Venomous Kansas Snakes


1965 & '66 Cobra 427 SC Replicas


Performance Data

Stephen G. Dye


Few cars evoke as much emotion and excitement as the original 427 SC Cobra. Consider the vast number of replica builders who manufacturer and sell faux Cobras that look, sound and drive like the real thing. In some cases, these hand built cars are actually better than the real thing through the use of modern technology. For this review, we have a pair of Cobra replicas, both of which were designed and pieced together by their owners. The two cars have few pieces in common, but each car represents a different interpretation of how to best recreate a beloved American icon.



The silver car is a 1965 replica was based on a kit manufactured by ERA Replica Cars in New Britain, Connecticut. Power comes from a blueprinted 428 engine built by Wenke Racing. The engine's twist is sent through a Ford 4-speed Top Loader transmission and then out to a Jaguar limited slip rear end with 3.54 cogs. Four-wheel disc brakes bring the car to a halt.

The strengthened 4x3 frame was custom made to be more rigid that the original. Connected to the chassis is a fully independent suspension system with Spax shocks. The car's beautiful paint is by Randy Stroud and Matt-Pro Customs of Olathe, Kansas. On the inside, this Cobra features an 8,000 rpm tachometer and a reversed speedometer that climbs to 180 mph. One of the most impressive elements on this car is the excellent wiring job under the hood. Even the fuses were arranged and lined up with precision.






Jerry Adams of Shawnee Mission, Kansas owns this muscular machine. Not unlike other high-quality Cobra replicas, total build time required almost an entire year. It looks like a year well spent.

The black car is a Mid-States 1966 427 SC Cobra Replica body. Under the curvy body resides a 4x2 tube frame and a 351 Cleveland generating an estimated 375 horsepower. Again, the tranny of choice is the Top Loader 4-speed. Rather than a costly independent rear end, a stout 9-inch Ford does the job just fine with 4.10 gears. Specially made Centerline Eagle wheels measuring 15x10 in the rear and 15x8 in the front give this Cobra a modern appearance, and BF Goodrich tires round out the wheel/tire combo.






Other select pieces on this machine include Titanium-look AutoMeter Ultralight gauges, Aldan Coilovers and RCI racing harnesses. Steve Reed applied the slick Sherman Williams paint, and the Kirby Company performed the powder coating duties. Owner Karl Mawhirder of Independence, Missouri has certainly created one grand looking roller-coaster ride.







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