The joy of a classic without the repair bills

If you’re not familiar with Superformance, then it might be worth taking a look at what the company does. Dealing in high-end nostalgia, but without all the baggage that classic cars can also bring along for the unsuspecting owner, Superformance gives us the classic racing car of the sixties in ‘rolling chassis’ replica form – they call them replicars, naturally enough. The company provides a complete car minus transmission and engine.

Superformance MkIII-R Cobra

Superformance say that they have the advantage over your average kit car build (an inevitable comparison), with all parts being brand new and built specifically to sit on the chassis supplied – and they emphasise that what they provide should not be confused with being part of the kit car fraternity.

The Superformance MKIII-R is one such example of the quality of their work. The MKIII-R is a replica of the classic much loved and sought after Shelby Cobra. In fact, Superformance is the only company that is able to build a replica Cobra with a genuine licence from Carroll Shelby Licensing.

Superformance MkIII-R Cobra

The timing of this couldn’t be much better; last year the movie Ford v Ferrari was released starring Matt Damon (as Carroll Shelby) and Christian Bale. The plot revolving around the ambitious desire to finally topple the dominant Ferrari team and win Le Mans ’66 – the latter part being the moniker under which the film has also been released in some parts of Europe.

A friend once said to me as I pondered a replica Porsche 356 Speedster that was designed to sit on a Beetle chassis “…but you’ll always know deep down it’s not the real thing…” and in many ways he was right; it’s like a well made fake Rolex. Yet, as time moves on, the enthusiasm to be repairing a never-ending tide of creeping rust that the average affordable genuine classic will happily provide for free becomes less appealing. This is where a high-end replica (or replicar) can prove its worth. The reassurance of a solid – and indeed new – build leaves you with just the joy of using it remaining. And being high-end and as well respected as a Superformance replica, you can delight with pride in putting right those fooled by how accurate your replica is.

Superformance MkIII-R Cobra

The MKIII-R Cobra body is made of fibreglass, but look a bit closer and you will see some updates on the original shape to aid aerodynamics. Certain shaping has been tweaked as in the design of the hood scoop, and there is a wide rear diffuser out back and the addition of a front splitter.

Hiding underneath this striking Atlantic Blue and anthracite Cobra body is adjustable Bilstein coil suspension up front, with coil-overs at the rear. Despite the vintage looks, the dials are all Superformance branded electronic devices. The seats are finished in leather, double-stitched in the same colour as the body, and a roof, plus air conditioning, are just two of the options. Finally, the whole beautiful thing sits on 18-inch alloys.

Superformance MkIII-R Cobra

If you decide to take the plunge, the price for the Superformance MKIII-R Cobra starts at $79,900 – but remember, this does not include engine or transmission. You can get installation kits for engines such as the Ford 302 plus 5-speed Ford top-loader or Tremec 4-speed transmissions – CEO Lance Stander suspects that they will also see a few examples with Coyote 5-litre V8 engines too (you can create an album on the Superformance website and upload images of your pride and joy).

Ordering is now open, but the company will only be building a limited number of 20 MKIII-R Cobras each year.

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Doc: “The way I see it, if you're gonna build a time machine into a car, why not do it with some style?”

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