Hi all. I'm highly considering a Coupe but haven't seen many with rear seats like they did back in the day. Does anyone here use the rear for their kids? Thanks in advance.

Damian in South Florida

Original Post

@barncobob I currently have a Rover but it's been a while since I've had something to enjoy since selling my 1982 500SL AMG and now that my boys are in booster seats I thought this would be ok and build memories with them. But I feel what your trying to relate is that they're unsafe? Back to the drawing board of looking for a cool 4 seater...👍

Last edited by I.M.Damian

Damian:  There is precious little leg room between the "back seat" (which is more of a suggestion than reality) and the front seat backs.  If there are flip-down rear seatbacks (similar ot the original Porsche 356 coupe) then they might need something to strengthen the seat back latches to insure safety of the booster occupants.

And, of course, an engine mounted mid-ships, like a Subaru, is out of the question because it takes up all of the rear seat space.

Lastly, these cars are like riding around in a plastic egg shell and there is precious little impact safety within.  No door beams, no reinforced frame inside (unless you get a roll cage installed which precludes use of the back seat area for booster seats), no real protection in side crashes or roll-overs.

So yeah......   If I were you, (and my youngest kid is now 41) with tiny tots to protect, I would find a sporty SUV or even a recent, affordable Porsche 996 which, I know, can fit a couple of boosters back there - My 8 and 10 year old grandsons fit back there just fine.

Hope this helps.

Damian:  There is precious little leg room between the "back seat" (which is more of a suggestion than reality) and the front seat backs.  If there are flip-down rear seatbacks (similar ot the original Porsche 356 coupe) then they might need something to strengthen the seat back latches to insure safety of the booster occupants.

And, of course, an engine mounted mid-ships, like a Subaru, is out of the question because it takes up all of the rear seat space.

Lastly, these cars are like riding around in a plastic egg shell and there is precious little impact safety within.  No door beams, no reinforced frame inside (unless you get a roll cage installed which precludes use of the back seat area for booster seats), no real protection in side crashes or roll-overs.

So yeah......   If I were you, (and my youngest kid is now 41) with tiny tots to protect, I would find a sporty SUV or even a recent, affordable Porsche 996 which, I know, can fit a couple of boosters back there - My 8 and 10 year old grandsons fit back there just fine.

Hope this helps.

Excellent information and well taken 👍. I was also considering a 996 Turbo with the X50 upgrade so this might just fit my needs. I currently have a supercharged rrs autobiography 510hp and a Lexus GX460 so one can only imagine the urge to feel lower to the ground with a sporty 4 seater.

Thanks again and enjoy the rest of your day.

Last edited by I.M.Damian

I had IM install a rear seat belt  my son used to sit in the back when he was tall enough and it lasted till about 9.y.o. never  used a booster there.

I have 5 point belts in my Spyder and used to take the kids for short round-the-block type rides.

They fit fine in there when they were about 4 and up, obviously one at a time. In a Vintage Spyder there is a chromoly tube frame with side protection bars, so I always thought they were safe enough. Much better than a booster seat and a 3 point seatbelt anyway.

I also had a Vanagon Westfalia which only had lap belts in the back seat. I purchased aftermarket belts that were 4 point and satisfied my ex-wife for kid safety without having to buy a new vehicle.

I have pictures of my kids in the Spyder I'll have to dig them up.

I guess I’m a bit more relaxed when it comes to driving with my son with me in the speedster. 
I come from the era when a seatbelt was a parent’s arm across your chest under heavy braking. 
I rode in the back of countless pickup trucks as a youth. I even rode in the back of a pickup from Trenton, NJ to Saint Louis, MO when I was 8 (it had a cap on it).  
Ever since my son was 2, he’s been going on drives with me in the speedster. I fasten his car seat in the front seat. 
I realize our cars are glorified golf carts, or 4-wheel motorcycles. I don’t travel at night with him in the car (I rarely drive at night), but I do take him on backroads and highways when not as busy. 
I take him to school almost every day in the car.  He loves it, and his preschool classmates love seeing the car. 
You just need to be aware. Leave the cell phone in the pocket.  I drove a Vespa around San Francisco for years without injury. That taught me how to plan for the worst and understand that other drivers or cyclists do amazingly stupid things. 

