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Hi guys. I am new here and in the market for a new speedster replica. I have already perused this site and there are lots of great experts and posts, but I thought I’d just ask straight away.

I live in North San Diego, about 5 miles from JPS and 90 miles from Vintage. I am not all that concerned about performance but want comfortable freeway driving. 110 minimum HP but I could be talked into more 😆. I’m looking for reliability, looks and quality. willing to spend in the $40.000’s. I am also willing to wait...

Also, has anyone heard of Beverly Hills Motor Car in Oceanside, CA? They had a classic car showroom in downtown San Diego but are now making replicas exclusively.  Anyone know anything about them?

Thanks to Roy at Cloud9 for your valuable time in answering my questions  if you had a car today I may have bought it!

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Last edited by MikeM
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Mike, it was a pleasure speaking to you today. Here his my advice, Run, don't walk to Greg's facility at Vintage Motorcars of CA and get your order in!!!!  While your dream car is being built if you happen to find a used one that you think you would enjoy, buy that one too!!! When your brand new one is finished you can always sell the used one for as much or possibly more then what you paid for it.

I am sure members here will be happy to share their opinions on the other builders/dealers you mentioned.

Regardless of which way you go, I hope you have a great experience and join the Speedster Madness!!!


A good read-

https://www.speedsterowners.co...8#668422029750903678

If you need to read more use the search- there's been a lot more written here the last few years, but the above says it all.

Beverly Hills Motor Car has never 'built' cars- they seem to have an extensive inventory, as shown by their website, but further investigation will show that most (if not all) of those Speedsters don't exist on their showroom floor.  What they will do (I think) is have one built to your liking, with the appropriate mark up.  Now the issue is where will they have it built?  Better to go to the source and have it done yourself without the middle man.

You were asking about the different builders- here's my take-                                            While Vintage Speedsters in Arizona claims to have built the most Speedsters, most of those were built by the company when it was in CA and owned by Kirk and Mary.  The present owner took over when Kirk retired (3? 4? years ago), moved the operation to Scottsdale, hired all new staff and from what we've seen here has had some 'growing pains'.  Some of the cars we've heard about are not quite finished when delivered and needed some 'tweaking'.

Vintage Motor Cars (Hawaiian Gardens, CA) is in Vintage Speedster's location before the sale/move and features most of the old staff.  All reports give Greg (the new owner) 2 thumbs up- he's easy to deal with and his cars are given a good shake down before they leave.

Intermeccanica (up here in Vancouver, British Columbia) builds an amazing car as well.

@MikeM

Hi Mike.  Keep an eye on my website, I buy and restore replica Speedsters and make them nicer than when they were originally built.  Replica Speedsters are the only cars I do. I've been doing it for over 10 years and had over 80 of them.  All of them were factory built by either Vintage Speedsters, Vintage Motorcars of California, JPS or Beck.

I currently have a very nice, like new one with less than 1,000 miles on it and you never know what might also pop-up on my website from day to day.

Here's the link to my website and you can give me a call anytime.  www.replicaspeedsters.com

@MikeM posted:

Thanks guys. I appreciate the info.

@ALB Beverly Hills leaves the website up to attract callers. No cars. I believe they started assembling cars because they told me that’s all they do now and invited me to their factory to review their build process. Something strange about the whole thing though.

Do you know who they're buying the shells from?

No. I do not know much except they seem to truly be building. They have photos of their factory in Oceanside and invited me to see their production facilities.

but the real question, not withstanding a checkered reputation, is why would you buy a basically non branded replica. Resale value wouldn’t be there. Probably quality would be iffy given they are new to this. And the price was similar to Vintage and JPS. They quoted me $38k plus for a base model.

There are two factors that should be considered.  The time to get your car and your distance from the builder.  I got my car from Greg at Vintage Motorcars in 4 months and for various reasons been back 4 times. JPS quoted me 18 months he is  over 100 miles away. I couldn't be happier with my car from Greg and there are stories about John at JPS. Greg makes a great car and will do anything you want to make it yours, he is 30 miles from me and that is far enough. Good luck, do your homework, there are many options. Cheers.



Richard

@MikeM posted:



..but the real question, not withstanding a checkered reputation, is why would you buy a basically non branded replica. Resale value wouldn’t be there. Probably quality would be iffy given they are new to this. And the price was similar to Vintage and JPS. They quoted me $38k plus for a base model.

This hobby/industry is small enough that I'm pretty sure if their finished product is as nice as what Greg, Carey and Henry put out, word would get around pretty quickly and resale value would be there.  With their rep what it is, somehow I don't think that will be the case, though.  They obviously think that this is a market where there's good money to be made and I'm guessing that (again, given their reputation) they're in for a bit of a surprise.  Others will attest that building specialty cars for resale has a bit of a learning curve...

My experience with this hobby and knowing many people in the hobby is regardless of which manufacture you go with the car will require some degree of sorting. Also unless you lay out very large $ (more than 40k) you will get a pretty basic car. If that is what you want that is great. Like any hobby if you get hooked you will want more HP, more this and that. I would seriously consider working with Troy. He typically gets cars with low mileage from folks that did not get the madness and need to sell. He sorts the problems and will deliver a trouble free car. Plus depending on what the market is doing little or no waiting. The other option is to find one privately and find someone competent to sort it out. Welcome to the madness.

Mike, check this thread. There are a few pics of my Speedster. I was running the Fuch Deep 6 wheels off my 1969 912 on the Speedster, but then decided to put on a set of steel Porsche OEM Lemmerz I had laying around. I prefer the weathered driver look. I had a Jet Black 040 911 for years and hated seeing it get dirty (from the pollen and dust) just hours after a wash. I gave up cleaning my cars. It's my OCD - and that's how I keep my OCD at bay.

https://www.speedsterowners.co...wtb-jps-cms-beck-etc

Had a great time visiting with John at JPS this morning. He truly has a passion. He gave me 1-1/2 hours of his time and experience. Some photos attached. I’m visiting Vintage Motorcars next week.

Thanks to everyone on this forum who reached out to me with to offer their brilliant advice. Met several very nice guys, some who offered me a test drive in their car. It’s great to be a perspective owner in such a great community.

Mike

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@MikeM posted:

Had a great time visiting with John at JPS this morning. He truly has a passion. He gave me 1-1/2 hours of his time and experience. Some photos attached. I’m visiting Vintage Motorcars next week.

