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Discussion Starter #1
I bought my roadster kit back in September and I have officially decided to either sell it or have someone build it for me. Of course, there are pluses and minuses to each one, but my ONLY concern with having one built is the kind of drive it is. A friend of mine had built one with his father, and he let me drive it and it was a bit hard of a drive. It wasn't as enjoyable as I had hoped and several people have told me it all depends on what I purchased on the car. The person I spoke to at length about this was someone who builds these and he said I had the components to make this for a nice ride, and he said it from an unbiased standpoint asking me if I had purchased the IRS with my kit, and I had in fact done that.

There is also a show in London, Ohio and I was thinking of going to it to see if I could drive cars out there to see how smooth a ride they can be. Is that the right way to approach this or am I wasting more time in doing that? I love how the car looks and would love to have it built to my color specs and interior specs, but I also don't want to put good money after making a mistake in buying the kit too soon. Anyone's advice is greatly appreciated.
 

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Probably the best advise I could offer would be to contact Jeff Kliener(? on spelling). He's in Missouri I believe, and he's built, and painted I don't know how many cars. He would be able to let you know how different suspension, drive trains, etc., will ride and handle. In other words, he can steer you in the right direction. He's on the forum, look him up. OK, it's Kleiner. You can PM under JKleiner.
 

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Great. Thanks for the suggestion. I appreciate it. But I also want to know what a "nice ride" would feel like comparatively, if that makes sense? Maybe my buddy had the nicest possible ride but it wasn't what I expected? I wonder if my expectations were out of whack
 

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Come to London. With the event at a single venue starting this year, makes it even easier. And you're sure not very far away compared to many. You'll get a chance to talk to lots of owners, see lots of different configurations, and most (including me) will give you a ride if you ask. Don't expect to drive one though. For the most part, that's just not going to happen. I agree after having several configurations myself, there's a pretty significant difference in how they feel and ride. But all are going to be pretty firm. You made a good choice with IRS if ride quality is one of your main concerns.
 

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What are you looking for? Do you want it to perform like a current production car, Miata, BMW, Corvette? If so I would say a cobra is not for you.
 

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I don't want it to perform like a modern high performance, but it was a bit hard to drive and wasn't even a fun drive. Clearly it won't perform like the other cars out there that are modern adn have all the tech, but it felt like a model T. And of course I am exaggerating.
 

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Ok Great. yeah I understand not allowing me to drive and it being hard to do that. it will be nice to just go out and have a chat and see what everyoen suggests. I'm glad the IRS was a good upgrade to do.
 

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I don't want it to perform like a modern high performance, but it was a bit hard to drive and wasn't even a fun drive. Clearly it won't perform like the other cars out there that are modern adn have all the tech, but it felt like a model T. And of course I am exaggerating.

Paul per our convo these cars can be made to drive very well. They have to be set up properly as a driver, they can be built with plenty of power and amazing drivability.

Coyote, PS, are two must haves in my opinion., you also already have IRS, so you have a solid foundation.



I will likely be in London, but will likely fly out. If I were to drive and trailer my car you could surely take it for a ride. although it is not Coyote powered you could see how a well sorted car with PS and Power brakes should feel.

What you want is very doable.

Ron.
 

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I'll be in London and can give you a ride. Not that my car is special but I've had several people tell me it's the nicest ride in a cobra they've experienced. It's also an IRS car and it was set up for my wife and I to cruise in the country on a Sunday afternoon.
It won't win any drag races or autocross races but it rides better than some of our daily drivers.
In fact I just completed 3000 miles in 6 days a couple weeks ago. Not once did I feel beat up on the drive. Long drive...yes. But the car was not the reason for me wanting out. Ha.
Craig
 

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Why would you ever buy a kit for something you didn't like in the first place? My recommendation is to sell what you have now. Otherwise you will spend money getting it built and then be stuck with something you're not happy with and THEN take a beating trying to sell it afterward. This isn't for you. Bail out now.
Frank
 

