: Has Anyone Here Built Their Own Car?



BBV
02-24-07, 12:19 AM
I am about to pull the trigger on a Factory Five Cobra replica.

The combination of a 400 to 500 + hp crate motor in a less than 2100 lb chassis / body is way too tempting.

I will also have the opportunity to spend time with my Son building our own car which would be priceless for sure.

The Tony Show
02-24-07, 12:24 AM
It should be an awesome experience for both of you, and a car sure to get lots of looks and be a blast to drive.

Be warned however: A friend of mine has a 427 Cobra replica, and it's borderline undriveable. Handles like crap, and will break the tires loose at any speed if you're below 4th gear.

Come to think of it....that sounds awesome! :D

BBV
02-24-07, 12:38 AM
It should be an awesome experience for both of you, and a car sure to get lots of looks and be a blast to drive.

Be warned however: A friend of mine has a 427 Cobra replica, and it's borderline undriveable. Handles like crap, and will break the tires loose at any speed if you're below 4th gear.

Come to think of it....that sounds awesome! :D

Sounds like your friend’s Cobra is exactly what I want to build.

Stupid quick and fast with good brakes.

There are plenty of suspension options but I just want an insane power/torque to weight ratio to start with.

Dennisscars
02-24-07, 12:39 AM
No, but I've got one being built.. I'm trying the "less time building, more time tracking with son(s)" route this time.

two seater Atom 300 hp 1,200 lbs 0-60 2.8..wheee....

I ordered one after I saw this..
http://video.google.com/url?docid=5579608848106983187&esrc=gvpl&ev=v&q=radical+vs+atom&vidurl=http://video.google.com/videoplay%3Fdocid%3D5579608848106983187%26q%3Dradi cal%2Bvs%2Batom&usg=AL29H23bBAGyEDOQatdAEuXnEq-UNoAvKw

BBV
02-24-07, 01:01 AM
No, but I've got one being built.. I'm trying the "less time building, more time tracking with son(s)" route this time.

two seater Atom 300 hp 1,200 lbs 0-60 2.8..wheee....

I ordered one after I saw this..
http://video.google.com/url?docid=5579608848106983187&esrc=gvpl&ev=v&q=radical+vs+atom&vidurl=http://video.google.com/videoplay%3Fdocid%3D5579608848106983187%26q%3Dradi cal%2Bvs%2Batom&usg=AL29H23bBAGyEDOQatdAEuXnEq-UNoAvKw

Awesome car for sure. My Son wants an Atom in the worst way. So do I!

I want a big block push rod V8 and since I write the checks I win.

Your Atom is for sure the best bang for the buck track car available today.
You will spank all comers.

Dennisscars
02-24-07, 01:11 AM
Big block certainly wins the "sounds coolest" award. Ecotec leaves something to be desired on sound, save the mini maggie whine.. but damn... 300hp with 2.0L. Wait till StealthV gets done with it...

My advise get it prefab'd as much as you can afford. Wife, garage space, $ all get short before project completes..

BBV
02-24-07, 02:12 AM
Big block certainly wins the "sounds coolest" award. Ecotec leaves something to be desired on sound, save the mini maggie whine.. but damn... 300hp with 2.0L. Wait till StealthV gets done with it...

My advise get it prefab'd as much as you can afford. Wife, garage space, $ all get short before project completes..

I have another factor in my plan…… My Wife.
My Wife approves of the idea of my Son and I building our own car.
While I know with time I can persuade her that we should have an Atom, ZO6, GT3 etc..
The path of least resistance and mutual compromise has been proven in 25 years of marriage to be the best course. She has already decided on the paint color.

heavymetals
02-24-07, 02:39 AM
I feel like I am building a car everytime I mod the V!:thepan:

I knew a guy that had one of those kits (the only one) in Hong Kong.

Chef
02-24-07, 10:51 AM
Bill,

There a few guys with my club that have built Atoms and Cobras. The below was just dynoed last Saturday. Is yours coming out of Australia?