As Troy notes, get several opinions on how the vendor has treated customers in the past. The folks on this board know the players well. Thanks for the pictures from JPS. I'd been curious.

Mike

Thanks Richard.

wait time is an issue for me  I mean, I’m no spring chicken lol  

I’m 6’2+ and I must say that getting in was a bit embarrassing. Nothing like seeing an old guy getting into a cool car  I think with practice and technique I may get past the laughingstock stage  

BTW I was surprised the water cooled option was only $4k more. 2.5 Subura with upgraded tranny, iRS, and AC.

@MikeM I'm afraid to jinx it - earlier in the year Greg suggested he might start getting out from under his backlog sometime in May;  I hope it will be a Christmas present as there are many folks in front of me in line.   Being in Ca getting a car already here or to-be-registered here solves a lot of challenges else Cloud 9 sure seems to have some nice ones.

It took me longer than it should have to pull the trigger, lurking on this site for over a year watching and reading up on the options.  Biggest delay for me is I'm going with the subie engine which is a bunch more work but for what I'm looking for should be just the ticket.

One nice thing about going to the shop in person was being able to get a whole bunch of color samples for body, interior, carpet to take home. That selection process was agonizing fun but expect to be really happy with the end result . Pics when I got the car of course.

Last edited by msjulie
@MikeM posted:

Yes I do have good intentions. Just reporting my visit. I’ve read the posts regarding vendors and take them seriously, and I am not endorsing anyone. I expected some input like this based on what I’ve read here. Again, I just stated what I saw, and it was simply a visit. Not an experience of buying or owning, which is different.

My concern was that another newbie might happen to read your glowing post and be influenced by it without knowing there has been a lot of VERY negative experiences discussed on the SOC.

I don't really understand why anyone would visit a builder with so much bad press, unless they just didn't believe it or were unaware of it.

@R Thorpe posted:

Mike,

Your doing fine, John at JPS is not well considered here, but simplify your choice. I visited JPS and Vintage. It came down to this JPS wanted 18 months, Vintage wanted 4, easy choice. This was last June and Greg delivered to me almost on time and I’m very pleased with the outcome. Good luck.



Richard

@MikeM- If you're still undecided- read the above again (and again and again if you have to)

@Troy Sloan posted:

*CAUTION* The experience described in the message above this one is exactly what many others have reported PRIOR to putting down a deposit.  Do your due diligence and search the SOC before you make a decision to purchase a new Speedster.

To anyone- Yes, John at JPS is enthusiastic and passionate when talking about a new build, but he is also known for being very hard to deal with once he has your money. @DannyP's comment (in another recent thread) of not knowing who you're getting- Dr. Jeckyl or Mr. Hyde- on any particular day is (from reports of more than a few dissatisfied customers here) seems pretty accurate.  As well, people have complained about the man doing things the way he thinks they should be instead of what the customer wants.

I'm the first to admit that I've never even met the man and am only reporting what I've read here, but a couple of experiences are from people I've met (and I trust their word and judgement) so please keep that in mind.  Al

Last edited by ALB

@ALB @Troy Sloan i believe my opinion on this issue has been documented a time or two....i was just sitting back to observe the latest reviews....i, for one do not play the FACEBOOK game...but someone with the know-how should forward these threads to good'ole john-boy.....just for kicks...but alas, as we that know also know...he DOES NOT CARE...with his semi long history, he has just become NUMB to our reviews of his....how does one say?.... "questionable" business practices & personality disorders?....troy seems to 2nd my opinion.....let the buyer beware

@R Thorpe posted:

Mike,

Your doing fine, John at JPS is not well considered here, but simplify your choice. I visited JPS and Vintage. It came down to this JPS wanted 18 months, Vintage wanted 4, easy choice. This was last June and Greg delivered to me almost on time and I’m very pleased with the outcome. Good luck.



Richard

I think John thinks of it as a loan to keep his cash flow going,sort of like SAS

@barncobob  i believe his business model is 'robbing peter to pay paul".....not what i'd call a sturdy foundation.....but it seems to work for him...... i believe these kinds of businesses all  do this to some extent...it's the "Dr. Jekyll / Mr. Hyde" personality disorder toward.....for the most part patiently waiting PAYING CUSTOMERS asking for reasonable progress updates   (ie: ME).... that left the foul taste in my mouth...that along with his distant relation with the truth was at times very disconcerting

I visited Vintage Motorcars today. Photos attached.

So I pulled the plug and ordered a new speedster from VM. Pretty loaded with 2332, 3:88, IRS and a bunch of goodies. Came just shy of $51k.

Thanks to everyone who helped in my initial search, Troy, Roy, Robert and Ernie among others. While the JPS subie was very attractive given it had AC and all the stuff I upgraded my VM to, all at $46k, it was pretty clear I’d sleep much better for the next year ordering from VM, be happier with the result, and it was pretty clear it would take two years through JPS and VM says they are working on getting down to 10 months delivery, so I’m confident I’ll get it with 12 months.

Heads up. There was a new speedster on the lot that a guy bought and is putting it up on BaT and they are thinking it could go pretty high and turn a nice profit. It’s the dark gray in the first picture next to the silver. Should be up within a week.

Looking forward to joining the club!

MikeM

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@MikeM wise choice.....just curious to if you have any "air cooled' experience?....if not, i suggest you learn.....last thing i want to do is "DIS" the purists....in my youth i owned VW's...and became a "semi expert" on them...and not by choice...which is why i went LIQUID COOLED and also got a coupe (year round driving & heat & A/C etc & zero tinkering)... and i'll leave it there.....the bigger you go ie :2332cc...especially with the A/C compressor....the more attention is needed to avoid certain shall i say "issues"....listen to the boys here..they know AIRCOOLED...ie: carbs, ignition valve adjustment etc etc.....either that or find a trustworthy AIRCOOLED mechanic to keep it just so....just a word from the wise and those that have been there & done that...save your dough & hire a pro...happy motoring and welcome to the madness!

Way to go Mike! Fun cars to tour in. You know my opinion. I got lucky. ...It shouldn't be luck on a purchase. Remember, a big bore, dual carb VW motor is a high performance motor. Keep it out of stop & go traffic. A Subaru motor can have almost double the HP, and more notably, good torque so short shifting is more doable. Add dependability. While my car is a JPS car, it rips. And I can thank John for putting together an aggressive car with looks to match. jnc's car is very aggressive also, although his car had more headaches than mine. Who you went with is a good choice.

