How to Build Cobra Kit Cars + Buying Used

How to Build Cobra Kit Cars + Buying Used

by D. Brian Smith


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Details each crucial step for assembling a modern Cobra replica, profiling the assembly of the most popular Cobra kit car - the Factory Five Cobra Mk4. Includes an informative guide to buying a pre-owned Cobra replica that covers how to inspect, evaluate, and test drive used Cobra kit cars for those who prefer to purchase one already assembled.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781613253878
Publisher: CarTech, Incorporated
Publication date: 02/24/2017
Pages: 178
Sales rank: 616,224
Product dimensions: 8.50(w) x 11.00(h) x 0.38(d)

About the Author

The former editor-in-chief of Kit Car magazine, Smith has been writing about Cobra replicas for many years and created a variety of technical how-to articles while at the magazine. Currently, he is a freelance writer and photographer. He owns and operates Redline Review, an online magazine for auto enthusiasts.

Table of Contents

Table Of Contents:
Acknowledgments 5
Introduction 7
Chapter 1: Choosing a Kit 8
Select a Donor Car 8
Factory Five Racing 9
Chapter 2: Buying a Pre-Owned Cobra Replica 13
Where To Look 14
Which Car is Right For You? 16
Inspection and Evaluation 18
The Test Drive 21
Chapter 3: Build Options For Cobra Kit Cars 23
Jesper Ingerslev’s Factory Five Racing Mk3 Roadster 24
Tom Morgan’s Unique Motorcars 427SC 26
Darren Friedman’s 2006 Kirkham 427SC 29
Engine Sources 29
Transmissions, Clutches, Scattershields, Etc. 33
Chapter 4: Building Your Cobra On Time and On Budget 34
Develop a Plan 35
Evaluate Your Skills 36
Create a Spending Budget 36
Create a Time Budget 38
Chapter 5: Organization and Preparation 39
Kit and Component Inspection 39
Organization 40
Consult Your Build Manual 41
Tools and Supplies 42
Chapter 6: Chassis, Suspension and Brakes 43
Deconstruction Begins 43
Project 1: Disassembly 44
Project 2: Panel Removal 46
Project 3: IFS Installation Preparation 46
Project 4: Front Shock Absorber Installation 48
Project 5: Front Spindle Installation 50
Project 6: Front Disc Brake Installation 51
Chapter 7: Rear Suspension and Differential 54
Project 1: Independent Rear Suspension Installation 55
Project 2: Rear Brake Installation 58
Chapter 8: Pedal Box, Steering Shaft and Steering Rack 60
Project 1: Footbox Panel Installation 61
Project 2: Pedal Box Assembly Installation 61
Project 3: Steering Shaft and Steering Rack Installation 66
Chapter 9: Fuel System, Brakes and Footbox 70
Project 1: Fuel Tank Installation 70
Project 2: Fuel Pump Installation 72
Project 3: Footbox Installation 74
Project 4: Fuel Line Installation 78
Project 5: Brake Line and Master Cylinder Installation 79
Chapter 10: The Engine 84
Small-Block or Big-Block? 84
Crate Engines 86
Stroker 427 Small-Blocks 86
Dart Machinery 86
QMP Racing Engines 86
Project 1: Install Long Block Assembly 87
Mating Engine to Transmission 95
Chapter 11: Drivetrain and Cooling System 96
Project 1: Drivetrain Installation 96
Project 2: Driveshaft Installation 98
Project 3: Radiator Fan Installation 99
Project 4: Radiator Hose Installation 100
Chapter 12: Electrical System 102
Project 1: Wiring Harness and Fuse Box Installation 103
Project 2: Trunk Wall Installation 107
Project 3: Battery Installation 109
Project 4: Gauge Installation 110
Chapter 13: Miscellaneous Parts 115
Project 1: Header Installation 115
Project 2: Clutch Cable Installation 116
Project 3: Transmission Shifter Installation 118
Project 4: Roll Bar Installation 118
Project 5: Seat Installation 120
Project 6: Emergency-Brake Installation 122
Project 7: Sidepipe Installation 123
Project 8: Weather Strip Installation 124
Chapter 14: Body Fitment and Paint 126
Project 1: Fitment Procedure 127
Project 2: Door Latch and Hardware Installation 128
Project 3: Eliminate Mold Line and Trim Body Panels 133
Project 4: Hood Scoop Installation 135
Project 5: Primer Application 137
Project 6: Complete Footbox 137
Project 7: Painting Procedure 138
Chapter 15: Interior and Windshield 141
Project 1: Windshield Installation 141
Project 2: Floor Pan Finishing Procedure 143
Project 3: Interior Carpet Installation 145
Project 4: Seat and Restraint System Installation 148
Project 5: Steering Wheel Installation 150
Chapter 16: Final Fitment 152
Project 1: Roll Bar Installation 152
Project 2: Fuel Cap and Fuel Filler Hose Installation 153
Project 3: Headlight Installation 154
Project 4: Turn Signal Installation 156
Project 5: Taillight Installation 157
Project 6: License-Plate Light Installation 158
Project 7: Side Vent Installation 158
Project 8: Miscellaneous Panel Installation 159
Project 9: Splashguard Installation 159
Project 10: Front Apron Installation 161
Chassis Alignment 161
Chapter 17: The Test Drive 162
Our Maiden Voyage 164
Chapter 18: A Guide to Cobra Kit Car Manufacturers 165
Factory Five Racing 165
Unique Motorcars 166
E.R.A. Replicas 166
Everett-Morrison Motorcars 168
Shell Valley Classic Wheels, Inc. 168
Lone Star Classics 168
B&B Manufacturing 169
Hurricane Motorsports 173
The Turnkeys 173
Superformance, LLC 173
Backdraft Racing 174
Kirkham Motorsports 174
Unique Motorcars 175
E.R.A. Replicas 175
Shelby American, Inc. 175
Source Guide 176

Customer Reviews

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How to Build Cobra Kit Cars + Buying Used 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Henry_Renaud More than 1 year ago
I am currently building my 4th Factory Five Racing "Roadster" and bought this book on a whim. The authors know what they are doing and show it with great instructions and illustrations. Even though I am on my 4th, I still learned from this book - just wish it was around for number 1. Highly recommend this book if you are contemplating building one.
Crickybelle More than 1 year ago
Got it for my husband and I am in the "driver seat". He loves it and I am wife of the year. He said Mr. Smith is very detailed oriented and thorough and easy to follow. It was the best present of the year, except now he wants the real deal.
Tom_Mauldin More than 1 year ago
The book is great for anyone building or buying a Cobra kit car, especially a Factory Five! As a matter of fact it should be included in the Factory Five kit. The pictures are great as well as the descriptions for the pictures. I really can't say enough about the pictures! I think with this book in hand almost anyone could build a Factory Five Roadster! Thanks Brian for the great book! It's about time someone came out with a comprehensive build log in print form!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I heard about this book (and met the author) while attending a car show at the Huntington Beach Pier in April 2012, came home and placed an order before it was released. Waiting was hard, but worth it. While the book focuses on the authors build of a Factory Five Roadster, the information it contains easily translates to other builds. If you are looking for a "basic how to bend fuel/brake lines etc. book" this isn't the book for you. However, if you are looking at building a replica of an American classic automobile and already have basic mechanical skills, this book will be a great reference. We have already built our Roadster, but I enjoyed the book and glad that we have it in our library. Ray
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very well written book. Although Brian chose to build a FFR, his extensive knowledge of the entire kit car industry makes this a must read for anyone thinking of building any kit car or buying a completed car (new or used). I highly recommend this book.