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Old 10-09-2008, 05:55 PM   #1 (permalink)
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how to buy a cobra replica?

I am new to this site but have been reading on it as much as possible. I am not as savvy w/ engines as those on here and my real dream is to own this car, particularly the FFR as opposed to all others, not build it.

Has anyone who purchased a used FFR or any other cobra had any experience w/ this e-book by Harold Marting - how to buy a cobra replica?

http://howtobuyacobrareplica.com/

i would appreciated any insight into this book before i purchase it as it appears valuable for someone looking to purchase a used cobra w/ little experience w/ the cobra or cars in general.
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Old 10-09-2008, 06:03 PM   #2 (permalink)
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A couple weeks here and on Club Cobra will save you $27. Go to some local shows and meet some owners. Ask questions, get rides, etc. After that decide how much you can afford and what you want (cruiser or race car) and start searching. It's a great time to be buying a used Cobra, that's for sure.
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Old 10-09-2008, 06:04 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I posted this several years ago when several people asked the same question you did.


"How to buy a used Cobra:

Editors Note:
Ok, the first thing you have to ask yourself is "how much money am I willing to spend for a used Cobra", and what my usage is going to be. Now, by usage, I mean a either a daily driver, weekend cruiser, show car/trailer queen, 1/4 mile drag racer, road racer, or any combination of the above. Once you have set your budget and have a pretty good idea of what you want to initially spend, your next goal is to find the right car for you. Whether your spending $22,000, or $150,000 should not matter at this point, as I've personally seen beautiful, well built cars at $22,000, and some truly horrible cars with over $100,000 in to the build.


Your qualifications:
Know your strengths and weaknesses when shopping for a used Cobra, if you know bodywork, and not the mechanicals, take along someone who has a greater mechanical ability than yourself. Vice versa if your strengths are in the mechanical end of things, and not the cosmetics. Two sets (or more) of eyes are always better than one.

If your going to see a cobra in person:

What to look for:
Fit: How does the body sit on the chassis, do the doors, hood, trunk all line up?

Finish: How is the paint, are there runs, drips, sags. Does the paint have a nice shine to it, or does it need to be buffed out or stripped and repainted?

Interior condition: Does the interior show a lot of aging, do the seats need to be recovered.

Mechanical: Are there any leaks or drips under the car? What about the overall appearance, does the car look like it was well taken care of, or does it look like it was ridden hard and abused.

Engine: Again, any leaks or fluid drips, how does it sound (this can be tough on a car such as the Cobra). Check the engine warm, cold, at partial throttle and at idle. Make sure to check the temperature gauge once the car is warmed up and at idle. Also check to make sure the thermostatically controlled fan (if so equipped) kicks in when it is supposed to.

Transmission: Take the car out for a road test if possible (do not expect the seller to allow you to drive it), does the clutch work properly, does the transmission shift smoothly through the gears. Check for leaks here as well.

Rear End: Does the rear end clunk, leak fluids (check behind rear rims for signs of fluid, along with the front and rear of the differential housing)

Suspension: Check the bushings, do they look cracked and worn out, if so, factor in replacements to your costs. What about the shocks (coil overs or ???), if you ask the seller to push down on each corner, watch the rebound, if they bounce forever, then expect to replace them. If the car is equipped with coil over shocks, set the car on an even surface and see if the car sits level or not. if so, then the shocks do not have to be adjusted, if not, then expect a few hours getting things right.

Brakes: If you place your hand on the front disks (do this before the car has been driven), can you feel any grooves in the disk itself? Does the brake pedal feel firm when your sitting in the car, what about on the test drive, ask the seller to do at least one hard braking maneuver so that you can tell whether the brakes are adjusted correctly for the car. Some cars will have a combination of disks and drums, others will have four wheel disk brakes. If set up correctly, a disk/drum set up will work for all but the most extreme usage (IE: heavy road racing, endurance racing, etc).

Wheels: Are the wheels balanced, bolted on, or held on with knock off's? Bolt on wheels are a matter of personal preference, if you like what is on the car, great, if not, factor in a replacement some time down the road. Knock off's should be checked to make sure they are tight, if the knock offs are safety wired on the car, that shows a level of attention worthy of a good owner/seller....

Tires: Are the sidewalls cracked, are the DOT approved, radials or biased ply? What about the sizing, do the fronts both match? What about the rears?

Electrical system: Do all of the lights function, hi beams, lo beams, turn signals, brake lights, horn, etc? What about all of the gauges, do they read correctly?

If your buying a Cobra sight unseen:

Use the above as a reference guide as to what questions need to be asked. If the owner is forthcoming with detailed answers, then you can feel a little more comfortable in dealing with them. if the answers are a little more ambiguous and vague, then perhaps the owners is trying to hide something, or does not really have any mechanical ability or qualifications to answer the questions above..If this is the case, and your still interested in the car, pay to have the car professionally looked at by a qualified inspection service.

In closing, most of the above is all based on common sense. Don't let your emotions get involved in the decision whether to purchase one car or another. Also don't let other so called "experts" sway you to this brand or that, after all, it's your money, not theirs that your planning to spend..Finally, if you need assistance, or don't understand something fully, feel free to ask questions."


