2001 Bowler Wildcat 200

Lot Number: 467

2001 Bowler Wildcat 200

Car #004, winner of multiple Baja Rallies and subject to an extensive programme of mechanical and cosmetic works.


LIVE AUCTION: This lot was auctioned on Sunday 28th March, 2021 at 10.00am GMT at Stoneleigh Park, Stoneleigh Rd, Coventry, CV8 2LG

  • Body Colour


  • Drive


  • Registration Number

    Y265 OHB

  • Odometer Reading

    10900 Miles


Car #004, winner of multiple Baja Rallies and subject to an extensive programme of mechanical and cosmetic works.


  • First registered as V8 HBH to off-road rally owner-driver Hugh Haines on 01/05/2001
  • Superbly engineered by Bowler Motorsport of Derbyshire for use in the Paris-Dakkar and Baja de France
  • Powered by a 300bhp, 5-litre V8, the Wildcat can do 0-60mph in 5.5secs and at 1,450kg weighs the same as a Ferrari 360
  • Winner of the 2006 Baja de France, 2006 Baja GB (National Category) and the Scottish Hill Rally
  • Legendary competition V8 guru, John Eales, rebuilt the engine and fitted a new diff and brakes this year
  • Resprayed and ready for the next owner’s livery, with spare wheels and an MOT until 12/04/2021
  • The history file includes Bowler documentation, previous bills and the odometer reads 10,900 miles (atoc)
In 1984, the humble Land Rover Defender’s passenger seat would have been occupied by the owner’s dog and modest speeds attempted across the fields. This changed when the late, great, Drew Bowler launched the Tomcat in 1985. The passenger seat was now occupied by a co-driver and capable of breakneck speeds in the world’s toughest rally stages. Multiple successes came from the engineering prowess of the Bowler Manufacturing team at their base in Belper, Derbyshire.
Growing modestly with confidence and fine tuning their engineering, Bowler launched the Wildcat 200 in 2000 aimed squarely at the Paris to Dakkar, Baja de France and British Hill Climb endurance rallies. Although legendary among the rally fraternity, the Bowler became a household name after appearing in the first episode of the second series of Top Gear when driven by Richard Hammond. It must be noted that this was a hugely important moment for both Bowler and Top Gear, as the first episode of the second series cemented the then “new” Top Gear and established the format.
By 2005, Bowler was the second largest factory team at the Paris-Dakkar rally, not only a great looking car, the Wildcat 200’s 5-litre V8 producing 300bhp could do 0-60mph in 5.5secs and with its fibreglass body, weighed just 1,450kg, the same as a Ferrari 360. With the sudden death of founder Drew Bowler in November 2016, and seeing how important Bowler Manufacturing was to the world of off-road rallying, the company was bought by Jaguar Land Rover in 2019.
One name that has been closely linked with Bowler, and indeed features prominently on their official website, is Hugh Haines. A privateer owner-driver with an engineering business in South Wales specialising in Land Rovers, Hugh is among the most successful drivers to have sat behind the wheel of a Bowler. He bought this very special Wildcat 200, chassis number #004, on the 1st May 2001, registering it with the private registration 'V8 HBH', directly from Bowler Manufacturing. Drew Bowler himself signed the “Certificate of Newness” for chassis number 004, one of, if not the first production Wildcat 200 to see competitive racing as, we understand, the earlier cars were prototypes.
Competing both domestically and internationally in subsequent years, Hugh gained multiple successes in this Wildcat, his most notable wins including the 2006 Baja de France, 2006 Baja GB (National Category) and the Scottish Hill Rally. It starred at the 2005 Goodwood Festival of Speed and a photo of this car in action features on the Wikipedia page for the model. The car has been a staple of every leading classic car and rally show, and numerous photos show it on display. 
Our vendor, a rally car enthusiast, had the intention of competing with chassis #004. He commissioned John Eales of J.E. Developments, a leading specialist in competition Rover V8 engines, who undertook a programme of works in late 2020, culminating in February 2021. The rebuilt engine was Dyno-tested in January and showed 334bhp at 5,000rpm, with the works receipted at £6,358. A new differential and brakes have also been installed this year and overall the Wildcat is presenting well, with its re-spray ready for the next owner’s livery, whilst the interior shows reasonable wear and the original Bowler factory seats, we are told, still present. The odometer reading is some 10,900 miles at the time of cataloguing.
Presented to auction with two spare wheels and a history file that includes period rally participation documents together with Bowler paperwork, photos, invoices and recent Dyno results. We can provide additional videos and photos of the car “in action” upon request. Whilst ready for the next competition it is also road legal, with an MOT valid until 12th April 2021 and would make a head-turning addition to the local Waitrose car park.




Lot Number
Registration Number
Y265 OHB
MOT Expiry
Chassis Number
Engine Number
Body Colour



For further information regarding this lot please contact Arwel.





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Full payment must be received before any item is available to be released.

Vehicles can be collected from Stoneleigh Park from Monday 29th until Wednesday 31st March under the ‘click and collect’ guidance. Please contact the office on 01926 691141 and speak to a member of the admin team to arrange a collection time.

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Any motor vehicles not collected by 1pm on Wednesday 31st March will be taken to our transport partners storage facility for a fee of £150 plus VAT. Storage will be charged at £10 plus VAT per day from Thursday 1st April onwards.


Full payment must be received before any item is available to be released.

Items can be collected from Stoneleigh Park on Monday 29th March to Wednesday 31st March under ‘click and collect’ guidance. Please contact the office on 01926 691141 and speak to a member of the admin team to arrange a collection time.

Alternatively, you can arrange to have the item/s shipped to you at your cost.

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