Skip to main content

Hello All...

Having just posted a question under General Topics, I thought I should introduce myself. I live in southeastern Massachusetts. After a long search, I bought my Spyder in May, 2019. These are kind of rare in this part of the world...I’ve never seen another on the road. I must confess I don’t fully understand the car’s origin. It is titled as a “RICO Spyder”, built in March, 2000 by Beck Vintage Cars in Upland California. The paperwork states that the fiberglass body was made on molds from the mid-1980’s by Special Editions in Bremen, Indiana. It’s powered by a CB Performance flat four...I was told by the seller that the engine was the larger of the two engine options offered. I have no way of knowing if that’s fact or how I could determine. The car was shipped to Key State Enterprises in Northwood, New Hampshire...perhaps an east coast dealer and does have a NH vin number. If anyone out there can shedC4CEE5F3-E4A9-4459-AE9B-1CCCB227C2C7 more light on this history, I’d sure appreciate it. I’m 76, and advancing age has forced me to cut back on my motorcycle addiction...I consider the Spyder my “four wheel motorcycle”.


Images (1)
  • C4CEE5F3-E4A9-4459-AE9B-1CCCB227C2C7
Original Post

Replies sorted oldest to newest

Hi, @Thirdcliff   (and it would be handy to know a first name, too)

I have a Speedster and live over near Worcester, just off of RT 146.  Been here forever and am a youngster at 71.  Carey Hines @chines1 can probably help with your questions.  I suspect it is a Chamonix body from Brazil, designed by Chuck Beck, but Carey or his Dad, Kevin will know.  If it was delivered as a roller to be completed by some other shop they won't know about the engine, though.

It's really hard to determine engine displacement once the engine's assembled and in the car so you'll have to put up with what you have.  Sometimes the engine builder writes the displacement on the back side of the fan housing so try looking there - A long shot, but worth a look.

There are a few more Spyders in the area, although you might have the only one near the Cape.  What town are you in?  There are several replicas in the southeast (Taunton) and the Cape, but the only owner on here regularly is @Al Gallo out in Eastham.  I'll PM you with an email address and I'll add you to the list of New England Replica owners so you'll know who/where we all are.  You'll be, I think, our second Spyder along with Prarit Bhargava in Cambridge with his beautiful Subaru-powered Seduction Spyder.  Once we get over Covid, there is a Cars and Coffe out on the Cape every weekend.

You might also look into joining as the New England 356 club.  There are several Spyders in there, one an aluminum reproduction from the Spyder Factory in New Hampshire.

So Welcome to the Madness of Spyder Ownership!

The Speedstah Guy from Grafton

Thanks for all that, Gordon. I’m Bruce Beagley, and I live in Scituate. I’ll check for scribbled displacement hints. I’m hopeful that the COVID crisis  will be winding down by summer and we can re-emerge and attend car events again. We have a small group the meets at Scituate Harbor Thursday evenings, and we managed to keep that tradition alive last summer although turnout was down. I look forward to hooking up with you guys, and maybe shaking hands instead of bumping elbows.

Common engine sizes are 1600-1776, 1915, and 2165 in Spyders. The first two use a stock 69mm stroke, the 2165 is a 78mm stroker. I'm pretty sure a lot of Becks came with a 1915cc. But as Gordon says, it's really tough to tell without pulling a cylinder head.

Some people here don't like to include NY state in the Northeast, but that's OK. There are quite a few Spyders here, and some in CT too.

Ed, sorry, I consider a 1600 and a 1776 to be basically the same thing, hence the hyphen denoting it as one.

There seems to be a tendency to smaller pistons and longer stroke in Speedsters versus short stroke and larger pistons in Spyders. Lighter Spyders do well with rev-happy shorter stroke engines.

A LOT of Beck Spyders came with 1915cc, and yes I'm pretty sure a 2165 was available in 2000. But I don't believe the 2165 was as prevalent as today.

I would need to know your chassis number in order to POSSIBLY tell you more detail.  If  you could post or e-mail more pics I could also help identify more things...

There is certainly some misinformation in your paperwork.  What I can tell you from the single photo:

Yes, it is a Beck and it would have come from our Brazilian production years.  

It is likely pre-2000 as we stopped using those turn signals and taillights in the late 1990s.  It's also a 4 lug long axle car which is much more common pre-2000.