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Frank is right. You should sell it, for two reasons... 1) Half of the joy of owning/driving a replica Cobra is the pride in building it. Most owners on this forum would say building it was as fun as the experience after the build. If you have someone build it for you, you’ve missed the real joy (and sometimes frustration). I built my first Cobra in 2007 and drive it nearly every week. As much as I love driving it, I certainly miss the time I spent building it. 2) If you’re looking for a comfortable Sunday cruiser for you and the wife to enjoy, it’s certainly not a Cobra. It’s a modern take on a very unrefined and unsophisticated race car from the 60’s . It’s purely visceral..... beautiful, raw, loud, requires skill to keep it between the lines, and smells like gas. It took time for my wife to get used to all that wonderfulness (if that’s a word). If you want a comfortable, refined performance car for Sunday cruising with the wife, a corvette might be the better option. Hope this helps.
 

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A Cobra is a something that you have to be in love with. Not just the looks, but what a Cobra really is. They are harsh, hot, temperamental, need focus to drive, and always need maintenance and adjustments. You can put softer springs in, but you will not be able to knock the Cobra out of it. It's a tube frame race car.

If you are not jumping up and down with excitement over it, your relationship with this car is a losing proposition. If driving one made you less rather than more excited, it sounds like this car is not for you. There is nothing wrong with that. That is why they make more than one kind of car. I would get out now rather than put more money into it. Find a car that you love. There are many amazing cars out there. Almost all of them are easier to live with than a Cobra.
 

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A Cobra is a something that you have to be in love with. Not just the looks, but what a Cobra really is. They are harsh, hot, temperamental, need focus to drive, and always need maintenance and adjustments. You can put softer springs in, but you will not be able to knock the Cobra out of it. It's a tube frame race car.

If you are not jumping up and down with excitement over it, your relationship with this car is a losing proposition. If driving one made you less rather than more excited, it sounds like this car is not for you. There is nothing wrong with that. That is why they make more than one kind of car. I would get out now rather than put more money into it. Find a car that you love. There are many amazing cars out there. Almost all of them are easier to live with than a Cobra.
Many statements made here and in this thread are based on the opinions of one car owners, their car is their experience, talk to others who have experience with multiple cars, multiple drivetrains, multiple suspensions and get the one that's right for you.

I can tell you from experience you can build these cars so they are hot temperamental, stink like fuel all the time, constantly need adjustment, are hard to drive, twitchy on the highway, tough on back roads, Ride terrible etc. etc. Your wife will hate it That is perfectly acceptable if this is what you want.

Or you can build them totally opposite.

If you build them the way they were, that's what you get.
IF you build them with new technology and assembly techniques they can be very much like a production car in driving characteristics. Your wife will love it.

This is also perfectly acceptable if this is what you want.

Mike Everson
Paul Borror
Jeff KLeiner
Henry Renaud

Are just a few names that come to mind that could offer a perspective that could be helpful.

The opinions on this and other forums are generally
based on people who have experience with 1 car, this combined with peoples wants and desires explains why feedback is so varied .

In the end, what you want is very doable, as long as you know what that is and you start with and end result in mind and make decisions based on that end result. There can be tradeoffs to some of your wants, as long as they are understood. you can be very happy with the end result.
 

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Many statements made here and in this thread are based on the opinions of one car owners, their car is their experience, talk to others who have experience with multiple cars, multiple drivetrains, multiple suspensions and get the one that's right for you.

I can tell you from experience you can build these cars so they are hot temperamental, stink like fuel all the time, constantly need adjustment, are hard to drive, twitchy on the highway, tough on back roads, Ride terrible etc. etc. Your wife will hate it That is perfectly acceptable if this is what you want.

Or you can build them totally opposite.

If you build them the way they were, that's what you get.
IF you build them with new technology and assembly techniques they can be very much like a production car in driving characteristics. Your wife will love it.

This is also perfectly acceptable if this is what you want.

Mike Everson
Paul Borror
Jeff KLeiner
Henry Renaud

Are just a few names that come to mind that could offer a perspective that could be helpful.

The opinions on this and other forums are generally
based on people who have experience with 1 car, this combined with peoples wants and desires explains why feedback is so varied .

