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Thread: Inexperenced drivers take heed.

  1. #1

    Inexperenced drivers take heed.

    COBRA has made the Road & Track top ten list of cars for new or inexperienced drivers to avoid.
    Kevin
    MKIV #8234
    Coyote '13/TKO-600
    Delivered 2/7/14 - Plate "COYOTE NC1965" 3/25/15

  2. #2
    That is pretty funny. What else is on the list?
    Luckily I don't think many new or inexperienced drivers have access to Cobras but you never know!

    My 16 year old neighbor girl asked if she could drive my car a couple weeks ago. I laughed at her. Her dad came out and asked what I was laughing at. When I told him he about fell over laughing at her!
    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 - Registered and street legal 5/17/17
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  3. #3
    Administrator David Hodgkins's Avatar
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    http://www.roadandtrack.com/car-cult...enced-drivers/

    My son learned to drive stick on a coughing, wheezing '66 mustang with a bad tranny and 10 year old tires. THAT's a scary car! Then he drove my Cobra and couldn't believe how easy it is to drive.

    Everything is relative. A snarling 600hp beast with a racing clutch and aluminum flywheel? Not a good idea. A well behaved, well set up 302 Cobra? Piece of cake to drive. Just one rule. DON'T MASH THE GO PEDAL!

    JMHO YMMV



    EDIT: Having now just viewed the article (more like a slide show) I would agree that AT THE LIMIT you definitely have to know what you are doing in a Cobra. I spun in turn 5 at Willow Springs by just lifting the throttle!

    Puttering around town and driving at the limit are two very different things!!

    FFR 5369 Pin Drive, IRS, Trigos, Torsen, Wilwoods, FMS BOSS 302 "B" cam , Mass-flo. CA SB100 (SPCN) Registered
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  4. #4
    Senior Member KDubU's Avatar
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    The TVR is a stunning car. The 930 was my dream car when I was a teen.
    Kyle

    Complete Kit pickup 09/05/2015, 351w, QF680, 3.55, 3-Link, 15" Halibrands with MT's, Painted Viking blue with Wimbledon white stripes on 03/15/2017.

  5. #5
    My MKII with a 302 is "only" ~260 HP but I still take it easy. These cars are light and unless you have the skills and safety equipment, you're asking for trouble mashing the throttle. My experience has been with my lower HP motor, it's no problem. For insurance reasons, only myself and my wife are allowed to drive.

  6. #6
    Super Moderator Ray's Avatar
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    Here's another case of velocity exceeding ability: http://start.att.net/player/category...crashes_i-5min

    Ray
    I'm not getting gray, I'm adding chrome....

    “Under-steer is when you hit the wall with the front of the car and over-steer is when you hit the wall with the rear of the car. Horsepower is how fast you hit the wall and torque is how far you take the wall with you.”
    -- Jacques Schnauzee "World Famous Racecar Driver"

    "If you can make black marks on a straight from the time you turn out of a corner until the braking point of the next turn, then you have enough horsepower."--Mark Donohue

  7. #7
    I also feel that if you take the time to spend hundreds of hours into building a car you would want to baby it. For cars built by their owners I feel there would be more respect for your creation then driving it to its limits. We all make mistakes and push ourselves sometimes, that is what living is all about. But I feel I will have more respect for my car when its finished than any other vehicle I have ever bought and modified. Its part of you.

    The only guys I see crashing cobras are guys buying them already built and I swear I have seen quite a few news articles with valet's crashing these cars.
    F5R9196 Hand Built 347-450hp SBF FiTech Go EFI 4 T5Z-2.95 8.8LSD-3.73 3-link 13"-2300K PB
    Real men don't use instructions, son. Besides, this is just the manufacturer's opinion on how to put this together.. ~Tim Allen

  8. #8
    F5R9196 Hand Built 347-450hp SBF FiTech Go EFI 4 T5Z-2.95 8.8LSD-3.73 3-link 13"-2300K PB
    Real men don't use instructions, son. Besides, this is just the manufacturer's opinion on how to put this together.. ~Tim Allen

  9. #9
    And then there is this guy...

