Birth of the 427SC

by Patrick Harlow
Cobra buck3

427SC buck takes shape

Cobra buck2

In 1981, with encouragement from his friends, Alex started work on the replica Cobra which was a different type of car completely and moved away from the VW based type of kits which, by the end of the 70s were in their twilight years. The beach buggy craze was over and although Alex did not know it the Cobra craze was about to start.

Using a plastic kitset model and turning some photographs, with the help of George Ulyate, into scale drawings, work started on a 427 Cobra.

It was while the buck was taking shape that Alex met Grahame Berry of Graham Berry Race Cars. When Alex mentioned his project to him Grahame said that he would like to get involved, so Alex contracted him to make the chassis. Being a patternmaker by trade Grahame also made several patterns for the unique aluminium parts such as the AC pedals and a replica of the original Cobra wheel centre.

Because of sensitivity about the Cobra name the car has always been called an Almac 427SC. A rolling chassis of the 427SC, with the body and steering fitted, was first displayed at the 1984 National Hot Rod show. Demand was such that seventeen 427SC's were sold in its first year of production.

Alex never fitted an Almac badge to the car and everybody that built one called it a Cobra. There has even been an unfinished kit on-sold to an unsuspecting Auckland gentleman as a genuine AC Cobra. He had been told it was one of the last to leave the AC factory in the sixties. His mistake was only revealed when he phoned Almac Cars to see if any of their bright work could be fitted to his 'genuine' Cobra. Needless to say, he was a little annoyed when Alex was able to identify the car as one of his. He was even more annoyed when he discovered that the price for a new Cobra kit, with all the bright work, was far cheaper than what he had paid for his. Still, the good news was that Almac could provide the bright work and that it was guaranteed to fit.


Richardson cobra

When he first put it on the market Alex thought that after 25 to 30 cars the market would have been saturated. He was wrong. Originally advertised in Hot Rod magazines, the car has taken on a life of its own and is now purchased by people from all walks of life and careers. From a youngster just starting an apprenticeship to a retired dentist, the quality of the finished car will seldom vary. All will spend hours poring over original photographs to ensure that their car is as close as possible to the original with some even altering the cars to resemble a specific Cobra.

Now with over 300 cars manufactured, and more going out of the factory each year, this car still has a long life ahead of it.

Contact Details

34 Rockford Street
New Zealand

Email: [email protected]