Factory Five Cobra - Vintage Mustang Forums

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post #1 of 58 (permalink) Old 12-30-2016, 02:22 PM Thread Starter
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Factory Five Cobra

Anyone have one of these? I have been looking at one with at 347 stroker. Under $30K caught my attention. I know that they are not Shelby Cobras, but what about the cool factor?? Please educate me. Many thanks -
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post #2 of 58 (permalink) Old 12-30-2016, 02:36 PM
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Originally Posted by bk10s View Post
Anyone have one of these? I have been looking at one with at 347 stroker. Under $30K caught my attention. I know that they are not Shelby Cobras, but what about the cool factor?? Please educate me. Many thanks -
Member Dan Babb has one of those, not sure which engine though.
The "cool factor" is on a par with Steve McQueen on his best day ever.

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Near total rebuild began 12/08 AND NOT DONE YET
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post #3 of 58 (permalink) Old 12-30-2016, 02:39 PM
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I had one and just sold it this fall. Great cars if it was built right. No one outside of the absolute purists will know the differences between a real Cobra or one of the more accurate makers of kits so don't let that worry you. Cobras are very customizable so one may have AC, wipers, and a glovebox and one may not.

I had a 514 crate engine in mine and that thing FLEW! The cockpit can get hot so check for gaps that allow hot air from the engine bay to wash into the cockpit. I couldn't drive mine in the middle of a summer day. Too hot, but it may be different with a smaller engine, but plugging any holes is very important if you don't want to cook your feet.

What I'd really focus on is if any donor parts were used or did they go with all new parts. It's common to use Mustang II parts, and that's not a bad thing, but I'd want to know what was used and the condition of the parts. If the car has a 9" rear that's a plus and you want disk brakes on it. Independent rear suspension is also a nice feature to have.

Space isn't something Cobras are known for. Mine didn't have a glovebox so all my paperwork was kept in the trunk.

Overall, they're a super fun car to drive. You will get a LOT of attention and it's hard not to smile the entire time you're behind the wheel.
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1969 Raven Black M Code Mach 1 with 351W
1965 Shelby AC COBRA Factory Five MKII with 514
1965 Rangoon Red Fastback/Convertible with 289
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post #4 of 58 (permalink) Old 12-30-2016, 03:16 PM
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I've got a buddy who's been building one for the last several years (he's retired) with a 427. Last I knew he wasn't done with it yet, but I'll be sure to ask to borrow it when he is They just stink of swagger!
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post #5 of 58 (permalink) Old 12-30-2016, 04:01 PM
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Never had a Cobra. Can't help giving opinion. The small block like your considering is a much better (say drive able) vehicle than the big block version. That assumes you actually drive it! JMO.

My '64 1/2 vert. Ordered May '64. D code 4 speed, handling package, caspian blue, accent group, Ford blue manual top.

'68 vert. driver. Owned since Apr '78. C code AT, AC, PS, P disc B, PT lime gold, standard black interior and top. NOS RF fender and left quarter.New top and folding glass.
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post #6 of 58 (permalink) Old 12-30-2016, 04:12 PM
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I'd love to have one, in fact if I had realized I'd be into so much work with my present car I would have opted to do a kit myself...would have been done by now...maybe
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post #7 of 58 (permalink) Old 12-30-2016, 04:28 PM
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I have a Factory Five that I built from scratch before I got my '66 Mustang. Interestingly there are a number of FFR owners/builders who also build/restore classic Mustangs.

I have a crate 302 in mine with a 670 Holley Street Avenger carb and a T5 transmission. Ford 8.8 axle with 3.55 Torsen diff. All new parts, not a donor build. Paint is Ford Highland Green Metallic, aka Bullitt green. BTW if these cars do use donor parts they'd be from a late-80s to mid-90s fox body, not Mustang II. Also most likely the fox 8.8" axle, not 9" or 8". More recently many of them are being built with Coyotes and FFR's recently introduced 2015+ Mustang based IRS.

Even with "only a 302" my car is a blast to drive. Very streetable. I have no regrets not going to a larger motor.

IMHO a nicely built, painted, and street sorted car for less than $30k is a great deal. You will enjoy it that's for sure. I get the occasional thumbs up when driving my '66 Mustang but that pales in comparison to the attention that the FFR gets.

This is at a recent community car show where it won best in class and second overall

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Last edited by ram_g; 12-30-2016 at 04:33 PM.
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post #8 of 58 (permalink) Old 12-30-2016, 04:45 PM
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Originally Posted by ram_g View Post
I have a Factory Five that I built from scratch before I got my '66 Mustang. Interestingly there are a number of FFR owners/builders who also build/restore classic Mustangs.

