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The Supersnake's styling is inspired by the AC Cobra, an iconic English 1960's sports car made most famous by Carol Shelby of America who imported the rolling chassis/body units and fitted them with stonking 427 cu. inch Ford V8 engines, flared arches and wide wheels.

He took them racing and wiped the floor with the competition, culminating in special edition Le Mans cars to challenge Ferrari, Aston, Jaguar and Porsche. Shelby tuned the iconic Ford Mustang, and provided engines for Ford's famous Le Mans Winning GT40.

For this reason the Supersnake is not intended to be a true Cobra replica rather a modern retro interpretation that can be built for a very low budget.

It will reward the builder with a very user friendly, easy to maintain, every day sports car and not a highly expensive testosterone charged beast that is only wheeled out for the odd weekend blast and shows! Fine if you can afford to have £25,000 to £45,000 tied up in a good replica!

The Supersnake is built from any Ford Mondeo model made between 1993 and 2007 in hatch, saloon, or even estate form as its base. The yellow prototype pictured on this site is built on a 2004 54 reg. ST220 3.0ltr. 24v V6, 220 b.h.p and it is considered that this, or the earlier 2.5 ltr. 200 b.h.p ST200 or 170 b.h.p ST24, to be the most popular donors. However a 2.0ltr. 4 cyl. petrol or diesel model could be used.

These cars are very plentiful, don't suffer from chassis corrosion, and are mechanically very reliable with extremely good longevity. Spare parts are readily available and cheap.

Generally the more you spend on a donor the better it will be, but bear in mind that body and interior condition are not so important as mechanical.

A good service record and low ownership will ensure it has been looked after. Buying a runner with some M.O.T. will allow you to drive it around and check for faults before the conversion.

The parts you will not use can be sold, so if you buy a Ghia with nice leather interior, electric windows and straight body work, all this will make good money. With many older cars the sum of the parts is greater than the total cost in the first place. You may end up with your donor owing you almost nothing!

A repairable crash damaged car would also be an option if you are confident buying one. It is very important the chassis is straight.

For example, a very tatty 2.5 ST24 has been purchased for £120 to form the base of our first demonstrator. The engine and gear box are very good, but it is intended to recondition all the running gear and brakes, so was not concerned about these parts.

It is intended to offer a selection of donors from say £500 to £2000. Above that figure all you will gain is a newer car with little advantage.

Peninsula Sports Cars is the trading name of Paul Featherstone-Harvey. Business address: Kerrow Farm, Wheal Plenty, Redruth, Cornwall TR16 4BW. Telephone 01209 899090. All images copyright of Peninsula Sports Cars. Website created by TAS