Roadsters are a special breed of cars for a special breed of car people. Also known as spider or spyder, a roadster is an open two-seater car with a sports car character. Over the years, a number of different models have captured the hearts and imaginations of roadster fans. Among these, the Shelby Cobra has a place of honor. Custom roadster kits allow enthusiasts to crest their own version of the legendary car.
Legendary roadsters: the Shelby Cobra
Roadsters were built on the chassis of different models, from the mass-produced Ford Model T and Austin 7 to upmarket brands like the Cadillac V-16, Dusenberg and Bugatti Royale. The legendary AC Cobra or Shelby Cobra was built with a Ford V8 engine in 1962. It was an Anglo-American venture, the product of a collaboration between the British AC Car company and American car designer Carroll Shelby.
Shelby was a chicken farmer from Texas who became famous as a car producer. He was equally famous for his rivalry with Ferrari and the Chevy Corvette. The original AC Cobra was intended to be a Chevy Beater, weighing 500 pounds less than the Chevy Corvette. The Cobra became a legendary racing car, reaching a speed of 186 miles per hour in 1964.
Building replicas with cobra car kits
While Shelby went on to build other models, the Cobra has been a favorite with hobbyists. Shelby Cobra kits allow enthusiast to recreate their dream car. The kits include everything needed to build a custom roadster, including the frame, body, hood, doors, trunk lid, etc. Hobbyists can add their own coil, suspension, and other hardware or buy these along with the kit.
Some manufacturers offer a custom roadster build, with full turnkey delivery. Hard core enthusiasts will prefer to build their own engines, transmission, and every detail down to the rear view mirrors. Once the build is complete it’s time to take it out on the road to what it can do. Closed racetracks are the best place for this, because these are mean little monsters with a turn for speed.
The days of the rivalry between Cobra and Ferrari may be gone, but the magic lives on in custom built replica cars. Hobbyists can recreate their favorite custom roadster with basic kits or choose a fully assembled model delivered by the manufacturer.