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Kirkham Motorsports

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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 10-11-2016, 07:53 AM
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Default Looking for advice on Superformance GT40

I am considering trading my Cobra for a Superformance GT40. I'd like some advice on the particulars of this brand.
Are there things unique to Superformance that I should be aware of?
Are there any bugs that I should be looking for?
Upgrades or problems that I should check for?
How well does the a/c work in these cars?
Anything else you can think of?
Thanks in advance.
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Old 10-11-2016, 08:34 AM
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There are tons of topics on this subject already. SEARCH will find them for you. Even looking at the topic history in this subforum shows several.

But this isn't really the best place to get that info. Check out the GT40s.com - Powered by vBulletin forum for all the info you could ever ask for and more (similar to what you get on Cobras here).
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Last edited by twobjshelbys; 10-11-2016 at 08:37 AM..
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Old 10-11-2016, 09:07 AM
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twobjshelbys
Thanks for the reply. Oh, I've been searching. Believe me. I'm considering trading my beloved Cobra, which I've owned since 1998, for a GT. It'd be like giving up an old friend. Cobras are very simple cars which I have found have few major issues, and those that do crop up are fairly easy to remedy. GT40s are a much more complicated vehicle, with a lot more to go wrong.

My observation on sites like the one you suggested (which I have searched extensively) is that many of the owners don't have enough experience with the cars to objectively critique them, or are unwilling to talk about any problems publicly. Since the Superformance GT is factory built, and the drivetrain install is typically done by a dealer, a lot of the owners just don't have the hands-on experience building them that the Cobra community does. I was hoping the crew here at Club Cobra might share some of the negative experiences about the brand vs only the good. I'm not saying that the Superformance cars are bad. Just the opposite. I'm thinking of trading my baby for one. But I also know from reading the forums that there were upgrades and fixes developed over time and I hoped someone who was familiar with the brand might be able to distill the changes down to something I could understand and look for when evaluating a car for sale.
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Old 10-11-2016, 11:18 AM
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One thing you will find with the GT40 over the Cobra is fit. It is a good idea to find one you can sit in and see if it is a good fit for you. Taller guys will have a tough time fitting in any of the GT40's from my experience sitting in a Superformance GT40 and I'm only 5' 11". However if that isn't a problem, the Superformance GT40 is a very well built replica and if you have it in mind to put in your own drivetrain, it shouldn't be much more difficult than any other replica.

Keep trying with the search function and you will probably find anything you need to know about this subject.

Bob
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Old 10-11-2016, 11:38 AM
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I was also considering that....but I read in here ( at that time) that the owners who owned both cars.....drove the Cobra more....

I really want a GT 40,( CAV or SPF or......) but if I buy one, I will keep the Cobra...it will be in my estate...

Last edited by Bartruff1; 10-11-2016 at 11:42 AM..
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Old 10-11-2016, 12:22 PM
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Doug,

I do NOT own a GT40 nor have I ever owned one. I looked at buying GT40's before I bought my Kirkham. The SPF GT40 is the best "production" GT40 out there, if you can't build one yourself, like an RCR, which is much less expensive, but excellent quality. There are more detailed and authentic GT40's above the SPF, but then you're talking about $500,000 (+/-). The SPF roller is roughly $115,000 before options.

One local GT40s member, Jim Craik, who owns an SPF, had a failed rear shock mount problem, which may have been corrected with the newer production units. He also had at that time about 28,000 miles, so he drives the wheels off his car. That's at least one issue the SPF GT40 had in its past.

Failed Shock Mount - GT40s.com

CC member Rick Muck (Mark IV) is an SPF dealer and knows these cars from top to bottom. I'm sure he'll check in here.

I'm already on the record here that I didn't buy a GT40 because I felt the ingress and egress were terrible (and I'm not a large individual, just average) and, once in the cockpit, the fact that the car has no roll up/down windows gave me a claustrophobic feel. I preferred the open cockpit of the Cobra.
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Old 10-11-2016, 12:56 PM
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GT40 seats are not movable. They are part of the frame. They can't be dynamically adjusted and static adjustment for one person is done by adding/removing foam and other inserts. That pretty much means it's a one-driver car.

The space is very confining and claustrophobic. I describe the car as one you put on not get in. In addition as RodKnock mentions, ingress/egress is harder because the car is so much lower to the ground than the Cobra plus you've got about 10" of "sill" for the gas tanks to get to the seat. Getting in is easy - stand on the seat and slide in but getting out is a little tough especially if you have back problems.

