On nice summer days, all the nice cars start coming out of the woodwork, especially on the Eastside. The day in March in question, it was gloriously blue skied out and the red 1984 Aurora Cobra 289 stood out from the lush green spring foliage and the clear skies.
The car in question is owned by one Harvey Sherman, a local Kirkland resident along Holmes Point Drive, and it’s chassis number 151 out of around less than 200
This 2,300 pound car, with a 45/55 front to rear balance, is powered by a Ford 302 V8 belting out around 368 horsepower at 6,500 rpm. The transmission is a 5-speed overdrive manual connected to 4-wheel independent suspension with coilovers through a Salisbury differential, with a 3:27 to 1 ratio, and inboard disc brakes.
To say its quick is a vast understatement.
Back in 1980’s, Canadian car company Aurora wanted to build a tribute to the Shelby Cobra and came up with the hand-welded tube frame and hand-laid fiberglass body, created by C&C Yatchs’ custom division, of the Cobra 289. Ford supplied the engines and Shelby provided the inspiration.
What came out is a legendary, and inexpensive, classic car that will keep you smiling until the end of the road and then back again.
“Done everything with it,” said Sherman in email. “Car shows, car tours, 15 years of road racing, drag racing, drove it all over the country from New York to Atlanta, from Vancouver Island to San Diego.”
There’s something unique and fun about small, lightweight cars, wheather heavily powered or lightly powered. They’re fun, they’re fast, and they’re nimble.
“I’m not a big fan of high powered street cars. Any [one] can mash the gas petal,” Sherman said. “It takes skill, is more fun carving turns. I love good handling.”
And on a drive up north with him through Eddison, Washington, up Chuckanut Drive, and across Bellingham to the roads around Lake Whatcom, I knew what he was talking about.
Cars like his come alive on the curves, rather than the straights. The engine gives it great power, while the chassis stays as flat as the road’s surface, tires gripping the corners. It’s incredible to see it on the road, curvy or not, solely because it’s rare to see such vintage cars outside garages or concours.
“A buy and hold car guy. I find something that works for me and keep it forever, improve it over time as it ages,” Sherman said. “I more appreciate something like that than the guys who buy something different every year or two. [There’s] something to be said for 27 years of ownership. As long as it works for you and you enjoy it why do anything else?