Keep in and that we sold a lot of kits and rollers, so I can't tell you if it was factory assembled or a kit, but at the time (assuming it was factory built) we offered 2 engine sizes, a 1915cc and a 2165cc.  That said, I see 2 common things: 1) a client could request ANY engine size they wanted and/or supply their own, so the engine size is really anyone's guess without cc'ing it or without paperwork.  2) EVERYONE says they think it has the larger motor simply because these are light and still pretty darn quick with only 120hp.  The most common comment I hear regarding engine size relates to "its so fast it has to the the big motor".

Looks like the interior was redone.  Red leather got red carpet 99% of the time in the Brazil days.  Seats were also a different style intros days but I can't see enough of them to be sure.

The few accessories that I can see would have been added later.  The bonnet straps are more outboard than our factory location and the Wendler badges are non-patina and slightly lower than what we do...  nothing wrong with them but I can just tell they weren't done at the factory is all.

Used cars get drop shipped back here all the time for service and updates, so it is possible it came back here at some point, but again I'd need a chassis number to be able to check any of that out further.

Thank you so much for responding...interesting information. The chassis number is 591. I’ll attach some additional photos. According to the paperwork, dated March 1, 2000, the car came from Beck Vintage Cars, 1531 West 13th St., Upland, CA. I assumed they were the builder, but perhaps they sold the kit to Key State Enterprises in NH who built the car for the first owner.



Images (3)
  • D6D01287-3BFC-4245-97D3-3E9A8DE1C8E9
  • BA84C2CF-929D-4C56-8158-E1FEC9A5275A
  • D75FB4E3-86B6-4B76-A57D-39D731F332D7

@Thirdcliff  @DannyP   @LENNY C.

Bruce, I just sent you a private message to get you going on joining the New England group.  I'll have to send it to Danny and Lenny, too, now that New York is part of New England    Plus, it'll add three new Spyders to the lonely one we have now.

Once I get you guys on the updated list I'll send it out to the group.  It'll be nice to get beyond this pandemic and get together again.  2020 only saw a few cars and coffees here and there but that was better than nuthin'.


Unfortunately no build sheet on 591 so I have no way of telling you any more specifics, but I was right on all the other points.  It may have been 1st sold 3/1/2000 but it was manufactured '99.  At that time, Chuck and my father were goofing off with other projects and the vast majority of the assembly was done by Chuck's son, Randy Beck.  Randy still works for me, but doesn't recall this specific car.  

Anyway, Beck Vintage Cars was Chuck's shop in Hisperia and later in Upland.  There was also a division called "Beck Development" so you see that on some paperwork on occasion also.

Now that I can see the seats, they are stock Brazilian, so must have been just a carpet change at some point.  Not uncommon, as the old "dog hair" carpet from hat era was terrible for UV fade and just didn't hold up well overall.  Im sure what's in it now is much nicer.

Thanks again for all the information. I now know 200% more about my Spyder than I knew yesterday. I first read about the Beck Spyder maybe twenty years ago and was captivated. From time to time I’d go to Special Editions website and think...some day, I’ve got to own one of these. They are not common here in the north east. It’s not often they come up for sale. The one I bought was actually the first one I laid eyes on. The quality of the build and craftsmanship exceeded all expectations. I truly enjoy owning and driving it and look forward to spring when I can get back on the road again.

Sent from my iPad

> On Feb 5, 2021, at 1:13 PM, <> wrote:

Welcome to the madness,  Thirdcliff  !  Just wondering what your registration process was like.  I know that in the recent past it was pretty difficult to get a frame based car on the road in Ma.  It was much easier to register a car with a VW  pan and I.D.

I rode bikes for many years when I lived in Western or Central Mass, but when I moved to the Cape, it became more difficult to ride in the nice weather.  Sand in all the corners and drivers who are lost, drunk, or have cataracts.  Sometimes all of the above.  A 150 mph motorcycle in a 50 mph world isn't all that much fun.

There is a Porsche C&C on Saturday mornings in Harwichport .  I've driven my replica  and been well received.  There are older 356s and some really radical 911s. It was held all summer and fall this year.  No hugs and kisses or hand shakes , spread out and carry on.

Last edited by Al Gallo
I had no problem registering in the Commonwealth. The NH title listed the car as a “RICO Spyder” (no idea where that name came from)...also had a NH vin number. Since I’d heard horror stories of folks having problems registering kit cars in Massachusetts, prior to purchase, I took a picture of the title and went to the RMV to get their blessing...they said I was good to go.

Sent from my iPad

> On Feb 6, 2021, at 9:27 AM, <> wrote:
Post Content
Link copied to your clipboard.