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Kirkham Motorsports

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  #61 (permalink)  
Old 02-16-2013, 11:27 AM
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If you go with the build decision plan on having an experienced resource available to help guide you through decisions and choices.....and gotchas.....wiring harnesses, line leads, linkages, heat impact on the above......etc, etc.....all the little things that will impact the reliability of your daily driver requirements and lengthen your sort out period.

A roller may be a good option for you.....plenty of work to be done with the running gear install and detailing, etc. If this is of interest to you there are only two I would consider: ERA and SF. I have owned both and tracked both along with a continuation CSX......in my opinion the ERA has the best chassis and engineering detail of all three and high performance range of tunable suspension options/specifications depending on rear end implementation. Although all three are impressive automobiles and true to original SC form aesthetically.

If a roof and AC are desired, a good option may be a Grandsport Vette....a Mongoose or SP, or for more money you can look at CAV GT40, etc, etc.....I can't offer any experience here though.

Regarding perception, length, etc......let it go.....build to the performance you want and engage your machine, drive it with respect....a true, build to true 427SC/C spec is flat out an Alpha machine and not a choice for posers. The folks out there driving these machines will most likely be the best drivers you'll meet regardless of age. Good luck.
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  #62 (permalink)  
Old 02-16-2013, 01:25 PM
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Default Which Kit would you recommend?

I have built 3 cobras, the present one is a Ram SC UK with a backbone chassis designed by Reynard engineering, been on it almost 7 years, 4 of those years has been spent fixing the shockingly bad body and making all the hood, trunk and door hinges again in fact there isnt anything that was supplied that was worth using, the steering rack mounts were crooked etc etc. One front wheel was outside bodywork 1/2" the other inward 1.5" the only good part was the chassis.

My advice is go with a good quality kit that has parts like door panelling or more importantly the door shut trim etc sorted so you dont end up glassing up big gaps and misfits as this is very time consuming. Also good factory backup is important or the lack of it as I have found out with my last big decision.

Obviously if you can afford a Kirkham that would be great, ERA are very good, if you wanted to go quick at the track and still have a road car JBL motorsports have a superior chassis. I live in NZ and if I was to do another it would be one of the above. Dont know about FFR they now have a more accurate body now and good feedback/service.
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  #63 (permalink)  
Old 02-18-2013, 02:36 AM
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thanks again everyone. id prefer a local manufacturer to an import as hopefully they'll know more about local regulations etc and will get it on the road easier. Have spoken (briefly) to craig from absolute pace and his idea for final completion costs is 20k higher than drb or harrison said. I'm guessing this is due to the use of entirely new parts rather than refurbished ones or ones taken from a donor vehicle. But I was half expecting the 60k to end up being 80, but that'd then mean that 80 is likely to blow out to 100, and that's a LOT of coin, not that 60 isn't mind you.
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  #64 (permalink)  
Old 02-18-2013, 05:28 AM
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With cobras EVERYthing blows out. We can't help ourselves.

But that can be half the fun!

If your married you ll get to know the Tiffany's catalogue fairly quickly. Or may I suggest you do so. It will save you in the long run. Maybe.

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  #65 (permalink)  
Old 02-18-2013, 07:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Turnips View Post
thanks again everyone. id prefer a local manufacturer to an import as hopefully they'll know more about local regulations etc and will get it on the road easier. Have spoken (briefly) to craig from absolute pace and his idea for final completion costs is 20k higher than drb or harrison said. I'm guessing this is due to the use of entirely new parts rather than refurbished ones or ones taken from a donor vehicle. But I was half expecting the 60k to end up being 80, but that'd then mean that 80 is likely to blow out to 100, and that's a LOT of coin, not that 60 isn't mind you.
As I think I might have mentioned, my Pace 427SC is being built to a rolling chassis at the factory. In addition to the $30K kit, I have budgeted $40K for all the parts including the new 6.2 LS3 crate motor and trans. That figure includes $2K for engineering, registration, $2500 for trimming and also includes $5K for ancillaries. The cost of paint is on top of all this, but I own a bodyshop and I'll be painting my own car. But factor about $12K for paint if you're not doing your own paint.

