The formula is well-known: more power, less weight. No car in history better epitomizes this than the Shelby Cobra. In the five decades since its creation, hundreds, if not thousands, of companies have reproduced or built on Shelby's creation. And invariably, the bottom line remains a big V8 stuffed in a lightweight 2-seat roadster body.
Today, nobody does it better than Factory Five Racing. Their Cobras are the #1 selling replicas, and it's no secret why. With an easy-to-build platform that uses stock, off-the-shelf (or out of the boneyard) Mustang 5.0L pieces, high-quality workmanship, and the best customer support in the industry, the Factory Five Cobras have a loyal following all their own. If you're not in the mood to wait six months to a year for delivery of your kit (Factory Five has a backlog), and then spend another year or two building your own Cobra, take a good, long look at this beautiful blue FFR Cobra.
The fiberglass bodies coming out of the Factory Five molds are some of the best in the industry. They're strong, with a smooth gelcoat, and well-finished seams and gaps. The body shop that painted this car knew what they were doing, too, because the prep and attention to detail is superb. The doors, hood, and trunk fit very well, and panel alignment (what little is required on a Cobra anyway) is good. This car was given a lift-off hood treatment instead of the traditional forward-tilting hinges to permit full access to the engine bay, and you won't believe what an improvement that is until you try to work on the engine. The paint is 2-stage urethane in traditional Daytona Blue with white stripes, which always looks right on a Cobra. You'll also notice excellent detailing, with things like the paint and stripes continuing through the mesh on the hood scoop, and stripes that wrap into the grille opening. Just try to go somewhere and not draw a crowd in this car.
Factory Five also supplies all the chrome and brightwork with their kits, from the windshield frame to the taillights, and it is all excellent quality equipment. There are optional tubular bumpers front and rear, reproduction wind wings on the windshield and a flip-up fuel filler on the rear fender just like the originals. The roll hoop behind the driver is satin black for a race-ready appearance, while the hood hardware is all chrome and polished stainless steel. The only glass on the car is the windshield, and it is completely unmarked and like new.
The great thing about the Factory Five Cobras is that everything you need to build it comes from a Mustang 5.0L, including the engine. For those of you who haven't driven a 5.0, you'll be surprised by what a tractable, torquey motor it is, and with the vast, vast aftermarket of parts available, the sky is the limit. The engine in this particular Cobra came out of a Fox body Mustang, and is rated at 225 horsepower and 300 pounds of torque. In a 3200 pound Mustang, that was good for 13-second quarter mile times, so in this 2400 pound Cobra, performance is astounding. With impressive bottom-end torque, the car rockets off the line and pulls like a freight train through all five gears, thanks to the lightweight body and smart gearing in the transmission. It also starts instantly, idles perfectly, and gets surprisingly good fuel mileage if you can manage to keep your foot off the floor. Factory Five retains all the Ford engineering, so this is a reliable, durable, and inexpensive vehicle to maintain, and should anything go wrong, there aren't many parts stores where they don't speak Mustang 5.0. The only notable upgrade to the motor in its current guise is the mandatory (on a Cobra) headers feeding the side exhaust. Even with EFI, this one barks and snarls through those big pipes and has nearly the same deep voice that the originals had. Looking over that striped hood, it's awfully easy to imagine yourself hammering down the straight at Laguna Seca or even LeMans just as they did almost fifty years ago. I promise you'll never get tired of the soundtrack.
The transmission choice in this Cobra is a Tremec 5-speed manual, which is easily up to the rigors of living behind the 5.0, and packs a deep overdrive fifth gear to make highway cruising not only possible, but pleasurable, too. Out back, there's an 8.8-inch rear, again sourced from a Mustang, and another virtually indestructible link in the powertrain. Up front, again the Mustang parts bin is raided and you get control arms, coil springs and a great-feeling steering rack that doesn't need power assist. Braking is like the engine Mustang parts are used on the car now, but the upgrade menu is vast indeed, and on a lightweight car, massive brakes are just not necessary for retina-detaching performance. The wheels are 16-inch ROH alloys wearing BF Goodrich radials, including those fat 295/55/16s out back for a truly 60s look.
The interior is a very authentic recreation of the bare-bones, race-ready cockpit of the original. Simple leather buckets are both comfortable and supportive, and sport Simpson 5-point harnesses for both driver and passenger. The leather-wrapped dashboard cleverly integrates the Mustangs speedometer and tachometer, as well as the auxiliary gauges clustered in the center. The transmission tunnel is carpeted to match the floors, and the shifter is the same reversed early Mustang 4-speed unit used in the early Cobras (don't worry; it feels much more natural than it looks). Door panels and hardware are simple, and there are no windows or locks to add performance-stealing weight. The sole concession to luxury is a modern AM/FM/CD stereo head unit with speakers in the rear bulkhead. The trunk is lined with aluminum panels, just like the original, and actually offers quite a bit of storage for a weekend getaway or a day at the track.
Documentation is excellent, with all the original Factory Five manuals accompanying the car. In addition, there are receipts for many of the components that went into the build so you know exactly what you're working with once you get this car home.
From a performance standpoint, you just can't beat the Factory Five formula. From the anvil-reliable hardware that packs a serious punch, to the well-finished paint and bodywork, this Cobra was built for fun. It's virtually indestructible, and will surprise a lot of more expensive, sophisticated cars, both on the street and at the track. And best of all, it won't cost a fortune or take years to complete go ahead and try to finish your own Cobra kit for less than the sticker on this one. By now, I'm sure you recognize a bargain when you see it if you've been looking for a Cobra that can grow with you, this is the one. Call now!
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