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Many people have done a lot of things to make their FFR look more authentic.
This thread is to summarize those changes.

On Old 3850, we made these changes:

1. Hood hoop 3/4" all the way around. ( Don DePontee )
2. Hood latches moved in toward the stripe.
3. Rolled cockpit edges. ( Don DePontee )
4. Hidden trunk hinges. ( Don DePontee )
5. IRS
6. Pin drive rims
7. 15" tires
8. CSX 427 S/C Competition dash layout
9. All Lucas switches (backed by hidden relays so the Lucas switches always work)
10. Single roll bar (albiet larger diameter and front down tube not exposed)
11. AutoMeter "Cobra" guages
12. Wooden English steering wheel
13. Hoops front and rear
14. Hidden bolts, rocker side panel
15. Vintage style seat upholstery

On Project 3105, we are going a little further:
1. Hood hoop 3/4" all the way around. ( Don DePontee )
2. Hood latches moved in toward the stripe.
3. Rolled cockpit edges. ( Don DePontee )
4. Hidden trunk hinges. ( Don DePontee )
5. IRS
6. Pin drive rims
7. 15" tires



8. CSX 427 S/C Competition dash layout
9. All Lucas switches (backed by hidden relays so the Lucas switches always work)
10. Single roll bar (albiet larger diameter and front down tube not exposed)
11. AutoMeter "Cobra" guages
12. Wooden English steering wheel
13. Quick Jacks
14. Finishline (decent) louvers
15. Louvers painted body color
16. "ACE" style pedal covers, brake and clutch
17. Mass Flo EFI system (looks like carb)



18. Rectangular tail lights
19. Trunk rounded instead of "perky"
20. Hidden bolts, rocker side panel
21. Vintage style seat upholstery
22. Rivet-on hood scoop ( 65_427_COBRA ) & ( Lancair IV )
23. 4 into 4 headers ( cobrabob99 )



Other Ideas:
24. Dash support tubes. ( Lancair IV )
25. Exposed roll bar (requires moving rear cockpit wall back) ( Jack ffr1846 )
26. "Dropped Butt" mod
27. Different gas tank (less exposed)
28. Different roll bar (smaller diameter)
29. Floor mounted pedals
30. Original style gas pedal.

Of course this list does not address the engine area very much.
Allen ("ACE") English has done some more engine area mods this winter, maybe he will share.

What other ideas did we miss?

