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Hey, guys
My family's concerned about the safety of the FFR Roadster. I tried my best to convince them that it's about as safe as the 60's muscle cars my dad has, but they aren't buying it. So please help me out with this, let me know what you think of the car's overall safety.

Thanks,
David
 

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FFCobra Craftsman
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A few guys have wrecked them while racing. Dave Smith rolled his over in a race (is on the FFR website somewhere). He got out, they patched it up and continued racing that weekend (I actually think he still won the event!!).

My philosophy is wreck avoidance. Have a car that is noticable (cobras are that both visually and becouse they are LOUD). Have a car that is nimble in handling, brakes well, and move out of the way. Oh yeah, have a driver who is good at not doing something stupid and getting himself into trouble always helps.
 

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It's a small car and it has very little in the way of side impact protection. Obviously it isn't going to fair well against a large SUV type of vehicle. With that said, a motorcycle doesn't offer much crash protection either, but lots of people ride them. Just like a motorcycle, you really need to drive defensively, be careful and have fun!

The thing about racing is that all cars (about the same size) are going the same direction, most are experienced drivers and there are crash barriers around hazards most of the time, all of which tend to reduce the risk.
 

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Dave, I'd have to say that the FFR is probably a LOT safer than your Dad's 60s musclecar. First of all, the FFR has great brakes and a suspension that will actually allow the car to handle in turns. Hence, you have active safety systems -- avoid the crash in the first place. Then, consider the steel in the doors and how the frame wraps up under the doors. Also the roll bar, backbone, safety harnesses, etc.
I wouldn't want to test all that out, but I have heard of an FFR being run off the road by a pick-up truck and having an exciting ride through the ditch, and no harm coming to the driver. The car even faired pretty well. And there's Dave Smith's well-documented roll-over on the track.
My wife had similar questions. In my case, I had also seriously considered a '32 Ford Roadster hot rod. The safety comparison between the two was pretty lop-sided in favor of the FFR.
My biggest concern is having visible brake lights. i'll probably devise some sort of CHMSL, and will definitely have LED taillights -- and all 4 lights will come on with the brakes.
Steve
 

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The frame is by far the best out there. As an engineer I could immediately see the strength in the design.

Two incidents , recorded in our archives , can verify that.

24 hour Thunderhill race 2 years ago, one of FFR cars T-boned a static car that had spun out in the rain, at 90 MPH. The damage was limited to a broken ankle, from being on the brakes at last moment. Front of car was crushed up to X-frame, but driver compartment was intact.

FFR took the damaged frame to analyse it. Engine and other parts were reused in rebuild.

Another story told here was on drag strip, car suddenly swerved into wall halfway down the strip, and the person who told the story was next to the track safety officer if i remmber correctly, the driver after hitting hard climbed out and the safety officer said: " that must have been a FFR, any other Cobra we would be helping the driver out "
 

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does your dad's muscle car have a 4-point safety harness? the 60's cars had a lap-belt at most, no?

does your dad's 60's muscle car have a functional rollbar?

can your dad's 60's muscle car stop on a dime?

does it pull +1.00g on the skidpad?

ArlingtonCobra is right, the side protection is the weakest point. a FFR roadster certainly isn't a Volvo, but it is as safe as this type of car can be.
 

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p.s. you can always add Kirkey racing seats that offer neck/whiplash protection. the 60's muscle cars had a little pop-up head restraint at best.
 

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I compare my car to a Miata or the Old MG. You can get hurt in any small car, so try to drive very defensively and not like a jackass, and you should be OK.

Most guys only put a couple thousand miles a year on the car anyway, so our chances of getting in a wreck in the Cobra are less than in the daily driver.
 

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I make the same comparison as Dan. They are about equal to a MG,Miata,ect. Front or rear impact would probally do less damage to the driver compared to the mentioned cars but when it comes to side impact, espeacally to the drivers side probally not more then what you would have if in a 60's beetle. Having a roll bar is good but that is probally one feature that is most likely not to be used on the street.
My biggest fear is being run "over"by some of the larger trucks and SUV's if getting hit from the front. Your best defence is having time to see it commng and useing the better then normal handleing of these cars to escape. Not always a matter of stoping in time but also being able to accelerate out of harms way.
 

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Going nowhere fast.
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Originally posted by DKobra7:
Hey, guys
My family's concerned about the safety of the FFR Roadster. I tried my best to convince them that it's about as safe as the 60's muscle cars my dad has, but they aren't buying it. So please help me out with this, let me know what you think of the car's overall safety.

