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Old 12-24-2017, 09:08 AM
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Default New guy looking for guidance on Cobra purchase

Hello- I have been reading Club Cobra threads for the past few months (extremely helpful) and recently joined to get some expert feedback. I'm seriously considering the purchase of a new Superformance MKIII roller from Hillbank (AZ) and a Roush 427 IR crate engine, but hope to get some thoughts or feedback before I make a final decision. Before selecting the new SPF I looked through Cobra Country, Autotrader Classics, Hemmings, etc, but to date I have not found a used Cobra set up the way I think I want my car:

- small block with electronic fuel injection (I prefer the look and sound of the Roush small blocks over the more 'modern' Coyote engines)
- 5 speed trans
- solid black paint with no stripes (would also consider dark silver)

I came across a few pictures and videos of CSX4133 and really like that look - all black with black/satin wheels and Goodyear Billboards. A quick Google search of CSX4133 will pull up the pics.

The engine would be installed and tuned by Vlado of V's Performance in Orange, CA. I plan on driving the car a few days per week in Arizona, mainly around town on the weekends, so drivability and reliability is important to me.

As of now, I'm not too hung up on originality (hence the engine selection with EFI) but solid resale value would be nice if I leave Arizona in a few years and need to sell. I understand that the SPF will never be a CSX with a history, so I'm wondering if I should also be looking for a used CSX or Kirkham if one can be found for less than $100K. There are a couple of interesting CSX cars going up for auction at Barrett Jackson Scottsdale in a couple of weeks, but my relatively uninformed assumption is that those two will exceed my budget. Those also have big block, carbureted engines, which I don't (currently) believe is the right set up for me.

Thanks in advance for any feedback!
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Old 12-24-2017, 11:02 AM
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Buying used is usually cheaper than buying new. And it's almost always cheaper than building it yourself. But you do need to be patient, and wait for the right one to come along.

Small block Windsor ford and a 5 speed is probably the most common drive train in a cobra. Black is not a common color at all, you might be waiting a long time for CSX in black.

Adding EFI to a Windsor engine is pretty simple. Lots of good options on the market these days. So don't ignore a good small block with a carb. I'm not a big fan of Roush. In the past they have been problematic, and certainly more expensive than comparable engines from more reliable builders.

Finding the exact color scheme you want in a used car can be difficult - especially if you want something a little bit different. Look for basic black, and don't be afraid to change or color the wheels, black out the trim, etc. As I said, CSX cars in solid black are not common. And finding them for sale is a rarity. Be prepared to change the color of the car you buy. Even if you buy a new roller, I'm not sure you can get it in black (but I haven't looked).
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Old 12-24-2017, 11:26 AM
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SPF's will hold their value pretty well as will a CSX car. (I'm assuming you're referring to late CSX cars and not original CSX cars) I don't watch the values of late CSX cars but I'm guessing most or all will be over $100,000. If that's within your budget, I'd go for the late CSX car over the SPF.
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Old 12-24-2017, 11:54 AM
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For both Superformance and Shelby CSX, check out the offerings on 427 Cobra Country--Ford AC Cobra replica manufacturers SUPER-SITE.

Do your homework of course (that means, get an inspection or have a complete history from a reputable dealer/builder, avoid "home grown" builds) but most Cobras are weekend toys and don't get driven much so used is usually not an issue. The plus side of a used one is that it will be "sorted out" (unless someone gave up). Every Cobra will have its nuances, and if your builder is 500 miles away that can be a logistics issue.


Good luck
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Old 12-24-2017, 12:16 PM
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Re: the Barrett Jackson cars. There are a couple of nice ones there. I wouldn't be afraid of a carb'd engine in your location. Why do you think you need EFI? It's nice if you're going through high altitude, but if you follow the Arizona Cobra crowd, they drive theirs all over without EFI.

So I'd suggest you wander on down, get a day admission and if it looks like you might like one of them, then go buy bidders credentials. Set a top limit and back out if it goes higher. That said, I would expect them to be in the 130-140K range.
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Old 12-24-2017, 03:28 PM
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Superformance and a 427 SBF. TKO-600 because there isn't much else and the T56 is a tight fit.

Not that hard to stuff a motor in if you want to do it yourself.

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Old 12-24-2017, 03:54 PM
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There are a lot of us here in the Az Cobra club that can help you out. The SPF cars are nice and if you are in AZ there are folks here in town that can do the engine and transmission install for you. If you are set on a Windsor you might want to consider some of the builders that specialize in them (Brent Lykins, Barry Robotnik to name two) vs the Roush crate motor. Brent or Barry can build it and tune it and ship it to a local installer here in Phx.

