cobra kit car costs out of control?


Staff member
I ran accross this site listing the cost of a cobra kit car build....anyone else think that was ABSURDLY OVER PRICED??

Description Ext Price Source
Cobra kit
JBL Cobra Stage II kit, red powder coat chassis, grey powder coat suspension parts, black interior $32,775.00 JBL
Deduction for gauges -$320.00 JBL
Deduction for seats -$650.00 JBL
Compomotive wheels 17x10 front, 17x12 rear $2,350.00 JBL
Twin single roll bars $520.00 JBL
Michelin Pilot Z tires, 275/40-ZR-17 front, 335/35ZR-17 rear $1,280.00 JBL
Safecraft fire suppression system $750.00 JBL
Alloy dash (no holes) $220.00 JBL
Alloy dash gauge and switch holes $50.00 est price
JBL stainless rear bumper $260.00 JBL
bumper over-riders (x4) $155.00 JBL
Wilwood rear brakes $820.00 JBL
Misc custom work (estimated) $600.00 JBL

TOTAL Kitcar cost $38,810.00
DSS Bullet 410 shortblock Sportsman 408W short block - Race Prepped Sportsman 351W Block, Custom Forged Stroker Pistons, 4340 Forged Steel 6.2” H-Beam Rods, 4340 Forged Steel 4.0” Stroker Crank, D.S.S. Stroker Main Support System $5,299.95 DSS Racing
Valve Train
Comp Cam 851-16 Hydraulic Roller Lifters (High Energy) $192.95 PAW
Comp Cams 35-1001 Hydraulic Roller installation kit $41.95 PAW
Lunati custom grind Roller camshaft 232/242 @0.050", 0,544/0.560 lift, 108 centerline, 112 degree lobe sep $299.00 Panhandle
ARP 154-1001 Cam bolt 2.95 Summit
Milodon 15008 9-position roller timing chain $58.95 PAW
Mr. Gasket 792 front cover gasket set $7.95 PAW
Ford M-6059-D351 Timing chain cover $125.95 PAW
Comp Cams Magnum 7.8" pushrods, chromemoly steel $64.00 Panhandle
Canfield 20450-65-1-B Canfield stage II 2.02/1.60 CNC chambered (65cc) w/ 1pc ss valves and dual springs (Comp Cams 987) $1,890.00 Panhandle
ARP 154-4003 head studs $95.00 Panhandle
FEL-PRO 1011-2 head gaskets $59.90 PAW
ARP 100-7101 rocker studs 1.9" ht, 7/16" thread $27.95 Summit
1-6SBF7-16 1.6 ration 7/16" billet roller rockers $249.00 Panhandle
Ford M-6000-C302 Cobra valve covers $155.95 PAW
MOR-68775 Rubber oil baffle $4.95 Summit
861-5115 Oil overflow tank $69.99 Jeg's
FEL-PRO 1614 valve cover gaskets $10.95 PAW
Oil System
FEL-PRO 1810 Oil Pan gasket $12.95 PAW
Armando custom Racing oil pan and pickup for 351W $330.00 Armando
Ford M-6750-B302 Ford racing 351W dipstick, blue anodized $15.89 RaceSearch
DSS Windage Tray $109.95 DSS
PAW-M83 oil pump $23.95 PAW
ARP 154-7901 Oil pump drive shaft $16.95 PAW
Milodon 21566 Remote oil filter block adapter $29.98
Milodon 21560 Remote oil filter kit w/ braided AN10 lines $104.95 PAW
Spectre 39503 Ssteel flex oil line $20.95 PAW
Spectre 3160 AN-10 host clamps red/blue (need two) $17.90 PAW
Mocal Oil Cooler $139.00 Cobra Acc
Intake/Fuel Injection
TWM 3000-2123/50 V8 kit with intake, throttle bodies, fuel rails, fuel regulator, air filter $4,200.00 JBL
Port and flow intake $450.00 Panhandle
M-9439-A50 intake gasket 29.95 Panhandle
Aeromotive 1000HP electric fuel pump $279.00 Fordspeed
Aeromotive fuel filter $95.00 Fordspeed
Electromotive TEC-II Engine management system inc sensors and mounting hardware $2,500.00 B&H Motorsports
M-9351-A302 Fuel pump block off plate $5.95 PAW
TWM 2900-0803 Bosch 36lb P&H injectors $1,192.00 TWM
TWM 2900-3040 Throttle position sensor $67.59 TWM
5236K66 Vacuum hose, 20ft, 3/16"ID $27.00 McMaster
5121K44 Tube fitting for MAP manifold $2.84 McMaster
5469K173 Aluminum manifold for MAP $19.59 McMaster
Optima 800U Battery - 800A crank, 120 min reserve, top post $132.95 PAW
Summit SUM-G1220A Battery cable and ground strap $24.95 Summit
TAY-73253 Spark plug cables $53.69 Summit
Autolite 3924 Spark plugs $14.32 Racesearch
SPE-1842 Spark plug wire dividers $29.95 Summit
Ford M-11000-A50 Starter Motor and Solenoid $160.95 PAW
Magnum MGM-7078R 65A alternator, red powder coat $99.95 Summit
MSD-8578 MSD Pro-billet Distributor $224.95 Summit
MSD-8585 Bronze distributor gear $39.95 Summit
9034K14 Alloy disk to replace dist cap $12.18 McMaster
FMS-M12270A302 Distributor hold-down clamp $9.95 Summit
PRO-66648 Alternator bracket $21.95 Summit
Panel switches $119.10 Allied Elec.
FEL-PRO exhaust gaskets $15.00 est price
Engine Accessories/Cooling
Fluidampr 713260 Harmonic Damper/Balancer, 28oz/in balance $354.95 PAW
ARP 150-2501 Balancer bolt $21.29 carshopinc
Edelbrock 8843 waterpump $148.95 Summit
93595A410 5/16"-24 3/4" cap screws $10.84 McMaster
PAW WYS-WA7310 Stainless radiator hose kit - 48" $181.95 PAW
397-M8592-A302 Thermostat housing $20.99 Jeg's
16400 Milodon 160deg thermostat $11.16 Milodon
March 1647 Pulley set $201.99 Summit
March 1431 Spacer for fluid damper $63.39 Summit
belt $20.00 est price
ARP 554-9603 Accessory fastener kit (hex stainless steel) $92.39 RaceSearch
Tremec TCET1377 TKO II Road Race Transmssion, 0.83 overdrive, 31 spline yoke $1,825.00 Dark Horse
Pro-5.0 PRO-TRMEC shifter $199.95 Dark Horse
KIR-5050 Shifter knob - billet alum, 5 speed markings $29.00 Dark Horse
McLeod 563100-28 Aluminum flywheel 28oz imbalance, 157 tooth $389.00 Dark Horse
McLeod 360048 10.5" pressure plate for 5.0 with bolts $269.00 Dark Horse
McLeod 260870R Clutch disc 10.5"x1 1/8", 26 spline $199.00 Dark Horse
McLeod 12-427 Self aligning roller pilot bearing $19.00 Dark Horse
McLeod 1400 Hydraulic throw-out bearing with 1430 adjustment screw, 1439 spacer for adjustment screw $269.00 Dark Horse
Tilton 362-320L Clutch piston $41.23 tcracecars
D9CZ6392C Tremec 3550 Aluminum Bellhousing $139.00 Dark Horse
D9ZZ-7007-A 5.0 blockplate for bell housing $49.00 Dark Horse
ARP 100-2801 7/16th flywheel bolts $17.00 Dark Horse
E6ZZ-7513-A dust cover for tremec $23.00 Dark Horse
custom steel drive shaft $250.00 est price
Oil and Filters
21 quarts 10W-40 motor oil $25.00
FRAM HP1 3 oil filters $26.85 Summit
Dyno time with computer programming $600.00 Carb Connection

