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FIA Roadster

And A Couple Recreation Cars

Willy Mairesse
I ran across these photos of my old car CSX2345, the most original FIA car and probably the most original of any of the Cobra competition cars. These photos were shot in my backyard in AZ in the '80s. Even the tires were original.
Willy Mairesse
2345 had the original leather seats both the driver and passenger during the 1964 season. In 1965 Alan Mann installed a fiberglass driver's seat with thin black upholstery. Notice that some of the convertible top snaps on the rear deck had been removed -- during practice at Spa Belgium in 1964. See the book text for the story. Bondurant drove this car at Spa.
Willy Mairesse
I believe the number circles are 20", painted on. Peter Hoffman visited me in 1978 and measured the side number circles as 510 mm and the nose circle as 490 mm. The exhaust is under the bodywork and does not touch a plumb line dropped from the side of the door. The exhaust pipe is probably 4" and the fake muffler is probably 5". Peter measured the sidepipe diameter as 76mm and the side muffler as 92 mm. Muffler length was 635 mm.
Willy Mairesse
This was the fender that Phil Remington pounded out during the '64 Nurburgring race and then later cleaned up at Antwerp, Belgium. He didn't get it exactly right, but then, who cared? It was just a race car. See the book, page 151.
Willy Mairesse
When I was doing the rear fenders for my Kirkham FIA car, I asked Bill Murray at the Colorado museum if I could make a cardboard template off my old car, 2345, which was then in the museum. I had done so many things for the museum, given them so much stuff, introduced them to Shelby, etc. Murray told me "No." I got the same response from the guys at ERA whom I had earlier allowed to make templates from CSX2345.
Willy Mairesse
You can see the little bulges on the trunk for the FIA suitcase. The car had no carpet on the floor, only the sides.
Willy Mairesse
Prior to practice for the 1965 Tourist Trophy, the Allan Mann mechanics cut off the roll bar hoop brace.
Willy Mairesse
Phil Remington made the 427 Cobra fender buck by widening each of the four FIA fender bucks about 1 1/2". Geoff Howard figured this out when he stripped CSX3002 during restoration. If you have ever seen 3002 close up, you know how original Geoff kept the restoration. Most racing Cobras are needlessly overrestored.
Willy Mairesse
2345 was a great car and really, really fast. If you look on the bottom of the oil cooler you will see four small holes for the four rivets which held on the chin spoiler which the roadsters used only one time, Spa Belgium, 1964.
Willy Mairesse
Alan Mann replaced the original wood steering wheel with this leather covered one, which is a lot easier to use. Notice the driver's knee pad brace near the front of the door and the red labels for the gauges.
Willy Mairesse
The left-rear fender retained the proper contour, as it was never hit. The bottom of the windshield frame was unbolted so it could be laid back. Charilie Agipou cut out a portion of the lower window frame so it could lay back further than the normal FIA car laid-back windshield frame. For more contemporary photos of former team cars, go to http://public.fotki.com/VRM/fordshelby/shelby-cobras/
Willy Mairesse
This photo shows that the nose number circle is seperated from the white stripes by a blue line and it does show the rivets attaching the front of the hood to its frame. 2345 was remarkably damage-free considering all the racing it had done. Bob Bondurant (and I) once drove this car to the Phoenix, AZ airport from my home about 25 minutes away. It was a hot summer day.
Willy Mairesse
My Kirkham FIA, really a 427 body/chassis with the visual cues to make it look like a 289 FIA: cutback doors, forward brace rollbar, tilt back windshield, FIA hood scoop, FIA chin oil cooler scoop, gas cap location, FIA dash, etc. What you can barely see in this photo (and the next) is a cowl air scoop like those on the Daytona coupes, to direct cold air onto the driver's feet.
Willy Mairesse
The chin air spoiler is more or less identical to those used at Spa, Belgium 1964. The oil cooler scoops on the first four FIA cars were each a bit different, constructed by the mechanic assigned to the particular car at Sebring '64. The following cars, commencing with 2323 and 2345, were more uniform shape, being constructed by cutting a slit across the nose and then prying out the aluminum and bending to an open shape. Only the 427 cars had an oil-cooler scoop formed on a buck.
Willy Mairesse
Here you can see the 289 front brake air scoops and hood scoop baffles, all visual cues of the 289 comp car.
Willy Mairesse
Roll bar is an inch too high (I am taller than Bob Johnson) and fenders are really 427 fenders -- which is what I believe the Kirkhams use even on their 289-chassis FIA cars, the incorrect fenders.
Willy Mairesse
The holes on each side of the hoodscoop are copied from CSX2002 -- to allow hot air to vent out of the engine compartment. The larger opening forward of the hood is copied from CSX 2196, the "turd", and the Daytona coupes, to keep the nose down at high speeds.
Willy Mairesse
These triangular plexi side windows were copied from Phil Hill's car at Sebring '64. The red knob on the front fender is a modern on-off battery kill switch. Night running lights for number circles on the door.
Willy Mairesse
We later added a proper side exhaust to replicate the one on 2345. It took a while to find a glasspack muffler the proper size.
Willy Mairesse
A stroked 289 with aluminum heads and Webers puts out as much horsepower as the original 427s with less weight. We used a T-10 transmission and multi-plate small diameter clutch rated to 17,000 rpm which did not require a scattershield. Combined with an aluminum water radiator and Kirkham's aluminum uprights, this car weighs 1,999 lbs with one gallon of gas. Willwood vented discs are used. Coupe 2602 used vented discs, if only for a week or so. See the book, page 244.
Willy Mairesse
The valve covers were standard Ford stamped steel covers with welded baffles and dump tubes, as originally used on the racing Cobras.
Willy Mairesse
The passenger seat is a replica of the Shelby '64-'65 racing fiberglass seat, the so-called "Ken Miles" racing bench seat. The driver's seat is a carbon fiber version of the same seat, sold to me by Chris Harrison of Phoenix, AZ for $90, used but perfect. Chris constructed this car, starting with an unassembeled Kirkham roller, according to my instructions.
Willy Mairesse
The arrows show the air vents which were copied from the 427 competition cars. The photo does not show the frame triangulations we copied from the Daytona coupes, roughly according to the original Shelby American drawing in the book, page 84. The Kirkham 427 frame is stiffer than the original 427 frame, which is itself much stiffer than the 289 frame.
Willy Mairesse
The arrow shows one of the extra frame triangulations. The dash rocker switches were military surplus, same as on the Daytona coupes. The dash lights, amber, red and yellow, are the type used on the GT-350Rs.


fia cobra
Bob Bondurant sent me this photo of my Kirkham at Arizona Wildhorse Motorsports Park. In 2012 and 2013 Bob kept this car and my CSX3002 replica at his school. Hi-Tech copied the original CSX 3002 which I had loaned them when I had owned it in 1996. Both cars are easy to drive, street licensed and insured.


 
   
fia cobra
This is Jack Hoare in my Kirkham Cobra in front of my home in Paradise Valley, Arizona, January 2014. Check out my book, page 139, for a similar of Jack in my old FIA roadster at Spa, Belgium 1964. Jack was the only Shelby mechanic who completed all the 1964 European races with the team. The car on the left is my Hi-Tech copy of 3002.
 
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