Factory Five Holds a Party

My first day on the Cape was also a day of celebration at Factory Five.  So I drove back over the canal and stopped by their shop in Wareham, MA to see the show.

It was full of customers with their roadsters and coupes as well as the newest F5 kit, the mid-engined GTM.

While I am sure that this rankles Carol Shelby to no end the participants were really enjoying themselves.  Lined up with their completed cars, trading stories and experiences, they were having a great time.

The variations of the roadsters is amazing.  I complete the Factory Five build school back in 2005 and am still fascinated by the variety of ways that people can, and have, made their version very special and unique.

One guy had added some square bumps to his trunk lid because he had learned that when the team had showed up at LeMans to run they were confronted with a requirement that the trunk have a suitcase in it.  The story goes that they put the standard suitcase in the trunk and slammed the lid a few times until the aluminum bent enough to fit, leaving the impressions of the corners of the suitcase in the trunk lid.

The GTM cars were spectacular to look over.  So much ingenuity went into each build.  Many builders used the Z06 suspensions and as a result they had to enlarge the fenders to accommodate the larger wheels and tires.  They also added scoops to provide additional intake to the engine.  They then added a scoop to the roof in order to gain additional cooling air in to the interior of the car.

Browsing the coupes, I met Willie Hough who not only brought his own coupe, but he manufactured the scoops and larger fenders for the GTM cars.

Willie, it turned out, knew John Harkness, and old friend of mine who used to own a shop in Marblehead, MA that I would used to balance and line bore engines for me.  Willie told me how he first met John and how John got him involved in racing.  They both worked on the TransAm team of Sam Posey in the 70’s.  It’s always surprising how connected the racing community is.

There was a dyno at the show and owners were taking advantage of that to see just what kind of numbers their cars were putting out.  It also meant that the crowd was treated to the roar of the big V8 engines as they strained to get the rollers spinning.

The event had a huge turnout and it was fun to see all the enthusiastic owners and admirers.  It was a hot day and along toward mid-day I jumped back into my Evo and headed back to the Cape where I will spend the next couple of weeks.

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2 Responses to Factory Five Holds a Party

  1. Noel says:

    I was thinking about this event on Saturday while spreading 2000 pounds of bark mulch. Been gone for two weeks and the chores pile up! Would love to have made it down.

    I would love to build a Factory Five (there are 3 or 4 in the small town I live in) but there’s no time in my life to take on this big a project. Plus my wife wants us to build a cabin in Maine before I get a toy car. Women are SO practical.

    As for Carroll Shelby, he needs to get over the fact that the guys at Factory Five are doing what he never thought of doing and have built a real community around these cars. Shel has sold his name and the Cobra name so many times he’s probably lost count. There are plenty of people out there who think a Cobra is some hot-rodded Mustang, but those of us who grew up in the ’60s know that the real Cobras are the roadster and the Daytona. And that the Factory Five versions are as close to the real thing, and the spirit of them, as you can get.

  2. Looks like you had better weather there than we had at the Newport Car Show yesterday! None of the Cobras or other sports cars showed.

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