New old guy from South Africa

Hi all,

As an apprentice in 1980, I purchased a Hot Rod magazine, June 1980 to be precise, on account of its cover picture. This cover had a photo of an Arntz Cobra, with a cowboy, boots and all, in the car. Being a Ford V8 enthusiast, (my dad owned a few performance Fords), I devoured the articles on Cobras and replicas in it, reading and re-reading the articles about a million times and dreaming of owning an Cobra myself.
It remained a pipedream for 17 years until I happened across an advertisement in a newspaper of a guy selling his unbuilt KCC kit because him moving house across country. Things then happened in a blur and I became the proud owner of a “Cobra”. 17 months later, with a lot of hard work, midnight oil, panel beating and painting other people’s cars for building funds, wheeling and dealing, I managed to put the Cobra on the road. Now being a lecturer at the local college and not earning a large salary, I had by then decided to sell this one and use the proceeds to build another one from scratch, this time paying for itself. Very quickly, efforts to sell and the remarks and offers from ignorant buyers changed my mind and I then decided to rather upgrade than sell.
Purchasing and reading any Cobra related literature, I happened to buy the book “Shelby’s Wildlife”. This booked introduced me to the world of Cobras, the Daytona Coupe and off course, the GT 40. With my enthusiasm evident with me driving the car to work regularly, one of my students, an apprentice motor mechanic from a local car dealership, told me he became the proud owner of a GT40 kit car, as payment for work he had performed for somebody in his spare time. Knowing that these GT40 kit cars were very scarce and not really believing him, I just HAD to see the car. I immediately arranged an impromptu visit and, lo and behold, there she was! A KCC GT40 kit car! Battered and bruised, the left-hand front nose badly burnt from a presumed wheel fire and fitted with a Rover V8 and an VW /Audi auto box, which was not at all my favourite, from past experiences with these “nail head” engines and auto boxes.
This chap did not want to sell, insisting that he was going to rebuild it and drive it himself. I made him promise, that should he ever wanted to sell, I would be first inline. He was coincidently also working at the same car dealership where my wife was a vehicle sales executive. Around 4 years later, this chap did contact me via my wife, informing me that he got a work permit for England and would be leaving South Africa soon… AND WHETHER I WAS STILL INTERESTED as he was renting a house at the time.
It was good offer (how else!) and I scraped the money together quickly becoming the new owner of a GT40! Not having sufficient space in my single car garage to house the vehicle, (the Cobra took priority!, I opted to store the car at my brother-in-law’s house, who also became hooked on Cobra’s and such. He had a substantially bigger garage, of which off course I was very envious. We started working on the car, immediately selling (dumping) the Rover motor and auto-box to prevent us reusing it!
Life happens, job changes, children, etcetera, my brother-law got divorced, losing his house. The car now moved back in with me, now having built a much larger garage in my backyard. What a site, a Cobra and GT40, shoulder to shoulder, and in my own garage! I even thought of renaming the garage to “Snake Pit… Ford parking only!” However, work on the car progressed painfully slow and the years sped by, my two kids becoming teenagers, then grownups, job changes, children getting married, my son moving to Down-under…. Still, in the snake pit, the car was waiting (begging) for attention, with the Cobra used occasionally.
Well, it being KCC GT40, it was only a kit car and resembled a GT40 only because of its shape. My long battle with bad bump steer on the Cobra had inspired me to not trust (any) suspension mods and now this version had a modified Granada rear suspension!!! This was sore point and I had to make a plan! I eventually got hold of a BMW rear suspension, it at least having integrated discs and handbrake, which can now be modified to fit... meaning lots of research and work to come! Body wise, I did not like the 1963 nostril of the car, preferring the 1969 version. The same goes for the funny bulge behind the rear window! It had to go and I wanted a different engine vent, again the 1969 version! The burnt section was rebuilt although I am still not happy, symmetrically there are still problems.
A local car show threw a spanner in the works by a car sporting Lambo doors. I was intrigued with the concept and remembering that access with GT is very problematic in town I pondering the thought for a while. I decided to tackle the passenger door for a similar “Lambo opening” mechanism. Sacrilege! A lot of time was spent on this but the wide door and constricted area never allowed a successful effort. Now, I will revert back to the original, fortunately not irreparably butchering the door or frame.
Now approaching my sixties, kids out of the house, I have a bit more time to now work on the car. Funny how one still easily finds excuses not to, after so many years! Due to you guys, I have some focus now!
So much for now.

Randy V

Staff member
Lifetime Supporter
Monty - Welcome to ....
Great story!
Please feel free to open up a new thread in our Build Logs section so you can share pictures and more information about your journey with the KCC...
Thanks a lot guys, a lot to learn here. Some pics from last weekend, the cars have swapped places, GT now on the ground and the Cobra's clutch to be swapped for a twin plate from a Ford Fairmont GT... the competition clutch became to much hard work resulting in cramps!

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Hi guys, I was meaning to update this thread but did some research and came across this should somebody be interested.
"Painting" I made using a picture as a guide.
Filthy but this will change soon
The other resident in the garage, now getting a twin plate clutch to make it easier on the leg
Eventually, life back to a new normal! Got divorced, married again, lost my job, divorced again new job and new girlfriend.

Attention back to the garage, my pledge to myself, the look alike GT40 "shall" run this year... This is the plan, measured the window, somewhat different to the CAD drawings on here, found a Classic Car Windscreen manufacturer here in South Africa, prices are very good less than $400 US... put together the engine - 302 W with 302C 2V small chamber heads, custom home made intake manifold (welded aluminium) similar to the steel version in the pic (this engine came out of the Cobra with a leaking head gasket), two Ford V6 water pumps to alleviate the need for the long nosed Windsor... a lot of work but at least it is a plan



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Sorry for having so quite!! 1st wife found a boyfriend in England--- ended in divorce and one heck of a distraction. Then found fake love in somebody else's arms and that didn't go well either. Now settled but still having look after a lot of people, mostly financially, putting brakes on my project.

Some good news, I did manage to source a window for the replica and needing a spare as well, since stuff happens on the road (cracked the first windshield on my Cobra with a stone flung up from a car in front) and was offered a 3rd one at half the price of the others, so now I have 3 windshields!!