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Kirkham Motorsports

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  • 1 Post By twobjshelbys
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Old 12-01-2021, 08:22 AM
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Default Help with a Contemporary

Iím going to look at a Contemporary that was never built. I assume the Cobra is 30 years old and I donít have much info on it. Being they are out of business now I wanted to see how people are doing getting parts, etc for the car? Also what should I look for when checking it out?

Thanks!
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Old 12-01-2021, 08:34 AM
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The first question I'd ask is when was the kit purchased.

Second, how many owners,

Thrid, how many times has it been moved from one location or buyer to another.

Each of these steps results in missing and broken parts...

Take a complete inventory and report here. You don't know if everything is there. Many kits were purchased in stages so key stuff could be missing.

Let us ask why you are considering this?

If it is because you love fabrication then by all means continue. Be aware that if this is your first fabrication there are other "kits" that are 100 times easier and have a much higher chance that you'll complete it. The primary reason is the frustration that arises with the Cobra because it has no straight lines.

If you think this is a cheap way to get a Cobra, move on. You'll spend more in time and money trying to assemble something that is most likely incomplete than buying a finished car. In the end, you'll spend more money than you ever thought possible. At the end of every restoration project by people I know they all say if they do it again (and they all say they won't) the first thing they'd do is buy a lift. That's a big chunk of unbudgeted change that certainly makes your job easier but will probably never be used again. And the tool list goes on and on and on.

Good luck.
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Old 12-01-2021, 12:15 PM
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Here is a link to photos of the Contemporary Cobra Kit I bought in the spring of 2017, I'm not in paint yet but put around miles on my kit this last summer.


https://imgur.com/a/iYGlq

I have pdf's of the manual if you shoot me an email I'll forward that to you as well. Differences depending on the year of the Contemporary as well. I'm coil over front suspension but many have torsion bar set up.

Mike
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Old 12-01-2021, 12:29 PM
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CCX is a great kit, I am more optimistic than most and say go ahead.
Just have a plan and plan for the long haul. It can be fun and also frustrating both and sometimes even at the same time. They were a good kit so "do it right" which means $$. Doing this right will get you an car that will hold its value and doing it wrong, well you will not be happy.
Reach out if you need anything!

Whatever you decide, never buy parts from a company in NH. Secondly, if you dont listen to the "Buyer Beware" do not think he worked at AC since he has an accent. Its a deception

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Old 12-01-2021, 05:35 PM
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Since the kit has never been built, isn't it a necessity that the original MSO be available? Others more knowlegable than I with the paperwork requirements can chime in here. Just thinking out loud......
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Old 12-01-2021, 06:20 PM
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Let me prefice this by saying, I'm not a Contempory afficiando. I do agree with Tony's (twobjshelbys) advise, "If you think this is a cheap way to get a Cobra, move on." If you have built custom vehicles or work in an industry that requires skills that will provide you the ability to assemble a custom vehicle from the ground up, maybe this will work for you. If not you may be setting yourself up to fail. In addition to needing the skills, you will also need the fortitude, time and finances to complete the project. Oh, I hope you,re not in a relationship, as supportive as they may seem, they will resent the time you spend on the project. If the Cobra you're contemplating buying has everything needed to complete a "roller", you will still need to spend about 10-20K for drivetrain and an additional 5-15K for body and paint work. So, you will be in for an additional 15-35k after you purchase the kit, assuming the kit is complete. If you get the kit for 10-15K you will have invested between 25-50K financially and hundreds of hours of time to finish the project. Now, if your lifes mission is to complete a project like this and you don't have any other commitments, go for it. However, you will probably just about break even financially if you buy a well sorted completed Cobra and skip the project. Also, whatever you buy make sure you get the required documents you need to be able to title and register the vehicle properly, without having to get creative. The kit you're contemplating buying is for sale for a reason, you do not want to be in the same situation down the road. Now go forth and conquer, whatever path you choose to take.
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Old 12-01-2021, 07:10 PM
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I will add this....... a Contemporary is a fine car. I really like mine a lot. That said, you need to know how to fabricate. You need to know how to be resourceful. The reason for this is that it is an orphan. There is no company to turn to for parts and help, the company that built Contemporary is LOOOOONG gone. It is in my opinion one of the higher end owner built Cobras. Other opinions can, and likely will, vary. That said I would notch it in behind ERA, with Contemporary right behind them as far as kits go. Shelby, Kirkham, Backdraft and Superformance not included as they are not kit builds. The ERA is a better car (again, only this mans opinion) as it's had many years of subsequent design and development done on it in the time since Contemporary folded up and went away. I often wonder what the Contemporary Cobra would have been as a car now had they stayed in business and developed at the same pace as ERA.

That said, if you're not good with fab work and searching out alternate resources for parts and improvements to the kit supplied parts for your build, then this might not be the build for you. If that's the case and you still really want to build one yourself, you might want to take a look at Hurricane. Just throwing a dart off the top of my head they're about the most similar to the Contemporary. I've never personally seen a Unique but I'm told they're nice cars too. Of course there's ERA, but now you're at a significantly higher price point and from what I understand a 1 year plus wait for delivery of about the best kit out there. Most others are designed to be predominantly solid axle rear cars, and that's a whole nother ball game, if you want to go that route. Different strokes for different folks. Good luck in whatever you choose to do. Reach out if you have any specific questons on the Contemporary.

