Fall in New England

What does Fall in New England have to do with building my car?

Absolutely nothing, except I wish it was done so I could be driving through it.

I shot a few photos of my backyard with the leaves changing today, though, and wanted to post them.

So, read the rest of the post to see them and tomorrow we’ll return to our regularly scheduled blogging.

Continue reading “Fall in New England”

End of Summer

Well, its Labor Day and summer is over. Looking back, I can only wonder where the summer disappeared to. I didn’t get much of the stuff I wanted to do this summer done, with the Cobra or otherwise. With regard to the car, its disappointing. I’d hoped to have started the motor months ago and had hoped to go-kart a month ago. Even in early July I’d been shooting for getting it street legal in gelcoat by the end of September.

Needless to say, I haven’t started the motor and haven’t gotten substantially farther than I was three or four months ago.

The last two weeks I’ve been taking the little vacation I’ve had planned for the summer. Its been great, and very relaxing. In between trips to Florida with friends and to Ohio to see my new niece, I have gotten a bit of work here and there done on the car. Last Friday I took care of a bunch of little loose ends — tightening up and torquing the suspension, some more wiring and things like that. Not a lot to look at, but still a lot of stuff that needed to get done.

Next weekend I’m going to put the body on the car. There’s a lot of stuff I’ve been doing that will be easier to position and judge with it on the car. Its not going to stay there, but I can get a lot more dash and wiring work done if I can see where things are going to go relative to the body. It’ll also give me a chance to position the seats and figure out if I can get the Recaro seats to fit — if not I need to get the other seats dropped off somewhere to get recovered.

I’ll post pics next week, once the body is back on. There’s not much to see with the work I did in the last two weeks.

Installing the Engine

Today was a big day in the build: the installation of the engine. The day started off with a breakfast get together with some of the local Cobra guys at Skip’s in Chelmsford. (Ironic I lived five minutes from there for years never having gone and now I’ve been there twice in the last month or so…)

One of the local guys, Ray, who lives in Dracut came by in the morning and I rode down there with him. Breakfast was good, although the turnout was small this month. As we were leaving another one of the Cobra guys, John, asked to come up and was, of course, welcome. Jen also came over to lend a hand and take photos.

For a writeup and pictures, read the rest of this post.

Continue reading “Installing the Engine”

An Update For the New Year

Well, the moral of the last week is that just when you think things are settling down, s#!t happens that just resets everything. I don’t have any updates on the car, but I’m guessing it’ll be a few weeks before I can even touch it again at this point.

This car feels like it is never going to get finished. At least its thawing this week, so hopefully I can get it out of the garage and move the parts around again to get it back in the garage and on jackstands. I’m sure I’ll post another update in February.

Got Parts?

Finally, after months of sweating out what I needed to get and taking time to get parts ordered, I went last week and picked up most of the remaining parts for the car. Mike Forte helped me out from Fortes Parts and got me a nice collection of non-donor build parts to work with. I have (in theory) everything I need now to build it, sans the engine, transmission and associated bits like that.

Mike didn’t have the steering rack, so I’m waiting on the front end and I’m finding bits of hardware I don’t have here or there, but in general I have what I need I think. (Considering what it all cost, I sure hope I do!)

I ended up with a few wrong parts. I need to get different master cylinders for the pedal box because he gave me the wrong sizes, and I didn’t get the hardware that I need to mount the front spindles. I also seem to be missing (or can’t find/recognize) the various bits that go on the gas tank.

Mike’s a nice guy, but his ability to provide information to go with the parts he sells seems to be quite a bit below what companies like Breeze have, where they provide detailed parts list and instructions for everything they sell. Get him on the phone and he knows his stuff, but that doesn’t make up for not having real paperwork. I unfortunately have an unidentified boxes of parts with no indication what is what and how its all intended to work together. In hind sight, I probably should’ve gone with Breeze, as I think its going to take me two or three times as long to put the car together with the parts from Fortes because of the total lack of documentation for them. The whole reason I bought everything at once was to save time.

Live and learn.


Some of you may have noticed on the live camera that there’s a seat in the car right now. Thats a Factory Five “Street Performer” seat, which they’ve stopped selling. I picked up a used pair two weeks ago because, in my opinion, the low back replica seats are not safe. I may have found someone to buy the (unopened) short back seats that came with the kit.

I have the Recaro SRD seats from my old 911 that I want to put in the car, but  a quick test fit before putting the body on the buck makes me think they may not fit. I have to decide if I want to modify the cockpit opening so the SRDs will fit or use the significantly lower quality Street Performers.  In either case, whichever one I use will get recovered in leather and Alcantara, and will have seat heaters installed.

My guess is I’m going to need to take the body back off the buck and fit it on the car at some point this summer. I’m going to need to do that to ensure things are fit correctly in the engine bay and I can deal with seat fitting at that point. I’m hoping that I can get the Recaro seats to fit if I mount them slightly off-axis (which is not all that uncommon on Cobras I’ve found, where the seats are positioned pointing outwards slightly) as well as using different seat tracks.

Its Been a Slow Week

I’ve had a few people asking me recently how things have been going this week with the car. Its been a very slow week on the car building front. Last weekend we helped a friend move, and I’ve been sick most of the week. I think I might’ve had a bit of a reaction to mold in her storage unit. In either case, really nothing has gotten done.

I spent an hour a few evenings ago cleaning the garage — we had a lot of tools out, and it was just generally messy. I also got a bunch of other parts organized and did some test fitting of the Dark Water Customs trunk boxes that finally showed up.

I have to say the DWC boxes are junk. At half their $175 price, I would’ve been angry about the quality of them. At $175 there’s really no excuse. When compared to the top-quality stuff that FFMetal sells, its even worse! They’re clearly hand measured and hand cut. They’re flimsy and saying they fit poorly is being generous. There are two access holes meant to access the quick-jack mounting bolts… cut in entirely the wrong spot. I haven’t figured out if I can salvage anything usable out of them or if I have to just eat the $175.

The “glove box” is a bit better. I think I can make that one work. In hind sight, $200 on a brake and $25 worth of aluminum and I could’ve easy made far nicer boxes. Two big thumbs down on DWC.

All the parts have been ordered. I was hoping to be picking most of them up today, but I haven’t heard back from Fortes Parts and my card hasn’t been charged so I’m assuming there’s been some delay. That changes this weekends’ plans of trying to get the front end together, but I can get the big parts of the rear end suspension together this weekend.