AC Cobra 427 replica.
Building My dream.
To build, drive and own, within an 18 month timetable a replica of the iconic AC Cobra 427 sports car.
This is what I want to acieve, a different colour, but this is the car!
Some 25+ years ago I went to my first replica car show at Chatham Historic Dockyard in Kent, I've been hooked on the idea of building my own car ever since.
Fast forward a couple of years and I took my then girlfriend (now my wife) to the replica car show at Stoneleigh in Warwickshire to test the water on her thoughts to the idea. The answer she gave when shown the car I wanted to build, at that time, was a resounding "NO", "but you can build one of those" was the next sentence uttered. "Why that one and not one of them?" came the obvious reply, "it's practical". The quizzical look must have given it away. "It has a boot!".
I have never looked back or asked for any other explanation and from that day to this have only wanted to build a replica Cobra.
Over the following years I did my homework, attended as many shows as we could and put a plan together but, as all too often happens work, marriage, mortgage and (almost nine years ago) family, put plans such as this at the very bottom of the to-do list, and that is where the idea firmly stayed for quite some time.
Circumstances have a way of changing things around. We moved to a rented house in High Wycombe just over seven years ago and, as I am sure many others did, found ourselves completely ensnared in the "Banking Crisis". We somehow survived all this but with the consequence that borrowing is no longer available to us, and we are not entitled to any kind of government help. All was not that bad though, we now had that most prized of possessions at our disposal again, a garage!
A fairly rapidly approaching 50th birthday re-ignited the idea that the dream could possibly become a reality. We saved hard and sold what we could to raise funds.
Just after the big 50 we paid our first visit to Jon and Wendi at AK Sports Cars in Peterborough www.aksportscars.co.uk They were our choice as they ticked all the boxes for what I wanted to achieve and Wendi makes a lovely cup of coffee. They are not the only replica Cobra manufacturers in the UK and there are many other makes and styles of replica car ranging from out and out race cars to the classic Porsche Speedster even the car that holds the Top Gear track record and many other world speed records, is a self-built car (the Ultima GTR) yes it realy is faster than the very expensive Italian!
Top Gear: 1 minute 9.9 seconds and you can drive it to ASDA!
May 2014 deposit paid. On our return the garage was cleared and turned into a space I could build a car in. Many years ago I trained as, but never actually worked as, a Construction Plant Fitter so I was looking forward to the challenge ahead.
As I said before, circumstances can mess up the best laid plans, and it was at this time that everything changed, again. My wife was offered a dream job, better pay (she was working part time then) , better work place ect but full time and out of town. She would need transport. I on the other hand was struggling with an injury I picked up at work that would, in the end need surgery, decisions had to be made.
Our savings disappeared almost overnight putting my wife's car back on the road, it had sat on the driveway for over three years, I won't mention the washing machine and tumble dryer that both expired within two days of each other and microwave ovens put on quite a light show when they go wrong! My wife is now back at work full time and loving it. I, on the other hand, am now a full time stay at home Dad, school run, taxi for Brownies, swimming club, netball the whole nine yards!
So, here I am, on the crowd funding web site, savings gone, no access to borrowing asking if anyone would like to help me get my dream off the ground. I have collected a garage full of parts, engine, gearbox, suspension, steering etc (EBay has been my friend) but as yet I have nothing to bolt them to.
So to the "how much" bit.
I am trying to raise £5572.00 by the end of November (2015) to pay for the chassis and body package I ordered way back in May 2014 and to guarantee the current delivery date (this will be my 4th delivery date so far) of December 24th.
All funding will go directly into paying for the chassis and body package, this is the biggest spend of the whole project and the one that starts it all off, without it the dream stays just that, a dream! There will be other parts to buy along the way, smaller parts with a much smaller price tag. These I will, in time, be able to afford and none are anywhere near as expensive as the chassis package. This is the foundation of the whole project, these are the biggest parts and come with the biggest outlay.
For now rewards are going to be limited as this is a project that will take some time to complete but I can offer anyone looking to improve their mechanical skills, the opportunity to come over and get their hands "dirty" and learn some basics from the ground up. Once the car is finished there are, of course, the shows to attend and display what has been achieved, charity events (the London to Brighton Classic run being popular) and track day events at places like Brands Hatch.
I have included links to all the companies mentioned above and a few not mentioned and except being a customer of AK Sports Cars I'm not involved with any of them in any way (pictures are copyright of the respective companies). So have a look around, see what it's all about and what's out there, these are all true British car manufacturers and they may even inspire you to do what I'm trying to do.
AK Sports Cars... www.aksportscars.co.uk
Ultima GTR... www.ultimasports.co.uk
Pilgrim (featured in "A car is born" with Mark Evans)... www.pilgrim-motorsports.co.uk
Mark Evans (Vet, TV presenter and petrol head)... www.markevans.co.uk
Crendon replicas... www.crendonreplicas.com
Chesil cars... www.chesil.biz
Westfield sports cars... www.westfield-sportscars.co.uk
Total Kitcar... www.totalkitcar.com/uk/uk-manufacturers
The Total Kitcar list is probably the most comprehensive but there are many more.
So that's me, put simply I'm trying to raise £5572.00 by the end of November. I'm now fairly rapidly approaching the big "52" and still trying and wanting to build my dream!
My name is Graham, thank you for taking the time to read my request. Please feel free to get in touch and I'll answer as many questions as I can.