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Kirkham Motorsports

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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 03-13-2020, 10:41 AM
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Default New Kirkham Owner

Hello fellows. To introduce myself, after years of perusing the forums I've just recently joined and placed a down payment on a new Kirkham. Pretty exciting. I'm planning to visit Provo next week to finalize options. I'm being cautioned about going with the brushed finish. I'd like to hear from guys who own or have owned a brushed car, regrets? Would you do it again? Any other words of wisdom to pass along? Thanks guys, Dan Sadler
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Old 03-13-2020, 10:47 AM
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Paint it.
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Old 03-13-2020, 10:50 AM
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Congratulations!

There are 2 immutable facts about owning a Kirkham.
1. You purchased the best Cobra, period.
2. You will never be able to own another brand if you had a Kirkham first and be content (unless it's a Shelby branded Kirkham).

My KMP was brushed. Even though they look pretty when perfect, it doesn't stay that way long. The slightest touch of a fingernail will cause a scratch. So if you like it perfect, you'll have to keep it up but it's no big deal. Just a different type of maintenance than what you're used to. If you like patina, a brushed finish can get to an awesome look, IMO.
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Last edited by rodneym; 03-14-2020 at 06:55 PM.. Reason: clarification in 2.
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Old 03-13-2020, 01:47 PM
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Not an owner, but I do believe owners have said that small dings can be repaired and brushed out, if it is brushed. Not likely if painted. However Patina would show a repair unless the complete car is brushed.

Ask the Kirkham folks, when you are there. Don't take my word for it, but it is a consideration.
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Old 03-13-2020, 03:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twobjshelbys View Post
Paint it.
Welcome Dan, and congratulations on placing an order.

I agree....paint it. No original cars were brushed.


Cheers!
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Old 03-13-2020, 08:01 PM
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Dan I have a Kirkham. Mine is polished with the brushed stripes. The polished area is actually easier to take care of than the brushed stripes but neither is harder to take care of than a painted car. There are two big advantages to leaving it brushed - first is that you don’t have to touch up paint and when it gets a dent it can be fixed without a repaint. The second big plus is your car will be unique and a real show stopper. I get 10x more comments on my polished car than I would if it was painted. Everyone knows it’s a metal car and not plastic. Plenty of race cars and aircraft go with bare aluminum.

Either way you go - painted or brushed - it’s a great car. Just don’t put a stroked 351 Windsor in it :-).

Mike
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Old 03-14-2020, 05:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phx Mike View Post
Everyone knows it’s a metal car and not plastic. Plenty of race cars and aircraft go with bare aluminum.
Mike's right. KMS and ERA turnkeys are the two finest built Cobras on the face of the earth. The main difference being metal versus glass. If I was not going to paint mine, then I would have bought a KMS. Don't hide your metal. People that know what they're looking at will instantly know what the car is (and who it is), and people that don't will just think that it's unusually cool looking and must be quite old. And I can't tell you how many times someone has tapped their knuckle on my fender well and said "yep, that's aluminum."
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Last edited by patrickt; 03-14-2020 at 05:50 AM.. Reason: typo
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Old 03-14-2020, 08:58 AM
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I don't recall hearing anyone crying the blues that wish they had painted their Kirkham. It's kinda like finding folks who regret dropping an FE in a Cobra. They have to exist, but finding them isn't easy.

Truth is you can always paint it later. I would ask Kirkham folks what is the cost difference between them brushing the aluminum and having it ready to paint. Also what would it cost (entail) to get a brushed aluminum car ready to paint. In other words. how much money would be wasted, if you went with brushed and then decided to paint it later.

I had a swimming pool for about 20 yrs. I used to smile when all the experts, who had never owned a swimming pool, would espouse how much work and cost a pool was. I had a $50 automatic chlorination system and a $300 aquadroid that did all the vacuuming for me. I did almost no work. I didn't waste money on chemicals fighting algae, because I kept the chlorine perfectly adjusted. The point to this story is, just because some clown was too cheap or too bull headed to do something right, said clowns claims of what a PITA something is are not necessarily valid, but people will repeat the claims, as fact, forever. Listen to the Kirkhams.
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Last edited by olddog; 03-14-2020 at 09:03 AM..
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Old 03-14-2020, 09:14 AM
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Congrats! That is an awesome event in your life so drive her when you get her. I am on the painted side of the fence as I like colour. Go with what you want, don’t worry about what anyone says.
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Old 03-14-2020, 09:27 AM
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OldDog makes one pretty good point -- it's way easier to paint an unpainted car than it is to unpaint a painted car, so take your time making your decision.
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Old 03-14-2020, 10:08 AM
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As a non-owner but observer of plenty of the unpainted cars I can tell you that I've seen many more poor examples than shining ones. Two stand out:

At the Shelby American Collection a few years ago someone drove up in one and it was in pretty bad shape. The guards to the Cobra section huddled over it for a few minutes and the driver was asked to move it to the general parking area. They said the finish was so distracting (in a negative way) they didn't want it in the judging area.

At Barrett Jackson Shelby American had one of their 50th editions in bare metal on display, it looked like it needed a lot of TLC. Later that afternoon I watched them move it to the Mothers booth and they had two guys start on it. Later i saw it parked under a cover. The Mothers booth guy said it would take much more time than they could afford to spend on it since they had other vehicles that had to be done before they crossed the block. It sat covered the entire week.

A bare naked lady is the equivalent of black paint. It's never clean and you are never done cleaning it. Do you want to spend your time driving it or preening its feathers? Your choice. I never regretted selling my black Mustangs, but never regretted never having another black car. PS. The British Racing Green Cobra was just as bad as black and at car shows looked dusty within minutes.

Third, an owner of a BNL, who sold it, told me he wished he had painted it to begin with but was "too far into the culture" to change it.

And finally about pools: I also have a salt pool and cleaner. Sure, it keeps chlorine in it, but you forgot that you have to feed the chlorine generator lots of muriatic acid. The salt system generates chlorine by electrically tearing apart a salt atom (NaCl) into a Sodium (NA) and Chlorine (CL) atom. The CL becomes the pool CL. The Na returns to the water where it interacts with the Muriatic Acid (Hydrochloric Acid, HCl). The Sodium atom has a higher valence than the H, and so it steals the Cl from HCl to become salt (NaCl) again, leaving a free H to return to the atmosphere. (This is the net chemical reaction, there are intermediate compounds involved but it boils down to the fact that the salt pool never consumes salt, only Muriatic Acid. And LOTS OF ELECTRICITY!!!!) In the winter when the salt cell is out of the system I use a quart of Muriatic Acid and two chlorine tabs every two weeks. In the summer I use a half gallon of Muriatic Acid every three to 4 days to maintain a 5ppm Cl concentration. It is said that salt pools have increased pH. Now you know why - the acid is what feeds the system and is a consumable.
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Last edited by twobjshelbys; 03-14-2020 at 10:15 AM..
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Old 03-14-2020, 12:51 PM
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It’s not that hard to keep it looking good. Really isn’t. I drive mine quite a bit and still spend no more time cleaning it and polishing than I would a painted car. Nothing wrong with paint either but the whole “nightmare to keep it looking good” thing is not really accurate. I know from experience.

It is possible to screw up the finish, requiring quite a bit of work to get it back to where it should be. But I think most people know better than to do that.

It’s also sort of a pain to get a new Kirkam painted. Doing it right requires painting it before putting in the transmission and engine and interior components. That means you either have to buy a roller, do the painting yourself, and then finish the car.... or, get David to do all of that. David does not paint cars, so he would have to send it out to get that done, locally. If you are like me and wanted to buy a completed car with engine and transmission installed, the painting process is difficult.

To each his own, and there is nothing wrong with a painted car. But it’s really not that hard to keep a polished or brushed car looking good, even if driven a lot.
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Old 03-14-2020, 06:38 PM
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Hmm.. best of both worlds- clear coat the brushed finish?

I saw Rodney's car up close.. beautiful. Those suspension bits.. I'd put it up on a rack so I could slide under and just look at it too ��

You're going to be quite happy with your purchase. One nice thing about my beater superformance though- I can drive and track it. Oh, another rock chip.. whatever. ��
If I had Rodney's car I'd have a hard time taking it out of the garage.. just want to polish it ��

-Dave
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Old 03-15-2020, 06:49 AM
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Dan, the green-eyed monster of envy lives within me. Congratulations for choosing Kirkham. I dearly love my ERA, and drive the snot out of it, but if I had the means, I'd just have to have a Kirkham.

Enjoy, but remember, its out to kill you. NEVER hit the loud pedal unless its pointed straight. my 2 worth
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Old 03-17-2020, 07:32 AM
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I think the CSX aluminum cars should be painted, but paint is optional on a non CSX Kirkham (in my opinion). You can't go wrong either way.
I've had four Kirkham built bodies and they are great cars. My brushed aluminum was very easy to care for compared to the bronze one I recently purchased. Go with what turns you on, be prepared for lots of attention with a non painted Kirkham.
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Old 03-17-2020, 10:27 AM
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The brushed finish on my Kirkham is/was the easiest, least worrisome finish I can imagine taking care of.

I love the look of the painted cars, but I'd always worry about door dings and paint chips. Never in issue with the brushed aluminum. If it ever got a little grungy looking, I'd take a red 3M pad to it, and in an hour or two, it looked brand new. I only did this every couple of years, and usually only after fixing a dent and cleaning off some oil or grease.
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Old 04-17-2020, 03:29 PM
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Remember, you can leave it unpainted because you can.
Mine was brushed- if you are real particular it is not for you. If you want to be the coolest guy in town- you leave it be and wash it every few outings. The polished one is what is scary, finger prints destroy it.
My finish was 180 grit then a quick once over with 400. It knocks the sharp edges off then it is easy to dust.
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Old 04-17-2020, 04:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twobjshelbys View Post
Paint it.
wait. what? NO!!!
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Old 04-17-2020, 05:58 PM
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Nobody asks if it's a replica if your Kirkham is polisher or brushed, nobody cares. It kind of negates the question about real or replica.
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Old 04-17-2020, 10:21 PM
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Yeah they still ask and touch...…………
Mostly when I turn away. I want to ask can I feel your wives breasts? I want to see if they are real or fake...……………..
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