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YAmbhWLcWew
    F5R9196 Hand Built 347-450hp SBF FiTech Go EFI 4 T5Z-2.95 8.8LSD-3.73 3-link 13"-2300K PB
    Real men don't use instructions, son. Besides, this is just the manufacturer's opinion on how to put this together.. ~Tim Allen

  10. #10
    Senior Member Duke's Avatar
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    It all depends on the driver and their skill set. Age is mostly irrelevant. I've personally met a lot of very young (early teen) drivers at race tracks that could run circles around me. I've also meet a lot of middle age arrogant men who have a dangerous combination of confidence and lack of skill and/or respect for power. Cars rarely get people into trouble, it's usually the loose nut behind the wheel.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Duke View Post
    It all depends on the driver and their skill set. Age is mostly irrelevant. I've personally met a lot of very young (early teen) drivers at race tracks that could run circles around me. I've also meet a lot of middle age arrogant men who have a dangerous combination of confidence and lack of skill and/or respect for power. Cars rarely get people into trouble, it's usually the loose nut behind the wheel.
    This. I see this as an instructor a good bit.

  12. #12
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    To the original post, I agree that new and inexperienced drivers need to be very cautious. Lets be honest though. The number of cars a person builds or the number of years an owner has had his car doesn't make him an experienced driver. The odometer is also the "experience-meter". With 22,000 miles on mine, I wish I had more experience.

    There's only a handful or people who have driven my MkIV. Those people are close to me and I either respect their driving skills or love them and know they will respect the car and honour the time and effort put into building and maintaining it. Allowing someone else to drive my car is like a gift. A pay-it-forward moment. I'm not one to put a protective dome around my roadster at car shows. On the contrary. I love talking to folks about the car and I don't hesitate to offer kids and pretty girls the chance to sit in it. Smiles are infectious. The odd time, I've offered to take random people for a ride. I'm not sure who gets the bigger rush. Me or the passenger.
    Last edited by Dave Howard; 11-10-2017 at 10:08 AM.

  13. #13
    I think that is a pretty good list. I was surprised to see the Mustang GT on the list, but think that it is VERY valid. Youtube can back that one up a million times.

    I agree with what some of the previous posters have said. Driving for X many years or miles does not make you an "experienced driver" when it comes to performance. If you have only ever driven on the street, no matter how hard you think you have driven, you would be shocked at how much further you push yourself and the car on an autocross course or track. As I always say, if you haven't autocrossed your Cobra a few times, you have no idea what you and the car can and cannot do.

    As far as building your own car making you careful.....we have the whole range of personalities in our group. Also remember, they did not say FFR, they said Cobra. That includes Cobras that the only requirement to put you in the drivers seat is a well funded checking account.

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Avalanche325 View Post
    I think that is a pretty good list. I was surprised to see the Mustang GT on the list, but think that it is VERY valid. Youtube can back that one up a million times.

    I agree with what some of the previous posters have said. Driving for X many years or miles does not make you an "experienced driver" when it comes to performance. If you have only ever driven on the street, no matter how hard you think you have driven, you would be shocked at how much further you push yourself and the car on an autocross course or track. As I always say, if you haven't autocrossed your Cobra a few times, you have no idea what you and the car can and cannot do.

    As far as building your own car making you careful.....we have the whole range of personalities in our group. Also remember, they did not say FFR, they said Cobra. That includes Cobras that the only requirement to put you in the drivers seat is a well funded checking account.
    So an FFR with a Mustang GT engine is double trouble?
    MK4 #9028 - Coyote - TKO600
    Delivery: 1/30/17 First Start: 7/23/17 Legal: 10/5/17
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  15. #15
    the car is a fiberglass casket on wheels. The original aluminum car was not much better. They are not for the faint of heart.

    The Porsche CGT was deemed dangerous to drive after Paul Walker died in an accidient. Prices on the car skyrocketed.

    Everybody wants excitment in their weekend car and for others to think they tamed a beast.

    This is partly why the cobra is such a valuable classic today.

