Christmas Build Plans

Wednesday 28th December

Ok, plans for the Christmas build:-

1. Cut holes and test fit headlamps
2. Fit heater matrix (just been reading some other blogs and it would appear the use of Rivnuts are helpful - so just ordered a tool and assorted sizes of Rivnuts off Amazon). This will now need to be delayed awaiting supply of tool
3. Boot Lid - need to finish rubbing down edges ready for filling with gel coat and polishing - and attempt to fit in place

Doesn't sound like much but having got back into some other blogs I'm beginning to feel daunted at the prospect of this build already :( lol

Drilling Holes

Saturday 17th December

The other stuff Ive been doing over the past few weeks is drilling holes in the body for lights, indicators and heater pipes.

Was quite apprehensive about taking my drill and hole saws to the perfectly formed Cobra bodyshell but having heeded the advice of other builders, I measured twice (even did some test cuts on a piece of plywood to make sure) and cut once.

In the end, there were no dramas with drilling of holes and have now fitted front/rear indicators and stop/tail lights. Holes drilled for side repeaters and heater inlet hoses

Having fitted rear stop/tail and indicators the back end of the Cobra is actually begining to look like a car at last, so a quick photo before removing them in readiness for polishing.

Flashlines (4)

Saturday 17th December

Just started having a think about what needs doing next and have decided to try fitting the boot. This way the back end will be pretty much finished.

So we remove the bubble wrap from the boot lid and my heart sinks... the edge finish is dreadful and will need - you guessed it - lots more flashline preparation. Hoping when I come to do the bonnet that wont be as bad but Im scared to look :(

In fact the edges of the boot lid are so bad I've had to get the dremel out

Flashlines (3)

Saturday 17th December

Haven't updated my blog for a while as I've been struggling to find time to work on the Cobra so there  hasn't been much to say!!!

Spent a few hours this week working on flashlines again and I think I'm pretty much done now...

All external body side flashlines have now been removed using Stanley Blade Scraper and then rubbed down with wet n dry paper. Started with 400 grit and have worked through 800, 1200, 2000 and final rub down with 2500 ready for polishing.

As reported previously, had some trouble getting the flashlines smooth in the radiused areas but my co-builder, Ali, found a 'tear-drop' sanding block on eBay which is especially designed for the purpose and it has worked really well.

Have also removed flashlines around rear bulkhead and that leaves front bulkhead and some internal flashlines to sort out - but these can wait til the new year.

Flashlines (2)

Tuesday 29th November

Update on flashline removal...

All external body flashlines now removed with stanley blade and rubbed down using 400/800/1200 grit wet n dry paper ready for final preparation and polishing.

Both rear arches and N/S/F arch also ready for final preparation and polishing.

Was interesting to compare before and after shots of N/S/R arch and quarter panel (see photo)

In the end, I have to say that so far flashline removal hasn't been the pain I thought it would be. Still a little bit of tidying up to do in the tight radiuses (ie. around arches, headlamps, etc) and have the O/S/F arch to prepare but all in all solid progress and will soon be cutting and drilling holes - now THAT will be scary. Think I read somewhere... "measure twice and cut once" - good advice I suspect :)


Sunday 6th November

Now this is something I was worrying about...

Having read so many other blogs and having seen the car arrive with ragged wheel arches that cut our hands to ribbons when lifting the shell out of the van I was seriously worried that the very first stage of my build was going to run into complications

Ragged wheel arch and rear quarter flashline

Using a stanley blade in a window scraper attachment and a small hand file, I removed the excess flashing and burrs on the wheel on and rear quarter.

Then, armed with 400, 800 and 1200 grit wet n dry paper and a rubber sanding block, I set to work on the rubbing down process.

After a couple of hours of work with light fading, I hung up my tools for the day feeling pretty satisfied. It wasn't until I was able to reinspect my handiwork in natural light that I could see further rubbing down would be required (there was still the subtle hint of a mould line showing near the arch and between the rear light cluster and the boot lid opening).

