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COBRA AUTO BODY Torrance Calif??

Discussion in 'Lost, Found & Looking' started by daltondavid, Sep 10, 2007.

  1. daltondavid

    daltondavid Well-Known Member

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    I found these two Business cards in my 68 GT500 Convertible: Cobra Auto Body 19076 Hawthorne Blvd., Torrance Calif. "Don Weaver" the second card was from "Dave's Automotive" Dave Dralle, Doug Eddy 22634 1/2 S. Normandie Torrance, Calif. any knowledge of these shops or people on the cards would help explain the Body and performance modifications that were done to the car prior to 1974. any help appreciated!!- Dave
     
  2. patty.dilabio

    patty.dilabio Well-Known Member

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    Hi Dave ! If this helps you,I seem to remember Dralle now with a shop right as you enter Willow Springs Racetrack,he is very familiar with all types of Ford racecars.Contact should be simple-I think it is now Dralle engineering.Hope this helps. P.D.
     
  3. shlby66

    shlby66 Well-Known Member

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    Dave Dralle of "Daves Automotive" is now doing business as "Dralle Engineering" at Willow Springs Raceway, Rosamond, CA. Dave IS the
    Cobra and Shelby Guru. If he doesn't know it, it probably isn't worth
    knowing. Ask his Vintage Race customers. As for Mr Eddy, heard he was
    working at Edlebrocks.
    shlby66
     
  4. snakeoilbrian

    snakeoilbrian Well-Known Member

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    OK, what do you want to know? I have been in Torrance almost all of my life. I took my 67 GT 500 to Don Weaver @ Cobra Auto body to have it painted back in 1976 just after I bought it. His guys put 80+ miles on it while they had it. A few days after I got the car back, I noticed the car was drinking water like it was beer! They had cracked the #3 cylinder. He did not specialize in Cobras or Shelbys. Dave Dralle aka "Cobra Dave", had a shop about 300 yards from Cobra Auto body. He tried his best to trade anything I wanted for a funny looking oil pan I picked up from the guy I bought the car from. It was a factory unused dry sump pan and pump. Both have been gone for a very long time.
     
  5. daltondavid

    daltondavid Well-Known Member

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    I have not had a minute to seek these guys out as yet, but am thrilled with the response from the Forum members!! I will keep you all posted and appreciate the shared knowledge!- Dave:thumbsup:
     
  6. Cobrafixer

    Cobrafixer Active Member

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    Back about 1990 (I think) I got to watch a side oiler he built go on the dyno, we drove down from nor cal all night and met him at shop where he had dyno time. It was great to watch him dial in the motor and jet the carb's. You should have seen the owner pacing back and forth and they were twisting the motor up. That was supposed to go in a street 427 and I believe it ended up in an SC car.
    McClusky's shop was just a few row's down from Dave's at the time, it was a great 2 days.
     
  7. bitzman

    bitzman Well-Known Member

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    Dave Dralle is a famous mechanic who now has a shop on site at Willow Springs raceway. He raced a GT350; prepared many Cobras and GT40s, and is a professional. He also is a gruff man who uses words that would make a sailor blush so be prepared!
     
  8. shlby66

    shlby66 Well-Known Member

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    Dave Dralle IS the Cobra Master! His engines are ledgendary. Just ask his
    Vintage Race customers. Oh, by the way, He can definitely drive a Cobra!!

    Dave came within 3 points of winning a National Championship driving his 427 Cobra (CSX3020) in the late 60's. Several laps around Willow Springs in a 427 Cobra with Dave driving is a treat I won't soon forget.

    Yes, he has a gruff personna. He is very serious about Cobras and I guess you would expect that of a real Legend.
    shlby66
     
  9. shlby66

    shlby66 Well-Known Member

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    From the original question for this thread concerning "Don Weaver".
    Don "Pancho" Weaver was last known to be working at Vels- Parnelli Jones
    Ford dealership in the late 70's - early 80's.
    shlby66
     
  10. alfa1

    alfa1 New Member

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    Dave’s Automotive was located on the property of Alcast Foundry 4810 Fisk Ln. Redondo Beach CA.
    He rented space inside the complex, a sizeable Shop.
    Doug Eddy and Dave raced Triumph TR4’s together and had a Shop together at the Normandie Ave location until Dave moved to Redondo Beach. Prior to opening his own shop Dave was a Parts Counter person at Bill Hopkins Lincoln- Mercury.

    As far as Cobra Auto Body, Don Weaver was the owner, Dave and Weaver were long time business associates, Weaver buying his Ford related parts thru Hopkins Lincoln....plus Dave through the Dealer could order Cobra/Shelby parts directly from Shelby in El Segundo, this handled Weavers supply stream, at the time Shelby had long since left the Airport Facility on Imperial Hwy and moved the parts and accessory business next door to El Segundo, CA and again to a large facility on 190th St in Torrance, just across the railroad tracks was Cobra Auto Body...sweet deal, isn’t it.
    Weavers shop opened in 1968 in what was called The Villa Auto Center. During the time Shelby was located on 190th Business was good and catered to the Shelby market.
    He had two excellent metal men, one named Joseph a Czechia. and Pedro “Pancho” Gonzales, either one could make and body or inner structure part from scratch....flat sheet of malleable steel or aluminum, they both stayed at Cobra Auto until Shelby again moved his operation, wheel casting and Goodyear Tires to Main St. in Gardena.
    Weaver continued to operate Cobra Auto Body, unfortunately his business procedures did not stay abreast of the times and ultimately had to sell the business. The new name for the shop was “Villa Auto Body” I know all this because I bought it in 1979.
     

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