Hi all, Well I've finally signed up to a Speedster website. I am/will be looking for a speedster. This is all purely by accident. I was googling for something on the internet, can't remember what. Anyway, Chesil's website popped up and oops I fell in love. Like many other guys I can't afford a real 356 and so am happy to settle for a very close second best. Can anyone give me any tips on Chesil prices. I can't find a price list. I am looking for a start price to have one made. I will be looking at having one made because I have specifics for colour and interior. I've looked at other speedster manufacturers, RCH in Greece and another company in USA. Both look really nice but, ideally I'm looking for something manufactured in UK so, so its going to have to be Chesil.

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In US you'd be looking at a $30k beginning build price.  Why not import a used CMC from US and restore to color scheme you want?  There are a few in UK.  Most would be left hand drive - but not too difficult to swap in right hand drive VW bits.  You can go to members, maps, and zero in on UK to find where they are in UK.

There is a UK Speedster site -

LORD!!! Don't get me started on this.  I bought a Chesil last year, and it was the worst thing I could have done.  I returned it after 6 weeks, having threatened Peter Bailey with legal action.  It was a used car with 1800 miles on it, but Peter told a series of lies about it, and it just went a little too far when I found out the capacity of the engine wasn't what he said it was.  I contacted the original engine builder with the serial number etc.  My mechanic opened it up, and in his opinion, the engine had never been serviced since it was new.  Peter's comment to this was that it was an oversight on their part.  My experience is well documented on the Speedsters and Spyders group on facebook.  Join the UK club, and the facebook forum will be invaluable for you.

I now have a Vintage Speedster, and I would go so far as to say it's the most photographed Speedster along with @Ryan in NorCal's.  I wouldn't hesitate in recommending a Vintage Speedster from the USA made in RHD.  OR if you HAVE to buy a car from the UK, buy either a Speedster Clinic or Pilgrim car.  But NOT a Chesil.

Happy for you to find me on facebook, and I'll send you details of how to join the UK club.  It's £20, and it's invaluable.  I'll attach a pic on here of my VS next to a Chesil.  You can see not only the front end is incorrect on a Chesil, but the panel gaps are HUGE!


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Yes I joined the UK club. Didn’t realise this wasn’t a UK site till I joined up and saw the $ signs 😊. Had a look at the Speedster clinic, looks quite nice. Though I must admit never seen a bad thing said about Chesil. Maybe it was a one off, but the engine never being serviced??? WOW. Will check Pilgrim later. 

HA, In US we just call that "sorting out" the car.  Even new ones can take a couple grand ($) to sort out properly.  Some owners have nearly immediately had to replace engines.  US dealers take Euro and Sterling.  Joke is that CMC advertised a build time of 40 hours - from VW bug to Speedster.  Some say a zero is missing - but 100 hours might get it done.   Restoring/finishing a used one is economical only IF you can do most of work yourself. For a total investment of $16k (plus shipping) you could have a respectable Speedster.

Aren't the Chesil headlights raised to meed current UK MOT rules.  I know fuel filler is different too and they have a unique way of sealing side windows to Speedster windshield (effective but not elegant).  Importing a 30 year old build would get you around that - plus import duty would likely be low. (Do you pay import plus VAT?)

Chesil's lights have always been high.  Nothing to do with UK regs as Pilgrim use the correct light positioning.  It's not just a case of them being mounted high, the shape of the front end is different.  If you mounted them lower, you'd have a flat area above the lights rather than a curve back.  


Richard, join the facebook group, and no one will have a nice word to say about Chesil.  It certainly wasn't a one off.  I was warned off, but I assumed they were the goto guys in the UK, and was very wrong.  Having my current car, it's better in EVERY way.  

In the UK, yes the price is import plus VAT.  I priced up a VS last year at around £38k.  I ended up buying  used car with 4,000 miles.  My Chesil broke down 4 times in 6 weeks, and I've now done 6,000 more miles in my VS, and it's never once let me down.  If I posted some of Peter Bailey's email responses on here, you'd have a right laugh.  In fact let me see if I have one.

Below is Peter's response to the fact that there was a huge amount of metal filler instead of an actual gasket.  His response really shows what he considers "customer service."  Also, he claims that each car goes through a "rigorous" inspection.  But he gave me a car with that level of metal filler, and that hadn't even had an oil change done.  At £27,000, that's a joke.  He even went so far as to tell me that the metal filler is fine.  Just replace it with a gasket at a later date.  My response was that I'd rather not wait as it might be hiding a cracked case.  For this and many other reasons, I had to return the car after threatening him with legal action.  He also mounted my bumpers bent, and tried to tell me it adds to the "charm" of the car.  Complete and utter dickhead.


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BUT left hand drive in UK is a real safety issue (especially in a small car with limited visibility with top up - not like Calif where it never rains).  So buy a used/unfinished one needing rehab and convert to right hand drive.  Shave the gauge binnacle off or just add another one to other side.

I used to drive an LHD Fiat 124 Spider for the summer a few years back.  It's really not a big deal.  I have another daily car, and as much as I would wanna drive my car in bad weather, I never do.  I wouldn't totally rule out LHD here in the UK.  But like me, you could hold out and buy a used VS in the UK.  Just DO NOT buy a Chesil.  Join the facebook group if you haven't already.  That's how I found my car.

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