Today, a short illustrated essay on replica compromise. As is known, the cable shifter is the go-to Spyder replica shifter. It's reportedly easier to set up and keep in tune than the Jamar linkage shifter that used to come standard. Both are pretty different from the exacting engineering in the original 550, but the cable box's bulk makes for noticeable changes in the replica Spyder cockpit. Here's the car I'm trying to copy.
You can see here how small the original shifter housing is. It tops out about even with the top of the front bulkhead.
Whereas my cable shifter...
...big honking shoebox of a thing, couple inches wider than stock and probably crests 1.5 inches above the bulkhead—and that's after I modded it to make it as short as it can be and still function. The larger shift housing means the seats have to be about an inch and a half narrower, and so three extra inches apart in the middle, in order to clear the extra height and width of it. Again 550-0051:
Ok, from that angle it's not so noticeable.
Here's a shot of 0056's shift and hand brake lever from above:
One interesting thing to me is that the difference in seat width looks to be mostly in the bolsters. The original ones look splayed out, whereas mine are more upright and shorter. Ah well. It is what it is.
Today I'll paint the shift box and switch plate frame black as original to try to make them less prominent. I think I've got these parts about as good as they can be made to be, from a "that-looks-like-an-actual-Spyder" perspective. Bottom line is, the gap between the seats will be a telltale to anyone really familiar with the 550.