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I think maintenance is the key issue here, or with any car. My last speedster (Vintage) was driven regularly and after 3 years showed no signs of frame fatigue, body cracking or engine problems. It was a factory built 1776 single carb from Vintage. In fact the only thing that did show, was small paint chips from rocks etc, other than that it looked new. That being said, I never skipped even the most minor maintenance, oil change/valve adjustment every 3months - 3000 miles. Garage storage, wax every 2 months, etc. Just beware of used speedsters that were built by less than reputable manufacturers (Ryan Motors) or home builders. While there are some home builders here that probably have better than factory quality cars, there are some who just slapped the car together with glue and spit.

Good maintenance applies to any car regardless on the manufacturer. It goes a long way in keeping you from the dreaded tow truck call. My inlaws constantly want to buy my old cars because they think they never break down. When they buy a new car, it will be on the side of the road in less than a year. Of course they spend NO money on maintenance. Bangs, knocks, warning lights, low tire tread, all get ignored until the car just quits. Then they spend huge amounts of money to fix the problem.

And then, aging well or evolving well, I've driven my Ryan Motors speedster 33,000 miles in the past 5 plus years. After the nagging elec. probs and hose probs that showed up in the 1st 10,000 miles were worked out, It has functioned as my daily driver year round here in the denver area. Continues to be solid and dependable as regular maintenance supports it. No probs with the body/doors/hood/trunk remaining aligned and trouble free. Both tops and both sets of curtains function well. The interior and paint shows wear expected of a drop-top road warrior driven almost daily. Mechanical problems have been limited to replacing the starter which was a rebuilt type one cost of about 60.00 and the clutch Kennedy Stage one which failed. Cables, the clutch and accelerator cables have been replaced 2 or three times each due to shortening and/or not aligning the guide tubes well. Other costs have been in upgrading the brakes, suspension, ignition, induction, and exhaust which have all been optional. I replaced the floor pans at the cost of 180.00 as I neglected the maintenance of them. With in the next four years I'll probably repaint and re-apolsture it along with putting a fresh and bigger engine in there. And continue to enjoy the drive.

(Message Edited 1/21/2003 3:02:41 AM)
I believe you could follow the 3,000 mile rule, or every two years in your case, and be just fine. Many of the members of the board do their own maintenance, including myself. Valves adjustments are not difficult, and with a good manual like the John Muir "idiot book" even an ordinary, marginally mechanical "feckless tuner" like myself can pull it off. You can order the Muir book by accessing the library tab on this site. It's well worth the price, believe me.
John H
2000 VS
Reliable... yes, it's a german VW.
Just maintain it and do keep little stuff up. 250,000 miles on the tranny, then rebuild ($900 to $1700). Major overhaul (top and bottom end) every 100,000 miles = $2500 to $3000. Top end (heads) rebuild, every 50,000 miles ($300 to $750). If it is a really fast motor, reduce the mileage by 20% and increase the cost by 30 tp 40%.
Hello Patrick. You mentioned that this car may be a daily driver. Depending on your climate, you may want to ensure you silicone anything that can possibly leak into the interior. We just purchased a new Vintage turnkey and live in Nashville where it rains quite a bit. The carpet behind the front seats became soaked until I took care of it. We're using the Speedster as a daily driver and been in the snow and rain with no regrets! Thanks.
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