31. Less "Bling Factor" ( Jack be Quick )
32. Side pipe finish ( Jack be Quick ) Black or White side pipes. No chrome or silver. ( jperickson2001 )
33. Carpet type ( Jack be Quick ) Wool ( Todd H )
34. Overflow catch can type ( Jack be Quick )
35. Original style throttle linkage ( 2FAST4U )
36. MC reservoirs on firewall ( 2FAST4U )
37. No carpet in trunk ( 2FAST4U )
38. Seat harness cross attachment on roll bar (Finishline) ( 2FAST4U )
39. 427/428 engine ( 2FAST4U )
40. Toploader 4-spd ( 2FAST4U )
41. The gauges are rarely all from the same supplier or the same style; ( Jon A )
42. They often have "label maker" type labels for wipers, lights, etc. ( Jon A )
43. The seats are leather and worn ( Jon A )
44. The paint is never "deep" and glossy... no clear coats, no modern colors ( Jon A )
45. Sunburst wheels (WHY WON'T SOMEONE MAKE REPLICAS OF THESE!?!?!) ( Jon A )
46. Didn't the oil pan on the Cobra's look a lot different 289FIA_Cobra
47. Must have a carb ( cobrabob99 )
48. Small, glass tube type fuse panel on the firewall ( Ed Reynolds )
49. Move the dash hoop back 3/4-1" ( 65' Cobra )
50. Shorter roll bar, I would add thinner tube and angled backwards, but that is quite a task & safety would/might suffer. ( Rickster )
51. Possibly hood vents? I know many of the race prepped originals had these. ( Rickster )
52. Shelby name plates. Shelby emblems (front, back & sides). ( Rickster )
53. Clear front running lights. ( Rickster )
54. Electric fuel pump is inside the trunk on the driver's side trunk wall ( Derald Rice )
55. Spare tire "well" in the trunk floor ( Derald Rice )
56. Battery behind passenger's seat, the long narrow battery ( Larry N. Johnson )
57. Vintage race car look. ( ACE )
58. Good Year large letter tires. ( ACE )
59. Smith & Lucas switches backed by relay's never any problems. ( ACE )
60. Small block 351W with Big block Valve Covers. ( ACE )
61. Turkey Pan, 427 Surge Tank for the big block look. almost... ( ACE )
62. Blue :D ( ACE )
63. Shave off the turn signal boss and smooth the area with the natural contour like the original so when the turn signal (with a clear lens) is mounted it will point slightly down and out like the original Cobras. ( Don DePontee )
64. Add the correct lip between the radiator opening and the oil cooler opening ( Don DePontee )
65. Weber look intake ( Don DePontee )
66. Rear diff cooler ( Rallygorgo )
67. Rear brake cooling vents ( Rallygorgo )
68. Rear quick jack pickup points (I haven't seen any Coupe replicas yet that have them). ( Rallygorgo )
69. What about Girling front brake calipers. ( Rallygorgo )
70. Floor-mounted brake and clutch master cylinders. ( Rallygorgo )
71. A 40-gallon fuel cell in the trunk. ( Rallygorgo ) ( Todd H )
72. Cooling fans mounted ahead of the radiator. ( Rallygorgo )
73. Rear axles with u-joints instead of CV-joints. ( Rallygorgo )
74. Bent-tube-design front upper control arms. ( Rallygorgo )
75. Putting the side 'gill' openings in the correct place (and correct the angle) ( Mike D )
76. Extend the bottom of the oil cooler scoop. ( Mike D )
77. Deck Lid Hoops ( Lancair IV )
78. Windshield Center Brace ( Lancair IV )
79. Ashtray ( Lancair IV )
80. T-Handle on Shifter ( Lancair IV )
81. Glove Box ( Lancair IV )
82. Mustang shifter ball (flat top, shift pattern in white) ( Rick Terrill )
83. Ignition key to the left of the steering column ( Rick Terrill )
84. Oval hole under hood scoop to match the turkey pan ( Rick Terrill )
85. Leather door latch pull straps on doors. ( Rick Terrill )
86. Ignition switch from mid-60's Ford. ( Rick Terrill )
87. Roll the edges of the body under at the rocker panels ( BS ) ( Todd H )
88. Location of the nameplate passenger's side footbox front ( Charlie C )
89. What about using a quick change rear end in the IRS? ( KC Wildcat )
90. "Fiberglass" foot boxes ( 289FIA_Cobra ) ( Todd H )
91. Differential cooler ( 289FIA_Cobra )
92. FE Cooling Purge Tank ( Lancair IV )
93. Paint the underside of the car Semi Gloss Silver especially inside the front fender above the header and behind the front wheel. Since the cars were aluminum this area was left bare. All the kit cars I have seen have been painted black. This is just a subtle thing to trick the eye. ( COMPETITIONCOBRA )
94. In a 427 S/C body, install a 427 Side Oilder engine ( Todd H )
95. Girling brake/clutch reservoirs ( Charlie C )
96. (Blowby) puke tank on firewall ( Charlie C )
97. Directional lever on the right of the steering column ( Charlie C )
98. Rangoon red with no stripes or clear ( Charlie C )
99. Paint engine bay same as body ( Charlie C )
100. How about a functional Oil Cooler? ( Todd H ) (or Oil Cooler "looking like" it's connected - LNJ)
-Wool Carpeting? (See Item 33.)
-6 pin rims? (Covered by Item 6 Pin Drive Rims that "Look Authentic")
101. Engine moved more forward ( Todd H )
102. Hood prop rod ( Todd H )
103. Correct trunk support mechanism ( Todd H )
- Larger trunk (See Item 71)
104. Skinnier trans tunnel ( Todd H ) (near impossible with the FFR "backbone" frame stiffening)
105. Wider original seats ( Todd H )
- Correct trunk aluminum for the 427 cars (See Item 41, Trunk and gas tank one area)
- Correct trunk aluminium/fiberglass for 289 cars (FFR's are all 427 S/C bodies at the moment)
- Fiberglass foot boxes (See Item 90)
- Narrower body by rear lower doors (See Item 87 )
107. Fix body by front of rear rims & front fenders ( Todd H )
- Aluminum Body (FFR's are painted as were most all CSX cars.)
108. Goodyear Tires (Ha!) ( Larry N. Johnson )
109. Tripod Headlights ( BS )
110. Vintage style license plate ( nc1mike )
111. License plate screwed directly to trunk lid. No bracket, no frame. ( Rick Terrill )
112. Bungee cord over trunk handle and through gromets in lower lip under trunk opening. (Racing models only) ( Rick Terrill )
113. 1. Soft top and/or snaps & door ferrules. ( DavidT )
114. Rookie stripes. ( DavidT )
115. Extended hood scoop. ( DavidT )
116. Hood scoop "grille" (perforated sheet metal). ( DavidT )
117. Headlamp rock guards/grilles. ( DavidT )
118. Oil cooler lines should be black fabric hose. ( DavidT )
119. "Kidney Bean" wheels. ( DavidT )
120. Quick jacks should be two-piece & welded with the correct mounting points & shape. And, the sleeves should be shortened. ( DavidT )
121. Side exhausts should be longer. They should extend to just before the front of the wheel arch. ( DavidT )
122. Under-car exhaust. ( DavidT )
123. Trunk rack. ( DavidT )
124. Wire wheels. ( DavidT )
125. Grille bar/splitter. ( DavidT )
126. Wind wings. ( DavidT )
127. Plexi visors. ( DavidT )
128. Relocated gas cap (behind passenger area). ( DavidT )
129. Hood louvers -yes, many race cars had them. ( DavidT )
130. Single drivers "race seat." ( DavidT )
131. SCCA & SAAC decals (windshield). ( DavidT )
132. SCCA tech inspection decal (roll bar). ( DavidT )
133. 'USA' euro badge/decal on trunk. ( DavidT )
134. Racing windscreen. ( DavidT )
135. Spats! ( DavidT )
136. Door hinge covers. ( DavidT )
137. Raydot or Talbot mirrors. ( DavidT )
138. Rotunda or Sun short-sweep tach. ( DavidT )
139. Door frame aluminum trim (Dark Water). ( DavidT )
140. Rubber shift boot. ( DavidT )
141. Fire extinguisher. ( DavidT )
142. Hoop mounted grab handle. ( DavidT )
 

