Please remove duplicate log ins As part of an upgrade to PistonHeads, we need you to go to the Classifieds Preferences page and choose your unique login by 31st of October

Hide Do it now
Monday 16th July 2012


PH CARPOOL: HAWK STRATOS

It's the building and not the driving that does it for this PHer


Name: Iain Gosling
Car: Hawk HF3000 Stratos Replica
Owned since: Started building in 2006. Completed the build in 2010
Previously owned: Porsche Carrera S 993, Subaru Impreza, Boxster S, Toyota Prius (!!!)


Why I bought it:
I had always wanted to build a kit car and the opportunity arose when I moved and the new house happened to have a double garage. I'd looked at various kits, but had always wanted to own a Stratos. Also the Stratos kit is not a simple 'bolt-it-together' operation and I thought I would like to test my engineering skills.

At the time there were only two manufacturers of a Stratos kit and, after some light research, I plumped for the Hawk. It was a pretty simple choice actually and, after a few conversations with (Hawk boss) Gerry Hawkridge, a deposit was paid and I waited for my kit to show up.

I then spent the next few months gathering 1970s Fiat and Lancia parts. This is an interesting exercise, because they are as rare as rocking horse doings (and no doubt getting rarer by the minute). I also took possession of my Alfa 164 donor car, a red 1989 3.0 V6 12 valve. I wanted to do everything just right, too, so I had the Alfa's engine completely overhauled. That was £2,500 I wasn't expecting to spend, but I couldn't stand the thought of a completed build with a rattling, smoking lump.


I then spent the next three years painstakingly putting it together. Buying parts, researching technical issues and attempting to work out the sequence of the build. Although a number of my fellow builders go to great lengths to exactly replicate the 1970 build, I took a more contemporary approach and fitted Sparco seats, OMP harnesses, OMP steering wheel and a brand new set of VDO dials and gauges. I also - where possible - used parts supplied by Hawk, including the exhaust, large radiator and twin fans, all the springs and dampers and the famous coffin-spoke wheels.

The biggest decision was what colour to paint the car... I was going to do single-colour lime green. It looks good in this, but the car needs something a bit special. There are already loads in the Alitalia livery, so I steered clear of that and decided to go for the Marlboro colours. The paint job is stunning (even though I do say so myself). All the decals are under a lacquer coating and the attention to detail is second to none. The work was overseen by Talon Sportscars, who also nursed the car through the IVA test process.

What I wish I'd known:
Building a car is a labour of love and, in some respects, I wish I had built a simple kit first, before building the Hawk. The Hawk build is fairly complex and a previous experience would have improved the finished article. I made plenty of mistakes along the way, but none serious and I am now an expert with fibre glass and filler. I did though after riding in a few other kits spend a long time designing 'anti-squeak' options and car has a fairly low 'squeak' rating. The end result is I think stunning. The car is a real headturner, it is so unique and the styling seems never to go out of date.


Things I love:
Apart from the satisfaction of having a car you built yourself, the performance is pretty good. The V6 is stock and chucks out about 200bhp, but the car weighs a little over 725kg, so there is plenty of zip. Brakes are a little spongy, but you get used to them.

The brakes are new discs all round with refurbished Alfa 164 calipers, which are used to stopping a car nearly twice the weight so no problems there either. The huge wheels are shod with Michelin TB15s. These are a soft compound and gives loads of grip, but the small diameter steering wheel needs a good tug at slow speeds. All-in-all a fun car to drive.

Things I hate:
I completely forgot how small the cabin is - it's not for the fuller-figured gentleman. I have a few inches left behind the driver's seat, but if you are taller than six foot, it will be a very tight squeeze.

Costs:
I never kept a tally of how much it cost to build, but a decent estimate is £35K. Which is not bad considering that I bought brand new parts where possible, the wheels and tyres cost £4K and the paintwork was £5K on its own!!


Maintenance is pretty simple to be honest. Everything is very accessible, because if necessary you can completely remove the front and rear clamshells. I have only had one niggle so far, which was an air lock, but it righted itself and now all is well. Just don't break one of those original Lancia or Fiat parts - sourcing is getting very difficult!

Where I've been:
Er... nowhere really. Went to the Silverstone Classic last year and pitched up at a Sunday Service earlier in the year, but other than that not too far.

What next?
After completing the car I realized how much I enjoy the build process. In fact, the Hawk has only done 1000 miles in the year or so since I have had it! I would really like to build another in the not-too-distant future. Sticking with the Italian theme, a nice 250GTO kit would be perfect....

So if anyone wants to buy a Hawk Stratos replica...


Want to share your car with PHers on Carpool? Email us at carpool@pistonheads.com!

Author: Riggers
Want more PH news like this daily - then signup for the PH newsletter here!