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Thread: How Long?

  1. #1
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    Question How Long?

    How long did you drive your Cobra before you had a fender bender? I had my first one today. Nobody to blame but myself. I was heading south on Highway 1 just north of Santa Cruz(my hometown). Pulled out to pass a very slow tourist. Well, the road was much wetter than I thought from the drizzle. Back end broke loose left to right a couple of times. Thought I had it saved but no such luck. The last swing brought the right rear corner of the car into hard contact with the guard rail. It was a hard enough hit to activate my inertia switch on the fuel injection which turned off the fuel pump. I was afraid to get out and look. It wasn't really all that bad. I was surprised. There some scuff marks just below the fuel cap and some curb rash on the rim. When I had the body painted many years ago at Street Rod Painter(Ken Pike). I had him do hidden body mounts where the body was bonded to the frame mounts not with through bolts. The bonded mounts all broke loose so the body damage wasn't too bad. When they all broke it allowed the body to flex without breaking. After 15 years and 150k miles my luck ran out. Or my sometimes dubious decision making process caught up me. Yeah, that's it.

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    my only "real" Cobra is a 428 SCJ engine
    Glad it is not any worse. 150 thousand miles before this says you're doing pretty darn good.

  3. #3
    Administrator Ron77's Avatar
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    Marty,

    Sorry to hear about your accident but you have did really well and the damage doesn't sound all that bad. It certainly could have been a lot worse. Highway 1 has a tendency to surprise people with wet spots and especially where there are curves it seems. A little touch up and it will be as good as new. And like you when I had my Cobra I had extra mounting points plus a billet steel panel inside the doors so if I got hit in the side it would give more than the fiberglass door to help.

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  4. #4
    GROUCHY FUC***G OLD APE Silverback's Avatar
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    I was lucky I guess. Five years and 24,000 miles and I never damaged the body except for a couple rock chips that I was able to touch up.

    Sorry to hear about your damage but as Ron said it does not sound too bad. So chalk it up as a lessons learned and get it fixed and back on the road.

    However I am curious. What type of tires were you running?

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    I am running BF Goodrich TA. 15inch tires are either cheap or really expensive. I drive so much the a set of $2000 Avons are not in the budget. In the past I've tried Cooper Cobra's, Mikey Thompsons(they were dreadful) Firestone Indy Firehawk 500? which I really liked but they don't make in my size anymore. I had 17inch rims for a while but didn't care for the looks( I like tall sidewalls) but the roads in Santa Cruz mountains are more dirt like than pavement. I need the taller sidewalls for small bump compliance. I suppose if I bought some very high quality shocks I could get the compliance I'm after but that would cut into my gas and motel budget. After this crash I'm re-thinking this aspect. I know with 17's there is a lot more and better choices but.........they just don't look as good to me. Appearance or performance that is the conundrum.

  6. #6
    Moderator James Stern's Avatar
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    Marty,

    Sorry to hear about the accident. Slick roads and short wheel base cars are not a good mix. I used to run TA's but switched to Cooper Cobras and have never looked back.

    Jim
    The one line never heard in Heaven "Gee! I wish I had spent a little more time in the office."

  7. #7
    GROUCHY FUC***G OLD APE Silverback's Avatar
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    Hmmmmmmmm.

    At least to me tires were the one thing I refused to compromise on. They are the only thing touching the road (hopefully) and your life depends on them.

    When I bought my Cobra it had Goodyear GTII's on it. They were dangerous in my opinion. Went with the Goodyear BB's and loved them. When we decided to take our trip, I put on a set of the Avons. Great tires also, but if I had kept the Cobra I would have switched back to the BB's.

    My opinion is that the Cobra is a very high performance car and needs a high performance tire.

  8. #8
    Senior Member ACHiPo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by James Stern View Post
    Marty,

    Sorry to hear about the accident. Slick roads and short wheel base cars are not a good mix. I used to run TA's but switched to Cooper Cobras and have never looked back.

    Jim
    Ditto on my sympathy and endorsement of the Cooper Cobras. Glad you're ok. The worst part is how long it may take Ken to fix the damage.

    Hats off to the mileage on your car--that's quite a testament!

    I dodged a bullet shortly after I got my SPF, which had BFGs. I was driving on Old La Honda road (curvy CA mountain road north of Santa Cruz) in the spring and there was run-off across some of the corners. I was driving gently and below the speed limit. I rolled on the throttle coming out of a curve with water on the pavement and the ass came out into on-coming traffic. Fortunately I was able to correct it about a second before an oncoming Porsche would have hit me. Switched to Cooper Cobras a week later and it's like a totally different car--better dry and wet grip, better ride, and much better handling. I've heard Avons are fantastic, but can be pretty squirrelly on wet pavement not to mention expensive and fast-wearing.
    Last edited by ACHiPo; 06-25-2018 at 05:42 AM.

