Why a Crendon Cobra Replica?

I wanted a Cobra replica

hen I decided I wanted to own a Cobra replica I read many write ups and articles about the Cobra replica manufacturers in the UK. All I knew is that I wanted a jag based kit with an American V8 in it - that's all really. So I had an open mind as to which manufacturer I would eventually order from. I visited kit car shows and talked to the owners and manufacturers alike. Eventually two kits stood out from all the others. Firstly, there was the RAM Cobra which has Carroll Shelby's stamp of approval on it, and secondly, there was the DAX which is a very popular kit.

So when did the Crendon come into this?

hat really changed my mind was a book called Cobra Replicas by Iain Ayre. This book had in depth reviews and analysis on about 18 Cobra replicas. It was in this book that I came across the Crendon Replica - I liked what I read :

' Crendon is one of the elite band of replica Cobras to feature the massive four-inch twin drainpipes of the original AC Cobra, but the price is more representative of a good class jag and US V8 replica. The car is as authentic as it can reasonably be, given that it uses jag running gear.'

' Having got onto the subject of money, how does the CR427 shape up? Well, it's not cheap. Nor is it as expensive as it probably ought to be. The workmanship is impressive, and the commitment to giving customers a good deal is part of the price. There are only a few of these cars in existence so far, and they're pretty well hand built. The aluminium inner body panels are fitted largely in the same way as the original Cobra. '


y wife Jill and I decided to visit these three manufacturers - DAX, RAM and Crendon. DAX were very helpful and took a lot of time to show us around their demonstrator car and factory, I even paid £10 for the build manual, I was that keen on the car. However, as time passed and I did more research I started to noticed little things about the kit which I didn't like. For instance, it had external hinges on the boot which not only made it look unsightly and spoilt the lines of the car but it was not on the originals. By now I'd decided I wanted to build a replica as near as possible to the original Cobra specifications. Other things that put me off the Dax were; the binnacle and switchgear around the steering wheel. This was from a Ford Sierra - as was the handbrake lever. These small things slowly put me off the kit.

We then visited the Crendon factory. Owned and run by one man, John Kerr, it soon became apparent that he was a skilled craftsman and knew what he was talking about. He didn't try to sell us anything and we spent over two hours there, drinking coffee and talking cars. We were given a ride in the demonstrator without having to ask. The demonstrator was a dream of a car, no rattles, a joy to drive with plenty of go from the willing V8. When Jill returned from her run out, she said with a big smile on her face, "I want one of these." I think we were sold, we came away very pleased with the discovery of Crendon.

Our final port of call was to RAM. Even though we had perhaps made up our minds that we were going to place an order with Crendon we tried to keep an open mind. We were first put off by the fact that the guys who were assembling customer's cars were smoking while they were working. Ash and cigarette burns must come as part of the kit! This seemed typical of their approach. We got the distinct impression that they didn't care if we bought a car or not. There was no care of attention to detail. The wiring behind the dashboard, whilst it will never be work of art, was just a mess of jumbled wires.

Jill and I want to do a lot of touring in our Cobra so we decided to have rear exhaust pipes, as apposed to the more popular and more noisy, side mounted exhausts. When I asked did they have a car with underslung exhausts I was shown a car which had them fitted, but only had about 3 inches of ground clearance. This, I was assured could be increased by jacking up the suspension! When I sat in their demonstrator I couldn't see out of the windscreen. The top of the screen frame came level with my eye line. After murmurs of we can lower the seat or put less padding in it, Jill and I made our retreat. It seemed to us that if we bought a kit from them there would be a lot of messing around and adapting to made do. Crendon would have our order, and so on the 12th August I placed an order for a Crendon Replica.

If you're interested in a Crendon, John's contact details are:

Crendon Replicas
Unit S2 Wescott Venture Park
HP18 0XB
Tel: 01296 651985
website: www.crendonreplicas.com