From a distance, the scene in the driveway must have seemed a little strange.
The 16-year old driver standing next to her new metallic blue car was excited to show her neighbor her new set of wheels. When the neighbor, the biggest car enthusiast in the neighborhood, first saw the new car he knew there was a comparison to make. Within seconds he backed his AC Cobra kit car into the driveway. And while there was no comparison in price, power, or prestige, the color of the two vehicles was an exact match. The AC Cobra kit car was more highly polished, but the two drivers, one young and one old, enjoyed the fact that these two vehicles looked so similar.
The older car owner gave the young driver’s ride a thorough examination. He looked under the hood, in the truck checking for the spare, and in the interior. He liked what he saw and told the young driver that she should be both proud and excited. Most of all, however, the older driver wanted to impress upon the new driver the importance of taking care of the car. He showed her the two things she should check under the hood; he explained where the spare tire was and even where the jack needed to go when it was used.
After the explanations, several fun pictures and lots of large smiles, the young driver took her car home with a new appreciation for what she was driving. She made a promise to herself that she would care for her car with the same amount of enthusiasm her neighbor had for his far more expensive and powerful car. He may be driving a nearly one of a kind AC Cobra kit car that turned heads whenever it was on the road, but her less expensive and more common vehicle was still new. And a new car, any car really, deserved the attention. How she treated it and maintained it, in fact, not only gave her a chance to show her ability to be responsible, but also a chance to prove to her parents that their money was a good investment.
Are You Looking for Upgrade Parts for Your Custom Roadster?
The love of cars and all things that are fast can start at a young age. For some drivers, the very first car is their introduction to the fascinating world of wheels. From keeping the car spotless both inside and outside to making sure that you are getting the best milage possible, drivers of specialty vehicles like a AC Cobra kit car are in many ways far more diligent and meticulous owners.
Consider some of these facts and figures about the Shelby Cobra kit car industry:
- Short tracks, speedways, and super speedways range from 0.5 to 2.5 mile. The speed rating for kit cars and other racing vehicles are typically calculated on these tracks so that all driving conditions can be closely monitored.
- One AC Cobra Coupe famously reached 186 mph, or 299 km/h, in the year 1964 on a British motorway.
- Although they weighed almost 500 pounds less than Chevrolet Corvette, the original Shelby AC Cobras were designed to be “Corvette-Beaters.”
- Cobras are known for weighing much less than more typical roadsters or racing cars which can weigh as much as 3,400 pounds.
- The Lightweight version of the Cobra debuted at the 1990 Geneva Salon. The records indicate that the weight was down to 2,360 pounds from the 2,620 pounds of the previous models. Additionally, its power was up to 370 hp at 5,750 rpm.
- Although it was a low estimate to appease insurance companies, manufacturers advertised the horsepower of the Shelby Mustang GT 500 as 335. The actual horsepower, however, was close to 400.
Much of the data collected on these kit cars and other high performance vehicles is monitored by the non-profit organization called the SFI Foundation, a group established to issue and administer standards for the quality assurance of racing equipment and specialty performance. Since 1978 the SFI Foundation has served the automotive aftermarket and the motorsports industry in its current capacity. For the most discriminating buyers, the SFI Foundation serves as a valuable resource in comparing sports cars, kit cars, and other roadsters and unique vehicles.