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Kirkham Motorsports

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Old 09-04-2017, 10:04 AM
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Default Which Cobra Handles Best?

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Last edited by csense; 09-05-2017 at 11:11 AM.. Reason: Condescending attitude of replies
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Old 09-04-2017, 12:45 PM
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I'd say CSX3170 is a contender for the title. Check out this and several other threads from the owner who goes by the same name here on CC. His original Cobra has been treated to a long list of suspension mods and adjustments with goal of optimizing slalom/autocross performance:
CSX3170 at Scottsdale Goodguys

The best handling Cobra is likely going to be one whose owner has invested some time, research and $$ into setting it up in a way that mitigates and/or leverages the physical traits inherent to the car.

Out of the box best handling Cobra? There are brands like the XCS Cobra in the UK that take the already sharp handling Dax De Dion chassis to a whole 'nuther level with their patented camber compensation and anti-roll (CC & AR) technology at all four corners:
XCS Designs
Road test report here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YaxCu-OmnqI

Absolute Pace in Australia build an accurate looking Cobra replica with an aluminum semi-monocoque chassis and inboard rocker suspension system. No hard data on handling performance though:
http://www.absolutepace.com/images/brochure_pace427.pdf

There are others - like the ground-hugging JBL with its race bred chassis and suspension, which was billed as more "Cobra-inspired" than an actual replica. Not sure how easy it would be to acquire one of those.

Be careful with that street racing thing though - no matter how great a handling Cobra you end up building or buying. We've seen some very unhappy endings to that story over the years...
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Old 09-04-2017, 01:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by csense View Post
What Cobra handles best
The question, as posed, is a bit vague in nature.
Perhaps narrow it down to:
What small block Cobra handles best on the street?
What big block cobra handles best on the street?
What Cobra handles best on the road course?
What cobra handles best at highway speeds?
What Cobra handles best on hill climbs?

There are roughly 50 other "what cobra handles best" situations, so until you narrow down your question to a specific venue, we cannot really respond with any confidence we knew which venue and style of Cobra.


Bill S.

PS: Having owned FFR, Unique, SPF, Contemporary, FFR, and ERA,(BB and SB and everything in between except for a new Coyote motor) for me, as an all around car, my last FIA ERA (all aluminum 4.6L 64V mod motor pwoered) with the competition suspension wins hands down, that would be on the street, at WGI and VIR, hill climb, but not drag racing or autocrossing as I did neither with that particular car, where I have with several of the others I've personally owned. Personally, 3 years later, I still kick myself in the behind for selling that car.
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Old 09-04-2017, 01:54 PM
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What are you really asking? Is this among the various Cobras (which aren't going to vary all that much) or are you trying to compare to say a modern Miata?
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Old 09-04-2017, 02:29 PM
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Old 09-04-2017, 02:53 PM
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Last edited by csense; 09-05-2017 at 11:09 AM..
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Old 09-04-2017, 03:21 PM
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I guess we're bench racing, all you have to do is look at the design and suspension, if you want the real thing, I can do that too....JBL.

Nothing like it out there. Probably never again either. Considered more of a roadster then a replica though, so there is your out.
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Old 09-04-2017, 05:23 PM
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Then the standard "upgraded" competition suspension from ERA in a Street/Slabside or 289FIA Configuration is what you want. Personally, I would not bother with a Rousch 427 stroker motor, but a more streetable, modern day coyote motor coupled with a 5/6spd, and some decent "Hoosier radial" street tires. Suspension and brake wise the "Comp" suspension (an option worth having) and the wildwood brake option is the way to go for your "spirited" driving style on the Tail of the Dragon although, people as you describe running "The Dragon" soon find themselves either over the side, or in jail recently, so let's hope you were just describing the feel you are looking for an not your actual time on the mountain. If not, then at this point, I'll bow out, as your wannabe racer, overly aggressive style of driving on the street will get you, and possibly myself killed when you decide that leaving 1-2/10ths is no longer good enough for your "ego". If I've read into your post above all wrong, then I'll be the first to apologize, but so far, that is the vibe in which you have brought to this forum and this thread.

Bill S

PS: You want to feel the need for speed and the thrill of racing, take it to the track, as that is where the real men race their cobras, real or replica.
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Old 09-04-2017, 06:17 PM
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Last edited by csense; 09-05-2017 at 11:10 AM..
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Old 09-04-2017, 07:05 PM
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Check out some of these videos,
You like watching cobras race?

Also as mentioned csx 3170, Morris, Kirkham 259 (if I remember right) search these guy's/cars on YouTube.

There where also a couple hard core HiTech's that could scoot around a track as well, I'm sure they could handle street/road driving as well.

I doubt there would be to many superformance or era's etc keeping up with these boys!

Not to bad for cars running original style type suspension, or based off.
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Old 09-04-2017, 08:02 PM
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It is impossible to buy a Cobra that handles like a real
Road Racing Cobra......

The suspension, steering, and lack of chassis stiffness is not good enough to be predictable on these cars.....

And you don't have enough knowledge to build a National Competitive vehicle....so you might want to get a vehicle that has all those thing worked out and you just push a button to save you when the car goes out of control.....