475 rwhp
(Shelby Signed)
1965 SPF Shelby Cobra
Roush 427R-095
basic bolt on mods

http://i93.photobucket.com/albums/l78/ChefsVenom/475_3_wheel_HP.jpg


http://video.google.com/videoplay?do...790&q=pir+race (http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=1320787401379999790&q=pir+race)
This one is called "The Monster" that runs at PIR....

rand49er
02-24-07, 11:10 AM
... My Wife approves of the idea of my Son and I building our own car. ...I gotta start seeding that idea in my wife's head. :highfive:

Dennisscars
02-24-07, 11:52 AM
I have another factor in my plan…… My Wife.
My Wife approves of the idea of my Son and I building our own car.
While I know with time I can persuade her that we should have an Atom, ZO6, GT3 etc..
The path of least resistance and mutual compromise has been proven in 25 years of marriage to be the best course. She has already decided on the paint color.
They must just give up after 25. We just past 25 as well. We took a trip in the V up to OR to check out the plant before we plunked down a deposit. They let me test drive their mule (smart move on their part) even took the wife around the block. And like yours, picked out the color. She said if I have to watch you drive around the track (team photographer) I get to pick the color.

Here of late she's even wanted to ride along in the V a few session at the last few events, I don't think she would have signed off if it didn't have two seats.

We've turned into a family event with my wife driving the Dmax pulling a camper trailer with me in the V and my son along in the goat.

Already planning the national atom get together in Tulsa in Oct.
http://s66.photobucket.com/albums/h269/SuperCobraBuilders/AtomFest/?action=view&current=Bored.flv

50 4Ever
02-24-07, 07:03 PM
Holy $#(% ... Looks like it will be a blast.

Look at this (http://www.openwheelers.com.au/videos/5th_Gear_Ariel_Atom_segment_20MB.mpg)

:bouncy: I wanna ride

BBV
02-24-07, 09:18 PM
Is yours coming out of Australia?

I need to do a lot more research before any kit becomes mine.



The videos do a great job if illustrating how totally different the two cars are.

Dennisscars
02-24-07, 11:26 PM
I want a ride after 50 ..:bouncy:

lawfive
02-24-07, 11:28 PM
Dennis how much will your GN be going for?

Dennisscars
02-24-07, 11:34 PM
Haven't decided, hopefully a number that I won't miss it once it's gone.. I should make room before the Atom gets here.. but I've said that for the last 5 cars that showed up.

Sold a '71 Chevelle SS 454 cowl induction that wound up on the Edelbrock wheels web page and I get ill every time I see it.

Sorry for the Jack BBV

Silver Dollar
02-25-07, 01:28 PM
Factory 5 is the low end of the 427 replicas but most affordable. It just depends what you want. If you're looking for an authentic re creation of the 60's legend, look elsewhere.

I have an ERA with a 428 Cobra Jet in it. There's nothing else like a 90" wheel base car that weighs 2400 lbs with 500 hp. Better have the front wheels pointed straight when you hit the loud pedal :)

BBV
02-26-07, 09:25 PM
Factory 5 is the low end of the 427 replicas but most affordable. It just depends what you want. If you're looking for an authentic re creation of the 60's legend, look elsewhere.

I have an ERA with a 428 Cobra Jet in it. There's nothing else like a 90" wheel base car that weighs 2400 lbs with 500 hp. Better have the front wheels pointed straight when you hit the loud pedal :)

Thanks for the info Silver Dollar.
Our main criteria are a well built chassis that can handle 500+ hp, something my Son and I can build fairly quickly and at a reasonable cost ~35k.
For our first go we are not looking for a nut and bolt correct recreation, we just want a ground pounding Hot Rod!

RunningOnEMT
02-26-07, 09:27 PM
It should be an awesome experience for both of you, and a car sure to get lots of looks and be a blast to drive.