I have a crate 302 in mine with a 670 Holley Street Avenger carb and a T5 transmission. Ford 8.8 axle with 3.55 Torsen diff. All new parts, not a donor build. Paint is Ford Highland Green Metallic, aka Bullitt green. BTW if these cars do use donor parts they'd be from a late-80s to mid-90s fox body, not Mustang II. Also most likely the fox 8.8" axle, not 9" or 8". More recently many of them are being built with Coyotes and FFR's recently introduced 2015+ Mustang based IRS.

Even with "only a 302" my car is a blast to drive. Very streetable. I have no regrets not going to a larger motor.

IMHO a nicely built, painted, and street sorted car for less than $30k is a great deal. You will enjoy it that's for sure. I get the occasional thumbs up when driving my '66 Mustang but that pales in comparison to the attention that the FFR gets.

This is at a recent community car show where it won best in class and second overall

Love it!!

My brother and I are planning to go in on the 33 Hot Rod together. We plan to take the three day class before ordering. Both of us are pretty technical (software engineer and IT director) but not mechanics, thus we feel it might be a good idea to take the class first and make sure we are not biting off more than we can chew.
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post #9 of 58 (permalink) Old 12-30-2016, 05:28 PM
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Yep, Ram_g is correct about where the donor parts would come from. My mistake.

1969 Raven Black M Code Mach 1 with 351W
1965 Shelby AC COBRA Factory Five MKII with 514
1965 Rangoon Red Fastback/Convertible with 289
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post #10 of 58 (permalink) Old 12-30-2016, 05:47 PM
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I've always wanted a true to spec FIA small block replica. My friend here with several other HIGH $$$$$ Mustangs and a Pantera had one several years ago. That car was an absolute blast to drive. Extremely nimble.

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Patrick
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post #11 of 58 (permalink) Old 12-30-2016, 06:24 PM
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Another FFR owner here as well. Built a Mk3 (current generation is a slightly different body and other aspects and they call it the Mk4). Ours has a 427 stroked Windsor in it.

As others noted, there are FFRs at both ends of the spectrum. Donor builds with poor paint to high end with all new everything. A basic clean build with a small-block is often in the 25-30K range when sold like the one you're considering.

There is a HUGE community of owners with a lot of support on two different forums (the original, and the newer one created by FFR) to help with build questions, etc.

They are fun to build and fun to drive, but they ARE a Cobra. Short wheelbase, lots of power, means you have to always be on your toes driving. Plus, they are small and fair weather only. It's akin to driving a motorcycle with four wheels. People will stare to the point they'll almost drive into you (target fixation and all).

As for the 289 FIA style, FFR does now offer that body type as well.

Here's a shot of ours:
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post #12 of 58 (permalink) Old 12-30-2016, 06:51 PM
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I see FFRs under $30k from time to time. I'd consider buying one myself but they are always hideous colors.

1965 Mustang
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post #13 of 58 (permalink) Old 12-30-2016, 07:16 PM
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Love mine...but I don't drive it as much as I should.


This is my second one...I built one back in 2003 and sold it after a while. I missed having one, so I traded my 68 Camaro to get back into the Cobra.


FFCars.com is a great resource for you. Look at the regional section and you may find an owner near you. Most of us are very happy to show off our cars to locals and give you the pros & cons. Someone in your area might know the car and can tell you their opinion of the build quality.

Pros
Crazy fast...even with a bone stock 302, it will be one of the fastest cars you'll own.
It's loud and sounds bad-***
Even though it's not an original, it's a total blast to own & drive

Cons
Fair weather car...I don't drive mine when it's cold out or even looks like it might rain
It's loud...I need earplugs when I drive mine.
My wife hates it. "it's too loud...it's too small...it smells like gas/exhaust...whine...whine...whine". It's not for everyone
Every car is unique. If the build quality is good, it's a great car to own/drive. If the owner didn't take his time or know what he was doing, you could be getting a basket case.

Be glad to answer questions if you want to PM me.
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post #14 of 58 (permalink) Old 12-30-2016, 08:54 PM
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" Cobras are very customizable so one may have AC"

Just curious as why it could have AC, it is an open cockpit?
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post #15 of 58 (permalink) Old 12-30-2016, 09:10 PM
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It may seem odd to have AC in an open cockpit car, but there were days I would have enjoyed the cold air blowing down near my feet.

1969 Raven Black M Code Mach 1 with 351W
1965 Shelby AC COBRA Factory Five MKII with 514
1965 Rangoon Red Fastback/Convertible with 289
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