Results 1 to 8 of 8

Thread: Stratos Revisited

  1. #1
    SEC Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2019
    Location
    Sunderland
    Posts
    50
    Rep Power
    1

    Question Stratos Revisited

    Hi all,
    In c1988 I was visiting my 1st wife’s sister and family in Brighton, from the North East and had made arrangements to visit (the then) Transformer cars in Frant, East Sussex run by one Gerry Hawkridge. I have been a fan of the Stratos since seeing it compete in the RAC, other special stage events and Rallycross in the 70’s. It was such a special looking and performing car – then and now.
    I had cut my teeth on a VW based Nova kit car in the early 80’s having received a donor Beetle as a 21st Birthday present from my parents. I had sold it back in 1985 to pay off my then wife’s overdraft, but was interested in another car build project.
    My greatest surprise on visiting Gerry, at 6’ 6”, was - I could actually get in to and operate the controls of both their demonstrators’ which included the Alitalia liveried G4 car. Anyway a long story short nothing further happened. Car projects were restricted to a VW Beetle and Split Screen camper restorations.
    Fast forward to 2008, with kids grown up and firmly in my Mid-life crisis (still in it) and with encouragement from wife no. 3, purchased a Spectraflair Silver TVR T350c which I owned for 6 years. Loved it despite the lack of headroom, cycling between the discomforts of either head firmly against headlining or with seat cushion removed at the opposite end!
    I took early retirement last June and now have “too much” time on my hands, but don’t tell the other half or I will have job lists to contend with. This has got me thinking again of my opportunity missed. I don’t have a bucket list, but if I did a Stratos build would be on it. Next step then will be to visit both Hawk and Lister Bell to see if I could still get into and drive either. I have put on about 3 stone since the 80’s, not lost any height and although not problems, movement is not what it used to be.
    This is just an initial hello and to see if there are any current Owners or Builders in the North East?
    Cheers,
    Adrian

  2. #2
    Super Moderator
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Location
    St Helens
    Posts
    826
    Rep Power
    12

    Re: Stratos Revisited

    Ey Up Ade, and welcome to the club! Three wives...you're either a slow learner or a man of dogged determination

    I'm nowhere near Sunderland (although I've been a few times, the first one in '96, locking myself out of my car when at Grove Cranes in Pallion...) and my chassis doesn't yet have a body so I can't help with the try-it-for-size thing, but I'm sure there'll be someone along shortly whose car you can have a look at. Visiting Hawk and LB is a good idea too, so you can get an idea of what's involved, what it'll cost and what the waiting times are. You seem to have a lot of air-cooled VW experience...maybe you can persuade Gerry or Craig to make a chassis to take one of those motors? OK, maybe not

    Keep us posted on what your plans are and don't hesitate to ask for advice on here. And in case you're unaware, both manufacturers will have stands at the National Kit Car Show at Stoneleigh over the early May Bank Hol, so a good chance to see them both at the same time. The Club AGM is also held there, and there'll be a marquee and members' cars, so come and say Hi and grab a burger and a cuppa (there'll be a formal announcement on the forum concerning the AGM shortly).

    By the way...I'm 6' 1" and 18 stone and I'm fine in a LB (they do a dropped floorpan option).

    Cheers!

    Norm

  3. #3
    SEC Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2019
    Location
    Sunderland
    Posts
    50
    Rep Power
    1

    Re: Stratos Revisited

    Hi Norm,
    Thanks for the welcome and all the advice/info. I had seen that LB do a dropped floorpan and although it gives about an extra inch, every little helps. Had 2.5 inch drops welded into Beetle chassis for the Nova kit car! No more VW's for me for now though, LOL.
    Yes, haven't got to the bottom of the 3 wives thing - just love wedding cake I suppose.
    Ah Pallion, a lovely place! Must mention here that I am from Newcastle originally and just doing some missionary work in Sunderland for time being
    Cheers,
    Adrian

  4. #4
    SEC Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2019
    Location
    Sunderland
    Posts
    50
    Rep Power
    1

    Re: Stratos Revisited

    Well, call me foolish as I have not seen the car or kit yet, but deposit/bond paid on a LB after a brief chat with Craig last week. Lead time is currently standing at about 18 months so thought I had better get on the ladder straight away!
    I have lots of hidden talents. The problem is, even I can't find them!


    Ade




  5. #5
    SEC Member renmure's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2017
    Location
    Scotland
    Posts
    153
    Rep Power
    4

    Re: Stratos Revisited

    Quote Originally Posted by LOFT6.6 View Post
    Well, call me foolish as I have not seen the car or kit yet, but deposit/bond paid on a LB after a brief chat with Craig last week. Lead time is currently standing at about 18 months so thought I had better get on the ladder straight away!
    Foolish!!

    18 months? Crikey.

  6. #6
    SEC Member red5's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Leicestershire
    Posts
    302
    Rep Power
    11

    Re: Stratos Revisited

    Congratulations, 18 months will soon pass.
    You decided on what you're going to build? Stradale/wide arch Alfa donor or Toyota etc?

  7. #7
    SEC Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2019
    Location
    Sunderland
    Posts
    50
    Rep Power
    1

    Re: Stratos Revisited

    Nick, plenty of time to decide, but thinking of Stradale at this stage. Alfa donor too and was initially thinking of a 156 to make things as straightforward as possible, but after speaking to Craig, he seemed to be saying I may be disappointed with 2.5l. A 166 with a 3.0l may be a better choice. Looking in the usual places and some "bargain" spares or repair vehicles seem attractive, but have been laid up for some time i.e. not quite sure what you are getting. May spend a little more to get a runner with history and 6-12 months MOT, so I can run it myself and assess better what I have got before strip down.
    Last edited by LOFT6.6; 18-02-2019 at 22:04.
    I have lots of hidden talents. The problem is, even I can't find them!


    Ade




  8. #8
    SEC Member red5's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Leicestershire
    Posts
    302
    Rep Power
    11

    Re: Stratos Revisited

    The Alfa supply does seem to be getting harder to find, the prices being asked for low mileage 3.0 166's has risen considerably since I bought mine.
    If you're stuck on the Alfa route Id certainly take Craig's advise and try to get the 3.0 over a 2.5, all personal choice dependent on what you're looking to get out the car once its built.

    Good luck with your search and enjoy the build..
    Last edited by red5; 19-02-2019 at 13:11.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •