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Thread: What is the FFR roadster comparable to?

  1. #1

    What is the FFR roadster comparable to?

    Hey guys I read the forums here and keep telling myself someday. What do these cars drive like. Is there anything comparable? Handling? Acceleration? Wow factor on the street. I am not the kind of guy who I would think could undertake a build. But I would like to try. I do think I will eventually.

  2. #2
    Steve >> aka: GoDadGo GoDadGo's Avatar
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    https://youtu.be/V96-AQ1FghI

    1. Once you ride in and/or drive one you will either be hooked and obsessed or you will be scared to death.
    2. It all depends on what you want your dream car to be.
    3. They can be mild or they can be wild.
    4. Mine will be a little of both.
    5. All Are Race Cars!

    https://youtu.be/_wnHDNgnNqs

    NOTE: My daily driver is an old Vette and it can't hold a candle to even the mildest FFR Roadsters.

    https://youtu.be/svZX2BMSDEs
    Last edited by GoDadGo; 04-20-2017 at 09:00 AM.

  3. #3
    Out Drivin' Gumball's Avatar
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    I spent five years building mine, met lots of great people along the way, developed a few good friendships, and learned tons of new skills. At around the 3/4 point, I "go-karted" it for the first time and got a taste of what driving it would be like, but it wasn't until it was finished and I took it out into traffic and really began driving it that I fully appreciated it as a car.

    At first, it was somewhat intimidating on the road - very fast, quick to change direction, and with manual brakes / steering - somewhat of a handful. But, as the miles rolled on, I became more familiar with the seating position and the controls and found that it's actually a joy to drive. I don't put anywhere near as many miles on mine as some on this forum, but I did rack-up 3,000 the first summer and 4,000 the next. With nice weather finally here in the Midwest, I'm chomping at the bit to get it out again - hopefully this weekend - so that I can get back into my groove.

    About the only thing I can relate it to is a motorcycle when it comes to back-road cruising - if that reference helps.
    Later,
    Chris

    "There are no more monsters to fear, and so, we have to build our own."
    Mk3.1 #7074

  4. #4
    Senior Member edwardb's Avatar
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    As we always used to say to our clients back in my business consulting days, "It depends." At it's core, properly setup, the car is easy to drive. It's honest, goes where you put it, goes around corners like a go-kart, and rides firm but not harsh in my experience. We've driven ours at least a couple thousand miles a year for 7+ seasons now, and it just never gets old. But there are so many variables. What engine? How much horsepower? What rear suspension? What front suspension? What springs and shocks? Power steering? Power brakes? What tires? All affect how it drives to some extent and really change the car's overall character.

    I still remember back when I was building my first, a Mk3. I had never driven one before, and the first time driving it was the first for a Factory Five and the first for something I put together. I had read so many stories and posts about how it can kill you (it can...), how it can do something you don't expect, etc. that I was terrified it was going to drive me off into the trees or something. I took the first few drives, turns, brake applications, etc. really gently because I just didn't know what to expect. What I found was I had nothing to worry about. It drove great. Having said that though, I found with too heavy a foot, things changed in a hurry and that's when the high respect really needs to come in.

    First thing for you to answer is how you intend to use the car. A build for street cruising likely wouldn't be best for track use, etc. But again, just so many variables. I honestly don't know what I would compare these to, and I've driven lots of cars in my time. Driven conservatively, not unlike many open top small sports cars. Push the go pedal a little harder and it's pretty unique. Demands your full attention and the greatest care.

    FWIW, two days ago I put the first 30 miles on my newest build. It has most of the latest stuff. Gen 2 Coyote crate motor, the newer Mustang based IRS, big Wilwood brakes, power steering, Factory Five 2-piece spindles, 18 inch wheels with BFGoodrich g-Force Rival tires. Probably approaching the higher end of what can be put into one of these builds. All I can say after driving it is wow. The Coyote is awesome. Smooth, powerful, and instantaneous throttle at all times. Tracking and handling is flawless. Power steering is just right (I'm a big promoter). Ride is relatively compliant and the IRS a nice upgrade over my previous solid axle builds. It really is pretty amazing the level these things have attained.
    Last edited by edwardb; 04-20-2017 at 09:43 AM.
    Build 1: Mk3 Roadster #5125. Sold 11/08/2014.
    Build 2: Mk4 Roadster #7750. Sold 04/10/2017. #7750 Build Thread
    Build 3: Mk4 Roadster 20th Anniversary #8674. 03 of 20. Deliv: 08/05/2015. 2015 crate Coyote, 2015 IRS. Legal 04/18/2017. Red/white club for the third time. #8674 Build Thread

  5. #5
    This piece is long but its the best description I have seen about owning one of these things.

    Driving a Cobra

    "If you want to just gas and go, and never have to worry about replacing an alternator, or snuggling down the header bolts, or getting a wet leg driving in a rainstorm, or learning how to set your carb float level, or driving in traffic on a warm winter day with "winter gas" in the tank, get a Corvette. "

    With a Cobra you have to remind yourself that you are driving a hand made race car on the street. There is no compromise for anything other than pure speed. These cars are brutal and unforgiving, with all the refinement of a medieval battle ax. Like being in a relationship with an exotic dancer, you can never take anything for granted. These cars don't have millions of miles of testing refinement before you get yours. For any trip longer than an hour, you need earplugs, and goggles, and carry Advil and eye drops.

    You will need to learn to "read" the clouds for rain in your path, and have experience in un-wrapping your frozen fingers from the MotoLita. You will experience lady passengers "wetting" the passenger seat when you merge into traffic from an on ramp, and then nearly burn their calf getting out of the car.

    You will have all the invisibility of a burning Hindenburg, and flee from underground parking lots when uncountable car alarms are screaming your departure. When you shop, you will remind yourself that these cars get more attention than a dead body in a parking lot.

    With a power to weight ratio better than almost every supercar, you will find your 1/4 mile times traction rather than power limited. On the other hand, when you stage, out of the corner of your helmet's visor you will see almost the entire audience lining up at the fence, most with cameras up. If you track on a road course with a Porsche club, owners of expensive German machines will come to the fence to watch you power out in smoking oversteer.

    You won't even try to start your engine in the garage, but push it out onto the driveway, else your loyal watch dog will croak from the exhaust fumes. If you idle next to other "sports" cars at a traffic light, by the green, their girlfriend will be coughing green phlegm into her hanky, yelling at her date to just go! When you refuel, you might as well prop the "bonnet" open, because you are going to have to show your motor to just about every other guy there.
    Kevin
    MKIV #8234
    Coyote '13/TKO-600
    Delivered 2/7/14 - Plate "COYOTE NC1965" 3/25/15

  6. #6
    Messed up the copy from my other fourm - skip down for rest
    Last edited by BEAR-AvHistory; 04-20-2017 at 09:56 AM.
    Kevin
    MKIV #8234
    Coyote '13/TKO-600
    Delivered 2/7/14 - Plate "COYOTE NC1965" 3/25/15

  7. #7
    When you slowly pass a troop of Harley riders, they will look over and give you thumbs up. When you want to ease out into traffic, other cars will immediately pause to let you go ahead of them. When your engine has its hot, crackling, intimidating exhaust side-pipe aimed right at the flank of the GTO, or the Z28, your exhaust pulsation's slowly unscrewing his lug nuts, the other car will remain motionless, as if the slightest quiver of his car will cause your car to stomp it dead.

    When you leave it open in a parking lot, and come back to find your sunglasses and cell phone still sitting on the tunnel, it is because your car has sullenly warned those who came over to admire it "touch me and I will rise up here and kill you dead."

    When you put that tiny silver key into the ignition, and begin your start countdown, your car will whisper "take me for granted, and I will kill you."

    When other drivers just hop in and snap up their belts while backing out of their parking space, you will still have two more minutes before you even get all the Simpson's properly on and snugged down. Pulling up in a Cobra is like landing an F4U at an ultra-lite convention
    .
    In summary, very, very few drivers want this kind of attention, or can tolerate all that a formidable Cobra demands. These cars are intolerant mistresses.