I got lucky and got a good car (to this point).

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@MikeM by aircooled  "experience" do you mean wrenching on that flat six in that 911?....or service at the PORSCHE dealer?...they are in theory similar....except in $$$....but the PORSCHE fuel injected  flat six in that 911 is apples & oranges compared to the 2332 dual carb engine you are getting....just sayin'....still nothing that can not be learned...the basic maintenance is relatively simple.....troubleshooting & repair?...that's an  entirely different OPRAH

Work with Greg on any extras you find. I have a Wolo Bad Boy horn, 3rd brake light, push button starter, oil pressure gauge, battery disconnect, fuel pump cut off, Blazecut fire suppression system, Durant mirrors, and a CB filter kit for the CB thin line sump on the 2332  engine. The Big Boy clutch pedal extender was considered, but not used. A left foot rest was installed, but later removed. Mine was delivered in November, 2019 after a 3 month build. Does the $50K include taxes??

@MikeM posted:

Thanks Stan.

@jprpdryour talking over my head at this point lol.

my cost was almost 51 pre tax but I got a good list of options  you can build any car on the website and get the price  

How aggressive is the 2332 with 3:88 and sidewinder single? I don’t need a rocket ship but want some zip. I don’t want to tinker with it all the time. What setup would you guys recommend?

TIA

What do you mean by this? Do you mean dual single-throat carbs? Do you mean a single side-draft(which doesn't exist except on a turbo application)?

Mike, most any dual carb VW motor will require the same maintenance. Mostly balancing of carbs. ...Adjusting valve lash. With good ignition and then with a proper wiring of the car, it shouldn't be any different than any other 'breathed on' engine. The VW engine has been built in high performance fashion forever. Of course , there is the 'quality of build'...

Heat is your enemy, especially with a performance air cooled motor. Stop & go traffic, endless freeway backup, 90-100 degree plus days make for a hot engine. Mountain passes too. Some hi-po VW motors are more 'cammy' than others, requiring revving through each gear to keep 'em happy. I would look at torquey cams vs the high strung cams. I would guess your builder will be in tune to your needs.

With my Karmann Ghia I had, I had an externally routed oil cooler, adding cooling and oil capacity. I wouldn't short change yourself on your built up motor.

Other than that, drive the heck out of it, and tour!! I broke mine in in San Diego and surrounding areas... A wonderful place for a replica. Plenty of back roads for a touring/racer wannabe. :-)

Weber carbs are not listed as an option on the VMC website. My 2332 engine has dual Solex/Kadron carbs. I have the 3.88/.89 transmission combo. I stayed with the stock exhaust. Even if the Sidewinder exhaust increases HP a little, I do not need it. It may sound better, but is expensive just for that feature. Not sure about decreased ground clearance or more difficult access to passenger side valve cover. The 145HP engine is plenty for my non-racing/non-competition needs.

@MikeM If you sat down with Greg and went over the specifics of what you were hoping to achieve and your driving style I'm certain Greg has pointed you in the right direction. San Diego is an incredible place to live and drive. You'll not want for much better scenery and the roads you have available will provide you with a lot of good driving. The canyons there are plentiful and the roads going through them long. The 2332 is a great engine with plenty of hp and performance capabilities and it isn't too finicky. The Sidewinder single port exhaust will complement the motor and will sound nice as well. IRS is something I'm not familiar with but those on here who have it say it's worlds better than a swing axle. A swing axle is all I know and I can run mine through the canyons with no issues. Your choices for air-cooled mechanics in SoCal are plentiful and I'm sure Greg could help you out with finding a good one. The Samba is also a good resource for finding a good air-cooled mechanic if Greg's list is too short. Here's a mobile air-cooled guy in San Diego https://www.mobileaircooled.com but that's just from the internet. I don't know him or know his work. You could also check with one of the VW clubs near you.

For the uninitiated here is the average temperatures for San Diego, CA:

High/Low - January 67/51, February - 67/52, March - 68/55, April - 70/58, May - 69/60, June - 71/63, July - 75/66, August - 77/68, September - 78/67, October - 76/63, November - 72/56, December - 67/51. San Diego has on average 146 sunny days and 117 partly cloudy days a year. The average annual precipitation is less than 12 inches (30 cm), resulting in a borderline arid climate. For these reasons San Diego is one of the nicest cities I've visited in SoCal and one of the most expensive.

Congratulations on the purchase and as we like to say "Welcome to the Madness"

Mike, 140-150 hp in these cars is the said by many to be the sweet spot. Tuned and maintained properly it should be very reliable and push you back in the seat. You should be getting 0-60 mph in under 6 seconds and your roll-on power in second and third gear will put a smile on your face.

Speedster replicas are (generally) not for drag racing new Corvettes and Challenger Demon Editions, so don't be tempted if some backwards-baseball-cap-wearing scion in an Audi A-10 revs in your face.

Now, if the other guy's got a mid-60s Porsche or a Morgan or a TR-6? Feel free...

@edsnova posted:

Ok just saying: to match the power-to-weight ratio of a new ZR-1 your 1850-lb Speedster would need 435 horsepower. Not saying it can’t happen; am saying if you make that your goal your fun/$ ratio will be negatively impacted. Very much so.

And this, in a nutshell, is why nobody in my neck of the woods understands these cars. They love them, until they figure out that most have about 130 hp, then... zzzzzzz.

I was one of 'em. It takes a while to understand them if you don't live near the Blue Ridge Parkway or Mulholland Drive.

I’ve owned MG’s up to a Shelby Cobra GT500. I can honestly say I enjoyed driving the MG’s more.

funny thing about the Ford. It has a 1000 watt stereo that takes up almost half the trunk space. Put any volume on the stereo whatsoever, and the mirrors vibrate so bad you can’t see out of them. The doors dented if you merely looked at them. But hey, the drivetrain was purely awesome.

I think many (and some here) miss the point of a classic car (even if it is a replica). Many old cars have classic lines. The 356 bathtub has better lines than most, timeless even. The rich guys think their 356 should be as fast and luxurious as the modern Porsche or Merc. Ya 0-60 in seconds flat. Hit 100 like nobodies business.

