Once the car was back it was a case of fitting the lights, the brightwork, exhaust system and the dash and then checking all the electrics, the screen went on next which came from Dave Shrubsole of Autobrass, not Pilgrim. The carpets were fitted and finally the seats which came from Interior Seating as I found the standard Pilgrim ones too high and too uncomfortable. At last the cobra was finished, just the legal stuff to do. I asked a friend from the local section of the cobra club, Tinka, to take a look over my car before I took it for its SVA test and he spotted a few things which found me one afternoon, in the snow, re-wiring my engine bay. I applied for the SVA test and filled in all the paperwork and sent it off. I had acquired, from Tinka, the phone number of the head guy at Nottingham DVLA office and spoke to him regarding registering my cobra. On the fateful day Ali (my partner at the time and to whom I have to thank for getting me into replica cobra’s in the first place) headed off to Birmingham VOSA depot in full pelting rain. Once the SVA was completed I headed off straight to Nottingham DVLA where the staff did the checks they needed to do and because of my call to the head guy I walked out of there with a tax disc and authorisation to get some number plates made.
It was great to finally be able to drive the car legally on the road and had many hours of fun getting used to the car. The two things that soon became apparent were the poor ride quality and the lack of power, following my good friends Wilf, Tinka and Richard one day on a blat around the countryside I was soon left trailing in their wake. This wouldn’t do! I looked into various ways of getting more power out of my 3.5 RV8 engine and decided that the most cost effective way, for me, was to fit a Rover EFI system to the engine. With the EFI fitted the car performed much better and I was a lot happier that I wasn’t left quite so far behind now. I came across a website by Phil Ringwood, during my internet surfing, about how he had fitted a Megasquirt ECU to his Rover powered cobra and after looking into it went ahead and bought into the whole Megasquirt mentality. With Phil’s help I went from a standard Megasquirt ECU controlling the fuel to full ignition control too. This again gave a noticeable increase to the performance. The other problem I had was with the poor ride so after talking to Gareth from the Kent/Essex area I made a few modifications to the car including milling the rear hubs to remove the wrong angles and let my tyres have full contact with the road and run true. I also cut down the steering rack mounts to reduce the bumpsteer that the standard Sumo chassis of the day suffered from very badly. Although these modifications helped I still felt there was more to do. It was suggested that I take my cobra to Track Developments to get the suspension professionally set up and although we ran out of time before the bumpsteer could be checked the bits they did worked wonders, I would definitely recommend them. Since then I have taken the car to Pete (sidecarbod on the cobra forum) who spent a whole day with the car removing all traces of the bumpsteer, he is quite the genius with Sumo suspension. Finally I had a car which I was generally happy with until both Richard and Tinka upgraded their engines so I was left trailing again!