Be warned however: A friend of mine has a 427 Cobra replica, and it's borderline undriveable. Handles like crap, and will break the tires loose at any speed if you're below 4th gear.

Come to think of it....that sounds awesome! :D

my friend's dad has an all aluminum hotcammed 454 stroker in his CSX4100 ...

runs dumps out the side

and hoosier race tires year round

suprane1
02-27-07, 01:47 AM
My dad and I built a Butler Cobra, with a Chevrolet LS7 454 Big Block crate motor, a racing automatic transmission, and a Jaguar independant rear end. This car is unbelievable. The engine is rated at 465 hp and ran 10.5 second 1/4 mile at the Ennis, Tx drag strip. The car was so fast we were banned from making any more runs because we did not have a full body roll cage, neck guards and all the other safety requirements for a car that was this fast. It was amazing to outrun dragsters, just an unbelievably fast and fun car.

BBV
02-27-07, 02:29 PM
My dad and I built a Butler Cobra, with a Chevrolet LS7 454 Big Block crate motor, a racing automatic transmission, and a Jaguar independant rear end. This car is unbelievable. The engine is rated at 465 hp and ran 10.5 second 1/4 mile at the Ennis, Tx drag strip. The car was so fast we were banned from making any more runs because we did not have a full body roll cage, neck guards and all the other safety requirements for a car that was this fast. It was amazing to outrun dragsters, just an unbelievably fast and fun car.


This and some of the other comments above get my blood pumping and put a smile on my face.

The common denominator especially with the big block cars is stupid quick / fast and that suits me just fine.

MWD
03-08-07, 07:04 PM
I built a Factory Five. It is an excellent chassis, probably at least 50% stiffer than the original. The cost savings is in the donor approach and the sweat equity potential of the fit and finish. It is very streetable out of the box, but to be more of a track car, you need to do some upgrades.

I got a little carried away and over-built mine. At this high a level of performance I feel a little uncomfortable being 'out in the open' so to speak.
In hindsight, a used Z06 setup for track duty would be good bang for the buck. You can get the C5s down close to 3000lbs, and the LS6 can put down the power!

http://www.michaelandjulie.com/pics/cobra/track/th04-4sm.jpg

Michael

BBV
03-11-07, 08:58 PM
Michael,
You are absolutely correct a gently used C5 ZO6 would make a fine track car and when the weather stinks it has a roof and windows, a big plus for sure.

I’ve put together a preliminary bill of materials for a 525 hp Factory Five Mark III with independent rear suspension, coil overs all around, etc, etc, all new parts, (no donor crate or car) and I am still under the cost of a used C5 ZO6.

As I have said before I really like the idea of building a car from the ground up with my Son.
In the end it may not be the best track car per dollars spent however as you know the satisfaction of driving a car built with your own hands is priceless.

Your FFR Cobra looks amazing!
I am going to use two roll bars as well. Although I prefer the look of the single hoop, I cannot, will not leave a passenger unprotected.

Thanks for your input. I would be interested in the specs. of your FFR Roadster.

-Bill

f2000keith
03-12-07, 12:35 AM
My dad was a Contemporary Cobra dealer for a number of years in the late 80s and early 90s. Contemporary and ERA were top kits about 15 years ago, but I've lost touch with the current "who's who" of Cobra kits. We owned 3 of them.

1) Blue with a Chevy 454
2) Red built to original spec with a Ford 427
3) Forest Green with a Chevy 502 reworked by Lingenfelter (produced 500hp with 500 lb/ft of torque)

All three were absolutely violent cars, but the second and third car had a Watts Link rear suspension setup which took the unpredictable dartiness out of the car with such a short wheelbase.

My dad had sold them all in order to perpetuate the buying of more toys, but I still would love to be able to have a Cobra in my stable someday. The car wasn't as practical as most people with only one toy would like, but it was one hell of a ride.

BBV
03-12-07, 04:45 PM
Thanks for your input.

