Facebook-Find FIA

Posted August 16, 2017

By Dean Larson

When you’re on the hunt for a collector car, you’ll surely check Craigslist, eBay and maybe Hemmings or other collector car classifieds sites. But like us, Facebook probably isn’t high on your list. While I wouldn’t hold it equal to these other sources, I will admit Facebook is starting to come around as a place to track down rare items (if you know how to use it.) 

Facebook’s Marketplace app is starting to flourish with all kinds of classified adds, but these won’t do you much good unless you’re shopping for a used trampoline or a 2003 Mazda 6. (Nothing against the 6, I watched a friend put one of these through hell and it never quit.) What you really want to do is join a few groups dedicated to your type of vehicles, if they exist. If you’re lucky, you might even find a dedicated swap page that’s meant for buying and selling only. Specialty car club pages can be good places to pick up leads on cars and parts as well.

Oddly enough, the Factory Five Cobra were looking at here is for sale on Facebook, but not in any of these places. The Cobra project is instead listed on a page called “The Good Stuff: Northern Wisconsin’s Sell, Barter and Exchange,” where it received only moderate attention. We’d assume that’s because very few people are looking for a $35K project car on a guy stuff/garage sale page. Naturally our friends tagged us in ad, since the car is less than two hours from RCN HQ, and honestly, it's a pretty cool build.

This Factory Five has clearly been built to resemble an FIA race car, but don’t confuse it with FFR’s 289 USRRC Roadster. The 289 USRRC car’s body was modeled after a real-deal racer, CSX 2260, and given more pronounced fender flares, altered doors and an optional FIA-approved trunk lid. From the photos, it’s pretty clear that this car is a standard MkIV Roadster, but we dig the builder’s (nearly) finished product. It looks like a good deal of effort went into tracking down the right FIA parts, including the roll bar, shifter, wheels and the side pipes, which are almost right. But the further we looked into this build, the more we started to see the builder true inspiration.

There’s not a lot of information in the seller’s ad, but he does say that he’s selling the car for his father who built it to resemble his friend’s real Cobra. Coincidentally, I photographed a real Cobra, CSX 2350, a few weeks back at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin. While it’s not exact, I confidently say that the seller must know the owner of CSX 2350, also a Wisconsin native and active in several Cobra clubs. I reached out to the seller for comment, but he did not respond, so we’re left to assume, but the similarities in the photos are pretty telling. 

Beyond the FIA-specific features that both cars share, you can see the builder wanted his car to look like CSX 2350 inside and out. Nearly the same paint-scheme has been applied to the FFR with the same red, white and blue striping and meatball locations. While it's strikingly obvious that the interiors are two very different colors, you'll find the same FIA shifter, similar gauge layout and lack of a steering-wheel center cap in both cars. The Factory Five even shows an effort under the hood with a mostly honest looking 302 and Weber carbs.

We're guessing we'll find this car on Craigslist in the next couple weeks, as the ad on Facebook has been stagnant for the last few days. The seller is asking $35,000 firm, which is probably close to the mark. One one hand, you can find finished Cobras all day for $35K, but they'll probably be more standard cars or Mustang-donor builds with a few miles under their belts. 

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