January 12 Tech Session
In Provo, who knew?
After some of our worst snow earlier in the week, Saturday morning February 12th dawned to clear roads for our trek down to Provo and Kirkham Motorsports for our BMCU tech session. Turns out that getting there is a "one way in" deal, and in pea soup fog, too. Joe at Kirkham's steered Larry & I in over the phone, "left at the old brick church". Got it.
In the session announcement Mitch covered the history of Kirkham building Cobra replicas from aluminum rather than fiberglass with the bodies and frames produced in a former MIG factory in Poland. Production quality on these items is what you would expect from a military aircraft facility as we would see.
At Kirkham entering the manufacturing bay from the office area is a stunning sight as can be seen by the accompanying photographs. Build quality in this plant is first rate with CNC Machine Centers whirring away producing all manner of parts and a computer hydraulic tube bender turning out compound formed exhaust pieces. The sight of a nine-stack of car body's right from their shipping container from Poland gets your attention straight away, that and the near complete car in the rotating jig. This is a modern, high quality operation.
Now, out the door, past the friendly guard dog and back to the 60's in the building that keeps the cars that started it all, a number of Shelby Cobras from that era. These vehicles were brutes built to beat the reigning Ferrari's that dominated production sports car racing of the time, and they did just that. And thus the legend that led to a number of companies throughout the world producing replicas of that original Cobra.
Reflecting on what we have seen, on the Kirkham everything that could be better than the original is better. Steel control arms are now CNC produced aluminum alloy, brakes are now the items used in NASCAR. You get the idea.
Attendance at this tech session was huge. Those signing the list included Gary Lindstrom, Kendall & Alan Dewsnup, Roger Davis, Clayton Merchant, Steven Nelson, Fritz & Casey Lindbeck, Lee Brown, Andrew Frink, Chris Jones, Duff Lawson, Chris Dunbeck, Wayne Mortensen, Richard & Kyle Moklofsky, Jon Hermance, Bill Beecher, Larry Farrington, Paul Jaroch and I think a Brian Akins and David Womac. There were many more.
Kind thanks to those arranging the visit and Tom the owner for the wonderful tour. Want one? It can happen. Visit www.kirkhammotorsports.com and prepare to be impressed. Note the upcoming open house at their facility next month. Tom invited us and I know I'll be there.
Watch out, they bite.
Click here to see photos of the event from Roger Davis and Paul Jaroch
Click here to see photos of the event from Bill Beech
Click here to see photos of the event from Drew Frink