Here we are, nine months in since we received the FF Type 65 Daytona Coupe from the US and the build process continues on track.

This build is certainly very different to my other two Cobra builds. Following on from our last build diary, we have now moved on to fitting all the aluminium panels that form the floor pans, foot boxes, boot floor and transmission tunnel plus all the panels on the underside have been cleaned with degreaser. I was a bit shocked when I opened the packaging for the degreaser and found it actually had Omi-Cron written all over the Tin! I thought ‘what the hell’ and should I be doing a lateral flow test every time I used it? Ha!

After using the Omi-Cron, I sprayed the panels with aluminium etch primer, to which I then applied two coats of Raptor coating to protect the panels underneath the car.

I’ve fitted Dynamat to all the internal aluminium panels to soundproof the car, as felt this will be required to assist with noise reduction. Further to this I’ll also be fitting carpets within the car and boot area along with a roof lining.

I also made up moulds to form a new GRP battery box and cover that has been mounted within the boot area of the car. This will not be visible, as the spare wheel will cover this upon completion. According to the FF manual they recommend mounting the battery up front between the engine and the radiator housing, however due to me choosing a dry sump engine set up, the only area the dry sump tank would fit is where the battery would have been located. So again, it was time to get my thinking cap on and look at redesigning where this should go.

The boot was my only solution, therefore the tailormade battery box manufacture began.

In addition to this, the FF positive battery cable would need to be significantly longer to reach the boot area. I am truly fortunate that my good friend at ‘Redvue Automation’ supplied me with the 50mm² cable complete with connections, that had been professionally crimped and heat shrunk into place (many thanks Wes).

At the time I was planning the best route and fitting this cable to the chassis (which has been over braided and has a nice-looking bright red shield), Cath came into the garage with my well-earned cup of tea and said “Whoaa what on earth is that great cable for?” I had her believe for a while that the cable will be powering the USB ports required to run all her devices including phone, GoPro and SLR camera chargers. As Catherine loves to video and photograph the tours and events we go on, the aspect of having enough power and enough USB ports in the car was not negotiable, the car needed to be able to cope with all Cath’s ‘Tech’ that would need to be plugged in to it.

I also led her to believe I am probably going to have to fit a high amp alternator to cope with this demand. Following on from fitting the new purpose made battery box and the cables for Catherine‘s ‘In car National Grid’, I then focused my attention on getting the rest of the aluminium paneling completed.

After a few days off the build during Christmas, the 30th of December arrived and I was incredibly happy to receive my long-awaited wheels. The ones chosen for this build are the Forgstar F15 wheels imported from California in the US.

I have gone with an 18-inch spoked wheel that will show off the big brakes fitted and I soon realised that this car will have a lot of rubber on the ground. The front tyres are 265mm and the rears 315mm wide. The car will accept up to 355mm on the rears, however after a bit of research I found that others have discovered clearance issues, particularly during hard cornering when the tyres rub against the chassis, so this was not an option.

Once the wheels were mounted onto the hubs, I began to have my doubts if the wheel company had advised me on the correct offset. I was convinced this would protrude beyond the wheel arches of the body work, which would be a huge disaster at this late stage of the project.

Next up was the dry fit of the exhausts. These are a fantastic design which is so simple it is untrue. It works on a ball system that locates into a mating socket with two clamping plates allowing the exhaust to be moved and adjusted to any axis. I have yet to devise a way to install the CATs into these exhausts as the Americans don’t appear to have the same emission constraints as here. I’m also going to have to come up with a design to get the noise level down for the IVA noise test. All in all, the exhausts fitted very well, and have now been removed until a later date.

I was now at the stage to begin the process of mounting the body onto the chassis and began some of the body preparation work and checking/setting the panel gaps.

With the body mounted on the chassis the car has taken a whole new meaning and it has become apparent how big this car actually is. I was, however, able to breathe easy as the wheels fit perfectly with the wheel arches, full marks to Forgstar for their recommendations.

Whilst mounting the doors it became apparent that FF have put quite a bit of thought into the design with both driver and passenger safety in mind. They have designed a frame that bolts onto the door hinges with the door shell fitting over the framework offering good side impact protection. Of course I’m hoping we never require to test this protection however its nice to know its there. The hinge mountings are also bushed with oil light bushes with pins machined to precision tolerances and offer full adjustment in all directions.

Unfortunately I am disappointed with the seam lines where the FF body is jointed, they are extremely poor however this is nothing that cannot be rectified and I’ve already begun the process of grooving out the seams and making good where required.

We are now rapidly heading to the point where the car will be ready to go to the paint shop which will be covered in the next Coupe build installment. We have also been measured for the bucket seats and again this will be covered in the next build update.

This article was written for Snake Torque Magazine Issue 146, produced by the UK Cobra Club.