Gordon Levy tells us his turnkey customer, Barry Mitioiere, is a detail-oriented kind of guya necessary attribute for a real estate/business attorney in Los Angeles, we suppose. In addition to the five-page technical information questionnaire we request of owners of the feature cars we write about, Barry also sent an 18-page owners manual he composeda highly detailed document on virtually every component on his pro-built Factory Five Racing Cobra replica.
Gordon says Barry arrived at Levy Racings shop to take delivery of the car with a multipage checklist in hand, ready to inspect the vehicle. Barry didnt find anything wrong. He has been more than happy with the snake, driving it at least four days a week and enjoying the kind of attention that many other sports cars, exotics, and musclecars he has owned failed to produce.
Barrys thorough research for a snake led him to a Factory Five replica, mostly because he could have a car exactly as he wanted it within a reasonable budget. Who would build the turnkey car was also a fairly easy choice, since Levy Racing (see Pro-Builder Shop Series elsewhere in this issue) has developed a good reputation for quality work, and the company attaches a one-year warranty to its cars.
This car is stunning in its appearance and quick when the hammer falls. Its components list differs a bit from the usual Factory Five standard kit in that it sports an independent rearend, a Ford 351 Windsor crate motor, a Tremec TKO five-speed, and no donor parts throughout the build. The car also wears one of Levys signature paint jobs, but without a racing stripe. The wheels are also atypical.
A brand-new, complete Ford Racing 351 engine was installed in the engine bay with just one modification. Levy replaced the Edelbrock Victor Jr. manifold that comes with the motor with an Edelbrock RPM dual-plane model to afford better street performance. It was topped with a Holley Pro Series 750-cfm carb. Levy also fitted the mill with one of its custom 8-quart oil pans and windage tray. This stock engine is fitted with a hydraulic cam and lifters; GT-40 aluminum, Turbo Swirl heads; and forged, hypereutectic pistons. For ignition, the team chose a Crane Cams Fireball HI-6 multiple-spark system.
For exhaust, a set of MAC unequal shorty headers feed into FFR J-pipes, then to the standard FFR sidepipes. The entire exhaust system was Jet-Hot coated with a Sterling finish. The engine is backed with a new Tremec TKO five-speed gearbox and custom 10.5-inch Kevlar Zoom clutch rated at 600 lb-ft of torque. The power ultimately reaches the Thunderbird Super Coupe 8.8-inch rearend, which was modified for a 3.55:1 gear ratio.
Barry opted for the FFR optional independent rear suspension for his roadstera system that will also fit a stock 5.0 Mustang, by the way. The system is composed of a welded-in cage, custom upper and lower tubular control arms, coilover shocks, and custom half-shaft axles. T-bird spindles are used and fitted with 10.5- inch disc brakes. The front suspension setup is FFRs usual Mustang configuration featuring tubular control arms, PRO adjustable coilover shocks, and 11-inch brake rotors.
Fuel is fed to the Holley carb front via a 22-gallon Fuel Safe Pro Cell bladder housed in a TIG-welded, powdercoated, aluminum box. A Holley Blue electric fuel pump rated at 110 gph keeps the carb filled and ready for throttle stabs.
We mentioned the novel wheel treatment earlier. This snake wears lightweight magnesium alloy ROH Snyper five-spoke wheels, 17x8 inches in the front and 17x9 in the rear. The wheels are wrapped with Sumitomo HTR Z245/45R rubber up front and Z275/40R on the back.
The interior of the car is finished with a pair of FFR optional leather bucket seats with Simpson four-point racing harnesses. The leather is carried to the door panels and the dash. Auto Meter black-face-with-chrome-bezel instruments were chosen, while a Moto-Lita leather-wrapped steering wheel rounds out the simple cockpit.
The slick silver paint job was accomplished by Levy Racing with three coats of PPG Porsche Arctic Silver Metallic and four coats of clear acrylic. A chrome rollbar and traditional bullet-style side mirrors, along with chromed Quick-jack bumpers and an Aston LeMans gas cap, complete the vintage feel of the car.
One of Barrys goals was to have a car with track performance that maintained the durability and reliability of a production car. Judging by his owners-manual treatise and our experience with his car, Barry owns just the kind of car he was looking for. We applaud Gordon Levy and his crew for their excellent attention to detail, their dedication to building great products, and their ability to deliver an enviable level of customer service.