Fact is, most of these replica 356's are faster than the originals. And disposable enough to take more risk with them. V8 horsepower in a 356 body is unrealistic - sure a few have done it.

I laugh at the guys who can't handle that a 356 is slower than the modern Porsche - they don't get it. But I agree... a faster than original 356 is fun, and desirable. Within reason! Also remember there is very little in the way of safety built into these cars.

My Subaru powered coupe gets the extra power easily. No its not a rocketship, but it will keep my attention on the mountain curves and not bog or overheat on the grades. I can over drive the relatively skinny tires on it - they will howl. ...Two nice advantages to think of... A/C is not required on an open car. Skin cancer is avoided in a coupe! Lol An air cooled VW engine can have good power too, but they can be/are more finicky. ...Yet I drove my dual carbed Karmann Ghia without worry in Las Vegas Nv. It was a faster VW.

There are reasonable guys & eccentric guys... Takes all kinds. And its fun (and maybe expensive) to have that one off original replica. Build it your way!

Just to keep the HP reasonable for these vehicles in perspective:

The 901/911 began in 1965 with a 1991cc/130 HP engine.

The earlier 550 had a 1498cc/110 HP engine.

The highest HP for a 356 was 95. I have owned a 1965 356SC coupe for 47 years. It is quieter and smoother than my 2019 VMC 2332cc/145 HP Speedster, but the latter is quicker and has more torque. Both have plenty of HP for their design, and are always great fun to take out for their road exercise.

Choosing Greg's larger engine now is about the same as choosing a "Super" over a "Normal" back in the '50s.

Enjoy the build process, and plan a few visits to Hawaiian Gardens to see how it is progressing.

I have Greg’s 2332 build with the A1 sidewinder I am generally happy plenty of power but having said that I would trade that power for a more 356 like smoothness. I believe these big engines have too long stroke, or is it the heads? I’m curious to know why they aren’t smoother. I think the ideal engine for these cars would be the Willhoit upgrade of the 356 engine but that’s 15k plus you Porsche 4banger. Another area to whine about is the tranny and final drive ratio. My car has a two speed, 1st is to get going 4th I never use so I’m always between 2nd and 3 rd they are not well matched for me. If I were to do it again I wood spend less on the engine and a lot more on the tranny. Please out there remember this whole experience is a learning curve and is enjoyable given the reasonable VW prices.Cheers. Next time let’s  talk about the frame and suspension, Mendeola anyone?

@R Thorpe posted:

I have Greg’s 2332 build with the A1 sidewinder I am generally happy plenty of power but having said that I would trade that power for a more 356 like smoothness. I believe these big engines have too long stroke, or is it the heads? I’m curious to know why they aren’t smoother. I think the ideal engine for these cars would be the Willhoit upgrade of the 356 engine but that’s 15k plus you Porsche 4banger. Another area to whine about is the tranny and final drive ratio. My car has a two speed, 1st is to get going 4th I never use so I’m always between 2nd and 3 rd they are not well matched for me. If I were to do it again I wood spend less on the engine and a lot more on the tranny. Please out there remember this whole experience is a learning curve and is enjoyable given the reasonable VW prices.Cheers. Next time let’s  talk about the frame and suspension, Mendeola anyone?

Since I am already in the pixelated group I will comment.

Mr Thorpe, I think that is the dilemna when you are at the larger engine size then you have to look at the tranny gearing not matching the engine power ban.

The 3:44 with a 2110cc 140ish hp often had me between 2nd and 3rd somewhat lost till you got to the cruising speed.   So yes it worked but sometimes NOT..

When I decided to build a new one I chose full subie tranny and all and it has quite a nice ramp up between gears without dead spots as the 4sp had and also there is no requirement to keep the engine spinning at 3k with the broader power band/ torque band of the subie powertrain.  But you never get it right, as I would like to try a lower 5th so the madness is the continual upgrade path can hit you.

Mike,

I don’t know what to tell you, I have the 2332 with a souped up tranny with a 344 rear end. I would not like to be in the position of these builders, we and our desires are so different, I ordered my car in June and got it in November. Greg did a great job and I would not hesitate to recommend him, but he is not a mind reader. I believe that acquiring all the knowledge is what the boys here call “the madness”.

@ALB.  We need Al To comment on gear ratios here Always an interesting topic.

Your point regarding being a mind reader is a real valid point it also works both ways as many times you don’t know what questions to ask or what has been done or what your options truly are because hardly any cars are around for you to try or what the differences are between one model or another one tranny or another one engine or another hence the continual upgrade when you find someone else’s car has a nice feature that you should or you could have. So in the end if you could have all the possible option choices in one selection book it might help you then there is the complicated understanding that a builder has a standard offering and a process flow for building his cars where too many options may interrupt and affect his bottom line

Last edited by IaM-Ray

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@R Thorpe , we've had endless discussions here about gearing for these cars and the problems inappropriate gearing causes. A little searching through the archives will turn up all kinds of treatises, diatribes, scholarly works, impassioned position papers, and more than a little horse pucky. I may have even contributed to some of the above, but I won't tell you in which category.

I think the problem at base is that the stock VW transaxle was geared for a 25 hp motor and most of us are running way more than that. Also, roads and expected cruising speeds are a lot different today than they were in 1955. The modern cars we're all used to driving have more than four forward gears. Most, way more.

I agree, we should put at least as much thought into choosing gearing as into how much engine we're buying, but we tend to have a better gut feel for how different power levels will feel in a car than we understand gearing. For most, this is the first car where we've even had to think about gearing, and we usually don't find that out until it's too late.

These cars are about as different from Toyotas and Hondas as it's possible to be. Probably the best advice is to drive as many of them as you can before deciding on the specs for your car.

Last edited by Sacto Mitch
@R Thorpe posted:

I have Greg’s 2332 build with the A1 sidewinder I am generally happy plenty of power but having said that I would trade that power for a more 356 like smoothness. I believe these big engines have too long stroke, or is it the heads? I’m curious to know why they aren’t smoother. I think the ideal engine for these cars would be the Willhoit upgrade of the 356 engine but that’s 15k plus you Porsche 4banger. Another area to whine about is the tranny and final drive ratio. My car has a two speed, 1st is to get going 4th I never use so I’m always between 2nd and 3 rd they are not well matched for me. If I were to do it again I wood spend less on the engine and a lot more on the tranny. Please out there remember this whole experience is a learning curve and is enjoyable given the reasonable VW prices.Cheers. Next time let’s  talk about the frame and suspension, Mendeola anyone?

