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						Era 289 Fia 12
Clean and Correct FIA Cobra on Craigslist

Clean and Correct ERA FIA Cobra on Craigslist

By Dean Larson

There’s plenty of reading out there on the web (this site included) on the debate between the small-block 289 and big-block 427 Cobra roadsters. But for me, the answer has always been specific and clear — 289 FIA roadster. Much of John Tojeiro’s original design for the AC Ace can still be seen in the FIA, but its been enhanced throughout to accommodate the small-block Ford engine and its additional power.

These cars were built with a handful of FIA-specific touches for the track and the stringent Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile rulebook. It was mandated that fender openings must fully encompass the tires and that an FIA-specified suitcase could fit in the trunk. Adaptations to these rules can be seen in the FIA’s body, with larger fender flares and pyramidal protrusions in the trunk lid in these cases. The cars also had unique air scoops, a reinforced roll bar and a windshield designed to lean back slightly, improving aerodynamics at high speeds. With all these unique features, it can be hard to get a 289 FIA build just right, but this ERA Cobra on Craigslist certainly hits the mark.

ERA Replica Automobiles certainly gets builders off to the right start with a respected chassis design, accurate FIA body and a standard FIA kit that includes many of the unique items required in the build. It’s apparent that the seller built on the thoroughness of the ERA kit to assemble an excellent FIA replica. The body is finished in a two-stage British racing green paint with Wimbledon white stripes and some appropriate decals on the side. The Cobra’s trunk features the required suitcase protrusions and a California black plate adds points for authenticity. The interior is finished to a refined racer-spec with the appropriate Moto-Lita steering wheel and Steward-Warner gauges.

While the Cobra is honest through-and-through in appearance, a few hidden improvements were made under the fiberglass. The small-block Ford engine looks the part, but its actually been bored out to 331 cubic inches and improved with World Products aluminum heads, a 650 CFM Demon carburetor and a period-correct Edelbrock F4B aluminum intake. Further down the line, you’ll find a Richmond five-speed transmission and Jaguar independent rear suspension and differential spec’d by ERA.

This Cobra is exceptionally clean and well put together, and the ERA Cobra is well respected on the new and used markets. It’s likely these factors that account for the seller’s asking price — nearly $60,000. Spending $60K on a secondhand Cobra appeals to a small number of buyers, but with a few thousand shaved off the price, I think the Cobra is probably in the right money. However, I would suggest that the seller list the car in other places that just Craigslist alone.

See the FIA Cobra here on Tulsa Craigslist

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