TOTAL Drivetrain Cost $24,803.50
Autometer 4489 5" 160MPH electronic speedometer (Ultralite) $209.95 PAW
Autometer 4498 5" 10,000 RPM indash electronic tach (Ultralite) $128.95 Summit
Autometer 4315 2 1/16" elect fuel level 73ohm empty, 8-12ohm full $35.95 Summit
Autometer 4327 2 1/16" 0-100 PSI electronic oil pressure with sender $51.95 Summit
Autometer 4348 2 1/16" 140-300degF elec. Oil temp $43.95 PAW
Autometer 4309 2 1/16" 0-100PSI elect. fuel pressure $84.95 Summit
Autometer 4337 2 1/16" 100-250deg elec water temp $37.95 Summit
Autometer 4391 2 1/16" 8-18v voltmeter $35.95 Summit

TOTAL Gauges $629.60
Sparco Carbon seats (x2) $1,358.00 Speedware
4012,4102,4300 Sparco 5-pt harness (x2) $378.00 Speedware
04U4902 Snap-in kits for harness $92.00 Speedware
1098 Harness pads $51.90 Speedware
015TRGS1 Sparco Ring steering wheel $179.00 Speedware
01598RS Red hub center-steering whl $16.00 Speedware
Finish Line gas cap $122.00 Cobra Acc
Finish Line gas cap base adapter $22.00 Cobra Acc
Hella Horns, set of 2 $125.00 Cobra Acc
Kenwood/Alpine Stereo - CD/MP3/FM, door mount full range spkr, dash mount tweeter, 180Wx2 amp, remote head unit with IR remote $1,242.00
Innovative Audio
K-40 Radar system $765.00
Innovative Audio

TOTAL Misc. Cost $4,350.90
Body painting, silver with red stripes $6,000.00 est price
Leather hides for dash and door panels $300.00 shopforleather
Cermachrome ceramic coating of headers $305.00 Perf Coatings
Cermachrome ceramic coating of sidepipes $300.00 Perf Coatings

