Reincarnation Magazine

Reincarnation Magazine
Continuation, Reproduction and Replica Automobiles
Rein Car Nation Cover Winter 2020
						Nubodi Kobra 7
Bold Bavarian Kobra Roadster

Nubodi BMW Z3-based Kobra roadster

By Dean Larson

Photos: Seller, Craigslist

BMW Z3-based Cobra roadster? That sounds plain sacrilegious, but is it really? This little roadster on South Florida Craigslist makes a case for the ad hoc adaptation with familiar lines atop a solid donor. It looks like a fun cruiser and an apt performer, but is it worth the coin?

Digging in our archives, we’re pretty positive this is a Kobra rebody from the company Nubodi Automotive in the U.K. The innovative build starts out as 1995 to 2002 BMW Z3 roadster (E36/7), which is then stripped down to receive Nubodi’s eight-piece fiberglass body kit. The new bodywork bears a strong resemblance to the Cobra, but has a few quirks of its own to set it apart. Basically, you get a front clamshell that uses factory BMW hinges and latches, a rear clamshell, a new trunk lid, side sills and few filler panels and the job is done.

Nubodi sells the whole kit for about £2,950 in the U.K., which translates to roughly $3,800 USD. They’ll even toss you £400 (roughly $515) back for your original parts in good condition, provided you’re in the U.K of course. Tack on a few thousand bucks for a decent donor, and you can have a unique machine for a whole lot less than the price of a new MX-5.

You’re also looking at a peppy performer when the build is finished, especially when equipped with the six-cylinder M52 engines and manual transmissions. A top-spec 3.0-liter Z3 clicks off 0-100 km/h (0-62 mph) times in 6 seconds flat, and that doesn’t take into account the roughly 220 pounds shed by the Nubodi fiberglass body.

But fun like this is never cheap, and unless you can do the entire project on your own, there are some expenses to keep in mind. The author of our feature article on the Kobra reasoned that you’ll likely spend about 100 hours putting the car together, plus $4,000-$5,000 getting the kit, paint and a donor, and you could likely finish one for around $10,000 to $15,000. Otherwise, Nubodi sells turnkey cars for around $20,000.

Priced at $28,000, the Z3 Cobra here on Craigslist is in a tight spot. It’s competing against entry-level Cobras here, and it could be spec’d with a more powerful six-cylinder instead of the 1.9-liter four. But beauty is always in the eye of the beholder, and if you live in a rough area for loud classics, emissions controls or prefer more contemporary mechanicals, the Kobra could scratch the itch.

Find it here on South Florida Craigslist.

Read more about the Nubodi Kobra in our full feature here.

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