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Spring Cobra Roundup: Five for $35K

Top five secondhand Cobras for $35,000

By Dean Larson

Temperatures are rising, the days are getting longer and (if you’re like us) the snow is melting. That’s right, spring has sprung, which means we’re on the hunt for some great spring projects and soon-to-be summer drivers. So naturally, we’re brining you another Cobra roundup, and this time it’s the top five for under $35K.

$30,000 to $35,000 is a nice price range if you’re looking to buy a Cobra replica. Cars in this bracket are usually well-built drivers with some nice features, and there are always a couple nice bargains to be had. We’ve assembled the following checklist to rank cars in this price range.

—To start, the car needs to be a complete, running and driving vehicle

—Look for cars with as many non-donor parts as possible, as these cars tend to bring more money

—Cars with stronger, five-lug hubs are more desirable

—Honesty is the best policy, and more faithful replicas rank higher on the used market

#5 Classic Everett-Morrison

We’re opening our contest with a well-established name in the Cobra replica industry, Everett-Morrison. This car appears to be one of the earlier cars with a shorter 90- or 93-inch wheelbase, which a plus for originality. The 302 small block-powered Cobra wears a classic red and gold paint scheme with matching Halibrand-style wheels.

This Cobra comes in cheap at just $29,000, the cheapest on the list, but it is equipped with a Ford C4 automatic transmission. For some buyers, this could be a plus though, and this is probably the most affordable Everett-Morrison on the market right now.

Check it out here in New Jersey Craigslist.

#4 FE and Toploader Equipped

The Cobra in our number 4 slot is an earlier build with ground-pounding FE engine under the hood and a Toploader four speed. The fiberglass body and steel chassis were built by a company called Antique and Collectible Autos, but this model is no longer in production. The car presents well and has logged just over 4,600 miles since completion.

The Ford FE engine was produced in numerous displacements between 330 and 428 cubic inches, so it’s impossible to guess which engine this is based on the seller’s only clue “400+ cubic inches.” But we've never met an FE we didn't like, and any iteration of this blue oval big block should suffice in such a light car. 

If you’re not sold yet on this Cobra yet, you need only to look at the detail work on this car. The Ford big block looks like it was installed yesterday, and hasn’t seen a speck of dirt or a single raindrop over its 4,000+ miles. We’re also impressed by the seller’s gauge panel. Even though it shares little with the original, it’s very well executed.

Owning this Cobra will require you to part with $36,000, making it the most expensive car on our list. Is the iron-giant FE engine worth the extra coin? Let us know in the comments below.

Check out the listing on Classiccars.com for more.  

#3 Upgraded and Updated Roadster

We’re blatantly defying the last item on our checklist with our third place finisher, but we’re pretty sure you won’t mind. This striking blue roadster has been modified and modernized with wheels and a front splitter, but we think it looks like a blast to drive and a decent buy at $35,000.

“Not a kit car,” it’s a phrase we hear quite often, but is that really a selling point for buyers in this price bracket? Anyway, the seller didn’t give much for background on this Cobra, other than that it was “hand built for road racing.” If this car is indeed a custom build, it’s one of the nicer ones we’ve seen. The car has the right dimensions, nicely finished details and killer shade of blue paint.

The wheels are a bit out of place on the car, but we don’t hate them. They go well with the beefy front splitter to create a cool track-car vibe. The highlight of this build is without a doubt under the hood though. It’s a standard 302 Windsor engine, but the builder was clearly no slouch. There are some cool black accents, and the ceramic-coated headers and finishing details make for a home run under the hood.

This Cobra can be found here on Chicago Craigslist.

#2 Right in Red

A red and white roadster with a five-speed transmission and a stroker under the hood, what more do you need?

The crisp exterior details on this Factory Five roadster coupled with a no-nonsense driveline make it a worthy contender for the number 1 slot, and honestly, bagging either of these two final roadsters would be a win. The paint on this car definitely hits the mark, but it’s really the wheels that we can’t take our eyes off of. They look to be either 15s or 16s, and are true knock offs, a leg up on most of the competition.

Under the hood we find another member of the Windsor family, the 351, but this ones been stroked to 377 cubic inches. The FFR has also been enhanced with some chassis upgrades, including a full front suspension and a five-link rear from Levy Racing. The owner states that the car was built by Fields Racing Fabricators, a definite bonus if the shop has a good reputation.

Other than the slightly dated interior, we dig this Cobra just the way it is, and it’s a great buy too at just $30,000. Check it out here at Autotrader.com.

#1 Clean Cut FFR Mk4

We can say without much of a doubt that this Factory Five Mk4 roadster is the best deal available on Cobra right now. It’s a complete driver with a New York issued VIN and title, and a current inspection too. The seller describes it as a 2012; we’re unsure if this corresponds to production date or completion date, but either way it’s pretty fresh build.

For mechanicals, this Mk4 has a 4-inch round-tube frame with a Ford 8.8-inch rear axle out back. The 8.8 has been in use since the early ’80s and is available in both solid axle and IRS configurations. Both are commonly used in the FFR Mk4, so that’s anyone’s guess. Powering the car is another 351 Windsor, which appears to be a reman unit. With a five-speed manual transmission and 10.5-inch wide tires out back, we’re certain this Cobra leaves nothing to be desired out on the open road.

Overall, the car has a clean and agreeable exterior with nice silver paintwork with a pair of ghost stripes down the center. The 17-inch Halibrand-style wheels aren’t true knock offs, but they look the part and accent the paint nicely.

This Cobra has just 3,260 miles on the clock and the seller reports that receipts for most of the major items are included in the sale—a nice bonus. The car also is on the lower end of our price bracket at just $30,000. A nice clean-cut Cobra for a bargain price, we’re sure this one won’t last long. See it here on Finger Lakes, NY Craigslist.

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