While it may have been cold at Andy's Fiffick's A/C Specialty shop on the outskirts of Cleveland, it was top-down, wind-in-your-hair weather in kissimmee, Florida, on this Sunday afternoon in Early February.
Andy is 6'3" - 260 lbs and fits in the car comfortably
1992 Article in KCI
This article & photos by Bill Moore, the editor of Kit Car Illustrated 1992
|While others are still scrambling for customers at the Specialty Constructed Vehicle Association's Winterbrake event, he takes me for a quick ride in a beautiful car that draws both oohs and aahs on the highway, and earns him the Best Performance Car Repicar trophy at the show. He drives as I try to spot a suitable photo location. Then, after finding a strange building to use as a backdrop, he holds onto my cameras as I hammer the throttle for a quick trip back to the show site at Old Town.|
|Simply stated, the car - inside and out - is gorgeous. The blue paint with broad white racing stripes is superb. The gray leather interior sparkles - but you have to understand something here: This is and enlarged Cobra, and even a guy like Andy, who's all of 260 lbs. and 6-foot-3, fits in with ease. Thats important to many folks.
But let's step away from the finely detailed flash for a second, because this car is based on a very strong monocoque chassis which West Coast Cobra's Vern Redel claims is the safest in the industry.
As a matter a.f. fact, every car comes with a rollbar which is part of the frame; a protected foot box; a double-walled steel firewall with an inch of insulation for heat and noise suspension; as well as a collapsible steering column.
While the others tell you the bare details, Fiffick feel the one real way to compare products is to take a gulp and fire a car up in anger. How does it accelerate? How does it corner? How well does it stop!?
All the answers are not fully documented on this car yet - but they will be in July because the car will be taking part in our Run & Gun '92 competition event at Indianapolis Raceway Park.
Andy claims it will do the quarter mile in 11.4 seconds with a trap speed of 124 mph (Norwalk Raceway in Ohio). Further, he says the top speed is 165 mph.
And just considering the wide range of engine choices he give people when he's building these sturdy Cobras at his shop, there is no reason to doubt the numbers at all.
The power in this particular car comes from a Ford 460 that has been increased to 466 cubic inches. Rather than get into every detail about this engine, let's just say it has all the good stuff. A dyno proves the point by saying it produces 503 hp @ 5,350 rpm, with 536 foot-pounds of torque at 4,700 rpm.
But after realizing that each man's view of ultimate power is different, Andy come to the conclusion that the best way to deal with horsepower was to ladle it out in appropriate amount. For example, the base 460 that Andy offers his customers produces 365 hp and sells for $3,999.95. You want more horsepower? Well, how about the Level 1 Performance engine that delivers 406 ponies, but costs you $4,485.95? Not enough! Consider that Andy offers Level 2, Level 3, Level 4, and Level 5 engines which increase in horsepower and price to over 500 hp. and costs $7,999.95 - something he calls his Street Beast 460.
Putting all that considerable power and torque to work is a new Ford C-6 automatic with a splined case for durability, with control being worked through a race-prepared B&M quicksilver shifter. A 9-inch Ford rear end delivers the power to the big P295-50R-15 Goodrich rear tires, while P265-15R-15s sit on the front. The suspension for the car utilizes a 4-link Ford 9 inch rear, while the front utilizes unequal-length A-arms. Providing the stopping power fore and aft are SVO 11 inch vented discs.
If it sounds as though Andy knows what he is doing - your right. He did restoration work on all types of Fords for over 10 years before jumping into the Snake market. "We were looking for something different,"says Andy, "something more powerful". thats how we got into the Cobra's.
He went with West Coast because he liked the chassis, first off. "All the components on the car,"says Andy,"are super reliable". It's the kind of car you can lay with hard and come back and not worry about - and then go out and play with it again."
Talking about West Coast's Vern Redel, Andy says,"He's definitely got the safest product out there." It's a breed by itself. Vern's car is a great car that happens to look like a Cobra, but really, you could put anybody into it!"
Then in thinking back to all the engines he could put into the car, he stresses the design work he done on the 460 heads. "There is hardly anyone out there building 460s for high performance applications, but it's a very durable engine with a high tolerance for abuse - and the parts are readily available. we're the only ones I know doing full blown 460s for competition Cobra use."
No doubt you can see the grin on his face when Andy says "I love drag racing. You know we have never been accused of under-powering a car!"
Look out Run & Gun participants - this guy is going to be a serious straight line threat in Indianapolis Raceway Park! And work has it that he is considering running a few autocrosses before arriving at IRP, so mark him down as someone to beat.
When it comes to buying on of these Cobra's for yourself, what's it all cost? Well, as you can see from the wide variety of engines available, you have to decide that on your own. How much of a good thing do you want? How deep is your wallet? The first step, no matter what you decide, is to
call West Coast Dreams 519-736-7274 and book a visit
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