Document Collection

Summary of the Project Documents 


Over the years of the cobra hobby, I have gathered a considerable amount of detailed information on these cars. The information, which most would consider uninteresting or trivial, I have found to be fascinating. Being a technical person by profession, it just seemed natural to document the trivia. Thus far, I have created over 100 fully dimensioned CAD drawings of the cobra parts. Preceding the coupe project was the construction of my red 289 slab-side roadster. Although the roadster chassis drawings were manually drafted many years ago, the roadster chassis drawings are also being added to my CAD files as time permits. The object of this portion of the web-site is to share some of the construction documents that I've compiled while building the cars. There are obviously to many drawings to post, but hopefully the files that I've included are representative of the larger collection.

If you are truly interested in the specifics of the construction, whether for interesting reading or you are contemplating attempting a similar project, you may be interested in some of the documents that I hav available for sale. See the Drawings for Sale section of this site for additional information. 

******************************

Front Spring Tower: The following drawing shows the assembled front spring tower and the mount for the steering rack. Although not entirely evident by the included drawings, most of the cobra chassis and superstructure is constructed from either cold rolled mild steel flat plate or various sizes of mild steel seamed tubing. Each of the individual components that make up the front tower are separately detailed on individual drawings.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

******************************

Accelerator Pedal: The basic ladder chassis for the cobras was fabricated in England by AC Cars, then shipped to Shelby American in Los Angles where the Shelby crew made the modifications required to convert the roadster chassis into a coupe version. In general, each coupe was unique and most had slightly different fabricating styles or designs for any particular subcomponent that the Shelby crew built (surprise, surprise; these were race cars and they were needed on the track ASAP.) Not being present in the shop as the cars were being fabricated, one can only speculate why there are differences; however, suffice it to say that each coupe is different. The following drawing shows some of the accelerator pedal details used on one of the coupes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

******************************

Spare Tire Carrier: Another interesting component on the coupes and probably recognizable by many cobra enthusiasts is the manner in which the spare tire is mounted. The coupe's rear hatch was hinged to allow access to the area behind the seats and it was here that the spare tire was located. The floor in this area was only .050” thick aluminum so it was obviously not structurally adequate to support the tire. The solution was to build a tube frame adequate to support the tire independent of the floor. The following drawings show some of the details involved in the fabrication of this component of the coupe.

   

 

******************************

Buck Documentation: As discussed in other portions of this website, one on the most time consuming tasks was to fabricate the buck on which the aluminum body skin was built. The complete buck is obviously the size of a completed car. As space in my shop became a premium, the buck needed to be disassembled to make way for other “stuff”. There are over 75 individual pieces of ¾” plywood that need to be screwed together to make up the complete buck. Just to make sure that it could be correctly re-assembled, I labeled each of the pieces. The following photo shows how I documented this aspect of the task for future reference.

   

 

******************************

Spal Fan Brackets: The 289 roadsters don't really have the cooling problems exhibited by the 427 cars, however I was unsure about the coupe. I decided to error on the side of overkill in terms of cooling air and decided on a 16" diameter Spal straight blade electric fan which is the highest air flow fan that Spal makes. I also decide to adept the Spal fan to the 289 car and later will add one to CSX3193. Although not authentic (one of the few sacrifices to originality that I have made) the following photo shows a Spal fan and more importantly the brackets necessary to adapt it to the coupe or 289 roadster chassis. There are subtle bracket size differences between the coupe and the roadster, which I would be happy to share with anyone that is interested.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

******************************

Rear A-arm: As noted in other places of this web-site, the 289 roadsters (and therefore also the coupes) utilize a tubular steel A-arm as the lower suspension link combined with a transverse leaf spring (which forms the upper suspension link). One of the shortcomings of this design is the lack of adjustability of the wheel camber (without significant effort to modify the spring length). Over the years, there have been many cobra aficionados that have solved this dilemma by modifying the stock A-arm to incorporate a Heim joint to allow the lower suspension link length (and hence the camber) to be more easily adjusted. The following drawing shows a stock 289 A-arm without the Heim joint modifications. I am in the process of trying to locate a sample of a Heim joint modified A-arm to contrast with the stock design.

 

******************************

AC Cobra Chassis Instruction Manual: The manual that accompanied the original 289 Cobra Roadster was a relatively crude (by today's standards) document. It covered some of the normal "owners manual" items as well as a number of unusual aspects of the car. It includes everything from the basic dimensional and capacity specifications to rebuilding the differential to assembling the soft top. It makes for some interesting reading. Click on the following link (highlighted text) for a  copy of the manual. (This is in PDF file format.)

AC Cobra Chassis Instruction Manual