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"the AC COBRA ... a way of living"
I am always looking for COBRA stuff, like pictures, stories, clubs, etc.. If you have any of that, please send an email to: Luuk de Boer luukb@xs4all.nl Thanks.


What's special about a Hi-Tech Cobra ?

Anybody can reproduce the exterior look of a Cobra. Hi-Tech capture the character of the Cobra; even, to a large extent, the driving feel. They do this by duplicating the original parts wherever possible.

When you unlatch a Hi-Tech door, you're working an authentic Cobra latch. The hinges are authentic and the door is made the same way as A.C. Cars Ltd. built the originals - an outer skin attached to a loop frame of steel tubing. So the door's inertia and stiffness are very close to the original. Enter the cockpit, pull the door shut, and the feel you get is virtually identical to that of the original car.

Hi-Tech 427 S/C Cobra (118Kb)

Hi-Tech make the seats in the original way, a steel-tube frame with a rubber diaphragm supporting a foam cushion, then covered in leather. It sits like a Cobra seat. The pedals are exact Cobra duplicates. So is the Moto-Lita steering wheel, the steering column, throttle linkage and handbrake lever, so you're connected to Cobra controls.

Even more important, we believe, those Cobra controls connect to Cobra equipment down under the skin. It is customary for kit Cobras to use parts from donor cars including Jaguars, Fords, MGs etc. The only appropriate donor car for a Hi-Tech Cobra is a real Cobra. The rear suspension is interchangeable with the original Cobra and maintains original geometry. At the front, many of the parts are interchangeable, including the steering rack. A slight geometry change has the effect of reducing steering effort. The upper and lower wishbones are so exact they will bolt directly on to an original car, although the alignment wouldn't be quite right due to the geometry change. Even the original pin-drive Halibrand wheels fit exactly so that the track width remains the same.

Only by getting all of these details right can we give you a chance to experience the feel and fury of the original.

Hi-Tech 427 S/C Cobra #2 (90Kb)

Hi-Tech's fidelity to the original brings something else too - a comfortable cockpit. Those who have tried other replicas, but never an original will marvel at the Hi-Tech's foot room down around the pedals. You'll be delighted too by the way you sit down behind the windscreen instead of up in the wind. We'd like to take some credit, but we can't. It is just one more detail of the original that has been faithfully duplicated. Interestingly, if you look at an original - you'll notice they have fibreglass footboxes attached to an aluminium bulkhead, you'll also notice that the driver's side has more legroom than the passenger's. The Hi-Tech is made the same way.

Chasing the Details, Big and Small

Hi-Tech build two types of bodies. For those who want a tough body but an authentic look when they lift the bonnet or boot, we offer a fibreglass body with the bulkhead, boot interior, engine-bay side panels and cockpit floor made of aluminium. These aren't decorative aluminium panels covering fibreglass, they are fully functional aluminium panels just as on the original. The original Cobra however, was not all aluminium; the footboxes, rear wheel-arch quarter sections and suspension covers inside the boot were fibreglass - so are the Hi-Tech's.

For the absolute purist...

For the highest level of authenticity, we offer an aluminium body complete with aluminium bonnet, boot and doors. The inner panels are as above.

Aluminium 289 FIA (82Kb)

The big difference in feel between the fibreglass and aluminium cars is in the inertia of the bonnet, boot and doors when they are opened and closed. If a customer wants this feel at a lower cost than that of a complete aluminium car, we can fit aluminium bonnet, boot and doors to a fibreglass body.

Aluminium 289 FIA #2 (94Kb)

The chassis and support structures for both the fibreglass and aluminium bodies are identical. Indeed, a car originally purchased fitted with a fibreglass body could later be fitted with an aluminium body if the owner so desired.

Hi-Tech Chassis (68Kb)

Hi-Techs are built strong to take hard driving

In those rare cases where a departure has been made from originality, it has been done to gain more strength.
The main chassis tubes have been upgraded to seamless cold drawn steel tubing of 0.125" wall thickness from 0.095" on the original. - Advantage: greater stiffness for better handling and less body flexing.

