Carlisle Cobra Nationals 1998
May 7–9, 1998
Even when the weather strikes out, Carlisle scores a home run!
Sigh. It’s good that motorcar enthusiasts are hardy souls. After all, the Carlisle replicar/Cobra nationals have a traditionalized milieu of less-than-perfect weather. The cheerful blue skies you see on the two aerial shots represented only a few fleeting moments of the 3-day show. The rest of the time was punctuated by either drizzling rain or at least dreary skies. As one showgoer put it, “Here in Pennsylvania, April showers bring May showers.” Sigh. But the crowd was, predictably, both numerous and high-spirited.
You’ll find my Carlisle coverage to again be a mostly photographic phenomenon; I shot over 250 images (both Nikon/film and Olympus/digital) at the show, and it seems logical to share as many of them with you as download time (and your patience) allows. So begin your photo tour of the 1998 Carlisle Cobra Nationals…
1998 Carlisle show: Cobra and Corvette replica producers
Above: ERA (Era Replica Automobiles, New Britain, Connecticut) showcased several of their customers’ world-class Cobras including these two photos of Steve Jaques’ resplendent Midnight Blue 427S/C, and [above, bottom left) Michigan’s Jeff Burgy’s red 289FIA]. Also in ERA‘s booth was their cutaway chassis, a magnificent yellow ERA GT40 Mk1, and (above, bottom right) their all-new 1962 Grand Sport Corvette reproduction.
Also displaying a Cobra/Corvette reproduction duo was Lone Star Classics of Keller, Texas. Lone Star calls its ’53 ‘Vette replica “The Route 66 Roadster.”
B&B Manufacturing (Granby, Missouri) appeared with one of their “Turnkey Minus” Cobra replicas (like the red roadster shown at right), just as it would be delivered to you… with everything installed but your engine and transmission. They also displayed the firm’s basic Cobra body/chassis kit, again, just as it’s delivered to your doorstep.
At left: RU Car Crafters’ Roger and Jerry Upton (Sand Springs, Oklahoma) also displayed a finished kit juxtaposed beside the RUCC basic kit, so that you could readily examine the underlying quality of construction. We applaud those manufacturers whose show exhibit permits you to see just what your kit will look like when you receive it.
At left: Unique Motorcars (Gadsden, Alabama, displayed a sizzling array of five of the firm’s 427SC and 289FIA replicas. Above is the Unique 427 (built by John Beard of Harrisburg, NC) that’s currently being raffled off to some lucky Cobra enthusiast!
Superformance displayed their Cobra roadsters, including this Viking Blue 427 finished by Superformance dealer duo Bob and Dennis Olthoff (Salisbury, NC, USA).
Upstate SuperReplicars (Newtonville, NY) displayed the firm’s well-engineered Daytona Coupe chassis.
Classic Roadsters caused a stir with this Dodge-Viper-equipped 427SC Cobra.
Come to think of it, a Viper engine seems fairly appropriate for a snake, eh?
below: special-interest products for Cobra buffs:
At right: MidStates (Hooper, Nebraska) showcased their newly-developed, one-piece fiberglass hard top for Cobras. Its high-quality of design and construction proved to be a major attention-getter among snake aficionados.
Shell Valley (Platte Center, Nebraska) displayed their 427S/C replica alongside an array of the firm’s component parts. Also on display was a downsized Cobra-bodied go-kart and two Prowler roadsters for the younger set. That’s Shell Valley‘s Rich Anderson providing the centerpiece for the photo.
notables spotted at the 1998 Carlisle Cobra Nationals…
Left to right: Elvis Presley, Chip Miller (Carlisle Productions President), and Kit Car Illustrated Editor Bill Moore.
Um, in the first instance, that’s actually Ron Allyn, Elvis impersonator extraordinaire, of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.
Old friends (well, not so old) Peter Portante of E.R.A. and (at right) Peter Bayer of Nisonger Instruments (and formerly of Contemporary Cobra). Industry icons both. Peter (Bayer) once worked with and raced with Revlon’s Peter Revson.
Car Collector Magazine in Carlisle:
Cobra industry dinner at Blondie’s
Above: Car Collector Magazine hosted an anything-goes dinner for the Cobra industry at Carlisle’s “Blondie’s” restaurant on Friday night. The lion’s share of the industry’s Cobra manufacturers, builders and suppliers attended the festivities. The photo above shows you only about 50% of the group, which handily commandeered most of the restaurant. The roster of attendees included CC Publisher Jeff Broadus (center of photo facing camera in red & black jacket) and Jessica Rye (at far left of photo) along with a veritable Who’s Who of today’s Cobra replica industry: Lewin Barringer (Westwood Publishing, publisher of Kit Car Classifieds); Paul DiGiovanni; Bob Kallio (MidStates Cobra), Jeff Wynn; John Leliever and Reg Noble (Johnex Motorsports and Big Boys Toys), Merrick Maxfield and Steve Newmark (Lone Star Classics), Mike Perry and Tom Molinca (both standing, of Mike’s Cobra Reproductions), Vern Redel (West Coast Inc.), Phil Gaudette, Joe Rodomista, Peter Portante and Steve Jaques (all of ERA), John Ciacchi (Snake Pit), Rich Weiland; Bryan Anderson and Barry McGill (the barnstorming B’s of B&B Mfg.), father/son dynamic duo of John & Chuck Siewert (Regal Roadsters), Alan & Maurice Weaver (Unique Motorcars), Moto-Lita importer and Cobra-components supplier par excellence Enzo Alibrandi (Finish Line), Chuck Gutke (Cobra Restorers), Tammy & Ken Kobar, Rich Anderson (front/center in red shirt, of Shell Valley Motors); Steve Syrdal and Ed & Wendy Combs (Classic Roadsters).
There were of course dozens more splendid Cobras and GT40s that I photographed that deserve to be showcased in this article. Unfortunately neither my time schedule nor your download time considerations permit me to include them all. My apologies for those omissions.
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