Nice Rear End

As Total Kit Car magazine had requested to do a shoot using my car, fortunately for me Andy agreed to tidy up a few of the jobs I had scheduled to do.

So off came the fog and reverse lights, the Q-Jacks were fitted as were the Wind Wings and Side Louvres/Grilles.

I hope readers will agree the rear end is rather sexy now...

Total Kit Car Magazine

Friday 24th January

Andy at GD has just sent me this link to Total Kit Car Magazine website

Its a short intro to the feature they are doing on my car in the next issue

Fame at last!!!

Post IVA Alterations

Having got the car through IVA, there were always a number of changes I had planned to do as well as completing a few little jobs that I simply didn't get around to finishing off.

In summary the alterations are:-

  1. Swap Speedo and Tacho positions - really feel that the tacho needs to be closer to the driver.
  2. Remove fog and reverse lights - the original cars never had these and I think the car looks much neater with clean lines at the rear
  3. Fit grilles to wings
  4. Fit wind wings
  5. Fit Q Jacks to Rear - originally I had planned to fit to front and rear but on reflection I think the front looks just fine
  6. Swap headlamps for Lucas P700s - nothing wrong with the standard lamps but I think the P700s ooze class and add a real period feel

And the outstanding jobs are:-

  1. Fit hood and tonneau cover - to be done by Intertrim
  2. Source and fit carpet to rear bulkhead - there is a section of the boot that is uncarpeted that I want to cover
  3. Fit 12v power supply - will come in handy when travelling to Classic Le Mans to charge SatNav and the like
  4. Remove in-line fan thermostat (this has never been connected), re-position electric fan controller and add over ride switch
  5. Fit mesh to brake and oil cooler ducts
  6. Fit battery brain
  7. Fit tracker
  8. Fit stone guards to rear arches
  9. Set up suspension
  10. Fit wheel spinners 
  11. Source and fit sump guard - I have asked Andy to come up with a sump guard for me. The Morosso sump I have is very low and is quite exposed and with the amount of speed bumps on our roads I think this could be a great safety device
  12. Apply GD decals
  13. Re-fit gear box bell housing cover plate - this was removed when setting up clutch and whilst ins't entirely necessary, I am happier with it in place than not
  14. Fit document holder to transmission tunnel

Post IVA Photoshoot

Saturday 18th January 2014

Today was another massive day in the story of this Cobra build. Andy had advised me last week that Steve Hole, editor of Total Kit Car Magazine, was visiting the factory and wanted to do a feature on GD and what they had in build. Andy told him about my car and said it was a good example of an old school Cobra and Steve asked if I would object to him doing a photoshoot and write up on my build.

As you can imagine I was delighted with this news and needed no encouragement to agree. I arranged with Andy that he would strip back all the nasty ugly IVA bits and bobs and make the car look pretty in time for the shoot.

When I walked in to the factory and saw my car gleaming I couldn't hold back the smile - it looked every bit as good as I hoped it would when I first set about my build - better in fact because it has been built to my exact specification, by me and my good mate Ali and there isn't another car anywhere in the world that is the same as this. It truly is unique and I love it.

Sadly, when I arrived at the factory, the rain was pouring and the sky was black and the chance of a photoshoot seemed impossible but after a cup of coffee and a good old natter with Andy and Steve about the build the rain stopped and we were able to get a few photos taken. To add to my pleasure, Steve was really complimentary about the car and said if the images come out ok he wants it to feature on the front cover of the Stoneleigh issue of the magazine and he also asked if I would object to having the car on the stand for the weekend. Andy also told Steve that he would gladly have my car as his factory demo car - high praise indeed from the main man himself.

Steve has promised to send me copies of his professional images, but for now heres a few I took myself.

Mean and Menacing


Cute Ass?

6.3ltr V8 455bhp EDA Blueprinted Engine

Ready to Rumble...


Monday 13th January

This is probably the biggest event in the build process - its IVA day. The day my car is either deemed road legal or not.

I was fairly confident that the car would pass as Ali and I had done a good job of checking everything we could think of and giving Andy a list of the jobs we needed him to finish off along with his usual pre-IVA checks.

The test was booked for 1:30pm and I had arranged to meet Andy at the test centre. That way the car could be transported there using Andy's covered trailer and therefore arriving without getting wet and dirty as it had done when I took it up to GD the previous week.

Andy from GD unloading my car for IVA
The IVA test has a number of requirements which, quite frankly, seem ridiculous as the 'fixes' made to the car will be taken off as soon as the car passes.

These things include...

Additional silencing to the exhausts
Rear reflectors
Rear fog lamp
Reverse lamp
Steering wheel can't have wooden rim
Additional head restraints
Removal of seat adjuster bar
Rubber edging strip to various components - door handles, seat harness brackets, etc
Changing the boot lid handle
Side vents need to be blanked off

Andy has an IVA kit which he puts on the car which would really spoil the look and feel of the car if the final road going version needed to retain these items. Ive added some images to give an idea of what I mean.

Exhaust silencers

Temporary steering wheel
Side vent blanked off

Additional head restraint

The Actual Test

The test takes place at an approved VOSA centre and the car has to pass a series of individual tests that take place along a long 'production line' type setup.

The first stage was looking at the interior and checking to make sure there were no sharp edges, making sure all nuts and bolts were covered and doing a visual inspection of the whole car. I first started to worry at this point when the examiner asked why there weren't Nylocs on the steering rack nuts and bolts. Fortunately they have been fitted using threadlock so it was ok but will make a note to swap these over at a later date. Pass!!!

