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First post; just joined. I am considering shopping for a Speedster replica, and am daunted by the physical distance between NYC Metro and "the land of speedsters." Have never even ridden in a replicar of any kind, but I maybe do otherwise fit the profile: Have owned a 68 beetle cabrio, a 4speed Corvair, a 914, a 77 Targa, and my wrenching claim to fame was putting a 3.0 liter Porsche six in a 81 Vanagon (myself, not a shop.)

I'm hoping to make a connection with others on the East Coast, for insights on how best to shop on this coast for a good used Speedster (or how to solve the distance problem e.g. who to trust to look at a candidate car and report.)

A sample question: What do those in the know think about the dealer and/or the car in ebay item https://www.ebay.com/itm/1966-...eedster/114409160893 , with its tail up in the air like that.

Thanks, and looking forward to all the benefits of this forum.

wrkinprogress

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Plenty of owners on the east coast. If Carlisle happens this year and you haven't bought by then, it may be a good place to get a closer look and meet the group.

Do your homework before you buy. Know what you want and what you are looking for then...... Be patient. If cars slip through your fingers, there will be another coming.



Personally, I wouldn't buy from a dealership. You are not only buying the car, you are paying fees and a salesperson commission. Too easy to avoid it in my opinion.

That car posted in this topic post is too high priced, as Chris says the dealership taking his cut.

It also appears to have either been jacked into position on the rotating display, the swing-axles positive camber making the car sit at a false ride height. If the car is rolled back and forth it should drop down. If that doesn't do it, a torsion bar adjustment will.

wrkinprogress: if you catch Alan at the right time, he can build you what you want from somebody's unfinished project. That's his specialty. Or you could go with Beck in Indiana or the east coast Vintage dealer.

If you put an 911 SC motor in a Vanagon, I'm betting you could build your own if inclined. I think Vintage is a good bet for a body.

https://www.vintagemotorcarsinc.com/

Cars do come up on craigslist, ebay, or other classifieds. Unfinished projects are seen on thesamba.com as well.

I live about 70 miles northwest of NYC, and have a self-built Vintage Spyder.

I'm betting that Speedster was built by Vintage Speedsters when it was located in Hawaiian Gardens before it was purchased and moved to Phoenix.  Greg Leach took over the Hawaiian Gardens facility and hired the workers.   (Long story).  Reports are that Greg has raised the quality from when VS was operating.  I know that Vintage Speedsters used that red curly alternator wire but I don't know if Greg kept it--I wouldn't have done so myself.

I suggest you loot for the list of Speedster manufacturers on the SOC site under "Resources" at the top pf the main page.  You can see some prices of new cars there and I believe you will see that cars from Hawaiian Gardens or Phoenix are lower than that jacked up one from the reseller on the link you posted.  The suggestions to you on here from soc members are all excellent sources of Speedsters too.  Good luck---maybe we'll be welcoming you to the madness soon!

Ditto on above. I was in the same boat years ago. Everything seemed to be on the West Coast or Florida.

I setup a watch in eBay and one Friday night one showed up in NJ. CMC with everything still in boxes. It was left at a guys classic Mustang shop (so natually he didn't want it). Several beers later (and a phone call that went to midnight), I got the whole mess for $3K as long as I could get it out in a few days. Other eBayers were PISSED!!!! Just made the whole thing sweeter.

A few days later I had it on a U-Haul coming through Newark at rush hour (wondering WTF was I thinking).

You just have to keep a sharp eye -and be willing to kill if need be.

Love stories like that. Keeps hope alive.

The SOC site and its citizens are really a treasure trove, helping me to sort out what I might want in a car and what I would have to invest both in money and in maintenance time. E.g. so many of the cars I have done my own maintenance on have been buses and Vanagons I could just slide under, I realize I have to pay attention to the thread on jacks and lifts if I'm serious about a speedster.

How is this possible?

I thought you had retired????????????????

Maybe time to cut back on the caffeine or something.

(I envy that you have heat in the garage/shop, though).

If I ever listened to all the "last build" nonsense, it was so long ago I don't remember it.

Even when Alan moved to WV and sold/gave/threw away everything he had I knew he would be back building within a year. Guys like him are not wired to watch Wheel of Fortune and be lined up for the early-bird special at Denny's for entertainment.

