View Full Version : Buying Advice

17-08-04, 07:06 PM
I've been interested in kit cars ever since I first saw a Nova when I was about 12. I've been thinking of buying a cobra for about a year now.

Ideally it would be a Blue Dax, silver stripes (very original!), creme interior, 17'' halibrands, twin single hoops, 351 V8 but hereís the kickerÖ.I donít have a garage. I could not sleep at night knowing that was on the drive.

My best option probably to go for an entry level V6 Sumo still in Gel Coat. I've seen a couple advertised around the 7-8k mark which seems like a reasonable price. Iíd be happy to stick a car cover over that, then if Iíve still got the bug after a year, build a garage, and buy another one.

So here are a few questions for youÖ.

The main reason I want a cobra is performance, so what can I expect from a V6. Am I going to be disappointed? I'm happy to make changes to the car aesthetics but I don't want to mod the engine. If I need to do that then I'd rather go bigger to start with. Iíve driven a TT (I believe it was 180hp) and was not all that impressed with the acceleration. Iím not looking for a track car, but it does have to put a smile on my face.

My wife hates the sidepipes and would not even try to get into the couple we have been to see (that may be an advantage!). What's the clearance like on under slung exhausts. It must be nothing as the ride height seems to be about 4 inches as standard.

Iíve seen some sumoís where the track looks a little wide. By that I mean that the wheels are not as concave as I would expect, and seem to be compensating for a wide track to keep the wheels under the arches. Would these be Granada based cars?

Thanks in advance for you replies!

PS I was at the European Fast Car show on SaturdayÖ.. nice doughnuts!

17-08-04, 07:50 PM
If you felt that an Audi TT was inadequate then I'm pretty sure you'll be disappointed with a Sumo V6. :-(
Even a stock RV8 may not give you the thrill you want. :mad:
I suggest you blag a ride in as many Cobras as you can of different types to get a feel for it. :thumb:
If you have a local meet go along I'm sure the guys will oblige you with a ride.
I know with Plod and CrendonMan it's any excuse to show off. :rolleyes:
Not like me who's always well behaved. :angel:

17-08-04, 07:52 PM

I can only speak on the ground clearance issue and I can safely say that underslungs are a real pain on a Dax and for me to say that it must be bad (for me it was underslungs or nothing).

But now that I've had them I very close to changing them as I'm doing a 3 day classic car run around Sussex in aid of a childrens hospice (Richard Houes Trust) and I think the underlusngs will be a no go :( :(

By the way my De Dion's up for sale but sadly not a 351 (or V6) :p

17-08-04, 08:01 PM
Mike , do I gather that Roger hasn't been able to lift them up much then?
Or has he not had chance yet? :mad:

17-08-04, 08:01 PM
The audi is quite a heavy car at around 1450kgs so the 180bhp model is prob not that impressive,I think most pilgrims weigh in at about 1000kgs
you probably will be dissapointed with the performance of the v6,although a nice noise can still be obtained from them with a decent exhaust system,a mates father recently sold a tvr s3 which sounded lovely,and was quite pokey with the cologne v6,not sure on the power output maybe around 180bhp?
you might be better off looking for a rover v8 powered car with around the 180 to 200 bhp mark for decent performance,with the noise to match
underslungs do hinder the ground clearence,i think there is around 5 inches on the gd,which easily clears most speed ramps and so far i have had no problems

17-08-04, 09:25 PM

It's due to go back to Roger in 3 weeks but this is cutting it tight for the Rallye de Richarde and it may just be easier and maybe quicker to just convert to side pipes.

Oh yeah, the Dax has about 3 and a smigden inches of clearance with the underslungs fitted at the correct height :-(

17-08-04, 09:38 PM
Paul hi,

I was one of the tossers who went mowing the lawns in the arena with my son. I have underslungs if you noticed. Mine was the almost black one with none of that boy racer white stripe stuff:) on it and also the one that looked the best, sounded the best, did more spins than anyone else, and was driven by a much better looking bloke than the others.

