Skip to main content

So... I've been kicking around a future project for several years, and have a few questions.

I love my speedster, but I'm very interested in doing a Spyder someday. The thing is-- I don't fit. I know that both Vintage and Beck bodies are longer in the cockpit than the original 550, but they still aren't long or low enough to accommodate my "American Super-Sized" body.

I'm aware that the Vintage and Beck both have been extended in the cabin to fit a normal sized human, but they're both a couple of inches too small for me. I suppose what I'm asking is of there is anybody (worldwide) or has been anybody in the past who makes/made a mid-engined Spyder "sorta" replica that was a couple inches longer/lower?

If the answer is no, I suppose I'll move along. But, I can't seem to get past this until I know for sure.

President for Life, the People's Republic of Stanistan

"Everyone is entitled to his own opinions, but not to his own facts."

Original Post

Replies sorted oldest to newest

Stan needs more room in the torso area. He wants his noggin behind the windshield, not above. His Speedster is modified to fit him.

Pretty much all replica Spyders except (Anand's current build) have a 2 inch longer wheelbase than the factory cars did.

I know a couple Becks and/or Vintage Spyders were made with a lower floor where the seats go. Contact Carey and/or Greg. The only problem with that is my floor is about 5" from the ground, not sure I'd want to lower the ground clearance much.

I fit just fine in my Spyder, but I'm 5' 9" with a 32" inseam. Kinda average size. And it's definitely in, not perched on top, like an MG LOL!

My point is that no one ever fit in the Spyder with their noggin below the top of the windscreen. 

Unless the windscreen was raised.

Which was done, on occasion, in period. 

As you say, you can't take the floor down more than an inch or so without making real trouble for yourself. You can't make the seats lower than "bolt the shells directly to the floor," as you have done. 

I think what @Stan Galat wants is not a 550 Spyder kit or replica, but a reimagined Spyderesque vehicle at approximately 1:1.1 scale, so that he (or anyone) could sit down "in" the car completely and yet retain the full measure of that iconic super-low profile. I'm sure it's doable, at a price point. It might even be worth doing, given the changing market and modern expectations of what a sports car ought to do and be and look like with a person driving in it.

I know Stan dislikes looking like (in his inimitable phrase) "a circus bear riding a tricycle." Seems so undignified! So counter to the idea of the sleek new Porsche upending the racing world.

BUT: I have checked, and BEAR-ON-CHILD'S-TRIKE is exactly how every legendary driver looked in these cars, all the time, when they were raced. 

Ed wrote: No one ever fit in the Spyder with their noggin below the top of the windscreen.   Well the one Spyder I redid,  I sat comfortably below the windshield frame but I had to refabricate the drivers seat some.  If there were to be only one driver,  install the seat in a fixed location directly on the floor without seat tracks.... Ta - Da!



Last edited by Alan Merklin
Alan Merklin posted:

Ed wrote: No one ever fit in the Spyder with their noggin below the top of the windscreen.   Well the one Spyder I redid,  I sat comfortably below the windshield frame but I had to refabricate the drivers seat some.  If there were to be only one driver,  install the seat in a fixed location directly on the floor without seat tracks.... Ta - Da!



Well, I sit corrected then. Alan, who is somewhat shorter than Danny and Stan (and I think even me—and I'm 5-7), can indeed sit down below the screen—after appropriate mods to the seat!

Average American man in 1955 was maybe 5-8 and 160. And they still sat tall in these cars!

Average American man today is 5-10 and roughly 195.

Stan says he's what? 6-1? 

I guess the good news about the replica is that the lower-the-seat-mod is possible to do, thus making it possible for guys like Alan and me to sit way down low in there like the badass gangsters we are. It's not really possible in the real cars without removing the cross brace that the front of the seat tracks bolts to, which is not recommended.

The only way to make Stan fit in a Spyder the way Alan fit in his is to make the Spyder 20 percent larger in all dimensions. 


Ed, my seat is indeed bolted to the floor. The car fits me and my head is BELOW the windscreen. I have fabricated pedal extensions so that my 5'3" lady can also drive it. Her arms are almost as long as mine so the seating position/hand placement still works. It's just the short legs we have to deal with, specifically the clutch travel. The clutch needs to go almost all the way to the floor. 

Years ago my friend Walter drove my car and I followed him in his 911. It struck me how you couldn't even see his head in front of the headrest. He was 5'9", same as me. It's the proportions though, he had at least a 34" leg with a short torso. I'm thinking Stan has the opposite problem, short legs and LONG torso. He'd be good if we could re-make him with a shorter neck........

None of this would be so if I had a plexi screen. Then pretty much anybody would be above the screen.

What is mentioned above is about all that can be done.  We've deleted seat tracks and modified seats for a taller driver, but that is about all you get.  There is a little room between the rear "firewall" and the engine so a custom recess int he firewall may be possible also, but there are some other considerations that would have to be made along with those changes... i.e. any additional recess to the firewall would prevent engine install from that side, so you'd have to make the battery tray removable so that you could install the drivetrain from the passengers side.

We've made custom lower floors for our GTS to fit 6'6" drivers, and even cut out the bottom of the seat and made a custom bottom cushion that attaches directly to the door itself... I'm just not a fan of my a$$ being the lowest part of the car...

I hear you, Ray. I'm in an IM (which sits deeper than a pan car), with Fibersteel seats and Spyder (thin) padding, mounted with the seat-base on the floor, and tipped back like I'm in a Saturn rocket. I sit behind the windshield-- I did not when the car was delivered, even though I worked at length with Henry to get his seat shells to sit as low as possible. Getting it like this took a lot of fab-work, and no small amount of money. 

I love it. My wife said it feels like being 4 years old, and not being able to see over the dashboard.

The Spyders are just so very, very cool.

Last edited by Stan Galat

Yeah, my wife complains of not being able to see over the dash ... I told her I can modify it for her but she does not really like going far in the car so we have paused on making the seat adjustment as my son is now in the drivers seat as well. Never alone for sure...

If we ever go the same meet with our cars you can try my seat set up... you can have a real head rest on a long trip. " 

Last edited by IaM-Ray

I put an 62-2961 EMPI vinyl seat in the passenger side for Jeanie. It is as ugly as a mud fence, and was meant to be a temporary solution for Tour de Smo 2017, but it became permanent.

She loves it. She likes it better than an E-class Merc seat. I'd make some smug comment-- but I like sitting in a $1000 bomber seat, and she's way too pretty to be riding around with an orangutan on her left-- so there's that.

Last edited by Stan Galat

Stan, there is a guy in Arizona named Nathan that frequents Spyderclub. I seem to recall him having a lowered floor in a Thunder Ranch so he can fit. He also has a type 4 and flared fenders like Angela's car.

No more TR, so call Greg, I'm pretty sure that he has modified some cars with lower floors and pockets in the firewall. In a Vintage, there is more room as there is no torsion tube.

Carey: I have bottomed my old car when I had it sooooo low. I was going up a dirt/rutted driveway. I have not bottomed the new car as the ride height is not high but like Goldilocks: just right LOL! The old car had a huge nut between the seats. No not me! There was a large heim joint that the shifter rod slid through. That nut secured it on the bottom and hung down about an inch. I only hit that a couple times in the 40,000 miles I drove the car.

Last edited by DannyP

Add Reply

Post Content
Link copied to your clipboard.