I have an idea:

How about we form an intermeccanica Porsche 356 Speedster Registry?

This way we can keep track and monitor the numbered intermeccanica Porsche Speedsters produced by Frank and Henry Reisner.

Intermeccanica Speedsters made in California were limited to approximately 600.

For example numbers such as: 1, 356, 55, would be interesting to current and potential collectors.

Can you think of other significant numbers that might be attractive to collectors?

Any thoughts or comments would be appreciated.

 Cheers 

 

There can be only one...!

Original Post

I think you're kinda barking up the wrong tree. There is no "provenance" in a 30 year-old plus kit car/replica. There really isn't a whole lot of collectible here. It's a nice old replica, that's all. It isn't a Porsche no matter how much you'd like it to be. Yes, it's an Intermeccanica, but it's a replica on a VW Beetle pan.

It’s just an idea.

In my opinion the overall dynamics of the intermeccanica 356 outperform the original Porsche as a result of two key design innovations.

First intermeccanica’s unique chassis feature that moves the engine/transmission package 3” forward of the original location, significantly improving weight distribution.

Second, the use of more modern semi trailing arms rear suspension. The chassis is permanently united with one piece ISO resin composite body.Composite panels guarantee long term durability of the body. 

All comments are welcome 

 

Cheers

It may be so @Highlander356 but if you think P guys love IM's ....No.

Did Frank start this hobby?  Well yes.  Are they good replicas yes and the 1984ish onward were on a square tube frame making them more of a substantial frame and rigidity.  Any car kept in reasonable shape will move up with the cost of living. 

Hence the increase to produce a new one and the possibility to see your car increase in value with time.  Will it move like Seinfelds car assuredly not but you still will have and can have fun with them. 

The USA has many more manufacturers that came out of this hobby making very good cars.  Some very different and very custom with all sorts of combinations of features. 

I wish you luck but I don't know if people other than IM would want to create such a registry.  They have the data.  As for getting a response the IM company is busy doing it's Ecar venture so they are more prone to disregard non support issue questions. 

Buy something for your car that needs an IM part exclusively and an answer may be forthcoming but I don't think you will get a response on this question... Just saying.

Yeah, later IM's have some really neat features, but you and I both own early cars, @Highlander356 (I'd feel much more comfortable here if we were on a first name basis- the screen names so many people hide behind are so impersonal), that are VW pan based and DON'T have the transaxle/engine location altered (or other later updates). Yours is swingaxle- if you should choose to, there are aftermarket trailing arm brackets you can weld in to you pan to convert to irs (I've put an irs pan underneath my car to be better handling), but emulating what Henry does now- moving the trans/engine forward is a major re-work. Another change from the original pan based concept that is common on IM's these days- 911 front suspensions. I've ridden in Bob Carley's 911 based car and I can tell you, I wish it was an easy modification, but I have what I have.

You seem to have a need for you car to be 'collectable' or special, and maybe sometime in the future it will be, but the great thing about these cars is they are meant to be driven (and not stored in a garage and ogled from a distance on a show field). If you think putting together an IM Registry is something you'd like to do, great- but in the meantime, get out there and enjoy the wind in your hair!  Al

The prior SW for this site used to capture builder make and what you thought the build (rating) - for home built DIY it was not very valid but you could see total # of IM/CMC/VS/Becks amoung owners here.  You could encourage folks to add make, serial # and year of manf to their profiles along with pictures.

First intermeccanica’s unique chassis feature that moves the engine/transmission package 3” forward of the original location, significantly improving weight distribution.

??? Early VW pan based IMs (to include FF/CMC/VS/JPS) use a standard VW bug/T1 pan shortened ~10.5".  It is not a unique IM feature there.  Later tube chassis IMs did that but it also causes extreme CV joint angles (so boots get destroyed quickly).  IM also lengthen some chassis's/bodies like for the Porsche 6 cyl installation.

Second, the use of more modern semi trailing arms rear suspension. The chassis is permanently united with one piece ISO resin composite body.

Permanently united?- NOT TRUE It's only as strong as the silicon caulking (and few bolts) used to join the pan to the body.  CMC's build manual has you fiberglass the joining seams. It can be fairly easily separated say to change the floor pan. The steel subframe is glued (Liquid Nails) and riveted to the fiberglass but even it can be removed.

I can appreciate the enthusiasm and what it is you’re trying to do. However, this site has far fewer members than the number of Speedster réplicas that have been assembled. The majority of the members here likely have cars that were built by the former Vintage Speedsters are Hawaiian Gardens and CMC/Fiberfab. 

