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Both offer about the same level of weather protection and the acceleration is probably about the same. Do any of the Cobra replicas handle worth a darn? Is the Cobra a more comfortable street car than a Seven? The Seven probably costs a little bit more too.
 

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No answers for you but if you're looking at getting a new Caterham you might want to wait a bit. I know someone that's working on a new version of it - all new inboard suspension. Should handle better than ever. Almost got a chance to drive one when I was across the pond.
 

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When I built my Seven I had a friend up the street build a Cobra replica during the same time frame. He did a very nice job, but I have to day it is a very brute force car in terms of suspension and handling, at least his version of the replica was. But it depends on what you plan to do with the car. I built mine for autocross and track days and for that not many Cobra replicas can match the Caterham. None can on autocross (at least not yet) but with a good driver some are close on track days. Take a look at the July addition of Car and Driver or the June additon of Automobile. They both did comparisons and the Caterham beat everthing on the track and and in handling and braking.
Prices are close depending on options. My car took about 250 hours to build, my friends Cobra took about 1500 hours he figured, although at least one Cobra replica comes assembled except for engine and tranny.
 

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I have looked at a lot of Seven replicas and none of them compare with the quality of the Caterham. I have been to the Caterham factory and they make a very nice product.:clap:
 

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I stopped by Caterham two weeks ago when I was in the UK, the main sales location is 15 minutes from Gatwick airport and the factory just three more exits up the M25. I love going by there when I am in the UK. The Caterham is a good quality car and building it is a lot of fun.
 

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Cobras vary tremendously in build quality (and price).

The do it yourselfer jobs that I've seen look it. The ones put together by a company look more like production quality (but more expensive).

I wasn't allowed to drive one, but from riding it seemed more about power than handling. The engine generates tons of heat, and the side pipes are a major hazard when getting out of the car.
 

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The hazard thign is very true, Cobra owners call the burns on the back of their legs just about the ankle a "Cobra Kiss". No thanks.
 

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Yeah Cobras can really vary depending on the quality of the build. You hear alot of ragging on the Factory Five Cobras because they aren't as authentic and are a "cheaper" kit.
www.ffcobra.com has some good info. Lots of stuff you can do to get them handling really well. You can go with a standard 4 link or they have a 3 link as well as a full adjustable rear suspension for track and autocross.

Burning your calf on the side pipes isn't too big of a deal. You learn to step out wide and it is easier to get into and out of then an elise. But you will burn your leg at least once and then you learn real fast!

Mine was comfortable but the novelty wore off. No top so I only drove it on nice days, but the engine is set so far back that the footwells just bake your feet. So they only enjoyable time was in the early evenings when it cooled down outside.

One interesting note is that they are getting very difficult to insure. LOTS of claims for wrecks. I know specialty insurance companies like Grundy, etc wont touch them anymore.
 

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In Car and Driver a couple of months ago, they compared a Caterham Super 7 Lightweight, a Factory Five Racing Cobra replica, the Mazdaspeed Miata, a Honda S2000 and (what else) the Elise.

They finished in reverse order, with the Super 7 last (because of a lack of amenities and weather protection--who woulda thought...) and the Elise first (of course).

They pinged the FFR for "scary" steering feel and comfort.

You might check their website to see if it's been posted yet.

Jim
 

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There is one that runs at our local Autocross events and the guy is about as fast as I am in my Birkin. Could be that he is a better driver (would not surprise me), could be the fact that I have only rain tires, could be a combination of the lot.

They do require a lot more "work" to hustle them around the track - but seem like a lot of fun.

Ron.
 

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My wife and I own an Elise and 2 Spec Racer Factory Five Cobras. One was built by Panoz as a prototype and the other was put together by Marcus Motorsports. The FFR is a bit brutal on the street when set up for the track, but my wife prefers the Cobra at HPDE events over the Elise. On the street, our Honda S2000 was a better daily driver, and nice for track days. There are many track records being set by the FFR cars recently. As a testament to the design, Bondurant's 2 sons are driving them on the track.
When Car and Driver made the comparison, they didn't specify what the testing would be and FFR sent a car set up strictly for track use. And overpowered as well.
We park both the Elise and a Cobra in front of our office and the Cobra always gets more attention.
 
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