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This kit has been sitting since the 80's and is perched on an uncut 1974 chassis. I have wanted a Speedster for 45 years, and now I can't wait to get started.  I am not going to rip up the road with this car, but it will be beautiful and I cut no corners where safety is concerned. I don't want to ask questions before exhausting the search engine, but if anyone has tips they would like to offer, please feel free to chime in. I will start ordering lots of stuff next week.

This will be fun...

Mark in New Smyrna Beach IMG_5812IMG_5814IMG_5817IMG_5820Florida


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Brian (*longfella) has documented, very well I might add, his recent build in this thread. It drifts off topic at times but otherwise he led us on his amazing journey. There are many things to copy that he did. His build involves a body from a different maker but it will have many similarities.

Also, Alan (drclock) is our resident expert Speedster builder so he is a remarkable asset. Since you already signed up as a "Supporting Member" it shows you are committed to the process. There are many valuable resources available in the "Resource Library" and as a SM you have access to that.

Welcome to the Madness! Don't ask what it means but give it just a little bit of time and you'll understand.

Drumagination posted:


40 hours to finish the project is for the builder with "average skills." I have allocated 41.25 hours on my schedule.

When a new guy comes on here, buys a kit, and posts about a build-- I tend to look at pictures of his shop.

If the pictures of the car in the building are your shop, we're all in for a treat. 

That is a legit, working shop. High ceilings, pallet-racking, a blast cabinet,  a hose reel, a parts washer, etc. There's no fru-fru coating on the floor, which means that brakes will get bled, and fluids will get dropped without concern for the finish. This car has every possibility of getting finished, assuming Mark will have time for it.

I wish you well. Keep us up to date as much as you can. And.. WTTM!

Welcome to the Madness Mark, good info here and a lot of good times...perhaps a trip up north to Carlisle show in May where you can see over 40 different speedsters, ask questions, sources, deals on parts and enjoy beverages .  Your car looks like it's in better than the usual condition. I've done a good number of speedster builds and have it down to under 200 hours,  glad to help you with ideas etc However your hours will surely vary ) I'll  have to go now,  every Saturday morning with my cup of coffee I go looking for that last zero that fell off :~)

Last edited by Alan Merklin

Panhandle Bob can attest to my 28 year build - the "retired in FL" tends to become a time warp.  Good to see yet another build in FL.  I'm hoping DrClock will buy a Winnebago and take his talents on the road.  I see guys along the road "will work for beer" - just hoping! 

Check out Jogyver build - and Mango's too.

Image result for winnebago with porsche painted on side

Last edited by WOLFGANG

Take the advice of the good folks out here and THROW THE CMC WIRING HARNESS OUT THE WINDOW!!!. I'm in the middle of the CMC I have and a bike I'm doing for a Bonneville run so I'm spreading my funds thin -ex-wife didn't help either. So I figured "OH yeah, I can straighten that mess out with a meter an save for sweet set of race connecting rods for the bike. Well, frugality has its limits. Spend the $150 or whatever and the throw the CMC rats nest of wiring away. Trust me, it say orange with black stripe  when there is no orange with black stripe. Then you say "Well, they must have substituted...", no, just crappy wiring. 

Do as these guys say. You'll benefit from their pain and suffering. Did I say throw it out? F%^king windshield gave me gray hair too.It was like like grabbing a sensitive spot of Mike Tyson hoping nothing would go wrong.  Just saying. 

This is why I have a very large pair of scissors in my rolling tool box , it's sole mission is to go up under the dash making half a dozen random snips and be done with it. A replacement VS harness is easy peasy. When I buy a project and get a loose CMC harness, I cut it up for loose pieces of wire for stock. 

Perhaps Wolfgang is onto something, maybe beginning this fall, I'll make myself available as a fly in consultant for pre-purchase inspections, windshield installation guidance or pay a visit to that particular facility that has had your build way too long.

Last edited by Alan Merklin
Alan Merklin posted:

This is why I have a very large pair of scissors in my rolling tool box , it's sole mission is to go up under the dash making half a dozen random snips and be done with it. A replacement VS harness is easy peasy. When I buy a project and get a loose CMC harness, I cut it up for loose pieces of wire for stock. 

