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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have been trying to research the most cost-effective way to build a quality Cobra with a 351W and Tremec tranny (also would like IRS and four wheel disc brakes) ... yesterday many of you gave great insight into what that might cost.

Today, I am considering some alternatives and what they may cost. I have researched these companies as much as FFR, but going the non-donor route it seems that both Unique and ERA offer a quality kit with IRS that does away with most of the donor concept. For those of you with "non-baic" kits, what do you think? (actually, i'm interested in anyone's opinion!)

Thanks,
Trevor
 

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You really need to look at the cars in-the-flesh and talk to the owner-builders: they all have quirks. A lot of your choice may depend on what you want to do with the car.

There are plenty of FFR's to see in MA, probably you can find at least one of every other manufacturers examples. The best is if you can find one under construction, or body-off, or at least on a lift, to see what's under the skin. I have a friend who,as a professional builder, has built several kinds of kits: now FFR is the ONLY one he will build. The local Shelby dealer even has to redo a number of things on Shelby's own "Continuation Series" before they sell them.

One problem with the other IRS kits is the Jag/Salisbury rear IRS: the Ford T-bird stuff is much better and much cheaper. Many kits were designed so many years ago that the Jag stuff was all that was available, and they've never been updated. Many use the front suspension from a Mustang II/Pinto chassis (actually, fairly common in hotrods, but I'm not too impresssed with it).

To me, the only real alternative to FFR would be Superformance: a modern-design, Ford parts, well-made car, big user base. If you want a daily driver with roof and defrosters, it's an only slightly more costly alternative. Biggest downside: you don't get to build it yourself.

If you're going FFR with a 351, Tremec, IRS (very good choices, BTW, although for roadracing a 302 is probably better <lighter>), the way to go is to get a "pallet donor", which is basically everything you need in a box: T-bird IRS, driveshaft, front brakes/spindles/steering rack, pedal box, brackets, bolts, etc. You could buy this stuff all new, but it would cost a lot more, since much of it has to come from a Ford dealer (or you could go with Wilwood pedals, etc), or piece it together from salvage yards IF you have a lot of free time. You can order a pallet from many sources that will have just about everything you need at reasonable cost, all guaranteed to work.

Take your time deciding: with any luck, you'll be driving the beast for a lot of years!

HTH

Forrest
 

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If you go with a pallet, I can tell you where NOT TO GO....OOOO HHHH IIII OOOO !!!!
C racked & broken driveline parts
R usted, I mean everything
O nly some of the correct parts
O ther years parts (like 95 wires and computer)
K ept my recipt & bill of sale (hard to register)
S ooooo expensive!
 

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I got my pallet at Cypress in Oakland, CA. Very happy with them, parts all useable, little rust (California stuff). A long way to ship to MA or FL, though.

Forrest
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Hi guys ... thanks for the suggestions. Does Breeze Automotive count as a pallet supplier? Are there other pallet options closer to MA?

Thanks,
Trevor
 

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Hi Trevor,
I'm just down the road in Burlington, Ma. I'm building many parts for the FFR. I also have a chassis on the floor in my showroom. Give me a call and stop by sometime.
Mike Forte
Burlington, Ma
781-273-9900
 

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Originally posted by tbarcelo:
I have been trying to research the most cost-effective way to build a quality Cobra with a 351W and Tremec tranny (also would like IRS and four wheel disc brakes) ... yesterday many of you gave great insight into what that might cost.

Today, I am considering some alternatives and what they may cost. I have researched these companies as much as FFR, but going the non-donor route it seems that both Unique and ERA offer a quality kit with IRS that does away with most of the donor concept. For those of you with "non-baic" kits, what do you think? (actually, i'm interested in anyone's opinion!)

Thanks,
Trevor
Having been around/ built and drove all three cars I'll give you my insight.

FFR- Decent kit. lots of building, some consider this a plus, some a minus. Depends on you. Can be customized easily. Quality depends on builder skills. Inexpensive. Mass production causes some quality issues and back order problems. Lots of help out there. Makes a great daily driver. Not authentic as most others.

ERA - Very authentic. High quaility. High resale. Long waiting list. The what is needed to complete list is long and expensive. Their kit price is deceptive due to this what's not included list.Optional rear is very expensive. Not much skill or time is required to complete. VERY EXPENSIVE.

Unique - Pretty authentic, High quality, decent resale. Waiting list half or less then ERA's. Very complete kit if you go deluxe pallet kit. IRS included. Assembly manual lacking. Legendary customer service. Great price for what you get.

Superformance - Great car, Very expensive, Great quality. Authentic. Limited color choices. Warranty.

None of the kits mention use the Mustang II front end stuff . ERAs is mostly home grown. Unique is custom and MG.

Don't be afraid of the jag rears. They are time tested and proven. Repairs will be more expensive then the ford stuff. You'll hear that they might break if you put a HIGH horsepower engine in the car. To this day I have no found one person who broke one in a HIGH horse power car. I think it almost qualifies for an urban legend.

If price is not an issue I would go with the Superformance or ERA.

If price in somewhat an issue go with the Unique.

If price is an issue go with FFR. You trade your sweat for greenbacks.

If you want a truly authentic car go for the ERA or Unique.

If being authentic is somewhat and issue go with the superformance.

If being authentic is not an issue go with FFR.

If you want to build and authentic small block car the only way to go is Unique or ERA as they are the only ones who make a FIA car.

Best of luck.

[ August 24, 2002, 03:14 PM: Message edited by: Faststang ]
 

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Not to sound flip, but these threads are like pissing up the flag pole...everyone ends up getting some on them.

But, for what's it worth, I guess all of us went through the same thought process that you are going through now. Ultimately, we all made our decisions based on what was important to each of us.

For me, one of the main reason I am going with FFR is that you actually sit in the car; I mean the metal part - not the fiberglass part. Check out the frames on all of the kits. You'll see what I mean.

Also, I'm going non-donor. That means I get to use NEW Ford parts that have been tried and tested on a Mustang with all of Ford's engineering to stand behind the parts. If something major ever tanks and I can't fix it, I can drag the sled down to my local friendly Ford dealer and say "Fix it".

The best thing I did was go to Carlisle this year and actually saw, touched and sat in all the different kits. After that weekend, the choice was clear for me based on my decision criteria. You should list what's important to you and then compare the kits against your list.

I'm going to go wipe-up now; I'm sure I got some on myself.

CJ
 
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