Nothing wrong with a well taken care of used Cobra. Remember these are handmade cars and they all take some sorting out so with a used one (assuming it has a few thousand miles on it) you get to skip some of that. Agree on the TKO600 recommendation - you don't need the T56 6-speed and it is bigger and heavier.

Last edited by Phx Mike; 12-24-2017 at 03:57 PM..
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Old 12-24-2017, 04:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twobjshelbys View Post
Re: the Barrett Jackson cars. There are a couple of nice ones there. I wouldn't be afraid of a carb'd engine in your location. Why do you think you need EFI? It's nice if you're going through high altitude, but if you follow the Arizona Cobra crowd, they drive theirs all over without EFI.

So I'd suggest you wander on down, get a day admission and if it looks like you might like one of them, then go buy bidders credentials. Set a top limit and back out if it goes higher. That said, I would expect them to be in the 130-140K range.
Thanks, everyone, for the feedback.

Tony, regarding your question about EFI -- I've seen a few carb'd Cobras struggle to start up or idle properly and read a few posts in this forum describing the various other benefits of EFI, with the only apparent downside being initial acquisition cost and engine tuning (and further departure from 60's technology). According to your profile you have the Roush 427 IR. Are you happy with the engine, and in addition to climate or elevation considerations have you experienced improved performance or 'ease of use' with EFI? Sorry if this is a topic for another thread - I'm new here and don't know all of the forum rules. Just let me know and I can move it elsewhere.

Thanks,
Ali
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Old 12-24-2017, 05:12 PM
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Most of us have carbureted engines. Not as efficient or tolerant of altitude changes as fuel injection for sure but pretty easy to set up and they worked fine for Detroit for 70+ yrs until emmisions and fuel economy requirements forced a change. EFI works great once you have it dialed in but this is not a trivial effort.

Make sure you consider what you mean by "idle properly". The cams and heads most of us have in these cars do not result in a smooth, quiet idle. These are not modern cars. Mine sounds like it wants to kill something when it fires up.
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Old 12-24-2017, 06:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ART00 View Post
Thanks, everyone, for the feedback.

Tony, regarding your question about EFI -- I've seen a few carb'd Cobras struggle to start up or idle properly and read a few posts in this forum describing the various other benefits of EFI, with the only apparent downside being initial acquisition cost and engine tuning (and further departure from 60's technology). According to your profile you have the Roush 427 IR. Are you happy with the engine, and in addition to climate or elevation considerations have you experienced improved performance or 'ease of use' with EFI? Sorry if this is a topic for another thread - I'm new here and don't know all of the forum rules. Just let me know and I can move it elsewhere.

Thanks,
Ali
I was not happy with the Roush 427IR. At that stage of the game they were using an Accel fuel injection controller with a faux 8-stack. They could never get it tuned, even after sending the whole car to them. I finally got a mostly good tune from a guy locally that had been to the Accel training and found they had failed to complete the setup of the altitude compensation table. Had I kept it I was considering switching to carbs becasue the faux 8-stack would get out of sync and require mechanical "tuning" once a year. Roush has since switched to another DFI controller and I've not heard if people have successfully "trained" it in 10K+' transitions. Even at our altitude (5000-14000') carbs are not a problem at normal street driving. A friend put the 427R (carbd, but otherwise same engine) in his SPF GT40 and it ran fine at altitude.

PS. Startup and idle concerns are usually camshaft related. Don't get goofy.
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Old 12-24-2017, 07:09 PM
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Quote:
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Most of us have carbureted engines. Not as efficient or tolerant of altitude changes as fuel injection for sure but pretty easy to set up and they worked fine for Detroit for 70+ yrs until emmisions and fuel economy requirements forced a change. EFI works great once you have it dialed in but this is not a trivial effort.

Make sure you consider what you mean by "idle properly". The cams and heads most of us have in these cars do not result in a smooth, quiet idle. These are not modern cars. Mine sounds like it wants to kill something when it fires up.
A loud and rough idle is perfect, as long as I can get it set up such that it starts consistently and reliably. It sounds like a well-built carbureted engine will accomplish that, and also that EFI isn't necessarily a safe bet to address reliability concerns. I don't have a lot of experience with engines, but that is one of the reasons why I want to own a Cobra.

