A Bespoke Performance Collection
What is now known as a world class collection of performance vehicles was created through a lifetime of dedication to performance and overcoming adversity. The first Emerson Cobra was built in 1996 by Bill Emerson in pursuit of industry leading performance, safety and luxury. With a custom designed body, improved frame and industry leading engineering Emerson quickly became a well known name in the Cobra world. Setting track records and taking home numerous best in show awards.
Every car in the collection was made to exacting standards for the original owner. In some cases that meant over 1000HP and a utilitarian cockpit. For others it meant maintaining the heritage of a carbureted engine and true to era fit and finishes. Over the years some owners have even updated their cars with new interiors, paint or new drivetrains through Emerson Motorsports. Each car is truly unique and adds to the legacy of this prestigious collection.
PERFORMANCE AND SAFETY
The Emerson Roll Bar
It would be hard to overstate the amount of safety engineering that goes into each Emerson Cobra - much of it initiated from the fatal flaws inherent to original Cobras, and so many tragic kit car builds being marketed. The most prominent example is the visually distinct roll bar - unlike anything you might see on other Cobras, Emerson's are not 'cosmetic' or attached to a weak fiberglass body. Each roll bar is quarter-inch thick stainless steel industrial steam-pipe, polished to a chrome shine and mounted to the frame with an adjustable receiver. This adjustability allows the roll bar to be raised to meet track requirements. "They're good for a quarter mile upside down at two hundred miles per hour," Emerson notes.
Forward Looking Safety
Additionally, Emerson Cobras are the only Cobras on the market with mandatory head rests - a direct result of leading industry crash research, and internal research into fatalities seen in Cobras. "Take a look at the roll bars in other Cobras," says Emerson. "It's pretty common for the occupants to be able to just tilt their head back and make contact. One of the fatal flaws inherent to most Cobras is the ninety-inch wheel base. It typically flips the car around and drives backwards when control is lost. That easy head contact with the roll bar? Going backward, when that car hits something, those roll bars have killed a lot of good people through head contact. Our headrests eliminate that, as does the positioning of our roll bars. But more importantly, our frames run a ninety-four inch wheel base that helps eliminate that flip tendency, along with genuine mid-engine balance to give a neutral balance in a slide."
One of the first things Emerson Motorsports did during the initial engineering of their Cobras was to address the dangers of a 90-inch wheelbase, by expanding the car. Not stretching, but expanding the overall dimensions. Not only do these cars sit wider and longer, adding substantially more stability inherent in that geometry, it also allowed them to retool the undercarriage. Two major safety and performance advantages come from this extra room - our axles, and our driveshafts.
Emerson Side Pipes
Emerson Cobras utilize a custom engineered exhaust system that adds substantial power, along with slashing the surface heat of the exhaust pipes down to 170 degrees (76.7C). Most sports cars, including original Cobras, channel the four exhaust ports of each header right into the muffler. This costs power. Our headers are built with an expansion chamber, allowing the exhaust to equalize before entering the muffler, creating more power by eliminating a substantial source of pressure imbalance. Additionally, our exhaust system is comprised of a highly insulated chromed sleeve, fitting over the muffler, which is easily disassembled for muffler replacement. The sleeve and insulation keeps the temperature to 170 degrees, and while this is at the higher reaches of safe (skin begins to burn at 160), it won't damage bare skin with quick contact, whereas other systems will leave skin right on the pipe.
"Our side pipes were another fun little safety project, that also got us a lot more horsepower and ease of maintenance," says Emerson. "Original Cobras and most kit cars basically weld a cherry bomb muffler to the headers, and chrome it, right? Six months later the muffler and chrome job need replacing, not to mention the fact that after running the car, you've got a six-hundred degree skillet waiting to flash fry your calf." -Bill Emerson
‘ It is not a Cobra, it is an Emerson and it is a better vehicle in many ways than a Cobra and certainly leagues ahead of any kind of kit car."
"It hasn't changed a bit since it got its last upgrade at the Emerson shop. I trust no one else to perform surgery on her but the master."