There are a number of things that have pushed me into the Factory Five Camp.
1) The chassis: While not a reproduction of the original other than dimensionally, from what I have been told by current and past owners it is as stiff or stiffer than anything out there, go kart stiff. The body adds nothing to structural rigidity and is simply a “shell” that covers the chassis.
2) Reputation: Every person I have spoken with tells me the same thing. Customer service is beyond reproach. I have been told FFR has sold more roadster kits than all of their competitors combined.
3) Quality of the kit: My Doctor who has built two, tells me that everything fits with little to no grinding, welding, fabricating, etc.
4) Cost: Nothing to add other than I’m going to get an awful lot of steel, aluminum and fiberglass for the money.

Should be fun.

Silver Dollar
03-13-07, 09:19 AM
I would agree with all of that.

I chose my ERA Cobra because I was looking for a "replica" of the original Cobra. I wanted the feeling of driving a go cart with a 7 liter big block V8 without paying for the "original" experience.

By the way, my Cobra's side pipes have no baffles. In comparison, it makes my V with x pipe and single chamber flowmasters sound like a new born kitten.

(insert evil laugh here)

MWD
03-14-07, 06:04 PM
I chose my ERA Cobra because I was looking for a "replica" of the original Cobra. I wanted the feeling of driving a go cart with a 7 liter big block V8 without paying for the "original" experience.


The Kirkham is the only true 'replica' of the original, and of the course the CSX 4000 series which Shelby 'discovered' in the misplaced warehouse...:rolleyes:

The ERA is very much a replica from a visual perspective, but uses a different chassis (and often Chevy drivetrain). It is pretty solid with heavy rectangular tubing and extra care is taken with the fiberglass body buildup to ensure longevity.

The FFR has gained huge popularity because it is affordable and the light weight yet very rigid chassis is fun to drive for autocross/road course. It is probably 250 lbs lighter than the ERA. I had a friend help me with the uncrating, and just the two of us were able to grab the bumpers and carry the chassis, body and aluminum panels as a unit up the driveway into the garage.

Michael

MWD
03-14-07, 06:42 PM
Michael,
I’ve put together a preliminary bill of materials for a 525 hp Factory Five Mark III with independent rear suspension, coil overs all around, etc, etc, all new parts, (no donor crate or car) and I am still under the cost of a used C5 ZO6.


The IRS is a good choice. I highly recommend it to everyone.



As I have said before I really like the idea of building a car from the ground up with my Son.
In the end it may not be the best track car per dollars spent however as you know the satisfaction of driving a car built with your own hands is priceless.


Yes, indeed! That is my fatal flaw. I enjoy building/designing as much as driving. My oldest was not even 2 when I finished mine... ummm make that when I got it registered.... they never really are finished are they...



Your FFR Cobra looks amazing!
I am going to use two roll bars as well. Although I prefer the look of the single hoop, I cannot, will not leave a passenger unprotected.

Thanks for your input. I would be interested in the specs. of your FFR Roadster.


Thanks! Fortunately I didn't paint it, which is probably why it looks good.:)

Drivetrain:
408W with FMS roller cam block, TFS Racing heads & EFI manifold.
I cut open the intake and rewelded to fit the 86mm TB under the hood.
Comp Cams XE282HR.
Custom headers to match the bigger exhaust ports. (If I did it again I would just use the biggest AFR heads with stock flanges).
Tremec TKO 5speed, with mid-shifter.
Aluminum flywheel with 11" McLeod clutch, hydraulic TOB & scattershield.
Torsen differential with 3.27 gears.

Suspension:
IRS
Tubular lower control arms.
Koni double adjustable monotubes.
650lb springs front/rear.
No sway bars.
Steed Ultralight 17"x9" wheels
Nitto 275/40 17 drag race tires (the compliant sidewalls do just fine at the track with with lightweight FFR)

Brakes:
2000 Cobra R brakes front/rear (Brembo 4 piston up front)
2-pc rotors front/rear
Tilton adjustable balance dual masters & pedals

Fuel:
Custom Fuel Safe aluminum tank with bladder.
Aeromotive external pump.
Aeromotive fuel rails with 42lb injectors.

