Hemi Cobra Kit Car!!!

The seller of this AC Cobra replica had a very specific goal when he set out to build the car to his specifications: assemble the first-ever Hemi-powered Cobra. Although the project has stalled and is now for sale, an impressive amount of custom work and parts-sourcing has been done for the next owner to pick up where he left off and bring it across the finish line. Find it here on craigslist in New York’s Hudson Valley region as a running, driving project for $25,000.

The Cobra rides on a C4 Corvette suspension and rear end, providing it with four-wheel independent suspension and an easily-serviced chassis that features control arms, axle shafts, and brakes all lifted from your bread-and-butter Corvette. This should make parts-sourcing and future upgrades a breeze, not to mention give this kit car a very compliant ride and respectable handling. The seller notes the frame is rectangular with welded seams, and extremely robust.

The 5.7L Hemi engine was removed from a 2004 Dodge Ram pickup with claimed mileage of less than 15,000. The engine was then upgraded with an aluminum intake manifold and four-barrel Holley carburetor. The seller notes that this engine does not have a stock EGR as part of its emissions system, which made the adaptation to the chassis fairly painless. The engine is paired to a new (in 2012) Chrysler 904 / 3-speed automatic built by TCI with torque converter.

Not much is said about the rest of the chassis, but there’s obviously still some wiring and interior finishing left to do. The seller notes the Cobra is running and driving at the moment, making good power but in need of a finished exhaust. The body also will need further attention and to be prepped for paint. Still, for a running, driving example with a lot of the heavy lifting done, this seems like a potentially fun project to finish – but if you’re a die-hard Cobra fan, could you abide the Chrysler-sourced drivertrain?

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Comments

  1. Nevadahalfrack Nevadahalfrack Member

    The answer IMHO as to whether a hardcore Cobra fan could wrap their head around a 350hp Dodge Hemi in an apparently well fabricated kit car would be dependent to their interpretation of the original Cobra: is it of their ideal of an American V8 capable of big hp numbers in a light car with some rudimentary suspension on the car, or of the brand itself?

    This car would be a blast to drive when finished!

    9
  2. Steve R

    When I saw it’s an automatic I stopped reading the ad. It’s also too expensive, $25,000 for a unfinished/stalled project, no thanks.

    Steve R

    26
  3. mainlymuscle

    This package is an enigma wrapped up by a paradox.Dodge,in a Ford,on a Chevy LOL.Parts bin builds need to be finished to be saleable.Also,removing the fuel injection from modern power swaps makes it easier,cheaper,and basically defeats the purpose of the upgrade.No one loves restomods more than I,but the new powerplants need the F.I. and electronics to perform properly.I have LS conversions,and soon doing a 68 Charger with a modern Hemi.Done right,there is nothing more satisfying.It’s expensive,and only worth it if you intend to rack up the miles,as I do.Haggled down a bit ,this car could work for a handy do it yourselfer.

    11
    • xrotaryguy

      Not only is it necessary, but it’s also easy. It was more difficult swapping the manifold and sourcing the carb. It would have been easy to keep the wire harness, computer, and all.

  4. sparkster

    Steve R , I’m with you the only person that should have drove one these with an automatic is the man himself Carroll Shelby. And I believe his was an automatic.
    I was kind of hoping this was SOHC Ford engine that Jay Leno put into his Cobra NOT a Dodge Hemi that have bad valve seats

    6
    • Chinga-Trailer

      Bill Cosby also had an automatic . . . and when I was a kid, there was a hair dresser with an automatic small block Cobra in our town.

      1
  5. Dave Mika

    What Steve R said.

    3
  6. dead_garry

    Hard pass on this one, a Cobra with an Auto is one thing but a modern hemi makes little sense. If it was a “proper” hemi with a pistol grip shifted manual then maybe we can talk.

    7
  7. 86_Vette_Convertible

    IIRC Carrol Shelby talked to GM for engines before ending up at Ford. That shows IMO that Shelby was not so interested in brand rather than in performance.
    If the car runs and lives up to it’s image, who cares what brand of engine is under the hood? After all, it’s a kit car, not an OEM Cobra.
    As far as being an automatic, if planned on driving more around town I’d be inclined to do that myself. Manuals are great on the highway but suck around town.

    11
  8. Classic Steel

    Wrong drive train and engine make a bastardized cobra.
    Sorry i like small block 289, torqued 351 Cleveland or 428 BB tied to a manual 😎

    8
  9. RB

    IMHO……if i decided to build a cobra and didnt want to put a ford engine in it…I would have either went with a GM LSX or if i was determined to stick a hemi in it….i would put an old-school 392 chrysler in it…….along with a manual transmission.
    Thats just my opinion. 😊

    4
    • Cheato

      I built one with a 528 HEMI + 5 speed about 15 years ago. Runs great track or street, just not as much use in Chicago as I’d like. Tried to post a link to it here but those get flagged in this forum, you can probably just google “HEMI Snake” and you’ll find the build site on mtdesign . com / cobra

      5
  10. Retired Stig Member

    With Steve on this one. If you put a modern engine in, put in Ford. And the auto gearbox? Poseurs only.

    3
  11. Cheato

    That’s not really a HEMI Cobra… This is a HEMI Cobra:

    http://mtdesign.com/cobra/

    Took a shoehorn to fit, but it’s 50/50:

    http://mtdesign.com/cobra/images/final_04.jpg

    Way too much fun, unfortunately not much use in Chicago.

    4
  12. John

    Anybody who finishes a Cobra kit car someone else gave up on is no poseur, slush box or not.
    JMO.

    4
  13. Desert rat

    It’s not a real cobra so why does it matter what motor it has. Is there not enought rep. Cobras out there already? I for one can’t look at another blue with black interior 351w, with ford racing valve covers. I once looked into building a kit cobra and I guarantee it would have had a BBC with a Muncie 4 speed behind it, just for grins, it would have ran like a raped ape and that is what Cobras are all about!

  14. imperialist1960

    This can be two things: A project for the sake of being a project, and a fun completed project to drive around in after project completion.

    If you want a completed project, you can get a used Superformance MKIII for less than $50,000 without hunting too hard. Buy one and you’re as close to a real one as you’re likely to get, AND you get to use it immediately without fear of destroying a $500k car nor having to put another $15k and 150 hours into this one.

    If you want a project for the sake of it, this one seems to have merit – for the right person – if you agree with the choices already made. It only takes one person to agree to make the sale work.

    I’m down on the pricing that is at $25k as I write this. I would be more enthusiastic about it if it were $15k (and I wanted such a project right now).

    Hopefully the market will agree with the seller. I keep wondering why people expect to get top dollar but can’t be bothered to wash their cars to help them put their best foot forward in the photos. Dust is not an attractive look to me, and the oxidized aluminum isn’t top-shelf, either.

    1
  15. Steve

    I dunno, it just somehow seems wrong. You have to be careful if you going to be a pioneer.

    1
  16. xrotaryguy

    The original Cobra was a British car with a Ford V8 under the hood. And it was built by Shelby, not by Ford. Heck, the Sunbeam Tiger was a British car with a Ford V8 and it was sold at Chrysler dealerships! The brand mixing here seems fine to me.

    The Ford Cobra wasn’t really a Ford. Neither is this. Hopefully someone gets a good deal and completes it.

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