Anyone ever build a Cobra kit car?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Shawn Shultzaberger, May 24, 2002.

  1. Shawn Shultzaberger

    Shawn Shultzaberger Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2000
    Messages:
    705
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Have any of you ever built a Cobra kit car? For as long as I can remember I have always wanted one. Any time I see one I am held in wonderful amazement like a deer caught in headlights. And the sound? Wonderful!
    Shell Valley seems to have some really great prices but I just don't know about quality. Then there's MidStates, Fabulous Five??, and ERA.
    Are there any major gotcha's when building these? Any welding knowledge required?
    I'm already working on my wife. Gotta start slowly and build up. I want the car, she wants a day care. [​IMG]
    If you all have any tips, info or anything I sure would appreciate it. [​IMG]
     
  2. NickSo

    NickSo Producer

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2000
    Messages:
    4,260
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Real Name:
    Nick So
    I dont know the first thing about building a kit car, but i am a car enthusiast. Theres this one issue of Car and Driver i have where they test drove a Factory Five racing version of a Cobra. Not sure if they're street legal or not though. their site is http://www.factoryfive.com
    Sorry i couldnt be more help...
     
  3. Philip_G

    Philip_G Producer

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2000
    Messages:
    5,030
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    maybe you can buy the car parts bit by bit, just buying what you need to assemble the section you're working on so as not to shock the wife all at once? [​IMG]
    I have seen shows where they built the kits, but how much do you really see in a half hour. Overall it doesn't look too bad. I think I'll skip the kit car and build an airplane [​IMG]
     
  4. Shawn Shultzaberger

    Shawn Shultzaberger Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2000
    Messages:
    705
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Slow is my plan. [​IMG] It will give me something to do when there isn't anything to do. Especially during those winter months.
    It really doesn't look all that hard. I think maybe the worst part of it all is finding the used parts you will need from the junk yard.
    What I am doing is getting all the preliminary research done so that when I sink my teeth into it I've got a good idea on what needs to be done. And when finally completed I will have a very low flying 4 wheeled aircraft. [​IMG]
     
  5. Brad_V

    Brad_V Second Unit

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2002
    Messages:
    356
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    The Superformance Cobra is a full tube-frame chassis made by them. You then pretty much just bolt everything in/on. They are ridiculously light, of course, so even a 250hp engine makes them damn quick. The Superformance ones are also some of the strongest ones I know of. People do some pretty serious racing with those kits.

    I know a guy with one. He had them do all the work. Final bill was 50 grand. That was with a 400-ish horsepower 396. It did low 12s on street tires at 118-122mph. Somewhere in there. He said from a roll he easily pulls on Vipers, and the 1/4-mile time backs that up. I should have some pics of it somewhere if you care. Or could give you his email address if I can find it.

    Other kits are cheaper, I think the Tomahawk is the cheapest and it's built on a 280z donor car, but the Superformance is one of the serious-performance kits.
     
  6. Philip_G

    Philip_G Producer

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2000
    Messages:
    5,030
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    oh, I was going to say, too bad you're not closer, I'd offer to help, it DOES sound like a lot of fun [​IMG]
     
  7. Todd Hochard

    Todd Hochard Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 1999
    Messages:
    2,312
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Give serious consideration to Everett-Morrison. I've been considering doing one of these for years (alas, where will I get the funds??), and I've spoken to them a few times. Great bunch of guys.
    They'll let you buy in stages, and parts availability is good, so I'm told. They use the tube-frame style, and it is drilled/fitted to your desires. You have several choices of suspension, and Ford or Chevy motor. No welding, and they say about 300 man-hours to get it done.
    They do a "stretch" version that adds 6" to the cockpit. If you're over 6', you'll want this. The cockpit in a Miata is bigger than the standard Cobra.[​IMG]
    Frankly, these guys and ERA are the only two I ever considered.
    Todd
     
  8. Jeff Savage

    Jeff Savage Second Unit

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2001
    Messages:
    386
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    The Factory Five kit is a great kit (if you can get the donor 5.0 Mustang). I have helped a friend build one and they are fairly easy to put together (in kit car terms). I will be getting one as soon as I have $13K to spare [​IMG]. I figure my 347 motor and other go fast goodies from my aging '83 'Stang should make the kit Cobra fly [​IMG]
    BTW anyone who puts a Chevy motor in a Cobra (even if it is only a kit car) should be shot [​IMG]
    Laters,
     
  9. Todd Hochard

    Todd Hochard Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 1999
    Messages:
    2,312
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
     
  10. Shawn Shultzaberger

    Shawn Shultzaberger Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2000
    Messages:
    705
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Thanks for the Everett URL. A bit more spendy but their frame is a work of art. Unfortunately money is an object for me so I must stay within budget.
    I did briefly think about going with a Chevy 350 but I really want to keep the Ford heritage in it. I figure a stroked 351 (to 393) should get me the power I'm looking for but not kill my wallet. I figure $5k - $6k in the engine and the rest for the car should work just fine. If I went 427FE it would destroy my budget but the car would be wicked fast. [​IMG]
    After reading some of the various sites Install Instructions I am going to need to get my garage ready before doing any of this. It is going to require a lot of space. I have most of that space but it's filled with junk. [​IMG] I guess it's time for a garage sale.
    With these types of things I guess you have to have patience. *sigh*
     