So that's roughly $82K plus (your own) labour to build the car. I seem to recall that Harrison said it was about $65K to complete one of his cars. I realise that it is about $17K more, but all my parts will be brand new, I'll have an alloy chassis that doesn't need painting/powdercoating, and there will be next to nil bodywork required prior to paint.

Have heard the Harrison's need bodywork as well as relocation of the body as sometimes they're not centered correctly (or something like that), and having personally worked on/painted a DRB, they definitely need lots of bodywork. So you also have to factor the value of your own time and if you're not skilled in bodywork, you'll make a mess of your $60K car.

Two big reasons I went with the Pace was the alloy chassis and the quality of the body. I had no problem spending more for that.
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  #66 (permalink)  
Old 02-18-2013, 09:23 PM
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Paintwerks, the only parts that aren't brand new on a Harrison are the lower front control arms, crossmember and rack (reconditioned), rear suspension and steering column. A $12,000 paint job down here in Melbourne would include all body prep including adjustments to front guards to correct any alignment issues - with change to spare (I'm going through the process now), so there's no risk of messing up the body work yourself on that budget.

All of that aside, I chose my kit because it looked "right" to me (some don't) and because there were 70+ others driving around out there, many of them local. That's a huge plus when you're going in with limited experience.

No doubt the A/P body looks sensational out of the mold, the alloy chassis is very unique and I hope they get a ton of orders - but we don't know what they're like to build and engineer at this point in time.
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  #67 (permalink)  
Old 02-18-2013, 10:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Turnips View Post
thanks again everyone. id prefer a local manufacturer to an import as hopefully they'll know more about local regulations etc and will get it on the road easier. ....

.... But I was half expecting the 60k to end up being 80, but that'd then mean that 80 is likely to blow out to 100, and that's a LOT of coin, not that 60 isn't mind you.
Sounds to me like you have your head screwed on right, and a fair gauge of how it all plays out...
Local kits are certainly a great option... but regardless of the kit, costs will always blow out... I budgeted a $10K F-Up factor in mine... and have quickly chewed through that with minor items - fancy bolts, trims, higher quality oils & greases, extra bits and pieces...etc...

In the end my thoughts were I'm only planing to do this once but I'm doing it properly!
With regard cost - If you want to make an omelet, you got to break some eggs.
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  #68 (permalink)  
Old 02-19-2013, 01:09 AM
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As a matter of interest, I'm keeping close tabs on my build costs for a Harrison. So far, my car is rolling with steering but not brake lines (well it will be rolling once i've machined the front hubs and rotors), it has headlights, a windscreen, wheels and tyres, fuel cap, pedals and some other bits and peices. So far I've spent $25,162 already, doing all the work myself - and I reckon that I've got a bargain on a lot of things so far.

I've got a motor, gearbox, wiring loom ect lined up for $6000 (L98 and manual box), and I'm budgeting $50k for the build doing things like paint and interior myself. I see myself coming in under $50k at the moment, but I've allowed a fudge factor there. You can keep the costs down by doing all the work yourself, but being as you have limited experience/tools you may have to budget outsourcing a lot of it, or risk having it sitting as a stalled project in your shed.
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Old 02-19-2013, 02:35 AM
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Originally Posted by Dimis View Post
Sounds to me like you have your head screwed on right, and a fair gauge of how it all plays out...
Local kits are certainly a great option... but regardless of the kit, costs will always blow out... I budgeted a $10K F-Up factor in mine... and have quickly chewed through that with minor items - fancy bolts, trims, higher quality oils & greases, extra bits and pieces...etc...