    But remember, there will come a day when you have to hang up your car keys for the last time. And perhaps you want to say then "I did it."

    Ten Cobra Driving Safety Tips

    1. The two most dangerous words in aviation are, “Watch this.” The same goes for driving a Cobra. Humility is a wonderful personal trait to have for driving a Cobra safely. If you’re not humble now try thinking you’re a hotshot driver in a Cobra for awhile – you will get humbled, as they say down south, “…right quick.”

    2. “You don’t even know what you don’t know”. Huh? Well think about it – if you’re not a professional race car driver, you’re kind of out of your element in a Cobra. I saw a video of a Cobra going out of control and rolling because the driver missed a downshift at speed in a sweeping turn. This caused the rear wheels to momentarily lock up and the rear end to slide out and thus the rollover. I didn’t even consider that as a possibility when I’ve been downshifting all this time, did you? That’s my point; I didn’t even know what I didn’t know. That short wheel base Cobra you’re driving can introduce you to all kinds of nasty things you never thought possible. Be careful out there and learn from others. The problem with learning from the school of hard knocks is that the tuition is too high.

    3. “Know Thyself”, was said by the Greek philosopher Socrates. How true it is when it comes to driving a Cobra safely. I know that for myself I’m unqualified to be driving my Cobra anywhere near its performance limits. I have virtually no racing experience, very little training and I’m in my 50’s so my reactions are not what they used to be. Instead I have the advantage (I hope) of wisdom. It is said, “The superior driver uses his superior judgment so as to not have to use his superior skill.” The most important thing here is recognizing limitations, do you?

    4. I saw a video of a Cobra going out of control when the passenger door was not closed properly and the driver tried to close it while underway. The lean of the body when reaching for the door caused the throttle foot to press on the pedal. Probably not a problem in a regular car but in a Cobra that does 0 to 60 in less than four seconds it’s a recipe for disaster – especially when you only have one hand on the steering wheel! What’s the lesson here? If something falls on the floor or to the side of the passenger seat from g-forces or whatever, wait until you’re stopped (in neutral) before reaching to pick it up.

    5. Beware of the club ride. It could be that you will be surrounded by some guys driving bullets (it’s been said you don’t shift a Cobra – you just chamber another round) who are in denial or unaware of their limitations and driving experience. These guys and I’m including myself, have good intentions but are young at heart so the “two teenagers in a car” phenomena is in effect. You know how it goes; they say “This is so cool, let’s do something crazy!” Two teenagers in a car will do things one teenager in a car would never do. This effect can take hold in a club ride. Use caution
    and don’t get caught up in it. Be a defensive driver knowing someone, because of the above, may do something totally unexpected right in front of you.

    6. Street racing kills. Its stupid and only the completely self-centered do it. It can kill you, or worse yet it can kill innocent bystanders. So just say “no” and go to a track. When that Viper pulls up next to you at the stoplight and revs his engine, then if you must, yell “Ace Raceway [or whatever your local track is called], this Friday, 6 PM.” You’ve just saved face and saved lives -- and I bet he never shows.

    7. Take command of your Cobra. You can’t be afraid of it or else timidity will prevent you from taking the decisive action necessary to stay out of trouble. Now you must respect your Cobra, but not be afraid of it. Analyze yourself privately deep down and determine if you’re kind of afraid of the car. If you are, then its time for some professional training or time to sell the car. This is supposed to be fun and if you’re afraid of the car why deal with it, it will only cause trouble. A Cobra isn’t for everyone and there’s no shame in that.

    8. Don’t let anyone tailgate you – ever. Folks behind you might want to get an “up close and personal” look at a Cobra and end up tailgating you. If you have to brake hard for some reason your car will stop much faster than theirs. You have no head restraints, virtually no crush zone and you’re basically sitting on top of a gas tank. Get the picture? Pull over to the slow lane and slow down if you have to in order to get them off your tail. Attention comes with the territory when driving a Cobra and the distractions can be dangerous.

