Build Diary – Factory Five’s MKII Roadster/Cobra – Part 3

By April 26, 2012 Cobra No Comments

At this point I decided it was time to finish the car once and for all, so I sent it over to Vancouver Island where a local hot rod painter worked his magic on the car.

Grinding out the seams where Factory Five bonded the various peices of the body together.

And block sanding the body. I wish I had the time to do the work myself, while messy, I would have really enjoyed doing the work.

And here is the final result! While over on the Island, I also had the wiring finished up by another FFR owner.

On the drive home, it was raining but I didn’t care. I apparently did over 200km/h in the rain with no wipers on the way home, I had no idea. I’m pretty sure I had that grin on my face for weeks.

Over the 3 years I drove the Cobra I put over 10,000 kms on it. Took a few road trips, and did half a dozen track days. I also did a few upgrades along the way.

I bent one of the VPM swaybar links but VPM sent me one straight away, and I think the bend was because of a really bad bottoming out on the street in the car.

FFR also changed the suspension they offered with the kits from the venerable Bilstein brand to Koni. Definitely not a knock against Bilstein, but look how beefy those Koni’s are in comparison! The Koni’s were also single adjustable which was nice.

Throughout my track experience with the Cobra, I experimented around with suspension settings quite a lot, coming up with a great set-up in the end.

Very little camber felt the best on the car with manual steering and wide front tires, and the ride height came down quite a lot, to 3.75″ in the front and 4″ in the rear in the end. Once corner weighted, this amounted to a 52 rear/48 front weight balance which worked amazingly. I also installed David Borden’s roll center mod for the front suspension which helped with steering feel and wheel geometry in the corners.

Braking performance on this car was up there with the Porsches, since there is more weight on the rear, you can rely on the rear brakes to do a larger share of the braking versus a front biased car.

But by far, the best modification I made to the FFR was this seat! Being held securely in a sportscar, especially at the race track, is essential!

The FFR proved to be extremely reliable over its 3 years of service to me. The only issue I ever had with it was a snapped oil pump driveshaft which was caused by a seized oil pump. Luckily I caught this quickly on the track, and pulled off with zero oil pressure.

I didn’t have the Tundra yet, so I had to have the car towed home on the flatbed, but it didn’t take long to replace the oil pump and driveshaft and was up and running in no time.

I still miss the car a lot, especially when the weather is perfect here in Vancouver, but it went to the perfect owner, who had always dreamed of having a Cobra someday.

- Carl

Leave a Reply