Customer Dan V.’s wife surprised him with a birthday photoshoot with their Factory Five MkIV Roadster! Dan let us in on the story behind his beautiful car, and we want to share it with you.
“My wife Lori and I, along with our 4 children, Caleb, 24, Jonah, 22, Nathan, 20 and Leah, 18 decided in late summer of 2019 to consider a project car.
The thought of restoring an old car or doing anything car-related was daunting because none of us have any experience working on cars. In fact, the first oil change I ever did on a vehicle was the 500 mile break-in oil on my Factory Five Roadster!
It was determined, during a family meeting, that building an all new vehicle would be the preferred route. After some research, we decided that building a Factory Five Racing MKIV would be the best option for us.
Factory Five Tech, Dan Golub was a great help to me, and spent a lot time educating us on the different options for the build. He also put me in touch with Ryan Valins from Sudbury, Ontario. Before making the final decision, I made the 5 hour trip to see Ryan, who promised me a ride in his own FFR car. What a ride!!! I was sold….this was the car for us.
We placed our order in June of 2020 (a mere 2 months after the start of COVID) and waited patiently for the kit to be ready. Of course travel restrictions prevented us from crossing the CDN/USA border, so plan B was set in motion. My brother Ben, a long haul transport driver, borrowed a flat bed trailer from his company and on October 30, 2020, delivered the package to our home in Lynden, Ontario.
It was quite a scene that day with neighbors, friends and family coming over to see what the Vandenburgs “had gotten themselves into.”
I’m pleased to say that within 6 months we had a running “go-kart”. The 347EFI package with Tremec 5 speed manual transmission from Blueprint engines has been flawless.
My brother-in-law, Len Timmermans, a licensed mechanic, was a great help during the entire build. He came over almost every weekend to help and double check our work on the car.
With his assistance, we slid the engine/tranny package into the cobra, wired it up and turned the key. It fired up on the first try and has been great ever since.
Ryan Valins was awesome and I called him every week to ask questions and provide updates. On his recommendation we completed the build with the gel coat red finish, safetied the car and drove it for about 800 miles. That process allowed us to complete some interior work as well as work out any minor adjustments such as preferred ride height and alignment.
Colour scheme for our car was decided after attending the FFR Open House in June of 2022. We loved all the cars there and saw plenty of variety, but we really like the vintage look.
Lori and I decided to go with the Vintage color of Brittany Blue that was available in the mid 60’s for the Cobra and added the Wimbledon stripes for that real race car look. Our long time friend, John Dryden, completed all the body work and paint for us and it really is a stunning result. Lori and I certainly underestimated the amount of attention this car gets anywhere we go….especially when she drives!!! (We put a sliding driver seat in so Lori can comfortably reach the pedals.)
We have been to a few local car shows and I can say without bias that this car attracts a lot of attention.. We have both spent many years motorcycling together and we both love riding. Driving this car is a real treat!
For some added convenience we installed a removable, leather top tranny cover with stainless steel cup holders, and outfitted the dash with 12V charging stations for our phones.
With the IRS rear suspension, stainless side pipes and 17″ Halibrand wheels this car not only looks great, but has tons of power and handles really well. Mickey Thompson tires help to keep us on the road and provide real good stick in the corners.
Our car was completed in February of 2023 and we have been driving it every chance we get. One of my fondest memories is picking up my dad in late spring. Dad has gone through 2 kidney transplants and has overall health concerns. God has been good to our family and given Dad many more years than any of us expected, but in December of 2022, we thought we would lose him. By God’s grace, he bounced back and I’m thankful that he is doing well today. In August will celebrate his 82nd birthday.
That bright spring day we managed to get Dad in the car, and the two of us headed down the road. We laughed together, we cried together, and I’m just so thankful that he could experience this with me.
Many have asked me about the build and would I do anything different. My answer is always the same. “This car is great and I wouldn’t change a thing, although I might build another one.”
A 65 Daytona Coupe is on the radar.
I want to say thanks to Dave Smith and the team at Factory Five for making this possible for someone like me that literally has no experience. Life for our family is about serving God, loving your family and having fun along the way. May God bless you all as you continue to help make dreams come true.
All the best,