Checking interior of car far sharp edges etc
The speedometer has to be tested. I had made a bit of a mess of setting this up originally and as a result the car was showing 100mph when the reality was about 10mph when I dropped it up to Andy. Andy quickly reset this prior to IVA but it needed to be checked still. The result was a speedo showing 67mph at true speed of 70mph - perfect and another pass!!! The only problem now is that my odometer is reading c1800 miles and will need sending back to Speedy for resetting.

Speedometer Test
The car then has to pass an emissions test. The Co2 has to be below 4.5% and the Hydrocarbons below 1200. The car was a mile out initially so Andy had to work his magic on the carb and a few minutes later we had car running nice and lean and ticking all the boxes - pass!!!

Emissions Test

Emissions Result

Emissions Result
Next up the car had to be put up on ramps to checking steering, exhaust and the general underside of the vehicle. 

At this point headlamp alignment was also checked which caused another scare. The one headlamp was on main beam and the other on dipped beam and when the main beam stalk was pulled they would swap over. Fortunately we were allowed to swap the wiring over (a simple case of the bullets being on the wrong way) and another pass!!!

Steering, exhasut and lighting checks
The final indoor test was the brake test. Front and rear wheels are tested independently and in axle pairs. TYhe tester is looking to see the brake force and the balance between both wheels on the same axle. Fronts pass ok but there was a bit of a problem with the near side rear brake. Initially it wouldn't apply enough force then the balance was out of sync with the offside. Andy sat on the back wing of the car for a few minutes and as  the brake started to warm up the performance and balance came back within tolerance - another pass!!

Brake Test
The final test is completed outside. This is a noise test followed by a weigh in. The noise test was over in seconds and I didn't have time to even take a photograph before the tester whipped the car away to the weigh bridge. Delighted to report my Cobra is a lean, mean driving machine topping the scales at just 1115kgs.

And after all of this....


801 days after attending a car show in Florida and starting to dream of building my very own Cobra the dream is now real :)


Spoke to Andy today who confirmed he had completed the pre-IVA jobs on my car that I had been unable to get finalised.

Andy also kindly sorted out the handbrake which I couldn't get to adjust properly. Turns out I had fitted the adjuster collar on the wrong side of the handbrake lever as can been seen in the photos below. This was a bit of a pain as it meant the drivers seat had to come back out!

The only thing needing doing now before the big day is to get the starter motor sorted. The one supplied by EDA doesn't engage properly with the flywheel no matter how I have shimmed it. Ken supplied an alternative unit a few weeks back but it looks identical and I have been having the same problems. Hopefully Andy can sort this out once and for all.

Andy also gave me some exciting news. Steve Hole, from Total Kit Car magazine is visiting the factory on Saturday 18th Jan and he is going to do a little feature on my car!!!

And to add to the excitement Andy has confirmed that he and a couple of other guys want to join me and a group of mates at Classic Le Mans in the summer.

Rear Number Plate Lamp

Having sorted the wiring inside the boot for the rear number plate lamp, I wanted to fit the rear number plate to the car.

I had seen a great little bracket on Ryan's car when I was at Blyton and I decided to copy his idea.

Basically, the bracket mounts behind the number plate lamp and then the number plate is bonded to the bracket. This way the number plate sits square to the car and doesn't have to be bent to the shape of the boot and the boot doesn't need drilling.

To make the bracket, I had a small piece of aluminium lying around and I started by drawing around the number plate lamp as a template. I then cut this section before making the two 90deg bends that are required to suit the shape of the boot.

The bracket has to be folded twice at 90 degrees to fit the shape of the boot

Fitted behind number plate lamp using same fixings


And with the number plate mounted

Number Plate Bar

Having fitted the front number plate bar, I got a piece of MDF and cut this to the size of a standard UK number plate.

I then stuck the number plate on to the MDF and on the reverse side I marked a centreline and then used P Clips to secure the assembly to the bar.

Originally I had planned to use a stick on number plate on the nose cone.

The advantage of this is that it would allow more air flow to the rad and I thought it would look cool but when i positioned the stick on plate I thought it looked better this way - still can always change my mind later.


Sunday 5th January 2014

Guess its time for an update as I've been pretty quiet on the blogging front of late.

Whats the reason this time for the lengthy absence? Well quite simply I haven't done a fat lot on the car until the past few weeks.

With hindsight, rushing to get the car drivable for Blyton was a mistake because since then I have hardly done anything as most jobs needed stuff that had been completed for Blyton to be removed to allow other jobs to be finished off and then re-done. It has felt like a bit of an anti-climax to be honest particularly as holidays followed Blyton then before I knew it late autumn was upon us and cold, dark damp nights are hardly the most enticing weather to get working in the garage.

I applied and paid for my IVA back in September and there was some confusion with my application regarding the engine performance figures I had supplied to VOSA and also they said the engine needed to be certified by an approved inspector prior to IVA and the certificate was to accompany the car. This was something of a shock as I was led to believe that Ken at EDA could provide all the evidence that would be needed to verify the date/origin of the block. As is typical of many government agencies the red tape in getting this sorted delayed things several weeks. Anyway, following these delays I decided that I would wait to IVA and register the car until early 2014 so in the event I ever sell it, then it will be a 2014 car not a 2013.

The engine inspection was arranged and passed (although I am still awaiting the certificate in the post) and the performance data clarified and a test date of 13th January 2014 agreed.

I have now arranged with Andy at GD that I will drop the car up there on Tuesday 7th January and he will do the final IVA prep and I will then accompany him to the test in Nottingham on 13th. The car will then stay with Andy for some final fettling of panels and fitment of hood and tonneau before I register it, hopefully on 1st March. This will then entitle the car to a '14' plate but I plan to register on my own 'AC 62 COB' plate that I bought a while back.

Over the next few days I will do my best to update the blog with all the little jobs Ive been working on to get the car ready...