Even a VS wiring harness has it's difficulties...

For example, I haven't wired my horn because the "wiring diagram" shows a "blue" wire connecting to the horn. Well, I have two orange wires?!?!?!

After the hours I spent in the wiring... I could have done my own harness...

Thanks for the comments, everyone, but I must confess that I am seriously cheating here.

I have a warehouse where I run a woodworking shop,  have a tea business, invent drum stuff and do ceramic projects with my wife. We are both retirees. Across the parking lot is a friend who restores cars for a living, and he knows I lust for a Speedster. He has assembled many kit cars. Somebody called him and wanted him to build out the "barn-find" kit so that it could be sold when completed, and I offered to buy the whole thing before it got started. Anthony at Oxford Road (Edgewater, FL) is letting me use his restoration shop (and expertise) for the project.

You have a keen eye, Stan is a pro shop (and not mine).



Yes this will be fun.  Mark, I hope you can find the time and inclination to keep us informed with words and pictures.  We LOVE dem pictures.  I can't offer any particular advice about wiring harnesses, although I will say that these cars are pretty simple, all things considered, and well, how hard can it be??  There is a fellow who has posted here recently doing his own harnessing and who I think does that sort of skill for a living.  If I can find that thread again I'll re-post it.  The point here is that what he did was/is AMAZING, like a whole other universe compared to how folks usually do this sort of thing.  Puts all others to shame.  anyway, Welcome to the Madness!, and you can't go too wrong if you pay attention to what Alan  (Dr. Clock) has to say.

El Frazoo posted:


Thank you for the compliment, I appreciate it!  I work for an industrial automation company which gives me a little experience and access to better methods of wiring.  Actually I'm just an Industrial Engineer with mechanical design experience and a little exposure to electrical design. 

The early 12V automotive systems are pretty basic and easy to understand.  I probably put some overkill into my electrical system design, but that's my typical way of doing things!  Lol.  That's also the reason I've been working on this build for three years.  I want every last little detail to be perfect.  The build is the fun part for me!  

I enjoy helping with anything I can!  Thanks again for the compliment. 


Last edited by James

James:  I started with the intention of using the 1969 donor VW harness and even managed to incorporate a lot of it into mine, but then went wild with a Bosch fuse/relay panel from a Sterling I stumbled across in a salvage yard and mounted it in the trunk.  

Then I added a few more 12 ga wires to the engine compartment, "just in case" and extra wires in the front for both fog and driving lights, all driven by relays.  In the end, I didn't use everything I started with (and later needed a few more wires in places I hadn't anticipated ten years earlier).   It initially took a couple weeks of 2 hours per night, but it got done.  I did such a great job on the original version that it's now a PITA to add any new stuff to it, but live and learn - you can't anticipate everything.

My background started in Manufacturing Engineering, so our skills are probably similar, but when I started, everyone was using old-school waxed cord for cable wrapping (I'm still pretty good at it).  Now, just give me a tie-wrap gun and stand back.

James: I'm an ME with a little EE experience.  I recall my early EE labs in college where we would get together in small groups (three typically) and try to solve the lab problems.  I was not so hot on doing the EE analysis needed ahead of time to design the experiment, but when we went in the lab to actually do it, and had to go to the parts crib and draw out the components needed to set up the experiment, I was the guy who could take the circuit diagram we devised on paper and assemble the actual parts on the bench. Can't explain how/why that was.  And yes Gordo: I used to be able to tie up a wire bundle with waxed ribbon PDQ.  But I can do tie-wraps even quicker.  And back in the day, the chassis we would get out of the electronics shop at the Lab for one-off equipment manufacture were works of art for lacing and wire routing.  Those guys really knew their stuff. 

Dash WiringThe scary picture didn't save. My friend and I got in trouble for charging up the big oil filled capacitors on the lab shelves and laughing when the lab tech got shocked.  We both decided to change fields after we smoked a costly constant current generator.  Even scarier he ended up an USN Simone Bolivar nuclear attack sub in charge of the nuclear rods!



