Hawk 289 Le Mans

The Hawk 289 Le Mans

Le Mans, 1963: It was a couple of Mk 2 versions of the Cobra with their bigger 289 cu in (4.7-litre) Ford Windsor engine that were entered into the race. One from AC Cars for drivers Ninian Sanderson and Peter Bolton, managed by Stirling Moss and the other driven by Ed Hugus, who had run the car’s race development in America.

The 289 Le Mans was essentially a standard 289 with modifications to improve aerodynamics in order to achieve the higher top speeds that would be required on the Le Mans circuit. To this end, a ‘fastback’ style hardtop was fitted and the windscreen angle was raked further back. A bonnet air scoop was fitted to improve engine cooling along with a split boot lid to allow the lower half to hinge downwards for boot access. With the hardtop fitted, the upper half of the boot lid could not be opened. These aerodynamic modifications enabled the two 1963 Le Mans entrants to achieve a speed of 160 mph on the Mulsanne Straight.

The Hawk 289 Le Mans is a unique replica of those 1963 Le Mans entries. Details include a removable hardtop and a two-section bootlid. The filler cap is ‘frenched’ into the hardtop and an extension filler pipe and adaptors are available to connect with the existing filler cap location. Quick lift jacks were fitted front and rear on the original cars, and fitting these to the Hawk certainly gives a more authentic look. However, nudge bars and overriders can be fitted, which afford better protection to the body. Dunlop centre-lock ventilated wheels were also fitted to the two original Le Mans entries and replicas of these can also be obtained from Hawk Cars.

As a practical road car with hardtop fitted, the split boot is still reasonably useful, but without the hardtop, it has a better opening that the standard car.

At Hawk Cars, all the modifications were done using a standard 289 body shell, which meant we could achieve a very accurate Le Mans replica by producing the special hardtop, the bonnet with scoop and split boot as options on the normal 289. Therefore, purchasers of the Hawk 289 Roadster can, of course, add the Le Mans parts at a later date if required. Once fitted, the Le Mans hardtop is still removable for the normal open-top experience of these cars.

A Le mans kit is supplied with all the required special body parts and the standard screen is simply fitted at the correct angle during the build.

Customers contemplating the purchase of a standard 289, or those who already own one, can of course add the Le Mans parts at a later date if required.

Features include:

 Type: 2 seater sports.

 Coachwork: Unstressed GRP construction, with detachable hardtop and split boot lid.

 Chassis: 3.5 inch round tube, with folded steel outriggers, fully sealed and bushed where appropriate. Bracketed for your choice of engine.

• Engine options: 8 cylinder 3500cc, or 302 cu inch V8. Others to special order.

• Gearbox: 4 and 5 speed options can be fitted.

• Front suspension: Independent, coil sprung, double wishbone with lever arm, or telescopic dampers.

• Rear suspension: Live axle, leaf springs with lever arm, or optional telescopic dampers, or Jaguar IRS.

 Brakes: Discs to the front and drums to the rear (or disc rear with Jaguar IRS). Servo, or non-servo assisted. 4 pot front calipers and adjustable brake bias options also available.

 Wheels: 15 x 6 Dunlop alloys, with 205/70 x 15 radial ply tyres.

 8 cylinder performance: 0 – 60 mph in under 6 seconds, with top speed around 130+ mph.

 Overall Dimensions: Length = 3937mm (155″). Width = 1575mm (62″). Height to screen = 1220mm (48″).

The aluminium version of the Hawk 289 Le Mans – Price on application.

The aluminium bodied version of this model is the ultimate in authenticity and quality. The bodies are millimetre accurate reproductions of the original cars, formed in hand-beaten and rolled aluminium to exact specifications. The chassis are also of the original round tube design and these, along with the specially made hubs and suspension components are also to original specifications, but using the latest materials and engineering methods.

In fact, the production of original spec’ components for our own cars has established Hawk Cars as the major supplier of parts and spares for original cars in the UK and Europe.

A thorough look at these cars being assembled in our works, combined with a close study of our company demonstrators will leave you in no doubt that these cars are about as close to the real thing as it is possible to get.


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