Hi to all, I'm Martin, I live near Portsmouth on the south coast in England and I'm new on here because I've just picked up a black Chesil Speedster.
Pics below are from the day I picked it up.
It's a 1998 build on a '70 1600 IRS Beetle.
The engine was rebuilt by Stateside Tuning in '97 to 1914cc with twin Dellorto DRLA 40s, a Porsche fan kit and an antisocial Sebring style exhaust.
Overall it looks very tidy but beneath the surface there's plenty of work to do to get it running and looking right. Which is part of the reason for buying it - to have a winter project ready for next summer.
First job is to mend oil cooler hose which sprang a leak on my third drive in the car. Luckily, I'd only driven a mile up the road when the hose on the right in the pic sprang a leak due to being too close to the exhaust. The best piece of luck was the oil dripping onto the exhaust caused a huge smoke signal which meant I spotted it before all the oil left the engine. I managed to get it home with penty of oil left and the hoses are now with a local supplier to get copies made.
Talking of exhaust - wow, is it loud! Not for me, I'm afraid, so I'll be looking to quieten this one or replace the system.
The engine needs a bit of work.. There's oil coming from a couple of places - pushrod tubes and oil filler tube (dreadful bodge allows oil to escape) to name but two.
There's a lot of backfiring and popping which needs sorting (not just on the overrun) - I think it's a combination of dirt in the fuel (the car has had very little use over the last year or two), Dellorto 40s which are not sorted and, from what I hear, can't cope with dirty fuel, and an old fashioned points based ignition system that doesn't really work with the stroker engine.
The Gearbox is an AH model which is very low geared and covered in oil, so that'll be fun to see what's going on there! I'd like to get a comfortable cruise at 65-70 rather than the 3000rpm at 60mph.
The steering box is covered in oil, the steering is both vague and quite stiff (not a good combo!) and ideally the front (which has Sway-a-Ways) needs to be lowered another inch to get the car a bit more nose down. And I'll probably bring the back up a smidgeon to reduce the need for the sump guard!
The good points? I like the black and red. The previous owner, who was not a mechanic, liked the bling stuff, so it has a banjo steering wheel, a pretty quickshift gear lever, all the right dials and badges etc.
The chrome Fuchs-style wheels are different (not sure if I like them better than stock steel with hubcaps, but I'm going with the flow for now) - not sure if they're genuine or not yet. The engine has loads of grunt which is nice, but I'll take reliable and quietish over power and noise.
I grew up with simple, old Beetles - I learnt to drive (in 1985) in a '64 1200 and my first car was a '67 1500. So I know Beetles, but only the original, single carb bog standard version. So all this extra engine trickery and lowered suspension geometry is new to me. I've been reading up on all the good info on this site and will probably be quite active - asking plenty of questions in the relevant areas, and posting loads of pics as I work on it.
Looking forward to some happy times with my Speedster!!