Regarding the heated shop, I can't believe a man of your ability and ingenuity (who actually DID retire about 20-odd years ago) hasn't bitten the bullet and insulated and heated your garage. It's really not that expensive. If you can build a gasoline heater controller, you can certainly heat your space.

I haven't worked in a cold garage in more than 20 years. It makes living above the Mason-Dixon line palatable.

Yeah, I know.  

I did get the insulation done and finished the interior pretty nicely, and looked at a few "Shop Hawg" propane heaters but have been that route before - You really need to run the heat to at least 50F all the time so your tools are warm-ish when you handle them.  It would also be Über-nice to have radiant heat in the floor slab and THAT's never gonna happen unless I put a grid floor over the slab (I think about that from time to time, too.)  All this thinking takes it's toll, though:

You know you are getting old when it takes too much effort to procrastinate.

But then, and more for Alan's benefit, I remember that little sign I used to have on my office wall, a quote from the poet Ogden Nash:

"To Sit...

         Is To Rot"


There might be hope for me, yet!

C178A6E7-1A31-488B-AF8E-7A7AA7EB18C29BB7F11E-B0B3-4B1C-B27F-CAC83251E456B38BFE39-EC87-4076-A7B3-875360439EB59AB85446-66AA-46D5-ABB0-30107385CCCD019C1ED4-F920-4721-94C7-619DFC8B8906665127AF-8B4E-450E-8ACA-5D8AAF0DF464Last year I sold the Bugeyeguy up in CT my Beck it is a beautiful car. David S. (The Bugeye guy) and I talked a long time about these cars and he liked mine so much he bought others to sell. Being outside of NYC though I believe his prices are high. I do know mine is one of the best. I went To Bremen met Carey and Kevin (been there several times) to buy mine.

I really loved mine but I also have a beautiful Beck 550 and got into British cars and bought a 59 Sebring Sprite race car I wanted. I also have a 60 Bugeye Sprite.

Stirling Moss sat in my Sebring and signed the dash in 2014 while it was racing at Limerock.

Check out the Speedsters on the Bugeyeguy’s web page.
Pete

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For more information to steer my speedster search I called Liberty Mutual just now. Had the good fortune to be connected to an agent who's a car guy (older GM muscle cars) so he knew the subject well. I was especially happy to hear that I should be able to get a Hagerty stated value policy and still be under my LM umbrella policy for my auto and homeowners. Also that coverage can be tailored to my usage pattern, which is definitely not going to be car-shows-only kinda thing. These had been concerns for me, so that was a good call.

First post; just joined. I am considering shopping for a Speedster replica, and am daunted by the physical distance between NYC Metro and "the land of speedsters." Have never even ridden in a replicar of any kind, but I maybe do otherwise fit the profile: Have owned a 68 beetle cabrio, a 4speed Corvair, a 914, a 77 Targa, and my wrenching claim to fame was putting a 3.0 liter Porsche six in a 81 Vanagon (myself, not a shop.)

I'm hoping to make a connection with others on the East Coast, for insights on how best to shop on this coast for a good used Speedster (or how to solve the distance problem e.g. who to trust to look at a candidate car and report.)

A sample question: What do those in the know think about the dealer and/or the car in ebay item https://www.ebay.com/itm/1966-...eedster/114409160893 , with its tail up in the air like that.

Thanks, and looking forward to all the benefits of this forum.

wrkinprogress

I agree with @Jack Crosby that the car on eBay likely comes from Vintage Speedsters, as the engine bay looks right out of their catalog.  Interior appointments suggest a few upgrades.  Price seems a bit high, not to say that you couldn't negotiate, but factor in shipping enclosed to your home.  State Farm actually ensures my Speedster, also from Vintage Speedsters, and I recall having a choice between covering low mileage or really low mileage use.  Hagerty would be a great choice if you don't want to worry about driving your car, but if you do a lot of business with your insurance company, give them a shot at covering you.  Best of luck.

This car is an anomaly and I tend to doubt that it is actually a Vintage Speedsters built car.  Although there are pictures with the top up and the interior looks like a typical VS interior, there are pictures that don't show any top attachment in the rear, behind the seats and the trunk carpet is not like any other VS car I have ever seen!  Additionally, there is a kill switch located in the back area behind the passenger seat, which is where JPS sometimes locates them, but I don't think it's a JPS either.

Also, the car appears to have a windshield washer spray system!  I see spray nozzles on the front cowl and a reservoir tank next to the battery.  No Vintage Speedster I am aware of has ever had that! 