 

***the last photo is a screen shot from a video from last Father's Day.  We attended a father's day car show, and he wanted to bring his own cars (in the pink bucket).  

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Last edited by Kevin - Bay Area

I had a nice S90 coupe for a time and the kids loved to do the back roads in the back seat.  No belts though.  ASsmentioned that lasted until they were 4 or 5 yrs old., because as mentioned, there is rather little room for legs.  They thought bumping their heads on the rear window over the rises and dips was kinda fun. 

I have an imaginary friend on another forum that has his dad's 356B coupe that they've owned since new. It was his daily driver for years and he posts pictures of his mom, dad, himself and his sister in all sorts of family fun in the 60's: skiing, camping, touring. Best of all, he treated it like a jewel from day one and It's all original, including the paint. (Engine's been rebuilt twice, transmission once, suspension has been redone who knows how many times. ) 

94371345-4A45-4EFB-B3FB-3297A22F6C429B3776A2-1B9F-4808-A63D-D6AA41D8741F

i,m like kevin...  I grew up riding in the back seat of 50s era MGs,  Austin’s, and Porsche’s with nothing but Dad’s words to “ stay in my seat” holding me down.

strap the booster on and enjoy the ride w/ your little one.  They will become addicted!  Both mine fight to this day over who  picks them up from school/soccer/ ballet when they see I’m driving the Speedster.

Above is our youngest... she was 3 in the picture.  Now 8yrs old.

funny enough, they also like my ‘P200 79 Vespa. Our 12 yr old learnEd how to ride it last summer, Learned to work the clutch and shift. Proud moment  for me.   and learned to drop-work- reinstall the engine by spending time with me in the basement last winter,  she thinks it’s hers.  Now she constantly ask’s when we will let her drive it to school... she does not recognize she is too young.

im from Spain.. may explain my casual approach to seatbelts.... scooters and no seatbelts remain a normal part of everyday life,  don’t even need a license to drive a motorcycle under 200cc on public roads.  But you loose your license for 2 years if they catch you playing with your cell phone while driving, & can go to jail for up to 5 years for repeat offenders.  Go figure.

be safe, enjoy the ride

 

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Last edited by Lfepardo

"The family that drives together, thrives together."

IMO, learning, understanding, teaching, and sharing the increased risk of an endeavor like this enhances the experience of it,  just like motorcycling. 

It's becoming very tempting! Hehehe I would definitely be on the lookout for a coupe Subby w/air since I have 3 & 5 yr olds and live in 100 degree weather. Thanks all for the pictures and input. 

"The family that drives together, thrives together."@dlearl476

Amen to that gear-head anthem! 

My son and grandson taking the Speedster out for a cruise along the coast. The smile on the little guy's face says it all.2135925686

Throwing out the vibe while checking his traps. 1648597119

@I.M.Damian hope you find the right car for your 356 adventures! 

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As mentioned here and I've mentioned in the past, these cars seem to hold an attraction by very young children like no other car I have ever driven.  Their faces just light up and they are fixated on them as they drive by. I don't know why, but it's very interesting. 

Last edited by Troy Sloan
@Troy Sloan posted:

As mentioned here and I've mentioned in the past, these cars seem to hold an attraction by very young children like no other car I have ever driven.  Their faces just light up and they are fixated on them as the drive by. I don't know why, but it's very interesting. 

