Whether it’s a Shelby Cobra kit car, some other replica car kit, or a real-life muscle car creating a custom roadster is one of the most exciting and rewarding experiences a gear-head can have. Even for those without much experience it can be a great project to mess around with to eventually be able to casually enjoy, despite their historical functions.
Even though they weighed almost 500 pounds less than the Chevrolet Corvette, Shelby’s original AC Cobras were designed to be “Corvette-Beaters.” Some racing cars or custom roadsters can weigh up to 3,400 pounds, but Cobras typically weigh much less. One AC Cobra Coupe famously topped 186 mph (299 km/h) in 1964 on a British motorway.
There are many great options besides the Cobra to use for your custom roadster. If you need help picking one out and inspiration for the design, try checking out these three shows.
- Counting Cars: Danny Koker, known on Counting Cars simply as “The Count,” runs a specialty auto shop in Las Vegas in which he restores and customizes all kinds of classic cars. Sometimes they’re brought to him by people looking for an upgrade, while other times he finds them and buys them right from owners as part of the show. A lot of the work they do might be a little over the top for your average custom roadster project, but it’s a great place to see some unique design concepts and what a finished product can look like.
- Top Gear: First off, the U.K. version obviously, let’s get that straight. Those familiar probably know there’s a U.S. version, which simply isn’t as good. They don’t restore or customize cars in this show, but they do inspect, analyze, and test drive a vast amount of different brands and models from around the world that could lead you to thinking about a truly unique roadster.
- American Pickers: This show actually isn’t about cars at all really. Just two guys digging through all kinds of junk to find rustic treasure. They do however come across a lot of classic cars that could make for great custom roadsters.
Embarking on a project like this should be fun and what better way to get started than by turning to shows like these for creative inspiration.