Ok, to start off my name is Evan
Small and I live in Garrison, NY, a small town on the Hudson
River about an hour north of NYC. I'm 18 years old and I go to Carnegie Mellon
to study mechanical engineering. I currently drive a stock 96 mustang
gt convertible. Over the 2001 summer I plan on building a Factory
Five 427 cobra component car using a 1988 mustang lx as a
donor car. My dad and I choose factory five because the kit is
cheap, they are close by, there is tons of support online, and
mainly because they have an excellent product whose quality is, for
the most part, excellent. If you don't believe me, go by
their factory one time and check out the cars they have in
various stages and their manufacturing process. I've gone the
donor route because it is cheap and easy compared to buying a
new engine and drivetrain and searching a yard for other parts.
The mustang parts are good till at least 200,000 miles and I
will not be driving the car too hard anyway. I will stick with
the efi setup because it is more reliable. Before this project I
restored two motorcycles and the carbs constantly supplied me
with problems. I personally don't like smelling like gasoline
for a week because the float bowls overflow and get gas all over
me! Plus, why mess with something that works. Yes, I agree that
the cobra air cleaner looks nicer, but I don't think it looks
$1000 plus many headaches nicer. Anyway, this car is meant to be
driven, not stared at with the hood open trying to figure out
As far as the build goes, I will be following the manual as
closely as possible with only a few modifications. My goal is to
build the car for under 18K and be done with the basic build by
August 2001. However, I'm not going to rush through any of the
steps because, from experience, it will only give me problems
down the road that will waste even more time. Body work might
have to wait till a vacation from school because of time
I will be documenting the teardown and build on this site to
help current and future builders through the tough parts.
Through my experience I've learned that build sites are the best
source of information because of the pictures and tips each
builder supplies. Of course, cobraforum.com,
ffcobra.com and other
build sites are excellent places to get information on building
this awesome car.
This project is being funded by my dad because this is his dream
car. It works both ways because I love the mechanics of the
project and my dad loves the car. So, I will build most of it,
and he will drive, and hopefully take care of it!
Well its past the summer of 2001 and I am 90% done with the car.
All that's left now is body work and paint. I would have
finished sooner but I got a really cool summer job that took up
a lot of my time. I worked for bob
akin motorsports, a vintage race shop that restores and race
preps vintage race cars. Basically my job was to clean the cars
at the track and fillem up with gas during pit stops. Not much
work on the cars but I did do some machining on damaged parts.
Next summer I will probably work there as a mechanic so then I
will get to work on the cars. Doing body work over the winter
and getting it painted black when I finish. Oh well, school
occupies all my time now so I have to wait till vacation to
finish it up and get on the road.
Well I'm turning 20 soon and I have finally finished up the car
just in time for winter :( I am slowly updating the site to
reflect the new stuff! Some bad news last summer. My boss, Bob
Akin, died in a race car accident so last year was my last year
at the race shop. Currently looking for new employment for next
summer [ if anyone wants to hire me give me a call :) ] Enjoy
the site and email me with any questions....evan
After a looong break I have finally remembered to update this
page. I just turned 23, and am currently getting my masters
degree in ME at Stanford Univ. This place is amazing and
beautiful and the weather is great and the girls.... As an
undegrad I took a 2 year detour into the data storage field. I
did research on phase change memories (ala DVD) and went so far
as having a paper accepted to the journal of applied physics.
But alas, I am back into cars since I have began working on a hybrid automatic air suspension for a porsche
911 turbo race car. Building the cobra gave me most of the
skills I needed to work on this new project.
as always, feel free to
email me with any questions/comments/suggestions
esmall .at. stanford .dot.