Project: 1965 Shelby Cobra Replica
Car Kit: Factory Five Mk4 Roadster
Cost: $12,900 USD and 300 hour of your time
NOTE: This car comes in a box!
The Factory Five Mk4 Roadster is the world’s best-selling, best-engineered, and best-performing replica of all time.
The Mk4 Roadster is designed to accurately reproduce the looks of the legendary 427 Cobra. Fabricators Factory Five vow to keep its essence intact, while using modern technology, parts, and materials to improve performance, reliability, and comfort.
The Mk4 Roadster Base Kit costs a mere $12,990, and does require a Ford Mustang donor car). You can also throw another $7,000 on top, for the “Complete” kit, which includes ALL factory-new parts, where all you’ll need is your own engine, transmission, rear end, wheels, tires, and a slick paint job.
Just remember, the base Mk4 kit, and a running 1987 through 2004 Mustang GT donor car, is enough to keep you busy in the garage all winter. But when you emerge, you’ll be able to drive your own, totally convincing Cobra replica.
According to Factory Five, most purchasers of the MK4 kit have an average knowledge of automotive systems and parts. They also and have an average set of automotive tools. That being said, the time-to-completion is about 300 hours. This estimate will vary widely depending on you individual knowledge, tool accessibility, number of people building working on the kit, relationship of the people working on the kit, whether or not alcohol is included in “garage time”, what kind of music is playing, and finally, whether or not the builder “follows instructions well”, or likes to “wing it”.
If you’re considering a project like this, we’ve learned that Factory Five is possibly the most dedicated replica producer ever. Here’s a few nods to their design and production methodology.
They use authentic 4” round tube design, a period correct, 4” round tube frame, which is exactly like the original legend, including the tubular ladder-style frames used in the 1960s. While originality is key, Factory Five used CAD technology, better materials, and more consistent manufacturing methods to make their frame more than twice as strong.
The MK4 frame sports over 800 welds, with hundreds of individual pieces of steel. And it arrives completely welded assembly and requires no welding or cutting.
The entire cockpit, trunk, and engine bay of the Factory Five Mk4 is precision laser-cut 6061-T6 aluminum. 6061 is a demonstrative cut above conventional 4000-series aluminum, with far greater strength in tension.
The composite body is a one-piece, hand-laid vinylester fabrication, that is engineered to perfectly hug the aluminum and steel chassis. The hood, doors and trunk have molded liners and come complete with hinges and pre-drilled mounting holes. The body shell is laminated to a thickness of 3/16” all around, with a .015” red gel coat outer finish.
Even better, the composite body is shipped pre-assembled to the frame! BUT the parts are unfinished, and definitely require bodywork.
The Mk4 Roadster Kit is delivered ready to accept bolt-on rear suspension components from a donor car. Interestingly, Factory Five offers an Independent Rear Suspension (IRS) option, which is designed for those looking for the most comfort, authenticity, and performance.
The IRS can be added to either the base or the complete kit. It includes a welded-in cage, upper and lower tubular control arms, high-end KONI mono-tube rod-end coil-over shocks (matched to the fronts), and custom assembled axles and CV joints. The IRS option for the Mk4 kit requires the 8.8” center section, rear spindles, and brakes from a 2015 or later Ford Mustang.
So, maybe you’re thinking, 12 grand is a lot of dough for a “kit”, and then you have to find a donor Mustang. Well, to be brutally honest, its not. It’s an incredible value for what you get. (While all of this is from the Factory Five website, here are the highlights of what is included in the BASE kit:
The Steel Frame:
Complete jig-welded original style 4” round tube frame. Includes all mounts ready to accept small block Ford and 1987-2004 Mustang running gear. Kit can be ordered to accept a wide variety of engines/suspensions.
- Includes 3-point roll bar, powdercoated gloss black
- Includes passenger side roll bar mounts
- Chassis powdercoating optional
The Aluminum Chassis Panels:
- 40 laser-cut, pre-formed 6061-T6 aluminum panels for cockpit, trunk, and engine bay.