In the end my thoughts were I'm only planing to do this once but I'm doing it properly!
With regard cost - If you want to make an omelet, you got to break some eggs.
Hey Dimis
How about some pics of the Kirkham so far, Man if I was building one the best around I would be spuking for all to read and see...!

Cheers

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Old 02-19-2013, 05:18 AM
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Originally Posted by Paintwerks View Post
Two big reasons I went with the Pace was the alloy chassis and the quality of the body. I had no problem spending more for that.
I saw the body at the nats and it looks bloody great - not convinced on some of the statements about being significantly larger than other kits - Id like to see some actual measurements to compare (happy to be proven wrong). I did sit in the kirkham which Im guessing is very much the same size as the pace body, and apart from sitting very low (which was good) it didnt feel a lot different to the classic revival (just reversed).

The alloy chassis which Im sure will be very good (and the BDR cars are obviously very fast with a aluminium chassis) - they are probably not everyones ideal of what a cobra should be.

Just looking forward to seeing an actual car from them
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Old 02-20-2013, 04:15 AM
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I was planning on doing as much as i can myself, and have a bash at most things. Wasn't going to touch paint work unless I decide to do a plain colour (eg white). Anything metallic etc I wouldn't bother as i'd def want skill and a proper set up for, was hoping to get gel coat to at least postpone that for a bit as i've heard even a basic job can cost 5k and if you get fancy paint just the paint can cost upwards of 10.

Interesting to know that some of the Harrison bodies aren't put on straight. When speaking to him and peter both said their bodies and doors were all put on at the factory to ensure proper alignment etc. And the harrison daytona i saw half built didn't seem to have any problems, not that i was looking for them or even know what to look for, seriously what do you mean by the body needs lots of work?

Honestly part of the reason I was leaning toward Harrison was the daytona, there don't seem to be many local manufacturers so not much choice if I take that route. That and he's a real great and helpful guy, so if he has sold the business then that will warrant some serious investigating. How helpful/knowledgeable is the new guy etc etc.
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Old 02-20-2013, 05:33 AM
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Turnips the front of my Harrison body was offset to the right by about 15mm as measured over the top of the wheel arches. From the side, my crossmember is also forward about 1-2 inches so even with the car raised, the tyres were rubbing the front of the wheel arch through tight corners. This is with -1 deg camber and about 5 deg caster which is a pretty standard setup. This is all being fixed and I'll have some pics next week.
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  #73 (permalink)  
Old 02-20-2013, 07:45 PM
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.... seriously what do you mean by the body needs lots of work?
The fibreglass bodies are made out of moulds. The amount of time and care put into making the mould, the method of manufacture, and the care in making the body all contribute to the quality of the body.

We do a fair number of fibreglass cars and bodyparts such as scoops, wings and bumpers. Without doubt, every single part always comes riddled with pinholes, ripples, voids and sometimes, delamination, among other issues.

In the case of the DRB we repaired and painted, it suffered from pinholes, ripples, depressions, high spots, join lines and panel gap issues. We spent about 40 hours on the body, filling/shaping/sanding to repair said issues. We also had to fill holes that had been made by the owner as the engineer wanted him to relocate mirrors etc.

Bodywork skill is something that is acquired through years of practice. It's as much technical ability as it is feel. The same is said for painting one of these beasts. The issue with the Cobra is that because it has no start and end points to panels, the trick is always maintaining a wet edge when painting. And painting curves is more difficult that flat panels.

I'm not suggesting you can't undertake your own bodywork and painting, for the very spirit of building a Cobra IS the DIY aspect. However, the difference between a poor job to a great job is large, so all I'm suggesting is that if you want your Cobra to look beautiful, consider allowing enough in your budget to have a professional who is experienced in this kind of work do the body and paint for you. You'll pay for it, but you'll be rewarded with the paint increasing both the value of the car and your satisfaction when you look at it.

