Anyone here own a Shelby Cobra? - LotusTalk - The Lotus Cars Community
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post #1 of 21 (permalink) Old 05-19-2019, 07:41 AM Thread Starter
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Anyone here own a Shelby Cobra?

Looking to purchase a Shelby Cobra replica, leaning towards a Backdraft Racing w/ Roush 427. Anyone here own one that might share info of what to expect? Anything you can tell me about them? I live in CA, so seems like I can only buy a used one that has been registered in CA under SB100. Bummer, seen many nice ones out of state, even a few right here in CA but with Montana registration. Thank you
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post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-21-2019, 07:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Beemerb0y View Post
Looking to purchase a Shelby Cobra replica, leaning towards a Backdraft Racing w/ Roush 427. Anyone here own one that might share info of what to expect? Anything you can tell me about them? I live in CA, so seems like I can only buy a used one that has been registered in CA under SB100. Bummer, seen many nice ones out of state, even a few right here in CA but with Montana registration. Thank you
Im shopping those a bit too...Im still undecided between a few cars.
My research shows Backdraft puts out a solid product.
As with any kit car the devil is in the details and followup, meaning after the car is assembled it needs running in and adjustments over a period of time...Usually it takes a few thousand miles to find and adjust/fix anything that needs adjustment. Always a few kinks to work out.
Vintage Motorsports out of CT is one of the better shops.
If you're buying used and it has more than 3k miles ask a lot of questions and try to determine if most of the kinks have been worked out. Of course inspection and test drive of at least 20-30 mins. Buying new the growing pains are on you but its done exactly how you want of course. (Engine/trans/options)
Very low mile used ones maybe expect some running in minor adjustments to tend to.
Backdraft is a high quality kit.
Roush engines may not be what a lot of folks think they are cracked up to be. Many reports of them burning through oil at an alarming rate and many issues where they deny warranty because they claim "its normal." (See oil issues)
I haven't driven a Backdraft yet so I can't comment on the handling etc...
I HAVE driven some Superformance Cobras and have to say those are top notch as well.
Very raw, very solid, and handled better than I expected. Quite well in fact.

If I were to buy a new BD, which I don't think I will, I am thinking just to be different, of putting in Ford's 5.2 Aluminator engine in it or the 5.2 from a crashed out GT350.
It would bring the weight down probably under 2400lbs and really scream in that car. Mated to the current 6 sp trans rather than a TKO600.

I know, its not what the purists would want but it would be a pretty reliable, low maintenance alternative. Its a kit car anyway, its a copy, so I figure you can do whatever you want.
Ill probably buy used anyway and will be looking for a fuel injected engine anyway.
Good luck.

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KEEP CRYIN! WHAA!
REDNECK = PERSON WHO LIVES IN A DUMP BUT DRIVES AN ELISE!


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My nasty reputation takes me everywhere

It is admitted by all that he was much addicted to women, as well as very expensive in his intrigues with them, and that he debauched many ladies of the highest quality; among whom were Posthumia, the wife of Servius Sulpicius; and Lollia, the wife of Aulus Gabinius.
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post #3 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-21-2019, 07:57 AM
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purists.....its a kit car.......

the best of the kits are much better cars than the original ever was

Wunner ow much fer the ones with the aluminum body, that would be cool
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post #4 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-21-2019, 10:24 AM
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purists.....its a kit car.......

the best of the kits are much better cars than the original ever was

Wunner ow much fer the ones with the aluminum body, that would be cool
Agreed.
Figure aluminum body about double that of a fiberglass one.
CSX i believe.
Not really my cup of tea on that..Very shiny and must get really hot in the summer, idk.
They're pricey.

Vati.
C6 ZO6.

THE OBITS, YO!
KEEP CRYIN! WHAA!
REDNECK = PERSON WHO LIVES IN A DUMP BUT DRIVES AN ELISE!


I never played by the rules, and I never really cared
My nasty reputation takes me everywhere

It is admitted by all that he was much addicted to women, as well as very expensive in his intrigues with them, and that he debauched many ladies of the highest quality; among whom were Posthumia, the wife of Servius Sulpicius; and Lollia, the wife of Aulus Gabinius.
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post #5 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-21-2019, 10:52 AM
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Different kits look much different though.

I live right next to factory five and while they make a nice car. It's really nothing like the car it's immitating. It's body is really a much more polished version.
I saw another cobra kit car recently that had a lot more rivets, the body swooped a bit lower behind the passenger cabin and the lights were mroe pronounced up front. It looked rougher much more like it was an actual vintige racer, which I really preferred actually and everyone at the cars and coffee around me seemed to agree.
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post #6 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-21-2019, 01:56 PM
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I've visited this shop in Florida, they make the most authentic Porsche 550 Spyder reproduction and the Shelby Cobras - with additional safety upgrades that keep the V8 from ending up in the driver's lap.

Aluminum Cobra
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post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-21-2019, 05:07 PM
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Iíve built two and was a board member of the Ohio Cobra Club, so Iíve got some experience with Cobras.