In addition to the engine builders you mentioned, it would be great to talk to someone local in Arizona about engine options, install costs, etc. Any recs are appreciated.

For those celebrating tonight - Merry Christmas.

Ali
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Old 12-24-2017, 07:34 PM
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In addition to the engine builders you mentioned, it would be great to talk to someone local in Arizona about engine options, install costs, etc. Any recs are appreciated.
The guys at Hillbank can steer you in the right direction.
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Old 12-25-2017, 06:57 AM
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In addition to the engine builders you mentioned, it would be great to talk to someone local in Arizona about engine options, install costs, etc. Any recs are appreciated.
Gordon Levy is in your area.
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Old 12-25-2017, 08:21 AM
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I had to laugh when I saw the reference to CSX 4133 as I am the current owner. I get a lot of compliments on it's appearance and it's FE 427.
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Old 12-25-2017, 12:54 PM
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Be absolutely honest about how..... and how much.... you will drive the car....after you identify the car you want and the constructers you are satisfied with.....use the internet to find the used car you want...have a pre purchase inspection by a reputable firm...offer to pay cash out the door....that includes all taxes, fees ....

Enclosed shipping from major city to major city is about $2.50 per mile....

If you want a daily driver with air and a heater and defrosters and all the modern gizmos and safety devices...buy a Corvette...
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Old 12-26-2017, 09:10 AM
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Bartruff1, why stop there, the lack of modern gizmos should include no seat belts too.
since they weren't on cars in 1964, and maybe add some asbestos heat shields too for that mesothelioma feeling. that's all for now, i have a dentist appt. getting some lead fillings today.
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Old 12-26-2017, 04:08 PM
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I own a SPF, I picked it over the CSX for a couple of reasons. The first and main, was how I fit in the car. Hillbank has both in stock so you should test fit. The second reason, more of a bonus was the top, heater, defroster etc that came with the car.

In my opinion, if going with a small block and if you think CSX, then pick an FIA style, so it goes with the car, since you mentioned resale. I would think that a CSX 4000 with a small block would be like a three legged race hoarse. However the Small block in a SPF, no big deal.
There is huge price difference in building comparably equipped cars, and if your already thinking of selling before you buy, then look for a used spf for the least hit.
That being said, I have never bought a vehicle and used its resale as a deciding factor so my advice there would not be good.
I am also in Arizona. We have installers here.
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Old 12-26-2017, 04:26 PM
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I own a SPF, I picked it over the CSX for a couple of reasons. The first and main, was how I fit in the car. Hillbank has both in stock so you should test fit. The second reason, more of a bonus was the top, heater, defroster etc that came with the car.
I chose a CSX for that precise reason! I sat in both and the steering wheel on the SPF hit me in the lap.

Bottom line and the advice I give everyone is that you SHALL NOT buy any Cobra until you sit in THAT CAR! This is especially true if you are looking at models that are more than a few years older than one that you test fit. SPF made several changes as the generations progressed so fitting in a newer one won't necessarily mean you'll fit in an older one. Same for early CSX vs later ones. Just try it on.

Note that CSX come with defroster/heater too. (At least mine did) It's required! Don't get one without it. First time I was in a little bit of rain the windshield fogged up. (The wind kept the rain out, until I happened to hit a stop light!)
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Old 12-26-2017, 07:08 PM
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My advice would be to learn as much as you can about the differences between your choices. Once your eye is trained to see the visual differences between a CSX and an SPF, and BDR vs an ERA or whatever....then you can make the best decision that you won't regret. When I was looking to buy my first Cobra I couldn't easily see the differences and had I purchased a car without good friendly advice and learning the differences myself I would have been stuck with a poor car.
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Old 12-27-2017, 04:49 AM
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You have two all black superformance 427 sb on eBay right now and I remeber seeing an all black with dark wheels a few weeks ago too with a roush 427r. I'd look used.
I had a lot of the same questions and concerns as you when I looked and was gathering research. I can tell you that my spf with the 427r idles smoothly and can be driven at slow speeds and in stop and go traffic if necessary. No bucking, snorting, stalling etc, not that you'd want to sit in traffic. I also thought about efi beforehand but now it's just an afterthought. I'd say find your car without and you can always add it later if you still want. You can easily powdercoat trim and wheels if you desire. Customizing can be fun and you will save probably tens of thousands used. The other thing is that used should have the bugs worked out. New you will have to deal with them yourself. Pm me if any questions.
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