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Kirkham Motorsports

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  #41 (permalink)  
Old 07-17-2012, 02:40 PM
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Originally Posted by patrickt View Post
Thanks. Now if you'd kindly send a PM to ERA CHAS by clicking here: http://www.clubcobra.com/forums/priv...=newpm&u=18467 and tell him that I'm great, I'd certainly appreciate it.
Please don't-my 1100 RPM idle is far more stimulating than his 345HP rowing to the haberdashers...
His is the 'Junior' version of FE excitement.
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  #42 (permalink)  
Old 07-17-2012, 02:49 PM
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And the folks at the respective companies need to get off their fat asses and write quality manuals for their cars (or complete the ones they've started). It is simply inexcusable.
So, are you calling David and Thomas Kirkham lazy? You know the guys who are building an alloy Daytona Coupe and engineering a new alloy FE block among other projects? How about that funky looking car made in Greece or wherever? You know the ones who are constantly tweaking here and there to make their products better for their customers. You know the guys who's products are sold out until at least Spring 2013?

Hmmm, it can't be them, can it?
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  #43 (permalink)  
Old 07-17-2012, 02:51 PM
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I have no doubt that both of them would readily admit that they have dropped the ball in not completing their manual.
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  #44 (permalink)  
Old 07-17-2012, 02:56 PM
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When deciding on which manufacturer to go with, I narrowed my choices down to ERA and Unique. Both of these guys told me the same thing as mentioned earlier in this thread. "If you don't buy an ERA buy a Unique, and if you don't buy a Unique buy an ERA." Both seemed like solid choices to me, and most important to me, they are both made from scratch here in the USA by coach builders.
I decided on a 427 and after looking at both, decided on the Unique 427. The ERA is of course more accurate, but the Deluxe Pallet price and value of the Unique sucked me in.
Fast Forward to Unique's homecoming. I had already put my deposit in with Alan Weaver for my 427, but after getting to look at their FIA and 427 side by side, I promptly changed my order to the FIA. To me, the proportions and look of the car just flat work.
Side by side, my car and the ERA FIA have some differences, but both are very good looking cars with the correct stance.
The manual that Unique has on-line does not include the build CD or the electrical wiring manual. I don't know how else to say it other than the car was just plain simple to put together.
My car drives well, surprisingly very smooth, in fact much smoother than a new GTR or GT500. At my first Auto X I was right there in the thick of things even with crappy Sumitomo tires, only 4/10ths off a viper with a very good shoe at the wheel. (Past run group champion, but in the Viper for the first time).
Both cars are made very well with good support from the owners of each company. The ERA is more "correct" than the Unique in regards to pedal placement, fuse panel, radiator angle and the trunk. But there are some advantages in a few areas for the Unique. For example, having a removable trans tunnel sounds great until you have to pull your trans. Drops out the bottom of a Unique in less than 30 min. You can't go wrong either way, the people at both companies and the cars themselves are fantastic.

Justin
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  #45 (permalink)  
Old 07-17-2012, 02:58 PM
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i'll say it again: It's AMAZING how the guy who did not build his car does not STFU about the necessity of build manuals; probably 500 posts-worth!
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  #46 (permalink)  
Old 07-17-2012, 03:11 PM
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i'll say it again: It's AMAZING how the guy who did not build his car does not STFU about the necessity of build manuals; probably 500 posts-worth!
Yes, but I've made up for that by taking it all apart and then putting it back together again with only a modicum of parts left over.
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  #47 (permalink)  
Old 07-17-2012, 03:14 PM
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i'll say it again: It's AMAZING how the guy who did not build his car does not STFU about the necessity of build manuals; probably 500 posts-worth!

Yes Chas, that is correct. But one day, Patrick's son can make this claim.....

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  #48 (permalink)  
Old 07-17-2012, 04:51 PM
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Ive built a few period hot rods from the ground up using a mish mash of various parts, without any kind of manual, so that definately wont be a deciding factor.
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  #49 (permalink)  
Old 07-18-2012, 05:55 AM
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When finally given permission to pursue the build , shopping commenced.

Quickly came down to ERA or Unique. Never drove either ahead of time, never went to plants, all comparisons were internet or personal stories.

Bought the Unique simply because of the 20%-plus cost differential. Once the body was painted (by others... I have zero skills with paint), it took a total of 35 days to go from kit to driving, working 2/3 hrs each nite and 7/8 hrs each Saturday and Sunday.

Car now has 38,000 miles. I have driven a couple ERA's and they are wonderful. I have just returned from a 700-mile round trip in the Unique, utterly without any incident or trouble.... which is to say the Unique is wonderful, too.

