2014 London Cobra Show Report

The 2014 London Cobra Show headlined last Saturday on Main Street in downtown London, Ohio.  Think 1950’s Americana small town USA complete with the annual Strawberry Festival, and add in almost 200 custom-built C-car replicas and you have one FUN day.  The fact that the event raises almost $100,000 for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation makes this a truly special event.

This year, the month of June has been jam packed with shows and events for Factory Five.  This year’s Hot Rod Power Tour was moved back a week, and our Open House was the following day.  We also had a car on the west coast with Motor Trend Magazine driving from Seattle, WA to Monterrey, CA.  So when it came time to staff the London Cobra Show, Factory Five was fresh out of crew.  I didn’t mind flying solo, plus I had Chris Ronni who drove the big rig out to help me at the show.  Scott from the Build School joined our band of two, and we spent the entire day talking cars and showing off the new 289 USRRC Roadster.

I took my daughter Jenny out to the London Cobra Show back in 2001 when she was 2 years old.  Now she is 15, about to turn 16, and is getting ready to get her license!

Attendees at the LCS were honored to meet legendary Cobra racer Allen Grant and Coupe designer Pete Brock.  Allen found the 289 USRRC Roadster to be a perfect fit!

One of the most fun parts of my job is that I get to meet exceptional people like Mr. Allen Grant.  This year, Allen was a special guest at the event.

Purists know that the Daytona Coupe was built was built on a 289 chassis and won the 1965 FIA World Championship.  I brought along my trusty old #5 which is a Gen 1 Factory Five Coupe that has spent almost 10 years at track events and being flogged around the country.

At 9 AM, the cars rolled in en mass to line the Main Street of London, Ohio.


Factory Five Racing Mk4 Owner Jeff Kliener came to London with Matt Dougherty (who I barely recognized!).  Matt’s father, Mark Doughtery, worked at Factory Five when Matt was just a little shaver.  Mark is The Traveling Builder who has helped countless Factory Five owners with their builds.

Jeff’s car is flat black with gloss black stripes.  I believe that is primer, and Jeff said that he was going to get it painted, but he kind of likes it the way it is.  The cool thing about this year’s show is in addition to Jeff’s car, there was two other Factory Five’s that had not yet been painted and were in as-shipped red gel-coat.

Chris and I set-up the Factory Five display which included this jet black Mk4 that was built on the TV Show “Detroit Muscle”, our brand new 289 USRRC Roadster, a Mk4 rolling chassis, and my all-time favorite Type 65 Coupe #5.

If you are starting to loose faith in our country, look no further than Don Schuffert who built his Factory Five Mk4 Roadster for his wife Holly, did all of the custom engine work and build himself, and just recently, while the car has not even been painted yet, ran a 10.0 second 1/4 mile at 136 MPH.  She named the car “Ashley” and calls the car “Bad Ash”.  The engine is a custom-built twin-turbo small block producing north of 750 HP.  The cool part of the story is that during customer rides, C-cars were not allowed to exceed 60 MPH in about 200 feet.  His car hit 93 MPH before being asked not to run any more!

Every bit of this twin-turbo engine work was custom fabricated.

I spent most of the day in the booth talking to customers, but when I got a chance to check out cars in the show, I was BLOWN away with the quality and craftsmanship of the Factory Five presents.  I love the S/C dash layout of this well-built Factory Five customer car.

Scott from the Build School (center) was a life saver and spent the entire day talking to customers in the Factory Five booth.

I was asked to take the Miss Strawberry Festival young lady for a blast down the street.  She loved the Coupe, so that’s the car we took.  Here’s a quick video taken by customer Guero Ramirez at the event and posted on Factory Five’s Facebook page.

Dave from the Ohio Cobra Club worked tirelessly during the event.

The Factory Five booth was busy the entire day and it was great to meet a lot of customers who had driven their cars and friends.

I ran into Factory Five customer Sten J., whose red Mk3 has over 35,000 miles on it, up at the Wisconsin Dells car show.  Sten lives in Illinois and drove down with a group from Chicago in their Factory Fives.

The weather was cloudy and misty in the morning, which may have affected attendance.  By noon, the sun came out and the 289 USRRC Roadster paint came to life!

The London Cobra Show is so much more than my brief summary can describe.  For the most part, I was spending time at the Factory Five booth, and I didn’t get enough time to visit with guys and check out of the amazing Factory Fives that were at the event.  Next year, I plan on bringing Jenny and participating in the Monday track event since one day in London is nowhere near enough time!

Special thanks to everyone who helped to raise money at this event.  Saturday evening during the awards dinner, the London Cobra Show presented The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation with a check for $60,000.