    9. Do “what if” scenarios in your head. Quickly now, what would you do if you were going down the freeway and your throttle return spring bracket let loose and you went to full throttle with no throttle control. Too late, you’ve already crashed. My answer is instantaneous and simultaneous controlled braking, clutch in, neutral gear then ignition off and coast to side of the road watching out for traffic and then and only then think about what happened. The key word here is “instantaneous”. You can’t do this quickly if you haven’t considered it beforehand. Be graphic and realistic in your scenarios.

    What would it sound like and feel like if you went to full throttle unexpectedly going down the freeway? How much time would you have? My engine has an electronic RPM limiter so I’m not going to worry about blowing my engine by depressing the clutch at full throttle. And so what if I did blow my engine – my life is at stake here. “What if” scenarios are wonderful because they’re free, they can save your life, and as my dad used to say, they “tickle your brain.”

    10. Don’t go for a drive in your Cobra to clear your head. Clear your head then drive your Cobra. This ain’t the car to be driving when you’re distracted.

    11. A bonus tip: Have fun – safely.

    12. Leave the alcohol for the end of the day. Maybe, a single beer with a meal, but no more. These cars can go from fun to "OH S*^T!!" faster then just about anything I've driven.

    “There's nothing nice about a Cobra, it's stripped down to the essentials – a big engine, a small car, and four wide tires trying to keep the whole business on the pavement. It's loud, smells like gasoline, and shakes, shudders, and bucks. It makes your arms tired and your feet hot. You nearly crash about once every ten minutes. It's so damn wonderful you can’t believe it

    Cobra heard whispering to the owner circa 1963:

    "When you put that tiny silver key into the ignition, and begin your start countdown, take me for granted, and I will kill you."

    These things require attention.

    BEAR - AvHistory
    __________________
    2018 BMW 440M-Sport/MPPK/MPE - 2016.5 Mazda CX-5GT AWD - 2016 Genesis 6MT R-Spec Coupe - 2013 BMW 135is JB4 Convert 6MT- 2009 Ford Expedition 4X4 Limited EL 5AT- 1998 Ford Ranger 4X4 5MT- Yamaha 650 VStar - 1965 COBRA Replica - 470WHP of BURBBLES - HOME FROM PAINT
    Kevin
    MKIV #8234
    Coyote '13/TKO-600
    Delivered 2/7/14 - Plate "COYOTE NC1965" 3/25/15

  8. #8
    Agreed on what the others have said. I drove on the street for about 6 weeks after getting mine, thought it was fast. Then I did my first track event and found out what fast really was.

    Mind your Ps & Qs, remember that the long skinny pedal is a variable control, it doesn't need to be all the way down to have fun and make the car move. The only safety system is the connection between your brain and right foot. Not much different than a gun, if you do stupid things stupid things will happen.

    Other than all of the safety warnings driving a Cobra is about much fun as you can have in a car. Big Grins!

    Jim

  9. #9
    Senior Member MPTech's Avatar
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    Where are you located? I would highly recommend searching out a local Cobra Club and asking an owner for a ride (or better a couple rides, ie: a 302, a BBF, and a Coyote would be a great comparison). While I was researching and planning mine I joined a club and actually drove 3 Cobras (I didn't ask, they offered. GREAT guys!), before building mine. (but don't be disappointed if no one offers this)

    I built mine as a Cruiser, but REALLY enjoy carving the backroads and planning to run in an Autocross event next month. Mine is rather tame in comparison (300hp 302, Power-steering, Power-brakes, IRS, 17" wheels/tires, with some creature comforts: heated seats, heater, high-back seats.) It's a LOT of fun and doesn't beat you up like a track car.
    I owned 2 MG Midgets when I was in college and loved those little British sports cars, the Roadster is similar, but on steroids! Women called my Midgets "cute", they are scared of the Cobra
    I really don't think there is anything comparable, these cars are unique! They stimulate your senses and command attention. They are not subtle. Oh, and building it yourself is a BONUS!

    Good Luck!
    F5R #7446: MK4, 302, T5 midshift, 3.55 Posi IRS, 17" Halibrands
    Delivered 4/4/11, First start 9/29/12, Licensed 4/24/13, off to PAINT 2/15/14!! Wahoo!