Intermeccanica started this hobby a very long time ago and who knows how many of those original California built cars are still on the road?

The potential to reach every IM owner is pretty slim so your registry wouldn’t have too many members. You might be the only one who has an interest in who has IM #1, 356, and etc. But if you find someone else who shares your enthusiasm then by all means register away. The pragmatic side of me doesn’t think you’ll have much success but I’m not here to crush your dreams. 

I've always wondered exactly how many bodies the FF/CMC (plus Autoresolution and Street Beasts) venture built over the years.  They had the classic speedster, the California flared body speedster and the 359 "959 look" speedster. They were and probably still are the largest kit car producer.  Care were supplied with a plate but very few builders actually installed the plates.  All paper existing records were destroyed years ago.  

In my opinion, it takes a guy pretty comfortable with himself to drive a car everybody thinks of as a fake. Generally, the people who think of them that way also think we are trying to pass a counterfeit off as the real thing. I'm not.

There are no doubt owners who are in this to impress or fool other people-- but the vast majority of us are content to enjoy what we've got, regardless of what anybody else thinks.

I've got an Intermeccanica. I bought it because it ticked more of the boxes that were important to me than other cars that were available at the time. I've got no Porsche badges on it. I've got zero interest in anything that might give the impression that I think I'm better than anybody else because I own it. When people ask me what it is, I'll sometimes tell them it's "a plastic fantastic". I'll always talk it down. It's super-cool to me, other people can take it or leave it.

I really like the democratic nature of this site. At the bottom of the well-- we all derive some perverse enjoyment in owning and operating something that almost nobody "gets". I've got no interest in dividing an already tiny hobby into some sort of pecking order.

What I own is essentially an overpriced dune-buggy-- a plastic Shriner clown-car powered by a fancy lawn equipment engine. A registry for it interests me about the same amount as a registry for Toro lawn-mower owners.

"In my opinion, it takes a guy pretty comfortable with himself to drive a car everybody thinks of as a fake. Generally, the people who think of them that way also think we are trying to pass a counterfeit off as the real thing. I'm not."

Umm...I wonder if plastic surgery has the same caveats?  No one is telling  

On the other hand we have a prior dentist who has gone into car building who uses dental molds to make parts.

I wonder if we had a plastic surgeon do the same would that make our cars real?

Last edited by IaM-Ray
Stan Galat posted:

What I own is essentially an overpriced dune-buggy-- a plastic Shriner clown-car powered by a fancy lawn equipment engine. A registry for it interests me about the same amount as a registry for Toro lawn-mower owners.

I have Toro lawn mower number 784,844,032

Having spent many years in the cheap side of the Porsche community, I encounter quite a few upturned noses at things I had done to make me happy with the 911SC/993 turbo cabrio. Some folks will never understand having something just for the fun of it. I sold the Porsches to make the down payment on our little house out here and bought an old IM to rebuild for fun.

Figuring out how to explain to people what the car is was hard at first. I've deleted any IM references from my explanations. Many people don't even know that it is a replica of a Porsche much less have any interest in the history of replicas. I usually just start saying that it is a replica of a 57 Porsche Speedster that I rebuilt (you can see where my ego is invested :-)

Like many folks on this site, I came around to enjoying having an unusual car that's just for my enjoyment. I proudly display my PCCA (Plastic Car Club of America) badge on the engine grill and am waiting for the custom license plates that say "FAUX-57." I enjoy the admiring and puzzled looks the car gets and I've had untold numbers of parking lot conversations with people about cars they've had and seen over the years.

Budget additional travel time for those conversations, they make everyone happy. Don't worry about car snobs. The things they worry about aren't relevant to us and it's not your responsibility to make them happy. As a matter of fact, I get a little pleasure out of tweaking the noses of snobby people. Enjoy your IM. I think that number 55 is yours for as long as you want it. Welcome to the madness!

Mike

"Enjoy your IM. I think that number 55 is yours for as long as you want it. Welcome to the madness!"

Like Mike said:" On this list we are a permissive bunch. "

Not to mention you need to be retired to be able to spend the amount of time talking about your car at each gaz stop. 

Not a fan of registries, too close to regulate.  I think Stan was on point.  To me registries can encourage cliques and other divisive bovine droppings.

This site works because most try to help and most take the info and help themselves.  In addition to the invaluable feedback, one of the best features of this site is it's VOLUNTARY nature. 

