View Full Version : Still Deciding Which Replica

30-04-01, 10:49 AM
for anyone still considering which cobra replica to go for, take a look at A.K. Sportcars web page at http://www.cobrakits.co.uk.

30-04-01, 11:02 AM
Or GD at http://www.gdcars.com or Dax at http://www.daxcars.co.uk


Extremely Happy GD Owner

30-04-01, 11:51 AM

I'm thinking of going for an AK next (need to sell the Sumo first)

What do you think of the kit/service so far, just spoke to them on the phone, seem very helpfull.

Any opinions would be much appreciated.



30-04-01, 01:40 PM
I've recently completed my AK, I can't speak highly enough of the support I received from Ken and Dan and now the car is on the road I'm equally chuffed with the car.


30-04-01, 04:56 PM

See also comments under AK in 'Snake Watch' .

I collect my AK on Friday this week. The guys at AK are second to none and you MUST go to meet them, then you will have no doubts. It is a 1st class product as well - get a test drive. The lack of a build manual is a slight doubt, but there are NO problems getting advice on the phone,as I've already found out with dnor refurb and engine/transmission queries.

Add to that a very competitive price and you've got an ideal package and the knowledge that you've got something just a little bit different/special over the other marque owners [well,I think so anyway] All these things persuaded me to go for AK, so go and have a look. At worst, you'll have an enjoyable and interesting day out!

Best regards


30-04-01, 09:27 PM
I have decided on a ak for all of the reasons given, the guys are really helpful, more than prepared to show me all the work that goes into the kit and there real people with a real interest in the marque. I have to say that i think the product is very good and to quote a recent magazine review, may well be upthere with the very best in the market, i also slightly worry about the lack of build manual, but there is a vidoe,(which i havent seen) and this could be better than a book if put together properly, after my visit, (which was not my first to a cobra manufaturer) i left feeling totally confident in their ability to supply me with the kit i have always wanted, happy hunting!

01-05-01, 12:50 PM

You are obviously keen to promote the AK but I am curious why you describe it as "something a little different/special over the other marque owners". In my opinion as an engineer the AK is no different than most - a basic ladder chassis with a glass body shell fixed on top, in fact it is a replica of a replica since it evolved from the Dax.

Now if members want a car that is clearly different and special they should go and visit Gardner Douglas. From every angle you look over their GD427 you can see the car has been designed not just replicated. The body is a rubber mounted one piece tub that is easily removed from the chassis within an hour or two for better maintenance - a briliant feature if like me you like to look after the mechanics as much as the paintwork. What I also liked about their body is its completeness, what I mean is all the engine bay, inner wings, floor, front and rear bulkheads, boot and rear arches are all moulded in place along with the screen mounts and bonnet, boot and door hinge points. And I have to say, although I intend painting my GD in a pearl paint, the GD body doesn't need painting, their gel finishes are superb with the tightest flash lines I have seen, and I have been round them all!

Then there is the GD chassis, a work of art and extremely stiff. When I was taken for a test ride by Andy Burrows, apart from the unbelievable road holding, I was amazed how supple and smooth the car was over bumpy back lanes with no hint of scuttle shake or indeed any rattles or squeaks, this Andy explained was due to the stiffer chassis design alowing the suspension to be more supple and do it's job of soaking up the bumps. The ride was all the more impressive given the speed the car was driven, and with 475bhp under the bonnet I swear Andy was able to use it all and the car never stepped sideways or spun a wheel once - I have to say it was not what I was expecting as I had been misguided by AK to believe GD mainly make harsh race type cars that are not so good for road touring. I can tell you it is quite the opposite, in the last 11 years of trading, GD have only made 1 outright race car and that is the current one. The fact that they won two race seasons with their old blue demonstrator only goes to prove how good their road cars are. I later told Andy how different the cars was from what I expected and Andy quite rightly replied "well ignorance is bliss, the only way you will ever know what you are missing is to sample it yourself".

When we got back to the factory, where incidentally GD manufacture the body, chassis and most things in house, Andy showed me around and explained the car in detail and why he decided to take the plunge and start the development with a "fresh sheet of paper". Well full credit to him and GD, as today their cars have the highest respect in the industry and their success as a company shows it.

And by the way, Andy and all at GD are also thoroughly nice people. They have been producing a build video since 1990 and their technical support is also second to none.

Best regards,

A very, very satisfied GD'er building a masterpeice

01-05-01, 02:18 PM

Phew! You make some very valid points, but you have asked me why I said what I have said.

Yes, I am keen to promote AK, as I guess are other people who are satisfied [or satisfied so far] with their choice of kit [as indeed you are yourself in the case of GD]. I make no apologies for that.

When I set out to research kits some 12 months ago , I set out the following criteria for myself:

 Road/Touring, not race
 Jaguar suspension
 Ford V8 power
 Ease of build – I’m not a mechanic
 Anticipated overall spend
 Overall ‘look’
 Company demonstrator impression
 The people

-not necessarily in that order.

I had a good look at Dax down at Harlow and at Pilgrim, but I confess that I didn’t visit GD. The reason for this was that I did a comprehensive spreadsheet of overall cost, and although not on a breadline budget, the forecast cost of the GD was too high for me. In any event, I want the car for touring, I didn’t need a race-proven chassis or running gear.

