View Full Version : Building a Cobra replica at Canary Islands.

06-09-18, 08:03 PM
I got retired last year and decide to stay living in this fantastics islands.

This is a place where whether is not a problem, no rain, no hot, no cold, so I decided to get an open vehicle, first idea was a motorbike till I find a Shelby Cobra replica at an store display, I asked for the price and specs but they didn't much at all so started to look at the net.

The Cobras with a Spanish license plate are quite expensive, then I decided to import the needed parts from abroad, build the car locally and try to pass the certification procedure to get the plates.

The first step was to study the requirements from the Spanish authorities in order to meet them. It seems that main concerns have to do with gas emissions, noise and so on, well in Canary Islands distance is not a problem. Why not to use electrical motors instead?, this avoid all that stuff.

My purpose today is to import all the parts except the ones related to motor and transmission, put it together add just two electrical motors, control system and battery pack.

I need help in order to get such a set of materials and if some gentleman o lady wants to participate, please let me know.

Thanks for your time.

06-09-18, 08:15 PM
You’ll get nothing but help here, what do you need to know?

06-09-18, 09:47 PM
First question is ¿where could I find the body, frame and other parts, at reasonable prices?.

06-09-18, 11:18 PM
If you are building an electric car you will need a heavy duty controller. They operate at some fairly lethal currents/voltages, so be sure you know what you are doing. Fitting a petrol engine is rather easier by comparison, unless you already have engineering expertise in this area.
If you look on the Formula Student website you shouod be able to find some useful information on this.

May be useful starting points:

07-09-18, 02:03 AM
Sure KevinW, I got an Engineering degree in Industrial Electronics a lot of years ago, no problem about, anyway additional info will be welcomed.

In fact I already got an offer from a company who builds electric motors and control system for vehicles, that is not going to be a problem either.

07-09-18, 04:37 PM
An Electric Cobra? Forgive me but what is the point!


07-09-18, 04:43 PM
An Electric Cobra? Forgive me but what is the point!

20 years time, that's all you're going to be allowed anyway..

07-09-18, 05:32 PM
Hi Leon,

Electric is here and will be the future . Hydrogen cars are not being promoted due to the oil companies. As you say getting over the emissions is the problem. I know someone who registered there British car in Spain and they had issues even as a standard build to get Spain plates following tow bar removal , headlights swapped at 500 euro !. They finally got it through on the third go as some Spanish inspected said parts on the car was not standard and they had to get proof from the U.K. dealership manufacturer .

The body and chassis suppliers in the Uk

AKSports Cars https://www.aksportscars.co.uk/
Crendon www.crendon-cars.co.uk/story.htm
Dax - https://www.jksportscars.co.uk/dax-427
GD - Gardner Douglas https://www.gdcars.com/
Hawk Cars www.hawkcars.co.uk/
Pilgrim https://www.pilgrim-motorsports.co.uk
Superformance UK http://www.superformanceuk.com

I think this is a comprehensive list but chip in if I missed any guys

It all depends on budgets as they do vary . The Superformance is interesting as its USA base out let in U.k.

I would say AK and GD are the most popular and Dax have changed ownership in the last 12 months but the suppliers are well know in Benelux country.

Some supply a rolling chassis and this would be easier to ship in one or trailer plus all the parts kits they supply to complete .

08-09-18, 11:08 AM
An Electric Cobra? Forgive me but what is the point!


There is no point to drive a car with a huge motor in an small island, this is not UK, is just Canary Islands, you risk to get out of the island very easily.
On the other hand, the only problem of electric car is how far they can reach on a single battery charge, maximum distance here is 60 Kms, small an cheap battery will fit..
Mountains are a problem, there are a lot of mountains all around. Petrol car do not recover any petrol going downhill but electric car recharge battery.
Yes, pollution is not a local problem but petrol fumes goes to pollute somewhere else.

08-09-18, 11:10 AM
Thanks a lot jon1d, it helps a lot.
I will contact those links as soon as possible.

