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SlickDizzy
SlickDizzy SuperDork
9/27/11 10:08 p.m.

I just finished watching the Gumball Rally again with a few friends, and it came up: Factory Five, Superformance, et. al. claim to offer a Cobra replica "like the original, but BETTER!" with all kinds of fancy suspension improvements, comfort options, tweaks, adjustments, and other nonsense. (Power steering? WHAT?) Even the Shelby-sanctioned "continuation cars" appear to be "improved" from the original design. Does anybody actually make a true "REPLICA" with the original stone-age suspension, complete lack of comfort, and virtually impossible steering? Something that can truly replicate the hairy-chested experience of the original?

Not that I intend on building one anytime soon but I sure am curious.

Maroon92
Maroon92 SuperDork
9/27/11 10:14 p.m.

any of the replicas are awfully hairy chested...

SlickDizzy
SlickDizzy SuperDork
9/27/11 10:18 p.m.
Maroon92 wrote: any of the replicas are awfully hairy chested...

With coil springs, a heavily revised frame, etc etc...

Conquest351
Conquest351 Reader
9/27/11 10:21 p.m.

The main improvement is the footbox. The originals had you sitting pretty damn crooked and after long races, the drivers backs would be totalled. My old boss had a 289 Cobra and raced it regularly. Said after a race he would have to pretty much lay down for the rest of the day to recover. Superformance is the only one, other than Shelby America, who makes continuation Cobras and Daytona Coupes. From my understanding, the suspension is updated with modern materials and the pedal box is redesigned. I know the 289 Cobras (original) were front and rear leaf spring cars and kinda sucked. LOL At least that's what by old boss said. The 427's would haul ass and handle, but with all the weight up front and torque coming out of the tires, they were a hand full.

carguy123
carguy123 SuperDork
9/27/11 10:28 p.m.

The improved versions aren't what you'd call user friendly in todays world. I can't imagine wanting one like the original

Having had 2

HoustonNW
HoustonNW New Reader
9/27/11 10:35 p.m.

Kirkham Motorsports has the original style suspension with, I think, the tranverse leaf springs available as an option:

http://www.kirkhammotorsports.com/products/289-kmsstreet

DoctorBlade
DoctorBlade Dork
9/27/11 10:42 p.m.

Didn't they use chains as a suspension piece?

ArthurDent
ArthurDent Reader
9/27/11 10:43 p.m.

This might not be what you meant but I remember seeing on in the UK that was built with a Ford Sierra donor and the 1.6L four cylinder engine.

wearymicrobe
wearymicrobe HalfDork
9/28/11 8:57 a.m.

The older shell valleys are pretty close. Mine was darn near uncontrollable on street tires, and they had original suspension setup and no footwell space

Klayfish
Klayfish HalfDork
9/28/11 9:40 a.m.

I think the very early ones were pretty close. Like wearymicrobe said, Shell Valley made them, as did Antiques and Collectibles. Today, I think the closest would be from Shelby or Kirkham.

That said, while they had improved structure, footboxes, etc...even the Factory Fives were quite hairy chested...if you built it that way. No power steering, no heater (except for what come up from the sidepipes or through the footbox), no comfort to speak of. My FFR was the wildest machine I've ever had. You could build them with all kinds of creature comforts if you wanted, but you didn't have to.

Giant Purple Snorklewacker
Giant Purple Snorklewacker SuperDork
9/28/11 10:07 a.m.

I can't imagine why anyone would want one in it's original form. I want a car that has the look and power of the original in a package that I can actually use. There is nothing as sad as building a flame-throwing monster, spending all the money to race prep it and then getting lapped by Honda Challenge cars all day long because it handles like a 60s era panel van even though it is brand new. You should see how early the guys in FF Challenge have to brake. It is inexcusable.

I want them to go further and make the damn things capable, modern race cars so I can feel like building one is money well spent when I am out on the track in mixed class racing. It would be different if they were all alone out there - or if they were actually vintage eligible - but they ain't.

All of that said... I still comb craigslist for an abandoned FF project because they ARE SEXY.

kreb
kreb Dork
9/28/11 10:24 a.m.
Giant Purple Snorklewacker wrote: I can't imagine why anyone would want one in it's original form. I want a car that has the look and power of the original in a package that I can actually use. There is nothing as sad as building a flame-throwing monster, spending all the money to race prep it and then getting lapped by Honda Challenge cars all day long because it handles like a 60s era panel van even though it is brand new. You should see how early the guys in FF Challenge have to brake. It is inexcusable. I want them to go further and make the damn things capable, modern race cars so I can feel like building one is money well spent when I am out on the track in mixed class racing. It would be different if they were all alone out there - or if they were actually vintage eligible - but they ain't. All of that said... I still comb craigslist for an abandoned FF project because they ARE SEXY.

X2 I'd like to buy the skin and build a proper spaceframe underneath. I think that one should be able to drop 2 or 3 hundred pounds off a FF. That said, the aerodynamics are always going to be poor. For a track rocket, Putting a big motor under a Legrand skin or something of the sort would strike me as the ticket.

NOHOME
NOHOME HalfDork
9/28/11 10:31 a.m.
SlickDizzy wrote: Does anybody actually make a true "REPLICA" with the original stone-age suspension, complete lack of comfort, and virtually impossible steering? Not that I intend on building one anytime soon but I sure am curious.

OK, lets see if I got this right: You want someone to devote his life and finances to build a piece of crap that even a hard core advocate of hairy chest crap such as yourself would never buy?

