Lot 138

Paris 2021

2016 Bowler CSP V8 Prototype "P1"

The Bowler Collection


€120,750 EUR | Sold

United Kingdom Flag | Chobham, United Kingdom



Chassis No.
  • Former works development car, dubbed “P1”, built around Bowler’s patented CSP chassis.
  • Offered directly from the collection of former Bowler Motors Limited Director Richard Hayward.
  • Raced in the 2019 British Cross Country Championship by Richard Hayward.
  • Spectacular performance afforded by its 5.0-litre supercharged Jaguar V8 engine.
  • Instrumental in the development of the subsequent Bowler Spirit and Bowler CSP 575 models.
  • Fully equipped and eligible for off-road events such as the Tuareg Rally or Spanish Baja.
Please note, owing to the UK having now left the European Customs Union, buyers should be aware of any and all implications of purchasing a UK based lot, including but not limited to this lot being subject to VAT on the full purchase price if importing into the EU.

Since its inception in 1985, Bowler Motors has developed a worldwide reputation in the arena of design and construction of Land Rover-based off-road vehicles. Led by the company’s inspirational founder Drew Bowler until his untimely death in 2016, the company grew from a nascent workforce of just eight to the present group of 35 highly skilled engineers. Initially focussing on the preparation of cars for British off-road events, the company’s ambitions expanded rapidly to encompass participation in events including the Dakar Rally, Morocco Desert Challenge and Spanish Baja, and for the past two decades their cars have formed the backbone of many Rally Raid events across the globe.

In a significant departure from their previous practice of using production-based Land Rover chassis in the construction their vehicles, 2015 saw the introduction of Bowler’s own Cross Sector Platform (CSP) chassis. The project was backed by the U.K. government, with the aim of developing a multi-purpose vehicle platform not only suitable for competitive off-road applications, but also in areas such as defence, emergency response, exploration and road transport. Indeed, the new chassis was such a step forward over the old Defender item that Autocar were moved to comment that “If the old Land Rover ladder frame is so agricultural to feel outright nostalgic, then Bowler’s proprietary CSP chassis is the off-road equivalent of a Le Mans prototype carbon fibre tub”.

This particular 113-inch wheelbase factory prototype - often referred to as “P1” - was constructed just one year into the CSP programme, and was instrumental in the formulation of new ideas and techniques which would result in a chassis with greatly improved torsional rigidity over that which it replaced. Powered by a 5.0-litre supercharged Jaguar V-8 engine - as used in Jaguar’s flagship Project 7 and F-type SVR models - the vehicle boasted almost 570 bhp, and has unsurprisingly been described by its erstwhile driver and former Bowler Director Richard Hayward as “….probably the fastest Bowler ever built and the most exciting vehicle the company has produced”. The vehicle’s prodigious power was transmitted via an 8-speed ZF automatic gearbox, also sourced from Jaguar, whilst greatly improved handling and braking were achieved by using competition specification Bilstein shock absorbers and Brembo ventilated disc brakes respectively.

A participant in the 2019 British Cross Country Championship with Richard Hayward driving, P1 is currently presented in long distance Rally Raid specification, with left hand drive steering, Motec LCD dash, air conditioning and a long range fuel cell of some 300 litres. As one would expect, it is also fitted with all the requisite safety equipment, including a comprehensive roll cage, remotely operated ignition cut-off and fire suppression systems, twin competition-type bucket seats and six-point safety harnesses.

Fully compliant with the prevailing UK IVA emissions legislation, the car is fitted with catalytic converters and also remains eligible to compete in contemporary events such as the Tuareg Rally or Spanish Baja. Certainly not intended for the novice driver or faint of heart, P1 represents an unrepeatable opportunity to experience the awesome power of a contemporary Rally Raid behemoth at a fraction of its significant development and build cost.

Please note that the Motec dash instrument is not currently fitted to this car. The buyer will need to either repair the old or acquire a new one. Please contact wsmith@rmsothebys.com with any questions.