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Brawner Hawk Indy Cars


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#1 R.W. Mackenzie

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Posted 05 April 2019 - 16:37

Just watched the ABC coverage of the 1969 Indy 500 on YouTube. I've always wondered if Mario's winning car was newly built with the wedge-ish side pods or was it an upgrade of the '68 car. I did some research on the Internet and searched this forum but can find little information.

 

Is there a good source for the history of the Brawner-built Indy cars? There apparently was a Brawner Hawk website at one time but it's gone.

 

What I have determined is that the original 1965 car that Mario drove in the 500 was copied from John Zink's wrecked 1964 Brabham-Offy. There were either two or three made with one going to Zinc and the other one (or two) being retained by Brawner. There is also a car that was named a Moore and I don't know if that was one of these or a different chassis. The car that Mario raced in 1965 appears to have also been raced in 1966. At some point it ended up racing at Oswego as a Modified with the original parts and chassis travelled different paths but the car has now been reassembled and restored, first with an new chassis and now with the original restored frame.

 

The car Mario drove in 1967 was a Brawner Hawk II and I believe it was driven by Larry Dickson in the 1968 500 (before Mario took over). Not sure what became of this one.

 

The car Mario drove in 1968 was a Brawner Hawk III and this same designation was also used for the 1969 winning car. The winning car is now in the Smithsonian and an unraced (?) replica is on display at the Speedway museum.

 

That, in a nutshell, is all I know. Can anyone add to this?



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#2 Henri Greuter

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Posted 05 April 2019 - 18:20

I saw one at Pebble Beach last Sommer and according the info booklet, this particular car was the one Mario drove at Indy in '65, won pole with it in '66 and '67. No further career details mentioned other then that the chassis and parts were found in 2012 and was restored back into 1965 trim. Ray Evernham is the current owner.

I spoke people about the car who told me that it is in a very authentic 1965 condition.



#3 lotuspoweredbyford

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Posted 08 April 2019 - 18:42

I saw one at Pebble Beach last Sommer and according the info booklet, this particular car was the one Mario drove at Indy in '65, won pole with it in '66 and '67. No further career details mentioned other then that the chassis and parts were found in 2012 and was restored back into 1965 trim. Ray Evernham is the current owner.

I spoke people about the car who told me that it is in a very authentic 1965 condition.

 

The 1967 pole car is a totally different car than Ray Evernham's car. Both will be here at the upcoming Mario exhibition.



#4 R.W. Mackenzie

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Posted 08 April 2019 - 22:16

This is the 1965 car now owned by Ray Evernham:

 

C_KFrtTXgAAy4qb.jpg

 

(I tried to get a link to the page this picture came from but it seems to be from someone's Twitter account and I don'y know anything about Twitter. Hopefully it suffices to advise that I do not have the rights to this picture and am posting without permission of the owner.)

 

This is the 1967 car. It is described as a Brawner Hawk II:

 

L1100554.JPG

 

http://triplettraceh...t-pri-2015.html



#5 Henri Greuter

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Posted 09 April 2019 - 07:33

The 1967 pole car is a totally different car than Ray Evernham's car. Both will be here at the upcoming Mario exhibition.



So far for the accuracy of that booklet I guess......
Thanks for filling in.

#6 Valiant273

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Posted 10 April 2019 - 22:48

The Smithsoian lists the ‘69 500 winner as produced in1968.
It might be the same car that was used in the ‘68 season but I don’t know.

#7 Michael Ferner

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Posted 11 April 2019 - 06:58

It's been ages since I researched this, so apologies if my memory plays tricks, but the Brawner Hawk story goes essentially like this: Jim McElreath wrecked the original Brabham BT12 during testing, and the Zink team asked Eddie Kuzma to build a replica chassis, which he did, and while he was on the job he built a second one for Clint Brawner, who then commenced to build the first Hawk - this car served through the 1965 and '66 seasons, was rebuilt to the specification of the second car and a spare in '67 and then sold to Jack Adams in '68; it reappeared several times at Indy, barely recognizable as a Hawk. It's been returned to original spec and is the Ray Evernham car now.