Since Henry screwed me over worse than anyone in my life, I'm not the guy to ask about IM anything unless you want to hear a true horror story.  Luckily I was able to get rid of all the bad and replace it with good.  It is difficult to explain to Porsche fanatics that I had NO interest in another old 356.  I was born in one, driven to school every day in one, bought my first one days after turning 18 years old.  I wanted to create MY perfect 356.  And I did that.  Strangely, everything visible is much more original than most restored 356s as is the interior.  I used a lot of Reutter NOS parts, etc.  AND it is REALLY quick.  No soccer mom is going to pass me.

Eric Marshall Green posted:

Since Henry screwed me over worse than anyone in my life, I'm not the guy to ask about IM anything unless you want to hear a true horror story.  

This might be a first.

Eric Marshall Green posted:

Since Henry screwed me over worse than anyone in my life, I'm not the guy to ask about IM anything unless you want to hear a true horror story. 

I think I've read of your travails a while back (before you found our merry band here). You drove this car across the continent and had a blog chronicling your journey, did you not?

Yes.  Did you hear what finally was wrong with the engine which I pulled apart last Fall?  I found a bit of rubber hose in the intake!  Henry put on the Webers, which had the wrong jets, etc., which I rebuilt COMPLETELY, so the hose was dropped then and not retrieved.  He charged me $550 for "special carb tuning," the hose, I guess, was free!

If Henry had anything to say, he would've said it.  Besides, MANY IM customers contacted me with complaints WAY worse than mine.  They are scared to go public for a few reasons.  I am obviously not, although I gave Henry one year to make things right.

Bob, my trip across America has been documented by a major film company.  Henry knows this.  The truth will come out VERY clearly.  I do not lie.  I do not appreciate you insinuating.  It is one of the few things that can piss me off.

Eric,

I have no doubt that you were dissatisfied with your car as delivered, but the insinuation that a large majority of Intermeccanica owners have major problems kept under wraps "for a few reasons" is not the experience of the vast majority of owners (Bob and me included).

Hand built cars always need some sort of sorting. Screw ups and surprises, can and will happen.

Everyone use to buy Tuesday to Thursdays cars and never Mondays from Detroit have we forgotten this?

The fact that someone is living so far away from the builder does not help the situation and chasing a gremlin can be no fun especially when you find a hose end like Jim found in his Coupe cooling system or in your case with the carbs.  Or your building what amounts to be a prototype of a new build for the builder.

Sorting my car provided some agony, some fun and frustration and cost,  but human error will occur I am not sure that venting on this forum helps at all even if your life was put at risk by an error in building.  

You signed up for a hand built car with all the risks and you rolled the dice.  Some would say your crazy to build a handbuilt car and take those risks why not just go out and buy a brand new 911 and they do have a point.

Are you unhappy with the journey?  Well, maybe and maybe it is because your at the top end of the scale for build costs you are maybe even more frustrated but venting here without a possibility of any comments from the other side is fruitless IMO. 

In any case,  my car is sorted and I love my IM, it is a great car and it has had and has it's nuances/ issues being hand built.

I have owned 50 cars in my lifetime, have I lived that long   Some I got rid of because they were lemons some I did not like and some were just DDrivers along the way. 

I hope your car is finally sorted and that the experience in the end will be more enjoyable and bearable for you... just remember,  in the end you can always sell your car.   Welcome again to the madness.

 

My guess is that Henry was okay until he over-leveraged himself with the nose that has a battery.  And I'm not going to show you all the e-mails from others, as they trusted me with their stories.  Here were a few of my issues (Since you asked):

 

This happened a couple years ago

My 100k Intermeccanica in the first weeks of ownership:

These issues happened from the time the 356 was delivered by Henry on a car carrier in Ventura, California where I flew in from Maine to pick it up and within two weeks of driving the IM across the country back home:

The special metallic paint I ordered ($450 a gallon) was sprayed over a two week period, so the car arrived in four different colors, thus its nickname Patches.  Any good car painter knows when metallic is heated up to spray, it changes chemically, so each time it is a different shade.  For the record, Henry refused to make good on any of the problems with my 356.  Once he had my money, he turned into a different person.  I’ll let you guess what kind.  And the last gallon of $450 paint was sent to me in an unmarked box, without the lid hammered down, which ruined the paint when it spilled out and created a severe health hazard for all involved in its transport.  Sending hazardous material in an unmarked container is a Federal crime with a fine of $200k.  This was fully documented by the Belfast police department.