- 1,200 pre-packaged rivets; 1/8” short and long, 3/16” short and long (Did we say 300 hours?)
- Complete Mk4 aluminum cockpit with block-off plates and patch covers
- Engine bay aluminum assembly with aluminum nose sections and splash guards
- Hand laid 3/16” laminate composite body and panels made with vinylester resin.
- Driver and passenger doors with molded door liners and integral steel door frames
- Hood with molded
hood liner and separate hood scoop
- Trunk with molded trunk liner and improved mount face for license plate light
- Includes secondary body fasteners assembly
- Adhesive backed foam weatherstrip
- C-channel door edge trim and fasteners
- Plastic end caps and body mount fasteners
- Trunk and engine bay push-on rubber bulb seal
- Rubber hood and trunk bumpers
- Includes multi-adjustable door hinges with bronze bushings and fasteners
- Includes adjustable hidden trunk hinge kit, hinge mount plates and fasteners
- Includes competition hood pin set with mount plates and fasteners
- Includes original design quick-jack competition bumpers with stainless steel sleeves and fasteners
The Front Suspension:
Front suspension comes ready to use. Mustang lower control arm/spindle and brakes, including:
- KONI brand high performance mono-tube shock absorbers
- Coil-over kit for KONI dampers including spring hat, threaded seat and 500 lb. black powdercoated performance springs
- Adjustable upper control arms with ball joints and fasteners
- Spindle adapter bracket
- Grade-8 mounting hardware
The Rear Suspension:
Their 4-link and 3-link rear suspension options include rear axle brackets, fasteners and axle straps to mount your Mustang 8.8” rear solid axle and brakes. Comes with all hardware required for installation.
- Base kit comes with pre-flared brake and fuel lines, (3/16”, 1/4” and 5/16”) and fasteners to use OEM Ford Mustang fuel tank and system.
- Includes polished vintage Aston LeMans flip top gas cap, integral modern fuel pressure cap and adaptor kit.
- Fuel lines, connectors, filler neck and fasteners included.
- Steering adapter kit to utilize Mustang steering rack includes upper shaft, pillow blocks, flange bearings, fasteners, lower shaft and U-joints.
- Features a collapsible column, vintage wood and aluminum steering wheel with aluminum boss, center section and center section badge.
- Lower steering shaft with 1987-1993 rack adapter (3/4”-36 spline)
- Upper steering shaft, spring washer and fasteners
- 14” vintage wood and aluminum steering wheel with boss and FFR center section and fasteners
- Steering bearings and hardware, including flange bearing, pillow block bearing and fasteners
- Electric cooling fan and mounting kit with connectors
- Radiator mount kit and fasteners
Misc. Engine Accessories/Side Exhaust/Mounts:
The Mk4 base kit is configured to accommodate big block Ford engines, small block Ford windsor engines, and modular 4.6L and the 5.0L Coyote engines.
- The kit comes with alternate drive pulley assembly, oil filter relocate kit, and exhaust assembly to adapt Mustang engine and headers to vintage side exit exhausts.
- 4-into-1 side exhaust, bare steel with rubber hanger brackets, gaskets and
- Oil filter relocate mount with fittings, hoses, barbs and fasteners
- Spin-on engine block adapter for SBF or BBF only
- Alternate drive pulley, spacer, pulley wheel and fasteners
- SB performance air filter, conical
- A/C replacement pulley kit and custom length fan belt with fasteners.
- Accelerator cable assembly: includes the cable, return spring and retainer
Battery mounting kit:
- Trunk mount battery hardware, cables and hold-downs with fasteners
- Battery ground strap
- Insulated line clips and hardware
- Cable ties, wire loom and flex grommeting
Electrical and Gauges/Dash Assembly:
The Base kit parts are included to adapt Mustang wiring harness and EEC IV computer. Kit comes with components to build your car with an authentic street style dash. Complete assembly comes with covered aluminum dash, dash buttons, toggles and indicator lights, switches, and horn.
