Build or Buy


Should I build a replica myself or should I buy one ?

This is a question that only the Cobra enthusiast themself can answer. And the answer is different for every enthusiast. This page is not meant to provide an answer, but to provide some input to help you make your own decision. What ever you decide, make sure you meet some people from the club and ask them about their experience.

Whichever way you decide to go - one thing is certain - help from the club will save you time, money and frustration.

I think I want to build my own Cobra. OK...then consider this:-


  • Expect it to take at least  12-24 months from order to completion.
  • Expect it to cost at least $100k to complete a painted, registered car no matter how skilled you are.
  • The kits vary a lot and meet different needs (racing vs cruising) so shop around and meet the kit company and make sure you can work with them.
  • Consider how "hands on" you are. You can save a lot of money by doing work yourself (rather than outsourcing it) and outsourcing everything can make it a more expensive project.
  • Use the internet. There are a lot of people out there who have done what you are considering. Check the forums (on this site and others) and ask some newbie questions - usually - you will get great advice
  • Think about registration. NSW is the hardest state in Australia to get a newly built Cobra registred. Talk to engineers yourself - there is a lot of bad advice out there and it's not all true.
  • Consider how satifying it is to have built your own Cobra. (it is very, very satisfying !)
  • Be careful buying a "half finished" project. You may discover too late that it has significant flaws that are expensive to fix. Club members can help give advice.

I don't have the time to build, I want to buy one. OK...consider this

  • Prices vary but expect to pay between $80k and $250k for a replica.
  • Are you looking for a cruiser, a show and shine winner or a car that is fast on the track?
  • If you are being offered a "Genuine Cobra" for $120K. It's not a genuine, it's a replica.
  • Talk to the club and see if you can drive or take a ride a member's car before you go shopping. Driving a Cobra is something of an acquired taste. They are generally pretty "raw". That's part of the appeal for most Enthusiasts
  • Not all state's are equal. A Cobra registered in WA may not be able to get rego in NSW. Check an Engineer first. Don't believe what the seller tells you.

I want to have someone else build me a car

  • Fantastic, you can have your dream car built and make it exactly what you want.
  • Most manufacturers will build a car for you to your budget and specifications. They can also support you to get registration.
  • Having someone build your car probably adds at least $50k to the build -minimum!
  • You still have the same Engineering and registration issues to consider if you build yourself - there are no short cuts.
  • Some manufacturers provide a "turnkey minus" car that has most of the build completed overseas. A good option for some people.

I want to import a car from overseas

  • Unless that car is old and meets the criteria for registration be very careful......

Still not sure?

Join the club, Come to one of our breakfasts or runs to talk to members who have done it all already!