Case in point...I was at the Victorian Hot Rod Expo a few weeks back, and there were many different cars there. Of the 100 or so cars on display, only about 3-4 were true (trailer queen) 100 point cars, about 5 were 90+ cars and pretty much all the rest all had various issues with the paint and body because they'd probably been done as a DIY by the owner (or some hack in a shop that he was mates with and got it done for a good price). They looked good from 20 feet away, but get up close and you could see the problems.
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Old 02-20-2013, 08:25 PM
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Also Turnips, just bear in mind that every cobra chassis and body is hand made. Regardless of who made them (even Shelby himself, I'll bet) they will all have little quirks and bits and peices that aren't quite right and need correcting. Or things that you don't like and want to do slightly differently. Or just stuff you want to adjust to suit your application.

IMO you should think of it like putting together a jigsaw puzzle that doesn't have all the bits cut out yet, and has bits missing - you are going to have to use resources, your skill and experience and make it work. It is NEVER straight forward. And thats half the fun
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Old 02-21-2013, 12:47 AM
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Also Turnips, just bear in mind that every cobra chassis and body is hand made. Regardless of who made them (even Shelby himself, I'll bet) they will all have little quirks and bits and peices that aren't quite right and need correcting. Or things that you don't like and want to do slightly differently. Or just stuff you want to adjust to suit your application.

IMO you should think of it like putting together a jigsaw puzzle that doesn't have all the bits cut out yet, and has bits missing - you are going to have to use resources, your skill and experience and make it work. It is NEVER straight forward. And thats half the fun
Absolutely Ryder. Plus the current owners on the forum are great resources for info as well.

I just wanted to add to my earlier post that there are Cobras that have been painted by their owners and the jobs can look great. But most usually, the guys doing this work have had prior experience in working with panels, especially fibreglass ones, so it's not new to them.

You having no experience, I would simply suggest that trying to do bodywork and paint on a complete car is a lot to chew for your very first go at something. And if you muck it up and have to get a pro to rectify things, your mistakes will actually end up costing you way more than if you gave it to the shop in a virgin state in the first place.

The colour choice shouldn't be limited to your abilities. If you want a Cobra in metallic blue with white stripes for example, have it painted that way. In this regard, you'll get the car looking like it does in your head!

The other benefit to having a pro do the work is that you'll get the car back faster, so you can enjoy it sooner.
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Old 02-21-2013, 01:52 AM
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all good points, as i said wasn't really considering taking on body/painting. As mentioned a great job can make the car look $1mill, and a poor job can make it look $1. Lets face it, the paint/body is what people end up seeing when they look at the car. unless it's a show car you're not likely to have it sitting with the bonnet up etc, and looking at normal cars, panel tolerances seem similar, so as far as I can tell its just subtle trim and the quality of the paint and paintwork that make all the difference. Yes hondas, subaru's etc can look nice, but put it next to an audi or porsche and there's no comparison.

Only reason why I'd consider doing it myself is if it were just a plain colour. Its much easier to stuff up a metallic let alone weird things like chameleon (not that I'd want one) than a simple black/white/red etc. I read in some other threads here people got their body wrapped in black plastic left it out in the sun over summer for blemishes to appear then threw it at the painters. That is likely the way I'd go if/when I decided to paint. Ideally the gel coat would look fine, at least for a few years when money isn't so much a concern.

In another direction, has anyone read either of these books, are they something I should bother with? The cobra specific one seems to be all about factory 5 so I'm not sure how well it will relate to other manufacturers, however the other one seems kind of old (published 1997) and as it's so general, I wonder about some of the relevancy of it.

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Old 02-21-2013, 02:19 AM
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You can pontificate forever, the bottom line is be realistic about your skills and the things you can do. Read all the books you like but it won't help in the specific problems that will confront you. This forum and the collective knowledge of everyone here can help you enormously but it is still you building the car. Choose your kit, get started and be prepared for challenges and factor into your budget those tasks you can't complete yourself and don't kid yourself there are plenty of things you will need help with.
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