Instead of a Salisbury differential, a Ford 9" housing is narrowed to the original Cobra dimensions. The dimensions are so authentic, in fact, that the housing with it's mountings will bolt right into an original 427 Cobra. Heavy duty Spicer sliding-spline half-shafts, as on the original, carry power to Hi-Tech's own pin-drive hubs. - Advantage: greater strength and a wider choice of ratios.

The largest and best disc brakes that will fit within the original wheels are used - 12.2" diameter vented discs with Wilwood Superlite II 4-piston callipers all round. Hi-Tech make their own rotor hats of 6061-T6 aluminium. - Advantage: excellent braking.

The radiator will bolt directly into an original Cobra, but has upgraded cooling capacity from it's more efficient 5-row core. - Advantage: Cooling good enough for a 427 in Phoenix on a summer day.

We have corrosion protection too.

The corrosion protection exceeds that of the original Cobra and, we think, that of all other Cobra replicas. Consider:

Powder coating is standard equipment on the following: all suspension wishbones and control arms, all tubing body supports, bonnet opening surround, boot opening surround, radiator brackets, pedal arms and quick-lift jacks.

The C-1215 steel pin-drive wheel hubs are cadmium plated to prevent rust.

The 6061-T6 aluminium "hats" which mount the brake discs to the hubs are anodized to prevent corrosion.

The fuel cell is moulded from cross-linked polyethylene so it cannot rust.

The fibreglass body is built to last.

We have a reverence for making our replicas as near as is possible to the originals. That's why we do aluminium bodies. However, for most customers, fibreglass is a better choice, it is more dent resistant, more corrosion resistant and has no seams in the body to let in water.

Hi-Tech have been making fibreglass bodies since the early eighties and they've learnt from experience also, the Arizona climate is perfect for producing high quality fibreglass. They body is entirely hand laid with three layers of 2oz. matt backed up by a layer of 6oz. cloth. The exterior has a gel-coat finish.

The mold duplicates the true Cobra shape in every detail. It has the slight belly in the rocker panel that is missed by even the best of the other replicas available. Seen from the rear, the bottom edge of the body has the slight low-in-the-middle curve that is also missed by other manufacturers, and the edge around the cockpit is radiused just right.

Hi-Tech Front Detail (85Kb)

The bonnet scoop rivets on, just like the original 427 S/C. For maximum strength, "steel to steel" mountings are used on the bonnet, boot and doors. The bonnet and boot openings are surrounded by steel loop frames bonded to the underside of the body skin. The bonnet and boot lids have steel frames too, just like the originals. The hinges and latches mount to these frames, not to the fibreglass, so there are no screws or fasteners to pull out of the fibreglass and no local stresses to cause "spiderweb" surface cracks.

The same idea is used for the doors, although the details are very different. The cockpit is surrounded by a steel tube structure that bolts to the chassis. It is there to stiffen the chassis, provide some measure of occupant protection and support the windscreen and steering column. It does not touch the body, but it does provide rigid mounting points for the door hinges and latches because they are, in effect bolted to the frame. Therefore, once the doors are properly adjusted, they open and close precisely, and they stay adjusted because the mounting points are as solid as the frame.

The body attaches to the frame with 16 bolts - 12 surrounding the cockpit, two more at the front and two more at the rear. To further stiffen the cowl area, two angled struts are installed from the chassis, up over the tunnel to the cowl hoop, just like the original Cobra.

Craftsmanship of the highest standard

Hi-Tech Workshop (90Kb)

When we build a car to a customer's specification we work to the highest possible standards of finish, and when we entrust work to outside contractors for items like paint and upholstery, we only use the very best, craftsmen of international acclaim in their respective fields so you can be sure of quality second to none.

For further details e-mail Paul Blore or telephone on (44)-0115-945-5452. (in the UK)

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If there are any problems, suggestions, or even additions please email me.
luukb@xs4all.nl (Last updated 23 September 1996)