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Due to start build in February 2008 is a LHD Hawk Stratos Replica for a customer in Italy. The car will be built to GP4 specification utilising an Alfa Romeo 3.0 V6 power plant and will be finished with a replica Marlboro colour scheme.

You can follow the progress of this project here .....

We're not expecting delivery of the body/chassis packs from Hawk until the end of January so much of this month will be utilised assembling the various donor components that are required. The donor parts come from a variety of cars so sourcing good quality components can be quite time consuming. Luckiliy in this case the customer is supplying a complete Alfa Romeo 164 direct from Italy which the engine, gearbox, driveshafts and engine electrics will all be taken from and that car has already arrived at our workshop. The rest is up to us!

Engine Removal
Engine Removed
Our first job was to pull the engine and gearbox, and its associated electrics out of the 164. This was made considerably easier by the fact that the car itself was being scrapped afterwards, so we cut out the front crossmember and slam panel and just pulled the whole thing out the front. We also removed the front and rear brakes as these will be reconditioned and used on the Stratos.

With the kit delivered to our workshop in late February we could now start work in earnest. The first job, as with every build we do, was to go through the delivered parts and make a list of everything that was missing. It is essential in every build to keep track of parts required as one missing component can hold up the whole build. Luckily in this case Hawk have once again done a fantastic job and the list is miniscule.

Suspension Components Laid Out
Front Suspension Fitted (RHS)
Front Suspension Fitted (LHS)
Front Suspension Completed
Physically the first job on the car was to assemble and fit the suspension. We always do this where possible simply because the car is then moveable if necessary. This is a relatively simple task although it needs doing with care and patience. This particular car is being fitted with anti-rollbars front and rear and an Alfa 164 brake conversion kit. Initially the suspension will be 'loose' fitted to check eveything works ok. It will be fully tightened and adjusted once the car is at normal ride height.

MARCH 2008
The rear suspension is a little more complicated than the front as the custom hubs required the bearings to be pushed in with a hydraulic press, and the ARB can't be finally fitted until the engine is in. Never the less it all went together perfectly and with no modifications required. Our bottom wishbones are Hawks rose-jointed versions so we made a jig off of the original to give us an equal length each side.

Rear Suspension Fitted (LHS)
Rear Suspension Fitted (RHS)
With the car on wheels we started fitting out the chassis ready to accept the engine/gearbox unit as its easier to do at this stage without the engine in the way. This car is being fitted with the Alfa Romeo 164 gearbox and the kit came with a bespoke Hawk gearchange mechanism, however this mechanism uses the original 164 lever which has to be modified to suit. Once modified the gearchange is a simple job to fit to the chassis.

Modified 164 Gear Lever
Brake Servo and Master Cylinder
Next we fitted the brake servo and master cylinder to give us a location for the vacuum pipe, which we've made out of a single length of copper pipe. We've run this pipe through the tunnel with the cooling pipes. These are the only pipes that run through the tunnel itself, with all other services running along the top of it.

Modified Fuseboard Fitted
Modified Fuseboard Fitted
We also opted to fit the electrics at this stage. This is a left hand drive car and the kit comes with a bespoke wiring harness and fuseboard, however this is for a right hand drive car. At first sight its a simple matter of turning the harness upside down, but this leaves the relays and fuses un-accessible so they all need to be relocated to the otherside of the board, and individually turned over. This requires a huge amount of lengthening of wires but its well worth doing as the whole electrical installation becomes easier from there. Whilst working on the fuseboard we added some relays to drive the Gp4 quad spotlights.

Dashboard Wiring
Wiper Motor Fitted
Radiator and Fans Fitted
Headlight Motors Fitted

The kit uses Fiat X1/9 headlight motors coupled to bespoke Hawk framework. These can be quite tricky to setup and align but its vital to get them accurate at this stage to ensure reliable operation in the future. Its impossible to find new motors these days so we're going to recondition as second hand pair and fit new diodes.

Trial Fitting Headlights
Trial Fitting Headlights
To be continued .....

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