Thanks,
David
It's a racing space frame with crumble zones. It's very safe in a frontal impact, rear impact, or rollover. Side impact would be very ugly however. FFR needs to do a safety page showing how well these cars stand up to crashes as this is a frequent question.

Mike
 

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The argument that won it for me with my wife was these guys are building this car for them to race. Do you really think they would build a car that is unsafe for them? By the way these cars are MUCH safer then the muscle cars of the 60's and 70's they can steer and stop. The only minus is if your going up against an SUV... They'll run right over you! No argument for size...

Ya gotta do it!
HTH
Chris
 

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Not a folish question or concern. I look at it this way. If it had a top and roll up windows it would 'feel' safer...but not be. When I sold my TR-3 for a TR-4; I felt I was in a real car...rather than hanging a foot off the pavement. Try a Lotus Super 7 sometime. :D My great thrill is passing two or three tractor trailers coming at me...their tires a 3' from my head (seems like...for an hour). Cool. It takes a while to get use to a Cobra; a motor cycle has to be worse. But soon the concern passes and the ride is well worth it. The car is a well built 13'-6" car...probably the safest small car on the road.

Now if you really want some concern; think of that 15.4 gallons of gas just behind your butt. :eek: Fuel cells are available at FFR as an option. I use to race a 1965 Corvette with 36 gallon tank in the back...ATF fuels cells were just coming into vogue. Having said all that...people tend to see these cars quickly, slow down, and stare. It's a safety feature built into the design. :D Enjoy!
 

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Originally posted by Zulu:
The frame is by far the best out there. As an engineer I could immediately see the strength in the design.

Two incidents , recorded in our archives , can verify that.

24 hour Thunderhill race 2 years ago, one of FFR cars T-boned a static car that had spun out in the rain, at 90 MPH. The damage was limited to a broken ankle, from being on the brakes at last moment. Front of car was crushed up to X-frame, but driver compartment was intact.

FFR took the damaged frame to analyse it. Engine and other parts were reused in rebuild.

Another story told here was on drag strip, car suddenly swerved into wall halfway down the strip, and the person who told the story was next to the track safety officer if i remmber correctly, the driver after hitting hard climbed out and the safety officer said: " that must have been a FFR, any other Cobra we would be helping the driver out "
Regarding the rain race at Thunderhill - much of the driver's injury could have been due to the fact that he had forgotten to fasten both his helmet and his harness. He was a loose object in a racecar..


And here's another testimoney to safety: Fly Factory Five Airlines ...

Had this happened in my 69 Camaro - I would not be here today. G forces have now been calculated at over 30g's...
 

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Just a question:

How many of the crashes mentioned above were with spec racers (Challenge cars) versus "normal" roadsters that hadn't been specifically equipped for racing with better roll cages, HANS devices, etc.?

Respectfully, given that we're talking about something as important as safety, we should make sure that the OP gets safety info for the car that he's thinking of buying, rather than a race car with added safety features built in.
 

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cobras are not safe cars period. They are overpowered ,under weight, wheel base too short and most people that drive them are not very talented. We can talk about all the so called safety features untill we are blue in the face but the bottom line is that you take the risks to drive these cars.

[ January 27, 2007, 01:00 PM: Message edited by: chuck ]
 

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just another builder
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chepsnake wadded up a street roadster at the glenn...i'm sure he'll chime in
 

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cobra safety = 4 wheel motorcycle. Samething as riding a motorcycle. Drive very defensive and watch all the cars around you - youre the one that will get crunched!
 

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Comparing a FFR MKIII to a Miata -may- be accurate, but maybe not. Since there has been no real scientific crash testing (as far as I know) all one can really do is guess.

I have acknowledged to myself that these cars are damn dangerous, especially when you try to drive them amoung other much larger vehicles that are being operated by idiots in an urban area! Unfortunately they will give a driver license to just about anybody these days.

I have been an accident investigator and reconstructionist for several years and I'm here to tell you, if another vehicle (especially if it's larger) hits you at 90 degrees while traveling at a significant speed, you will NOT like the result. You need to have your head on a swivel while driving these cars around town. Don't assume that it's safe to enter an intersection just because the light's green.

With that said, I'm willing to acknowledge the risk and accept the increased responsibility as a driver to assure that my loved ones and I get back home at the end of the day. In my opinion, a person has no business driving one of these cars until he/she has acknowledged the increased risk and responsibility!
 
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