  11. Ron AZ

    Ron AZ Agent

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2002
    Messages:
    25
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I had a 1965 427SC Shelby AC Cobra (kit). I had done a lot of research and had a local man in Phoenix build mine. It was built as close to the original as possible. I would recommend you contact the SHELBY COBRA club and find out where their local meets are and attend those (that is where you can find out about the cars and the builders). COBRA is "POWERED by FORD"... no damn Chevy motors... Chevy motors belong in Corvettes. I had my car for about 3 years and loved it. I did find the car to be a 'limited driver', meaning I wouldn't leave it in a location that it could be closely watched. My COBRA was loud and had a great 'lope' to the motor. They are an attention getter.

    If by chance you ever go to LAS VEGAS... you can go to the SHELBY AMERICAN plant located at the Las Vegas International Speedway, located about 15 miles north on I-15.... You can buy aluminum bodys, fiberglass bodies, all tube framing.. they have about 12 or so COBRA's on display.. They have free tours everyday (about 10am daily) and the showroom/gift shop is open about 8 hours a day. It was the best part of my visit to Las Vegas. Good luck... Ron AZ
     
  12. Bill Catherall

    Bill Catherall Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 1997
    Messages:
    1,560
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    This thread renewed my interest in such a project (perhaps someday when the funds allow it). But I'm wondering what the ideal engine would be.

    Of course bigger means more horsepower and speed, but it also means a much heavier engine and worse handling peformance...right? I mean, Cobras are pretty small, light cars. If you put a huge engine in them then the handling will suffer.

    What size engine strikes the perfect balance between horsepower and handling?
     
  13. Cam S

    Cam S Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2002
    Messages:
    1,524
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    A good friend of mine owns a really nice Cobra kit car with a 427 in it, and let me tell you, that thing is SCARY FAST. I was able to drive it once, and I was shaking afterwards [​IMG]
     
  14. Todd Hochard

    Todd Hochard Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 1999
    Messages:
    2,312
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
     
  15. Philip_G

    Philip_G Producer

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2000
    Messages:
    5,030
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    oh man would I get into some serious trouble with the local five-oh [​IMG]
     
  16. Jeff Savage

    Jeff Savage Second Unit

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2001
    Messages:
    386
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I have a stroked built to the hilt 347 in my '83 stang that will do mid 11's in the 1/4 mile on motor (if ya can't do the math that is like 0 to 60 in around 4 sec's [​IMG]). I have been looking into the Factory Five Racing kit myself and it is 1000 Lbs lighter than the standard 'stang so I figure that it would be wicked fast if I could get it to hook up [​IMG]
    The only issue with the 347 is that you are looking at rings and bearings every 9K miles or so depending on how you drive it due to the extreme rod angles. But it has torque up the ass and I work at a local speed shop on the weekends so the rebuilding is not an issue for me. A good middle ground would be a 333 stroker. If you need you need more ommph after that (pureists close your eyes now) just add a 150 shot of nitrous [​IMG]
    Now having said all that putting a 427 in would be awesome if you have the cash. You could also stroke out a 351 to 427 or something in between the two also. Since the explosion of the Mustang in the mid 90's there is nothing that you can't do with a SB Ford motor. It many cases it is cheaper to build up a Ford motor than a Chevy motor these days too. I have seen dyno tests of SB Ford motors with superchagers or turbos putting out in excess of 600 rear wheel horse power and still be completely streetable.
    Laters,
    Jeff
     
  17. Brad_V

    Brad_V Second Unit

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2002
    Messages:
    356
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I've had a 12-second daily driver for years now, and I don't think most people realize just how fast an 11 or 12-second car is. If someone hasn't been driving fast cars for a good while, putting a 427 in a 2200lb chassis might amount to a death sentence. Seriously. Plenty of guys swap ends on their Corvettes and similar in the middle of traffic when they get a bit spirited with it, and they find themselves facing the opposite way and suddenly realize, "Hey, this much torque and horsepower is no joke." And most of those are "only" 13-second cars. Most people think a 14-second car is more than enough.
     
  18. Jeff Savage

    Jeff Savage Second Unit

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2001
    Messages:
    386
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
     
  19. Todd Hochard

    Todd Hochard Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 1999
    Messages:
    2,312
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
     
  20. Jeff Savage

    Jeff Savage Second Unit

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2001
    Messages:
    386
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Todd -
    Well the rings and bearing issue would be the same if you took a 305 (vs the Ford 302) and tried to to make it a 347. It is just a long ass rod and the angle is pretty wacked. Besides I bet it would take a couple of years to reach 9K in a Cobra Kit car unless it is a daily driver and I am talking about winding the engine to 7K. They last longer if you take it easy.
    I guess you have to stick with what you know and the motor you listed above has good stuff in it. But I still say it is wrong [​IMG]
    Laters,
    Jeff
     

Share This Page