All the super-heated gases ignite at the same time, and an explosion occurs as a starving fire takes in oxygen. What happens in a backdraft is similar to the experience of driving a Backdraft Racing Cobra. G-forces push heavily upon you when you plant your right foot on the accelerator. You better know what you're doing piloting such a beast. An explosion of speed, and the landscape blurs by. If you blink, the road ahead melts into the Backdraft's wake. Consider that a road/track-ready BRC weighs 2,400 pounds with 400 lb-ft of torque and a bored and stroked Ford small-block under the hood. Stuff a Ford FE 390ci, 427ci, or 428ci in the engine bay and you've released all kinds of galloping mayhem. Those 400 healthy horses want to run free.
Bob Humphrey of Placerville, Colorado, has been a gearhead ever since he knew what gears were. Growing up during the musclecar era of the 1960s and '70s, he owned some '50s and '60s Fords that he hopped up. He progressed to an Olds 442 in '65, a Dodge Hemi, and finally a '67 Corvette. After owning a few foreign jobs, BMWs, and a 911, Bob realized there's an abundance of high-quality replicars available. Having a preference for Cobras, he spent two years of due diligence determining which he'd like to own.
Many attributes of the Backdraft Racing Cobra impress Bob. Backdraft Racing is an international company with a manufacturing facility located in South Africa and a final assembly plant located in Boynton Beach, Florida. The two elements of the BRC that sold Bob are its menacing stance and the BMW 3 Series independent front and rear suspension system that keeps the Cobra going in the right direction at speed. Having a modern, adjustable suspension system that's serviceable at any BMW dealership or independent BMW mechanic is a big plus. Since Bob planned on spirited road driving and healthy rip roarin' on racetracks, he ordered his Backdraft Racing Cobra with the BMW M3 upgraded suspension setup, which has larger brakes and halfshafts, as well as a 3.23:1 final drive ratio rearend gear.
The chassis is comprised of 2x4-inch rectangular steel tubing, reinforced in high-stress areas with steel plates. After the chassis was constructed, it received a thorough powdercoat. The wheelbase is 2 inches longer than Carroll Shelby's 427 Cobras of yore (92-inch wheelbase with 153.5-inch overall body length) to accommodate taller drivers (up to 6 foot 4 inches).
As on the chassis, strategic points of the fiberglass body are double-skinned, especially in places where components attach to or through the body shell. Bob asked Backdraft's painters to spray his car PPG Prizm Red with Bronze Mist LeMans stripes. Before any Backdraft Cobra makes it Stateside, the interior is fitted. Mr. Humphrey opted for the standard trim-black leather seats, dash, door panels with top-quality carpet, and floor mats with bound edges.
The final assembly of the BMW front and rear independent 3 Series suspension components occurred in the U.S., as Backdraft headquarters are in Boynton Beach, Florida. The Florida team installed the race/road-ready M3 system for Bob's car and delivered it to the Midwest dealer for BRC, Greater Cincinnati Performance Cars in Florence, Kentucky. At GCPC, the engine/transmission installation and final road test took place before Bob became the proud owner May 25, 2006.
Brothers Bill and Fred Littleton own GCPC. Thanks to the collaborative team in South Africa, Florida, and GCPC in Kentucky, Bob had almost a month to sort out his Backdraft Cobra before the two track days at Mid-Ohio Racetrack that kicked off this year's London (Ohio) Cobra Show. In that short time the Littleton brothers responded rapidly to Bob's needs. They installed SPC Performance rear camber control arms compatible with the BMW M3 suspension, and anodized aluminum Turner Motorsports trailing arm spacers for stiffening the BRC's tail 'round the twisty bits.
Stepping on the go pedal, the super-heated gases ignite at the same time, causing an explosion of speed. All the while Bob wears an ear-to-ear smile. Yep, a Backdraft Racing Cobra was a wise choice.
Backdraft Racing 427 Cobra replica
|Frame/Manufacturer ||2x4-inch rectangular tube/Backdraft |
|Wheelbase ||92 inches |
|Rearend/Ratio ||BMW M3/3.23 |
|Rear Suspension ||BMW M3 independent rear suspension |
|Rear Brakes ||BMW M3 single piston disc 13-inch rotor |
|Front Suspension ||BMW M3 independent front suspension |
|Front Brakes ||BMW M3 IFS single piston disc 13-inch rotor |
|Steering ||manual BMW rack-and-pinion |
|Front Wheel ||Halibrand style, 17x8.5-inch, knockoff |
|Rear Wheel ||Halibrand style, 17x10.5-inch, knockoff |
|Front Tire ||Goodyear Formula One 245x45x17-inch radial |
|Rear Tire ||Goodyear Formula One 315x35x17-inch radial |
|ENGINE & TRANS |
|Make ||Ford 351W stroked to 408ci-Howell Machine |
|Crankshaft ||Scat forged |
|Pistons ||SRP forged 11:1 |
|Water Pump ||Edelbrock polished aluminum |
|Radiator ||aluminum with twin electric fans |
|Alternator ||Powermaster polished chrome |
|Heads ||AFR 205 |
|Induction ||Mass-Flo fuel injection 42-ppm injectors |
|Air Cleaner ||Cobra style |
|Ignition ||Mass Flow and Mallory electronic distributor |
|Headers ||Backdraft Racing ceramic coated |
|Mufflers ||Backdraft Racing ceramic-coated side pipes |
|Transmission ||Tremec TKO600 |
|Shifter ||Backdraft Racing shifter lever |
|Manufacturer ||Backdraft Racing |
|Body Mods ||cockpit 2 inches longer and 1.5 inches wider |
|Bodywork ||hand-laid fiberglass |
|Paint Type ||PPG Global System Prizm Red and Bronze Mist |
|Painter ||Backdraft Racing |
|Gauges ||VDO |
|Wiring ||Backdraft Racing custom wiring harness |
|Steering Wheel ||Backdraft Racing wood rimmed |
|Seating ||Backdraft Racing |
|Upholsterer ||Backdraft Racing |
|Material ||leather seats, dash and door panel pockets |