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Factory Five Hits the Books

Posted on March 29th, 2012

Coming this July, in time to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the C-car, is D. Brian Smith’s new book How to Build Cobra Kit Cars. Smith is the former editor of Kit Car Magazine, and in March 2012, he completed the assembly of a Factory Five Mk4, which serves as the subject for his how-to book.

Brian built this Factory Five Mk4 with his dad.

Brian built this Mk4 with his dad.
Published by CarTech Books, this SA Design Project Series book features 18 chapters and 510 color photos. Trim size is 8-1/2 x 11 inches and it’s 176 pages in length. Most importantly, it provides step-by-step procedural instruction for assembling an entire Factory Five Cobra replica.

Brian’s car will be at the 2012 Huntington Beach Cruise-In if you want to check it out and the book will be available in July.

The new Mk4 looks great from behind and the body style is extremely period correct.

Powering the car is Ford's 351W/427 stroker.


  • We shipped this kit off to Brian a few years ago as he was writing a book about building a C-Car replica and FFR was the logical choice for the subject matter being that we are the lion’s share of the replica business. I first saw these photos yesterday and was VERY IMPRESSED. Can’t wait to see the car in person at HB 2012.

  • My Dad and I had a blast building the FFR Mk4. We feel as though we really accomplished something special with both the creation of this sweet roadster and with writing the book. Anyone who is going to build a FFR Mk4 would benefit greatly from reading the book, as it is extremely detailed and offers over 500 how-to photos. We also look forward to being a part of the fantastic Factory Five Racing Huntington Beach Cruise-In on April 28, 2012. We hope to see you all there!

    • Tery McIntyre

      Brian – Where can I purchase a copy of your book? Thank you ….. Terry

      • Hi Terry,

        The book will be in bookstores by July of this year. However, you can pre-order it at Amazon.com – http://www.amazon.com/Build-Cobra-Buying-Project-Series/dp/1934709433/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1333570486&sr=8-1. I hope that address link works. If not, the title of the book is: “How to Build Cobra Kit Cars + Buying Used”. The book is 176 pages, 18 chapters and has 510 color photos. I did my absolute best on writing the book, so it should prove helpful and hopefully informative, entertaining and inspiring. Dad and I worked very hard on building the FFR Mk4, and we had a lot of great help. Building a Cobra replica is super fun, but it’s also a challenge. You’ll really feel a sense of pride, should you embark on your own build, both throughout the process and when you come to the finish line. Thank you, Brian

  • Joe Schweinler


    NOW you need to do a ’33 :)

    ….Heres to hoping !

    Nice looking roadster BTW !!

    • Hi Joe,

      We would love to do a ’33! However, we do have a couple other projects in the works right now. :-)

      Thanks for the kind words about the FFR Mk4 roadster.



  • Awesome car, a replica of this replica would be an awesome car contest giveaway! (Just saying)

  • Dave Sheehan

    Love it..what a nice job..FFR2177 and I are going on our 12th summer here in MA…if i can afford gas!! :-/

  • Absolutely Beautiful Car!!! Hope to build one of these very soon myself. Also nice to see the power plant you chose. Now where can I get your book? It seems like it might be very good build guide and have some handy tips for my future build.

    • Hi Blaine,

      Thanks for your compliment about the Mk4 Dad and I constructed. I do sincerely believe that the book would be helpful with your project. Of course, I may be a bit biased. :-)

      Best of success with your future build.

      All good wishes,


  • David Borden

    Beautiful car Brian!! You and your pops should be very proud!


  • Brian-

    Your car is truly stunning! It is really a absolutely beautiful job, and you and your Dad should be extremely proud!

    I have pre-ordered your book already, and can’t wait to read it, and copy some of your ideas.. ;-0)

    Again, super job and stunning result!!



    • Hi Steve,

      Thanks so much for your kind words and for ordering the book. We hope the book will be an invaluable tool in helping you create your ultimate C. car replica!

      All the best,


  • Love the car. What color blue is it?

    • Hi Wade,

      It’s House of Kolor Strattos Blue, one of HOK’s new Shimrin 2 hues. We wanted to achieve a modern interpretation of the mid 1960s Ford color Caspian Blue, which is a midnight blue that Ford used on Cobras and Mustangs (predominately). This color blue looks different depending upon whether it’s in direct sunlight, partial shade or shade. It’s really a pretty cool hue.

      Best wishes,


  • Richard Hodare


  • Dolph Streichert

    That 427 stroker must pull really hard in the upper gears.

    Beautiful car, job well done!

    I can’t wait to start on mine.

  • That is a beautiful car! Where do we get the book?

    • Hi Brian,

      Thanks for the kind words. The book will be available in July. But, you can actually pre-order it on my automotive magazine on the internet, Redline Review via Amazon.com. The specific address is: http://astore.amazon.com/redlinereview-20. If that link doesn’t work, the title is “How to Build Cobra Kit Cars + Buying Used.”

      All good wishes,


  • David Heinitz

    Vary nice car.

  • Kevin J. Porter

    You did a really beautiful job with kit.

  • I think this was very nice color. I hava a AC [Roadster] is getting restored now and I would love to use this color comination. Can you help me with the color code? Love from Norway

    • Hi Lisbeth,

      We used House of Kolor automotive finishes. The Le Mans stripes are Galaxy Gray mixed with HOK metalflake. The red team stripes are Re-Entry Red mixed with metalflake. The blue is Strattos Blue, which changes color depending upon how much light or shade there is. We’re very pleased with the colors we chose, although, if you’re building an original AC Cobra, these hues are pretty far from anything Ford/Shelby/AC ever used.

      Best of success with your roadster’s restoration.

      All good wishes,


      • Thank you Brian :-) You make may day :-))))

      • Hi Lisbeth,

        If you’re serious about using House of Kolor paint, I can put you in touch with a House of Kolor representative in Holland. May I pass your email address to him, or shall I provide his contact information to you? Please let me know.

        All the best,


        • I am happy if you pass my imail adress to him. I am realy serious about using House og Kolor paint. My AC Cobra is renovated this days and after Eastern it will bee painted. I live in Oslo – Norway.
          All the best and thank you from the deep of my heart for helping me :-) Lisbeth

  • Great build, beautiful car..Dave

  • Joseph Harrison

    Mr. Brian, You built a beautiful car! I soon hope I get the
    chance to see it in person. Please tell us when and where
    to view your car. J.P.Harrison

    • Hi Joseph,

      We don’t have any plans beyond the FFR HB Cruise-In 2012 on Saturday, April 28. However, we’ll be sure to post future show dates on my automotive enthusiast magazine on the internet – http://www.RedlineReview.com.

      Thanks for the kind words about the car. We had fun building her, as you can imagine. :-)



  • That turned out absolutely amazing!

  • Hi Devin,

    Thank you! We did our best.

    All good wishes,


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