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Clandestine Cobra Kit

Cheap Shelby Cobra project for sale

By Dean Larson

Unfinished Cobra builds come up for sale all the time. Just a few weeks ago, we stumbled upon an abandon ERA Cobra project on Craigslist within an hour of RCN HQ for just $2,500. Unfortunately, that car turned out to be a lamentable conglomeration of hacked El Camino chassis, drywall tape and bondo. When looking at an unfinished kit, it’s necessary to scour for sketchiness in the form of materials and workmanship. So when we stumbled on this $8,000 Cobra kit that the seller “got in dealings,” we set out to see how deep the sketchiness goes and if this Cobra is a worthwhile project.

The Cobra project is listed onCraigslist in Eugene, Oregon two times with one important difference. In the first ad, the seller describes the car only as a “cobra kit rolling chassis,” (although the only rolling this baby is doing is on a trailer) but by the second ad is convinced the body is a Superformance. It’s difficult to fact-check that from the images, but maybe an eagle-eyed reader can spot something we can’t. The chassis is supposedly a custom unit, built in California. It bears some resemblance to a couple chassis we’ve seen before, but not more than a few details. A Jaguar rear-differential is mounted out back, common to many Cobra replicas, and some mustang components are bolted in up front. 

The body looks to be in very nice condition with no obvious flaws in the fiberglass, unusual for a project that has sat for some time. The seller had the body looked over by a local body guy who remarked, “quality kit, not some cheap ass crap.” 

The $8,000 price tag is kind of stuck in the middle in our opinion. At $8K, we’d seriously consider buying a brand new Factory Five for $13,000 and having a much better starting point. We've been a little hard on the Cobra, and there probably is a decent car to be built here. If you're near Eugene and looking for a project, the Cobra might not be a bad deal, but we’d suggest you talk the price down a bit.

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