News update

20th November 2008

Wow, it's been a while! So much has happened while I've been away that I thought I'd write a quick update to catch up on everything.

First off, not a lot of news on the cobra front in the last 18 months. The back end of last year was spent decorating the house in preparation for the arrival of our new baby daughter. Not just simple decorating sadly, this was an all out strip of each room, replaster, re-paint, re-carpet plus some major building work to replace the kitchen. Money and time were diverted to that task over and above anything car related.

Shortly after my last update, the car came back from the paint shop and it looks absolutely amazing as you can see from the photos on the right. A big (belated) thanks to John, it's immaculate. If you are anywhere near Nottingham and are in need of your kit painting (or even a touch up on your tin-top) I can highly recommend a visit to Paintology. I had a chance to fit some of the shiny bits back on the outside, you would not believe how careful you are when you are holding a screwdriver that close to a brand new paint job!

January this year saw the arrival of our baby girl and her being our first the usual life upheaval followed and from January until now it's been nappies and bottles and time has generally been devoted to her instead of the car (as it should of course!)

Anyway, having reached the end of the decorating and having got back on an even keel in life in general, it's time to turn back to the half finished Sumo sitting in the garage. To get back into things again I returned to the Cobra Club forums to catch up on what I'd missed, and boy was there a lot of stuff!

First major news is Pilgrim have gone bust, and been re-bought. Not entirely sure what has gone on here, but seems that Tony eventually put the business into receivership around 6 weeks ago. The good news is that Den Tanner (yes, him off of the "Car is Born" DVD, no not Mark Evans...) the original owner of Pilgrim has stepped up and decided to pick up the pieces. He recently confirmed that his offer to buy what was left of Pilgrim has been accepted and by the time you're reading this he should be back in the factory sorting out what was left behind.

I wish him well and hope the reborn company gets the success it deserves. For those that want to read the whole saga there are a number of threads on the Cobra Club forums:

Second big news is the death of the SVA. From 29th April 2009 the SVA will be replaced by the IVA. The purpose of this is simply to harmonise the approval rules across Europe and for the most part not a lot changes for us amateur car builders. However some key items do affect our builds, the biggest I can see so far is that headrests attached to the seats will become compulsory, as will a horn, a rear number plate and proper VIN plates. They're also testing "bull bars" which I guess may include nudge bars, so possibly best to leave them off until after the test.

Again, the Cobra Club forum has some useful info and I've taken the liberty of mirroring the draft IVA manual from there here as well. The zip file has a spreadsheet highlighting what's changing, Cobra kits should come under the "bespoke IVA" for "M1" vehicles as far as I can tell:

Finally, I received an email last April from a Robert Barry of Speedograph Richfield Ltd. Apparently "Richfield" seats (now Interior Seating) may have been using the Richfield name and trademark without permisson. In his email he stated this:

I have to advise you that the name Richfield when applied to vehicle seating is a Registered Trademark belonging to Speedograph Richfield Ltd, of which I am Company Secretary. The people who supplied your seats are not authorised to use the name Richfield and are in breach of our registered trademark.

Now, I am not a lawyer and I've no idea the ins and outs of this case, but I will be state for the record that Richfield™ may be a registered trademark owned by Speedograph Richfield Ltd 102 Rolleston Drive, Arnold, Nottingham NG5 7JR.

Next steps are to get back down to the garage and dig out my notebook that lists all the jobs left to do on the car. I know the big ticket items are getting things like the windscreen, roll hoops and exhausts (re)fitted, then it's onto jobs like wiring up the lights and sorting out some carpets and a dashboard. The changeover of SVA/IVA in April is quite a powerful incentive to really have a good run at these things now as I've no real idea whether the kit will pass the new IVA. I certainly don't want to spend the summer spending money on changes to pass that if I can get it through the current SVA rules.

In the booth

Back from paint

Looking b-e-a-utiful

Off the trailer

Front shiny bits

Rear shiny bits

Paint courtesy
of Paintology