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						Factory Five Open House 1

FFR unveils new 289 FIA

Nobody ever said that Dave Smith and the crew at Factory Five Racing (FFR) don’t know how to throw a shindig. Every year they summon home vehicles and their respective owners to enjoy a day a celebration, all on the company. It’s FFR’s way of saying a big “thanks!”. One thing is for sure, the cars that left the factory never come back looking quite the same, and in this case that’s a good thing.

Of course, Smith not only enjoys hosting, but also boasting about a new product. Last year it was the debut of the 818. This year, a numerical designation of a different sort: a 289 FIA Cobra.

The weather smiled on the event, because the day prior you might have thought that someone had ordered a monsoon, but by start time the downpour tapered off. One thing is for sure, the rain didn’t dampen the spirits of the people who flocked to the event. It was almost like a family gathering where seasoned customers and FFR builders mixed with new and potential customers. It was also a chance for the FFR forum members to put a face to the names they see online.

Scores of people and cars braved the ominous weather, some driving to Wareham, Massachusetts from as far away as Maryland and Pennsylvania, and others arriving by other means from even farther locales. Accents from Germany and Australia could be overheard among the attendees. This goes to show that FFR is not just a successful company within the USA, but has a global reach.

As noted at the outset, the buzz for the day was all about the vehicle hidden under a red cover in the showroom. Those that had been stalking the internet had heard rumors of a 289 FIA roadster, but FFR only released a teaser about it.

Those who attended the open house were in luck as today was the day for the roadster’s first public outing. At 10 a.m. Jim Schenck, Director of R&D, and Jesper Ingerslev, Director of Engineering, unveiled it to a round of applause and camera flashes as the next product in the FFR line up.

This 289 FIA/USRRC roadster replica is nicely timed, since it’s the 50th anniversary of the original forebear. While there were significant variations of body shapes, fender flares, and other details on vintage USRRC and FIA racers, this particular model pays homage to some of the most famous vintage racers of all time, CSX2260 #14 piloted by Davey MacDonald, Jo Schlesser, Phil Hill, Innes Ireland, and Masten Gregory.

It’s a car that Dave Smith and the hardworking crew at FFR have wanted to design and build for the past ten years or so. On the day of unveiling two of the vehicles were already in varying stages of kit assembly, and orders for the 289 have already been taken.

Towards the conclusion of the day awards were given out for varying models best paint, longest distance, etc. The ’33 Ford that took “Most Innovative Design” and “Best in Show” was a real standout and drew a huge crowd during the day. Ed Seagroatt of Sand Lake, NY took home the honors with a car built for him by Fred Hemming of Nassau, NY.

FFR’s crew has once again proved that with their latest car that they really are great builders in the kit market. The 289 FIA,represents yet another exciting chapter for them. We hear even more vehicle rollouts are in the works, and we’ll keep you posted.

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