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Falling in Love, with a Cobra

Redusernab January 24, 2012 Redusernab Asks 22 Comments

I was at a race at the legendary Road America, in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin and came across this picture perfect moment. If you’ve ever been to this historic four mile track, you’ll know that there’s also a huge car show, in a way, that takes place while these races are going on. Car nuts flock to Road America a few times throughout the course of the year, often bringing their cherished sports cars, exotics, and classics. From Aston Martin Vanguishes, Nobles, and even a few Morgan Aero 8s, to your catalog of classic muscle cars and Italian players. Being at Road America is like a big treasure hunt, because you never know what exact gems you’ll come across just parked next to the track.

While driving up to turn seven, trying to find that perfect place to watch the Spring Vintage Race, I came across a open field with nothing in it except…this dark blue Cobra. Now, I’m not real sure if it is in fact an original AC Cobra from the 1960s (probably not) or a reproduction kit car, but gosh this thing is beautiful. Seeing this white-striped open top monster just grazing in an uncut field, dandelions puffing around in the air all over the place, and that incredible soundtrack of ear-breaking loud V-8 engines just roaring throughout the countryside. For a few moments it was just any gearhead’s blissful happy place. I look at this car and just wonder, how could someone not like it?

Redusernab Asks Bonus Edition: what’s your perfect automotive happy place? What’s in it, and what cars are there?

  • BradleyBrownell

    That is unequivocally a cobra of kit manufacture. That does not make it any less awesome, as kits are usually driven harder than their "real" relatives that cost in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.

    My personal happy place involves a Beck 904 replica powered by a 993 turbo engine, blasting around a track in the area of Elkhart Lake.

    • I know it's not rational, but Real Cobras and any/all continuation/reproduction/etcs generate nearly opposite responses from me.

      I practically get choked up at the sight of an original, and the others occupy the same tier as like a '99 Camaro.

      The latter have been made better and faster, or even nearly indistinguishably from The Originals, but they're like a $100 fake Rolex. For the money, time and effort, why not get an authentic version of something you can afford?

      • BradleyBrownell

        Nowhere did I mention that I would prefer to own a kit over an original. The originals make me happy in the pants region.

        • Oh yeah, not really arguing about it…just sort of highlighting my own character fault.

          Typically I'd prefer a non-authentic/important version of some classic, so I can screw with it to my pleasing. After all, an I6-swapped to big block Chevelle is going to be just as fast or faster as a "Numbers Matching Original -085 VIN" car.

          …but I can't bring myself to think that way about Cobras.

          • pj134

            <img src="; width="500/">

            While standard trying to be authentic kits don't do a ton for me, things like the Weineck 780 do. I don't know, it makes me feel funny. I would actually consider just about any kit cobra, just because I could do whatever I want with it. Isn't that the spirit of the Cobra to begin with? Lets take a nice looking and light chassis and do whatever the fuck we want with it. Personally? I'd have an LS3 Cobra, painted black, ford racing blue stripes (It's a weird/cool contrast) and modern sport wheels. Possibly a set of these:

            <img src=";

            (As an aside, I'm sure you saw it but I tweeted you something from Jeep's that is relevant to your interests)

      • OA5599

        To me, it's more like having the recipe to a world-famous chef's signature dish.

        Could someone with a certain degree of skill follow the recipe to make a reasonably close copy? Yes.
        Could the recipe be copied using the exact ingredients from the same farmer? Yes.
        Is there a cost premium attached to having the real thing? Yes.
        Is the real thing worth the premium? Yes, that's why people are lining up to spend their money.
        Does all this make the copy unenjoyable? No, not at all.

        • excellent analogy!

      • RahRahRecords

        I'm the same way with Cobras. I think what bothers me is that all the kit/replicas are copying the later 427 cobras with the big flares and sidepipes and I'm drawn more to the early ones with the slab sides and nerf bars.

  • James

    Cobras are like tits:

    Even when they're fake, they're still awesome

    • IronBallsMcG

      If I can touch them, they're real.
      Er, um, the Cobras of course.

  • Alcology

    Something that's not awesome was the automatic talking ad that popped up on this post.

    • Oops sorry, those are supposed to be filtered out but occasionally one slips through. We're working to make sure that doesn't happen though.

      • Alcology

        I figured, that's one of the only times I've seen one of those. Scared the crap outta me though as my volume was up.

  • crinklesmith

    Route 36, North California, about 17 miles out of Red Bluff, headed west to Eureka on an early thursday morning. I was on my 72' CB350, best friend Jim was on a 75' RD400. We had just finished restoring them in San Diego, and decided to ride up the state through the valley and ride back down the 101. We raced each other the whole 4 hrs to Eureka. (He ran out of gas within sight of the sea, and coasted into Humbolt for fuel.) Headshaking, tire chattering, valve floating (for me) lunacy the whole way. That night in Eureka at the hotel bar, we both admitted to weeping in out helmets while coasting down to the bay for gas. The perfect road, time, and bikes. I don't dream, I remember.

    Oh, umm… I'd take a Alfa Romeo Giulia Spyder from the late 60's, on the same road, same day. With a "hot chick" beside me.

    • I used to ride a '71 CB350, that I was given for free. After I freed up the engine, it ran for a few years. Its moment of glory was when I was late to a National Guard drill on a Saturday morning. I rode that little bastard wide open down I-80 to Camp Williams from where I lived in downtown Salt Lake City, something like 35 miles, at eighty miles an hour, the little engine screaming at I think 8500 RPM through the two into one header the whole way. I was still late, but that little bike impressed me that day. That was probably its finest hour.

      • crinklesmith

        I absolutely loved mine, it just took me a few years to realize it after I sold it. They are really amazing little motorcycles, it takes a while to get used to tuning them every weekend, but once you get them set up right, they are just magic. I had a web cam, milled head w/ welded chambers, and Sudco flatslides on mine, with straight 2×2 exhaust. I felt like Mike Hailwood on the backroads. So much spirit in that little critter. I still miss the one I had. Wish I had the money and time to buy a junker, rebuild it, go back in time and hear that flat crank howl again.

  • Number_Six

    The place: Tim Healy Pass, County Cork, Ireland.
    The car: Ford Escort RS1600.
    <img src="; width="500" />
    <img src=";

  • My dad's shop. It is cluttered and full of parts, cars, trucks, bikes, tools and engines. It is awesome.

  • BAMacPherson

    My dream place is a country road somewhere in the UK in the driver's seat of a Lotus Seven. Hell, since the comments started off on an original/reproduction debate, I'm just going to put out there that I'd take either. In fact I'd love a Caterham reproduction. Not one of those ridiculous superlights… Something that I can wear a leather jacket, gloves and a tasteful scarf in. If anyone knows where to get those classy driving goggles let me know.

    As English as this sounds, I've never been to the UK. Someday…
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    • I'm dying to get over there too…

      • pj134

        Road trip!

  • You just mentioned it. I try to do the Road America trip for a vintage race once a year. Never a dull moment and where else are you going to be able to drive around in your car own car going from corner to corner to catch the action.

    Long ago when I crewed for a team at RA I really enjoyed blasting around on the Rancher to keep tabs on the going on. Never stopped once by Security. So much fun.

    If this link works, a bucket of Vintage from RA for everyone. …


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