At the present time the times we've run at various tracks are faster then the GT-2 times and mid pack on GT-1 times.....and that's on fast tracks like Road America .....and slow tracks like Gateway StL....

Sorry to be so honest.....but better to be honest and alive then foolish and dead...

Morris/KMP259
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Old 09-04-2017, 11:01 PM
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Which Cobra handles best?

Correct answer is ...."mine"
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Old 09-05-2017, 01:14 AM
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Any car handles only as well as its suspension is set up.

Nobody should drive on public roads at anything like 8 10ths - things are too unpredictable around the next corner and you could put others at risk so need much higher safety margins than the 2 tenths you leave yourself.

If you are bored with track driving why not try autocross - the track changes each time and its all about car handling and diver skill plus power and less about high speed.
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Old 09-05-2017, 01:15 AM
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I don't think it's just what is the best brand or suspension design it comes down how good the car is sorted and dialed in and even with simple parts you can have a pretty good running Cobra on the track. I'm racing a factory 5 Cobra with the 3 link rear axle, QA1 Shocks and Eibach Springs and I'm very happy how it performs against the other Kirkhams and Shelby Continuation cobras in my running group. I don't see any suspension or handling disadvantage against these cobras but they have in the Big Block AP class usually more HP than me.
BTW the Cobra is for sale because im almost done with my new race car.

Here is a video from my last Sovren race in Kent WA where I have not raced before

https://youtu.be/Mw4C20kUZLU

And here at Willow Springs with VARA

https://youtu.be/kHJWh4ebVMA



Maui
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Old 09-05-2017, 05:33 AM
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If you really want to experience the thrill of driving on the edge, get on a race track. Go to a race school and get a license. Road racing is not like NASCAR, you actually have to learn how to negotiate left and right hand turns, changes in elevation and inconsistent corners. Pushing the limits on country roads will sooner or later get yourself or someone else killed or seriously injured.

When you race, you also get to compete against other drivers without the typical track day rules concerning passing zones. It will get your adrenalin rushing.
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Old 09-05-2017, 05:47 AM
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Last edited by csense; 09-05-2017 at 11:10 AM..
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Old 09-05-2017, 07:48 AM
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Am I the only one who thinks the OP's posts look more like inexperienced teenager rather than someone with "50 years" experience who's "bored" of track racing?
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Old 09-05-2017, 07:52 AM
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Default best handling

I don't think you can call any brand the best handling. With todays available upgrades, just about any cobra can out perform it's driver, especially on the street. A Shell valley competes at Pikes Peak( I think that can be called street racing with attitude) and does very well. I have road raced motorcycles, and I think I can say that no street will compare to winning a national level road race against some of the best riders or drivers on a track like Road America. I have taken my cobra on several good roads, and enjoy going at a brisk but within my limits pace. I have auto crossed it, and on street tires, gotten with in a couple seconds of the leaders. Just having fun and probably only at 90% of my limits. Its a Shell valley that fits my needs. The street is for enjoying the drive, the race track is for going fast.
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Old 09-05-2017, 08:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by csense View Post
Yeah, autocross is pretty cool. I've enjoyed it from time to time. But there's a lack of 'grace' to it. It's a bit hyper. I like to set up a nice flow and rhythm and you need maybe 10 or 12 miles of a good road to do it. I also liked Maui's video. But it's a bit amusing too. You're worried about me going 8/10 on the back roads, but you guys are driving fiberglass go karts at these high speeds on a racetrack? Who's life is really at risk here? And Maui's video is really about full throttle on the straights and maybe 8/10ths in the corners. There's no serious braking or accelerating while still in the turn. The steering wheel is quite relaxed. Here's a video of a Cobra at 10/10ths and it's scary. This guy is very good: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=btqQrpnpXj4 Give it some time until he passes all the slow guys. When he gets to the front, it gets very interesting.
I enjoy watching that video - awesome driving, and the only cars up front at the end of the qualifying lap seem to be other Cobras.
As to your question about who's really at risk - its purely assinine, self centered garbage. On the track the folks there are trained, equipped and following protocols. They also are there voluntarily, knowing what to expect from themselves and each other.

Taking it to the street, you're by yourself in your fantasy street racer world, only you're also surrounded by pedestrian drivers, soccer moms and all manner of distracted people just using the roads to get where they're going. You're pulling them into your BS and endangering them without their knowledge or consent.

A bit of discretionary spirited driving on a nice road? Sure why not. But what you're talking about and comparing it to track driving is utter unadulterated crap.

Have a nice day and be safe out there.
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Last edited by Buzz; 09-05-2017 at 08:15 AM..
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Old 09-05-2017, 09:26 AM
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Quote:
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Am I the only one who thinks the OP's posts look more like inexperienced teenager rather than someone with "50 years" experience who's "bored" of track racing?
Larry
An interesting thought - some years ago on another forum there was someone talking about how he was getting the most power and handling in a BMW M3 as it was too tame and he wanted to push things more.. Going from memory it turned out to be some teenager who killed himself and some friends in his Dad's M3 by driving off a cliff and landing in a tree.
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