What could be cooler than the world's best-looking 2-seat roadster, filled with a supercharged and fuel injected 5.0-liter V8, a capable suspension, and paint that seems straight out of the '60s? If you're a real car guy, you've probably already contemplated building your own Cobra replica, but the smart money's on buying someone else's finished car like this amazing Factory Five roadster.
Cobras never look right when you paint them colors that weren't used in-period, so I salute the guy who chose the paint on this one. Simple bright red paint never looked so good, with professional-grade finishing, the body fits together extremely well (the Factory Five kits are famous for their quality fiberglass work), and the paint lays down over some expertly massaged panels. There are no stripes, and while some would argue that a Cobra isn't a Cobra without them, you have to admit that the stripped-down look is pretty appealing, too. This is likely how more of them looked back when they were still just regular cars, and it gets pretty easy to imagine the fun you could be having with this in your garage. Proper jacking stubs, white side pipes, and correct Lucas-style taillights add interest to a traditional look, and that chrome roll hoop is probably the best-looking safety device ever invented.
The interior sticks to the original recipe, which means no modern buckets, no fat steering wheel and plenty of black leather. There's also an original-style wooden steering wheel which reminds you of the Cobra's English origins and they went the extra mile by using custom gauges that replicate the original Smiths pieces, right down to the reverse-rotation speedometer, although the boost and fuel pressure dials are nice to see on a blown car. In a nod to driving comfort, there is an AM/FM/CD stereo and they even somehow managed to make the shifter look like the original Cobra piece (which was a reverse-mounted Mustang unit anyway). Cobras aren't famous for storage space, but this one has an unfinished aluminum trunk that shows off just how well-built these Factory Five replicas really are.
The beauty of the Factory Five kit is that all the Mustang 5.0 components bolt right on, including the Kenne-Bell supercharger. There's no sense in trying to make it look authentic, the big blower looks downright predatory sitting on top of the 5.0, and thanks to properly tuned fuel injection, it runs like a stocker. Take it easy on the throttle and it's docile and friendly. But if you nail it (it'll make full boost before you can get your foot on the floor), be prepared for things to get crazy in a big hurry. The pipes wail, the car lunges forward, and you've got to remember to shift before you run out of revs in about 1.2 seconds. Ceramic-coated long-tube headers and side pipes look (and sound) awesome while the cooling system is a massive aluminum heat exchanger with electric fans. The frame is a fair facsimile of the original, with 4-inch round tubing that's been powdercoated for durability. The suspension is tubular A-arms up front with a fully independent setup in back, with a disc brake at each corner, so it's equipped for the power. The T5 5-speed gearbox spins a set of reasonable gears, because you just don't need tall cogs with this much torque available. Blacked-out Halibrand-style wheels are the perfect finishing touch, carrying right-sized 235/60/15 front and 295/50/15 Yokohama radials.
We've said it before and it applies here: it's always faster and cheaper to buy a finished Cobra, and with the features on this one, that should be an easy decision because this one is exactly how you'd build it yourself. Call today!