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clinkadink 7th June 2019 08:08

My first build: Kobra
My first post, although been admiring all the fascinating work on here for a couple of years now. It amazes me at the patience, passion and skill that exists in this forum.

Building a car has always been a dream of mine. Conventional kit cars, whilst my goal, is a lot of work, and I think a step too far for my limited skill set (and garage!). That's where I want to be some day, but when I saw the Kobra kit, it seemed like a great way to enter the world of kit cars.

I met with Richard Noon, Nubodi, in late 2016, where I saw the Kobra kit for the first time. Soon after, I had bought myself a BMW Z3 2.0L, 2000, off eBay for £700, and the kit was delivered (November 2016). In hind sight, I should have waited to Spring 2017 - but I was a 'kid in a sweet shop'.

The Z3 had lacquer pealing in several places, hence the price I guess. Other than that, it was mechanically sound and even came with an MOT.

clinkadink 7th June 2019 08:21

I made a start on removing the panels ...

I have a double garage, but it has the usual family bikes, lawnmower, bits and bobs crammed into it. It has 2 separate garage doors with a pillar in between. I quickly realised how much of a pain this was. Bottom line, I had little space.

Remove the rear wings. I was impressed by the condition underneath.

Boot, lights and bumper removed ...

Here you can see the space I had to work with. Need a bigger garage!

Finally the front stripped. To get the garage door to close, the front of the car touches the front bench. Not ideal.

clinkadink 7th June 2019 08:27

Make a start on the new body now, starting with the side wings. I wanted the classic look, with AC Cobra louvred vents, so I remove the section and prep.

Vent panel removed ...

clinkadink 7th June 2019 08:32

More prep to remove the seams.

Starting to take shape ...

Fitted to the car ...

Paul L 7th June 2019 09:00

clinkadink - Welcome to the forum. :cool:

Looking forward to you filling us in on all the work you have done.

Without giving the game away too much, are you finished now?

Good luck, Paul. :)

Did you really say my double garage is too small? :rolleyes:


clinkadink 7th June 2019 09:03

The Z3 mirrors are mounted towards the middle of the door. Yet the original cobra they mounted a lot further forward. I removed the mirrors and filled the holes.

I am using U-Pol B fibre glass filler (mainly) and body filler for the fine stuff. My skills are starting to be tested :ohwell:

Certainly past the point of no return ...

Repeat on the drivers side ...

clinkadink 7th June 2019 09:10


Originally Posted by Paul L (Post 100695)
clinkadink - Welcome to the forum. :cool:

Looking forward to you filling us in on all the work you have done.

Without giving the game away too much, are you finished now?

Good luck, Paul. :)

Did you really say my double garage is too small? :rolleyes:


Thanks Paul. No, not finished yet. But the bulk of the work has been completed. I should have added the build to the forum in 'real time'. Although, like Netflix, folks can now 'binge watch' a build without waiting weeks :razz:

Lol - yes, double garage is small. I even floored out the garage attic half way through the build and chucked a load of stuff up there. Still not enough space to swing a cat.

clinkadink 7th June 2019 09:17

Start work on relocating the fuel cap. I used Car Builders Solutions for all the bits.
  1. 90 Degree 50mm I.D. Fuel Fill Hose, £28.80
  2. Heavy Duty Flexible 50mm I.D. Fuel Fill Hose 1 Yard Length, £45.60
  3. 3 1/2" BSP Aston Polished Alloy Fuel Cap Kit, £240.00
  4. Stainless Steel Hose Clip 60-80mm Sold Singly x 2, £3.00
  5. 51mm Beaded Aluminium Hose Joiner, £11.40
  6. Classic Bullet Mirror Chrome Plated Brass 100mm x 2, £38.40

clinkadink 7th June 2019 10:12

Time for the Aston Martin fuel cap. It weighs a ton! I have to insert the fuel cap recess (seperate optional GRP panel provided in the kit).

But first, I fit the rear end of the Kobra.

Start cutting hole for the new fuel cap recess ...

Then fill, sand [repeat] ...

clinkadink 7th June 2019 10:15

A bit of spray filler ...

More filling, sanding and then primer.

The cap is just resting in its recess at present, its not fixed ... and will face the other way.

clinkadink 7th June 2019 10:22

Start working on the doors. I must admit, I struggled get the old mirror holes completely flat. It took several attempts until I got it to an acceptable standard.

At this stage, I invested in air tools and proper compressor. Until now, I was using typical DIY tools (which I am sure will still do the job).

Loads still to do obviously, but coming along. Trying to pay extra attention to the gaps between the panels.

clinkadink 7th June 2019 10:30

Yay! All the lights have arrived.

I used ebay mainly to source the parts. The shopping list was provided by Richard Noon, Nubodi. Fair dos, it was a life saver. @Richard, thanks :eusa_clap:

In case anyone needs the shopping list, you can access it here.

clinkadink 7th June 2019 10:38

Time to offer up the bonnet. Need a bit more space, so drive her out of the garage. I take the opportunity to take a few photos of how the kit is fitting at this stage. Its about 4 weeks into the build, mainly weekends and the odd evening.

clinkadink 7th June 2019 10:45

With the bonnet in place, and some minor adjustments to the original BMW bonnet hinges, I notice how bad the gaps are between the bonnet and the doors.

I am still trying to get the hang of filling and sanding. This whole build has obviously been a learnining curve. I cannot count the times where I pack up each night, chuffed with the work done that day ... only to return the next morning and think "that's naff" ... and redo it.

clinkadink 7th June 2019 10:49

I down tools in December 2016, its -2 degrees in the garage. Sadly, I do not recommence until July 2017. No excuses, I am lazy. I have many old school reports ... "Chris has the potential, but is easily distracted".

The boot lid goes on ...

clinkadink 7th June 2019 10:54

At this point, I notice the height/curveture of the left rear arch is flatter than the right. I decide to build it up (and hope for the best) ...

clinkadink 7th June 2019 10:56

Back to door gaps. Fill, sand, curse ... repeat ...

clinkadink 7th June 2019 11:01

Spent a lot of time on the gaps. I am sure this is true of all builds, but being the first one, I didn't appreciate how much attention is required. But if I don't do it, it will haunt me for ever more (even if no-one else spots it).

July 2017, this is how it looks. 9 months since the start of the build, but probably, 2 months of that is working on the car.

clinkadink 7th June 2019 11:16

Time to start on the lights. Exciting bit, as by now, I am tired of filling/sanding, and need to recharge my enthusiasm :)

Wiring the lights into the original BMW Z3 wiring loom may sound a little daunting to some. All I used was a multi meter and tested each pin of the original connector block, when switching the lights on/off, or pressing the brake pedal. Once I saw 12v on the meter, I knew I had the right wire and connected them to the new lights, using heat shrink or waterproof connector blocks.

My advice to any other new builders is to carefully plan this stage; double check all your connections before you make any cuts, sketch out a diagram if it helps (I did), and consider whether the item you are connecting will need to be removed at a later stage of the build or operation.

clinkadink 7th June 2019 11:20

The battery light on the car came on. I then found the alternator had packed in. I also noticed (a little late, granted) that the belt was in poor condition. I replaced both, and the light went out.

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