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						Norman Cobra 5
FFR 289 No.2: Tech-ing it up a Notch

The Second Factory Five 289 FIA

Factory Five built their 289 FIA as a period-correct tribute to the original 289-powered USRRC racer. When debuting the 289 to the public, Factory Five trusted the first customer car to a longtime friend of the company, Erik Treves. The car was finished flawlessly and was a hit at SEMA 2014. Adding to the story is a second 289 FIA, and another Erik.

As told by Erik Hansen

 I’ve got the second FFR 289 FIA, but there’s a bit more to the story. Interestingly enough, it’s a bit of the antithesis to the Mamba and his name is Norman. Norman was built to succeed the Mamba at SEMA the year after Erik T’s big debut. When I spoke to Factory Five’s president Dave Smith about it, he loved the idea of an East Coast/West Coast battle of the Eriks, and it was to be in the FFR booth. However, the new 818 Coupe’s debut cancelled that out. 

Still, I built a different interpretation modeled after one of Bruce Canepa’s restorations of a privateer racecar born from a modified slabside 289. It was really the color that drove me to the build. It initially looked black with black wheels, which was awesome, but when I found out it was actually a deep blue Ferrari color, I was sold. I built it with a few modern touches for comfort and reliability, including a Hillborn 8 stack EFI sitting atop a 331 stroker with aluminum heads, cats, electric power steering, Gilmer belt setup, and retro-looking GPS speedo. Again, it was a disguised modern version of a classic.

 Erik and I have been good friends ever since we competed against each other building two FFR ‘33 Hot Rods on the TV show Car Warriors. Since that event, he’s been selfishly instrumental in helping me complete my last two projects because he usually gets the first kit as a dependable beta builder. Dave trusts his first builds to him, and rightfully so. We’ve had some long conversations about building these cars and he’s always made himself available to others and myself.

I recently turned 1,000 miles on the car and it’s been fantastic. The Hilborn setup has been flawless from day one. It has so many adjustments to get the perfect tune, it’s not even funny. The paint was done by Miller Customs, and quickly becomes talking piece of the car. While people come up to peek at the motor or interior, they get lost in their reflection and can’t believe how deep it is.

Another byproduct of the Car Warriors show is that Jeff Miller and I remain great friends and love working on projects together. He is the master at painting FFR cobras. I am truly lucky to have such great, talented friends. For those of you out there looking to build a replica, the Factory Five Family has been the best support group, and we have a great time helping each other out, attending events, having build parties etc. 

It’s so much more than building a car … if you want it to be.  

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Cobra Factory Five