Not sure which route to go yet for my Cobra build - AK or Gardner Douglas (GD). Posted a question on the Cobra Club forum (pros and cons AK v GD). Some useful replies including an offer from Keith Akerman, who lives fairly close, to go and see his GD chassis which he is in the process of building, plus a phone call from a guy who uses the name of Midge on the Forum offering advice, as he has just been through a similar selection process.
Looks like a Cobra build is about 400 hours. The Caterham was just 70 hours. But if it is worth doing, it is worth waiting for.
Went to see Keith's GDJAG chassis last week, which is partly built up. Very impressed. Detailing was superb. It made me think that this could be the route to go, although I had been thinking of a GD Euro chassis or an AK Gen II chassis (since, I have seen the AK Gen III chassis photos).
Visited EDA in Castleford at the weekend following the conversation with Midge. EDA build blueprinted Small Block Chevrolet (SBC) engines, which have carbs, are certainly more period and can be a bit more blingy than a new style Chevy LS. However the SBC is old style technology dating back to 1954 and has an iron block, so is a little heavier than the newer aluminium block LS. For old technology you could, of course, read proven or reliable too, so its not necessarily a derogatory comment! I saw their Chevy 383 stroker (a longer stroke engine based on the SBC) engine build and got details. Ken (the owner and boss) and Ben (clearly an asset to the business) both know their stuff. Really good engineers. Again very impressed with their knowledge, commitment and helpfulness.
The LS range is not straight forward either. It consists of the LS1,2,3,6,7 and 9. Only the LS3 and LS7 are currently made. So I need to step through that treacle!
Going to the GD factory near Newark tomorrow to see Andy.