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The Bowin Koala was a Formula Junior class of car, designed and built in 1962 by John Joyce, founder of Bowin Cars in his grandparents backshed.
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History

Bowin development chief John Joyce checks his export Bowin P6F cars before final Packaging for shipment to Canada in 1973.
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Bowin development chief John Joyce checks his export Bowin P6F cars before final Packaging for shipment to Canada in 1973.
BOWIN P8-118-72 Warwick Farm debut - Photo courtesy of Tony Glenn
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BOWIN P8-118-72 Warwick Farm debut - Photo courtesy of Tony Glenn


The Bowin car company was founded in 1968 by John Vincent Joyce (1938 - 2002), a successful designer and builder of racing cars and in later years gas appliances incorporating LO-NOx Technology. John Joyce travelled to England and joined  
Team Lotus
  as a Project Engineer, later to become the company's Chief Development Engineer during the mid to late 60's. While at  
Lotus Cars
  his responsbilities included design and development of all aspects of formula type race cars;  
Indianapolis 500
 , sports, rally and high performance road cars. His projects at Lotus Cars included the famed  
Lotus Europa
 ,  
Lotus_41
  and Lotus Type 40.

On return to Australia in 1968 he started his own company, Bowin Designs Pty. Ltd., which designed and built racing cars for sale in Australia. Fifty six cars were built in total between 1968 and 1976. During this period he carried out several projects for Ford Motor Company and Leyland Motors on suspension design, to improve road holding of Ford Falcon, Ford Escort and Morris Marina known in Australia as the Leyland Marina.

Approximately ten racing cars were sold for export to Canada, New Zealand and South East Asia. Bowin Cars have raced successfully in these countries as well as Europe.[1]

Bowin Cars are best remembered for dominating the  
Australian Formula Ford Championship
  with 16 podium finishes from 1970 - 1983 (Formula Ford Championship Ranking). It took the UK car maker, Van Diemen until 1993 to surpass Bowin's all-time Australian Formula Ford Championship ranking. Bowin Cars still stand as the best Australian built Formula Ford, winning a total of four Australian Formula Ford Championships in 1972, 1974, 1976, 1978. The company also built and competed in the  
Formula 2
  & Formula 5000 class, however, the cars were never able to achieve the same success as it had in Formula Ford. A handful of these historical Australian cars of the 60's & 70's can still be seen racing in Australia & Canada today.


In 1976, when the demand for racing cars declined in Australia, the company changed its core business, branching out into making a wide variety of appliance products from a new type of industrial cookers called the  
set n forget cooker
  to railway lighting systems. In the early 1980's the company concentrated its design, engineering and entrepreneurial expertise on developing a range of gas appliance products for domestic, institutional and light commercial markets world wide. In 1985 a modern gas appliance manufacturing facility was built replacing the old car factory site. During this time the company won a contract to supply gas-heating systems to government schools in Australia with a gas burner designed to reduce emission and improve air quality called the  
LO-NOx burner
 .

John Joyce the founder of Bowin Cars died of a heart attack in June 2002 and is survived by his wife Pam and three sons.

The BOWIN name came whilst John Joyce was flying back to Australia from England to attend his younger brothers Funeral (Frankie). He was flying on the  
Boeing
  Airlines. However, the name has a meaning.... Born To Win, Bred To Win, Bound To Win!




Models

All Bowin Cars started with the letter P, which simply stood for project.

Earlier Models

In fact, two  
Formula Junior
 s were designed and built by John Joyce prior to the formation of Bowin Cars.
  • (P1) - A Cooper-based car in 1959
  • (P2) - The Koala in 1962.

Bowin Models

  • Bowin P3 - 1967-1970 P3 Formula 2 Car
  • Bowin P4 - 1970-1974 P4 Formula Ford Car
  • Bowin P6 - 1972-1974 P6 Formula Ford & Formula 2 Car
  • Bowin P8 - 1973-1975 P8 Formula 2 & Formula 5000 Car

Special Projects

  • (P7) - 1973-1975 "Super" Falcon GTHO Touring Car Project
  • (P9) - 1973 Super Lightweight Alfa Romeo GTA

External links

Websites Featuring Bowin Cars

General External Links Related to Bowin

Magazine Covers

References

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