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This 289 V8 boasts an outstanding specification and has a wonderful period look to it that has been achieved through thousands of pounds worth of expenditure, hours of detail work and the fine touch of an long term owner who has carefully prepared the car to look something very special and importantly, look a genuine 1960's 289 road race car. BRA were pioneers of the Cobra replica market in the UK and built their first versions to use MGB running gear - including the engines. Visually, it was a long way from the plethora of big arched 427 replicas that followed thanks to the mould for the body being taken from s genuine 289, and a famous one at that, the John Atkins car. V8 versions soon followed and this is reputed to be one of the first batches of three V8's delivered. Gerry Hawkridge, a former Director or BRA had the first V8 BRA and later went on to form Hawk Cars. This car was on show at the NEC in the early 1980's once built and has been with its most recent owner for 16 years.
Sixteen years ago the 289 was requiring some rebuilding work and was further improved by using some new parts that were not available when BRA created the Cobra replica market. Having seen 289's race in period, the owner decided to restore and prepare the car with a theme of an amateur club racer of the 1960's period who also warned to do a few continental road races. Great care has been taken not to use any parts that look to new or shiny so it has the look of a very sound, well used Cobra 289.
With the exception of some work carried out by Thunder Road Cars and ASMotorsport, the work has been carried out superbly by its long term owner. The engine has had two bare block rebuilds to a spec provided by Rover V8 specialist Real Steal, the intent being to give the car the same power to weight ratio as the original 289. Sessions for fine tuning on a rolling road dyno confirmed the promised performance. The engine has an impressive specification with 10.5:1 compression pistons, Hepolite rings, Michigan 77 bearings, APR studs and bolts, crank, rods, pistons, damper and clutch matched and balanced by EDS Engineering and a JP Racing timing chain set has been fitted. The V8 has a high output oil pump, Viper Hurricane camshaft, Rhoads high rev bleed down lifters, RPI big valve stage 3 heads, Offenhauser 360 manifold, Edelbrock Performance carburettor, Lumenition electronic ignition and coil, Magnecor ignition leads, Racemettle high output lightweight alternator, Racemettle high output geared starter motor, Trimec electric fan and Stainless steel 4:2:1 headers by ASMotorsport. Adding to the impressive spec list is a Facet fuel pump, front anti roll bar, uprated suspension bushes, EBC brake pads with drilled and slotted discs, Goodridge stainless steel brake hoses, Spax adjustable rear dampers, lowered springs, 72 spoke wire wheels with Pirelli P4000 tyres, Dual CDS roll hoop with harness mounts and rearward bracing bars, Willans harnesses and cockpit mounted electrics and fuel cut off switches.
Over the past twelve years the 289 has covered almost 10,000 miles and from MOT certificates we know 12000 miles have been covered since 1998. The car has attended many events such as the 289 Register stand at the NEC Classic & Sportscar Show, the Silverstone Classic and the 50th 289 Anniversary at the Shelsley Walsh classic and the Goodwood Revival. We can confirm the 289 is fantastic to drive. The car starts faultlessly, offers outstanding performance and the wonderful v8 note. The car is mechanically top class and holds the road correctly, brakes are sharp and give confidence, the power delivery is impressive and the gearbox lovely to use. There is no doubt the car has been maintained to a very high standard and this is further supported by a comprehensive file of invoices. DAC 76B really does look the part with a very correct, period appearance. The paintwork has nicely aged; the upholstery is of a very high standard but with a used, yet smartly presented look. The car has been prepared carefully and is a credit to its long term owner who has created something unique, very interesting and that would be costly to replicate. Nice touches like the period registration mark demonstrate how much care has gone into this exciting, quick and sought after motor car that certainly offers fantastic value when looking at other replicas on the market.