You SHALL sit in one before you make any decision. Best if you can take a ride (yeah, you'll most likely be a passenger, but that will also give you a feeling for the torture your rider will go through, but since you already own a Cobra you probably have a good feeling for that. One thing the GT40 doesn't have is the heat in the footboxes from the engine. But all of this has been discussed ad nauseum.
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Old 10-11-2016, 01:11 PM
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OK,

I do own an SPF. A great car, and I'm very happy with it.

Things to consider:
1. Getting in and out is not that easy, but once you're in, I find it very comfortable, even on long trips (the pedals ARE adjustable).
2. It can get hot inside. Make sure the AC is working. Even better, get the car well insulated. There are kits for this.
3. Some of the early cars had issues with the brakes/balance bar, and electrical issues. These can all be fixed, but you need to ask.
4. At least one high-mileage car has suffered a suspension support failure (as posted above). There are kits to reinforce this area. Most people probably won't have to worry about this unless they put a LOT of miles on the car, or regularly track it.
.6 Visit GT40s.com. A very good resource for all things GT40.
7. Be prepared to be mobbed by scantily clad ladies half your age. They just can't seem to get enough of these cars (just checking to see if you're paying attention)
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Old 10-11-2016, 01:23 PM
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OK,

The "egress" issue is less than some think. I am overweight and have a bad knee and I stopped even taking the removable steering wheel off when entering and exiting. The answer is you just stand on the seat and drop in. Reverse to exit. The standard seat material is Alcantara and it is bulletproof! We have had over 100 people in and out at outdoor shows and when done just lift the seat out and brush it off. Also while the seats do not move, the pedals are adjustable. Now it is not a "handy knob" adjustment, it take tools, scratches on your arms and an hour, but you can do it. You can also set the pedals "down" for a tall driver and then shim the seat forward with a block of foam.

As to the build out, if you don't want to do your own, Olthoff is THE way to go. However I have had several customers do their own installs and between the help we can supply, the knowledge from Olthoff (I strongly suggest purchasing items like the bellhousing, etc. from Olthoff, the price is right and the support is well worth a few dollars) you will be able to do the job. The GT40 build out is pretty straight forward and most home shops will be able to handle all but the Air Con charging and the alignment. Some fab work on the hoses, etc. is needed but well within the scope of a weekend mechanic.

I can put you in touch with a customer who did his own install and he can tell what was involved. He had a few extra issues to work around as he got one of the first GT40s after there had been a production lapse due to the economic collapse and the crew at the factory was green. This is several years past and we rarely have any issues and in fact most of the GTs we have delivered have never had a warranty claim.

Call anytime, we will be glad to answer any questions. And I will be honest to the point of talking you OUT of purchasing a GT40. I did that with a Porsche owner who did not understand the difference between "waterproof" and "water resistant"!
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Old 10-11-2016, 01:38 PM
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Oh yah, they leak.

But so does a Cobra.
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Old 10-11-2016, 02:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark IV View Post
And I will be honest to the point of talking you OUT of purchasing a GT40. I did that with a Porsche owner who did not understand the difference between "waterproof" and "water resistant"!


Yes, Porsche owners will NOT understand this concept w/o a live demonstration, so you should ask a GT40 owner to take you through one of those touchless car washes.
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Old 10-11-2016, 02:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RodKnock View Post


Yes, Porsche owners will NOT understand this concept w/o a live demonstration, so you should ask a GT40 owner to take you through one of those touchless car washes.
Bring your rubber duck and a loofa...
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Old 10-11-2016, 02:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RodKnock View Post


Yes, Porsche owners will NOT understand this concept w/o a live demonstration, so you should ask a GT40 owner to take you through one of those touchless car washes.
This was a doctor who was telling me how the Porsche dealer could not find an occasional, intermittent drip from his sunroof...............that is when I asked the "water resistant" question. We both decided a GT40 was not likely his best choice. And it saved a car from going on the resale market at fire sale price because he was "disappointed" so we both dodged a bullet.

Yes I have driven my car in the rain. And yes, I got wet despite our additional seal kits and time spent tracking down and eliminating water intrusion points. This is a 1960's race car and in the 60's race drivers got wet! We can make the intrusion manageable (i.e. no longer need to punch drain holes in the floor) but a totally dry GT40 is a GT40 in the Sahara.....in a garage....wrapped in plastic. And the spot everyone thinks will leak the most, the roof cutouts, generally seal pretty well!
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Old 10-11-2016, 11:17 PM
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I never knew they leaked. So you're trapped inside, can't roll up or down the window, and you're soaking wet.
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Old 10-12-2016, 11:47 AM
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As with cobras, I doubt many owners plan on much driving in the rain.

