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Author Topic:   Cobra drive
Daniel Jones
Gearhead

Posts: 872
From: St. Louis, MO
Registered: Aug 99

posted 09-13-2002 07:16 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Daniel Jones   Click Here to Email Daniel Jones     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I got a chance to drive a friend's new Superformance Cobra replica over
the weekend and have a nice side pipe burn on my leg to prove it :-) The
Superformance Cobra replicas aren't owner-built kits, BTW. They are built
as rollers (no engine or transmission but with mounts for your choice of
engine) in South Africa and imported to the States. Externally, they look
authentic, right down to the Smiths Industries instrumentation, Halibrand
style knock-off wheels, and reverse shift lever. There's even an optional
aluminum body, though Eric's is fiberglass. The fit and finish is top
notch. Underneath they use a 2"x4" rectangular steel tube ladder frame
with independent suspension front and rear (unequal length upper and lower
A-arms, ride height adjustable coil-overs, Bilstein shocks, sway bars).
The steering rack is from a VW Jetta, the brakes are Wilwoods, and the IRS
center section is from the Ford Motorsport catalog (aluminum housing from
a later IRS Cobra or Lincoln with 3.73:1 gearing). Surprisingly, the
suspension bushings on the sway bars were all rubber. I couldn't tell
what the A-arms were bushed with.

This is Eric's second Superformance. He hit a deer with the first and
talked his insurance company into totaling it so he could buy a new one
with a stronger motor. The old one had a 351W with Dart heads and just
didn't have enough grunt for a Cobra. The new motor does much better
(556 horsepower on the engine dyno):

351W stroker (418 cubic inches)
Race Demon carb
Victor Jr intake
AFR 205 heads (ported by AFR)
Comp Cams hydraulic roller 244 @ 0.050", 0.600" lift, 110 LSA
MSD 6AL ignition
Cobra headers and sidepipes
1969 351W 2 bolt main block
Eagle forged steel crank (4.1" stroke)
Eagle rods
10.5:1 compression

Eric was the horsepower champ (414 rear wheel horsepower on the Dynojet)
at the Double Venom Spring Fling II Cobra gathering. I was surprised to
see such a big loss in installed power but it was quite hot and humid
that day. I wonder how much he's losing through the mufflers?

Anyway, he was having a driveline vibration that sounded like a bad
U-joint or possibly a driveline misalignment, so I dropped by with my
rotary level to help him troubleshoot. Eric removed the driveshaft
(all eight inches of it... you can hold it in your hand) and I rolled
under to check the driveline angles which proved to be off parallel by
3 degrees. Eric just happened to have a shim that raised the
transmission by 3 degrees so that worked out nicely. He had also
ordered a spare set of universal joints which we ended up needing.
Eric only has a few thousand miles on the Cobra but, for some reason,
two of the four posts on each universal had gotten hot so we replaced
them. After buttoning everything back up, we took it out for a test
drive. Eric put it through the paces and pronounced the vibration gone
then asked me if I wanted to drive. No need to twist my arm!

To make room for the set-back engine and transmission, the pedals are
offset. The brake pedal is where the clutch should be and the clutch
pedal is way over to the left. A shorter driver can get a straight shot
to the pedal but I'm 6" 4" and there's no way could I could. My leg was
rubbing on both the wood-rimmed steering wheel and the interior door
hinge. Taller drivers usually remove the seat tracks and bolt the seat
directly to the floor. That might lower the seat enough to provide a
decent shot at the clutch pedal but I'll need to try one on for size to
be sure. As it was, it was very awkward and I hit the brake pedal once,
trying to get the clutch.

