Workshop Profile: Absolute Pace

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Absolute Pace Cobra replica Absolute Pace Cobra replica Absolute Pace Cobra replica
Semi-monocoque chasis Semi-monocoque chasis Semi-monocoque chasis
The LSA is a neat fit and Craig White favours its compact size The LSA is a neat fit and Craig White favours its compact size The LSA is a neat fit and Craig White favours its compact size
Managing Director, Craig White Managing Director, Craig White Managing Director, Craig White

Fancy a DIY performance car? The team at Absolute Pace in Queensland build Cobra and GT40 replicas among other things and use the latest in engineering and production techniques to get close to that elusive factory look

 

Absolute Pace, Qld

QUICK COBRA

Though much of the industry cringes at the term, kit cars have been with us for a long time and have seen their fair share of ups and downs over the years.

With the best intentions in the world, some suppliers struggle to get their act together, while others manage to get close to that elusive factory look.

The folk at Absolute Pace in Queensland, who build Cobra and GT40 replicas, among other things, reckon they fall into the latter category. Looking at the product, you can see their point.

According to Managing Director Craig White, "We’ve taken a modern approach in the design, engineering and construction of this car. We use computer-aided design and modern production techniques. It has a full aluminium semi-monocoque chassis that’s TIG welded. The body is a carbon and Kevlar material.

"The suspension is all bespoke. It’s manufactured for that car – it’s all aluminium with CNC billet, a pushrod style like you see in race cars.

Absolute -pace -1-500 

"We’ve gone through the whole car and made it so most people can enjoy it and be comfortable in it. We can actually fit very very large drivers in it – 6’5"-plus and that’s through smart design.

"The body shape is an accurate Cobra shape, which is not that common in the market worldwide.

"It’s really a production level car. It doesn’t look like a kit car. We manufacture a lot of the components, so it doesn’t look like something we bought cheap off the shelf to finish it off.

"We have a choice of engines. They can either go with the more traditional older Ford engine – a Windsor from five litre to over seven."

The company can also shoe-horn in a current Coyote V-eight – normally aspirated or supercharged. However the folk in charge tend to favour a GM LS series (with or without forced induction), for its combination of compact size when compared to the Coyote, and current technology. That may seem like heresy to some, but you can understand their view once you scope the installation of the LSA 6.2lt supercharged in the demo car.

Absolute -pace -2-500

"Most of the gearboxes are five or six-speed Tremecs," says White. "We use an aluminium ZF differential centre. You’ll see the same centre used in the VF Commodore. It runs an 8.5 inch crown wheel and comes in lots of different versions, such as with shot-peened gearsets, LSD and so-on. The rest of the rear end is custom fabricated.

"Currently we use an MGB steering rack, because of the versatility and it’s a sports car ratio. It’s very similar to what Cobras originally ran, it actually works well.

"Our standard brake package is four-piston Brembos front and rear. We start with 300mm vented and slotted rotors for the 15-inch wheels. From there we upgrade to larger options including six-piston Brembos.

"If the customer goes for a larger 17 or 18-inch wheel size, we supply them with an upgraded suspension package to take advantage of the better suspension geometry. Generally when they go to those sizes they’re looking for more focus on performance and race use."

The car in the pics claims to weigh around 1050kg and produce 650 horses. As a ballpark figure, it would cost an owner around $100,000 in parts, which is everything. Add another $30k if you want Absolute Pace to build it. It does however come with a 600-page instruction manual and ultra-clear labelling and organisation of components. According to White, "It can be built by anyone with a reasonable mechanical knowledge.

Absolute -pace -3-500

"Nearly all our customers are building the cars themselves, but if they need assistance we can help out."

"The registration process has changed in recent times and we now run under a fairly standard process. It’s generally an engineering inspection and there can be other tests such as for noise or emissions.

"We provide all the main testing docu mentation and certification for the main components in the car, which is dozens and dozens of documents. These days it’s actually a very quick and simple process."

"The proviso is that if you were building your own design from scratch, you would have to jump through a number of hoops to get it approved. We have the paperwork and documentation ready for the engineers before they go on about the beam and torsion tests, the seats are ADR compliant, the headlights, the indicators…all the way through."


KNOW YOUR COBRAS

AC Cobras were a marriage of the AC Ace, originally powered by a Bristol straight six, and the input of the legendary Carroll Shelby who asked AC to modify the car to accept Ford’s 260ci small block V-eight. Good examples are now million dollar cars.

MARK I
260 or 289ci engine, 1962-63;

MARK II
289ci, 1963-65;

MARK III
289 or 427ci, 1965-67.

 

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