Skip to main content

The 40 Year-Old Virgin (well actually 49)

Hi folks,

It seems a little weird posting in the Newbie section considering I’ve been a member and regular visitor of this forum since 2002....but here goes….

I remember as a 16yr old reading a “Dune Buggies and Hot VW’s” magazine and coming across a picture of an amazing car, it looked a bit like a cabrio beetle but way “sportier”…and cooler. It was a CMC advert and my introduction to the 356 speedster. Ever since then I had dreamed of owning one….and up until a couple of years ago I probably wasn’t really in a position to buy, you know…that “mortgage and young family commitments” thing.  

Anyway, a couple of years ago my lovely wife gave me the green light to pursue my dream. Speedster replicas are few and far-between here in Australia so my focus had been to try and import from the US. I have had a number of generous ‘SpeedsterOwner’ members who have kindly offered me first option on their speedsters but largely due to import restrictions they just didn’t work out. Others members have kindly taken time to look at potential candidates for me or simply taken the time to meet up to show me their speedsters for some ‘inspiration’ during our couple of trips to the States.

The irony in all of this has been that whilst spending my time focussing on potential opportunities in the U.S., an Intermeccanica snuck into my neighbourhood without me knowing, less than 10km (6 miles) from my home. Needless to say, it popped up for sale and after some negotiating (I must say the seller really was very kind to me!), the deal was struck.  After 30 years of dreaming, a speedster now resides in my garage. It’s still quite surreal!!!

I would like to pass on a huge thank you to all those on this forum who have helped me over the years!! An extra special thanks goes out to @Kevin - Bay Area, @David Stroud IM Roadster D, @IndianBob and @RONSTR for their advice and generosity of their time.

As mentioned previously, I have been a member of this forum for almost 20yrs and although my post-count does not reflect this [add embarrassed emoji here], now that I have my speedster, look out, the questions will likely come thick and fast!

It is a 1978 pan-based (Automobili) Intermeccanica (#235) which used to reside in Santa Rosa, California before it was imported into Australia in 2016.

The specs…

  • Very ‘stock’ 1600 single port engine
  • “Champagne Yellow” (Porsche colour so I’m told)
  • Dual Kadron/Solex carbs
  • Drum brakes, front & rear
  • Full vinyl tonneau & canvas top
  • Cocoa mats (is that a spec??)

I have a few upgrade plans but there’s no rush, it’s awesome as it is now and as demonstrated, I have patience by the bucket-loads!! 😉 My mechanic skills are very limited but I am very lucky to have befriended a local gentleman who was a VW mechanic for 40yrs who is willing to “show me the ropes”…. and I’m keen as hell to learn!!

Unfortunately, COVID-19 restrictions have limited my movements since taking ownership but I’ve still managed to find a plenty of opportunities to enjoy it. It's been fun getting used to left-hand drive.

Here’s a few pics below….





Images (5)
  • IMG_0802e
  • IMG_0807e
  • IMG_0757e
  • IMG_0816e: Visiting my mechanic mate.
  • IMG_0817: ....and the track into his place.
Original Post