Could you explain that in a little more detail?  Do you know what ring & pinion is in your transaxle?  Do you mean you don't like the gap between 2nd and 3rd?  I'm guessing 1st through 4th gears are stock VW?  Please elaborate...   Al

And my apologies to Greg at VM (because I don't know)- does anybody know what's in their 3.88 transaxle that makes it a $2,000 upgrade?

PS- does anybody have a favorite online gear ratio calculator?  My 2 faves (MFactory and John Maher Racing) are both out of commission.  I know there are others out there...

Last edited by ALB
@R Thorpe posted:

My R&P is 3.44 and yes the revs in second are too high then the shift to third the revs are too low, forth is useless for the kind of driving I do. I go on the freeway reluctantly. The times I’ve returned the car to Vintage  30 very scary freeway miles away I’ve had it flat bedded.

Do you not like the revs at freeway speeds?  Or what is it about the freeway drive you don't like?  So you'd like to close up the 2nd-3rd hole a little bit and shorten 4th as well?  What speed range do you see as being useful in 4th?  Do you know what you have for 4th now?  How high is the engine revving in 4th when at 70 mph?

PS- Do you like 1st and 2nd?

Last edited by ALB

I did not get the $2,500 transmission upgrade. I did get the 3.88/.89 combo at no extra cost. I have "flown on the freeway" a few times to Hawaiian Gardens (30 miles each way) with no problems. The biggest freeway problem is staying out of the way of large trucks and folks in a hurry. Staying with 70MPH+ traffic is not a problem. I don't notice any significant gaps when going up and down through the gears. 2nd in my 356 is a little short, while 3rd is a little long. The 3.88/.89 gives me plenty of torque when accelerating in 4th.

Some roughness can be expected in our VW based hot rods. I think it's part of the fun!

@R Thorpe posted:

I just don’t like the feeling on the freeway surrounded by large objects people on cell phones and the car weaves all over the place, I think I need some more caster but we’ve discussed a lot here, and 70 is all the blowing around my old head can take.

Yeah, I get it- we are vulnerable out there.  Do you know if your car has caster shims under the front beam?  Does it have offset spindles or is all the drop done by beam adjustment?  Does it seem like you're always correcting (and sometimes over-correcting) at freeway speeds?

Yes it has one set of caster shims and measures about 2.5 degrees.I have another set but putting them in is more complicated than on a regular VW. The front bumper attaches to the beams and I have the 356style handbrake that passes through and the mechanism attaches to the beams so adding a set of shims to make about 5 deg (ideal) is a pain. I’m all over the place at freeway speeds so soon I will add the shims. Cheers.

Richard

.

The very light front end doesn't help stability in cross winds one bit, especially in sharp blasts from passing trucks.

And the front end is very sensitive to tire pressure, too. Lowering it a few pounds can help a lot.

But there's still no getting around the fact that these cars were never intended to cruise effortlessly at 80 mph. Sixty was considered 'fast' in 1955 for a road car. There are very good reasons they completely redesigned the front end of the 911.

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Last edited by Sacto Mitch

Mitch,

And I am happy with that, I avoid the freeway and when I’m on it I go slow and stay to the right. I’ve temp tested my fronts and get 23.5 as the best pressure and I’ve added about 25 lbs of lead each side of the battery. It all helps. I still need to c get the caster to 5. I took them a while with the 911 the 1970 I had had two batteries each in a cubby in front of the front wheels for the same reasons. The SWB cars had steel weights in the front bumpers.

BTW the lead I put in my car I bought when I must have been stoned one day and decided to go to one battery in the smugglers box. I replaced the 2 Porsche batteries with blocks of lead to maintain the weight in the right place. I came to my senses and went back to two batteries and kept  the lead.

@R Thorpe check your tire pressure, especially in front. Take it down to 20 and see if she's less squirrelly.

FWIW, getting on the highway for the first time each spring with either the Spyder (1914cc/ Stock Bug gears with 3.44 r&p, .93 4th) or the TD (EJ22 Subaru, same gears) is always disconcerting. After a winter in a Corolla, it just feels dangerous.

By the third time out it feels normal.

I run 16 lbs in the TD's front tires and 22 in the Spyder. Both track well even in the wind.

.

I have 'gotten used' to the Speedster's handling on the highway, but as Ed notes, it's very different from modern cars.

For me, the freeway is just a 'transit zone' to and from the roads I really want to be driving on. I drone along at 70 in the right lane, and it's pretty stable on a smooth surface, but you need to stay awake. I originally had one shim on each side, but we removed one to correct for a pull in the steering to one side. (This is probably due to a problem with setting up the steering box, but that's a whole other discussion.) I don't notice any tendency to actually bump steer, but see below.

On rough, secondary roads, I need to stay really focused on the road surface. Ruts and potholes are not your friends. This suspension seems more easily deflected by them than in modern cars. It just feels like less grip than we're used to.

If you watch any old footage of these cars being raced in the '50s and '60s, you'll see drivers wildly sawing away through the corners as the rear alternately grips and slides and they try to keep up. Much less smooth than today.

These be wild and wooly machines.

.

Last edited by Sacto Mitch

80-100mph ALL DAY LONG in my Spyder is effortless(0.89 4th and 3.44 final) on freeways. I've driven many times to Carlisle, 235 miles from my house. My car tracks and rides well, and is not particularly sensitive to bumps or wind. I would submit that your car needs some setup work if it doesn't behave well.

Alignment(especially), balance, ride height, shocks, tires, pressures: it all matters. Easy peasy in that car.

I would submit that the 4.12 R&P was for the 50 hp cars and the 3.88 was for 60hp late cars, pretty much. 25hp? Those had a 4.37 or less.

And Spyders weighed 1100-1200 pounds so that 110 hp 4-cam moved them along pretty well. My 180 is better, but the car weighs 1500.

The whole reason Spyders exist is the Speedsters and coupes were getting handed their asses on the racetrack. Porsche didn't like that.

Last edited by DannyP
@R Thorpe posted:

I just don’t like the feeling on the freeway surrounded by large objects people on cell phones and the car weaves all over the place, I think I need some more caster but we’ve discussed a lot here, and 70 is all the blowing around my old head can take.