03-10-18, 04:10 PM
I got several quotation from Cobra part suppliers, thanks again jon1d for yr help.
The feedback is a surprise for me, I was stating clearly than I will not need engine, transmission nor any other stuff linked to them. Let say cooling and exhaust system, fuel tank, engine supports etc. it seems difficult to understand what to eliminate and what to keep.
On the other hand some unexpected difficulties arises, even for some system not directly linked to engine itself.
1,- Brakes usually take power from vacuum at the engine manifold, but there is no manifold in electric motors.
2.- Power steering takes power from an hydraulic pump propelled by engine running, but on electric cars when still, there is not running motor to propel the pump so no power steering when most needed.
3.- Dashboard gauges for electric cars are not compatible with petrol cars, even the speedometer doesn't work the same way.
Any ideas about how to solve the above problems and advise on unexpected ones will be welcomed.
Thanks in advance.

03-10-18, 04:19 PM
1 run brakes without a servo. Like race cars.

2 run without power steering, most cobras do. Could bodge an electric power steering rack & column from a scrapped car I guess.

3 run a gps driven speedo.

03-10-18, 04:52 PM
My thoughts on the above points:

1. I thought most electric motors run inductive braking - have you looked at this?
2. You dont need power assisted steering, unless you are physically disabled, weak or a bit lazy.
3. Speedos can work on magnets on the prop shaft (could be adapted to a disc with magnets on a drive wheel) or via cable drive at the gearbox. The latter requires a cog to tee off something that provide wheel rotations.
As for other gauges, ammeters and voltmeters are the same, although the ranges needed will be different - most gauge manufacturers can print a new gauge artwork. You wont need engine temperature, although i suspect you will need to know the temperature of your battery pack.
I dont see why it would be difficult to fit a suitable sensor. As for tacho - may be redundant on a direct drive car with 100% torque available throughout the rev range, unless you are considering an overdrive option.

Happy Jim
03-10-18, 06:31 PM
2. Fit EPAS from a Vauxhall Corsa - easy peasy


04-10-18, 06:10 PM
I agree, assisted steering and brakes are not a requirement as this car is not heavy at all.

For dashboard I am thinking to use digital displays or some kind of electronic old-fashioned gauges, on-board computer will have a place somewhere under the hood, to take care of them.

On the other hand ¿rear or front wheel drive?, rear drive is more easy to mount, and classic cars are mostly RWD, but not Cobra. I do have the chance to mount two motors at the rear and leave the full front for batteries and may be mount two additional motors at the front sometime after to get a 4WD, ¿Would be the first 4WD Cobra replica?.

04-10-18, 06:52 PM
Hi Leon,

Just back from a week in Tenerife 30c every day how I envy you as its cobra driving weather almost every day .

As people say Vauxhall Corsa B is a EPAS system making light work of steering and also eliminates some bumping through direct steering . I manage o.k. without it for 20 years but if your parking a lot and have difficult places to maneuvering then you might reconsider as it will be a lot easier to install at the build stage. Most Dax owners go the Corsa route and AK went pump system but each can be fitted as to what you want to build.

If your recharging the battery system on deceleration you will get deceleration when slowing down on power transfer . You could always fit a vacuum pump and drive this off speed sensors relating to speed . Prop shaft or crank speed sensors are available and easy to fit. Giving you vacuum to drive EPAS and brakes.

All Cobras are rear wheel drive and there was a 4x4 cosworth kit using ford drive train in early RAM's . With the amount of torque I would look to drive front and back with a system to look at power transfer . The problem is traction only driving the rear wheels and your car to be generating lots of low end torque off the line.
Battery cars have low center of gravity but can be very heavy unless your looking at a short range vehicle which I guess you will be ?

22-10-18, 03:06 PM
Aha, someone else with same idea. I started a new thread (http://www.cobraclub.com/forum/showthread.php?t=60780&p=581839#post581839) about this.

I don't see instrumentation being a problem at all. No need for tacho and electronic speedo can be run off anything that moves. Most other gauges would be superfluous. Apart from 'fuel gauge'. Instead of it showing liquid level in a tank, it would need to show battery charge level. I don't think any of that would be difficult.

As I see it, mounting/fitting motor and batteries is the big issue. What and where being the questions that need answering.

28-10-18, 11:08 PM
It’s a pity there isn’t a Tesla shop in the Canaries I think Lisbon is the nearest, they usually have a chassis on display which would help you visualise how they package the motors and battery pack.

https://www.tesla.com/en_GB/models Has a couple of floor plan shots further down the page to give you an idea


Lloyd Barnes
11-01-20, 09:44 AM
Re your vacuum source For your brakes, as others have said you don’t really need it. However if you want to add a servo you can get a vacuum pump. They tend to be used on cars that have pretty hairy cams as they don’t produce much vacuum.