The 1k new Coker tires were cracked severely, were unbalanced because they were so out of round they could not be balanced on a modern machine.  The Stoddard wheels were also too large in the rear and rubbed the body.  The front was SO out of alignment that the new Dutch tires (with new wheels) I was forced to buy and put on the car before starting the trip wore out completely on the outside by the time I got to Ontario.  Try buying tires to fit a 356 in the far northern USA.  (This has all been documented in the soon to be released documentary film: Quantum Run 356.). The fronts also rubbed when turned, but I managed mechanically to lift the front so it wasn’t too severe.

The CBP 2.1 l engine, which Henry guaranteed was their most reliable engine ran poorly.  It backfired, stuttered, etc. About all it would do was accelerate.  In long sections driving across the country I was forced to accelerate, then coast.  This for hours and hours.  Remember I had a full Animal Media film crew following me on a very tight filming schedule.  When I finally found a good enough mechanic to work on the engine, we found that the plugs could not be removed without dropping the engine.  Some weird shrouding metal prevented getting a tool to seat on the plug.  To cap it off the engine caught fire after I managed to get it home.  Would you call that reliable?  I wondered what the non-flammable insulation was that fell down on one side, choking the already terrible running engine.  So Henry must have known his engines can suddenly burst into flame.  The issue was a rubber hose dropped down an inlet and not removed, which I found last Fall when I rebuilt the engine.  Also, the Webers were a nightmare—wrong jets, settings, etc.  I was charged by Henry $550 for "special" carb tuning.  The hose was free, I guess!

First the windshield wipers stopped working on high.  Then they quit completely in the middle of a severe downpour in Watertown, New York.  An old lady turned across me and it was only by a miracle of intuitive reflex that I saved Patches.

The tachometer quit.  The door handles kept falling off.  This just seemed funny.  The engine ran so rough it shook Patches to pieces.  One of my favorites was the horn simply began to blow whenever it felt like it.  Since I had insisted on Maserati airhorns run on a compressor, this became quite a thing in gas stations, etc.  I might have killed one very old guy in a camper!  Luckily I was able to rebuild the horn button on the road.  Half the documentary film is either the car in garages or me working on it in parking lots.  But what did I expect for 100k?

On getting back to Maine, I rebuilt the Webber carbs.  I found wrong jets, which had been doctored crudely.  All the adjustments were very wrong.  After fixing the Webers and setting the valves, etc., the engine ran much better.  So . . . now I know why the carb adjustment (fine tuning) bill I received from Henry for around $550 made little sense since it was dated when Patches was still in primer and six months before the 356 even had an engine.  The list of fraudulent charges by Henry is too long and boring to list here.  But I can list them if you insist.  

The fact that Henry “lost” the Jaguar ignition switch that Sir Stirling Moss gave my father is another matter.  But Henry’s changing stories on how the switch got lost were certainly entertaining.

My advice?  If you want to actually drive your expensive IM 356—don’t!  Hopefully your paint will match so you can at least stare at it.

For the record, I am Eric Green, the known American artist and writer from Belfast, Maine.  Google me. 

Ray, good points.  If Henry had not continually lied to me, I would have been fine.  And I can NEVER sell the 356.  It is my legacy.  As I'm sure you know, my father created the first 356 GT car with Ferry Porsche in 1951.  I grew up first in that 1952 coupe, then in a 356B, and then I basically bought my father a 1970 911.  My father died in 1982.  I miss him EVERY damn day.  I built this 356 for him, for his memory, to find him again in my heart, which I did.  

I told Henry price was NO issue.  I figured he understood, and instead, he ****ed me over just for money.  That to me requires a bit of venting because I would not want others to suffer as I did.  If you don't like it, then simply do not read it.

Wow, quite a hand built car story. 

It does sound like you had quite a few issues and on top of all those they happened  on your maiden voyage which you had decided to film hollywood style.  Maybe if IM would have been involved in the scheduling of the filming of your car they would have sent support with you for the ride. 

My advice at the moment you discovered all those issues,  would have been to return the car right away to IM, it is obvious from your story that it needed to stay with IM for more sorting.   Sorting issues and screw ups to the extent that you have written about are really unfortunate but this list has a number of horror stories in the learning curve of what this hobby of hand built cars is all about.   You do not know what you do not know about this hobby until you live it.  I am sorry for the pain and aggravation that you have lived in sorting out your car , I know it well, and yet, I am really enjoying my car it will be 5 years in April that I took delivery. 

I feel bad for your experience but would take it all the more seriously if you hadn't written this:

"ruined the paint when it spilled out and created a severe health hazard for all involved in its transport.  Sending hazardous material in an unmarked container is a Federal crime with a fine of $200k.  This was fully documented by the Belfast police department."

Spilled paint, "severe" health hazard, federal crime, police?

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