Whereabouts are you? I'd be willing to teach you the benefits of V8 (chevy, not Ford) with underslungs..

I do joke mate. I am biased to its nth degree about V8' and underslungs. Pls have a good think about yr engine choice.

My underslungs give me somewhere just over 3 inches of clearance. Quite honestly, the lower scoop at the front of the body is lower but I dont mind damaging that occasionally. However, the exhausts are at their most vulnerable somewhere just behind the front wheels. I've done 3500 miles and they're still on.

Tell us where you are mate


18-08-04, 06:51 PM
The reddish/brown car in the show ring on Saturday was a Pilgrim V6.

Come on down to the East Kent Coast Cobra Meet on the first Tuesday of the month - that car is guaranteed to be there as it belongs to the area rep - I'm sure he'll take you out and prove that V6 can provide more than enough acceleration.

Mind you I'm biased - mine has a V6 too (not yet on the road)

18-08-04, 07:41 PM
Thanks for the replies....I might have to consider a V8, but as the weight of the cobra is 60% of a TT a 150-160 bhp Cobra must be reasonably quick. Does anybody have 0-60 times for their cobras, or better still 50-70.

N20COB, I live in the walderslade (chatham) Kent area

I'm very concered about the clearance as I live on a steep hill. The entrance to my drive has a hump where the camber changes from the hill to my flat drive. It used to scrape some normal cars exhausts, so last year I dug out the concrete and put in a lower hump, but I suspect it could still be a real problem with underslung exhausts. I'll probably try measuring the clearance on my car, then drive over the hump and see how far it reduces. It sounds like if the difference is more than 3 inches I'll have to go with side pipes.


Where is the East Kent Coast Meet, I'll try to get along.

18-08-04, 08:01 PM
How realistic it this acceleration calculator? Anybody who knows their Cobras weight, power, and 0-60 give it a try.

I know 0-60 times are are not the best way to look at acceleration, but at least if its accurate I can compare it to cars I've driven.


I've actually driven the current MR2 (about the same weight as a Cobra) as mentioned on the site. 138bhp 0-60 in 8 seconds......totaly unimpressed.

18-08-04, 08:21 PM
I owned a V6 essex engined Pilgrim for about a year. It did what it said on the box and I had loads of fun with it, but for me it was not the car. The Pilgrim does sit a little higher at the back and with underslungs I had to reverse it down my drive. My reason for moving on from this was my own fault in the fact I bought the car and it was not a very good build (lots of problems).
If you had been at paddock wood you would have seen my present car(SRV8) being expertly driven by me(the one with the really really wide white stripe and the only one to have a real woman sitting in the car) all the others were just driving like women.
Back to the point if you want underslungs then get them. My point being is what ever you decide on make sure it is properly and well built otherwise your dream will instantly be destroyed. Go for as much as you can safely afford.
Good luck

aka Billy no mates
That should stir em up a bit.

Grease Monkey
18-08-04, 10:01 PM
If you can scrape together a spare £26k, you should really go for the only manufacturuer to push underslungs as the way to go, GD. More perfomance, less burnt ankles :D :D

On the clearance front, its not so much down to ground clearance as projection beyond the wheel base. I've had a GD with underslungs drive around to my garage without much of a problem, My Lotus, which had a similar vertical clearance of 4" scraped the front valance every time because it projected so far forward of the front wheels.

Go rob a bank and get a GD :-}

18-08-04, 10:44 PM
Thanks for the replies....I might have to consider a V8, but as the weight of the cobra is 60% of a TT a 150-160 bhp Cobra must be reasonably quick. Does anybody have 0-60 times for their cobras, or better still 50-70.

Paul - Just look at the real thing for a guide. The AC289 weighed about the same as most replicas eg around 1066kg (21cwt) unladen and had a Ford 289 hipo engine 271bhp and 312lb ft torque. It achieved 0-60 in 5.6 seconds in a Motor test back in '67 topping out at 135mph. 50-70 took 4.3 seconds in 4th and 3.5 in 3rd. Modern tyres will definitely get you better traction off the line compared with whatever it was tested on so you can probably shave that 0-60 time down a tad.

