About

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Welcome to my blog. I hope that you find this interesting and useful, especially if are embarking on the same journey that I am. My name is Jonathan Weiswasser, and I am a Vascular Surgeon living in Montclair, NJ. I have decided to build a Factory Five Roadster (see here) and chronicle the process on this site. I will do my best to provide as much information as I can so as to help others who are involved in the same endeavor.

The mission is to build a classic car for purposes of pleasure driving. I am not a race-car driver, nor do I have any interest in becoming one. I have another vehicle which goes MUCH faster anyway, and that’s more than enough. Being a little over 40, I recognize the stigma associated with bald guys driving convertible sports cars, to which I reply ‘true, but I built the thing, so screw off.’ Much easier to drive around with that attitude than to be like all the other middle aged bores that I know.

Another philosophy of the mission here is that I plan on keeping it very very simple. I am opting against fuel injection, independent rear suspension, sophisticated electronics, etc. in favor of a simple build. Maybe the next one will be more of an exploration of the aftermarket for some of the fancy mods. On the other hand, little conveniences that add to the aesthetic do appeal to me, like the hood lifting pistons, or side pockets, or turn signal switches that mount to the steering wheel. So, what you will see in the following pages is a synopsis of the construction of a standard, complete kit, Mark IV, Factory Five Roadster.

I am not quite a novice at this sort of thing; I completed construction of a Vans Aircraft RV-8 in 2004, after 2100h of construction over 2.5y (see here). Through that experience, I developed friendships with other builders and one of them, Mr. Mike Witte, came up with idea of building this car. We researched the company and the product throughly, and flew in our RV’s to Wareham, MA in late September, 2010 to tour the factory. We ordered our kits at that visit.

As far as particulars, the Roadster is a 1965 Shelby Cobra Replica. The chassis is made of welded tube and the body is vinyl ester fiberglass. I plan on carburated Ford 302 350hp engine, using a pre-1973 block (due to NJ emission requirements, the standards are based on the block-year of the engine). I am currently pricing shops to build the engine. The kit comes with everything except the engine, transmission, and the rear end (which I purchased from the Factory as an option).

My previous experience with cars has been limited to changing tires. I am not well versed on the nuances of the automotive engine or systems, and hope to gain a better understanding as I plod through this. Please excuse any mistakes or mis-statements in advance.


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