Built In ’83: North American Fiberglass Cobra

This Shelby Cobra replica is yet another variety of kit car built to provide a more affordable means of entry into owning the legendary muscle car, made by a now-defunct company known as North American Fiberglass. The Cobra was built in the early 1980s and appears to still be in sound condition. No details are offered on how long it’s been parked, but it does appear to be parked in a somewhat cramped garage. There are lots of different varieties of Cobra kits available, and while the Factory Fives are typically the highest quality replicas, there are plenty of alternatives out there for reasonable money. Find the Cobra here on Facebook Marketplace with a price of $40,000.

North American Fiberglass was owned by Jake Kube, who manufactured his kits in Scottsdale, Arizona. With kits like these, it’s difficult to find real production numbers, but the company did go out of business sometime in the 1980s. Kube would later move to another part of Arizona and still produce the occasional kit, but once he passed away, his widow sold the company and all of its assets. It may exist in another form today, but at least according to most Cobra replica message boards, they’re no longer producing Cobra replicas. This side photo shows off the magnesium wheels and a somewhat rudimentary-looking dashboard panel. Paintwork looks clean and in perhaps the most classic of the Shelby color and stripe combinations.

The Cobra is fitted with an automatic transmission, and the classic 80s gear selector looks decidedly out of place in a car like this. The cabin, while being in good condition, is perhaps the biggest letdown in terms of the replica’s adherence to the original design. It doesn’t show much creativity to mask the kit’s modern underpinnings, and the dash and door panels also look fairly generic, with no attempt made to create replica trim and decor panels that look like they came from a 1960s muscle car. The bucket seats are in great shape, and the upholstery color is a nice pairing with the blue paint. The hardware fasteners along the top of the doors suggest that a tonneau cover was fitted at one time.

North American Fiberglass kits were apparently noted for having very thick fiberglass construction, and the frame design consisted of 2″ x 4″ box rails with 3/16″ thickness, according to the Club Cobra website. The seller notes that the drivetrain on this replica consists of a 302 HO V8 with a Fitech fuel-injected carburetor, but doesn’t provide any details about the presence of any additional engine or suspension enhancements, like a limited-slip or big sway bars. Still, aside from the automatic, it looks like a ton of fun for a fraction of what the original car would cost you. I saw a replica ripping through town one day, and man did it look like the driver was having a blast. What do you think about the price – is this kit worth $40K as it sits?

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Comments

  1. Scottm

    I’ve been a viewer for several years now. I come to this site several times a day to check out the cars and read the comments. Now I have to sign up for emails I don’t want just to look at the website? I’m done with Bsrnfinds. I don’t want emails clogging up my in box. I guess the website doesn’t need my views. Sorry Bsrnfinds, but that is a crappy marketing plan.

    Scott

    Like 8
    • adam

      It’s very annoying having all the pop ups every time. I have to click 3-4 pop up away every time i visit
      .It wasn’t like this awhile ago.

      Like 5
  2. Claudio

    It looks like a creative way of forcing viewers into paying members, until yesterday i had the annoying popups but now that i am a member there are no more popups !
    At a dollar a month its ok but when the price goes up , i will be OUT !

    Like 3
  3. Autoworker

    Always wanted one of these, right color and wheels. Interior definitely needs upgraded.

  4. steve flynn

    a freekin auto in a cobra hot rod… :(

    Like 3
  5. Chinga-Trailer

    How many people realize that with such a rollbar and brace, helmets for both driver and passenger are mandatory if you care about your brain at all – any sort of side impact can send you noggin a crashin’ into the brace and set you up for a traumatic brain injury – a very dangerous thing on a street car, the first thing I’d pull off, followed by the side pipes which, to anyone familiar with Cobras, scream “I’m a kit kar! I’m a kit kar!” As far as the automatic, well, if a slush box was good enough for ol’ Shel, who am I to judge?

    Like 3
  6. paul

    North American Fiberglass seem to be around? as NAF They have a website https://nafmotorsports.com/

    Like 1
  7. Steve

    I have to counter Jeff Lavery’s comment in his article that says “and while the Factory Fives are typically the highest quality replicas.” That’s totally not true, because Factory Five replicas are sold to anyone as a kit car you build yourself. Buy a FF replica, you have no idea of the skill level of who actually assembled it. It might have been done by someone with top notch mechanical skills, but it could also have been built by those two buffoons who I refer to as “Beavis and Butthead With a Reciprocating Saw,” the guys from Roadkill TV who brag about putting their project together with zip ties. Better choices exist for Cobra replicas that are factory built where you are guaranteed a consistent level of quality. Superformance and Backdraft Cobra replicas are two of the best.

  8. mike

    Um,did you say factory five is the highest quality cobra replica out there? Seriously? maybe you should check out Superformance? Nobody,and i mean nobody, builds a better Cobra! Oh,we dont call them Replicas either.

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