The Hawk Takes Flight
Clint Brawner was a roadster guy. He didn't care much for Jack Brabham's spindly rear-engine
Cooper/Climax when it showed up at Indy in 1961. And even after the performance of Jim Clark's
Lotus/Ford in 1963 showed the roadster extinction writing on the wall he still went ahead and built and all
new Dean Van Lines front-engine Offy for 1964.
He changed his mind before the 1965 season and decided it was time to build his own rear engine car, to be
christened the Brawner Hawk.
With no experience with such cars, he made a deal with car owner John Zink who had a wrecked Brabham
chassis that needed to be rebuilt in late 1964. Based upon Brabham drawings and plans, Brawner not only
rebuilt Zink's chassis – with help from Eddie Kuzma for the tubs and bodywork -- he built a second car as
well, to be outfitted with a Ford DOHC instead of an Offy.
The result was a USAC National Championship for his Dean Van Lines Special team including mechanic
Jim McGee and a young Italian driver named Mario Andretti. The Hawk captured a win at the Hoosier Grand
Prix road race and poles at Langhorne, Indianapolis Raceway Park and Phoenix International Raceway. The
Hawk also carried Mario to a fourth-place qualifying position, third-place finish and Rookie of the Year honors
at the 1965 Indy 600.