Once again, hope you find this helpful and save you the $27 or so dollars someone else wants to charge you for the same free advice given here and on club cobra.

Sincerely,

Bill S.


PS: Upon looking at his "list", it appears as if he has taken information from the two larger Cobra forums and put it in an E book. I for one cannot fault him for that, but to claim all of this information as "his own" is a bit on the underhanded and misleading side, don't you think?
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Last edited by mrmustang; 10-09-2008 at 06:10 PM.. Reason: edit for PS.
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Old 10-09-2008, 06:23 PM   #4 (permalink)
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You also need to rank your priorities for your budget. For example, what is more important to you: Perfect paint with a stock motor, or a stronger motor and average paint? Your personal preferences will come into play. There have been some well built cars on here for sale that I wouldn't buy just because they aren't my taste. To each his own. Decide what you want, then seek experienced advice to see if a particular car meets your wants and needs.
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Old 10-09-2008, 06:46 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Mr. Mustang's post is great. I like to think of it in terms of the most expensive to change or repair to the least expensive:


Paint (most expensive thing to redo, in my opinion)

Engine (unless you want something really special)

Transmission

Wheels & Tires

Rear End

Wiring (if EFI)

Interior

Gauges

Also as posted before, look at the overall appearance and workmanship. Things like a car assembled with rusting or non-reconditioned parts would be a sign to me of a bad donor build.
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Old 10-09-2008, 10:10 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Come drive ours!

In all seriousness, spending a day behind the wheel of one is the best way to learn about the car, the feel, etc. It helps you decide what you like and don't like and build a "must have" "would like to have" list thats based on hands on experience. It gives some perspective when you are looking at a car as well. Just my .02, but I may be a little biased
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Old 10-10-2008, 01:37 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Duke, there has got to be a FFR group or general cobra group in Tampa somewhere.Do a search here for members in your area to start.Once you find a group/club,email a few members and go to whatever events they have.most of us will gladly give a ride to anyone who exhibits a serious interest.
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Old 10-10-2008, 03:00 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Thumbs up

I purchased mine a year ago.

I looked for 2 years for a built one.

Being particular about what I wanted, and quality of the build.

After a year of making improvements, and things that I wanted, I am now moving into pahse two.

This winter the interior will be redone to my tastes.

Next year the final phase of new paint.

Mine has alot of extra's including power brakes, steering, 4 wheel discs, bumpers, and most importantly it is a Mark I, which gives me more leg room. It also has leather seats.

I bought the car for considerably less than all the extras that were built in. There are alot of them out for sale, just knowing what I wanted. Oh yes, I wanted a yellow one, which is what I ended up with.
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Old 10-10-2008, 04:33 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Contact the major kit makers and get their info kits. That will tell you what goes in to each kit. Some kits use some exotic parts that can be hard to find when you break something (and you will) For example, Classic Roasters uses a Chevette tilt column, Unique uses a Jag rear end. Also, some kits require a lot of special made parts, only available from the kit makers. And some kits require you to source from a large variety of vehicle. Again, classic Roadsters falls in to this catagory.

Pay carefull attention to how the company is doing as a company. Who has a good reputation for customer service? Who has been around for a long time, and is likely to be around for years to come? I hear Classic Roadsters is going under. And Hurricane might be in trouble.

IMO, FFR comes out on top of all these criteria. Parts are plentifull, and easy to come by. Need ball joints? Fuel pump? A-arm? Brake parts? Simple, just stop by Autozone and pick them up.

As you're looking at built cars, ask about parts use. Are they all Mustang parts? Are they new, or used? How many aftermarket and custom parts were used? For example, mine looks like so many other FFR's. It looks good, but doesn't look like anything special. But, there's very few Mustang parts in it, and almost no used parts. There are even some one-off custom made parts. And it is very special.
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Old 10-10-2008, 04:53 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Welcome to our madness.

You could also get one of the well known vendors to Build one to your spec.
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Old 10-10-2008, 10:50 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Cowan View Post
I hear Classic Roadsters is going under. And Hurricane might be in trouble.
Disclaimer: I hate when rumors get started about this manufacturer or that:

Not sure of Classic Roadsters, but Hurricane was recently sold, and believe me when I tell you the new owners will not have an issue putting out a top notch kit (plus they have the experience where the old owners did not) once they have fully relocated the production to Texas (give it another two weeks before they should be up and running)..........


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Old 10-11-2008, 02:13 PM   #12 (permalink)
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thanks for all the help. im pretty partial to FFR and feel this is the car id prefer to own after reading other forums and receiving my free FFR DVD and brochure, which was very informative.

Im assuming the vendors on this site have built numerous cars to their owners specs and are extremely good at it or they wouldn't be on here. Anyone have their car built by any of these vendors? What is the usual cost for a build (obviously it varies but what is the range i would be looking at)?