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If you're going for period correct, I guess the bling factor would need to be toned down. I dont think there was much polished aluminum or chrome on the originals (other then quick jack covers and shifter - what else?).

A couple of other areas:

side pipe finish

carpet type

overflow catch can type
 

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OOOOhhh PURTY.......
 

· Super Moderator
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Original style throttle linkage
MC reservoirs on firewall
No carpet in trunk
Seat harness cross attachment on roll bar (Finishline)
427/428 engine
Toploader 4-spd
 

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I kicked around the idea of trying to replicate the "patina" of a real car. (I ultimately rejected the idea because it would be hard to do "right" and a little more costly for some things). Also, since it is in fact a replica, it would probably just look like I had no money or taste!!

As is often said, you can tell the real one in a crowd of cobras because it is the dirtiest. There was a great article in Motor Trend a few months ago about a car they nicknamed "dirtbag" or something to that effect. Here it is... http://www.motortrend.com/features/consumer/112_0704_1964_shelby_cobra_289/

Every time I look at pics of the real cars, the following things stand out:
1. The gauges are rarely all from the same supplier or the same style;
2. They often have "label maker" type labels for wipers, lights, etc.
3. The seats are leather and worn
4. The paint is never "deep" and glossy... no clear coats, no modern colors
5. The louvers would be painted the same color as the body
6. Sunburst wheels (WHY WON'T SOMEONE MAKE REPLICAS OF THESE!?!?!)


I am sure there is more but these add to the list.

-Jon A.
 

· 3 Generations on a MkIII
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Over riders that could (or look like they could), be used to lift the car.
 

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Didn't the oil pan on the Cobra's look a lot different than stock as well as the "Cobra" one? The manufacturer still exists but I forget the name.
 

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I was going to go the 'original' route, but just couldn't hold back on the modern things (like heated seats, carbon fiber, powder coating, chrome, polished aluminum, perl paint...).
 

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I kicked around the idea of a thread like this, but in the end I gave up. The truth is Cobra's were not built in any standard way. There are plenty of "original" cars with unpainted side vents, and there are cars with chrome this & that. There are cars converted to S/C specs with street dashes, and there are even cars with bolt-on wheels. There are cars with stripes, no stripes and custom paint too. Even the bodies changed frequently. There are nearly as many differences in original cars as there are in todays cars - with the exception of certain materials & methods - and the number of cars grows every day. Of course, we can lay aside some extreme cases, but I say: If you want to build an original "looking" car, then adopt what you like & leave the rest behind. Adopt ideas from both original street & competiton cars. Adopt ideas from 289 cobras as well as 427's. Hell, about a third of the people I run into think my car "is" original, and another third don't even know what it is: "Hey, is that a Viper?" One things for sure: No one will ever take my FFR chassis from me! It's far superior to any "original."
 

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Gotta love it!!!

 

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Shorter roll bar, I would add thinner tube and angled backwards, but that is quite a task & safety would/might suffer. Possibly hood vents? I know many of the race prepped originals had these. Shelby name plates. Shelby emblems (front, back & sides). Clear front running lights.
 

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On the few originals that I have seen ;

1) electric fuel pump is inside the trunk on the driver's side trunk wall

2) spare tire "well" in the trunk floor
 

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Its nice to see that there are others like me that actually know what a real Cobra looks like and want to replicate it. Not to take anything away from many builders on this site, but I really feel that a Cobra should not have high back racing seats, dual roll bars, 3" thick full length roll bars, Funky colored dashes and upholstery. Those who have opted to go the modern approach are certainly entitled to build what ever they want but I feel the soul of a Cobra is it simplicity and I will stick to this approach when building my car. When it comes to looks like that of Cobra I feel that you cannot improve on it because it is the quintessential sports car. OH YA ... and I feel the worst thing Factory Five did to their cars is build a mile high roll bar hoop. Thats why mine will be cut down to the proper height.
 

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Would a carb be more period correct if you really wanted an "Authentic" look? The fuel rails are a dead give away.
 
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