BTW

I added another shim.  Gave me almost 6*

Calmed the car down at highway speeds.

But I think I like the car how it was before.

Will see once it warms back up and I get some more miles on it.

Just to add some perspective to this discussion:

My previous VS was a 1995 with 1776cc, 34mm Kadrons, 3:88 trans (freeway flyer). I later upgraded engine to 1835cc, kept same 34mm Kadrons, added 1.25 rockers, A-1 Sidewinder, external oil cooler. This was my daily driver for 15 years, logged 100,000 relatively trouble-free miles (161,000 Km) on an embarrassingly lax maintenance schedule (tune-up 13,000+ miles, oil change 10,000+ miles). It would cruise all day at freeway speeds driving it up and down California, as well as through Nevada (desert), Utah (mountains), Colorado Rockies at 10,000+ft elevations without any issues.Calendar Pismo

Lost that car in an accident and used settlement money to buy my current VS. 1915cc with mild cam, 40mm Kadrons, A-1 Sidewinder exhaust, 3:88 trans (freeway flyer), 4-wheel discs, external cooler. Don't drive it as often as previous VS because I keep it in my son's garage 20 miles away but still drive it 3 times a week and in 5 years have logged 45,000 relatively trouble-free miles.980784_10209215314043841_153670275360784566_o

I'm not Racer-X or Formula 1 driver Lewis Hamilton, just a cruiser. However, both cars have been peppy enough for adrenaline rush pushing on those winding canyon and mountain roads, and can cruise all day at 80mph on long-distance freeway trips.

I drive within the car's capacity, let all the boulevard racers, Lambos, Corvettes, WRX (etc) go by without feeling like a lesser man and have NO angst about which oil I use, if 1st or 3rd gear is too short, wheel caster or whatever. All I know is that every time I get in, turn the key and drive off grinning like an idiot, I know it's gonna be a good day!

Your mileage may vary! (I love that phrase, thanks to @Stan Galat)

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Last edited by MusbJim

I have my gear ratios for my JPS car but not in front of me at this moment. Four cam Subaru motor at roughly 230 HP. Gear ratios still need to be right. I will have to double check my ratios & r & p before I mis speak on gearing...

But I have a tall first. Not easy to take off with, especially on a grade. 4th is tall also. I have to rev 3rd pretty good to pull 4th. I consider 4th as being too much of an overdrive. Freeway is good at 70-80+ and motoring. In the mountain curves 4th is too tall and I have to really haul a$$ to pull 4th or run hi rev's in 3rd. I think its called freeway flyer gearing. I hate the freeway in my car. Not at all what I want to drive on with a cornering machine. I would prefer a tighter 4th and sacrifice freeway flying. 2nd & 3rd are spot on and give excellent results.

Using my Karmann Ghia history (1641) and this JPS trans (Rancho?) feel, I would want a taller than stock 1st and close ratio 3rd & 4th, and a 3.88 r & p (with VW power).

No one has talked of flywheel weight. I think 10 lbs is a standard hi-po flywheel weight (vs 18 lbs stock?) for built VW's. My Ghia had a 4 lb aluminum flywheel with a steel ring gear for reliability starting. It went through the gears super quick. It was set-up for autocross and accelerated very briskly on the streets. I could redline 4th lol. Of course everybody's needs are different.

It would be cool to have a base test car, bigger VW engine and three or four transmissions with different gears to evaluate.

.

There's another issue here that I don't see discussed too often and would like to see some feedback on - the question of long-distance cruising speed and engine longevity.

I've been told these engines (VW Type 1) may rev to 5000 or 6000, but if you want them to last, you should keep long-distance, steady-speed driving under 3500 rpm. This is mainly why I cruise at 70 on the freeway (which comes in at 3300 with my gearing and tires). I could switch to taller tires and drop the revs a little, but I like the torque I get with this gearing, and it's perfect for the foothills driving I do the most. And I know a 3.44 would be too tall for my engine.

Also, there's the question of whether switching to taller gears to lower cruising revs is necessarily any easier on the engine as this increases engine load.

My engine sounds most relaxed just under 3000. There, it just lopes along with the throttle barely cracked. It's just a little less so at 3200, but by 3500 it sounds like it's starting to work. I take it to 4500-5000 merging onto freeways, and have had it up to 100 with no sounds of protest, but it just sounds happiest on a long cruise if I take the advice of keeping it under 3500.

After 30,000 miles, oil consumption is less than a quart between changes and there's no blue smoke at any time. Am I being unnecessarily cautious?

.

Last edited by Sacto Mitch

I have an older Kirk built Vintage Speedster with a 2276 that I sourced from Greg at Vintage. The motor however was mine and it came out of a dune buggy/sandrailer. I'm only running 1.25:1 rockers and 9.4:1 compression and a Webcam 86b with 105 LSA. I haven't experienced any overheating, but I'm also running external oil coolers. I don't drive much on the freeway, but the Speedster does see spirited run's on the I-5 and on the back roads of San Diego County. I've reached 150 kph after merging on to the I-5 easily, but then immediately backed off. I can drive this car around town in 3rd gear if I wanted to, but I don't. On one hand, it's a stump puller and I can short shift it all day long - but I don't. The torque comes in very very very low and I often shift before 3K rpm. 3000 - 3250 RPMs on the I-5 gets me to where I need to go and I can be in the middle lanes, but I prefer the right lane. So on one hand, the engine is perfect for street performance. But on the other hand, it's almost boring to drive and I got what I wanted. So when the time came to rebuild my 1.6 in my '69 912, rather than going Renegade with a monster VW T4, I decided to have the Porsche engine rebuilt and it will be a 1.7 with approx 125-127 HP that won't mind living at high RPMs (but still driveable on the street).  I prefer driving slow cars fast than a fast cars slow so much that I parted with my water-cooled 997 C2S 911.

Ok, I'll jump in here.  My car had a CB Performance 1915 with some mystery head work (Pat Down didn't tell me what he'd done) that ran well for 56k miles before I sold it on.  It was coupled to a Rancho Pro-Street transaxle with a 3.88 R&P.  Quick and responsive in traffic it would cruise for hours on the expressway at 80 even though that was 4000 RPM.  While the Weber carbs were my nemesis for a while, the rest of it was pretty low maintenance.  One point I'm hoping to make is that it isn't just displacement that matters.  When my car was built Beck offered two different 1915 engines - one was a tame, low maintenance 90hp model and  the other was a higher performance 125hp (like mine) that was capable of being souped up further.  While I can't vouch for the power rating, it was a strong engine that was quite happy at higher RPMs for long stretches.

