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Cobra strikes replica style

Geoff Redin and the AC Cobra car he built from scratch.

Geoff Redin can appreciate the beautiful shape of his sports car knowing he built most of it himself.

Mr Redin has a replica of an AC Cobra. “I bought the kit in 1990,” he says of the Adelaide-based Classic Glass Cars fibreglass body. “It took six years to build.

“It was copied off a real 427 Cobra in a museum in Perth so it is very original in shape.”

Cobra was created in 1962 when U.S. muscle-car racer Carrol Shelby shoehorned an American V8 Ford engine into the little AC Ace British sports car.

Replica Cobras have followed as owners have fallen for the glorious shape of the car and the awesome power-to-weight ratio.

Their handling can be pretty good, too, helped by independent rear ends, often sourced from Jaguars. Mr Redin built his on a rectangular tubular-steel platform.

“It doesn't weigh much but it is very strong,” he says of the chassis.

He runs a five-litre Ford V8 engine using a Weiard manifold, Holley carburettor and a three-quarter race camshaft.

“I've got no idea how much power it produces. But it's enough. It just doesn't stop,” he says.

“It revs right out to 6000rpm but you just don't need that much.”

Mr Redin has set the motor back 100mm and connected it to a five-speed floorshift 'oval case' gearbox from a turbocharged Toyota Supra.

“I've tried to be as faithful as possible to the original car in replicating it,” he says.

Mr Redin, 62, an architect, saw an original AC Ace in Canberra years ago and drove it a few times. Building a replica was the practical way of owning such a car.

The Cobra has big-bore exhausts below the doors, classic chrome-rimmed instruments, a black interior and a roll hoop each for driver and passenger.

Mr Redin was into cars and racing as a younger man, those interests put aside as he concentrated on family and career.

But now his four sons are adults their interests in cars has reignited his interest. The family, including sons Christopher, Nick, Matt and Tim, has a car collection including this Cobra, a blue Cobra replica, a couple of lightweight open-wheel hill-climb specials, two Porsche 356 coupes and about seven Austin 7s.

“It's only the last 10 years I've been able to afford the time and the money to get back into it,” Mr Redin says.


 Do you think the replica version is as good as the real thing?