2000 Land Rover (Bowler) Tomcat
Tomcat 100inch hailing from the Bowler era boasting a fruity 3.9 V8 EFi with R380 manual 'box, composite panels over shortened range rover chassis and integral roll cage; road legal former competition vehicle that goes like stink and seats 4! Great fun for pub runs!
What a thing.
Hailing from the period where Drew Bowler had been building Tomcats using shortened 80inch and 100inch Range Rover chassis for use in the ARC (Association of Land Rover Clubs) events. The Tomcat name signified use of the shortened Range Rover chassis and then followed by the Bowler Wildcat which used a tubular skeleton chassis. Post 2001, the Tomcat rights were purchased by Paul Williamson and Steve Wells in April 2001 to continue to produce the Tomcats as they had been before the split from Bowler.
An earlier example built in Yr.2000 it was built up and constantly honed and improved from the original Tomcat kit by two chaps one of whom then went on to set up a specialist Land Rover focused Xtreme4x4 company and the other, a Formula 2 team manager who has owned it since may 2005. It was originally blue and fitted with a 3.5 carb’d Rover V8 with roll body and roll cage sat on a shortened 100inch Range Rover chassis as demonstrated from various images online of the vehicle competing in the Southern Counties Off Road Club events.
Raced by the chaps who built it until a few years ago when it was morphed into what we see here with a more on-road bias. The original engine was replaced with a later fuel injected 3.9 Rover V8 which we understand to have been breathed on, driving all four-wheels via an R380 five-speed manual box.
As part of the conversion for road use, a pair of more comfortable sports seats were fitted with regular 3-point seat belts up front with the rear seat from a VW Scirocco fitted in the rear with 3-point race harnesses.
At some point the roll cage was modified to cover the whole vehicle and looks to be integral to the structure forming the front header rail onto which the windscreen is set, the side panels and rear sections. All body panels are plastic/composite including wings and bonnet thus its rather lightweight, with the engine set low – as a result, this Tomcat really shifts and handles surprisingly well, stopping with considerable force via disc brakes.
The history file includes only the V5C showing one former keeper, an invoice for the new tyres fitted in July this year and another for new LED head light lenses. The vehicle’s MOT just expired on 16th August this year, which recorded no advisories.
We did note, and the vendor pointed out the speedo does not work (hence the phone cradle for google maps and your speed) nor the odometer, but there is power going to the digital display, although the rev counter and other gauges do function. The steering wheel is also a quick-release type although the buttons on it are non-functional.
The truck goes particularly well on or off road and looks mean, turns lots of heads and makes people stop and ask questions. It has the unmistakable V8 rumble with decent road manners, helped of course by brand new rubber on all four corners and looks like a lot of fun. Ideal to play with on road, for jaunts to the beach, or the pub on a sunny day or for playing with down green lanes or even perhaps competitively again - the choice is yours.
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