Bowler Manufacturing Ltd U.K.: Bowler Manufacturing is the manufacturer of off-road racing vehicles. It was based on the Land Rover Defender and Range Rover chassis. The company is located in the town of Belper, Derbyshire, in the United Kingdom. The company was founded by Drew Bowler. He originally designed and manufactured the Bowler Tomcat which was sold and then the development of the Bowler Wildcat started. In December 2007 the manufacturing rights to the Wildcat were sold by Bowler to Qt Services, to provide support to existing Wildcat owners while Bowler focused on production of their newer vehicle, the Bowler Nemesis. The concept of the road version of the Bowler Nemesis was unveiled in late 2009.
The brand first used in 1985
Belper, Derbyshire, United Kingdom
1985s – 1999s :
In 1985, Drew Bowler starts making and selling competition cars from his home in Derbyshire and Bowler Motorsport begins. In 1986, The first customer Bowler competition cars are manufactured and sold as Cobra trial cars, primarily for use in comp safaris and trials. Furthermore, in 1989, The 88” Tomcat is a popular car for UK national trial and hill rally events, and Bowler starts to sell into Europe.
In 1991, Drew Bowler wins the ARC National Comp Safari in Tomcat and starts to manufacture the Tomcat. In 1995, Due to customer demand, the Tomcat evolves into a 100” chassis for national trial and comp safari events. Also, in 1999, Bowler sells the production rights of the Tomcat to concentrate on the newly developed Wildcat, which is an instant success.
2000s – 2009s :
In 2000, Bowler competes in the world famous Dakar Rally in Africa for the first time, and races in central Europe with the Wildcat. In 2001, The Wildcat evolves and becomes popular with privateers and small teams as a reliable, fast and robust car. A range of engines tested and used in the Wildcat in 2002, with the Rover V8 being the most popular for all race applications.
In 2004, Wildcats entered into, and win. The British Hill Rally Championship and sales in Europe increase, particularly in France and Spain. In 2005, Bowler’s largest ever Dakar entry means it’s the second largest factory team after Mitsubishi. And has the highest rate of finishers. Also, in 2008, Richard Hammond announces himself a ‘driving god’ in a Bowler Wildcat, and Bowler manufacture the Nemesis, while developing the EXR.
2010s – Present :
In 2010, The Bowler EXR-S unveiled at the Goodwood Festival of Speed and driven up the hill in the Supercar class – beating many supercar competitors. In 2011, Bowler races the EXR in Africa and Europe and introduces a range of road and rally performance upgrade parts for the Defender. However, in 2012, Bowler agrees a formal brand partnership with Land Rover across sponsorship, marketing and engineering, and starts development of the Defender Challenge.
In 2013, The Bowler team grows and develops the range of performance parts available for Defenders, adding new European distributors. In 2014, Bowler introduces the Defender Challenge as a programme which will prepare competitors for the Dakar, and shifts into a new production facility. Also, in 2017, The Defender Challenge grows with more teams and more rounds. The Defender Challenge rally kit introduced, and development of the next generation Defender Challenge car starts.
Bowler Motorsport Fast Road Defender
The Bowler Fast Road Defender is a direct advancement of the Defender Challenge race car. Developed particularly for road use, it offers massively increased performance, much improved ride and handling. Higher levels of comfort and doesn’t compromise any of the Defenders legendary off road or towing capability. The conversion is available on either 90’s or 110’s in any trim or specification. And Bowler are also able to provide a new Defender for the conversion, in either RHD or LHD.