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Last edited by WOLFGANG

One of the first electronic techs that truly impressed me was Walt Walkolowicz, an electronic tech at Hamilton Standard Electronic Division - HSED - circa 1975 or so.  Walk over to Walt with a napkin schematic or sketch of what you were thinking of and by the next day or two, he would present you with something that looked just like a finished product and worked better (from his subtle "improvements") than what you expected.  Walt was a brilliant tech who was happy in his career and really didn't want to "climb the corporate ladder".

Walt was an ex-Air Force Senior Tech who had been around a long time working on F4 electronic systems and was usually left alone because we all knew how good he was.  So, in a company where Engineers all wore suits (It was the '70's, remember?  and many of them had "flat-top" haircuts, too) and where the techs wore chinos with casual, collared shirts and no ties, Walt stood out for his blue jeans and white tee-shirt.  

When we were all reminded of the company "dress code" by memo one day, the next day Walt shows up in a neatly-pressed pair of blue jeans and a collar-less, white Nehru jacket.   They were the rage back then - Remember when the Beatles wore them?  He accessorized it with a crisp, narrow, black tie.  He looked elegant...Truly elegant.  

Only on close inspection did you notice that what he was really wearing was a white tee-shirt made to look like a Nehru jacket by really deft use of a Magic Marker.   Walt fit right in with his group, a bunch of gifted hardware/software people who became "Rebel Engineering" at HSED.

Rebel Eng




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also FYI:

i used a universal 21 circuit harness.  it might seem daunting, but if you do it one circuit at a time, you really get the hang of it.  start with getting constant power to half the fuse box,  then switched power to the other half (or however many circuits you decide).  the wires are long enough and the car is short enough to do whatever you want ion terms of placement.  i put mine on the passengers side up high.  all said and done i had TONS of extra wire left.

welcome!  and please keep us posted on your build!!

It looks like the '74 dual port engine that came with my kit still has some life in it, and I am going to use it until I can afford something better. I am going to use dual single-barrel 34 carbs, and I was wondering if anyone has had any experience with Weber, Solex, etc. Here is what I'm looking at buying:

Anybody love their carbs out there?

Yup, that sounds right, Mark.  There is a "drop spindle" group on here, but I honestly think they're more trouble than they're worth so the stock-height ball joint spindles are fine.  Get your front end aligned with 5-7 degrees of caster and it'll be track without bump steer.

On the 34's for carbs, I went back over this thread and didn't see what your engine is.  The 34's will be fine for a 1,600-1,776.  Anything larger and I would head for 40's or 44's.

Anybody who has Dellortos love them.  Anyone with Webers seem to tolerate them.  The EMPI are, I think, copies of the old Solex carbs.  I don't think any replicas are running real Solexes, to my knowledge.   I think Al Merklin has played with more carb combinations than most of us....Al?

Last edited by Gordon Nichols

As Gordon said, there are advantages to standard and dropped spindles. Dropped spindles lower the front 2 1/2" (which is probably close to what you'll be after; still put the adjusters on the beam, though, so you can fine tune it), you still have stock suspension travel, use stock length front shocks, haven't added any more bump steer (the angles of the tie rods haven't changed), and will only have to shim the bottom beam the minimum amount to achieve the added caster (very important if you do a lot of highway driving!). They do add a little width to the front track (1/2-5/8" a side for most sets; you'll have to ask who you buy them from the exact amount), and there are some 15" wheels (aluminum- I know some people have had troubles with getting Rivieras to fit) that don't clear the caliper without a little work, but it can be done. The bottom trailing arms can be machined so the ball joint sits just a little deeper (a pain in the *ss to find someone to do it, I know). Most rims you'll be looking at (6" width max) will probably have enough backspacing that outer fender clearance won't be a problem (unless you drop the thing wickedly low!).

