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Old 08-19-2021, 01:00 PM
seatra seatra is offline
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Default Seatra's ERA 289FIA in production

Greetings from Virginia Beach,
Like most of you, I have always been intrigued by the collaboration of AC cars and Carroll Shelby to build a certain auto that took shape in the 60s and quickly dominated the GT race scene. I was only a youngster back then but I have always been fond of the Cobra. Fast forward some 58 odd years and welcome to my Cobra build experience. I have deep appreciation for the MkII platform, but for me, it has to be the 298FIA/USRRC car. My research had led me to tours of a few manufacturer facilities and deliberation on which producer would suit my vision/project requirements. I am happy to say that ERA is building my replica. I toured Peter’s facility years ago and was struck by their dedication to the craft. ERA quality is top notch, but my decision was swayed mostly by Peter himself. I consider him part of the deal and look forward to my association with ERA.

The production wait time at ERA ebbs and floods. Peter said it would be about a 14 month wait time when I received my quote earlier this year. I pulled the trigger on my first deposit in April 21. I was surprised to get a call from Peter late July to inform me that my chassis would be headed to powder coat soon and it was time for my second deposit. I suspect that something may have happened to a previous order or production schedule and he was giving me an opportunity to bump up in the line. Peter said there were eight cars ahead of me and my chassis would be waiting for the body. My chassis number is 2164.

My build will be a close replica of CSX 2345. I just want the raw, form follows function type project. For this build, Peter will serve as my AC Cars Limited supplier and I will take on the role of Shelby American. ERA will build the basic unpainted non roller kit, mounted on dollies, with the following base and option items:

298 FIA/USRRC Basic Kit-Comp style
Bond body option
Primary pipes with straight side pipes, black: (will probably go with some type of muffler)
Lucas Tripode headlights
Heater and ducting
Oil cooler assembly, 4"
Sand blasting, powder coating chassis, etc.
Powder coat and install roll bar
289 Comp dashboard
Comp driver seat/street passenger seat with seat tracks
ERA reproduction steering column
Steering wheel, wood 15"; (Looking into a CSX 2345 style wheel too)
Windshield washers, mechanical pump with cowl fittings and reservoir
Battery cables, rear battery (ground, starter sol., starter)
Battery kill switch
Wilwood front brakes/rotor upgrade
3 can reservoir system
Front coil-over damper w/spring and hardware
E brake handle, cable, and balance assembly for ERA rear suspension
Small Block engine mounts
Harrison cooling system expansion tank
Rear license plate bracket
ERA modified rack and pinion steering gear
ERA Rear suspension, with outboard brakes (gear ratio TBD)
Anti-sway bar, front and rear
FIA Pin drive wheels (6 pin), hubs, and front bearings
Windshield wiper assembly including arms and blades
Drill rivet holes on front perimeter of hood in pattern of CSX 2345

Some of these options (heater, ducting, visors, wind wings) were not on the race car. Other than the occasional romp at VIR, it will be mostly spirited street driving for me. I have a 1965 289 that will be the first engine for this car. My 289 is currently running strong in another vehicle. I will take compression cuts and do a close visual inspection but it should be a solid citizen. I have not decided on HP/torque goals, but I do not envision more than 300-400 HP. I have not decided on induction. CSX2345 has a Weber 8 stack. I like the TKX over the top loader but I still need to decide close or wide ratio, OD ratio, and rear end gears.

I have a mechanical background and have restored several cars. I have books by Rinsey Mills, Dave Friedman and John Christy, Carroll Shelby, and Michael Shoen. While surfing the Cobra Ferrari wars website, I learned that ERA used patterns pulled from CSX-2345 for the ERA 289 body. I still have more research to do and have been digging into build logs and the forum to better focus my build. You Tube doesn’t have much in the way of “build” vids…

My paint will follow the current CSX 2345 edition. Unlike the original, I don’t think I will be painting it Viking first, then hitting the exposed parts with Guardsman blue. Probably more like a base/clear Guardsman with USRRC stripes. I am replicating a race car so I’m not looking for a concours paint job. The CSX 2345 simple but elegant livery will do.

I am using this time to finish a 79 VW vert Beetle project to make room for my Cobra! Peter did not speculate ERA’s completion time. If everything goes well, I hope to have her sometime next spring to late summer.

Last edited by seatra; 08-21-2021 at 09:03 AM.. Reason: Spelling correction
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