  16. #16
    Senior Member edwardb's Avatar
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    Man I'm tired of the multiple "These cars are hard to drive, dangerous, etc." threads. They raise valid points to be sure, but IMO paints a misleading picture. Especially to new forum members or new builders who haven't had the opportunity to drive one yet. They will be pleasantly surprised like I was several years ago when I first drove my Mk3. Properly set up, and driven with the proper respect and care, they are not hard or scary to drive. In fact, just the opposite. The latest Mk4's with continuous improvements just keep getting better. Granted, they don't have all the electronic assists. But on par with most modern factory built sports cars.

    Here's a thought. That skinny pedal on the RH side of the footbox? It determines just how dangerous or hard to drive these need to be. Last I checked, that pedal was pushed by whoever is occupying the driver's seat. Treat it with the proper respect, learn about the car with the proper help and in the proper setting, have a blast driving it, and enjoy the satisfaction that you built such an awesome car. Then become the most defensive driver you can possibly be. There are a lot of bad and distracted drivers out there, plus you will draw a lot of attention.

    Calling it a casket or citing the Paul Walker accident (high powered car, old tires, driven at triple digit speeds on a city street) is over the top. Yes, shows cars can be dangerous. Any car. But not because of the car.

    OK, I feel better now.
    Last edited by edwardb; 11-10-2017 at 07:56 PM.
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  17. #17
    Steve >> aka: GoDadGo GoDadGo's Avatar
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    You Can Overcome Ignorance By Educating Yourself, But You Can't Fix Stupid Because Stupid Is Forever!

    1. I ride a bike (2005 Meanstreak 1,600) and know that I am 10 times more likely to get hurt or killed in an accident than when I am driving in my car (1995 Corvette Ragtop).
    2. If I do stupid things while riding my bike, I'll likely get hurt or even killed.
    3. If I do stupid things while driving my car, I'll likely get hurt or even killed.
    4. Stupid Is Forever Because It Means That You Either Can't Or Simply Refuse To Learn!
    5. Ignorance means you just don't know, so hopefully, we are all smart enough to educate ourselves about that right foot pedal and how it is used.

    The writer of the article is hopefully only ignorant.
    Last edited by GoDadGo; 11-10-2017 at 04:53 PM.

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by TexasAviator View Post
    LOL, wonder who did the damage estimate....$5000???
    FFR 6203 Roadster, Full EFI 302 w/TrickFlow Top End Kit, IRS, Insured, Inspected, Tagged and Titled, Paint and Interior done...just buttoning up the details!

  19. #19
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    I certainly agree with EdwardB and GoDadGo.
    Cobras, any variety or configuration can be dangerous, so can bikes, guns, Corvettes, women, golf clubs and about anything else that stupid people sit in or on, grab on to or talk back too. All of the mentioned can contribute great smiles when properly addressed.
    A little education, care & caution can mitigate the dangers.
    I've met people that I wouldn't trust with any dangerous item, I'm sure most of you have as well.
    As EdwardB said, that skinny pedal on the right must be treated with respect. It's also a VARIABLE switch and need not be all the way down all of the time.
    Jim

  20. #20


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    Jeff Kleiner's Avatar
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    Even a wheezing quarter million mile Corolla is dangerous with an idiot behind the wheel. Some cars just bring out the idiot sooner than others. What is it that Forrest Gump says..."Stupid is as stupid does".

    Jeff

  21. #21
    I think the point they were trying to make is that a lightweight, fast reacting car may be too much for the average driver if driven with any zeal. They're mostly right. For sure there are a lot of other cars you can kill yourself in but a Cobra is not forgiving of bad overzealous driving. No air bags, no ABS, no dynamic stability control, and no roof. Not a problem for most of us but maybe for less aware drivers.

  22. #22
    Senior Member Papa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by buildit View Post
    LOL, wonder who did the damage estimate....$5000???
    I thought the same thing. The body (unpainted) is $5300 plus freight. Add another $10-15K for paint, parts, and labor and hope there wasn't any chassis/frame damage.
    There are 10 types of people in this world;
    those who understand binary and those who don't.

    My Build Thread: http://thefactoryfiveforum.com/showt...ter-Build-9754

  23. #23
    I love driving mine and have almost 5,000 miles on the odometer but I also know that if I get stupid this thing can kill me.

