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  1. #1

    Newbie thinking of building a Cobra

    I've built a Westfield and rebuilt an old Caterham, now fancy a new project so looking at a Cobra, will first look for a part finished project as this will cut down the build time and save me some money.

    I'm 6'1" and chunky, so a snug (but not to tight fit) in a Westfield so cockpit room needs to be good, needs decent performance but not excessive.

    Which makes should I look out for and stay away from ? (I like my cars to handle well). I like the GD cars but probably out of my bracket.
    It must be a V8 but would a RV8 be OK ? (cheaper), or should I only look at American engines ? (and which ones).

    I have owned a very nice TVR Griffith 500, and I'm a little worried that the cobra could be similar to this, it looked great, sounded great and was quite fast but very dangerous, a pebble mid corner could put you in a ditch and hard acceleration on a straight road (that's slightly damp ) could have you facing the wrong way!.

    Budget , probably 20-25K

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    West Sussex
    Posts
    9,525
    Welcome Mr ??????

    You'll probably end up spending more than your budget- we all do. But, assuming you are sensible, you should at least get your money back when/if you sell the car.
    RV8 is perfectly OK.
    Performance round the curves will not be as slick as the Caterham, but it should be a more comfortable ride.
    Are you looking for a track car, or err-ing on something more original looking?

    Most important thing is to find a car that you feel comfortable sitting in. Comfort in different cars depends a lot on whether you have long legs or a long back.
    Suggest turning up to your local meet (once these get going again) and have a sit in a few, and ideally a ride out as well.
    Crendon Chassis No.49
    Huddart FE428 + toploader

    Not listed in the Shelby Register.

  3. #3
    Hi Sorry it's "Darren", I have relatively short legs and long back (I have a lowered floor in the Westfield , other wise I would look through the top of the screen) , can a lowered floor be fitted in a cobra / retrofitted if required ?
    I have done track days in the past but I'm past that now so 95% back road spirited driving (I wouldn't rule out a track-day but its unlikely)
    Thanks Darren.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    West Sussex
    Posts
    9,525
    Quote Originally Posted by Carsnjets View Post
    Hi Sorry it's "Darren", I have relatively short legs and long back (I have a lowered floor in the Westfield , other wise I would look through the top of the screen) , can a lowered floor be fitted in a cobra / retrofitted if required ?
    I have done track days in the past but I'm past that now so 95% back road spirited driving (I wouldn't rule out a track-day but its unlikely)
    Thanks Darren.
    Depending on how tall you are seated, its likely you will be fine in most of the current offerings.
    I suggest you have Pilgrim, AK, Dax, GD and Crendon on your list.
    You might also want to consider Hawk, but there is a 2 year waiting list I think.
    They will all need fettling regardless of what anyone says, apart from the Crendon.

    If you want LS power then GD and AK may be better options.
    For a Rover fitment, any of the above, except Crendon, which is Ford V8 only.
    btw, the Crendon is the best of the GRP cars, but I may be biased.

    Just my opinion, FWIW. Other views may differ
    Crendon Chassis No.49
    Huddart FE428 + toploader

    Not listed in the Shelby Register.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Hertfordshire
    Posts
    1,016
    Quote Originally Posted by KevinW View Post
    Welcome Mr ??????

    "You'll probably end up spending more than your budget".....
    Kevin I'm concerned at what you're suggesting. I didn't think any of us had ever spent more than our budgets - at least as far as wives/girlfriends/other-halves are concerned

    Darren - Welcome from me too; one of the many Pilgrim owners on here

    I agree with Kevin. It really depends on:
    1. budget
    2. what you want to use your car for
    3. how authentic you want/need it to be

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Location
    Reading, Berks, UK.
    Posts
    1,707
    Going to chuck another suggestion in the pot, having owned min since 1988, and work on lots of the makes in the past I would now be tempted to but a part complete or really tatty one.
    If you have the skills to build one you have the skills to take one apart.
    Purchase a well know make, if possible.
    let the previous spend all the money on most of the bits, expensive bright work, wheels etc, and the general odds and sods that add up to HFM.
    There is a good second hand market for bit you might want to change out, you have to buy tyres so not worth worry about them.

    Also might cut down the waiting time for a kit.

    Just a thought but its the way I would defo think about going now, if I didn't have too many projects on the go.

    Cheers

    David

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Lanarks
    Age
    65
    Posts
    698
    Quote Originally Posted by Bigblock View Post
    I would now be tempted to but a part complete or really tatty one.
    If you have the skills to build one you have the skills to take one apart.
    +1

    As David has said it is a good way to save a bob or two is to buy a part built kit.
    They do turn up from time to time

    I managed to get my latest project started with this unfinished V12 kit
    That heavy rolling chassis was advertised on here was sold to a chap
    http://www.cobraclub.com/forum/showthread.php?t=63260
    who already had a Cobra bodyshell

    I built my own lightweight chassis for the old Cobra bodyshell
    that I kept. I had to make all the internal panels as it came just an outer skin.
    I wanted a much better seating position on this baby. A recliner.
    I’ve built several over the years and all had similar fixed rake style seats.

    As Kev has said there are many different kits out there.
    The cool cats want their big blocks.
    Others make do with our Rovers or an another.
    Remember -Cobras all look similar driving or parked.
    You’ll just be a little late getting to the party.

    If you are keen – have a seat in one and compare.
    Pity you are not local or you could come with a trailer
    and try out this nearly there one for size.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  8. #8
    Thanks for everyone's suggestions.

    I will keep my eye's open for a suitable Cobra "project" as I think this will suit my budget and end goal.

    Some years ago I brought a "Caterham Project" , it was an ex race car that some one brought and run out of patience / skill to finish, he had already had the body re-painted to a high finish and brought 2 of nearly everything you can think of (2 sets of wheels, 2 nose cones, 2 sets of brakes etc etc) I sold the ones I didn't need, finished the car off, and using the money from the surplus bits it made a nice car that I ran for 3 years then sold for more than it cost.

    I'm sure something will come along and my end goal is to build a car i'm proud of and will hopefully keep forever, but if I don't keep it then would like to think I break even or only make a small loss if I sell it on.
    Keep Safe - Darren

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    on the edge...almost falling off
    Age
    58
    Posts
    8,566
    As someone who is also 6'1" and "chunky" with short legs and long back I recommend the Pilgrim Sumo. you will probably be able to fit in other makes but the problem for me, and possibly you, is having a hood fitted as there is just not enough room in most makes of cobra to get your right arm inside the car and be comfortable. It's fine with your arm resting on top of the door but you can't do that with a hood on. Just something to be aware of. My second build was a Sumo and I fitted in that really well and comfortable, my second was an AK and they made a one-off chassis for me to be able to get my chunky ass in comfortably. Hope this helps.
    BIG TONE


    Mercedes SL owner, definitely NOT a kitcar owner like you lot!


  10. #10
    I've agreed a deal on a DAX Cobra (part built) , still needs a lot doing to finish it but built to a very high standard so far, will collect in a few weeks time (will give me chance to re-arrange the garage and paint the floor).
    Will then be back on the forum no doubt with lots of build questions.

    Cheers Darren

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