- Mk4 pre-cut aluminum dashboard with fasteners
- Padded dash cover, black vinyl with dash button and toggles
- Dash indicators, red, green, blue dash lights
- Mustang gauge conversion kit with machined bezels, spacers, wiring extensions, fasteners and lenses
The Mk4 base kit comes with all the interior accessories you need to create a full interior that is period correct, including:
- Authentic roadster metal framed seats, black vinyl with fasteners
- 5-point Simpson brand H-harnesses; 3” wide driver and passenger, frame mounted with fasteners
- Complete cockpit carpet set, black
- Emergency brake boot, black leather
- Original style MGTF door latches, fasteners and leather check straps
- Authentic chrome shifter handle, shift knob, boot, polished ring and fasteners
- Original style rear view cockpit mounted and side view/flank mounted mirrors
- Authentic 14” wood and aluminum steering wheel with polished aluminum boss (listed in steering assembly), and FFR ceramic center badge
- Covered aluminum dash with all dash buttons, toggles and indicator lights
- Mustang gauge conversion kit with machined bezels, spacers, wiring extensions, fasteners and lenses
Exterior Accessories and Lighting:
Along with the fit and finish on the inside of the car, the Mk4 base kit is overflowing with authentic (replica) exterior parts and trim:
- Original style chrome-on-brass vintage windscreen, tinted with side bars and fasteners; DOT safety glass compliant
- Original style 3-lock set including T-trunk handle, L-shaped hood handles, matching keys, cam wedges, fasteners, latch pin sleeves and plastic end cap
- Original style license plate light and bracket with fasteners
- Original style 3.5” Aston roller gas cap, polished cast aluminum with adaptor kit and all fasteners.
- Competition hood pins.
- High quality laser-cut aluminum louvers
- FFR badging for nose and tail
- Original style DOT headlamp assemblies, including buckets, halogen headlamps, trim rings, and fasteners
- Original style front turn signals, amber and red twin filament rear tail-lights (DOT on all lighting)
- Original style Quick Jack bumpers
Pedal Box Components:
Utilizing the Mustang pedal box, we supply you with a pedal box adapter kit, fasteners and accelerator cable, pedal capture, return spring and ball stud retainer with fasteners.
More than 1,500 top quality zinc plated, chrome and stainless steel USS and SAE fasteners, numbered and packed individually by assembly.
Mk4 Roadster Base Kit Assembly Manual:
Bound 400+ page assembly manual, (also available in PDF format).
AND, here is what you will need from any 1987 through 2004 Ford Mustang:
- Ford 8.8” rear end with quad-shocks, brakes, springs and control arms
- Mustang front and rear brakes
- Mustang spindles/lower A-arms
- Radiator/fan shroud
- Steering rack with factory ignition
- Ford EFI computer and wire harness
- Mustang fuel tank and fuel filter
- Mustang E-brake handle and pedal box
Factory Five offers a link to Blueprint Engines, which are super-slick performance engines starting at $6,000.
Fraser Engine Company offers many compatible engines, fully-rebuilt and tested for a 1/4 to 1/3 of that price!
Check out our Ford engines here: https://fraserengineco.com/4-2-liter-engines/
Fraser Fast Facts
- The Mk4 Roadster has a really-low vehicle center of gravity and balanced 47-53% weight distribution
- It boasts an energy absorbing tubular steel frame and aluminum chassis panels (not fiberglass)
- Front and rear energy-absorbing crumple zones
- SCCA-derived footbox steel tubing protection and cockpit steel surround structure
- Side impact bars and beefy plate steel door hinges
- Frame mounted doors
- Externally mounted and shielded fuel tank with fuel pump impact shut-off switch (from the Mustang donor)
- Collapsible steering column
- Driveshaft safety bars
- 3-point, 1.5” OD, .120” wall, mandrel bent, frame-mounted driver’s roll bar (optional passenger roll bar available)
- 5-point Simpson brand, racing H-harness for both driver and passenger
- Vintage components that are individually FMVSS compliant (i.e. lighting, carpets, seating material, safety glass, etc.)
- Manufacturing controls that maintain high degree of consistency in welding and fabrication
- Acceleration, turning and stopping abilities above almost any current production vehicle