is a model among them that does not need much introduction because it is an SVX with the same specifications as the models used in the James Bond movie Specter. In fact, the cars that the bad guys were in were developed with Bowler’s help.
So it’s normal that the company’s boss reserved one of them. It is impressive, with its 37 Maxxis tires mounted on only 16 wheels, winch exterior lights, Recaro seats, and other not cheap ‘goodies’ to literally have cinema fun.
Of the other models, there are long, short, and pick up versions. Some of them have high suspensions because they have been beaten in competition, but it is striking how Hayward seemed to be especially enthusiastic about the variants better adapted for the asphalt. Are we not seeing preparations on Porsche worthy of going to the Dakar? Well, this is the same, only the other way around.
Specifically, there are two prototypes called CSP with their own chassis and lowered suspensions that you don’t think would detract from a sports car on a ‘fiery’ outing, since one of them equips a Jaguar V8 Supercharged engine with 542 HP and the other mounts the same engine but with increased power to 570 hp.
In the case of the least powerful, the tank is 90 liters, but the more energetic variant hides a 300-liter tank so that we can circulate on tracks at the pace of competition for hours without refueling.
There is also a less radical 90 (short wheelbase) version, which happens to have received slight changes mainly aesthetic, and even a couple of 110 (long wheelbase) models without transformations but in a limited version.
One from 1986 equipped with a 3.5 V8 engine, and another 2.2 diesel belonging to the last first-generation Defenders that left the Solihull factory. If Hayward is in love with the Defenders. And as such, surely there is still a model in your house that you don’t want to get rid of.