PH Carpool: Hawk Stratos

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.

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!

P.H. O'meter

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Comments (162) Join the discussion on the forum

  • Alfanatic 16 Jan 2013

    ChrisJ. said:
    Gary C said:
    A Hawk is on the list of the cars I want to build on retiring, and I would have an alfa V6 in it, maybe with some high overlap cams, carbs and lots of banging and popping smile

    Edited by Gary C on Sunday 5th August 10:33
    Jenvey ITBs are the only option beyond the standard single plenum set up.
    Every Alfa V6 Stratos rep. engine is canted, and there are no carb manifolds available. Fitting IDF or DCNF webers would be very difficult.
    The only production Alfa V6 with carbs. was a 3.0 S.A. GTV6, which ran 6 individual single downdraught carbs. To fit one of those to a FWD Alfa gearbox, you'd need to have a modified bell housing and one off engine mounts.

    There are a good half dozen Alfa V6 Hawks now with Jenveys.
    And carbs were used on the original Busso V6 installation, the Alfa 6. That's where ARSA got the carb setup from for the GTV6 3.0. South Africa has some racetracks at sea level and others at close to 6000ft, and at the time the developers decided it would be easier to swap jets in carbs to accommodate the altitude changes between races rather than convince the fuel injection system to cope.

    I don't know whether the carbs and plenum can be bolted on to a 12v FWD engine or not, I assume by then the head had changed (the GTV6 3.0s were built around 1983 / 4) but having the engine canted wouldn't help things at all anyway. Either way for road use the fuel injection is a lot easier to live with. It was six single choke Dell'Ortos and finding someone who had the equipment and talent to balance those well was actually quite tricky. By the '90s there were only a handful of experts in South Africa who were trusted to tune a 3.0.

  • TA14 16 Jan 2013

    Blib said:
    Gozza said:
    Just wanted to add one last comment.
    Car has sold for £28k to a nice man in Sweden

    Who would want to pay that much for a rep...well someone did
    Well it's about 1/20 the amount being banded about for a copy of the black one that the german chap has built.

  • Blib 16 Jan 2013

    Gozza said:
    Just wanted to add one last comment.
    Car has sold for £28k to a nice man in Sweden

    Who would want to pay that much for a rep...well someone did

  • Gozza 16 Jan 2013

    Just wanted to add one last comment.
    Car has sold for £28k to a nice man in Sweden

    Who would want to pay that much for a rep...well someone did

  • rutthenut 02 Sep 2012

    ADM06 said:
    Blib said:
    I like the V6 in my Hawk. The Alfa 3.0 V6 engine engine puts out roughly the same power as the originals' Dino V6 units. My Maserati has a V8. It's a totally different type of power delivery. It wouldn't have the right characteristics. It would be all wrong, IMO. (This is like deja vu all over again).

    So what you're saying is that oodles of effortless low down grunt in a lightweight car doesn't appeal to you?
    Just catching up on this thread. I like a V8 rumble too. But for the Strat, it *has* to be a V6. Ideally one of Italian origin. Which is exactly why my car was ordered and then built with the Alfa V6. And then later upgraded to the 24v version of that engine, for more power.

    In both 12v and 24v forms, I think you'd find that the Alfa Busso engine provides a fair old shove of low-down grunt, in the 900kg Stratos replica, coupled with a near-manic sound and rate of acceleration as the revs go through 3500 to 7200rpm. A very addictive noise. In keeping with the behaviour of the car.

    Could point out that the standard 12v Alfa engine has more power and torque than the original Dino lump in the Lancia Stratos. My 24v engine surprised me at a rolling road recently to show it has 266bhp. And can be driven around in high gears at low speed whilst still providing throttle response if desired.

    John Rutter, aka Rut the Nut

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