Hornet (car)

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For the version of the Austin Mini, see Wolseley Hornet (Mini).

The Hornet is a Lotus Seven copy built by T&J Sportscars. The Hornet was created by T&J Sportscars and was designed to take the majority of components from the Ford Cortina mk 3, 4 or 5. This means there is a choice of 1300/ 1600 OHV Kent or OHC 1600/2000 OHC Pinto Ford engines. All the running gear is taken from the Cortina, although T&J manufactured front wishbones were an option to replace the Cortina pressed steel items. The only items that need to be modified are the propshaft, which needs to be shortened, and the alternator that needs to be repositioned.

The body tub uses the same concept as the earlier Locust, and is built from ¾" plywood, using plans supplied by the manufacturer (drawn by a previous employee of JC Autopatterns/Sportscars). The wooden tub is then skinned with thin gauge aluminium sheet. The tub is fitted to a ladder chassis supplied by the manufacturer. Unlike the Locust where most other Seven style body components will fit the size of the Hornet meant that the builder is limited to items provided by the manufacturer.


  • Donor vehicle – Cortina MK3,4,5
  • Chassis – Twin rail ladder in RHS with suspension points body outriggers and roll bar plinths.
  • Front Suspension – Cortina wishbones with optional tubular wishbones allowing full castor/camber adjustment.
  • Rear Suspension - Cortina four link suspension using donor springs and shock absorbers.
  • Engine – Normally Cortina but most RWD engine and gearbox combinations including Rover V8 can be accommodated.
  • Build time – Estimated 360 hours.

The Hornet is now manufactured by BWE Sportscars and like the Locust can be built using Ford Sierra components.

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