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						Hurricane Motorsports 427 Cobra Roadster 1

A Cobra in the Heart of Texas

As Told by Ken Walker

It all started quite innocently back in 1980 when my grandmother gave me a subscription to Hot Rod Magazine as a birthday gift.  I was so excited and could hardly wait for my first issue to arrive. On the cover of the June 1980 issue was the Arntz Butler Cobra. It was the first issue that I got in the mail.  I just stared at it with and great big smile and started to tell anyone who would listen to me that I was going to own a Cobra someday.

Flash forward almost 30 years: a great life, awesome career, wonderful family—but no Cobra. Savings went to house remodeling, family vacations, and the kiddos college funds.

My dream never died, though. I had studied the replica companies for years and I knew what I wanted.  Fortunately for me a couple business deals went very well and I was able to move forward with my dream.  

Then there was the burning question “Should I build or buy?”  I searched high and low through the usual suspects, ClubCobra.com, CobraCountry.com, EBay, etc., and then I found her, the 15th Hurricane 427 Roadster ever assembled.  As fast I as could write the check, I got her loaded on the trailer, and headed back home to Austin, TX.

HM1015 proudly still resides at my home.  Even though I did not turn every nut and bolts on her at the beginning, over the past eight years, I have rebuilt or replace and or disassembled and reassembled almost every part on her.  She now has about 12K miles and I look forward to sharing many more memories with her.

Looking back, as I dreamed about my future Cobra, there were many key features that I wanted. First, it must have a FE big block, it had to look original, and it had to be silver with black stripes. 

As you can see from the photos, I did not get all of those features, in fact, except for the cockpit’s nearly original look, my wish list came up short, but I would not change a single thing.  She is a fiery red head, packing dual roll-bars, 17-inch Vintage Wheels, and a nasty little vintage 289cid SBF that dyno’d at over 400hp. In my eyes she is perfect.

I ran into a member of the Texas Cobra Club while I was still on my quest for a Cobra.  He told me about the Texas Cobra Club Spring Meet and invited me to come by. The 2008 TCC Spring Meet was in full swing in Austin, TX, the day I picked up my car from Houston. I got her home, dusted her off, and headed over the Meet.  As we pulled in the parking lot, Lil’ Red and I were greeted with big smiles and open arms.  

I have enjoyed my new Cobra Family so much that for the past five years, I have coordinated and directed the Texas Cobra Spring Meet. In 2012 they even elected me TCC President.  My father, Donald Walker, has also attended the TCC Spring Meet with his Cobra. He built a Unique 427 about 15 years ago (the black one shown next to mine in the plane hangar). So I guess it does run in the family.

Living in Central Texas has afforded me the opportunity to take long drives through the Texas Hill Country. There are literally thousands of miles of country roads to cruise and explore. For the times I feel a little more adventurous, we have several road courses that I use to hone my driving skills and stretch her legs a little.

The guys at Hurricane Motorsports put together a wonderful car.  They have improved and enhanced their car since mine was built. The car’s look was what I wanted and the looks we get at every red light are very rewarding.  And we don’t even mind when it take 25 minutes to fill up the tank because everyone want to ask a question or twelve.


Make:             Hurricane Motorsports

Model:            427 Roadster

Engine:    1963 Ford 289cid (non-bored, non-stroked)

AFR 165 Heads,

Edelbrock RPM Performer Intake,

Holley 670 CFM Carb

Transmission:         T5 5-speed

Rearend:         Ford 9-inch with 3.73 gears

Wheel:            Vintage 17 inch

Tires:             Nitto 555 Extreme ZR 245/45-17 Front and 315/35-17 Rear

Color:             Audi A4 Amulet Red with BMW silver stripes

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