Because, speedsters look like the .25 ride that was in front of the K Mart stores ~

When I was just a little bigger than that little tot, my folks had a 1948 Ford sedan (I can still remember the musty smell of those Mohair seats).  No one had kiddie seats back then, and as we backed out of the driveway and swung around onto our road the passenger door I was leaning against swung open spilling me out onto the lawn.  I was not hurt, but that really shook my mom up.  That was back when the door latches looked like a door latch in your house.  Not as safe as today, for sure.

Oh, wow, nice launch pad.  Just kidding but I just made one similar to have my 10 lbs poodle sit in the right seat and be able to see out. 

 

@Troy Sloan posted:
 

...these cars seem to hold an attraction by very young children like no other car I have ever driven.  Their faces just light up and they are fixated on them as they drive by. I don't know why...

 

Troy, I have my own theory why today's kids light up when they see our cars:

 

Carscars02

 

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@Impala posted:

Have you thought of a nice Karmann Ghia? You might have some more room a available.

I do like them but prefer a 356 Coupe a whole lot more. I currently have my eyes on a Coupe 2110 with a/c 6k miles but am watching out for a Subby if I could. I keep missing out on these as they sell fast. From my understanding the Coupe has much more leg room in the rear than a speedster am I correct? At this point I'm only interested in a Coupe just need to see about installing seatbelts in the rear, secured some how. Family weekend getaways and making memories with my 3&5 yr olds  is all that I am about👍

@I.M.Damian posted:

I do like them but prefer a 356 Coupe a whole lot more. I currently have my eyes on a Coupe 2110 with a/c 6k miles but am watching out for a Subby if I could. I keep missing out on these as they sell fast. From my understanding the Coupe has much more leg room in the rear than a speedster am I correct? At this point I'm only interested in a Coupe just need to see about installing seatbelts in the rear, secured some how. Family weekend getaways and making memories with my 3&5 yr olds  is all that I am about👍

Not sure if you will be able to see this on Facebook or not:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/1477127335868167

@Impala posted:

Have you thought of a nice Karmann Ghia? You might have some more room a available.

The world (in general) and me (in particular) is 100% ready for a fiberglass Karmann Ghia replica.

I'll take mine in a pre-'70 coupe, with a sliding ragtop.

Everytime I look at a GHia they are just Rust buckets or some are good but you can see they still need so much detail work to eliminate rust from behind the headlight buckets etc etc. 

Even clean copies have all been redone or need to be redone so you can find them with 100 lbs of filler and you still have to rebuild them and thus every time I just look at  the work and say ... no, not taking that complete rebuid job. 

It would certainly be easier to get a body in FG and put it on a semi new or new pan. 

I would even go so far as to make the dash and even the whole interior like a 356 why bother with the plastic dash. Finally, the engine compartment alone makes it easy to fit any engine as well. 

The low-light is definitely more popular (and what people would buy more of)-- but I really like the '60-'69 taillights.

I'm dead serious about somebody splashing a mold. I know it's blasphemy on this site, but I like the ghia coupe a lot better than the 356 coupes of similar vintage. There's more room in the cabin and engine bay, and the car just looks low and sexy to me.

If I'd have known I'd end up building and rebuilding my car 100 times, I'd have just bought a rust-free coupe 15 years ago, rather than continuing to push the rock up the hill over and over and over.

President Stan said: "I'm dead serious about somebody splashing a mold. I know it's blasphemy on this site, but I like the ghia coupe a lot better than the 356 coupes of similar vintage. There's more room in the cabin and engine bay, and the car just looks low and sexy to me."

Oh @chines1, here's the next Beck development. 

Just imagine how cool this would be on the new chassis. 

Last edited by Lane Anderson

It would need someone like Carey to get this done right, but the development cost is quite high I would think.  Let him get his B coupe going for a bit and catch his breath on that one but it would be really interesting to see how much interest there would be in a SE-ghia Coupe for pre orders  

I really like the early metal dash boards but the dash handle has to go some purists might not like it but some form of 356 dash either early 58 or 59 would really be cool to me. 

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