Colin Wood
Colin Wood Reader Services
1/3/20 11:20 a.m.

Hey, we just posted this over on our sister site, Classic Motorsports, and wanted to share it here. 1995 prices for a new Factory Five base Mk4 Roadster kit is a heck of deal if you can get your foot in the door:

https://classicmotorsports.com/news/factory-five-kits-just-9900/

(Picture added because it looks cool)

_
_ Dork
1/3/20 11:46 a.m.

All said and done? Likely 50K to do it right. On the other hand, you can't buy even a replica cobra for 50 grand.

I would do this if it use the Miata as a donor car. I want Miata handling, not mustang at cars and coffee handling

93gsxturbo
93gsxturbo SuperDork
1/3/20 12:56 p.m.

I went thru all the popular options and I was at $19k less shipping.  Could I do paint, body, wheels and tires, and find a driveline for 30k?  Would be tight.  

Adrian_Thompson
Adrian_Thompson MegaDork
1/3/20 12:59 p.m.

I grew out of wanting a Cobra replica for the street 25 years ago.  What would a pure autocross/track day version cost?  that is a much more interesting concept to me.

ebelements
ebelements Reader
1/3/20 1:39 p.m.

I think about these every other year. Especially when I get the emails about them adding free nonsense in for "no extra charge." 

Everything I've read aligns with the 50k figure above, AT LEAST. The way I see it, it's cool to think of building one on a budget, but when you look at all the options, and think about what you'd want it to look and drive like, a primered fiberglass shell over the crusty bits of a worn out fox body just doesn't get the mojo flowing.

The best way to get a deal on one of these is to nab it for at or under 30k from a guy that just finished it and realizes that it's more fun to build than to actually own. But that assumes you can make peace with having your dream car built out of a pile of question marks by some joker that doesn't believe in torque specs.

If anyone needs me I'll be looking at the factory five site's finished roadster gallery like my wife at a pet store.

mfennell
mfennell Reader
1/3/20 1:49 p.m.
_ said:

All said and done? Likely 50K to do it right. On the other hand, you can't buy even a replica cobra for 50 grand.

I would do this if it use the Miata as a donor car. I want Miata handling, not mustang at cars and coffee handling

You don't need $50k.  I'm into mine - finished in '04 - for an inflation-adjusted $36k  Donor build w/ported GT40 alumninum heads and some intake stuff.  Koni single adjustables.  3 link rear suspension.  

You can put a lot of tire on an FFR, they're light (mine weighs 2300lbs), they have good weight distribution (I want to say 46/54 was a typical number), and a ton of suspension adjustability.  They suffer aerodynamically on a track but can be wicked fast autocrossers.

Duke
Duke MegaDork
1/3/20 1:49 p.m.
_ said:

I would do this if it use the Miata as a donor car. I want Miata handling, not mustang at cars and coffee handling

Then I respectfully submit you don't actually want a Cobra at all.

 

wearymicrobe
wearymicrobe UberDork
1/3/20 3:46 p.m.
Adrian_Thompson said:

I grew out of wanting a Cobra replica for the street 25 years ago.  What would a pure autocross/track day version cost?  that is a much more interesting concept to me.

You can get a used FFR spec racer for about 20-25K registered and ready to go most times of the year. There is very little that will put a smile on your face for the same price and be as cheap to run. I could keep mine running with parts from Craigslist for pennies when I had it. 

 

93gsxturbo
93gsxturbo SuperDork
1/3/20 3:49 p.m.

Cheapest way to get an FFR Cobra is to buy a Viper RT/10.

ultraclyde
ultraclyde PowerDork
1/3/20 5:13 p.m.

As I mentioned elsewhere, I've been drooling at the Type 65 coupes after watching Shelby American on Netflix. After much debate I've come to terms with the fact I would probably be happier with the end product if I spent half that much on the S197 I already own.

accordionfolder
accordionfolder Dork
1/3/20 5:15 p.m.
Duke said:
_ said:

I would do this if it use the Miata as a donor car. I want Miata handling, not mustang at cars and coffee handling

Then I respectfully submit you don't actually want a Cobra at all.

 

They just described an exocet! I know, the looks are polarizing on it.

That's a great deal!

californiamilleghia
californiamilleghia Dork
1/3/20 5:51 p.m.

I am sure there are 10,000 plus Cobra kit cars that have been sold over the last 30 plus years ,

but even in Southern California I  do not see many on the street , even on weekends , 

So checking Craigslist or asking around will probably get you one for $10K  ,   flat tire and dust included  !

this ones a little more but not much.....

https://dallas.craigslist.org/ftw/pts/d/waco-arntz-cobra-replica-roller/7045651516.html

noddaz
noddaz GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
1/4/20 12:18 p.m.

I hate being broke.   Maybe I will just wait until FFR's Hot Rod kit goes on sale.  

DeadSkunk  (Warren)
DeadSkunk (Warren) PowerDork
1/4/20 12:38 p.m.

https://www.facebook.com/marketplace/item/472979263521984/

...for $12,500. I found 11 Cobras for under $40K, so they're out there.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
1/4/20 12:48 p.m.

FYI, Factory Five polls their builders on a regular basis to find out just how much they spend on finishing. It's been a while since I looked, but it's solid info and under the $50k figure.

Alternately, if you want that Cobra feel but the Miata handling, there is an alternative...