Biggest difference I can observe between the 2 is that the ERA has more interior room than the Unique, in the footwells especially. Beyond that, any other differences to me are purely subjective.
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  #50 (permalink)  
Old 07-18-2012, 08:53 AM
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I recently narrowed my choice down to the Unique and ERA. Both great cars. The reason I chose the ERA is that I looked at several manufacturers in person, and *to me* only the CSX, ERA, and Kirkham truly sit and look right. I wanted something I could build with my kids, and not a roller, so I went with the ERA. That said, it was a close decision and I was very impressed with the Unique kit and the people there. I think it would be worth your time to see both the Unique and ERA in person before you decide.
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  #51 (permalink)  
Old 07-18-2012, 11:13 AM
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Lippy enjoy the build time with your kids. That time together will make some priceless memories. Just remind them whats said in the garage stays in the garage...

I totally agree with you on the original look of the ERA, it has the right lines, the right stance, and all the other details look right.

The Unique on the other hand, "droopy butt", rear wheel openings dont look correct, lower rockers dont have the correct curve, the car sits low, the side pipes are tucked tighter into the rocker. Frankly I didnt realy notice that until I was talking to Allen, I knew something was different but couldnt put my finger on it. The reason is the car looks right to me. Not correct, but visually these differances make the car look tighter. And there lies my conflict. Do I put my money into the more period looking car? or the one I personaly find more visually appealing. (retorical question)
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  #52 (permalink)  
Old 07-18-2012, 11:18 AM
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Do I put my money into the more period looking car? or the one I personaly find more visually appealing. (retorical question)
You should buy the car that you find to be more visually appealing. Remember, most of us around here don't give two shi*s about anyone else -- you have to do what pleases you, not us.
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  #53 (permalink)  
Old 07-18-2012, 11:24 AM
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Remember, most of us around here don't give two shi*s about anyone else
Well that's depressing. Chas will be upset when he hears this.
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  #54 (permalink)  
Old 07-18-2012, 11:25 AM
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Well that's depressing. Chas will be upset when he hears this.
Most, not all. And whether Chas is upset or not will depend on what category he falls in....
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  #55 (permalink)  
Old 07-18-2012, 11:32 AM
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Most, not all. And whether Chas is upset or not will depend on what category he falls in....
I bet he falls into this category:

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most of us around here don't give two shi*s about anyone else
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  #56 (permalink)  
Old 07-18-2012, 11:34 AM
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I bet he falls into this category:

Nahhh, deep down, under that rough, gruff veneer, Chas is really just a big fluffy *****cat.
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Old 07-18-2012, 04:24 PM
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maybe this will help with your decision: I didn't fit well into the unique 289. my knees, my elbow on the door, the steering. it wasn't comfortable for me. the era fit right. I'm 6 ft 200 lbs.
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  #58 (permalink)  
Old 07-18-2012, 04:55 PM
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Bob Evans? 7' had a Unique. They can be modified
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  #59 (permalink)  
Old 07-18-2012, 05:07 PM
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In my op I commented on the steering wheel sitting so high, it was in fact his car I was looking at, so yeah at 7' 2" you would definately need to raise the wheel.
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  #60 (permalink)  
Old 07-18-2012, 07:27 PM
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The ERA owners are doing a great job of vouching for their chosen brand, and rightfully so. Beyond a lot of research and consultation, my experience with ERA is limited to close up visual inspection and photography, but I know enough to say that anyone who has a lot of negative criticism about their product is either misinformed or just plain wrong. If there is anything to consider as a possible drawback against any other quality 'glass replica, its the long wait time and possibly slightly higher cost.

When I was in North America, I had narrowed my choices to ERA and Unique as well, but then I moved back to the Caribbean and a combination of the high import duties (+135% on the cost and freight) and other issues, I more or less gave up on owning a Cobra and decided to bring my currently owned Corvette down which was duty-free as a 12 month plus posession of a returning national.

Well, against all odds, I ended up finding a right hand drive 1988 Unique 427 down here that was partially completed before the owner died in a plane crash and set about negotiating with his widow, a lovely British lady who wanted to sell but had strong sentimental ties to the car.

I ended up backing off but a year later she got serious about selling and gave the car to a local friend of hers to complete and ready for sale. He knew nothing about Cobras and made a real mess of the car, visually, electrically and mechanically.

Another year passed before I finally acquired the car from a second owner who got into hot water with a local girl and her family and needed to flee the country double quick.

The Weavers treated me like family from day one and I did a complete body off disassembly and rebuild using new interior, wiring harness, front suspension, brakes, exhaust and trim. I had never done anything like that before and It was a piece of cake. The car goes together simply and without excessive complication or issues. It is comfortable - contextually - and rock solid on the (mostly bad) road and very easy and accessible for maintenance and any repairs.

If building a Cobra is a challenging and rewarding project in the US, imagine what its like on a little tropical island. The Weaver family and the product itself made a huge difference in both the process and the outcome. I wasn't the original buyer, yet they even check up on me when there are reports of hurricanes or storms in the area.

Both great products with their own pros and cons, but my hands on experience only alows me to vouch with any credibility for Unique Motorcars.

You're in a nice position choosing between these two brands - good luck and enjoy! This is all part of the immense enjoyment of the Cobra experience.
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Last edited by Buzz; 07-18-2012 at 07:45 PM..
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