For one of the few times Ford...
For one of the few times Ford has allowed a Cobra replica to be photographed under a Ford logo, this Kirkham Motorsports replica/component car occupied center stage at a Las Vegas supershow display presented by the Blue Oval.
Perhaps the biggest story EVER to cement the legitimacy of the kit car hobby was a groundbreaking occurrence that hit Las Vegas recently. At last year's SEMA (Specialty Equipment Market Association) Show, one single display showed that kit cars are mainstream, valid, and accepted and hold an honored spot among the automotive elite.
The SEMA Show is a showcase of automotive giants who present their newest and brightest items to buyers and other industry members in 2 million sq-ft of display space at the Las Vegas Convention Center. Last year's 37th edition of this industry event was attended by more than 100,000 industry attendees and included exhibits by more than 1,800 companies and some 1,000 new products.
The story that shattered old myths and enhanced the kit car genre forever occurred in the massive Ford display. Ford, in all its Blue Oval glory, showed off original cars such as its Daytona Coupe (one of only six ever built), an original GT40, a '32 Ford, its new Ford GT, and several other classic cars.
However, at center stage, beneath the Ford logo, under bright spotlights, and with an attractive model posing near it was Ford's homage to its most exciting car ever produced, the Cobra 427. It didn't take a close look for one to realize that this Cobra was not a Ford-built Snake. Instead, with Blue Oval support and testimonial, it was a gleaming, shiny, Cobra replica component car with a brushed aluminum body built by Kirkham Motorsports of Provo, Utah. This classy, aluminum-bodied beauty sat upon an Alloway chassis, making it a true kit/component car. However, it was the awesome Kirkham body that drew the most raves.
I was asked by some passersby why Ford would display a Kirkham kit when they certainly could have shown an original Cobra. My answer was, "Ford NEVER produced a Cobra that looked THAT good."
In this one public display, Ford has shown that it is the Cobra replica the public has come to understand as the BEST version of its famous race car of the mid-'60s. It is with that one gesture that Ford has told the world it is the Cobra replica that you can build, buy, and drive that keeps the legend of its finest racing car alive, 40 years later.
Thanks, Ford, we have always done that car justice in replication, and we are honored that you recognize it.
Hit the Shows
SEMA is behind us, but two great kit car shows loom just ahead.
The two "can't miss" kit car shows in North America are the AHA Knott's Berry Farm Show in Buena Park, California, April 24-25 (for information, contact the AHA at 909/796-9946, www.replicarclub.com); and the Carlisle Kit/Replicar Nationals at Carlisle, Pennsylvania Fairgrounds, May 21-23 (for information, contact the Fairgrounds at 717/243-7855,www.carsatcarlisle.com). The Knott's Show is more of an individual's show, where home car building is the order of the day and individual skill as well as manufacturer support are showcased, while the Carlisle event is more of a manufacturer's show where new cars debut and old cars are displayed proudly. Make your plans to be there, you never know what surprises are in store. KC