Knurled.
Knurled. GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
1/4/20 12:58 p.m.
Adrian_Thompson said:

I grew out of wanting a Cobra replica for the street 25 years ago.

I got out of wanting a Cobra replica about 50 yards into driving one (customer built her own Factory Five and wanted a pro to nut-and-bolt check it since it was her first kit car.  She did an excellent job, FWIW)  Between having half of a barely muffled V8 blatting directly under your ear, and the windshield view obscured by the reflection of the bodywork on the inside of the glass, I got over it quickly.

 

Accelerated pretty smartly with a Ford crate motor.  Shifter felt interesting and not in a bad way.

Stefan
Stefan GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
1/4/20 1:34 p.m.

Here's as close to a Cobra as I can get (my two kids riding one for a few quarters):

Yes, my 16-month old has his hands on the wheel properly.  :) 

_
_ Dork
1/4/20 2:26 p.m.
Duke said:
_ said:

I would do this if it use the Miata as a donor car. I want Miata handling, not mustang at cars and coffee handling

Then I respectfully submit you don't actually want a Cobra at all.

 

Busted. I want the cobra look though. Can't get over the beautiful lines of an older car!

_
_ Dork
1/4/20 2:29 p.m.

Also: 

jmc14
jmc14 Reader
1/4/20 2:33 p.m.

I've been fascinated with Kit Cars for a very long time.  I never wanted one that looked like a super car and was powered by a VW.  I love Cobra's and other late 50's and 60's sport racers.  I wanted a high performance car that looked like a classic car.

I built a Lister Knobbly from a Kit.  I loved the look but to me it had some flaws and I couldn't fit comfortably in it.  I sold it and started building my own cars.  It's my hobby and passion.  I've built a number of cars from scratch.  A good number of them used C4 Corvette suspension and Chevy power.  I built a few using C5 parts.

When a friend took me for a drive in his NA Miata I fell in love with it. I bought a few of them. I tried stripping the body down and creating an old looking body for it.  The seating position is pretty far forward of the rear axle and the engine is tall.  I couldn't get a look that I was happy with.  I then tried building a dedicated frame for the Miata drive train. The tall engine was an obstacle that I couldn't get around.  I decided to go back to the C4 suspension and Chevy V8 power.

I didn't want to build a Cobra.  I love them but I wanted something unique.  I loved the basic shape of the 1964 Cheetah race car. But, I wanted a Roadster.  The Cheetah was a tiny car that suffered from a flexible frame.  I decided to build a car that addressed those issues but had a body inspired by the Cheetah.

The result is my Chesnut 64R.  (Still not sure what to call it. :) )

I finished the car this year and got it registered in NY.  I put about 900 miles on it this fall.  I drove it with an unfinished body in white with a stripe that I laid out with Duct tape.  I had a fiberglass company make me a body in Red Gel Coat from my molds.  I had them take care of the seams and polish it out.  The result isn't perfect but I think the body is very presentable and usable.  Not having to do body work and paint is a huge time and money saver. I'm in the process of swapping bodies right now.

Out of all of the cars that I've done this one is my favorite.  It drives and handles great. It's only 144 inches long and 42 inches to the top of the MGB windshield.  I only have about 270hp but because the car only weighs 1840lbs its pretty quick. 

I've been thinking about offering a body/frame kit.  I live in Up State NY.  Next Saturday I'm heading to AZ and CA for the winter.  I'm taking the car and am going to go to some car shows to see what the reaction is. And to see if there is any interest.  The car is simple to build using readily available parts.  With the price that I'm thinking about for the finished body in Gel Coat and frame it would cost about $25,000 to build the car. That's with new drivetrain, Chevy 333hp 350HO engine and Richmond 4 speed. The most common C4 diff has a 2:59 ratio. 

I'm retired and if I did a kit it would be for fun. The fact is that I enjoy going to my shop every day to work on my cars and other projects. 

Note that the hood gap will be tighter.  I just have the nose sitting there for fitting right now.

 

 

 

Patrick
Patrick GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
1/4/20 2:42 p.m.

My buddy picked up a basest of the base one (all stock fox body stuff including crappy open drum brake rear) that had the intake and distributor taken out for $7500.  I'd have paid that.

ebelements
ebelements Reader
1/8/20 1:37 p.m.

In reply to jmc14 :

I'd rather build your Cheetah/Chestnut than a Cobra—and that's coming from a guy who has the 6' long poster of a Mk2 from his childhood up in his garage currently. The gelcoat body, killer lines, and overall simplicity are something that really have my ears perked up. Do keep us informed!

Adrian_Thompson
Adrian_Thompson MegaDork
1/8/20 2:04 p.m.

Personally some of the issue with Cobra kits is they are just too common.  I see so many 'Cobra's' on the road that I may have missed some real ones as I just assume they are all fakes.  They're so common they've diluted the 'brand' to me.  Add on the fact that they just aren't particularly good road cars adds to their lack of appeal.  As I say, I grew out of wanting one about 25 years ago and my opinion should in no way influence anyone elses opinion, especially their possible/actual desire to own/build one.  

No Time
No Time Dork
1/8/20 3:16 p.m.
_ said:
Duke said:
_ said:

I would do this if it use the Miata as a donor car. I want Miata handling, not mustang at cars and coffee handling

Then I respectfully submit you don't actually want a Cobra at all.

 

Busted. I want the cobra look though. Can't get over the beautiful lines of an older car!

Here’s a starter kit for the look:

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