In the end, what you want is very doable, as long as you know what that is and you start with and end result in mind and make decisions based on that end result. There can be tradeoffs to some of your wants, as long as they are understood. you can be very happy with the end result.
Ron nailed it!

These cars may look alike (especially if they're blue & white ;)) but they're all different. You can't throw a blanket statement on the subject. I've had cars here that I wouldn't want to drive across town and others that I'd jump in and head to the west coast without hesitation. Thing is though...they've all been exactly what the owner wanted (or thought he wanted) even though they may not be what the next guy wants. Be realistic about what your wants, needs and desires are then plan it and build it---or have it built---to meet those goals :yes:

Cheers,
Jeff
 

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Jeff beat me (as usual...). Agree Ron nailed it. And thanks for the shout out BTW. These will never be your father's Oldsmobile (nor should they be) but can be as wild or civilized as an open top sports car be. I've taken a bunch of people for rides in my #8674 Anniversary Roadster, which is Coyote powered, IRS, fully insulated, power steering, etc. Many times their first Factory Five and/or Roadster ride. To a person they comment about how relatively civilized it is. No smell, not overwhelmingly loud, compliant suspension, solid, no rattles, etc. I don't let other people drive it (other than my sons) but I show them how relatively easy it is to drive and how it holds the road. Much like a modern sports car, without the electronic aids. Most rides includes a couple throttle hits to make sure it's obvious it can be wild if wanted. But I don't get too crazy with that on the street. I get that some builders what something different, e.g. closer to the original look, sound, smell, etc. But it doesn't have to to be that way. Bottom line, as Ron and Jeff said, there's a lot of variation. My wife is a great sport, and goes on cruises with me a lot.

Paul B. (EdwardB)
 

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People telling you to sell it based on one thread you've started? Wow, what a narrow focus they have on the topic.

Don't listen to them. Listen to the last three responses. Build it as you want it.

My wife and I get in ours. Its not loud (there are things you can do to take the bark out). It doesn't smell of gas (modern fuel delivery/recovery and other things). It rides great (not even sure why people above said it's not possible. I assure you it is).

We go out into the corn fields of western Illinois, set the cruise control (yes, you can have all the comforts you want). Turn the seat heaters on if it gets a little cool. And have a wonderful, open air ride with your wife.

Completely possible.

Come to London.
That entire list of guys above (that gave good insight) will be there. I'll be there.
Make the car what you want, not what the others think it can only be.
Craig
 

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I have some recent experience, just got back from a ride.

These cobra's are not for everyone no matter how well they are built. Roll up windows and air conditioning is a major shortfall. They can get hot, they can get cold, they can get wet. I've seen it all in the past 14 years.

When I was young I went from an MGA (side curtains) to a Datsun 2000 with rollup windows huge improvement. Now when we are buying cars climate control is a given. Things have changed we've gotten soft :)

Is it the car (toy) for me, of course it is, mine is not for sale. Is it easy to get in and out of no, I'm 6'3".

Does it fill my need for performance, you bet.
Does my car perform better then Cobra's built in the 60's, yup much better.

Would my wife (age 68) prefer to go for a ride in my recently sold Miata, yup.

This car can be made right and perform with the best of them but it has some built in limitations that can't be overcome. It's a short wheelbase, open air car.

I do love my car and Factory Five is a great car company. I have no regrets and I could pretty much have any car (toy) within reason. My wife on the other hand could take a pass on the Cobra, that passenger seat will never be worn out. Different stokes for different folks we all have different priorities and different minimum requirements.
 

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Having read your posts and the replies, I am not understanding what you did not like. Was it hard to steer? Were the brakes not good? Was the seating uncomfortable? Or was it something like no radio, no a/c, and no radio?

I have seen F5 cars that were a Mustang on the inside that was missing the rear seat and roof. It had a/c, stereo, p/s, and just about everything you could think of.

If it is even beyond that as far as what you did not like, then a Cobra is not for you.
 

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There are late model cars that will overall outperform and be more comfortable than a roadster. However none will match it for smiles to the gallon.

Cheers, Nigel in South Oz
 
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