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I'm the second owner of my Vintage Speedsters car, which is said to have been built in 2017. It did not come with a build sheet so the only clue to the engine internals is https://www.flickr.com/gp/farsightful/d61518 , the lettering "1914" on the hidden side of the fan shroud. If your speedster dates from the same era, and has the same lettering, I'd love to have a copy of any documentation that accompanied the delivery.

If in return there are any details about my car you'd like measured or photographed for comparison, I'd be happy to reciprocate.

Bill Kennedy (wrkinprogress)

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Yeah I expect it was considered their economy "performance engine".  Where just the larger P&C along with case/head enlarging was done.  It would be nice if the "performance" upgrade included a better cam, better heads, lightened flywheel/8 dowel pins BUT to keep cost down that was probably not done.  If a true build sheet was done - that would at least verify parts without a costly tear down.  Would be reassuring to know if its a name brand cam or just some old reground hunk of Chinese steel.  Mexi-crate or CB Performance build, etc.  Is the engine da bomb or a time bomb?

@dlearl476 posted:

If it were me, I’d asking Greg to put you in touch with his builder. He may or may not keep records.

Wrong vintage Vintage, I'm afraid.

"Vintage Speedsters" in 2017 was Kirk and Mary Duncan who later sold their business to Vintage Motorcar of Scottsdale, AZ - which should not to be confused with Vintage Motorcars of California (Greg Leach), who is operating out of the old Kirk and Mary Duncan Vintage Speedsters shop in Hawaiian Gardens, or with Vintage Speedster Parts, operating out of "California, USA" (according to the website), or with Vintage Speed in Taiwan. One can buy parts from Vintage Motorcars of California, but not cars from Vintage Speedster Parts (also of California). It's unclear whether or not Vintage Motorcar of Scottsdale is selling either cars or parts, but Vintage Speed in Taiwan is still going gangbusters.

So really, everything depends on what vintage Vintage a guy has. I can't understand why everybody isn't getting this.

Also, to further clarify: Who's on first.

Last edited by Stan Galat
@dlearl476 posted:

My bad. I thought Greg took over the business long before 2017.

Nope.

... and to be pedantic, he didn't really "take over the business". The Kirk and Mary Vintage Speedsters of Hawaiian Gardens was sold to Vintage Motorcar of Arizona. They operated out of the Vintage Speedster shop in Hawaiian Gardens for about 10 minutes before firing everybody and moving the business to Scottsdale.

Greg Leach stepped up and moved his operation (Vintage Motorcars, nee Vintage Spyders) into the old Kirk and Mary Duncan shop, and hired all of the fired Vintage Speedster workers back to work building Speedsters and Spyders in the same shop where they'd always worked.

You can't make this stuff up.

Last edited by Stan Galat
@WOLFGANG posted:

Yeah I expect it was considered their economy "performance engine".  Where just the larger P&C along with case/head enlarging was done.  It would be nice if the "performance" upgrade included a better cam, better heads, lightened flywheel/8 dowel pins BUT to keep cost down that was probably not done.  If a true build sheet was done - that would at least verify parts without a costly tear down.  Would be reassuring to know if its a name brand cam or just some old reground hunk of Chinese steel.  Mexi-crate or CB Performance build, etc.  Is the engine da bomb or a time bomb?

If it WAS one of Greg Leach's cars, it'd be pretty easy to determine what's inside, as Greg builds his engines in house.

I think Wolfgang has it right though. Unless specified otherwise, Kirk's 1914 was a stock 1600 dual port opened up at the case and heads for 94s. They received no head work, no camshaft, no ratio rockers, and no counterweighted crankshaft. Some got dual Kadrons, depending on the option selected. All got 009 copies.

Roland Rascon built Kirk's special motors for customers wanting something more. When he passed away, he was working for FAT Performance/ Rimco.

I'm not sure how a guy would be able to determine which engine was in a specific car without tearing it down. I would imagine one could get strong clues by removing an intake and seeing if any port work had been done, but you'd have to know what you were looking for. It would also be possible to determine lift and duration on the cam by removing the valve-covers and checking cam lift on the pushrod end with a dial indicator.

Good luck in your quest, Bill.

Last edited by Stan Galat
@Stan Galat posted:

Nope.

... and to be pedantic, he didn't really "take over the business". The Kirk and Mary Vintage Speedsters of Hawaiian Gardens was sold to Vintage Motorcar of Arizona. They operated out of the Vintage Speedster shop in Hawaiian Gardens for about 10 minutes before firing everybody and moving the business to Scottsdale.

Greg Leach stepped up and moved his operation (Vintage Motorcars, nee Vintage Spyders) into the old Kirk and Mary Duncan shop, and hired all of the fired Vintage Speedster workers back to work building Speedsters and Spyders in the same shop where they'd always worked.

You can't make this stuff up.

Yeah. The Arizona folks told all Kirk's guys that they'd start back up after the Christmas/New Year's holidays. When Kirk's guys showed up, the building was all but empty.

That's when Greg got involved, and moved from Stanton back to Hawaiian Gardens. I believe this was at the end of 2017 and the beginning of 2018 as far as I remember.

You could maybe tweak a little more HP out of it with a performance valve job and maybe carbs.  Are you dual carbs now?  Checking cam duration would be helpful to know too.  There are ratio valve rockers that can improve cam performance too - 1.25 or 1.4.  If original VW stock rocker assembly  that would be an good $200 upgrade.

@Stan Galat posted:

Nope.

... and to be pedantic, he didn't really "take over the business". The Kirk and Mary Vintage Speedsters of Hawaiian Gardens was sold to Vintage Motorcar of Arizona. They operated out of the Vintage Speedster shop in Hawaiian Gardens for about 10 minutes before firing everybody and moving the business to Scottsdale.

