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Vintage & Classic Car Restorer Brian Hawke - Classic Restos Series 47

By Shannons - Published on 21 May 2021

Brian Hawke is an extraordinary individual. At the age of 16, he started out as an apprentice panel beater, he then went on to own a panel beating repair shop from 1960-1969.  In 1978 he turned his skills to teaching and became the headteacher at the North Sydney Technical College for Smash Repairs. 

Brian shares his passion is for the restoration of vintage, classic, and specialised vehicles, and since 1992 he has followed his passion with the restoration of numerous classic cars. Brian talks to Fletch about the restoration of a 1963 MGA and a 1960's Mini Cooper. 

His love for Italian design and manufacture is evident when he discusses two major projects, a 1964 Maserati, 3.3litre six-cylinder and a 1947 Lancia Aprilia. He explains because of the small numbers of these models, they were hand-built, and therefore, there are variations from one car to the next, unlike the mass-produced models. The Maserati comes from the Touring Super Leggra bodybuilders in Italy for whom he has great respect.

Next is the 1947 Lancia Aprilia, which he completed a full restoration on back in 1968 for a client. There were only three models built of the 1975 Lancia Aprilia, and today there are only two left in the world, No. 1 in Australia, now owned by Brian and No. 2 in the UK. No. 3 is missing, its whereabouts unknown. When the Lancia became available for sale, Brian had no hesitation in purchasing it because he knew exactly the amount of work (his own) that the car had undergone.

These are just a few of Brian's projects working on classic cars from around the world, and the list of his credentials is formidable. Today, at 84, Brian has no intention of retiring, he says 'why retire when you do something you love'.