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Thread: Nova alert

  1. #11
    One of the Club Nova members (Richard) has one of the Cobley chassis - I don't think he's done anything with it or realistically is ever likely to, possibly Lauren has pictures of it?
    It's a 50 year old car and everything works, just not always at the same time.......and it's probably about to get jealous!
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  2. #12
    ***Euro-Nova Supporter*** Spacenut's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by letterman7 View Post
    As much as I've tried to back research all I can about the cars, I can't find much about Cobley's chassis efforts. Is there something somewhere about those? I'm trying to convince my partner to purchase this thing and bring it to the States for research purposes :-)
    Hi Rick - Sam showed me some pictures of the chassis at a show many years ago. At that time it was just a bare frame with no suspension or running gear. He told me he had the chassis drawn up and fabricated by a specialist company. The frame was designed to accommodate a FWD Ford Escort engine and gearbox, complete with the front struts and wheel hubs. The first frame was built up into a rolling chassis for publicity purposes, which I remember seeing in the kit car press at the time. I can't remember what the front suspension set-up was, but here in the UK there were only two worthy of consideration at the time - the Triumph Herald and Ford Cortina (Pinto in your case). Interestingly, this chassis has 5-stud hubs, so is not from either, although it could be from a Ford Granada or more recent model, the wishbones are probably quite adaptable.

    Alex has a Mk4 bodyshell that was specially adapted to fit the chassis, which features a brake servo (booster).

    The story goes that only 3 chassis were made before Sam sold the company. One belongs to a Club Nova member and is complete with Ford CVH engine and running gear. Another chassis turned up on ebay several years ago with an Alfa Romeo V6 attached to the Ford driveshafts. The third chassis has never been traced, but could be this one. There again, it could just be a one-off "special", albeit a well-made example.

    I would not say this chassis design is in the same league as the Sterling tube frame, the in-line Scooby engine and transmission keep the C of G commendably low, and also help with the weight distribution. I would say better to stick with that, if the plans are still available.

    Lauren
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  3. #13
    ***Euro-Nova Supporter*** Spacenut's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alzax3 View Post
    One of the Club Nova members (Richard) has one of the Cobley chassis - I don't think he's done anything with it or realistically is ever likely to, possibly Lauren has pictures of it?
    I have seen pictures of it, but I don't have any copies. I think we are both pretty sure it is a Sam Cobley chassis, but as to which of the three it might be, who knows? It was certainly in running order, although still a long way from the road...
    only Pythagoras can save me now!

  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by letterman7 View Post
    Thanks Bluenova and Steve! I don't think my partner made that opening bid - I made him aware of the auction and he seemed interested, but we haven't talked about it since then. You never know - and thank you for the kind gesture! IF he does decide on that, I will certainly let you know - and you would be compensated for your time, of course.
    Yes, thanks for the offer to help coordinate things. It always makes me smile when the community volunteers to go out of their way to help.

    I'm glad to see some bids starting to creep in on that car, and I hope it can stay in the UK and that someone will bring it to life. I told Rick, if that were already State-side and cheap, there would be no way to say 'no' to it just based on how unique it is. It would be really fun to play with.

    As for how it fits into the Sterling's evolution... This was a very good week (for reasons we won't go into just yet). Things are happening. There is a plan. And I'm a believer that Sam Cobley was generally on the right track +/- some stylistic interpretations. And now 20 years have provided interesting alternatives as well. The next year or two should be fun.

    (Isn't it annoying when people are playfully vague?)

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  5. #15
    Euro-Nova Founder bobbybrown's Avatar
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    Some further info about this car...
    The chassis does indeed look to be the third Sam Cobley chassis, it has the mountings for the front struts at the rear and wishbone front suspension, however only one 5 stud hub, I think this is from a Granada but am not 100% sure, there is no pedal box or steering gear.
    The bonnet is a MK1 as anyone will attest and so is the roof, which has been cut about to fit a larger pop-out panel and widened by about 4" or so on both sides as have all the wings. There is also a rear louver in good condition but is screwed to the bodywork by four screws.
    The screen is intact and only shows very minimal delamination, nothing that a thin rubber seal wouldn't cover. The lights are Nissan 300 and he has two headlights and a couple of indicators.
    The off side cill has never been cut or fitted but the near side one has.
    There is no rear bulkhead.
    There is no lifting hinges or gear but there is the pantograph wiper motor and arm.
    There is the lower section of the dashboard but no dash pods.
    Under the bonnet it is clear that the original gel coat was brown, there is no noticeable identification on the body and I was not able to see well enough to see if there was a chassis number or not.
    The number plate I think is off the van that towed the trailer to it's current place.
    The guy does not know alot about the car but will be updating the listing at some point.
    The wheels and tyres are all good but I have no idea as to how old the tyres are as I didn't look that closely.
    Anyway the guy let me take some photo's so if anyone wants them I have a few of the screen, the rear chassis mount area and a few other general ones.
    The body will need a lot of work as it has been beaten and abused over time and the roof extensions are only just glassed in place with no connection on the underside so they flap about a bit.
    All in all, if someone was brave this would be a great project or useful for the parts.
    The guy has been offered £250 but as it was up to £176 he will let it carry on for a while, so an offer could be agreed or he could break it up for parts or he may let it run it's course.
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  6. #16
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    For a piece of nova history, I think that needs saving by someone on the forum that would protect the cobley history.
    I need a bigger man cave !
    I wonder if he based the chassis on the KVA GT40 for that is Granada based !

  7. #17
    Very interesting. Do the other Cobley chassis have the wide body modifications too?
    Bobby Brown. Thanks for going for a look and sharing the info. I think now this has to be a project and not parts. It would be great fun to finish it alongside the running Cobley, using that one for reference and get it IVA'd. I'm really into bug engines now, but could see this would be absolutely stunning for a Ford fan with that wide body.

  8. #18
    Not to sound ignorant but what is a big deal about this chassis. Anyone with a welder can build one in fairly short amount of time.

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  9. #19
    Senior Member Phill's Avatar
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    It has some historic interest in the UK. Sam Cobleys company was the last to produce Nova kits in Britain. The Mid engined chassis was an attempt to bring the design up to date before legislation effectively killed it off
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  10. #20
    ***Euro-Nova Supporter*** Spacenut's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Buffy View Post
    I wonder if he based the chassis on the KVA GT40 for that is Granada based !
    No, it is not related - the KVA chassis is designed for an in-line V8 and so places the driver too far forward to fit under the Nova body.

    Quote Originally Posted by John90 View Post
    Very interesting. Do the other Cobley chassis have the wide body modifications too?
    No, the Sam Cobley chassis was designed to fit under a standard width Nova Mk4 bodyshell. I suspect the builder of this one had some very wide aftermarket wheels and decided to widen the body to get them to fit

    Quote Originally Posted by Sector View Post
    Not to sound ignorant but what is a big deal about this chassis. Anyone with a welder can build one in fairly short amount of time.
    This is true - the chassis would have used Macpherson struts at the back which are not ideal for handling, and the transverse engine would give a greater rear weight bias, but as noted above, there is some historical value in the Cobley chassis, being the only chassis for a Nova that ever got into series production (albeit just 3)

    Quote Originally Posted by Phill View Post
    The Mid engined chassis was an attempt to bring the design up to date before legislation effectively killed it off
    Unfortunately it was killed off by Shashi Vyas even before the legislation had a chance to bite
    only Pythagoras can save me now!

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