Before I bought my AK I was convinced I needed a 350 block with at least 350bhp - I ended up getting a 289 with power figures much closer to the original AC289 and believe me, it's pretty fast off the line :D

Hope this helps.........

18-08-04, 10:52 PM
Before I bought my AK I was convinced I needed a 350 block with at least 350bhp - I ended up getting a 289 with power figures much closer to the original AC289 and believe me, it's pretty fast off the line :D

Hope this helps......... Smash, you might be happy with a 289, I was happy with a 355 with 360bhp, which is very fast off the line, only problem is, the more you have the more you want. :D :D

19-08-04, 12:03 AM

Must be folk who might offer out a test run for you. I'd be willing to meet upif you can make anywhere closer to the sth coast.

Who knows, you might even end up buying mine. it is for sale.. hee hee.


19-08-04, 03:43 AM
Don't buy it, I saw it being used to plough fields last weekend :rolleyes:

19-08-04, 06:54 AM
At last he has found a use for those under slung exhaust pipes :finger: :finger:

19-08-04, 07:02 AM
Paul - I see you're in Kent - if you get yourself along to The Grasshopper, Westerham, Kent, A25, on Sunday, Midday - I'm sure someone would be happy to give you a spin ;)

19-08-04, 07:28 AM
Paul - If you want to build your own, you could always rent a garage. That's what I'm doing!

19-08-04, 05:04 PM
Paul - not sure if this is too steep for you but one hell of a lot of car for the money:


350 RAM for £12995?! Just ignore the 180mph bit though, eh?

19-08-04, 06:12 PM

East Kent Coast meet 1st Tuesday of each month at the Burger King just off junction 13 of the M20 - that's the last junction before the tunnels.

Off the m'way and start following signs for Folkestone - turn right at the first set of traffic lights and then right again almost immediately ( car wash, Burger King and the steakhouse)

Any problems, give me a call on 07798 850486.

Robin (building a Sumo with V6 and underslung exhausts)

19-08-04, 06:56 PM
That seems very cheap.....


19-08-04, 08:23 PM
Thats one cheap car!

I've got something on saturday morning but, I'll be on my way to peterborough on saturday afternoon.

Is there anybody in the peterborough area that knows the car or previous owner? It seems too good to be true at that price. I suspect there no wet weather gear as nothing is mentioned

I know nothing about RAM's, is there anything I need to be checking for (apart from the "Chevrolat" engine, and the fact that its been tuned by "Technitions")?

Can I retro fit hoops, Im guessing not without cutting into the rear bulkhead.

Cheers for that smash, you just made my day!

19-08-04, 11:12 PM
No worries - Good luck! Been watching it for a while - it was up at £15,995 for a good few weeks and has now just dropped....if I was still looking I'd race you up there! ;)

20-08-04, 01:16 AM
I have an under car system including a balance pipe and I don't think I have ever clouted them on anything, The oil cooler scoop and sump are much lower and more at risk. Another aspect to the pipe choice is the sort of noise you like. Personally I would not swap my set-up for anything, the balance pipe gives a lovely mellow note. To me, side pipes (usually without balance pipe) only sound good if you are in front or behind the car. From the side they sound terrible, like a four cylinder running very badly. I'm sure many will disagree with me there but take time to make a comparison some time.

20-08-04, 06:02 AM
I fully agree! I personally donít like the look of side pipes but the sound is the most important part (I might have gone for side pipes if they sounded better than under slung). The lovely sound of an American V8 must be one of the main reasons for getting a Cobra so why on earth would anyone want to make it sound like a Mini Cooper on steroids? :p

/ Bowtie

20-08-04, 06:53 AM
Totally agree that side pipes sound better from behind which is OK 'cos not much is going to get past. :D :D :D :D :D