For all with the desire to own and drive an AC Shelby Cobra but lacking the funds for an original the only option is having a replica. And lucky for them replicas are about in abundance; often in the form of kits but some also ready made, even by the venerable AC company itself. There are a lot of manufacturers of these "clones" worldwide, even to the extent that some have made clones from other clones...
Most of these clones have a plastic body and a sturdy ladder frame chassis, but there are also clones with aluminum bodies or spaceframe chassis. Engine options seem to be limitless: anything goes, from puny 1600 cc 4-cylinder engines to huge Chevy 454 cid (7500 cc) V8s. There are not only clones of the classic roadster, but also of the fierce competition coupes.
I have to admit that I had a tendency to look down on these clones as I like the creativity of a fresh, original design better. But after attending the first "Original Cobra Saturday" on September 9, 2006 in Lelystad, Holland my opinion has changed a bit. The organizers, the Dutch Cobra Forum, had brought together more than 60 of these cars and I have to say that the enthusiasm of the owners and the quality of the cars were very convincing. It really seemed like fun to drive these cars in anger and let the engines roar and the tires squeal; some had turned their clones into little gems of workmanship and in all I could see the attraction of having a car like this. It's not about history, originality or value, it's about the excitement of using it (and perhaps even creating it). I even have to say that having a Daytona coupe clone like shown above appeared very enticing...
Anyway, it seemed like a good idea to supplement my original AC Shelby Cobra pages with a selection of pictures of clones taken at this event. You would expect with such a turnout that there would be a large variety of clones by different manufacturers present, but this was not the case. In fact, most Cobra-clones were either by Dax or Pilgrim, two old established British manufacturers. The products of Factory Five Racing from the USA seemed to be gaining popularity and there was some commercial interest from Superformance from South Africa. Other manufacturers were scarce. Never the less no two cars were alike and most of them seemed to be very well made.
I hope this little collection gives you an insight into what Cobra-clones are like.
Click on the small pictures or the links below them to enlarge. The size of each photo is 800 x 600 pixels and it may take a while to download, depending on your connection speed.