Interesting that the seller shows a Vintage Spyder brochure in one of the pictures!

@Jack Crosby

@MarkWilk_uf

@wrkinprogress

I'd have to agree with @Troy Sloan that this is not a Kirk era Vintage Speedster built Speedster. There are also several other tells not mentioned by Troy:

19

On VS cars that Kirk built the door card comes all the way underneath the top rail. This looks pretty shoddy and the door card is loose.

22

I've never seen a Kirk built VS with the lights and the wipers on the left side of the steering wheel. This one also has a push button start which I've never seen Kirk do. Can't say he never did but I haven't seen one yet. Also, the three bolts at the leading edge of the seat back MIGHT be where the top mounts too and I have certainly never seen that done by Kirk either.

28-2

This trim that runs all the way across the back is different and never done by Kirk before. And the red handled thing is either a kill switch or a fire suppression system and I've never seen VS do that either.

54-2

For + $40K I'd expect the rubber trim to come to the edge of the bumper.

55

Never seen a four-tip Monza exhaust on one a VS built car either.

86

The brake fluid reservoir is usually here on a VS as well. And the trunk prop rod is installed differently than a VS built car also. I wonder where the windshield reservoir and the brake fluid reservoir are at if not in the frunk?

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Last edited by Robert M

It does take a leap of faith to wire someone you don't know thousands of dollars for a car you have never seen in person, but there are a few things you can do to feel more comfortable about it, but primarily you need to trust your gut!

  • Are you able to contact the person on the phone?
  • Does he/she answer all your questions with reasonable answers and not something that sounds like BS?
  • Do they sound like they are being honest with you?
  • Do they sound uncomfortable speaking with you?
  • Do you get a positive vibe from them?
  • If he/she is on eBay, do they have a positive Feedback score with multiple (more than just 1 or 2) sales or purchases?
  • Have they sold cars on eBay before?
  • Are there high quality pictures of the entire car?
  • Does it look like they are trying to hide somethings about the car?  These days, it's easy to take very good photos with a cell phone, so if the pictures are blurry, or dark they are probably hiding something.

There are "escrow" services available, but my opinion is that they just shift the protection from the buyer to the seller and I won't accept them.

eBay also automatically offers both Seller and Buyer Protection, which I thinks helps, but I would never want to have to file a claim with them, because I expect it would be a nightmare.  Read the fine print!

Again, in the end, your best protection is to not be naive and trust your gut!

Last edited by Troy Sloan

^ All this is more the reason to research and buy a used replica that has been gone through and well-sorted by @Troy Sloan. Troy has turned 60+ replica Speedsters he has refurbished and sold to satisfied customers resulting in a high positive feed back on eBay.This takes the guesswork out of your purchase.

Here is Troy's website.

www.replicaspeedsters.com

Our other SOCer @Alan Merklin has also been a reliable source for used and refurbished Speedsters but has since retired and has scaled down (a subjective term) his workshop.

@wrkinprogress

Last edited by MusbJim

Some more info re https://www.ebay.com/itm/1966-...eedster/114409160893

I spoke to a very helpful salesman this morning who took two more photos and two short videos for me. The MOV files didn't upload successfully just now but I will try to get them up too. He states the car is a VS build from 2000 with front disks, rear drums, "extra insulation", and working heat at the footwell registers. The car started right up and idled evenly (although he only ran it briefly, since it was sitting in the showroom.)

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Some more info re https://www.ebay.com/itm/1966-...eedster/114409160893

I spoke to a very helpful salesman this morning who took two more photos and two short videos for me. The MOV files didn't upload successfully just now but I will try to get them up too. He states the car is a VS build from 2000 with front disks, rear drums, "extra insulation", and working heat at the footwell registers. The car started right up and idled evenly (although he only ran it briefly, since it was sitting in the showroom.)

I’m going to bet money it was an unfinished roller someone “finished” in their garage. There are way too many differences for it to have been completely built by VS.

^ That eBay listing for $41,490 is way over priced. You could get a nice brand new build from Vintage Motorcars for that if you don’t splurge on a ton of upgrades. Not to mention, the build quality on that one seems shoddy and there are several oddities. If I weren’t buying new, I would buy one of Troy Sloan’s replicas. He seems like a stand-up guy and offers nice cars at a fair price.

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