Surprisingly, the reverse shift lever wasn't a problem at all. Eric
added a Pro 5.0 shifter to the Tremec TKO and says it made a huge
difference over the stock shifter. It felt quite positive to me.
The motor is very flexible. Given the duration figures, I didn't
expect the cam to be happy below 2800 RPM or so but you can lug it
down in 5th gear to 1500 RPM with no trouble. I'm not sure how much
of that is due to the weight and gearing and how much is due to the
hydraulic roller profile but it would be no problem to daily drive.
Stand on the throttle and it's another story. Brutal acceleration,
provided you can get traction (a problem with the wide but not
terribly sticky 305/50/15 BFG Euro TA's). About the only thing
that I've been in that accelerates as hard is another Cobra replica
with a 428CJ and similar cam specs (solid lifter with 248 deg @ 0.050"
lift, 0.6ish" lift, 110 lobe centers). That one also idled down and
behaved itself around town and turned an 11 second quarter on street
tires (not DOT drag radials or sticky compound R's either) and road
race suspension.

I have immense respect for the driver that can run these things on
the edge. Short wheelbase, light weight, and a bunch of power means
you must treat the throttle with respect. It's a completely different
sort of driving experience compared to my Pantera, particularly at
high speed where the Pantera feels much more stable. Both are fun
but in completely different ways.

I forgot to ask him the brand of electric fans he has. Whatever
they are, they provide gale force winds when they kick on. The
no choke Race Demon carb was surprise. It fired right up but it
was 94 degrees F. Not sure it would work so well in the winter.
From the way the throttle responded unloaded, I think it may have
an aluminum flywheel but you'd never know it on the road. Quite
easy to get rolling, even when I started out in 3rd gear.

Eric also plans to buy a Superformance Daytona coupe replica.
I'm trying to talk him into IR EFI for that one. Eric said they
brought Pete Brock in on the coupe and said they had Klaus Arnig
recently deceased, did the suspension on the GT40 and 427 Cobras)
and Roush consult on the suspension of the 427 Cobra replica.

Later that night, Eric and I took the Cobra and Pantera up to a local
Dairy Queen car cruise. I got there first in the Pantera and was
swamped. The Pantera usually draws a crowd but this was ridiculous.
I had to have a guy clear a path so I could park the car. I pulled
up next to an MG Midget and as I got out of the car, the owner said,
"Gee, they didn't do that when I pulled in". Lots of interesting
cars there including a mint GNX, and engine-swapped Boss 302 at the
cruise. It was immediately obvious the guy had swapped the Boss 302
out as the engine under the shaker was quite a bit wider. I was
expecting to see a 351C which can pass for a Boss if you don't look
too close or maybe a 351W with 351C heads but it was wider still.
Hmmm, wonder if that's a 390 or 428? Turns out is was a 428SCJ.
The owner pulled the Boss 302 out to freshen it. He had a 428SCJ
on hand from a rolled Mustang and installed it "temporarily" ten
years ago.

Dan Jones

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SteveLaRiviere
Administrator

Posts: 44921
From: Saco, Maine
Registered: May 99

posted 09-13-2002 07:24 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for SteveLaRiviere   Click Here to Email SteveLaRiviere     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Wow, that was a great post! I felt like I was there with you!

That's probably as close as I'll get to a Cobra.

I really don't know which one I'd prefer; a Cobra like your friend's or a Pantera like yours.

Having both would be nice...

------------------
'70 Mustang Mach 1 - '72 Mustang Sprint - '94 F-150

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Fastymz
Moderator

Posts: 20638
From: Reno Nv USA M&M#1240
Registered: Apr 2001

posted 09-13-2002 08:00 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Fastymz   Click Here to Email Fastymz     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thats to cool,thanks.
I'm with Steve I'd like to have both.

SCOOP

------------------

2.634 60's
[email protected] 1/8 mile

65 coupe,351w,C4,Big Boss 429 hood scoop,8"3.40 TracLoc,Cragar SS,Black Suede.

https://mustangsandmore.com/ubb/Fastymz.html

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Daniel Jones
Gearhead

Posts: 872
From: St. Louis, MO
Registered: Aug 99

posted 09-14-2002 11:49 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Daniel Jones   Click Here to Email Daniel Jones     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
>I really don't know which one I'd prefer; a Cobra like your friend's
>or a Pantera like yours.