Michael

Silver Dollar
03-15-07, 09:20 AM
The ERA is very much a replica from a visual perspective, but uses a different chassis (and often Chevy drivetrain). It is pretty solid with heavy rectangular tubing and extra care is taken with the fiberglass body buildup to ensure longevity.

Michael

You're right...but not quite.

The ERA does use a ladder frame vs. the Kirkham which uses a space frame like the original. Kirkham also uses an aluminum body like the original. It's also much more expensive.

Where you're wrong is on the Chevy drivetrain. The ERA is designed for a Ford Big Block (FE series) with a Ford Top Loader Trans and Jag/Salsbury rear end.

They will customize their design for a Chevy drive train, but they will HIGHLY discourage you from doing it. Out of over 800 built I've only heard of 1 having a chevy motor.

I'll also say that the Factory Five is set up to run a small block ford motor. You can get a big block, but it's the exception rather than the norm.

MWD
03-16-07, 01:21 PM
You're right...but not quite.

The ERA does use a ladder frame vs. the Kirkham which uses a space frame like the original. Kirkham also uses an aluminum body like the original. It's also much more expensive.


The Kirkham base kit costs more, but it includes many things that aren't included in the ERA base kit. If you add them up, the difference is pretty small, and you would have an aluminum bodied Cobra... way cool.

ERA items needed to compare to Kirkham:
Wiper System $430
Steering Column $450
Steering Wheel $200
Steering Rack $400
Leather Seats $600
Seat belts $250
Ebrake $300
Powder coated frame $900
Bond body to chassis $700
Labor to assemble rolling chassis $900
Pin drive Wheels $4000
Tires $600?
Front competition brakes $1200
Rear competition brakes $800 ??
Front springs & shocks $600
Rear springs & shocks $650
Exhaust $850
Aluminum bodied cobra..... $priceless




Where you're wrong is on the Chevy drivetrain. The ERA is designed for a Ford Big Block (FE series) with a Ford Top Loader Trans and Jag/Salsbury rear end.

They will customize their design for a Chevy drive train, but they will HIGHLY discourage you from doing it. Out of over 800 built I've only heard of 1 having a chevy motor.


The ERA has a generic mounting system, and they stock mounts for Ford and Chevy engines, as well as a variety of transmissions including Tremec, Richmond and Ford automatics. There is no need to modify the frame to install these which is a unique feature of the ERA (most other vendors weld in the bracketry). It isn't really a detracting feature that the chassis can accept a variety of drivetrain options. It is just that using a more conventional chassis design (for 70s era) which allows this flexibility induces a weight penalty for maintaining a certain level of torsional rigidity. To ERAs credit they can provide perhaps the cheapest 289 FIA option since the chassis is mostly common between 427 & 289, and allows for an undercar exhaust.

The main reason that Chevy ERAs have been converted back to Ford is because they would not sell without the FE motor.



I'll also say that the Factory Five is set up to run a small block ford motor. You can get a big block, but it's the exception rather than the norm.

The latest version of the FFR roadster can be used with the Windsor motors, the FE motors, the newer big block crate motors and the modular motors. The Windsor motor is the most popular because it is the lightest smallers & cheapest option, and they can easily be built to put out 500+ hp and ft-lbs. The aftermarket aluminum blocks are probably even as light/compact as an LSx motor.

Some guys just really want a giant motor. Of course there really isn't anything like the sound of a 500+ ci motor. Personally my favorite tunes are a V12 and a Ducati desmo V-twin, but neither of those would work that well in a Cobra...

Michael

Silver Dollar
03-16-07, 04:00 PM
Michael, the only point I differed with you on was where you said the ERA "often has a chevy drivetrain".

That's incorrect, unless "often" has recently been changed to mean "hardley ever". If it has I didn't get the memo :).