All

I am looking at buying a 57 replica and there is not much info as it is now with a dealer. He seems like a decent guy, but doesnt have a ton of info other than it was a Classic Motor Carriage build. I am new to the speedster, so wanted to know if anyone can give me an idea of how the Classic company built there cars...did they reinforce the pans, etc. The car looks great but I just want to know if I should run from anything that says Classic or even though they went out of business...did they actually build reputable cars. this particular car has 4000 miles on it.

thanks

Todd

Original Post
All

I am looking at buying a 57 replica and there is not much info as it is now with a dealer. He seems like a decent guy, but doesnt have a ton of info other than it was a Classic Motor Carriage build. I am new to the speedster, so wanted to know if anyone can give me an idea of how the Classic company built there cars...did they reinforce the pans, etc. The car looks great but I just want to know if I should run from anything that says Classic or even though they went out of business...did they actually build reputable cars. this particular car has 4000 miles on it.

thanks
Todd:

There are a number of CMC owners on here, including me. The main issue with any CMC is always "Who built it?" There were a few (very few) that were built (supposedly) by CMC, but the reality is that CMC contracted with a few small shops in the Miami or upper Mid-West to do the assembly for them. Generally, the quality of the fiberglass is quite good. Not terrific, but quite good and it generally tends to be thicker, rather than thinner. The quality of the fitment of doors, hood, engine cover and everything else has everything to do with who assembled it and how much care they put into their work.

Depending on how it was put together, the body may develop stress cracks surrounding the headlights (generally eliminated if the front body mount was properly installed) and a few have exhibited a strange bubble (more like a shallow dome) between the rear seat and the engine cover. The body has an integral steel frame to provide strength to the fiberglass, and it also reinforces the shortened VW pan, making it quite strong. When it is assembled properly, the car doesn't creak or groan or snap or rattle when driven. Overall performance has everything to do with the power train, so any engine from a 1,776 to a 2.1 liter will do just fine, although larger engines give better performance.

Perhaps the best approach would be for you to find someone on here who has a bit of experience with Speedsters, and CMC's in particular, and who lives in the area of the car you're looking at and ask them to take a look at it with you. That way you'll get some experienced eyes who can ask the important questions for you.

Gordon
The Speedstah Guy from South Carolina

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If you are old enough - back in the 1980's all major airports had a CMC Speedster or Gazelle in their lobbies. That's what eventually created Speedster desire for me (and fact that first car was a '57 VW). Other than those - most were owner built. The build manuals are here under the Library tab. One diagram shows the massive steel support frame. I'd hesitate to buy from a dealer - find one from an owner.

Cars/Kits were reputable --- it's the company that was finally shut down by Florida's State Attorney General in 1992 for being disreputable!
There are several of manufacturers out there. To guarantee that you are happy with what you do, do some research here before you buy. Most other manufacturers sell/sold partially or completely finished cars, while CMC sold a fiberglass body and a bunch of parts. Some people (like Gordon, Alan Merklin, etc.) created some beautiful, well-engineered cars, while others (to be charitable) made cars with issues. Perhaps if you could provide some photos we could make a cursory assessment. Cost is a definite factor, as some of the "cars with issues" look decent if you don't really know what to look for. The more money they want, the more you need to study the car.

Most of the forums here have a sticky thread called "Ready for a Speedster Replica? - (Everything you need to know)". I strongly recommend reading it.
Thanks everyone for your posts! I am happy to say that I spent a little more and got a little more. I am closing right now on a Vintage Speedster through a private party with 1500 miles on it. Beautiful car. and looking forward to being part of the group!

I looked at the one I discussed and that car was a complete mess...
I am looking forward to it.

Real quick. The interior is the tan interior that Vintage puts in. the car is red. I want to get new floor mats. anyone have any suggestions?

Also - the car is titled as a 68 volkswagen. It has KM gauges. wondering if this will be an issue trying to get tags for the car?
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