The second Hawk was built in 1967, essentially still a Brabham copy but with a few changes, and was the main car in '67 and the short track car in '68 - it's the Tom Brawner car today. The third car, built in 1968, was different in many aspects, and apparently rebuilt into the '69 wedge. There is some evidence that the car was wrecked, and rebuilt around a replacement chassis, or that there were two cars in the first place, or maybe a "show car replica" - I never really got to the bottom of this. Anyway, there are now two, one in the Smithsonian and one in the IMS museum.

#8 R.W. Mackenzie

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Posted 13 April 2019 - 19:29

Hi Michael,

 

In all the research I did I didn't come across any involvement by Eddie Kuzma. The story that seemed to be must commonly related was that Zink lent his wrecked Brabham to Brawner who built either one or two for himself and one for Zink. They had permission, and possibly drawings, from Brabham himself. Are you sure about the Kuzma connection? I know the Brawner team ran a Kuzma dirt car at the time.



#9 Tom Glowacki

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Posted 13 April 2019 - 21:48

Hi Michael,

 

In all the research I did I didn't come across any involvement by Eddie Kuzma. The story that seemed to be must commonly related was that Zink lent his wrecked Brabham to Brawner who built either one or two for himself and one for Zink. They had permission, and possibly drawings, from Brabham himself. Are you sure about the Kuzma connection? I know the Brawner team ran a Kuzma dirt car at the time.

I do not recall where I saw this, but I recall reading that Kuzma built the monocoque for the 1968 car and that it was identical to one he did for Foyt except for the differences in the front bulkhead to account for inboard suspension on the Coyote and outboard on the Andretti car.



#10 lotuspoweredbyford

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Posted 16 April 2019 - 15:37

So far for the accuracy of that booklet I guess......
Thanks for filling in.

 

No problem, they are definitely two different cars, owned by two different people (well, one person, one organization.)



#11 StanBarrett2

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Posted 16 April 2019 - 23:24

Probably not of much use to anybody, but Brawners are Brawners.

From Steve Freemans set of Andretti cars

Andretti-Brawner.jpg



#12 Michael Ferner

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Posted 17 April 2019 - 08:01

Hi Michael,
 
In all the research I did I didn't come across any involvement by Eddie Kuzma. The story that seemed to be must commonly related was that Zink lent his wrecked Brabham to Brawner who built either one or two for himself and one for Zink. They had permission, and possibly drawings, from Brabham himself. Are you sure about the Kuzma connection? I know the Brawner team ran a Kuzma dirt car at the time.


No, I'm not sure - I wasn't there! :D

Kuzma was the "metal man" behind a lot of US racing cars at the time. I don't think Brawner could've done the job, he didn't have the time nor the infrastructure, and no experience. Much easier to farm out the job to someone like Kuzma, who did this sort of thing for twenty years already.

#13 Michael Ferner

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Posted 17 April 2019 - 09:41

A quick little search on the internet shows two relevant sources mentioning Kuzma's involvement:

http://www.mshf.com/...nt-brawner.html Motorsports Hall of Fame of America:

In '64, Brawner, working with McGee, was a major player in the rear engine Hawks which ran through '69, including the car Andretti won the 500 with that year. Eddie Kuzma built the tubs and body work while Brawner and McGee did the rest.


Of course, the early cars had no "tubs", but I guess this could be read to mean tube frames, too.

https://www.gordonki...t_is_no411.html Gordon Kirby on Mario Andretti:

It was a busy winter as Brawner, McGee and Andretti worked flat-out in Brawner's little shop in Phoenix. "We built those three Brawner/Hawks and we also rebuilt the dirt car," McGee says. "There were just four of us working on those cars--Clint, myself and Mario—and we also hired a young fellow named Tony Buffone. It was a big job to build three cars over the winter with just four people. We built those cars in Clint's little garage and Eddie Kuzma put the bodies on for us. Those were beautiful cars.


It only mentions Kuzma building the bodies, but the article is written on recollections alone, mainly of Jim McGee, and contains a few other inaccuracies later on. Maybe they did build the frames in Phoenix, maybe they didn't. Personally, I rather doubt it.