In 1999, Jimmy Price of High-Tech Automotive in South Africa invited Peter Brock to create a contemporary version of the Cobra Daytona Coupe he originally designed in 1964. This contemporary redesign of the World Champion Coupe for Superformance was never hampered with the design constraints of the original Daytona Coupe. The FIA rules for GT in ’64 had specified that the body or the chassis could be modified, but not both. The archaic 289 Cobra chassis was developed about as far as it could be by that time and the idea was to replace the blunt Cobra body with a more aerodynamic one. To conform to the rules, the Daytona’s body had to fit the existing 289 chassis. Only six Daytona coupes were built and they were designed specifically for racing. These design criteria called for minimum interior space (frontal area) and minimum creature comforts (weight).
Without these constraints, the Superformance Coupe could be designed as a real street-legal high performance GT coupe equally at home on the road or on the track. Peter called in his old friend Bob Negstad from Roush engineering to pen the new chassis. Negstad had done the GT 40’s suspension while at Ford and now had all the latest state-of-the-art equipment at Roush’s to refine his ideas. The rear suspension features very long lower A-arms that pivot almost at the chassis centerline. This unique geometry allows the rear tires to remain in correct alignment with the ground over a wider range of suspension travel and cornering angles than any conventional suspension. The tires therefore stick better than those knocked off kilter by a less-than-optimum suspension geometry.
The Coupe’s new body shape was designed to conform to Peter’s original design philosophy for the 1964 Daytona Coupe which was based on some previously undiscovered aero-technology developed in Germany he had unearthed while working at GM styling in the late 1950s. Many subtle changes, such as an increased plan view radius for the windscreen and flush curved glass side windows were incorporated to improve the new Coupe’s aerodynamics. The resulting design is pure genius. To the naked eye, the new car looks to be the same size as the original Daytona Coupe, but is in fact slightly larger in every dimension, allowing for improved handling through improved chassis design and larger wheels and tires. The performance is also substantially improved with larger displacement versions of Ford’s venerable small block. There’s more interior space for increased driver and passenger comfort and the Brocks can tell you firsthand there’s an amazing amount of room for luggage. They currently have over 30,000 miles on their car, driving it on assignment to races around the country that they cover as photojournalists with all of their camera gear, track equipment AND street clothes.
The subtle styling changes of the new Coupe make it even more beautiful than the remarkably stunning original. Even so, Peter Brock is not ready to call it done. He recently redesigned the Coupe's rear 1/4 window to what he had originally designed in 1964 but wasn't implemented at the time and he's developed a series of parts and accessories to improve even this latest version. From sleek and functional side mirrors to ultra-light weight, strong modular wheels, a high performance stainless steel exhaust system to parts that make for a better installation of the engine and transmission… you can find it all here on the bre2.net website!
Or you can read more about BRE's race history.