Rare Car Network

Rare Car Network
Unique Classics, Replicas and Build Culture
						Ffr Black Mamba Cobra 6
The Black Mamba Strikes

Factory Five's first customer 289 FIA replica

As Told by Erik Treves

I first was introduced to the Factory Five family by an Army buddy back in 1999. Following the discovery of Factory Five, I was the happy owner of a Roadster Mark I. I kept that car through several deployments and after 11 years I decided I had the itch to build again.

After meeting Wayne Presley from VeryCoolParts.com (who became my best friend), he convinced me to sell my Mark I and start over. Little did I know that this step would propel me on a journey that ended with the car that I have now, The Black Mamba.

Following the sale of the Mark I, I built a Mark 3.1 roadster with crazy, over-the-top horsepower. The notoriety I received from this build allowed me the opportunity to participate in the Factory Five episode of the Car Warriors TV show. I was off and running after that. I built the first Factory Five 818S as a beta customer and then decided I needed to clean out the garage!

I was informed by Factory Five that they would be releasing the long awaited 289 FIA Replica version of their roadster. As a child, this is the car that I had pictures of all over my room. My favorite was a black one. The scene had been set. I needed to sell both my other Factory Five cars before starting another – rules of the house.

Factory Five President, Dave Smith, informed me that if I wanted to own customer car #1 that he would make it available to me. That was enough for me and I was first in line at the open house in June 2014.

Mostly because of the Forums, and to stand out a bit, I name my builds after some sort of theme. I had “The Green Lantern”, “The Flash”, “ The Side Kick” and so on. I needed something for the 289 FIA.

The 289 FIA in my mind anyway, required me to build the car shown here as close to the original as possible. Make it a true classic!

My last Roadster was a hot rod and there is a difference. So, I needed to make it a classic, it needed to be black and it had to be as period correct as I could make it. Since it was going to black and it is a Cobra (snake), I was going to name it “The Black Mamba”.

I now needed to find an original car to pay tribute to, one that I also liked in color and layout. A tall order for sure, since there were very few 289 FIAs ever produced.

After about a week or so on the internet and spending countless hours looking through books, I came across CSX2001. This car was the first 289 FIA production car. The only thing that could make this car even better for me was that it was black. Upon review, CSX2001 was in Black, First Production 289 car and very well documented.

Couple this with Factory Five Chassis 8335, Customer car #1, of their First Production 289 FIA Replica and the fact that I wanted it all black with no stripe, it seemed as though this was a perfect match—too much to be just a coincidence. It was fate. I knew I couldn’t hold back now.

I received my kit the last week in June of 2014 and set out to not only build a tribute car to CSX2001, but now I needed to have it ready for mid Oct 2014 in support of SEMA 2014. I spent a few months prior to delivery accumulating key parts and built those items that were not available.

I also took some liberties in my build to update some of the older/less reliable parts with performance parts. The 289 bullet was replaced with a 347 stroker, but I retained the period-correct Webers. The hose clamped fuel lines were replaced with black anodized –AN fuel lines. The generator was replaced with an alternator encased in a generator housing. Some details were also borrowed from other CSX cars since I was discovering that no two Cobras were identical.

My goal was to build a “clean” non-flashy tribute car. There isn’t one detail in my opinion that stands out. I just touched every part and modified each one in some way and when you add up all those parts together you end up with a very elegant and detailed build.

These details ranged from complex—making valve covers and T-5 mid-shift linkage—to relatively simple, the dash layout and painting every nut and bolt head. In the end, as I step back and now look at the car sitting in my garage, it looks exactly how I envisioned. I built it to my likes and tastes, but I think paid tribute and respect to the car and designers of the true original.

I will never be in a position to ever own a true classic. For me this is enough. Somebody very recently asked me “What is so special about your build?” I thought about it for a second and responded, “I built it.”

I am a simple guy who happens to have built a total of five Factory Five kits. I honestly believe I will have one in my garage the day I leave this earth. I challenge myself to make each car better than the last. I am thankful to Factory Five for allowing small guys like me to fulfill their dreams of owning and/or building their dream cars. I have been lucky enough to done it five times. The journey continues!

Comments for: The Black Mamba Strikes

comments powered by Disqus

Related Stories You Might Like

Filed Under

Cobra Factory Five