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A 550 body would be very difficult to mount to a VW pan as a VW has a rear engine. Unless you specifically purchase a Perry body, the rest of the manufacturers bodies more than likely won't fit.

The Perry design is made specifically for a VW pan and as such, the lines of the body are not the same as a Beck/Chamonix, Vintage or Stuttgart Spyder

The Beck/Chamonix, Vintage and Stuttgart Spyder cars have their own ladder type frame made from tubing and each has a mid-engine. .

I build a 550 with a VW pan. What I do is start with the stock VW tunnel, modify it a bunch, install new floor pans halves and build a full tube chassis around it to support the body. Its a ton of work but they turn out real nice.

Dont know why but it keeps grabbing the wrong pictures.
Hi Andrew -

Thanks for posting the link to your photos and the video. Great looking (and sounding!) Spyder... the single carb gives it that awesome Formula Vee sound!

Do you know if anyone is producing the McRea Spyder replicas anymore? Any info would be appreciated.

BTW, Graham McRae is scheduled to appear at Watkins Glen this weekend (Sept 5-7) for the Formula 5000 40th Anniversary celebration, US Vintage Grand Prix... I am hoping to make it there; perhaps I will be able to speak to him.

- Dave Denmat
Andrew, I've carefully reviewed your photo's and without a doubt, I can say that your car isn't built on a VW pan..

There may be a piece or 2 two from an original VW pan welded into place maybe to try and fool your local Dept. of Motor Vehicles but, it's not a pan based car. (The biggest giveaway is that it has no tunnel)
I'm definately no VW expert in any stretch of the imagination, but anyone here has told me that it is a VW floorpan and when it was imported from New Zealand all the import paper work had it down as a modified 1970 VW Beetle. Graham stopped making them about 2003 when he became ill. He only made approx 38 spyders with about 6 coming to Australia. All the moulds were sold a few years ago, but no one has started reproducing them

Graham McRae was a former Formula 5000 champion (and Indy "Rookie of the Year" in 1973) - I haven't met him myself, but would love to find the history of my car as I believe it is No 3.

I still have registration issues downunder, so I hope whoever is assessing it sees it as a VW!

thanks for your knowledge and advice.
I was able to say hello to Graham McRae the Glen and speak with him briefly about his Spyder. He described his frame design as unique with relatively thin-wall tubing and mentioned utilizing the 914 transaxle. He does expect that the purchaser of the molds will begin to reproduce the car at some point.

Graham is obviously proud of his Spyder, and my impression is that he approached the business as a great way to keep his hand in engineering and design upon returning to NZ.

Just spending a few minutes chatting with Graham about his car was worth the five hour drive!



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  • G McRae 9-08
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