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Kirkham Motorsports

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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 06-27-2017, 10:59 PM
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Default Is an Aluminium shell worth it?

Hi everyone,

Sorry to fill the forums with my threads but it has been a very informative process for me (I am a newbie from Australia still deciding on kits).

I have a question for the CC members. I have my heart set on an aluminium body cobra (and have included some photos of my dream car).

Being in Australia I believe we have very few options available for an aluminium cobra. I have tried contacting Pace but they seem off-line at the moment for some reason. I have made some initial inquires with Mark Nugent and he has been fantastic. Importing a Kirkham is another option I am looking into but will not be cheap.

My question is this: Is an aluminium/alloy shell actually worth it?

I would be interested in hearing from both sides. I do absolutely love the look of the aluminium body but is it worth the extra cost/maintenance etc to justify having one. Will anyone really notice the difference between this and a good matt grey paint job?

I would love to hear from current aluminium body owners to see how they find their car and if it was all worth it.

Thanks in advance for your thoughts

Regards

Hugh
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Old 06-27-2017, 11:26 PM
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I reckon the price difference from Glass to Alloy body is going to be $25-$30k. ($20-$15k by the time paint to glass is added)
The cost saving of not buying a glass body would be similar to the cost of having a chassis supplier make a frame to mount the body I reckon (purely a guess).

For the finish you are after (brushed and polished) if you are willing, this can all be done by you at home, cost is a lot of blood and sweat.
But to send a glass body out to be painted, you are going to be in for $10 - $15k (doing it yourself will still see a material cost of approx $2.5k)

A concrete painted car (sorry Andrew) will never be as nice as a real aluminium finished car (IMHO).

Is it worth it?
Only you can decide, but your desire is very similar to mine, and my answer is "Fark Yeah"
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Last edited by boxhead; 06-27-2017 at 11:28 PM..
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Old 06-27-2017, 11:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boxhead View Post
Is it worth it?
Only you can decide, but your desire is very similar to mine, and my answer is "Fark Yeah"
Chest bumps and Hi-5's all around then!!
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Old 06-27-2017, 11:47 PM
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An aluminium alloy body would dent more easily than a 'glass or kevlar/composite (AP) body.
Bare alloy needs a lot of attention. You can't stop people touching it or tapping it or dribbling on it, and that always leaves a mark that requires a touch-up clean with Scotch-Brite. OK, I have a bias as mine's painted, but how many original cars were left bare alloy finish?

Cheers,
Glen
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Old 06-27-2017, 11:59 PM
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Its unlikely you will choose an aluminium body due to any practical advantage.
There is nothing practical about an aluminium body... BUT then again there is nothing practical about a cobra, yet here we all are

Given the choice I love the aluminium - how else can you do this?



Droooooool!
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Old 06-28-2017, 12:02 AM
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or this?



or this?

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Old 06-28-2017, 12:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TassieCobra View Post
. I have tried contacting Pace but they seem off-line at the moment for some reason.
Hugh I'd have thought AP would have been all over you with this sort of enquiry. Talk to the gentleman that bought Dave's. He's a nice fella and can fill you in on why he went the way he did.

Good luck with it all.
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Old 06-28-2017, 12:03 AM
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If you can afford it, alloy is definitely better. I would be surprised if anyone would choose fibreglass over alloy if the costs were equal. If you want alloy and have the money then yes its worth it. Would it be a lot of work to maintain? I don't own one but everything else i have thats alloy is a pain in the arse so i would assume yes. But what a reward for that hard work!
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Old 06-28-2017, 12:05 AM
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This one does it for me Dimis.


Practical shmactical.
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Old 06-28-2017, 12:17 AM
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Minus the rookie stripes, I know one just like it.

Oh and for the record brushed is pretty easy to maintain!
Just hit it with a bit scotch-bright!
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Last edited by Dimis; 06-28-2017 at 12:33 AM..
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Old 06-28-2017, 01:26 AM
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Bugger - looks like this thread just cost me $30,000.

You guys were meant to talk me out of it!!!
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Old 06-28-2017, 01:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dimis View Post
Its unlikely you will choose an aluminium body due to any practical advantage.
There is nothing practical about an aluminium body... BUT then again there is nothing practical about a cobra, yet here we all are
Wise words Dimis - I have only just started my cobra journey and I am sure like many people here I have already had two of my mates say "for that price it makes much more sense to buy a BMW M3 or Merc C63".

They are of course completely correct but they just don't get it!!
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Old 06-28-2017, 01:40 AM
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Anyone can buy a car.
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Old 06-28-2017, 04:41 AM
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Here’s my ideal Cobra….



…and if I had the spare cash, I might consider – as well – one that looked as mean as this….



Cheers,
Glen
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Old 06-28-2017, 06:31 AM
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I'll be rude and just say if you have to ask this question you just don't understand.
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Old 06-28-2017, 06:43 AM
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I work aircraft sheet metal and I would not have an aluminum body. Even air craft are using more and more composites. If you are a die hard originalist go for it.
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Old 06-28-2017, 07:58 AM
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beside the fact that aluminium is the original body material,
an aluminium bodied car is a piece of art and an original by itself, its true authentical in every aspect.
i can identify an aluminiumbody from distance and soon curious

if you want to choose the polished version you should live in utah or in a desert, no chance in middle europe due to air huminity, my car is painted....
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Old 06-28-2017, 05:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boxhead View Post
A concrete painted car (sorry Andrew) will never be as nice as a real aluminium finished car (IMHO).
.....
True...... I should have painted it baby $hit brown.


Kirkham 289 lemans hartop. Hmmmmmmm

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Old 06-28-2017, 08:28 PM
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ONLY worth it on resale if attached to an OE style chassis build. If you plan on keeping it forever, then use any skin/chassis combo you like. If you have to have aluminum, get in touch!
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Old 06-29-2017, 08:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnc1 View Post
I work aircraft sheet metal and I would not have an aluminum body. Even air craft are using more and more composites. If you are a die hard originalist go for it.
I agree - and also if you just love the look and simply have to have it. To each his own, but if the reason you want it because you perceive it as somehow better, the only advantage an alloy body has over composite is that on an authentically constructed, original style build on an original style chassis, it moves the value and prestige up to a different level.

As I said in the other thread, if you slap an aluminum body on a non-original chassis and go with custom and convenience options like a modern powerplant, auto-trans, high back seats and dual roll bars, etc., then all you have is a more expensive, more fragile kit that will cause you grief and stress every time you park it. And other than the curiosity factor, it may only end up being marginally more valuable or desirable, if at all.

But, as said before - if you love the look and that is what you want, let nothing hold you back.

Keep us posted with your decision and all the best.
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