If you're looking for a Porsche-like experience, get a Porsche. They're great cars, but entirely different than a GT40 (as Mark IV says).

Similarly, a Cobra experience is very different from a GT40 experience.

I like 'em all. Horses for courses.
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Old 10-13-2016, 09:50 AM
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I appreciate all these replies. A number of our members "go both ways" and own a GT40 as well as a Cobra. I hoped some of them would chime in, and they have. Thanks!

I definitely will sit in and drive the car. I'm 6' and 200 lbs, so fitting in may be an issue. I wonder how far the pedals can be moved to increase leg room? The car does have a Gurney bubble, so head room may not be a problem. We'll see. I'll bring my helmet.

There are a lot of threads on gt40s.com dealing with waterproofing. I will ask the owner what has been done to this particular car to seal it from the elements. But in the end this wouldn't be a deal breaker for me as I don't plan to drive it in the rain. With the Cobra, I have learned to check the weather radar app on my phone before driving any distance.

This car's owner has told me that the car had an issue with the ammeter overheating. This has been fixed. Are there other electrical issues to be aware of?

I have two sets of 15x8 and 15x10 6-pin Trigo wheels for my Cobra. If I keep one of the sets, will they fit the GT40?

Cobras with fuel cells have been experiencing problems due to the foam in the cell degrading over time. Do the fuel tanks in a SFP GT40 have the same foam in them?
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Old 10-13-2016, 10:39 AM
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I swing both ways, so to speak.

I'm 6 1.5, with a long back. I fit fine with no changes, but no helmet. I'll have to at least shave the seat cushion to fit with it on.

There have been issues with the ammeter and the fans not turning off with the key (some sort of feedback issue).

Don't know about the wheels.
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Old 10-13-2016, 10:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DougD View Post
I appreciate all these replies. A number of our members "go both ways" and own a GT40 as well as a Cobra. I hoped some of them would chime in, and they have. Thanks!

I definitely will sit in and drive the car. I'm 6' and 200 lbs, so fitting in may be an issue. I wonder how far the pedals can be moved to increase leg room? The car does have a Gurney bubble, so head room may not be a problem. We'll see. I'll bring my helmet.

There are a lot of threads on gt40s.com dealing with waterproofing. I will ask the owner what has been done to this particular car to seal it from the elements. But in the end this wouldn't be a deal breaker for me as I don't plan to drive it in the rain. With the Cobra, I have learned to check the weather radar app on my phone before driving any distance.

This car's owner has told me that the car had an issue with the ammeter overheating. This has been fixed. Are there other electrical issues to be aware of?

I have two sets of 15x8 and 15x10 6-pin Trigo wheels for my Cobra. If I keep one of the sets, will they fit the GT40?

Cobras with fuel cells have been experiencing problems due to the foam in the cell degrading over time. Do the fuel tanks in a SFP GT40 have the same foam in them?
The wheels will fit if they are six pin drive wheels.

There is no foam in the SPF GT tanks, they are stainless with baffles, no foam so deterioration is not an issue.

The pedals have a 4-5" inch adjustment range and they can also be "tilted" slightly forward by adjusting the pushrods to gain a little more room. You need to pull the front clip and unscrew the cowl access panel cover (easy to do) to really see where the pedals are set.

The ammeter has most likely had the "fix" to read properly. The other major electrical item is the relay pack for the A/C fan switch. Without the relays the switch will overheat and blow the fuse when you most need A/C...ask me how I know! Most all chassis' have had the upgrades. If you PM or email me with the chassis number I can tell what should be done to the car.
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Last edited by Mark IV; 10-13-2016 at 10:50 AM.. Reason: added
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Old 10-13-2016, 04:34 PM
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Agree with all the above posts. Would just add wheel bearings are probably the biggest maintenance issue. Need regreasing and adjustment every couple of years, more often if you track the car. Special tool from Olthoff needed for this (cost about $500) or borrow one from someone else. CV bolts also need frequent checks for loosening. A/C is adequate, but just. Yes doors leak some, but who drives a lot in the rain? This is probably about the wildest car you can drive on the street.
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