Bowin P3

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In 1968, the Bowin P3 was a bold new project to give Australia a fully professional monocoque racing car. The P3 was designed for ANF-1 and 1.5 litre categories, but mainly raced in the  
Formula Two
  class. The car was designed by John Joyce founder of  
Bowin Cars
  and assisted by Ray Parson's, better known as mechanic to the late  
Jim_Clark
 



This was the first and only Bowin Car type to come out of the Joyce-Parsons association. The initial design and build project took just over 12 weeks to complete.

Cosworth Company Logo
Enlarge
Cosworth Company Logo
Three Bowin P3 cars were built. The first, P3-101-68 was for Queensland racing driver Glyn Scott using a spare  
Cosworth#The_FVA_series
  acquired from Pier Courage after the 1968 Tasman Series. The second an enhanced P3a model P3A-103-69 was powered by a Lotus twin cam engine for Ian Fergusson which he used in the 1970 Australian Grand Prix and the third P3A-110-70 had an extended engine bay to hold a 179 Holden straight 6 motor for Barry Garner to use in hillclimbs.


Contents

The Design

Ray Parsons Shaping the plaster mould for the wedge-shape body that will be the most striking aspect of this car. Parsons was former mechanic to the late Jim Clark on his Tasman visits of 65' and 66'. Racing Car News, May, 1968 - page 40
Enlarge
Ray Parsons Shaping the plaster mould for the wedge-shape body that will be the most striking aspect of this car. Parsons was former mechanic to the late Jim Clark on his Tasman visits of 65' and 66'. Racing Car News, May, 1968 - page 40
Designer John Joyce at work. Small clips are metal fasteners that position fuel tanks to the monocoque tub ready for spot welding. Racing Car News, May, 1968 - page 40
Enlarge
Designer John Joyce at work. Small clips are metal fasteners that position fuel tanks to the monocoque tub ready for spot welding. Racing Car News, May, 1968 - page 40
Glyn Scott's mechanic, Norm Mellen fabricates the extractor system for the car. Racing Car News, May, 1968 - page 40
Enlarge
Glyn Scott's mechanic, Norm Mellen fabricates the extractor system for the car. Racing Car News, May, 1968 - page 40


There were two major points about the Bowin Cars construction. The chief aim of the project was to build a car that was economical enough for Australian racers to afford and also easy to maintain - unlike most monocoques. Just as important was the fact that almost every component of the car, with the exception of the engine and transmission, was entirely manufactured in Australia.

Joyce designed his own magnesium hub carriers, and all other suspension members, his own wheels, steering and so on. All components were either fabricated in his own workshops or manufactured by  
Australian
  companies - Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation cast the wheels and hub carriers. Most non-local components simply couldn't be manufactured in Australia, although Joyce would have been willing to try local producers if they existed. Those non-Australian components include English FPT fuel cells, made of the rare material hycathane, the  
Girling
  disc calipers, fitted all round, and some other special fittings, including the lightweight aircraft battery that fits underneath the driver's knee.

The design programme for the Bowin P3 included as much planning for economic production and lifetime maintenance as for any other phase of the project. Wrapped up in the prime considerations of economics and adaptability was an intense dedication to the idea that this should be purely Australian Car.




To achieve this, Joyce borrowed no particular existing designs, but didn't consciously avoid them either for the sheer sake of novelty. He believed all ideas on the car were based on sound, established practices and that the only innovations are logical and developments of these. If anything, Joyce felt the P3 may owe something to a  
McLaren
 , but the differences were really quite marked. The  
monocoque
  chassis extends from the front bulkhead to the rearmost engine-transmission mount. The actual chassis projects forwards as far as the front suspension location, but the pedals, master cylinders, radiator and so on are hung on outriggers built on to the monocoque.

At the rear, the engine sits on integral monocoque rails, and the chassis is not an extension of the bottom or "tub"; of the cockpit part of the monocoque as on many integral chassis design cars.

The engine rails are cross-braced only at the rearmost point. The chassis is supplied complete with transmission (Hewland FT200) since the rear suspension is partly located on the transmission.

The fuel tank containers are an actual integral part of the chassis design and were built around the design intention of utilising only fuel cells as fuel carriers. The flexible cells are stuffed through apertures in the cockpit and clip into place on special mountings.

The seat is also part of the chassis and provisions has been made in its location for the installation of an auxiliary fuel tank to add to the twin 12 gallon cavities provided on each side.