TOTAL Finishing $6,905.00
i belong to the factory five forum, they recently sent an email asking for donations to their legal defense fund, as the caroll shelby org. is suing them for copyright or some other infringement.
Ive always really like the look of a AC COBRA, but if I build one its going to have a killer big block Chevy engine and a full manual control automatic with over drive or a manual 5 speed with over drive. IF you could still find Chrysler 392 hemi parts and an aluminum 417 Donovan block,reasonably priced that would be a second option, I prefer the manual transmission but I general try to let the wife have emergency access to my cars so if she really needed to drive the car for some reason she could do so ( you never know if or when your out someplace driving the car, and she may need to take over in a medical emergency)

build a modern cunningham-c-4r

for you young guys
tutorial below ... gham-c-4r/


Last edited by a moderator:
I have to agree that when you add up all those parts the total is pretty staggering.

I think that may be a major factor why we see so many unfinished kits for sale. I think people see the initial $19,995 basic kit price that some of the vendors advertise and think they can finish it for less than $30,000. Maybe they can if they want a $10,000 car when they get finished.

Most hot rodders won't compile a comprehensive list of parts and associated costs like you have provided for us. They get in over their head and then have to dump the project because of other commitments for their finances.
just for grins I priced out what Id consider a basic kit car from these guys,
AT just about $49,900 plus tax keep in mind that does not include
engine,engine and transmission controller, induction,ignition,water pump,accessory drives,fuel system,
drive shaft, shifter and quite a few other components youll need to get the car up and running,
that can and easily will boost the price another $7K-$25K
so if you are thinking of building something with an impressive power train your looking at $67-$75K
Last edited:
The numbers aren't surprising to me. With the Backdraft car you're buying an assembled vehicle where other kits you provide all the assembly labor. I think one of the selling points is that they enable a customer to say they built the car themselves but really they just install an engine, trans etc. They don't spend years of evenings out in the garage assembling, wiring, bodywork, painting etc. They can be built in a garage in a HOA community that would never allow painting etc.

There's a LOT of Cobras here in South FL. I see used Cobra kit cars on South FL CL pretty often for 35,000.00 to 50,000.00. Here's a Backdraft SBF one with asking price of 48,000.00.

I bud of mine up north built a Factory Five cobra kit just before I moved south. He finished the car for under 20,000.00 total doing all the work himself. Used a Mustang 5.0 donor car and it took about a year working nights and weekends. I rode in it and it seemed fine but was nowhere close to the level of finished product of cars like the Backdraft cars.
there is a hotrod serioes on Netflix that I recently enjoyed fully.

On one of the episodes they featured the kit cars, and even ran them against a lambo.

The car from that I would personally loooove to have is this baby.
Type 65 Coupe:

At the finished price, it will never happen.

This poor boy will have to be happy enough with his C4 vette... :)
I've worked on and modified a good many "KIT CARS" and if you have you find theres a great deal of differences in both quality of the components used,
and the care and engineering skills that were used in the design.
now Ive always like the A.C. cobras due to the light weight, and simple easy to work on design, but the fact that most can,t be locked up when parked and neither design works all that well in heavy rain, (a design factor both types have similar ) the light weight allows brisk performance at a fairly reasonable cost, without building insane/expensive horse power.
that 65 cobra coupe would be more like a more common car as you could lock it up when parked, but thr 20% of the population that would recognize the cobra vs a toyota sports car would probably be a constant P.I.T.A. if you left the car un-attended
the guys I know that have had the best results bought their cars as either semi finished projects or used, in both cases the reduced cost, helps make enjoying the car , after dumping a good deal more cash into the car , to get it up and running correctly, a lot easier.
Last edited:
I started reading into those more today, that "super car" one uses pretty much all c5 parts except for the transaxle.

Even uses c5 brakes, fuel tank, fuel lines and window motors!

Just find a wrecked c5 donor car, and take what you need!
The more i read up, the more i'm tempted... :)

Maybe in a few years...

The real killer is that it will be registered as a model year depending on the date of completion.

In my state that means emissions... Uggg
If you're referring to the Factory Five GTM Supercar, I've been working on one for a customer for a few years. It's not cheap to build one of them. About 20 grand for a kit plus you need a donor car. Then you need a G-50 Porsche trans which can run several thousand. Then all the little stuff and options just send the cost way up. Here it is.

Saw this earlier today. Looks like the deal O the day to me. I'm thinking he's got it priced at $5250.00 figuring he'll take 5 grand. Just the kit was almost 9 grand back in the 80's and the car never got finished. Removable hardtop. Built right it's probably very similar to a Cobra kit car for performance with the same drive line. The NOS 351 Cleveland and 4 speed it comes with ought to make that thing scoot right along!
the whole concept of owning, building and driving a COBRA CLONE
virtually REQUIRES you select and install both something visually impressive and at least some what over the top, in POWER
something like a set of Webber carbs on a SBC or STACK injection on a BBC OR BBF


Last edited: