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September 2021
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Kirkham Motorsports

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  • 1 Post By twobjshelbys
  • 4 Post By twobjshelbys
  • 1 Post By Danr55

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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 03-12-2021, 10:59 PM
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Default Looking for advice

Brand new: I am looking to buy an AC Cobra: used, replica. I am interested in learning and joining a club (Northwest, Seattle area). I know nothing but would love to learn (am a quick study). Advice would be greatly appreciated. I am looking for activities and events (especially those associated with a racetracks). Thank you for any information.
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Old 03-13-2021, 03:52 AM
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Look on the Forums page, to find a local group.
Contact NASA or SCCA for racing. FFR's Challenge Car has a compliant roll cage, but is not true to the original. If you are looking to Auto Cross you can run with the iconic roll bar at the Good Guys event.
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Old 03-13-2021, 10:06 AM
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Go to car shows nearby. Some draw Cobras.

Look at all you can but do not buy any car that you have not personally sat in. You do get credit for "trying on" one of them, e.g., Superformance, because they are all the same. EXCEPT THEY ARE NOT!!! SPF has changed theirs over the years so the steering wheel rake (angle) varies and can be a major issue for tall people.

Someone has a FFR race car here that's been for sale for, what now, a couple of years. They are a hard sell later on so if you want a track car, why not get a Miata? It's 10x cheaper and if you wreck it it won't break your heart or your purse.
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Old 03-13-2021, 12:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cdbrooke View Post
Brand new: I am looking to buy an AC Cobra: used, replica. I am interested in learning and joining a club (Northwest, Seattle area). I know nothing but would love to learn (am a quick study). Advice would be greatly appreciated. I am looking for activities and events (especially those associated with a racetracks). Thank you for any information.
Let me save you a tremendous amount of time... Look at Kirkham, ERA, Superformance, Hi-tech, CSX...
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Old 03-13-2021, 12:56 PM
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Originally Posted by ERA 626 View Post
Let me save you a tremendous amount of time... Look at Kirkham, ERA, Superformance, Hi-tech, CSX...

But it would help if you'd give us your budget.

All high quality. Kirkham is aluminum body only and will be highest price. Kirkham sells most of theirs unpainted (really, don't do it) and painting puts them from Kirkham prices them higher than the Shelby CSX aluminum car which is (with recent vintage) just a painted Kirkham. Earlier CSX aluminum cars are built either in-house or by Kirkham but painted. All aluminum cars demand a premium but are worth it.

In fiberglass, all of them are good, but something to remember is that CSX cars will hold their value or appreciate (not enough to fund a retirement program, but enough to track new vehicle replacement from Shelby. SPF hold very well in the resale place. ERA so - so. SPF are built by HiTech but that is a different South African company. Hi-Tech was in Arizona. Used Hi-Tech and ERA are good value.

None of these are anything like any car you've owned. The technology is primitive even for the 60's. They're all essentially a copy of a "car" that was designed as nothing more than moving an engine around a track and they are not comfortable to sit in (for driving) or ride in (if you're the passenger). Your foot will bake as though it were a turkey in an oven. Plus the angled pedal offset means and close footbox make driving position uncomfortable for long periods (it turns out, it's about how long a tank of gas lasts.) Shelby told me "I paid the drivers to drive not to be comfortable." [The same can be said of any true race car.]

No Creature Comforts. A Cobra is a "Man's Car". Now power steering or brakes. Turning the wheel wile parked is a task. Braking demands planning. The 0-100-0 claim from the Cobra is true, but measured, more than half of that time was spent BRAKING!!! And it took two feet on the pedal.

Do your research. This place has info on just about every brand of Cobra ever made.

Stay away from kits you find in someone's garage. Almost all are worth nothing more than the offer to remove them from the garage. Some the owner should pay to have hauled away.

Other kits are troublesome. If you're an experienced machine fabricator with auto body experience sure go for it. Otherwise you'll spend lots more on tools you'll only every use once and lots of other stuff, and remember, much of the assembly requires a helper, so unless you have a kid or a really good neighbor, you're going to need some help and as with many, the helpers soon time out. If you want a Cobra, buy a used sorted out one and drive it now instead of saving no money and waiting 5 years.

All of this advice and more has been given dozens of times in other Newbie topics. Review them.

Good luck.
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Old 03-13-2021, 01:31 PM
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Welcome to the madness. If you go to the Northwest Cobra club on the forums page and look for a guy they call alpha O2 whose real name is Tommy rot, tell him that Danr told you to get in touch and ask him any question you want and he'll have an answer. If he doesn't know he'll make one up.
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Old 09-11-2021, 12:26 PM
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Did you find one yet?

Being a former road racer, I would advise against tracking your Cobra, simply because bad stuff can happen on a race track no matter how careful you are.

Dale
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Old 09-11-2021, 01:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cdbrooke View Post
I am interested in learning... I know nothing but would love to learn (am a quick study).
That's refreshing; usually we hear "I know everything there is to know about everything."
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  #9 (permalink)  
Old 09-11-2021, 04:29 PM
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C.R.,

I'm partial to Superformance. The only comment I have one I got from a Kirkham owner, that being he wished he had got it painted rather than the polished aluminum look, because it was difficult to take care of, he thought paint would be easier. The other comment I got 2nd hand was that the the aluminum bodies can dent easily, and fiberglass is more forgiving. Just do you research and find what you are comfortable. There will always be some busy body prepared to tell you "you should have done this". Its your money. I will tell you factory built cars are going to be consistent from a quality standpoint, and kit cars built by who knows will require more careful scrutiny, maybe even the assistance of a professional to help evaluate the product. The later year Factory 5's I personally don't care for, but that is mainly has to do with the height of the roll bar. If you look at pictures of a Superformance Mark III and an F5 you will see what I am taking about. Mind you I have seen some early F5's that were really well prepared.

Regards,
Dale McBain
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PS- I'm a refuge from the Chain Lake Area.
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  #10 (permalink)  
Old 09-11-2021, 04:32 PM
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sorry, ..... misspelled "refugee"
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Old 09-13-2021, 03:55 PM
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Again, sit in and drive whatever you consider. I went with a Unique FIA. They have extended foot boxes that have more room.

My car was built in 1991 and tracked really hard for many years and had a full race roll cage. There are no stress cracks in the body and still drives true. Both side pipes are ground flat on the bottom.

I'm running approximately 420hp and 410tq in my car and can put it to the ground. Why have crazy numbers in an FE powered car you'll have to constantly be feathering to not break loose?

That's my 2c worth.
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Old 09-13-2021, 04:50 PM
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Quote:
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Again, sit in and drive whatever you consider.
I want to emphasize this. During my search I sat in many Cobras, and found their variation to be confusing. You do not get into a Cobra, you wear it, so you want to be sure it fits. That it fits YOU. In my case, the variation was over steering column angle and steering wheel position. At the most comfortable seat position the wheel rubbed on my lap.

Try on the car you're going to buy before you buy it. This means either a local purchase or perhaps an airline ticket.

You do get some credit for the factory rollers from SPF, Shelby, Kirkham, etc as they are factory built and have little variation. But for a true "kit" you need to be sure that you can wear it properly.

Good luck
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Old 09-13-2021, 04:55 PM
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A
I'm running approximately 420hp and 410tq in my car and can put it to the ground. Why have crazy numbers in an FE powered car you'll have to constantly be feathering to not break loose?
I concur with this as well. For the vast majority that want to drive a Cobra "on the street", the car you should get would be the small block (289) body. The 427 (all flavors) have way more horsepower than can be delivered to the rear wheels in most circumstances, and can break the rear end loose at the drop of a hat. It took some getting used to.

Another factor of the big block cars is that for street driving they are "underutilized". The engine really wants to operate at 4000+RPM, otherwise it feels like it wants the cobwebs blown out. I found myself rarely getting into 4th gear for normal driving and 5th (TKO600) was limited to freeway driving.
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