    I also have to remind myself not to get stupid in my 2016 with all its safety features.

    For me I think that the quote “ Respect me or I will kill you “ applies to a lot of things we use everyday .

    Rick
    #8475 Complete Kit Delivered Nov 2014, started Nov 2015, Street Legal Apr 2016, Paint and Interior Completed Aug 2017, 390FE, March accessory kit, MSD Atomic EFI and Ready to run, TKO 500 with MidShift kit, hooker headers, 3 link, track lock with 3.55

  24. #24
    Senior Member Boydster's Avatar
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    I ride a 2006 Triumph Rocket III. 2300cc and 140hp / 140 ftlbs of torque in a 700 lb bike. Wonderful bike to ride and I've spent many miles and days in the saddle. But you gotta respect that throttle. On hard throttle, this thing can snap out from under you and leave you hanging on for dear life. BTW, when you're hanging on for dear life on a bike, you tend to twist the throttle more. I love it, but I must respect it.

    I've never driven a car with this kind of power-to-weight ratio. I'm excited about driving a car thats more capable than I am. But if I get stupid with it, I'll get what I deserve.

    I think Pauls post said it best. The article is kind of silly and shallow unless it's directed to telling rich Dads what not to buy for the 16 yr old...
    ---Boyd---
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  25. #25
    Steve >> aka: GoDadGo GoDadGo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Boydster View Post
    I ride a 2006 Triumph Rocket III. 2300cc and 140hp / 140 ftlbs of torque in a 700 lb bike. Wonderful bike to ride and I've spent many miles and days in the saddle. But you gotta respect that throttle. On hard throttle, this thing can snap out from under you and leave you hanging on for dear life. BTW, when you're hanging on for dear life on a bike, you tend to twist the throttle more. I love it, but I must respect it.
    ...

    Been There, Done That, Bought The T-Shirt, Not The Farm!

    Since then I've been a Wrist Low thottle hand rider.
    Here is what I've added to my MK-4 to control the right foot if the brain can't and/or won't:

    http://www.jegs.com/i/MSD-Ignition/121/8727CT/10002/-1
    Last edited by GoDadGo; 11-11-2017 at 11:39 AM.

  26. #26
    Super Moderator Ray's Avatar
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    I learned a really good phrase in my MSF class:

    A superior rider uses his (her) superior judgment to avoid situations that require the use of their superior skills.

    Same thing about these cars.

    Ray
    I'm not getting gray, I'm adding chrome....

    “Under-steer is when you hit the wall with the front of the car and over-steer is when you hit the wall with the rear of the car. Horsepower is how fast you hit the wall and torque is how far you take the wall with you.”
    -- Jacques Schnauzee "World Famous Racecar Driver"

    "If you can make black marks on a straight from the time you turn out of a corner until the braking point of the next turn, then you have enough horsepower."--Mark Donohue

  27. #27
    I've raced cars and motorcycles for years. Anything can be dangerous in the wrong hands. One important notice in the manual under Safety Tips, NEVER LET A FRIEND OR SOMEONE ELSE DRIVE YOUR CAR! They probably don't realize the power these cars can have.

    If you're new to a performance car, I would suggest signing up for a driver's training school.
    MK4 Build #9035 Delivered 2/17/17, First Start & Go-Kart 6/2/17
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  28. #28
    Quote Originally Posted by buildit View Post
    LOL, wonder who did the damage estimate....$5000???
    I saw this a while ago and thought the exact same thing!

  29. #29
    Here is another one.

    https://youtu.be/I7pKSQ-I1kQ
    F5R9196 Hand Built 347-450hp SBF FiTech Go EFI 4 T5Z-2.95 8.8LSD-3.73 3-link 13"-2300K PB
    Real men don't use instructions, son. Besides, this is just the manufacturer's opinion on how to put this together.. ~Tim Allen

  30. #30
    cobra Handler skullandbones's Avatar
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    I have driven a hot Porsche but not the version in the article (still a handful at speed). It might be the closest example to a Cobra with it's short wheel base. But it still has 6.5 inches on the Cobra. The only other vehicle I have driven that resembles the Cobra is a high HP go kart. In the article they made reference to over steer snap spin when backing off the accelerator (paraphrase). So it's not just HP to weight ratio like in the Hellcat. The Cobra has that extra design factor that makes it more dangerous than most muscle cars new and old. Of course, moderating the HP can mitigate the danger but not completely. My best advice came from a friend when he said, "make sure you have it headed in the right direction before stepping on the go pedal".