Collection Day!!

Thursday 3rd November

The day has finally come to collect my GD427 body-shell from the factory!!!

Tres Excited!!!! - as a friend of mine would say ;)

My lovely new body-shell is born!!

A rather snug fit for the journey home!!

The Luton van had a 13' deck and the Cobra is about 13' so there wasnt much room but we got back safely and did our best not to hurt our backs off loading the new arrival...

Body in Mould

Friday 28th October

After the disappointment of not seeing my car in the mould on 18th October, I was very pleased to receive an email from Andy with some photos showing progress....

GD427 Mk4 As moulded
Roll on collection day - 3rd November!!!!

Factory Visit

Tuesday 18th October

Woke up feeling excited. Visiting factory today to see my car being moulded.

Arrive at factory late morning and excitement sadly fades. Mould assembled and masked ready for moulding but no gel coat or fibreglass applied at this point :(

Mould marked up for body stripes

Not to worry, Had a good chat with Andy and looked at a recently moulded body destined for Oz and got some good tips on de-flashing and the like

Andy says the body should be ready for collection by end of month. So I best get on and finish the A Frame Trestles and a get a Luton van on order for collection!!

Need to make final changes to garage in readiness!!!

Some Good News

Wednesday 12th October

Email received from the factory. Body lay up to start on Saturday. Visit to factory arranged for 18th October to have a look while still in mould


Friday 30th September

Waiting for my Cobra body shell feels like being 14 again and waiting for Christmas. It's so frustrating - just want to get started now!!

Oh well, at least I've started work on the A frame trestle tables which I'll need to stand the body on when it finally arrives and the garage has been fully sealed to stop the annoying leaks where the sides meet the walls

Order Placed

Monday 5th September

Formal order placed today for body and first stage of internal fit out (wiring, brake pipes, etc)

Gotta twiddle thumbs now until it arrives in approx 10 weeks but the good news is that GD have just refurbished the mould so the finish and flash lines should be better!

A Decision at Last!

Friday 2nd September 2011

Its late afternoon, and Im breaking up form work on Monday for a weeks holiday. Im desperate to get the car ordered before I go so anohter call to Andy at GD and the decision is made...

Im going for a GDEURO in White with twin Black bonnet stripes and Black wheels. The interior will be black leather with white piping and the dials will be white faced

Wow!!! Im excited... the journey begins with Andy muttering the words "welcome to the club' - guess its time to find some other club members now. Im sure I will need their help and encouragement along the way

Deposit to be paid on Monday - let the journey begin.... :-)

Gardner Douglas Factory Visit

Thursday 1st September

Went to GD Cars and met Andy Burrows - great chap and extremely helpful!

Saw lots of cars in different colours, was taken for a mind blowing ride in ACC898A - a fantastic example of a GDJAG with Iron Block in Signal Red

Went away with my head in a complete spin - should I go GDJAG or GDEURO? If I go JAG then should I go rolling chassis or kit form? Side pipes or underslung? What colour should I go for - I went along thinking it would be the traditional dark blue or black and definitely not red but fell in love with ACC898A - decisions, decisions!!!

After boring the wife with all my thoughts and I went to bed still undecided about pretty much everything

Keith's Cobra Dream - How Did It Start?

August 2011

After going to a car show while on holiday in Florida in August 2011 and having seen some incredible classic muscle cars, when I was sitting by the pool the following day I began to browse some car sites and then I stumbled upon a number of Cobra blogs and pictures.

I then found a website created by someone who, like me, had got the idea to build a Cobra replica whilst on his holidays.

His dreams and concerns were mostly the same as mine - I really want the best Cobra replica I can make but can I really do it with my limited technical knowledge? What will happen if I get stuck? Will I run out of funds, etc, etc

With this in mind I started to look into the options - from kit suppliers, to engine suppliers, to donar car requirements, to the budget.

Returning from holiday I set about looking in the practicalities in more detail....