Back in 1995, in a small garage in Huntington Beach, California, a company was formed that took cool ideas and concepts, and put them together to build custom cars. Today, that same company, Factory Five, is located about as far from Huntington Beach as you can get and is located near Boston in Wareham, Massachusetts. But like the company itself, founder Dave Smith remembers the roots that grew into a true family of enthusiasts and came back to Huntington Beach to show some of those cool custom cars this past weekend.
Lining up on Main Street on Saturday, April 26, the Factory Five team closed off a couple of blocks for the kind of block party that makes any gearhead drool. The current Factory Five crop of kit cars includes their signature Mk4 Roadster, the 33 Hot Rod, the Type 65 Coupe, and two more that made a limited showing: the GTM Supercar and the newest, Project 818. It’s been said before, that if you see a Cobra replica on the streets, it’s likely a Factory Five car, and that held true on Main Street last weekend.
As we walked up and down Main and the side streets where the overflow cars were parked, it was difficult to figure out which Mk4 was our favorite. There were plenty of colors to choose from, and some that went a little beyond the norm for a Cobra replica. There were a few different engines in these cars, from the old 5.0 Mustang to the 4.6 mod motors, and even a Coyote 5.0 or two. We didn’t see as many ’33 Coupes as we would have thought, but the few that were there represented very well and like snowflakes no two were alike.
We did see one GTM Supercar there, and it was a first generation version. It had a crowd around it most of the day, and the owner was more than willing to show it to anyone who asked. As we made our way down Main again, we saw a couple of Project 818s, one completed and another that was being converted to full electric power. One of the highlights of the show was the pair of “mini-me” Factory Five clones that sat on a table next to their life-size counterparts. Now who wouldn’t want a Conley V8-powered radio controlled replica of their own car?
The scene stayed pretty busy most of the day, with live music from the Fabulous Nomads, a DJ for tunes when the band took a break, and a couple of vendors at center court. The highlight of the day came at about mid-day when Dave Smith and crew rolled out a couple of nicely covered up cars to the middle of the intersection. The crowd gathered and anticipated the unveiling of two special builds, each of which we would have loved to take home.
Mk4 All-Women Build
The first car to be unveiled was a Factory Five Mk4 Cobra replica, the subject car for the Detroit Muscle All-Women 427 build. The car was built by five women in the industry in a very short five days by: Karen Salvaggio, an SCCA and NASA regional and national road racing champion; Jo Coddington, from American Hot Rodders and wife of the late Boyd Coddington; CherieLynn Westrich, formerly of Overhaulin; Nan Gelhard, Advertising Manager at Summit Racing, Inc.; and Courtnie Provenchure, a mechanic from Factory Five Racing.
Powering the 427 Mk4 build was Ford Racing’s 351W based 535 hp 427 stroker, and backed by a Tremec TKO 5-speedtrans to a solid axle carrying 3.31 gears on a FFR 3-link suspension from Factory Five. The double-adjustable coilover shocks were provided by Koni, and the 13-inch cross-drilled and slotted rotors are pinched by Wilwood calipers front and rear. Covering up the fiberglass body is Sherwin Williams midnight black from their Planet Color brand, with white vintage stripes. The Wheels by Boyd were a must, especially with Jo Coddington involved. You can watch the build take place the weekend of May 17-18 on Spike TV.
The second car unveiled was number 1 of 33 Special Edition Hot Rod Magazine Factory Five 33. Smith says, “It was designed and built in collaboration with the team at Hot Rod Magazine.” There will only be 33 of these cars built, and all will be built to identical specifications by select Factory Five approved builders, selling for about $89,000 each. Each car will also include an extra set of racing wheels and tires, and will include a Waterloo Tools rolling tool box full of tools for each car.
Motivating the special edition 33 is Fords Aluminator base 5.0 Coyote engine producing 625 crank horsepower, thanks to the polished Whipple supercharger sitting on top. With the FFR race-proven 3-link suspension, keeping it stable is a set of Koni 8012 double-adjustable shocks all around. The supercharged Ford will get it up to speed in a hurry, and bringing the beast to a halt will be a set of Wilwood disc brakes. The frame and interior are all custom, and the custom gauges will also have the serial number of the car as well as the Hot Rod logo.
2014 Factory Five Huntington Beach Cruise-In Award Winners:
Best of Show, Overall – Bob Warren, ’33 Hot Rod
Best of Show, 2nd Place – Mike Casey, Roadster
Best Roadster – Mike Casey
Best Roadster, 2nd Place – Paul Scott
Best ’33 Hot Rod – Bob Warren
Best ’33 Hot Rod, 2nd Place – Greg Grant
Best Type 65 Coupe – Fernando Vivero
Best Type 65 Coupe, 2nd Place – Mike Pace
Best GTM – Joe Valencic
Best Use of Chrome – Marv Kea
Best Paint – John Lipka
Best Interior – Britt Fussel
Best Engine – Rob Barron
Most Innovative Design – Erik Hansen
Highest Accrued Mileage – Ralph Jungk
Womens 427 Build Team Special Award – Lynn Howell
Hot Rod Magazine Editors’ Choice Award – David T.
Kit Car Builder Magazine Editor’ Choice Award – Bob Warren
Factory Five Racing Legacy Award – Mike Brassfield
Sponsors Also Make It Happen
Factory Five thanks all sponsors involved, including Hot Rod Magazine, Summit Racing, Ford Racing, Performance Accessories, Sherwin Williams, Wilwood Brakes, Koni Shocks, Toyo Tires, Rod Tops, ididit steering columns, Speedhut, Seamless Customs, and Wheels by Boyd
Expect to see both of these cars on the Hot Rod Power Tour, as well as the 2014 SEMA show in Vegas this year. The Mk4 All-Women build will be sold to raise money for a women’s charity to be announced later, with the five women from the build at various stops along the Power Tour. Check out the Factory Five website, and for more pics from the event see our huge gallery below.