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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 05-08-2003, 02:49 AM
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Default Cobras, unsafe at any speed

Wow, 3weeks ,3wrecks. Why are these cars SO unsafe? How much is insurance for one of thes cars?
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Old 05-08-2003, 03:30 AM
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It's not the cars - it's the operators. Intoxicated by the sound and g forces.

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Old 05-08-2003, 03:49 AM
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Thumbs up Mr. Bruce...I agree...

...with Randy 100%. At the age of 58, and with a few hairy incidents in my own vehicular past, I find myself being more careful BY FAR in the Cobra than in the truck! I really feel that I got this car at the RIGHT age (for me). I know myself well enough to know that it might not have been the best thing, were I to have bought a Cobra at age 30, let's say! One thing I do is "explore" the handling/road-holding limits by solo autox-ing on huge vacant parking lots. It's sorta a race between low oil pressure and front/rear end washout. I was amazed how easy these cars are to "catch"---also amazed how neutral the mid-engine Butler is---most grip-loss reads out as expanding radius and minor wheel-correction stuff. I intend to take a hi-perf. driving course ASAP---and hopefully pick the brains of people like Pat B., Cranky, et al if they're at DVSF III.
Good luck to all and commiserations to the unfortunate and unwary.
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Old 05-08-2003, 04:04 AM
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With a short wheelbase, lots of power, and lots of engine drag, these cars require skill, experience and attention.

And smooooothnessss.

Most people are not used to the quick transition between power-oversteer and trailing throttle oversteer when you back off the throttle quickly. Ya' just can't do that with grace. A big-block car with 450 bhp is not what I would describe as toss-able.

Having experience on the race track, at 9/10 speed, is good precedence for driving one of these cars at 3/10 on the street.

Be careful out there.
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Last edited by Bob Putnam; 05-08-2003 at 08:29 AM..
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Old 05-08-2003, 06:32 AM
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Bob-
How much extra to have you guys install training wheels for the first year?
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Last edited by Chaplin; 05-08-2003 at 08:29 AM..
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Old 05-08-2003, 08:26 AM
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Chaplin,

No problem. You want the optional pillow-under-the-throttle-pedal option.
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Old 05-08-2003, 08:28 AM
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I think folks underestimate the skill needed to safely operate a car with 400+ HP in a package that weighs less than a Ford Focus.

Of course, everyone is above average in driving ability and thinks they can handle it.

These threads on accidents have been very useful to me -- I've been actively researching Cobras for some time and getting closer to a purchase.

But, in light of these events, and the fact I haven't driven a high-horsepower car in years, I'm going to put a Cobra on hold for several more.

I think I'll start with something more docile, like a SVT Lightning or an older muscle car.

It's a good idea to remember the quote from Lord Acton to Bishop Mandell Creighton in 1887: "Power tends to
corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely."
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Old 05-08-2003, 08:43 AM
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Bob ,you are right on with you comment obout "oversteer".the first week i had the car I went from power oversteer to trailing throttle oversteer in a quick micro second ... THAT got my attention. I went out and bought a couple books on race technique just to try and get a better idea what was going on. No doubt had I been going faster or the road narrower I would at least have ditched it..These types of conditions are going to be unknown to most of us , having never owned a car like it before.

KK
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Old 05-08-2003, 08:59 AM
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Bob-
That would be great- extra firm please

Karl-
What books did you buy and were they helpful? (I guess I should read them b/c I have no idea what you and Bob are talking about )

Mike
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Old 05-08-2003, 09:06 AM
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I know myself well enough to realize,,,,,,,I would be my own worst enemy with fire breathing 427. I get in enough trouble with my little 302. I actually drive SLOWER on the street in my Cobra than I do in my regular car, not sure why, but it's something I've noticed I thought was kind of strange.

On the track? I'm a terror!!!! I thrash the heck out of it. Have spun out a bunch of times, hit the dirt, scared myself and broken plenty parts!! Up-graded the brakes, tires, suspension and now I NEED some more horses. But I think 400 or so will do it.......

Ernie
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Old 05-08-2003, 10:02 AM
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Ernie, I'm with you on the slower in a Cobra than my commute car (most of the time). If there is any traffic I'm too busy dodging the idots than trying to drive quickly.

As a comparison: what is the accident rate for middle-aged guys buying their first Harley?
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Old 05-08-2003, 10:10 AM
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Excaliber,
Honesty with yourself is what makes you safe. Where do you race on the Islands?
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Old 05-08-2003, 10:13 AM
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Does anyone know if Southern Automotive will build a 170 HP 427 sideoiler?
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Old 05-08-2003, 10:23 AM
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Do you think you will be safer with just 170 hp?
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Old 05-08-2003, 10:39 AM
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Default Re: Safety

To put things in to perspective for myself as I'm driving, I try to remember that Cobras on the street are about as safe as a motorcycle - except you are not wearing a helmet in the Cobra on the street.

To me, high horsepower + short wheelbase + marginal tires + minimal respect = trouble when put in to the hands of a person who does not understand the limits of these cars. This combined with "accidents happen sometimes" makes it much less safe than today's cars with airbags and re-enforced and crush-safe structures. So, we all need to remember to keep it on the safe side as much as possible. I keep telling myself....
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Last edited by decooney; 05-08-2003 at 10:44 AM..
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