Last edited by Lane Anderson
@MaxMartens posted:

I have my gear ratios for my JPS car but not in front of me at this moment. Four cam Subaru motor at roughly 230 HP. Gear ratios still need to be right. I will have to double check my ratios & r & p before I mis speak on gearing...



I'm not buying this. At all. The regular WRX was a 2.0 turbo at 221 hp. The 2.5 STi was around 300hp.

A stock 2.5 EJ25 is rated at 165-170 hp, whether SOHC or DOHC.

Even with headwork, exhaust and ECU changes, you aren't over 200 hp. John Steele doesn't magically get an extra 65hp on a street NA motor. I submit this is typical JPS BS with a little OCCF(Orange County Correction Factor).

Show me the dyno sheet.

Last edited by DannyP

I'm not the highway king, or even the daily milage king, but I took 2 trips from Illinois to the west coast and back in 2012 and 2014. Crossing the country, I averaged over 1000 mi/day, and gained some perspective regarding what makes a good road car, etc.

Almost nobody is going to want to use their car like I did (and will continue to) on those trips, but I've got a few observations.

Teby (who no longer stops in here much) made fun of me for waxing on and on about "touch points", but it's my personal belief that how comfortable you are every place you are touching the car is going to determine a lot about how you feel about driving it 1300 mi/day. If your seats hurt you in 200 mi., they're going to become instruments of torture after that. Similarly-- how is your position? Richard noted that the wind batters him around to the point that he's done driving after a couple hundred miles--  that can be corrected by getting behind the short windshield, and building a wind deflector to go behind your head (try it, you'll never go back). Cool weather, top down driving can be comfortable if you have some sort of hard side-curtain or roll-up window (shameless IM plug there) to stop the wind intrusion. Lots of guys have made nice acrylic side-curtains, and @Troy Sloan makes and sells "cruising windows"for this purpose. If you have comfortable seats mounted low enough in the car to get you behind the windshield, you have an effective wind-deflector behind your head, and you have the side curtains (or windows) - you can drive all day and into the night.

It's the same deal with the steering wheel and shifter - the places you touch the car. I'm a silverback gorilla, so even low in the car, I like to rest my left forearm on the top of the door, and rest my right one on the wheel.

I've gone on record as being one of the lone doubters regarding crazy-low tire pressures. I've tried it, and there's just no way I'm going to try to run 20 psi in my tires on purpose - the handling becomes a squishy, squirmy mess to say nothing of the terror I feel running half the rated pressure of the tire. I'm also very reluctant to add weight to a car that already seems too heavy for what it is, but I've got the "big tank" option, and carrying the extra fuel up front really does help. I'd like it to be lower and further forward in the car, but that creates some safety issues that most people would not be able to live with (the car becomes a bit of a bomb in the event of a front end collision like @Lane Anderson had).

The alignment and ride height are very, very important (like @DannyP said). Lower is better. Your car will become less of an airplane wing aerodynamically and you'll be less susceptible to cross-winds. There's a limit here, of course - but it's one of the reasons I dry-sumped (insert joke here @Robert M) my car - making the sump no longer the lowest point on the car gave me the confidence to drive it across time-zones without worry of emptying my oil on a pebble in the road. Nobody else is going to do this (even if they should), but you can get pretty low with a CB "thin-line" sump (and please do run a sump - the stock oil capacity is a joke).

@Sacto Mitch wondered about the "happy place" with engines. There's a school of thought regarding engine speed that advocates running 4000 RPM on the highway - the idea being that the fan speed at higher RPMs provides cooler running. I'll buy that for spirited drives in high-load situations (driving like a hooligan in the mountains) - but in my experience on the Great American Open Road, running higher RPM makes the engine run hotter. The absolute sweet-spot is about 3000- 3400 RPM. If you really, really want to drive 80 and you have a .89/3.88, you'll run hot.

And here's where I stand alone in this crowd. I'm not sure that having an engine that will last 100k mi is really such an enormous deal, and here's why:

Most "car-guys" are like ADHD grade school boys. They buy/sell cars a lot. They get bored with the 986 and buy a 987.1. They decide they'd rather have a BMW for a bit, then move to a Mercedes SL. They go though their patriotic-phase and get a GT350. They get tired of that and trade for a 997. Their friends mock them so they buy a 992. They do this every 2 to 4 years and lose $10k- $20k every time they do. Why would I care if I need a new engine after 5 to 10 years of driving a car I'm going to keep? I'm STILL money ahead as compared to Mr. ADHD, and the process of an engine build can be a lot of fun. People wonder what's the matter with me and the musical engines I play with my car. I LIKE the mechanical process, and am always thinking of ways to improve it - this one's a rip-snorting firebrand, that one's a happy cruiser. I've been on a quest to find the sweet creamy center, which is probably not possible with a T1 - but it's been fun trying.

I like teh stock transaxle gearing with a .93 4th and a 3.44. It's not perfect, but it's as good as a guy can get with a 4-speed. I requires a ring and pinion that is generally NLA. Greg's long-legged gears replicate mine very closely with a custom mainshaft, a .82 fourth, and a 3.88 R/P. Almost everybody would like that for cruising or traveling on the highway.

What you want to do depends to a large extent on your expectations. Do you want to have a fun little car to zip around in for a year or two? Do you want to be the king of the mountain? Do you think you can be the boulevard bad-boy (you can't)?

... or are you the kind of guy who's a lifer - the guy who's still married to the girl-next-door, your high-school sweetheart, working the same job you started in back in your 20s. I'm not advocating for anything, but if your tendency is to make lemon-aid, rather than to go to the green-grocer to buy an orange, you can make the car into what you want it to be. Nobody knows what that is but you, and you probably don't know yourself until you are underway.

Welcome to the madness.

Last edited by Stan Galat

Totally agree, Stan. You hit on a bunch of great points. Right now, my trans is perfect for long-distance cruising.

But that really isn't what a Spyder is for, is it? I'm building a close-ratio 4 speed, with a tall first , a shorter 4th, and 2-3 evenly-spaced in between. I'd rather be King of the Mountain.

