Bogan History: 1980 Purvis Eureka

“Oh look,” you’re probably thinking, “Yet another zany kit car from a company with a strange name that I’ve never heard of… I bet it’s built on a Beetle chassis.” You’d be right, the chassis is from a Beetle, and some did leave the factory with the Beetle’s engine too. Others had I4 Ford units, but this particular 80,000km example has neither. Instead it’s got a 13B rotary engine from Mazda. It’s also listed as a “1 door” vehicle. This isn’t exactly yet another kit car. Find this 1980 Purvis Eureka for sale in Ferndale, WA for $16,900 AUD ($12,600 USD at the time of writing) via Carsales.

Yes, its one door is a canopy. This was a bit of a craze in the late 60s into the 70s for wedge concept cars, invariably based on Italian exotica, but none of them made it into production. This is as close as you can get to those without having to spend a small state’s budget to buy one.

These cars were licenced all over the world, originally coming from the British 1971 Nova kit car. If you’re American, you can pick one up as a Sterling (completely unrelated to the imported Rovers). This one seems to have been somewhat modified, with the whole rear fascia redesigned into a striking futuristic grille design, and the bonnet scoop appears to be aftermarket too. It all drags the design into the 1980s nicely.

The Eureka is named after the Eurake Stockade; a rebellion staged by gold miners against colonial British soldiers in 1854. It lasted half an hour, and was the closest Australia ever got to a civil war, a la America. However, the flag the rebels used remains a bogan symbol to this day. Fortunately, the Purvis hasn’t been caught up in the historical shrapnel, instead remaining an interesting footnote in the Australian automotive landscape – which is a footnote itself, really.

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Michael is a teenager who’s been obsessed with cars since he was able to talk, but has no ability in mechanics whatsoever. His daily driver is a manual transmission Nissan Maxima – the Australian Infiniti I30.