So what will you do for an encore? Build a plane, maybe?
Not that it's an elegant solution, but a manual ball valve on the heater core line might be an easier solution for stopping flow to the heater core in the months when you know you won't need it. Then open it back up when the temps drop enough to justify using the heater.
And you haven't even mentioned a motorcyle restoration yet. A cafe racer build (maybe build a Triton? ) might be just the thing for your son. Beats a car eight days a week!
Congratulations on the Cobra, fabulous.
Just putting my spelling police hat on for a moment I notice that you misspelled V8 in the above post.
While I've considered throwing the 4.0L V8 out of the Land Rover into the RX-7, I think ultimately if I'm going to do a swap it makes the most sense to stick with the rotary. Every car has a personality and a balance to it, deviating from that too much requires re-engineering the whole thing, and can upset the characteristics of how the car drives and handles. The rotaries are very lightweight, more about horsepower and revs than torque, and this car is geared for that with 4.88s in the stock rear end. Any V8 would increase the weight on the front end, which would upset the balance and handling this car has. The RX-8 engine adds about 100HP to the current ~130ish HP, has the same sort of rev range, weighs less, and adds fuel injection.
The only problem is generally finding one in good working order, and I might have to rebuild one to get there. But, I'm not afraid of rebuilding engines, in fact I rather enjoy it, and I love learning new things about new engines.
There was an LS-swapped RX-8 at the July Road Atlanta track night. It didn't perform very well, I passed it in the GTI. Engine swaps like that take a bunch of engineering and testing to get right.
That's also known as Tedgineering.
Factory Five was kind enough to share the story on my build: