Bowin P4

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Bowins second car was the Bowin P4. A spaceframe Fomula Ford utilising the bodywork from the P3 with the addition of a rear engine cover. Whilst unremarkable in its design the P4 was a sound starting point for Bowins involvement in Formula Ford. In 1977 John Smith won the Driver to Europe series in a P4. The P6 that followed would be a much more challenging design.


The Design

The Bowin P4a used the same body design as the first Bowin but naturally the frame and suspension differed. The first P4 car built by John Joyce, chassis no P4A-104-69, was virtually a prototype and was bought by Wright-Ford Motors in Sydney in 1969. The driver was a well known sports car exponent Bob Beasley, while the man in charge of the preparation and development was Les Sheppard.[1]

As the car was the first prototype, it was not built for any specific person but rather an average-size driver. Instruments had been kept to a bare minimum with a tacho redlined at 7200 rpm in the centre of the dash. The placement of the gear lever located under the chassis rail. The easy way to shift gears was to grasp the base of the lever.

In 1969 the rolling chassis with engine & Hewland gearbox would have set you back $4000.

The Cars

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

Chassis Date First Owner Current Owner Status
9th Nov 1969
Wright Ford
Some History, 8 Photos
19th Jan 1970
Rural Motors
Some History, No Photos
11th Feb 1970
G. Rush
Michael Kent
Some History, No Photos
11th Feb 1970
I. Haymes
Some History, No Photos
4th Mar 1970
Ford Motor Company
Some History, No Photos
14th Apr 1970
Alan Vincent
Some History, No Photos
1st Apr 1971
Team Car B.Beasley
Some History, No Photos
21st Dec 1971
Some History, No Photos
1st Jan 1972
Some History, 1 Photo
15th Feb 1972
Bob Skelton
Some History, 1 Photo
15th May 1972
John Leffler
Some History, 1 Photo
17th Mar 1972
Some History, No Photos

Noteworthy Race History



All Bowin P4 drawings can be viewed and printed from the following location.

Bowin P4 Drawing Library

Formula Ford Specification[3]

  • CHASSIS: Spaceframe of advanced design, finished in grey stove enamel, incorporating seat harness mountings, high-rigidity construction to full F2 Specification. Alloy stressed undertray.
  • BODY: Constructed in self-colour glass-fibre. Customers choice of one-tone colours. Extensive wind tunnel tests were carried out to produce the efficient and attractive low-drag wedge-styled body panels.
  • REAR SUSPENSION: Incorporating magnesium-alloy hub-carriers. Twin radius arms, double wishbone configurations. Anti-squat characteristics. Armstrong adjustable dampers, complete with height control adjusters. Fully adjustable on spherical bearings and rod-ends throughout.
  • FRONT SUSPENSION: Double wide-based wishbone design, incorporating anti-dive features. Fully adjustable on spherical bearings and rod-ends throughout. Armstrong adjustable dampers with height control.
  • STEERING: By lightweight rack and pinion, with energy-absorbing steering column. Leather covered steering wheel.
  • BRAKES: Girling 9 1/2" disc and caliper assemblies. Adjustable ratio balance control. Twin braking system, adjustable for length.
  • DIMENSIONS: (Wheelbase - 90"), (Track - 59" front & rear), (Weight - 882 lbs)
  • CLUTCH: Hydraulic system. Complete up to and including release mechanism on gearbox.
  • WATER COOLING: By cross-flow lightweight radiator mounted low in nose of car. Alloy deaireator control tank and pressure cap.
  • FUEL SYSTEM: Alloy tank mounted under seat. Five gallons capacity.
  • ELECTRICAL: Lightweight battery, 12 volt. Starter solenoid, starter button and switches. Master battery control fitted.
  • INSTRUMENTS: 0-8000 tachometer, oil pressure, water temperature, oil temperature gauges.
  • WHEELS: Steel 5 1/2" J x 13" with safety rims.
  • TYRES: Avon 6-25 x 13" front and 6.95 x 13" rear or equivalents.
  • TRANSMISSION: Hewland MK8 four-speed and reverse. Alloy engine to gearbox adaptor.
  • FINISH: All suspension parts are polished chrome, other parts cadium-plated and stove enamelled.
  • OIL COOLING: Alloy oil tank, fitted with anti-surge baffles and deaireator system. Alloy oil cooler, alloy pipes, hoses and fittings.
  • CONSTRUCTORS: Bowin Designs, 18 Consul Road, Brookvale, Sydney 2100 Tel: 612 9938 5433
  • This specification is such as to allow the uprating to F3 and F2 with minimum of alterations and expense.

Formula Two Specification

Since the Formula Ford car is based on the Formula Two car rather than the other way round, the foregoing specifications are common to both cars save for the following.

  • BRAKES: 9 3/4" discs all round and fitted with Girling A.R alloy calipers. Rear discs inboard of hub-carriers.
  • WHEELS: Choice of 8", 10", 12" x 13" magnesium wheels. Four spoke design.
  • GEARBOX: Hewland FT2000 five-speed gearbox and limited-slip differential. Large doughnuts and drive shafts.
  • REAR SUSPENSION: Using P3 heavy-duty F1 hub-carriers and hollow drive shafts.
  • FUEL SYSTEM: Dependant on customers requirements.

Original Company P4a Specification


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