I also had the same problem to some extent with the DAX, and I struggled to like the SUMO [ubiquitous] .

On the other hand, the AK seemed to offer just what I was looking for. The overall price was right for me, and the mechanics [remember, I’m not one!] seemed to be about as simple as you can get. The demonstrator looked superb with a high quality painted finish and had more than adequate grunt for my purposes, with tight cornering and impressive stability.

Most of all, Ken Dan and Jon gave me the confidence that I’d actually get the thing finished if I gave it a go, and I can’t stress the importance of that to someone who needs their confidence in car construction shoring up a little!

Incidentally, I stress that, at no time did AK slag off any of the competition in terms of race versus touring ; quite the reverse, they went out of their way to complement Brian Johns, Andy from GD and Den Tanner!

I cannot argue with the things that you say about GD, and nor would I want to. If I had some more money in the budget, I might have gone that way, and would probably have been happy with my choice. However, we are all different and I chose AK for the reasons mentioned above. So when people ask for an opinion, I am prepared to give it unconditionally – if the car suits me, then it might also suit someone else with my criteria or circumstances. People can then make their own mind up.

Finally, to answer your first point, why do I describe the AK “a little different/special”, I guess what I meant was that 1) the car is a small volume production car, and owning one is a bit special because of that, 2) Ken and the boys make it feel that way – you are special because you have chosen their car.

Yes, the GD is a very special car in its own right, and there will always be GD enthusiasts, but there will also always be AK, DAX, SUMO afficionados, and the rest, as well.

Best regards


01-05-01, 10:11 PM
Ok guys, time to inject my 2c.
I bought a prebuilt Sumo over 6 years ago,had a lot of fun, and used that time to research the replica market (from the inside - the best way). For me that Sumo was always to be a stepping stone for the future, and it suited my wallet at the time.
I decided to go for a very accurate replica - right down to the chassis. The only one that fulfilled this was the Crendon, so I saved my pennies for over three years before taking the plunge. Now my car is (just)on the road (although not yet painted cos I ran out of patience) and I do not regret my decision in any way.
One thing many people forget when they get into selecting a kit is to canvass the opinions of those who make a living reselling them. Ask them and they will tell you what moves out of their showrooms quickest, and for the best resale prices. I don't have the slightest intention of selling my car for many many years to come, but knowing what these guys told me assures me that I will get top dollar if I ever do.
I now have a car with superb road manners, unlikely to disgrace me (although I might disgrace it!) at track days either, and as faithful a replica as you can get in the UK.
Crendon being a low volume outfit meant that I got excellent help and advice during the build, even if John was a bit peeved when I decided not to go for a CLeveland (his favourite). In fact, he was the first to suggest, supply (and help me fit) lighter front springs for the car after he had tried it, down to the much lighter engine I fitted - made a good difference.
At the end of the day (sorry) it is all down to personal choice, but make sure you have sussed out all the choices first.


02-05-01, 12:06 AM
COR! that opened a can of worm`s .didn`t it? I posted the Web site address as until recently AK didn`t have a web site,and it does now, thought it wouldn`t hurt to let people see what`s out there,I am building an AK,I have nothing but good things to say about the AK,the people who sell it and the value for money it gives,Ito looked at all the main manufactures in england and test driven an awful lot of COBRA replicas,I`ve made the right choice.

02-05-01, 01:38 PM
>I had a good look at Dax down at Harlow and at Pilgrim, but I confess
>that I didn’t visit GD. The reason for this was that I did a
>comprehensive spreadsheet of overall cost, and although not on a
>breadline budget, the forecast cost of the GD was too high for me. In
>any event, I want the car for touring, I didn’t need a
>race-proven chassis or running gear.


I feel that you have missed the point. The GD isn't a race car, the car was designed and manufacturered for 5 years as a road car only. GD then decided to have a go at the racing side of things, and promptly won the series for 2 years. The majority of GD customers only use their cars for touring and not for racing and track days, I think that there are only about 2 or three of us that do use them for track days.

Lets talk about chassis, as that is what all our cars run on, and torsional rigidity. The more torsionally rigid you make the chassis, the softer you can make the springs which makes for a better ride. I am intentionally not discussing so called strong chassis because that is a misleading word, the word you need to understand is torsional rigidity. If you have a less torsional rigid chassis, you need stiffer springs to compensate for the chassis to regain the ride quality. If you have a look at the Mercedes for example, it has the best ride quality. This is due to the torsional rigidity of the chassis which enables it to run very soft springs. are you getting my drift??

On to costs for a GD. If you are building a Yank V8 based car, then you are probably talking about 20K for the final build. The parts for a top flight torsionally rigid GD are around 14K for all the parts including body etc. Add around 6 grand for the cost of the engine and gearbox and you can build one for around 20K.

The 14K is based on the prices from the GD website, and you can source and refurb a number of the parts yourself, which brings the price down. I am interested to know what you have budgeted for the build as based on the research I have done, you will be near 20K for your cob.

Did you also know that if you had been to AK, GD are only another 35 miles, about 30 minutes.