    WEK
    FFR MkIII 302 (ATK), EFI 75mm TB with custom box plenum chamber, 24# injectors, 4 tube BBK ceramic, cold air sys, alum flywheel, crane roller rockers, T5, Wilwood pedals, custom five link with Watt's link, 4 rotors, coil overs, power steering with Heidt valve, alum FFR rad, driver's crash bar mod, mini dead pedal mod, quick release steering wheel hub #6046

  31. #31
    Quote Originally Posted by edwardb View Post
    Man I'm tired of the multiple "These cars are hard to drive, dangerous, etc." threads. They raise valid points to be sure, but IMO paints a misleading picture. Especially to new forum members or new builders who haven't had the opportunity to drive one yet. They will be pleasantly surprised like I was several years ago when I first drove my Mk3. Properly set up, and driven with the proper respect and care, they are not hard or scary to drive. In fact, just the opposite. The latest Mk4's with continuous improvements just keep getting better. Granted, they don't have all the electronic assists. But on par with most modern factory built sports cars.

    Here's a thought. That skinny pedal on the RH side of the footbox? It determines just how dangerous or hard to drive these need to be. Last I checked, that pedal was pushed by whoever is occupying the driver's seat. Treat it with the proper respect, learn about the car with the proper help and in the proper setting, have a blast driving it, and enjoy the satisfaction that you built such an awesome car. Then become the most defensive driver you can possibly be. There are a lot of bad and distracted drivers out there, plus you will draw a lot of attention.

    Calling it a casket or citing the Paul Walker accident (high powered car, old tires, driven at triple digit speeds on a city street) is over the top. Yes, shows cars can be dangerous. Any car. But not because of the car.

    OK, I feel better now.
    Well said, Sir! Right on the mark.

    These cars are not at all hard to drive. I find that my car tells me exactly what it is doing.

    I autocross, and have spun my car more than a dozen times. Not once did it "snap-oversteer" as some threads would lead you to believe. Every single time I was seriously pushing way harder than any sane person would do on the street. Most spins would be from ME picking the throttle up too early and / or aggressively.

    I think driving skills have gone down severely in the last 20 years. People do horribly bad things while driving and the stability / traction control / ABS systems take up the slack. They think they are Mario Andretti, but would have been siting in a ditch backwards 100 times if the car wasn't fixing it for them. No nannies on the Cobra. What you see people doing on the street on Youtube is just insane.

    The article didn't say the car was dangerous. It just said that you had better know what you are doing.

  32. #32
    This thread has proven to be thought provoking, at least for me. One of these days, I will actually finish my car and I look forward to driving it. I hadn't given it much thought before, but I suspect I won't allow anyone else (other than my wife) to drive it. I agree with Texas Aviator who said "For cars built by their owners I feel there would be more respect for your creation than driving it to its limits." I also agree it's an issue of the driver, not the car being the "problem". I'm a big fan of learn, then do, rather than do, then learn.
    Mk IV Roadster - #8650 - delivered 7-17-2015 - a work in (slow) progress
    Complete kit / 2015 Coyote / TKO600 / IRS / Wilwood brakes

  33. #33
    Here is something I have noticed in the last couple years. People seem to drive more aggressively in general than they used to. I am shocked at how often a soccer mom does a hole shot and leaves me in the dust with her SUV. Then they slam the brakes on at the next light. Lane changes are often lane snatches. Absolutely no finesse in driving. From the type of cars I see this in, people are using 3/4 of more throttle every time they take off. Go 3/4 throttle in my car off the line and you had better be ready for action. Much less be on Zanex and a cell phone while you do it.

    Sit someone that routinely drives like that in a Cobra that doesn't know enough to be a little afraid of it, and they could get in trouble quick.

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