Lowering the front end with stock spindles and beam adjusters- you don't have to worry about any added width, wheel or caliper clearance issues. You'll have to shim the bottom beam further forward for enough caster so the car is safe at higher speeds, though, and you'll have to monkey around with the tie rods (I think guys mount the outboard ends upside down- the spindles will have to be re-machined for this) to minimize the extra bump steer. I don't think you can get the tie rod angles all the way back to where they should be, but it will be an improvement. If you lower the car much more than 2 or 2 1/2" you'll be looking for shorter shocks. They're out there, but (as I understand it) some are not valved for such a light front end, as they're re-purposed from something else, so combined with the reduced suspension travel, the car can end up riding  quite rough.

I think I covered everything. Hope this helps. Al


I will build a solid wooden wheel around the metal ring out of layered Jatoba and maple, with a matching custom horn ring. I plan on turning Jatoba and maple to make matching knobs as well.

Art- Yup, the muffler is from Vintage (Taiwan) and the custom pipes cost me an extra $100. The valance will be cut, not the pipes!

I bought 175 Yokohama tires and Vintage 190 rims. 5 1/2" rims did not work, but the replacement 4 1/2" rims (with the same tires) fit perfectly. And yes, both sides were equally too-tight. Apparently swing axle would have worked with the 5 1/2" rims, but I have an IRS rear suspension. Thanks to Greg at Vintage for the hassle-free exchange. I will attach photos....

I am now installing the driver's seat and waiting for a steering column from Greg, and I will take the first spin before I get any further down this construction highway. By the way, this construction highway is traveling at a crawl....

Anybody have trouble with the rear hatch upside-down bedpan tray hitting the motor dog house? Another fun new problem to solve....






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A couple of thoughts on the engine cover/engine interference:

Usually it is the hinges on the engine cover hitting the fan shroud.  If THAT is what's happening, flip them side-to-side to push the arm out farther to the sides and they'll probably fit.

If it's the underside of the fiberglass cover then, Yes, you can notch the bed pan to fit.

But another thing to consider is going to the newer, better-cooling 1971 and later engine fan shroud.  It is flattened on the top so it doesn't stick up quite as much so it won't hit.  It also has a bump out on the back to accept the larger, later oil cooling tower.  You should also get the slightly larger fan to go with it. usually has good used ones plus the fan and tower.

I had issue with the engine lid hinges hitting the corners of the cooling shroud.  Easy fix was to swap the hinges from side to side and move the pivot hinges out a bit.  No interference now.  I could have used an after market shroud with the rounded shape (I see yours is rounded)  but I preferred squared (flat top) OEM later dog house shroud ('71). 

DrClock said in some of the Speedsters he redid that the pans were not welded back level but at a slight upward angle.  That's not so easy to rectify as it takes cutting PO's welds and aligning properly. I'd also look at the frame horns - as they could be bent up. 

Last edited by WOLFGANG

It is easier to set the rubber on the flat of the flat of the aluminum.  I use ALEX brand caulk (from ACE Home center) running a bead along the bottom and a circle of caulk on the edge of the two windshield post holes. I also when done I run a 1/8" bead along the cowl at the aluminum base molding , the easy way to do that is with 1/4" masking tape spaced 1/8" apart run your finger along that gap and pull the tape away promptly. Also dab a bit of caulk on the underside of each rivet that secures the bottom aluminum piece to the cowl. Alex Caulk dries flat black to match the rubber.  It is mostly latex with a bit of silicone and cleans up with just water.

Last edited by Alan Merklin

And now that you've read Alan's remedy, you too can be amazed that the combination of the bottom aluminum piece on cowl, the windshield and the big rubber gasket, all by themselves, is next to useless in keeping water where it belongs, on the outside of the car.

Do all that Alan says and it'll be tight and not leak.  Don't do it ALL and your windshield will be as water-tight as a sieve.  

Oh!  And find my write-up on installing a windshield in the resources/knowledge section.  Lots of tips from Alan and me and others to help with a successful install.  Just don't crank everything up too tight!

Sure sounds quiet!  But was waiting for a red Cabriolet to show up though.  Nit Noid - Yours is truly a Speedster and not a cabriolet.  A cabriolet would have a windshield frame like a coupe - painted same color as the car and would have wind up windows and a tall top. The Speedster, Convertible D and Roadster have different height aluminum (chrome) windshield frames.

Image result for porsche 356 cabriolet

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