This 1996 Cobra 427 S/C recreation by Contemporary is a thrilling and attention-grabbing sports car that was originally built for Liam Howlett of The Prodigy — because why wouldn’t he want a little ‘Firestarter’ like this? Its genuine Shelby all-aluminium 427 cu in (7.0-litre) V8 with four twin-choke downdraft Weber carburettors starts and runs smoothly, powered through a four-speed Ford Toploader gearbox. The odometer shows just 4,366 miles from new.
Owned by the vendor for one year – during which he’s covered around 400 miles — this Cobra 427 S/C recreation is a right-hand drive example that was built by the Contemporary Classic Motor Car Company in New York, US. First registered in the UK on 17 July 1996, the car has had four previous owners — including Liam Howlett — and has been well maintained throughout its lifetime to ensure that it remains in superb order.
Built using the specifications and measurements of an original S/C Cobra, this car features a precisely-crafted fibreglass body and aluminium inner structure fitted over an original-style four-inch tube ladder chassis — which was blasted, etch-primed and powder-coated as standard.
The suspension is fully adjustable and the steering is rack-and-pinion. Its exhaust system is an authentic stainless-steel side pipe structure, and the rear axle features a Jaguar E-type 3.54:1 differential. The vendor confirms that the chassis and suspension are in excellent condition.
The original silver paint with black double stripe is in good condition, as is the original black leather interior with drag inserts. The cabin is fitted with the original wood-rimmed steering wheel, dials and gauges, along with period-correct harnesses. While it currently does not have the original ammeter installed, it is with the car and can be refitted if the new owner so chooses.
In 2001, the engine was fully rebuilt by Cambridge Motorsport of Letchworth, UK, after the engine lost compression during a trip to Le Mans. At a cost of over £20,000 (with all invoices on file), every part of the engine was seen to, from the Shelby alloy block, camshaft and pistons, to the oil pump, gaskets, pushrods, spark plugs and ignitor system.
The car has recently received new shock absorbers all round and has been fully rewired. It was last serviced in December 2018, and the most recent MOT was completed in April 2018, resulting in a clean pass with no advisories. The Halibrand wheels appear to be in beautiful condition, and all four Goodyear Cobra tyres are just three years old with plenty of tread remaining.
Accompanied by its original documentation from new, the car’s history file includes an extensive compilation of invoices from works done over the years, as well as a full build sheet. It was also featured on the front cover of the UK Cobra Club’s Snake Torque magazine in February 1997. This 1996 Cobra 427 S/C by Contemporary is a thrilling V8 sports car, built to an exacting specification for its famous first owner, which is now ready to ‘Run with the Wolves’ into the ‘Wild Frontier’.