Care to let me in on how this marketing strategy pays off?

Klayfish
Klayfish HalfDork
9/28/11 11:34 a.m.
Giant Purple Snorklewacker wrote: I can't imagine why anyone would want one in it's original form. I want a car that has the look and power of the original in a package that I can actually use.

I'm in your camp 100% on this. But in the Cobra community, there are some people who take their replicas really seriously. For instance, they turned their noses at the Superformance because it used BMW based suspension components.

The way I always felt was this...No matter what I did, my car would never be "original". It's was a kit car, built 40 years later by another company. Sure, I wanted it to closely resemble the original in looks. Most of the general public doesn't know the difference. I had endless people ask me if it was original or a kit. But beyond that, I wanted something I could have fun with. I don't care if it's what the original car had in 1965. It's not real anyway. It's a toy I sunk a ton of cash into. I used it to enjoy it.

Ahhh...memories...here's a picture of me in mine circa 2003 or 2004

Appleseed
Appleseed SuperDork
9/28/11 11:46 a.m.

...

Appleseed
Appleseed SuperDork
9/28/11 11:49 a.m.
NOHOME wrote: OK, lets see if I got this right: You want someone to devote his life and finances to build a piece of crap that even a hard core advocate of hairy chest crap such as yourself would never buy? Care to let me in on how this marketing strategy pays off?

For the same reason people build this:

instead of this:

turboswede
turboswede SuperDork
9/28/11 11:52 a.m.

Herb Adams VSE built an aluminum monocoque Cobra replica. Torsional strength was improved by several orders of magnitude.

I always wanted to build a 427 version with modern suspension engineering (meaning proper brakes, longer control arms, limited bumpsteer and ackerman) with a Shelby-Dodge 2.5L SOHC stuffed in the nose. Put a Shelby Valve cover on it and crank the boost to about 30psi using a Holset turbo and a huge intercooler.

The looks on the purist's faces would be classic when I open the hood or drive up with the lovely boat noise that large turbo 4's are known to have when breathed on a bit.

Then once the shock wore off, I'd then proceed to trounce the ever loving crap out of them and then drive home on low-boost and get good mileage and drivability.

nderwater
nderwater SuperDork
9/28/11 12:00 p.m.

Do Want.

I'm all for an inexpensive, improved copy. The 'true vintage experience' includes a lot of hassles which I'd just as soon avoid.

wearymicrobe
wearymicrobe HalfDork
9/28/11 12:46 p.m.

Man this is the only photo that I have on the web of my old cobra.

turboswede
turboswede SuperDork
9/28/11 12:47 p.m.

VSE Cobra:

http://passion-motors.com/COBRA.aspx

Not cheap, but most anything Cobra related isn't.

Ian F
Ian F SuperDork
9/28/11 1:13 p.m.
HoustonNW wrote: Kirkham Motorsports has the original style suspension with, I think, the tranverse leaf springs available as an option: http://www.kirkhammotorsports.com/products/289-kmsstreet

Were I to build one, I'd want one that looks like that - the slab-sided 289 version.

bravenrace
bravenrace SuperDork
9/28/11 3:09 p.m.

Everett-Morrison replicas used to be extrememly close to original. I know they now offer longer wheelbases and modified foot wells. I don't know, but they may still make one with the original frame and suspension design.

The E-M Generation IV replica features a very authentic body, original style 4″ round tube frame, as well as original specification lights, windshield, bumpers, dash, switches, gauges, roll bar, etc. We do offer some options which were never on the original 1966 automobile, a radio console, for example. But, with appropriate options, the E-M Generation IV can be made to be very original.

pilotbraden
pilotbraden HalfDork
9/28/11 3:46 p.m.
Appleseed wrote:
NOHOME wrote: OK, lets see if I got this right: You want someone to devote his life and finances to build a piece of crap that even a hard core advocate of hairy chest crap such as yourself would never buy? Care to let me in on how this marketing strategy pays off?

For the same reason people build this:

I would fly a FE 2

1slowcrx
1slowcrx HalfDork
9/28/11 4:55 p.m.

Put me in the camp that can't justify the money and headache of building a replica that retains all the problems of a near 50 year old car without any of value. I would rather build something that WORKS while still looking like the original. I mean come on.... who hear thinks a 400whp sub 2400# RWD death mobile isn't hairy chested enough? If you do, there are plenty of S&M sites out there that should suit your needs well enough

SlickDizzy
SlickDizzy SuperDork
9/28/11 6:24 p.m.
NOHOME wrote: OK, lets see if I got this right: You want someone to devote his life and finances to build a piece of crap that even a hard core advocate of hairy chest crap such as yourself would never buy? Care to let me in on how this marketing strategy pays off?

The thing is, I wouldn't waste my time considering building one unless it was truly a replica of the original design. Plus, there are clearly others that feel the same way, if the transverse leafs and original footboxes are offered as options by a few companies. It may be a "piece of crap" to a sissy like you , but it's the "real thing" to someone like me. I'm more of the "it may be a replica, but I want to be as close to original as possible" mindset than the "it may be a replica, might as well go willy nilly with updates" kind. You know, to get the REAL Cobra experience someone would have had in '67.

If I was going to build an awesome space frame with advanced suspension, a turbo motor, and other such stuff, I don't see why I would put a Cobra body on it. No point in even calling it a replica at that point, it's about as much of a replica as a NASCAR is of the sedan it represents. Just a skin over something totally different. Might as well put a V8 in a Miata and call it a day.

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