You can buy a new Backdraft or Superformance, you just have to buy the drive train separately, then go through the SB100 process to title it.
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post #8 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-21-2019, 06:28 PM
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I'm borrowing the Facebook post below from the SoCal Shelby American Automobile Club. Closed group can't get a link to post.

I thought this was a great write up.... Exactly why I'm looking to get one.


May 18, 2017 ∑
Driving a Cobra Replica

"If you want to just gas and go, and never have to worry about replacing an alternator, or snuggling down the header bolts, or getting a wet leg driving in a rainstorm, or learning how to set your carb float level, or driving in traffic on a warm winter day with "winter gas" in the tank, get a Corvette. "

With a Cobra Replica you have to remind yourself that you are driving a hand made race car on the street. There is no compromise for anything other than pure speed. These cars are brutal and unforgiving, with all the refinement of a medieval battle ax. Like being in a relationship with an exotic dancer, you can never take anything for granted. These cars don't have millions of miles of testing refinement before you get yours. For any trip longer than an hour, you need earplugs, and goggles, and carry Advil and eye drops. You will need to learn to "read" the clouds for rain in your path, and have experience in unwrapping your frozen fingers from the MotoLita. You will experience lady passengers "wetting" the passenger seat when you merge into traffic from an on ramp, and then nearly burn their calf getting out of the car.

You will have all the invisibility of a burning Hindenburg, and flee from underground parking lots when uncountable car alarms are screaming your departure. When you shop, you will remind yourself that these cars get more attention than a dead body in a parking lot.

With a power to weight ratio better than almost every supercar, you will find your 1/4 mile times traction rather than power limited. On the other hand, when you stage, out of the corner of your helmet's visor you will see almost the entire audience lining up at the fence, most with cameras up. If you track on a road course with a Porsche club, owners of expensive German machines will come to the fence to watch you power out in smoking oversteer. You won't even try to start your engine in the garage, but push it out onto the driveway, else your loyal watch dog will croak from the exhaust fumes. If you idle next to other "sports" cars at a traffic light, by the green, their girlfriend will be coughing green phlegm into her hanky, yelling at her date to just go! When you refuel, you might as well prop the "bonnet" open, because you are going to have to show your motor to just about every other guy there. When you order your wings at Hooters, your waitress will whisper in your ear "take me for a ride." When you stop at the red light, the girl in the convertible next to you will invite you to "take my top off too."

When you slowly pass a troop of Harley riders, they will look over and give you thumbs up. When you want to ease out into traffic, other cars will immediately pause to let you go ahead of them. When your engine has its hot, crackling, intimidating exhaust sidepipe aimed right at the flank of the GTO, or the Z28, your exhaust pulsation's slowly unscrewing his lug nuts, the other car will remain motionless, as if the slightest quiver of his car will cause your car to stomp it dead. When you leave it open in a parking lot, and come back to find your sunglasses and cell phone still sitting on the tunnel, it is because your car has sullenly warned those who came over to admire it "touch me and I will rise up here and kill you dead."

When you put that tiny silver key into the ignition, and begin your start countdown, your car will whisper "take me for granted, and I will kill you."
When other drivers just hop in and snap up their belts while backing out of their parking space, you will still have two more minutes before you even get all the Simpson's properly on and snugged down. Pulling up in a Cobra Replica is like landing an F4U at an ultralite convention.
In summary, very, very few drivers want this kind of attention, or can tolerate all that a formidable Cobra Replica demands. These cars are intolerant mistresses.
But remember, there will come a day when you have to hang up your car keys for the last time. And perhaps you want to say then "I did it."
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post #9 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-21-2019, 07:47 PM
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I gave up on the GT430 Sport coming to the States last Spring and found a nice '95 ERA 427* SC that I snapped up instead. It's been a blast! That Facebook post is spot on. I don't relish the attention, but that's the price of glory. I've also spent nearly as many hours now working on it as driving it, but that's also part of the fun. Not sure I would dare do similar work on a Lotus.

Lot's of great folks and info over at http://www.clubcobra.com to help you decide. You can spend as little as $35k to well into six figures, and pretty much get what you pay for.

- Kirkham makes the aluminum body ones (too pretty to paint - I particularly liked the brushed metal stripes they do for effect). These are the most expensive new-replica ones.

- Superformance are officially licensed by by Shelby and run in the $90k+ range I believe.

- ERA (Era Replica Automobiles) make an amazing vehicle and look very authentic with lots of hidden improvements. They've been doing this maybe the longest (late 80s?) and of course their website looks like it. Tons of great info to rabbit hole on there; this is a great place to learn about the different models and options even if you don't get one from them. You'll probably want to find a nice used one that's built out the way you want, otherwise there's a long (multi-year) wait for new builds.

- Then there's Backdraft and the others. A lot of these have more modern interiors that lots of people love, but kinda defeats the point IMO.

Aluminum I hear can be annoying because it dings very easily.

