ERA vs Superformance

We get frequent phone requests to compare our 427 with the Superformance MK III roadster.  We hesitate to do it because we don't know everything about the current state of the Superformance, and their published information is not nearly as detailed as ours. smile 

 Superformance MK III Specifications

But we're going to give it a try.  

(If any of this information is not accurate, please e-mail us with a correction.)

Superformance's production facility is in South Africa.  They employ hundreds of people, building several different kits.  They also manufacture other unrelated things.

The SPF MK III is sold only as a "Turnkey Minus": A complete car, painted, interior'd, but without engine and transmission.  It even includes a top and side curtains.  Eleven colors are stock, with custom paint also available.

The quality and performance of the finished product is generally regarded as very good.  Typically, a professional assembler installs the engine and transmission, and (hopefully) does the final sorting.

E.R.A. (New Britain, CT, USA) sells kits, ranging in "completeness" from semi-basic (still one of the most complete kits around) to an assembled kit.  We are very flexible: Every kit is individually put together to your specifications.

Over the years, E.R.A. has done kits that end up ranging from completely "street" to completely "track".  Because we frequently do the final assembly, there are few glitches that we haven't come across - and fixed quickly in our production process.  Even our basic kit is "well sorted".

Chassis And Construction Details
The Superformance chassis uses 100mm x 50mm x 4mm  wall (Approximately 4" x 2" x 0.160") tubing for their main rails., narrowed at the rear so they can drop their seat a bit.  There are no tubes from the cowl structure to the front towers, which are not X-braced.
The E.R.A. chassis uses 4" x 3" x .125" wall tubing for its main rails.  The size and wide spacing is maintained almost the full of the cockpit and beyond.  Extensive cross-membering, including an X-brace, ties everything in to create a very rigid structure.  More Structural Details
The SPF tilts the radiator forward.The E.R.A. tilts the radiator back, like the original car.
Their cowl is supported at the rear edge with tubing.  I'm not sure how the rest of the body is supported, but since the inner panels are all fiberglass and integrated into the outer shell, one might infer that it is supported where the inner panels bond to it.

The interior tub is apparently fiberglass.

E.R.A. uses intermediate inner panels underneath the skin to support the outer shell by distributing the load onto only the hidden and/or reinforced edges of the outside body.  The inner panels are supported by five lateral steel tubes, plus tubing at the rockers, plus where the aluminum panels attach between the inner panels and the chassis.  
Wheelhouse panels are aluminum, as are most of the interior filler and floor panels.  Only our footboxes are fiberglass - because that's original.
The SPF's doors are hinged on the cowl side supports, like the E.R.A., but their door latches apparently float on the fiberglass body.  Note how small the outside bottom rails are, and the lack of side protection where you're sitting.E.R.A. mounts the door latches directly to the steel chassis outriggers.  That gives some backup to the steel framework we put into every door..  A 2" x 1" rail is at the bottom, with a sheet-metal reinforced tube running just below the door opening..  There's not a lot of side protection compared with contemporary standards, but E.R.A. makes the effort.
Left front, superformance
Superformance: The doors appear to hinge on the vertical chassis tubing but the latches must be attached to the fiberglass body.  There appears to be very little side impact protection built in.Our steel reinforced doors are hinged and latched directly to the chassis, and our chassis also integrates the soft top frame sockets.  Besides the 2" x 1" rail that runs at floor level, we add an extra tube just below the door opening for a little supplemental side reinforcement.
The SPF pedals (not shown) are hung from the top, mounted on the footbox.  Brakes are power assisted though.The E.R.A. brake and clutch pedals are mounted below the floor, directly from brackets welded to the chassis.  The throttle is hung from the footbox top on a steel reinforcement, like the original.
The Superformance roll bar is mounted on outriggers from the main rails.The E.R.A. roll bar is mounted directly to the main rails.
The SPF battery is mounted in a fiberglass well behind the driver's side rear tire, in the trunk.E.R.A. offers two (passenger's side) locations for the battery:
  • In the engine compartment in front of the footbox (standard "Street" location).
  • In the trunk, above the rear suspension.  We install a panel that hides the battery and creates a volume that can store stuff in.

The SPF rear suspension is rigidly mounted to the chassis.The E.R.A. rear suspension (offered with either inboard or outboard-braked design) is mounted in a subframe for vibration isolation and easier external assembly and service.
The SPF fuel tank is supported by smaller tubes.  I still haven't figured out how they integrate the roll bar back brace.The E.R.A. fuel tank is surrounded by 4" x 2" rails that are part of the main chassis system, with the roll bar brace going to the main rail.  The main roll bar hoop goes right into sockets weled to the main chassis members.
SPF rear view
The SPF trunk and associate panels are fiberglass.TheE.R.A. trunk and wheelhouse panels are made from aluminum.