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by gooseblitz View Post
    I am not the kind of guy who I would think could undertake a build.
    You can do it. You will have some frustrations and repeat a few steps along the way but you can do it! My previous automotive experience was rotating tires and changing my oil as a teenager 25 years ago. I was unsure if I could do it but I took the leap and it was one of the best decisions I ever made. You will learn a ton and the personal satisfaction knowing what you build is tough to beat!
    MK4 #8900 - complete kit - Coyote, TKO600, IRS - Delivered 6/28/16 First Start 10/6/16 Go cart - 10/16/16 Build completed - 4/26/17 - 302 days to build my 302 CI Coyote Cobra
    Build Thread http://thefactoryfiveforum.com/showt...e-build-thread
    PHIL 4:13

  11. #11
    Steve >> aka: GoDadGo GoDadGo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wareaglescott View Post
    You can do it. You will have some frustrations and repeat a few steps along the way but you can do it! My previous automotive experience was rotating tires and changing my oil as a teenager 25 years ago. I was unsure if I could do it but I took the leap and it was one of the best decisions I ever made. You will learn a ton and the personal satisfaction knowing what you build is tough to beat!
    Like Wareaglescott, I too am a 1st time builder so get the assembly manual and read it, then read it again, then once more just for fun. After that consider going to the build school if you still want to build a Factory Five if you are still unsure of your abilities.

    Also, take a look a the Factory Five assembly videos. The MK-4 is their bread and butter machine and is the easiest to tackle in my opinion.

  12. #12
    I can keep this brief....Remember when Willy Coyote straps an ACME rocket pack to his back while wearing roller skates....IT'S LIKE THAT ! We all try to avoid the "BOOM" and dust mushroom cloud at the end....jus sayin...da Bat

  13. #13
    This reminds me the Acme Rocket is a home built without a 100,000 miles of testing. What can possibly go wrong chasing the Road Runner? BOOM!!

    Kevin
    MKIV #8234
    Coyote '13/TKO-600
    Delivered 2/7/14 - Plate "COYOTE NC1965" 3/25/15

  14. #14
    Senior Member
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    In a nutshell, you're going to be hot, you're going to be cold when driving. At some point, you're going to get wet. I've watched the weather more when driving my Roadster than when boating on the Great Lakes. They're loud and you smell like the engine compartment after every drive. Ear plugs are a must when on the highway......the wind and road noise are deafening. And don't even think about having a conversation with your wife above 60 mph. Long drives can tax your lower back and leg muscles.
    BUT, on the other handle......the Roadster is "supercar" quick with moderate HP. They handle and stop better than any daily driver you've ever driven. And that's without power steering or power brakes. Most owners will never experience the full capabilities of their car because of their own driving inabilities.
    The cars are downright sexy from any angle. Everyone likes the look of a Cobra. You will be the center of attention wherever you go. Car shows are a blast, and every fill up at the gas station turns into a mini car show.

    The build process is straight forward. Follow the FFR build manual and you'll have a winner. Attend the build school if you have any inhibitions. Your car will only be as reliable as the quality of the parts you put into it and to what degree you want to re-engineer the assembly manual.

    The building process is so much fun. The driving experience is an addiction.
    Last edited by Dave Howard; 04-21-2017 at 06:42 AM.

  15. #15
    The car is timeless. It's gets the same looks and attention now as it did back in 1965. When you leave your garage in the spring, it's as if you had just purchased the latest and greatest off the showroom floor. Each upgrade seems like an investment in your happiness. I wouldn't take twice what my car is worth because I wouldn't know what to do without it.
    Mark IV -- 04 Mach1 Donor -- 4.6 DOHC -- TKO 600 -- 3:55 Gears -- 3 Link - Hydroboost PS & PB -- 13" PBR's Front & 11.65's Rear -- Cuesta Wiring -- Thompson Signals -- FFR Radiator, heater, wipers, and catalytic converters -- Forte 7/8" front anti-sway bar -- Champ road race pan -- Corbeau A4 Seats -- Bridgestone RE760 Sports on 17 x 9 Hallibrand replicas.

