Down ‘t Snake Pit


I should never have thought of the Willeton Reserve as a snake pit. At least not in the same way as the old Scarborough Snake Pit – the seaside carpark and milk bar haunt of the Bodgies and Widgees here in Perth. FB Holdens, California Poppy, and illicit brownies of Swan under the seat. Col Joye and the Joy Boys…low class fun for the lower classes. Not like the Cobra Club.

Well, apart from the money aspect of it, the Cobra Club has a better mechanical basis. The cars may be authentic or counterfeit or anything in between as a previous post mentioned but their shape is nearly perfect for a mid-60’s sports car. The combination of a big Ford engine with sensible electrics and fuel feed means that for once more power was available when needed. The body shape and fitments were derived from English practise  with as many concessions to comfort as could be excused by the enthusiasts. The need for lightening up and minimising the interiors did not exist but in most cases the fitters did not give in to the Thunderbird syndrome – the cars still stayed true to the English sports car mould.


This car epitomises the moderate-racer Cobra. Of course there is a big Ford engine, and someone who likes doing Rubik’s Cube in the dark with their hands tied in a potato sack decided that they would have a total of eight carbies to tune. I bet they sleep in a coffin filled with the earth of their country…if they sleep at all. Of course it might be that only one of the carbies actually passes petrol – the others might be made of rubber and are just stuck on for looks.

Moving right along, the external view shows a great many large exhaust pipes. The ankle burns are considered a badge of honour in the Cobra Club. Sneaking home late at night and gliding silently into the garage before the wife wakes up is not an option here.


The interior is quasi-spartan, though there is carpet and fuzzy-butt seats. The harnesses are actually pirate sword belts taken from Captain Kidd. The wooden-rimmed wheel is extremely classy and I am delighted to see that the owner has opted for no radio. I hope he opts for no texting on his iPhone. The aluminium door panels and leather opening straps are a little Battle of Britainish for me but then I drive a small Suzuki…I always smile when I see the fire extinguisher. Many of us find that we can drive our Suzukis for years without having to put them out…

All things said, it is a fine car. I hope the owner races it in the vintage section and preserves it from harm. It is a delightful possession.

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