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    I think when I'm done with the TA's I'll go back to the Coopers. What surprised me were how bad the Micky Thompson ST's were. I though maybe just a different tread pattern than the Coopers seeing as how they are supposedly made in the same factory. I didn't even try to wear out the Thompson's. They were just all around sketchy. I'd read on TireRack.Com about the TA's being marginal in the wet but this was another level of bad seeing as how it was just drizzle on a straight road.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Sawdust's Avatar
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    Touch wood......... I have been driving for 7 years now and not a scratch. My Cobra also had the Goodyear GTII's on it when I bought it. They were a piece of crap, hard as a rock, no traction. I switched to the Mickey Thompson ST's and I love them. A huge difference! Warm them up for a couple of minutes then your good to go. Also great in the rain.

  11. #11
    Senior Member KING Nomad nomad's Avatar
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    Marty D, unfortunate that it happened at all, but I'm some glad that it wasn't worse.

    Much worse.……………..

    As far as myself, I share that tame ape's experience,

    rock chips only.
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    I run the Mickey Thompson SR's without issue but they are more than the ST's.

    Glad it was not any worse.

  13. #13
    Senior Member DanEC's Avatar
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    I'm running the MT STs and been very happy with them. Heard nothing but A+ comments on them from anyone until now. I understand that although generally the same as Cooper Cobras the MTs are supposed to have a slightly better/stickier thread compound. As a result they have a bit lower treadwear rating from memory. But both are very good.
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    Senior Member ACHiPo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marty D View Post
    I think when I'm done with the TA's I'll go back to the Coopers. What surprised me were how bad the Micky Thompson ST's were. I though maybe just a different tread pattern than the Coopers seeing as how they are supposedly made in the same factory. I didn't even try to wear out the Thompson's. They were just all around sketchy. I'd read on TireRack.Com about the TA's being marginal in the wet but this was another level of bad seeing as how it was just drizzle on a straight road.
    Like Dan I've heard nothing but good things about the Mickey Thompson S/Ts which match my experience with the Cooper Cobras. After trying to sort out the differences between the two, I finally called "both" companies (Cooper owns Mickey Thompson. They also own the Avon brand). Both people I talked to confirmed both brands are made on the same production line. The MT rep did claim the MTs were "higher performance" than the Coopers, but I asked how they could be if the wear ratings, tread pattern, and tread compounds were the same--he didn't have an answer.

    I'm wondering if your experience with the MTs was due to the age of the tires? I do know the Cooper Cobras are faster and easier to get, and a little less expensive than the MTs.

    The MTs have a rating of UTQG 440 A B for all sizes except the 295s, which are UTQG 440 A C.
    The Cooper Cobras also have a rating of 440 A B for all sizes except the 295s, which are AC as well.

    I wasn't sure about the difference between AB and AC, so I used Google. Basically the 295 wide tires from MT and Cooper have worse temperature ratings than the other sizes.

    Here's a description from Consumer Reports on the Universal Tire Quality Grading System:
    How does the UTQG work?
    Tread wear, for example, is not based on a mileage projection, but rather a numeric index of how well a tire wears in comparison to a reference tire. For instance, a tire rated at 200 will wear twice as long as a tire graded 100. That's good, but it doesn't tell how long the tire will last. For most consumers, the manufacturer tread-wear warranty in miles is not only more intuitive, but it also tends to be a better barometer since the manufacturer has to pay if the tire doesn't achieve the warranty promised.

    The traction grade looks at the level of grip on a wet surface. Most ultra-high-performance tires achieve the best grade: AA. Most car tires get the next best grade of A; less than 22 percent of the tires have a B grade; and only one tire (out of more than 2,400 models) has the honor of a C grade. Not much of a guide, but we certainly recommend buying a tire with no less than an A grade for traction.

    Designed during the advent of the radial tire, the temperature grade is a measure of how well a tire will resist heat buildup. More than a third of the tires achieve the highest grade of A, followed by 59 percent achieving a B grade, and about 11 percent get the lowest grade of C. Look for a tire with a B grade or higher.

    I echo everyone else's sentiments that I'm happy for you it wasn't worse.

    Evan
    Last edited by ACHiPo; 06-25-2018 at 06:51 PM.

  15. #15
    Senior Member Shootnride's Avatar
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    Just to put in my two cents about tires, my car also had the Goodyear GT's on it when I bought the car and they were terrible. I think tires made of black walnut would have had as much traction. I put on M/T SR's and was pleased with the traction, but was never able to achieve the stance that I wanted for the car with the tire sizes that I purchased. I sold the SR's and bought a set of M/T ST's and have been very happy with them. I autocrossed the car with these tires and thought that they performed quite well for a 440TW tire.

    Ted
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  16. #16
    Moderator James Stern's Avatar
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    As alluded to during this thread; I think tire age has more to do with hardness than anything else. The T/A's that I replaced were 10 years old. The changeover to the Cooper Cobras was instantly noticeable.
    The one line never heard in Heaven "Gee! I wish I had spent a little more time in the office."

  17. #17
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    x2 on the hardness/aging, James.

    Years ago I had 295-15 Yokohamas on the rear. Probably during years 6-8 they had become hard enough that I could instantly roast the tires in 1st and 2nd gear by nailing the throttle. I replaced them with the Goodyear Eagle racing tires that provided an entirely different level of adhesion. I have the 3rd set of Goodyears in my truck bed now, just waiting for my favorite tire guy to say come on over.

    David

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