Having driven both, I'm glad I got the Pantera first but I'm admittedly
biased. The Pantera fits me better and was quite a bit less expensive
than Eric's Superformance (about half).

>Having both would be nice...

That's the plan. I have a couple of 427 side-oilers and a 428SCJ
with 406 tri-power induction and have been dreaming about what to put
them in. A Cobra replica is at the top of the list. What I'd really
like is an A.C. 428. Are you familiar with those? Built on a coil
sprung 427 Cobra chassis with a 6" stretch with a Maserati-like body
by Frua, available as a coupe or convertible. Early bodies were
aluminum but I think later ones may have been steel.

Here's a picture of a green convertible with wire wheels:

http://www.carsonline.com.au/AC_428_Frua_cabriolet.jpg

and a couple of pictures of a silver coupe:

http://www.heritageclassics.com/ac/69ac428/69ac428ext2.jpg
http://www.heritageclassics.com/ac/69ac428/69ac428ext4.jpg

and one of the interior:

http://www.heritageclassics.com/ac/69ac428/69ac428int1.jpg

They even had a usable trunk:

http://www.heritageclassics.com/ac/69ac428/69ac428trk.jpg

and finally a grainy picture of coupe and convertible:

http://www.geocities.com/MotorCity/9839/Frua.html

With something like 29 convertibles and 58 fastback coupes comprising
the total production run between 1965 and 1973, they are considerably
rarer than a 427 Cobra but go largely unnoticed and sell for much less
than a Shelby Cobra. The silver coupe in the links above recently sold
for only $58,500 with just 19598 miles. I'd imagine body panels would
be next to impossible to obtain but most of the mechanical bits would
be shared by the Cobra.

There were also two Ghia-bodied cars commissioned by Shelby in 1965.
They may have been even prettier than than the Frua but I think both
chassis numbers turned up later with Cobra bodies when the Shelby
prices sky-rocketed.

If a well-maintained Frua A.C. 428 became available after I've attended
to my garage space problem, I'd have to think long and hard about it in
lieu of a Cobra replica. Of course, I'd really like to have both ...
and a GT40 and a later Iso Grifo with 351C and ZF 5-speed. Anyway,
dreaming is a lot cheaper than actually purchasing.

Dan "expensive tastes" Jones

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SteveLaRiviere
Administrator

Posts: 44921
From: Saco, Maine
Registered: May 99

posted 09-15-2002 02:50 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for SteveLaRiviere   Click Here to Email SteveLaRiviere     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I've never seen those before. They have kind of a Ferrari look to them.

You really do have expensive tastes.

------------------
'70 Mustang Mach 1 - '72 Mustang Sprint - '94 F-150

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Fastymz
Moderator

Posts: 20638
From: Reno Nv USA M&M#1240
Registered: Apr 2001

posted 09-16-2002 01:34 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Fastymz   Click Here to Email Fastymz     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
They look cool,kinda look like a Jensen.

SCOOP

------------------

2.634 60's
[email protected] 1/8 mile

65 coupe,351w,C4,Big Boss 429 hood scoop,8"3.40 TracLoc,Cragar SS,Black Suede.

https://mustangsandmore.com/ubb/Fastymz.html

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Moneymaker
Administrator

Posts: 26811
From: Lyons, IL, USA
Registered: May 99

posted 09-17-2002 01:23 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Moneymaker   Click Here to Email Moneymaker     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Daytona coupe replica? Hmmmmmmm

------------------
Alex Denysenko
Co-Administrator and Moderator/ non 65-66 Mustang owner sensitivity co-ordinator

NHRA/IHRA/SRA/MCA member
NHRA and IHRA SS/LA National Record Holder '00, '01, & '02
Fleet of FoMoCo products including 88 ASC McLaren Mustang #28
Part time secret agent license #0089
Professional Manwhore
The Barry of BarrysGrrl

Quote: "I never met a magazine mechanic I liked."