The actual  
cockpit
  interior dimensions are wider than a Lotus and Mclaren monocoque, although the exterior width is small. This makes for an extremely sleek and small body, with better comfort for the driver. A neat touch is the flared-out sides to the cockpit which Joyce hoped would overcome most of the driving problems associated with lack of elbow-room. The aero-dynamics of the monocoque design basically hinged on a constant upward sloping flat line that carried through from the mouth to behind the driver's head. Which was influenced by John's practical experience with this type of design in his wind-tunnel testing work conducted on the 1968 Lotus Turbine car for  
Indy 500
 . Many of the ideas on that car were Joyce's and he has adapted them for the Bowin P3 as well.[1]

The Cars

The link from each chassis number leads to a page for each car

Chassis Date First Owner Current Owner Status
7th July 1968
I. Peters
Detailed History & 7 Photos
20th Jul 1969
I Fergusson
destroyed
Some History & No Photos
27th Jun 1970
B. Garner
T Dowd?
Some History & 4 Photos

Noteworthy Race History

RACE DRIVER PLACE TIME YEAR LAPS
34th Australian Grand Prix[2]
8th
-
1969
55
Australian Gold Star round 4
1st outright
1968
Auto Federation Japanese Grand Prix[3]
4th
-
1969
39
35th Australian Grand Prix[4]
11th
-
1970
41
Queensland Hillclimb Championship
B. Garner
1st
-
1970
N/A

Video Footage

Glynn Scott in Bowin P3 - Ford Cosworth starting 3rd on the grid. Finished 4th Overall IV Grand Prix of Japan 1969 J.A.F. Grand Prix - Fuji Grand Prix - Fuji International Speedway, Japan

Glynn Scott in Bowin P3 - Ford Cosworth. Finished 8th Overall - 34th Australian Grand Prix 1969

Drawings[5]

All Bowin P3 drawings can be viewed and printed from the following location.

Bowin P3 Drawing Library

Specification[6]


CHASSIS: High stiffness monocoque of high strength  
alloy
  and steel, utilising latest techniques in assembly with emphasis placed on ease of maintenance and repair.


FRONT SUSPENSION: Independent by  
double wishbone
 s, operating entirely on adjustable rod-ends and a separate  
anti-roll bar
 . Springing by  
coil spring
 s in conjunction with  
shock absorbers
  known as Armstrong dampers incorporating adjustable spring platforms. Suspension has built-in anti-dive qualities.


REAR SUSPENSION: Fully independent double wishbone and radius arm configuration incorporating anti-squat characteristics. Fitted with Armstrong adjustable dampers and spring platform adjustment. Coil Springs. Separate adjustable anti-roll bar. Outboard  
driveshaft
 s hollow to reduce  
unsprung weight
 . Rear hub carriers magnesium, cast. Suspension operates entirely on adjustable rod-ends with provision for toe-in and  
camber
  adjustments.


BRAKES:  
Disk brakes
  all round, 9 3/4 inch diameter. Rear discs mounted inboard of hub carrier. Girling A.R alloy callipers. Twin master cylinders with adjustable ratio balance bar.


STEERING: Lightweight  
rack and pinion
  with adjustable  
steering column
  and lightweight 10 inch leather-covered  
steering wheel
 . Steering arms connected to rack by adjustable rod-ends.


TRANSMISSIONS: Hewland gearbox F2 type FT2000 with full magnesium casing. Five forwards speeds, plus reverse. Full choice of ratios.

 
Gearbox
  inclusive in overall price car.


WATER COOLING SYSTEM: Crossflow radiator low-mounted in nose, connected to power unit by allow pipes and flexible hoses. Includes allow swirl pot.


OIL COOLING SYSTEM: Crossflow alloy oil cooler connected to engine via alloy pipes and high pressure flexible hoses. Incorporates separate  
filter (oil)
 and alloy oil tank.


FUEL SYSTEM: Capacity 12 gallons each side in fuel cells in side panel. Twin filters and breathers. Provision for auxiliary tank under driver's seat.


BODYWORK: Removable  
fibreglass
  nose panel and engine cover of advanced  
aerodynamics
 . Twin alloy rear vision mirrors. Seat integral in chassis and covered with detachable lightweight padding.


ELECTRICALS: Fitted with master  
Battery (electricity)
  switch and separate  
ignition system
  switch and starter  
solenoid
 . Lightweight aircraft battery fitted beneath driver's knee.


INSTRUMENTS: Electrical  
tachometer
 , 0-8000  
rpm
 , oil  
pressure gauge
 , water  
temperature gauge
 .  
Thermometer
   
wheelbase
 


WHEELS: Magnesium four  
spoke
  four stud fixing of 13 inch diameter. Front 8 inch  
rim
  width, rear 10 inch rim width.


EXTERNAL DIMENSIONS:  
wheelbase
  90 inch. Track front 56 inch. Track rear 56 inch ground clearance 3 1/2 inch.


OPTIONS: Long range  
fuel tank
  and fittings. Alternate  
engine
  installations.


PRICE: Purchase price in 1968 was $7000 Australian dollars including transmission and wheels.


CONSTRUCTORS: Bowin Designs, 18 Consul Road, Brookvale, Sydney 2100 Tel: +612 9938 5433


References

  1. Rob Luck, Racing Car News, May 1968 Page 40-44
  2. The Official 50-race history of the Australian Grand Prix page 344
  3. Racing Car News, June, 1969 page 17
  4. The Official 50-race history of the Australian Grand Prix page 352
  5. Bowin Designs Pty Ltd - Bowin Drawing Archives
  6. Bowin Designs Pty Ltd - Company Files
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