Factory Five AC Cobra Update

Factory Five AC Cobra Update

After many months of work on the Cobra, things have progressed to the point that it is almost ready for the maiden voyage. I know it has been a while since there was any update on the progress but I will try and fill in the gaps and bring you all up to date. 


As you remember, we were having trouble getting parts from Factory 5 and the engine people from Blueprint Engines keep telling us the motor was being built but had nothing to show us. After several trips to the factory in Wareham, MA to gather parts and several calls to Blueprint engines, the car came together and the engine finally arrived at the garage. The Dyno sheet sent with the engine shows an incredible 531 HP with 539-pound feet of torque, plenty of power to get this little car moving in the right direction. I went to Bill’s house to look at the motor at 3:00 pm in the afternoon and told him that I had a meeting at 5:30 pm that afternoon and I would come over that weekend to help him put it in the car. Well, Bill was having none of that, he said we could get the motor and transmission installed in less than 2 hours. At 5:05 pm we were tightening the last bolt on the motor mount and I was off to the meeting excited that we had got the engine and transmission installed in such a short period of time.

Bill was busy with all the body work; he had to fill all the seams and then skim coat the entire body to smooth out all the imperfections in the fiberglass body. This took a LONG time to complete, hours upon hours of sanding and filling trying to get the body as smooth as possible. Once the final coat of primer was sprayed, we started to make some phone calls to see if we could get it into a booth to be painted. No one wanted to take on the project so Bill put up plastic sheets on the walls of the garage and put wet drop cloths on the floor and painted it himself. He painted the car black with White racing stripes and I must say it came out better than we could have expected. 

We let the car sit for a few weeks to be sure the paint had cured and started sanding the body with 800, 1,200, 1,500, 2,000 then 3,000 grit paper, that also took several hours to get the body ready to be polished. I had polished a couple of my own cars so I told Bill, I would take it from there. It took me two full days and a couple more half days to finish polishing the car but it came out amazing for a garage paint job.


So here we are trying to work out all the little gremlins that inevitably crop up when you build a car. The gas gauge is not working, the headlight switch does not want to work, cannot get power to the tail lights, you know all the little stuff that just takes time to sort out. I was at the garage this past weekend finishing up the hood and driver’s side door so we are really close at this point to a finished car. Bill is headed to Florida for a little bit so the car will be on hold for another week or so but cannot wait for the first ride in this little hot rod.

Bill and I are already discussing out next project and I am happy to say that after waiting 5 years and gathering parts, I’m ready to build my own dream truck. My daughter and her husband gave me a 1959 Chevy pickup truck for my 60th birthday. Now before you get too excited for me, this was a total piece of shit, it had no interior, no seat and no drivers side door. Matt (my daughter’s husband) had installed a very tired LS motor and automatic transmission just so the truck moved under its own power when it was presented to me. I have spent the last 5 years gathering parts getting ready to put it together. I have new bed sides (I’m converting it to a short bed fleetside pickup), new tailgate and headboard, new doors, an IDIDIT steering column, painless wiring harness, Dakota digital retro dash pod, 6 speed Tremec transmission and all the body parts needed to get all the metal work done. I have also ordered a chassis from Fab Quest that includes standard IFS, tubular upper and lower control arms, Ridetech coilovers, Wilwood 12” rotors with 4 piston calipers, custom parallel 4 link in the rear with Ridetech adjustable billet shocks and a TwinTrac Currie posi rear end with 3.50 gears and 31 spline axles and a through frame rear sway bar. This should make the truck ride like a brand-new vehicle. A couple of years ago, I dismantled the entire truck and brought it to a sandblaster to get it all stripped down to bare metal. I have since painted it with etching primer and it has been sitting in storage for the last few years. I bought a 24-foot enclosed car trailer as my mobile garage, fitted it with interior lights, toolbox and winch so I’m ready to go. I need to get the truck out of storage and get working on the body. I’m very excited for this next project as this will be the first build we have done for me, all the other cars were Bills. Enjoy all the pictures of the Cobra build and the future updates of the Chevy truck build.



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