Also, i know all the info i will ever need is on this site and the e-book i initially mentioned is probably just all the cobra sites condensed but has anyone actually ever seen or read this book? If it truly is a condensation of all this info put in order then i would think it would be worth the small investment to have it available and all put together.
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Old 10-11-2008, 02:24 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigDuke View Post
thanks for all the help. im pretty partial to FFR and feel this is the car id prefer to own after reading other forums and receiving my free FFR DVD and brochure, which was very informative.

Im assuming the vendors on this site have built numerous cars to their owners specs and are extremely good at it or they wouldn't be on here. Anyone have their car built by any of these vendors? What is the usual cost for a build (obviously it varies but what is the range i would be looking at)?

Also, i know all the info i will ever need is on this site and the e-book i initially mentioned is probably just all the cobra sites condensed but has anyone actually ever seen or read this book? If it truly is a condensation of all this info put in order then i would think it would be worth the small investment to have it available and all put together.
Figure a base donor style build is going to run you $35,000 by any of the prof. builders, more depending on your options.

Book wise, I'd pass if I was in your shoes and spend a little time using the search function instead. While you call it a small investment, it may be more than a waste of time when you need to view things not attached to it, or not covered by it, especially forwarding links, emails addresses, diagrams, updates, and pictures. Plus, with the use of this forum, you get a live response to your questions and several different viewpoints. Who knows what the publisher had to squew his viewpoint when he was stealing the information off these web based forums.


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Old 10-11-2008, 02:55 PM   #14 (permalink)
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I ended up purchasing my car in Tampa, used, a couple of years ago. I had been looking for literally years and had gone through quite a few magazine subscriptions, books, articles. Just about anything written about these cars. The best thing though, is to talk to someone that owns one. What's even better, is to talk to owners of many different manufacturers. There are some good weekly cruises in your area. Someone always has a couple of cobras at these events.

In Lakeland on Oct 17th-19th, there is a annual car show that has about 500 cars there, including a couple of original cobras, but many cobra replicas. It's called the Lake Mirror Classic. Check it out on the web at: (www.lakemirrorclassic.com). I'll have 2 cars in the show, and would be happy to "talk cars" with you as long as you want. (my cobra is red, license plate reads, "My 427sc").

On November 8th, The Deep South Cobra Club has its annual, Reptile Roundup in Lakeland, at the Flight of Fantasy airfield. It's an all day event. Right now, about 40 cobras will be there.

The point is; that this time of the year, there are a lot of events going on that will probably give you a better education that any book would give, and it's all free for the asking.

Look forward to meeting you. Welcome to the club!

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Old 10-12-2008, 04:17 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Beside educationing yourself on here, you can search the Cobras & Replicas for sale forum on here, there are usually some very nice cars on here - and if you get one from someone who is well known, you can get a really nice care. There are a couple of those for sale on there right now....build by guys that have been around here for a while and have well documented, beautiful builds. Greg Branham & Mike DeGuire. I have ridden in Gregs and it is a very well built car. Am sure there are other well built cars for sale on there, those are just a couple that I am aware of right now.
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Old 11-08-2008, 09:02 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Smile How To Buy A Cobra Replica

First of all, thanks to you all for not beating me up too bad. When I sat down to write the book, the one thing that bothered me was how was it going to be received in the Factory Five community. I have had a ball with my car, and the Cobra owners I have met mean the world to me. On one hand, I admit the book is skewed to my perspective, as is every book, but the information was not simply stolen from web forums.

Like many informational books, nothing in my book could not be learned by anyone wanting to spend the time, as most of you pointed out. However, I would like to think the value is in finding the information all in one spot with a common sense approach. My goal has never been to make a lot of money on this book. Actually I have gone way in the hole!

By the way, if any of you guys on the thread want the book, just email me at hmarting@surfsidepalmbeach.com and I will be happy to email you a free copy. Any opinions are greatly appreciated, and respected. Thanks Again!


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Old 11-08-2008, 09:51 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Get in touch with the secretary of the Deep South Cobra Club, secretary@dscc.us. He has a Backdraft but cab put you in touch with local owners and show you how to attend some of the DSCC functions. The annual Reptile Roundup is going on this weekend. I really wanted to go but it's a long way for me now. If I had known you were in the market I would have had you take a look at mine. I relocated to Wisconsin about 2 months ago and trailered it up. There are many Cobras in the Tamap area. If you send me an email with contact info I can have a local owner contact you.
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Old 11-08-2008, 11:07 PM   #18 (permalink)
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BigDuke, make sure and go for a ride in as many cars as you can to get an idea of what you like and don't like. Some people love the way they look, but are surprised when it doesn't ride like a Corvette or BMW. I love the primitive animalistic aspect of driving mine, others seem to enjoy the build and rarely drive theirs. I'd rather drive my car than work on it. Cheers.
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Old 11-08-2008, 11:55 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Duke, Whitby Motorcars in Greensboro is having the annual Christmas Party December 27th. Why not take the weekend and come on up. Usually about 30 of us standing around our cars.
And you'll be able to see what Jeff Collins is currently building and perhaps get a ride/drive.
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Old 11-09-2008, 04:00 AM   #20 (permalink)
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How to buy a Cobra... cash... and lots of it. Just kidding.. Ditto the post above
It will look something like this
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