One thing I love about these cars is how connected you are to the environment. It's all open, everything is analog, no drive by wire, no power steering. It's great! It also means you get cold and wet sometimes and your hair is always a bit tangled (gives it character). That was perhaps what surprised me the most when I test drove an Evora: the cabin felt surprisingly cramped / claustrophobic and dark.

--

* with an original side-oiler block from the 60s bored and stroked to 456ci.

Last edited by Moriarty; 06-21-2019 at 07:52 PM. Reason: spelling
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post #10 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-21-2019, 09:30 PM
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Well, I borrowed/took care of one for a month while a friend was out of town. It was a Superformance with Rousch 347 motor with a 4 barrel carb.

My experience was as follows: Loud, vintage vibe, totally impractical, and... Easily the most dangerous car I've ever driven. Everything was pretty OK until pushing into the secondaries and then it was completely ridiculous. Violent acceleration. Probably the fastest car I've driven. Equal or better to an R8 V10. I know there is a 427 version of this, but I have a hard time imagining how that would ever be a good idea. Like if you let me pick either one I would not pick the larger engine.

The chassis is old school and there was a lot of flex. Certainly engaging lol... I was glad to give it back and go back to the relative safety of my superbikes for when extreme speed is needed... not that it wasn't fun, but I am sure I would have wrapped it around something, eventually. The engine capability is many levels beyond the rest of the package. Some women really liked it, but my girlfriend refused to go for a ride, citing concerns for her safety and my predilection to get a rise out of her...

Anyway the TLDR is; fun to borrow, but would not own due to chance of dying thanks to primitive design and the weird creature it brings out in me!!!

Last edited by troyus; 06-21-2019 at 09:37 PM.
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post #11 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-21-2019, 10:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beemerb0y View Post
Looking to purchase a Shelby Cobra replica, leaning towards a Backdraft Racing w/ Roush 427. Anyone here own one that might share info of what to expect? Anything you can tell me about them? I live in CA, so seems like I can only buy a used one that has been registered in CA under SB100. Bummer, seen many nice ones out of state, even a few right here in CA but with Montana registration. Thank you


You can register an out of state kit car in CA, research SB1578. I brought my Caterham into CA from NJ that way



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post #12 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-22-2019, 06:43 PM Thread Starter
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I ended up buying a backdraft racing cobra with a coyote 5.0 and stack injection. CA car with SB-100 already
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post #13 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-22-2019, 07:22 PM
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@Beemerb0y It's all lies without pictures!

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post #14 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-22-2019, 10:05 PM Thread Starter
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@Beemerb0y It's all lies without pictures!
Here ya go.. Nardo Grey with black stripes and neon green pin stripe
Built in 2017 for Reg, owner of Backdraft, the first stack injection they did
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post #15 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-24-2019, 03:25 PM
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Nice!

Vati.
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THE OBITS, YO!
KEEP CRYIN! WHAA!
REDNECK = PERSON WHO LIVES IN A DUMP BUT DRIVES AN ELISE!


I never played by the rules, and I never really cared
My nasty reputation takes me everywhere

It is admitted by all that he was much addicted to women, as well as very expensive in his intrigues with them, and that he debauched many ladies of the highest quality; among whom were Posthumia, the wife of Servius Sulpicius; and Lollia, the wife of Aulus Gabinius.
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post #16 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-24-2019, 05:00 PM
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Baseline of the real thing .. bodywork is pretty good
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post #17 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-29-2019, 09:26 PM Thread Starter
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Few more pics

To be honest, the Elise has been sitting in the garage since i bought this. The Cobra is much funner to drive, much much much more unique, lots of power (too much actually), amazing handling (coilovers, e36 M3 rear suspension, 3.73 gears with LSD) and weighs in at just a few hundred pounds more than the Elise.. and constant attention, thumbs up, neck breaking, photo snapping...nothing thats ever happened while driving the Elise. Only downside is having the wear earplugs while driving cuz its so loud it will make me go deaf lol
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post #18 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-30-2019, 08:46 AM
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That thing looks F U N!

Never really considered one myself, I had a friend with a nice version. Don't know the model/ type. Actually funny story about that one. He was a workmate and some Engineer's from Japan were visiting so of course he offered them the experience... then he lost control in front of the office building ( yes hooning) and wrecked his car. He got a scrape or two, the Japanese compatriot was fine, but I imagine with a story of crazy American... heh

L O T U S
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post #19 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-30-2019, 09:23 AM
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I drove my friend's original 60s Cobra for about 1/2 hour.

After that, I needed a 20 minute nap.

Raucous car, a bit unwieldy, did not test its outright speed.

Friend said that Cobras won races due to hp/wt ratio, clearly not handling.

Pointed out the the 427s won little or none (?) and that all the important victories were with the smaller engine.

---

Drove a friend's Factory Five cobra. Wasn't set up, but didn't seem that fact or a good handling car. As I said, not tuned nor aligned. He still has it, 13 yrs on.

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post #20 of 21 (permalink) Old 07-01-2019, 11:41 PM
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What stops people from registering in another state?
Canada, we can have it registered in another province!
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