EDIT - One more thought. Overall budget wise, you're always better off buying a pre built car. That said, there are benefits to self built. By building it yourself, you're building the car you've always wanted, exactly as you've wanted it and not buying someone elses dream. When you build it yourself, you get exactly what you want. Looking at the situation from a financial prespective - of course I have no idea what your financial situation is. We have all types of guys on here; we have guys who can easily write a check for $100K without blinking an eye to guys who will sweat writing one for $10K, and it's all good either way. It's absolutely true that buying this kit is only the price of admission; there are much larger expenses to come. However, if you're one of the guys who isn't flush with cash, building your own allows you to get into the game now and then to proceed as your funding comes available rather than sitting on the sideline trying over years to assemble the funds to get into the game. It's a bit like self financing, assuming that works for you - you build as you get the cash to do so. Again, you need to decide what works for you and your situation.

Make no mistake, if you buy this kit, your total into it is going to be a big number, and invariably much bigger than you had planned. I was speaking on the phone the other day with a man who is a very experienced seller of Cobras and who has his finger firmly on the pulse of the market. While my car is certainly not for sale, I was curious as to what he believes it's worth. He estimated about $60K, +/- $5K or so. I can assure you that while I stopped counting LONG ago, I have painfully more than that into it right now. I've built this car to the highest standard that I possibly could. I have had to farm out some of the work because I am not a fabricator of the level this car needed. My car may not be the finest Contemporary out there, but I'm reasonaby sure it's not far off the pace. It was very expensive to get it to that level. Yours will be expensive too. Hopefully some of this helps you to choose what to do.
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Old 12-01-2021, 07:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 767Jockey View Post
I was speaking on the phone the other day with a man who is a very experienced seller of Cobras and who has his finger firmly on the pulse of the market. While my car is certainly not for sale, I was curious as to what he believes it's worth. He estimated about $60K, +/- $5K or so.
I'm thinking that is a bit on the low side for your specific car, but that is just me, and what would I know about Cobras .


Bill S.

PS: Color, drivetrain, knockoff vs bolt on all play a factor in pricing the car.
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Old 12-01-2021, 07:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrmustang View Post
I'm thinking that is a bit on the low side for your specific car, but that is just me, and what would I know about Cobras .


Bill S.

PS: Color, drivetrain, knockoff vs bolt on all play a factor in pricing the car.
You know more than most, Bill !!

In my case, Indigo Blue with Winbledon White stripes, knockoffs with Vintage adapters with brand new Billboards, Blair Patrick built 520" FE with 744 HP, dual Holleys on a BBM Tunnel Wedge, BBM heads, BBM block, forged Crower bottom end, T&D paired race rocker arm setup, new TKO 600 and more so many more mods than I can even remember. Custom alloy high capacity fuel tank, floor mounted pedals, slanted back Fluidyne radiator, Watts linkage, large core Classic Chamber mufflers in ceramic coated sidepipes the list goes on and on and on. I even incorporated rivets prior to paint all along the underside of the rolled edge of the cockpit to simulate the rivets there on an original.

I think she's a nice one. Maybe the high end of the range stated?
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Old 12-02-2021, 09:23 AM
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The immediate problem, I see is how was the body stored. If attached to the chassis then there is some hope. If not, after 30 years that fiberglass has walked, developed a twist that will effect the doors. hood. trunk etc. You should determine this before you proceed any further in the purchase! Was it stored on a wooden shipping type frame etc. This is not saying it can not be straightened but you need to know before you buy it.

Bill K
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Old 12-02-2021, 09:52 AM
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Buy one already done. Even if they gave you a thousand bucks to haul it away you'll have way too much in it before you give up. And pride will make that decision more difficult every day. If you really want a kit get a new factory five or backdradt. They have parts and support. Or get a superformance roller and add the power train that'll give you some satisfaction like the egg in the cake.
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Old 12-02-2021, 11:16 AM
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I am of the mindset that you will get as much enjoyment building it yourself as picking up a completed car. I built (assembled) my ERA over a period of two years and had the time of my life. It's a great car and I've been driving it for about sixteen years now. Your (soon to be) Contemporary is very desirable, but it will take time, money and a whole bunch if enthusiasm. Don't know how much you will pay, but that kit is right up there with ERA as for quality. The frame (chassis) is also much like the original Cobra. I hope you can buy it right and enjoy the build. Good luck.
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Old 12-02-2021, 02:17 PM
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Cost in these are associated with correctness in parts. Accurate = $$$
Mag wheels are >$5000 alloy $1200
Paint can be $3000 or at some places $12,000, big swing.
Its all relative....
etc....

My feeling is build it unless you are in a hurry, these cannot be rushed...
Dont buy any parts from NH
Plan to spend $70k for a decent car!
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Old 12-04-2021, 03:05 PM
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Thanks for all the help. The owner has gone dark on me and avoiding answering any questions or letting me know where to go see it so I am moving on. I think I found another Contemporary but will post a new thread to help with that one!
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Old 12-04-2021, 03:42 PM
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If that CCX is gone, buy an ERA car. They are great, easy to build and have a fabulous support group both here and in New Britain CT. Good luck, and don't give up.
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Old 12-04-2021, 03:53 PM
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I found another Contemporary but it has a Shelby American, Inc plate on it with a CCX9 number? Is this correct?
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Old 12-04-2021, 03:58 PM
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Quote:
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I found another Contemporary but it has a Shelby American, Inc plate on it with a CCX9 number? Is this correct?
It's not shelby. See other two topics.

You usually need to ask this type of question once.
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