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Daniel Jones
Gearhead

Posts: 872
From: St. Louis, MO
Registered: Aug 99

posted 09-17-2002 03:44 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Daniel Jones   Click Here to Email Daniel Jones     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Yup, Superfomance is working on a Daytona Coupe replica. Eric said they were taking orders, now. Their were pictures on their website last time I looked but no technical data. Eric plans to buy one but only after he buys a new house with larger garage. BTW, I think the Superformance replica is supposed to have wind-up windows instead of side curtains.

Dan Jones

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albatross
Journeyman

Posts: 28
From: NZ
Registered: Sep 2001

posted 10-30-2002 09:16 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for albatross     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Daniel, how do you think the Superformance Daytona compares with the Factory five car? I'd kind of like to do most of it myself and run something a bit different like a SOHC 427 or 4.6/5.4 under the bonnet. I've just convinced the wife that a '69 Boss makes sense (baby seat in the back etc) and along comes a Daytona Replica for the same money

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Daniel Jones
Gearhead

Posts: 872
From: St. Louis, MO
Registered: Aug 99

posted 10-30-2002 01:08 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Daniel Jones   Click Here to Email Daniel Jones     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote

>Daniel, how do you think the Superformance Daytona compares with
>the Factory five car? I'd kind of like to do most of it myself
>and run something a bit different like a SOHC 427 or 4.6/5.4 under
>the bonnet.

I've not had a chance to compare the Daytona coupe replicas but
the Superformance 427 roadsters I've seen have all been uniformly
well put together. The shape is faithful and the fit and finish
superb. The suspension and brakes seem to work well, too.

I've seen a lot of variation in the Factory Five cars. I've seen
one that seemed well done but most were put together on the cheap
and looked it. That's mainly an issue of who put together the
vehicle so I would not hold that against the Factory Five Coupe,
especially since it's a substantially different vehicle.

I don't think either Superformance or Factory Five intend to size
the engine compartments for a 427 Cammer or a 4.6/5.4 mod motor
(which are huge, BTW), though I could be wrong. The one I saw
had a 351W and there didn't sem to be much extra room.

BTW, as soon as he sells the house (and gets another one with a
larger garage), Eric intends to park a Superformance Coupe next to
the roadster.

Dan Jones

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albatross
Journeyman

Posts: 28
From: NZ
Registered: Sep 2001

posted 10-31-2002 09:21 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for albatross     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Had a chat with Factoryfive about their coupes and ordered a manual. My main problem is that I'm working in Hong Kong for the next 10 years so I need Right Hand Drive over here. Sort of think making a RHD Coupe might be a lot simpler than changing over a Boss 302 instead, my other thought for a project, which might ruin it.

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george brown
Gearhead

Posts: 124
From: solomons MD
Registered: Dec 2001

posted 11-06-2002 05:45 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for george brown   Click Here to Email george brown     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Only Cobra I ever test drove was an original 427 side-oiler with 5,000 original miles - one of my wife's girlfriend's husbands was selling it but my wife (now ex) wouldn't let me buy it. Got to Drive an early GT40 mule that was for sale at the Dearborn test center in 1967 - boy was it noisy.

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MLariviere
Moderator

Posts: 4063
From: Biddeford,Me.USA
Registered: May 99

posted 11-07-2002 09:37 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for MLariviere   Click Here to Email MLariviere     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
They say these cars are all business. Not much on creature comforts.

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mustangs68
Moderator

Posts: 24529
From: Buckroe Beach Va MCA#39406 M&M #12 Member Mustang Club of Tidewater
Registered: May 99

posted 11-09-2002 05:23 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for mustangs68   Click Here to Email mustangs68     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
LOL....
I had to get a loan just to open this thread
sam

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