The best way to decide whether you enjoy a new hobby is to pitch in and partake. You might think you're interested in something and discover it's boring. You could realize you don't have the talent or the patience for it; it's simply not for you.
Several years ago Harold Gumm of Lompoc, California, bought a '69 Camaro as a test. He built the Bow Tie to see if he enjoyed customizing cars and if he was any good at it. His first attempt at musclecar modification turned out well. The Camaro went down the road to another happy enthusiast, and Harold devoted his attention to a much more daunting task. A garage sale '31 Ford Model A three-window coupe captured his fancy for over 1,000 hours of hard and challenging labor. He street rodded the A from the ground up, removing mushrooms in the trunk and religiously repairing rust with new sheetmetal wherever necessary. To paint the Ford, he transformed his garage into a ventilated clean room spray booth and lavished the A in Viper Blue urethane paint. Since his kids enjoyed riding in the Model A's rumble seat so much, and because the car was an enormous undertaking, Harold knew the Ford was a keeper.
At a time in his life where he had saved up enough money to launch his own business, he contemplated his future. Harold wanted to enjoy working in his own company as much as he had prospered in his career as an aerospace technician for Hughes Aircraft Company, Santa Barbara Research Center, and Raytheon Vision Systems
After some soul searching and a fair amount of research, he purchased a Shell Valley CT-427 kit and started construction. Harold had been down this path before. This time it wasn't simply to find a new hobby, but to create an after retirement vocation/avocation that he'd be passionate about. Harold told us, "Man oh man is this fun stuff. I get to build what I believe is one of the best kits for the dollar going. I get to modify it to my heart's content, and I get to try out the vast offerings of crate motors, trannys, rear ends, wheel/tire combos, Lokar, ididit, Billet Specialties, Wilwood, Tremec, Lazar, Tilton Engineering. Better still, I can design and build specialized parts for my cars using AutoCad 2002lt, my milling machine, lathe, TIG welder, MIG welder, spot welder, and more." If you're thinking, what's not to like, you're not alone.
Considering how great Harold's first Shell Valley CT-427 kit turned out, we'd say he has found himself a new career. When it comes to automotive photography, he's also a pretty quick study. Take a look at his photos of the car and prove both of these points for yourself-beyond a shadow of a doubt.
Harold's Cobra is powered...
Harold's Cobra is powered by a Smeding 427 Special stroker engine and Tremec TKO600 five-speed manual transmission. He had Smeding Performance detune the powerplant a bit to make it more streetable. With about 450hp and 450 lb-ft. of torque there's still plenty grunt under hood. Notice the clean, empty firewall and fabricated stainless steel hood prop-tricks learned from his days spent in aerospace, musclecar, and street rod building.
A custom-made aluminum glove...
A custom-made aluminum glove box door adorns the Cobra's deliciously Spartan dash panel. Classic Instruments Hot Rod Series gauges fill the board, which Harold wired in with a Haywire harness.
Thanks to a NASCAR triangulated...
Thanks to a NASCAR triangulated four-link suspension system and adjustable coilover shocks, the narrowed Ford 9-inch differential and rear axle tracks true on the straights and the twisty bits. The chassis is as sanitary as the topside.
The Shell Valley Cobra body...
The Shell Valley Cobra body is comprised of fiberglass with Kevlar and steel molded in at the high-stress points.
Harold thanks Shell Valley's...
Harold thanks Shell Valley's Dana Dankert. "He worked with me for hours nailing down exactly what I wanted in a Cobra." From this low level perspective with the hood up, the car appears to be a polished, prize sculpture worthy of worship.
Dual, twice as bright over...
Dual, twice as bright over stock 1157 LED taillights light up the Cobra's caboose. Harold made us promise not to divulge how he fabricated the taillights' custom buckets. You'll have to query him yourself.
|Facts Box |
|Harold Gumm Lompoc, CA |
|1967 Shell Valley CT-427 |
Weight 2,200 LBS
|Frame: ||Shell Valley 2" X 4" box steel frame |
|Wheelbase: ||90" |
|Rearend: ||Narrowed Ford 9", 3.70:1 Trak-Lok, 31 spline Moser axles |
|Rear Suspension: ||NASCAR style triangulated setup using four aluminum radius rods and aluminum adjustable coilover shocks on Ford 9" solid axle |
|Rear Brakes: ||Wilwood 13" drilled rotor disc brakes using 4 piston calipers and "E" brake |
|Front Suspension: ||Unequal length tubular A-arm setup |
|Front Brakes: ||Wilwood 13" drilled rotor disc brakes using 4 piston calipers with aluminum hubs |
|Steering: ||Rack and pinion |
|Front Wheel |
|Make & Size: ||Boyd Coddington Smoothie II's 17" X 7" 4.5" backspace |
|Rear Wheel |
|Make & Size: ||Boyd Coddington Smoothie II's 18" X 10" 4.5" backspace. |
|Front Tire Make & Size: ||Pirelli PZERO NERO 215/45 ZR 17 |
|Rear Tire Make & Size: ||Pirelli PZERO NERO 285/40 ZR 18 |
|Fuel Tank Capacity: ||20 gallons |
|Engine & Trans |
|Make: ||Ford 351w 427c.i. stroker (Smeding 427 Cobra Special) 10.2:1 Compression |
|Bore X Stroke ||4.030" X 4.170" |
|Block ||351 SVO Sportsman II Block |
|Crankshaft: ||4340 forged 4.170" stroke |
|Pistons: ||Forged, floating pin type |
|Camshaft: ||Smeding hydraulic roller cam, I/E .493"/.510" lift, 279/289 duration |
|Water Pump: ||Edelbrock EDL-8843 high flow aluminum |
|Radiator: ||Shell Valley aluminum |
|Alternator: ||Ford single wire 100 amp Jeg's high output 10111 |
|Heads: ||Edelbrock Performer RPM aluminum |
|Induction: ||Edelbrock Performer intake, Holley 4160 4BL 600CFM Vacuum Secondaries |
|Air Cleaner: ||Billet Specialties 11 7/8" X 8 3/8" billet aluminum air cleaner with K&N air filter |
|Ignition: ||HEI Distributor (Speedway Motor's modified to fit Ford block) |
|Headers: ||Shell Valley ceramic coated |
|Mufflers: ||Shell Valley side pipes ceramic coated |
|Transmission: ||Tremec TKO 600 5 speed w/overdrive - 1st 2.87, 2nd 1.89, 3rd 1.28, 4th 1.00, 5th .64. |
|Shifter: ||Short throw Tremec |
|Trans Mods: ||None |
|Manufacturer: ||Shell Valley fiberglass with Kevlar and steel molded in at stress points |
|Body Mods: ||Removable hardtop |
|Bodywork: ||Bill Anderson of Hot Rod Alley, Lompoc, CA |
|Paint Type: ||Dupont basecoat clearcoat system - 1998 GTS Viper Blue |
|Painter: ||Bill Anderson of Hot Rod Alley, Lompoc, CA |
|Gauges: ||Classic Instruments Hot Rod Series 5" speedo and tach, 2 1/8" fuel level, water temp, oil pressure, engine vacuum, and voltmeter |
|Wiring: ||Haywire wiring harness P/N 14FUSED |
|Steering Wheel: ||Moto-Lita wood with polished aluminum spokes |
|Seating ||Shell Valley Cobra style vinyl bucket seats |
|Upholsterer: ||Charlie Barbie Upholstery |
|Material: ||Black vinyl |