Factory Five Racing calls cars like today’s Nice Price or No Dice Cobra the “best-selling, best-engineered, and best-performing replica of all time.” Let’s see if this turn-key edition is also an all-time best deal.
For those of you who commented on yesterday’s 2004 Lincoln Aviator Ultimate that a new iteration is currently in production today, yes I do know that. I mean, well, duh. My point was that with a fifteen-year hiatus between production runs, not too many people would have remembered that earlier version. At $4,995, yesterday’s seemingly nice first-version Aviator looked worth remembering and its 90 percent Nice Price win was equally as memorable.
What does it take for an automobile to be considered legendary? Is it performance? Production numbers? An alluring aroma? Maybe it’s a combination of factors that, when taken together, create a mystique.
In the case of the Shelby Cobra, that mystique has lived on long after the original model’s production run ended. Fewer than 1,000 Cobras were built over the course of that 1962 to ’68 run. Not only was the Cobra one of the best-performing cars of its era, but it brought fame to both Shelby, whose company assembled the car, to the Ford Motor Company, as it was Ford’s engines that gave the Cobra its strike. So popular is the Cobra’s sway over the car nut crowd that an entire industry sprang up to offer kit and component car copies of Shelby’s creation. Today, the number of fake and “continuation” Cobras vastly outnumber the real deal cars that are still left.
One of the companies building both kit and component Cobras is Factory Five Racing. The difference between a component and a kit car is that for the former, most all of the construction is done at the factory. What’s left is for the drivetrain to be added or commissioned by the buyer so that for licensing it can still be classified as home-built.
There’s little way to tell how this red with white stripes edition started its life. Right now it’s being offered for sale out of what looks to be a dispersing collection. The seller only bothers to note that the car has a fuel-injected 302 and that it is, in fact, a Factory Five car. Other than that, the ad simply states “too much to list !!!” and goes on to then list four other cars and their prices, including a first-generation Mustang, a Firebird, a Dodge Dart GT, and a Triumph TR4.
The Cobra is the priciest of the lot and is the only car not built by a mainstream manufacturer. That’s not to say it’s any less of a car since Factory Five does some really nice work.
This sure does look like the real car, although there are certain aspects that give it away. One of those — or four, I guess — is the Cobra-badged alloy wheels. They look both too modern and too small for the Cobra’s commodious flared fenders. The other giveaway is under the hood. That’s where a small block V8 out of a Mustang Cobra lives. The Cobra body style the Factory Five car is aping is that of the later 427, not the slab-side 289. That makes the 302 a bit of a mismatch as far as displacement is concerned, but since it’s fuel-injected it’s probably easier to live with than would be a more righteous mill.
Another thing about that 302 before we move on. See all that orange on the right side of the engine, along with what appears to be a new cooling system cap on the top radiator hose? That all looks to be the result of some big overheating issue, and that means a thorough inspection of the engine is in order prior to purchase.
The build has 11,125 miles on the clock and a clean title. There’s no indication as to when the car was built since the seller couldn’t be bothered to provide such details. Regardless, there are lots of pictures and, aside from the evidence of cooling system shenanigans in the engine bay, nothing really looks too out of line here.
The asking price is $33,900 and that reflects a complete, turn-key car. Should you want to build one of these yourself, the starting kit is about $13,000 while the more complete kit is just under $20K. Add a donor Mustang on top of that for the drivetrain and suddenly you’re getting close to what this car asks, even before you calculate all the necessary sweat equity.
What do you think, is this Cobra worth that $33,900 asking? Or, do the unknowns outweigh the legend?
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