Greg Leach stepped up and moved his operation (Vintage Motorcars, nee Vintage Spyders) into the old Kirk and Mary Duncan shop, and hired all of the fired Vintage Speedster workers back to work building Speedsters and Spyders in the same shop where they'd always worked.

You can't make this stuff up.

who's on first

Nope.

... and to be pedantic

Stan, have you been reading the dictionary? What kind of damn word is that?

Reminds me of an old friend I used to work with. He read the dictionary every morning and would come in with most unusual terms and work them on everyone in the office.

I hope I'm not misconscrewed!

"misconscrewed" sounds like you've spent some time "up the river." That's a prison term, isn't it?

Nope.

... and to be pedantic

Stan, have you been reading the dictionary? What kind of damn word is that?

Reminds me of an old friend I used to work with. He read the dictionary every morning and would come in with most unusual terms and work them on everyone in the office.

I hope I'm not misconscrewed!

Great word, that.

I read a LOT as a kid. Unlike most other kids, I looked up words I didn't know. My parents wouldn't tell me what they meant when I asked.

So, I learned how to use the dictionary and got a bigger vocabulary.

And I did the same thing with my kids.

@DannyP posted:

Don't just swap in 1.4 rockers on a stock cam. High lift rockers require cams that are made for them.

Original ratio is 1.1 so 1.25 is usually a safe and effective thing to do.

While it's not a good idea for most aftermarket cams for 1.1:1 rockers, the  stock cam's ramps are gentle enough and the lift low enough that a smaller engine with a stock cam, dual carbs, stock heads and 1 3/8" header will make noticeably more power and still be reliable to drive with the addition of 1.4:1 rocker arms.

http://kaddieshack.com/1600dynoresults.html

Last edited by ALB
@ALB posted:

While it's not a good idea for most aftermarket cams for 1.1:1 rockers, the  stock cam's ramps are gentle enough and the lift low enough that a smaller engine with a stock cam, dual carbs, stock heads and 1 3/8" header will make noticeably more power and still be reliable to drive with the addition of 1.4:1 rocker arms.

http://kaddieshack.com/1600dynoresults.html

What an interesting find, Al.

The stock cam torque peak is 2500 RPM, and it's all done pulling at 4000 RPM. Even with 1.4 rockers and a scavenging exhaust, those peaks only move up 500 RPM. My takeaway is that rockers may help a bit, but they play around in the margins. There's nothing that can make up for a lack of cam duration and poorly flowing heads.

Comparing those charts to a similar engine with better heads and an even slightly more aggressive cam (one with more duration) reveals that the power, as they (whoever "they" are) always say really IS in the heads. It's amazing.

That's a big difference in camshafts, @edsnova .

@ALB I notice that MOST of the power increase is from carbs, intake, and exhaust.

I'd like to see the difference with JUST the rocker change, using stock carb and exhaust. I'll bet it won't be much. It will be less than the 3 hp and 5 ft.Lbs. shown between the green and yellow traces on the graphs.

I'm standing by my original statement, using 1.4/1.5 rockers with cams that are designed for them. And use good heads too. There is no free(cheap?) lunch.

Last edited by DannyP

@Stan Galat and @DannyP (and anybody else who cares to follow along our engine nerdiness)-

The camshaft/rocker combination (and duration/valve lift they provide) is only 1 piece of the puzzle of what makes power in an engine; heads, carbs, exhaust and compression also play a part (I know you both know this, but please bear with me).  As my 2 fellow Poopiehead friends have mentioned, better heads have the potential for way more power- but not in a stock cammed 1600.  Stock dual port heads rise in flow to about .400" valve lift, at which point the graph goes flat and lifting the valve further does nothing, hence why a lot of milder 1.1:1 ratio cams lift to just over that figure. 

Case in point- the Engle W110 that Ed mentioned has .430" valve lift (with 1.1's).  It's not only the duration increase (and subsequent rise in rpm's) but also the amount of time the valve stays open up near the .400" mark that allows the cylinder to fill with more air/fuel mixture, especially at the higher rpm's, that makes the increase in power.  Higher ratio rockers allow the cylinders to fill better and also add 4? 5? 6??? degrees more duration @ 0.050" so not only is there more upper rpm power but peak power (or redline) extends a little as well.  Now we're in (really) mild aftermarket cam territory.

In this instance the higher ratio rockers allow the stock heads to operate a little closer to their potential, with the carbs and exhaust being able to contribute more as well (neither have reached their limit in this combo either).  Would I bother trying the 1.4's on a totally stock 1600?  Like putting better heads on the dual carbed, stock cammed engine, there'd be no point without other modifications.

Properly ported stock valve heads will flow proportionately more to about .500" valve lift, but you can't use that here as they'd be a waste in a stock cammed 1600.  Even with the kadrons and 1 3/8" header, without more valve timing and valve lift there's no benefit.

Exactly. It's the entire package, from velocity stack to tailpipe. That includes compression ratio and the entire valvetrain. Your engine is nothing more complicated than an air pump. Make it efficient at the right rpms, you get a screamer. Do it wrong and you get an overheated dog.

Like I said, there's no free or cheap lunch. Build it all together as a package, or leave it stock.

Nope.

... and to be pedantic

Stan, have you been reading the dictionary? What kind of damn word is that?

Reminds me of an old friend I used to work with. He read the dictionary every morning and would come in with most unusual terms and work them on everyone in the office.

I hope I'm not misconscrewed!

Remember Norm Crosby? He was always misconscrewed!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fnX-EPaAIdU

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