  16. #16
    I have many of the same perspectives as the others, but some different. Growing up my dad raced limited late model stock cars, but I was too young to really remember everything. I remember they were loud, fast, shook at idle, and scared the crap out of me! As a teenager I had a Trans Am and my dad had a Corvette - fast, cornered like it was on rails, looked good. In between it has been a lot of trucks, sedans, mini vans and a 1993 Mustang GT. We did a little to the Mustang but in comparison it was a pig (no offense). So I really can't say I was prepared for the differences.

    I probably have way too much HP, but my balls are bigger than my brains sometimes. The Cobra is pure joy to drive - all the time! It responds instantaneously, at any speed, and I feel connected to the road. Yes, it has scared me occasionally when I got overconfident and thought "now I can open it wide!" After straightening it back out and catching my breath I banked some more knowledge . The car is super stiff. I cringe when I go over bridges and hit the transition from asphalt to concrete. But I don't get hot, sometimes cold when it is under 55 degrees. The manual steering and brakes give me confidence because I can feel everything. It turns 3x as well as your daily driver, pins your head back on acceleration, smells wonderful and sounds like a symphony orchestra! I think the gokart comparison on cornering is about right.

    I find I can still talk to my wife at speed because of the wind wings and visors, but highway speed is making me reach for ear plugs in the future. I feel tiny on the roads. The first time I went by a semi it scared me. You look up at everyone because you sit so low. The mirrors are useless. But, log a few more miles and you figure out how to do it. Have respect and take it a little slow at first. Realize you can spin in 3rd gear when you jump on it, even with the wheels pointed straight! It will ruin you on any other car you drive - they all feel slow. But it is the best possible car I could ever own. I proudly built it, and fulfilled a childhood dream. (Sorry for the long post)
    Mk4 #8340, 351w/427, 3-link, Wilwood 4 piston rear brakes, 3.27 gear, TKO600, delivered June 18th

  17. #17
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by j.miller View Post
    I can keep this brief....Remember when Willy Coyote straps an ACME rocket pack to his back while wearing roller skates....IT'S LIKE THAT ! We all try to avoid the "BOOM" and dust mushroom cloud at the end....jus sayin...da Bat
    What he said.... but you can turn!
    FFR 5136 Started as a donor...donor guages, engine, trans,etc. Now...TFS street intake,stage 1,GT40p's,24# injectors and 73mm MAF,70mm TB,Z-spec t-5,cobra r's riding on BFG KDW's. What's next?

  18. #18
    To answer your question: I don't think there a production car on the road that can be compared to the Cobra. It's loud, a brute and scary fast. It can get an inexperienced drive in trouble double quick if you don't respect it. I have two "play" cars. One is a cruiser (1974 TR-6) and the violent Cobra. But, damn it's fun. 17 years on the road and still multiple thumbs up from other motorist. Go for it.

  19. #19
    Here's what it can be like -

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ey1A4qTmzgc
    Last edited by DadofThree; 04-21-2017 at 11:48 AM.
    Dave
    Mk 3.1 - #6882 - 5.0L 302 - FiTech EFI - 3-Link - 3.08 Ratio - 15" Wheels
    Greenhorn and doing the best I can
    My photos are at: My Flickr acct
    Videos are at: YouTube Videos
    Blog @ BuildaRoadster.com

  20. #20
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by DadofThree View Post
    Here's what it can be like -

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ey1A4qTmzgc
    That video is so awesome

  21. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by scottiec View Post
    That video is so awesome
    What was it that Doc Hudson said... "If you're going hard enough left, you'll find yourself turning right." Awesome indeed.

  22. #22
    In oval track racing we'd say he was driving right more than left. Totally hilarious to see him do it every turn, every lap. That guy has steel nerve to keep pushing like that!
    Mk4 #8340, 351w/427, 3-link, Wilwood 4 piston rear brakes, 3.27 gear, TKO600, delivered June 18th

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