Hipperholme engineer to take striking kit car to motor showtor

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When Chris Redfearn began visiting kit car shows with his eldest son he never imagined where it would take him.

But the engineer, who is now retired, was gradually seduced by the art of creating a car.

And what began as a happy pastime for father and son led to him building his own distinctive replica of a classic sports car.

The 2006 Gardner Douglas GD427 (Cobra Replica) will be on show alongside hundreds of vintage and classic vehicles at The Yorkshire Post Motor Show and Classic Car Rally 2017 at Castle Howard, near York, on Father’s Day, June 18.

Mr Redfearn spent two years building the car which has a space frame chassis and fibre glass body, boasts a racing pedigree and occupies a special place in history.

“The longest amount of time was spent building the exhaust system because no one had ever built a Gardner Douglas with side pipes like this before,” said Mr Redfearn, of Hipperholme.

“This was the first GD427 to be built with side pipes as opposed to the usual underslung exhaust system. It required much work to fabricate eight header pipes to fit through small openings in the space frame chassis.

“As a result, GD asked if I would display it on their stand at the Stoneleigh Kit Car Show in 2006 to show other buyers of their kit that it could be achieved. Side pipes are very popular on Cobras. The racing Cobras would definitely have had side pipes.

“In the 1960s AC Cars produced a car with this body. It was called the AC Ace. At the time an American racing driver called Carroll Shelby had an ambition to beat the Ferraris who were dominant in track racing. He saw this AC Ace and really liked the shape of it but it had a small engine. So he imported several of them into the States and put a Ford big block V8 in and then he entered them in races - that became the AC Shelby Cobra.”

While the body shape of the kit car is the same as a Cobra, the engineering differs.

“Because mine has a light alloy engine as opposed to a heavy cast iron one, which the AC Ace Cobras had, mine is easier to drive,” said Mr Redfearn, 64.

Mr Redfearn credits his eldest son for igniting the spark that led to the project.

“He was interested in cars when he was young,” he said. “He persuaded me to go to kit car shows. We bought him a kit car that we built together and had on the road for his seventeenth birthday. While going to these kit car shows I saw various Cobra replica kits and determined that one day I would like one.”

Motoring enthusiasts from across the region and beyond are gearing up for The Yorkshire Post Motor Show and Classic Car Rally.

The Kangaroo Kid quad bike stunt show will headline the entertainment programme and visitors can enjoy displays from car clubs and motor dealers throughout the day.

To save 25 per cent on tickets to this year’s event, visit www.motorshowtickets.eventbrite.co.uk or call 0333 207 0743 option 5 (open 9am-7pm Mondays to Fridays and 9am-1pm Saturdays).

For all show information and to download a classic car booking form visit: www.ypmotorshow.co.uk. For classic car enquiries call 0113 238 8201.