And before some guy says 5-speed, it's not in the cards in THIS car and THIS suspension. Not gonna happen. So we make do with a near-3000-dollar 4 speed.

@MaxMartens posted:

I have my gear ratios for my JPS car but not in front of me at this moment. Four cam Subaru motor at roughly 230 HP. Gear ratios still need to be right. I will have to double check my ratios & r & p before I mis speak on gearing...

But I have a tall first. Not easy to take off with, especially on a grade. 4th is tall also. I have to rev 3rd pretty good to pull 4th. I consider 4th as being too much of an overdrive. Freeway is good at 70-80+ and motoring. In the mountain curves 4th is too tall and I have to really haul a$$ to pull 4th or run hi rev's in 3rd. I think its called freeway flyer gearing. I hate the freeway in my car. Not at all what I want to drive on with a cornering machine. I would prefer a tighter 4th and sacrifice freeway flying. 2nd & 3rd are spot on and give excellent results.

No one has talked of flywheel weight. I think 10 lbs is a standard hi-po flywheel weight (vs 18 lbs stock?) for built VW's. My Ghia had a 4 lb aluminum flywheel with a steel ring gear for reliability starting. It went through the gears super quick. It was set-up for autocross and accelerated very briskly on the streets. I could redline 4th lol. Of course everybody's needs are different.

It would be cool to have a base test car, bigger VW engine and three or four transmissions with different gears to evaluate.

In order:

1.) 230hp from a NA 2.5 Subie would be impressive indeed. Stock they are about 165.

2.) The 3rd-4th gap suggests you've got the dreaded .82 4th gear with a stock 1.26 3rd. Tons of VW transmissions were made that way from the mid '90s through the late 2000s and called "freeway fliers." The transaxle I got with my Spyder was geared like that, with a 4.12 R&P even though the sheet that came with it said it was a 3.88. And I guess some guys like them. Certainly a 2.5 Soob has the nice wide, flat torque curve to pull it—even with the four-cam. But it still feels wrong....

3.) Ultra-light flywheels are some esoteric stuff and, as you know, not everyone's cuppa when used on a street car. For auto-x, hill climbs and the like though they'll save you a few 10ths.

4.) Yes! I nominate @chines1to bring such to Carlisle every year for the east coast boys to play with. Probably drum up some business!

You're in the wrong business, Stan.  With your esoteric analysis of an automobile's 'touch points', surely there are other occupations that would more suit your feng shui approach to design.

Feng Shui:  The philosophy of feng shui is a practice of arranging the pieces in living spaces (insert car here) in order to create balance with the natural world (insert speedster driver happiness). The goal is to harness energy forces and establish harmony between an individual (insert speedster driver) and their environment (or car, that is).

But what you write is so true about the fit and feel of a car. 

Lots of great points, Stan, especially this:  

"If you have comfortable seats mounted low enough in the car to get you behind the windshield, you have an effective wind-deflector behind your head, and you have the side curtains (or windows) - you can drive all day and into the night."

I've got all of that, but at my slowly advancing age I'm pretty much all done after three hours.  I think it's the drone, and maybe my newly fitted "Ear Peace" ear plugs will give me a little longer drive time.  I can easily do a 3-4 hour jaunt around New England and my low-slung, Cabriolet-like seats stay comfortable - Way better than the 914 seats they replaced, so seat style, fit and position is critical.  

My F250 had what looked like shallow, almost bench-style, saddle-leather bucket seats.  They didn't look comfortable at all, from a "sports car" point of view, but we would put in 800 mile days on them two days in a row and felt good at the end of the day.  Somebody thought out their design to make them comfortable.

F250 interior

Back to the Speedster, My revs, with a .89 fourth and a 3:88 rear, are usually under 3500 on a highway and I do as many highway miles as back roads.  That gearing is great for Interstates, but I end up stroking between 2nd and 3rd a lot on back roads.  Life is a compromise, isn't it?   I just adapt and keep my foot in it.  Getting up between 3750-4000 on a highway doesn't bother me, nor do I see it running appreciably hotter, but that could be due to my extra cooler and it's size and good air flow back there.  

Whenever I'm out there on I-90/95 or others, I'm reminded of Norm Brust and his original '62 Cabriolet.  Put him on a highway and he ALWAYS ran at around 80+ and close to 4K rpm and did that for well over 100K miles with nary a problem.  These are tough little engines.  They'll take it

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@msjulie I have the advantage, perhaps, of having a roll bar in my car, so I used that to hold my windblocker.  I went to local glass place and bought a bunch of the glass channel used for car door windows and attached that to the inside of the roll bar, then slid a piece of 1/4" thick plexiglass up into the channel.  To hold it in place I used another piece of window channel across the bottom and attached that to the roll bar at the ends.

All I have is a show shot with a couple of NASA Martians trying to figure out how to jump start the car, but look closely at the roll bar and you'll get the idea:

IMG_0220

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Last edited by Gordon Nichols

Stan your way of framing this hobby certainly consolidates the pieces in our heads and puts them out on paper in a way that we can read our thoughts or rather your reading ours and formulating a truer vision, one that is more realistic anyway.

My first real highway drive was in an IM speedster and I thought my hair follicles were going to come out they seemed to be Crying out to me for help.  The top of my head ached for at least 20 mins as I have hair.

I had to get my head below the windshield and I did in a roadster but the roadster seats were too short.

I finally built an IM with Recaro seats and drove them Low and back as far as IM could make them fit and I am now well below the top of the windshield.   I thought of a wind screen, not sure I like the modern look, but the roll up windows works also if I do get too hot or the roll up windows don't cut it I can pop the top up and have the rear window open and folded down.  

I drove 12 hours daily top down, south on Hwy #1 and no body issues.    

FWIW I also have a 5th but  if I was trying to get the drivetrain noise lower the R&P could be dropped lower as it sits,  with the engine running at 3K to cruise at 70mph the engine is responsive and you hardly have to press the throttle to be flying at 85mph.  

BTW Ed, I thought of E6 when I was building but with little experience with that engine we opted for a SOHC.  NAspirated no turbo launch switch for me, and from all my research the SOHC and DOHC builders are very creatively, shilling us stating hp # above 200hp.

I is now 6 years that I  have built and received my car.  Wow, time has flown and every winter my project list adds some options so the crazyness continues and have no desire for any other vehicle, am I getting old or what.  Maybe I am being affected ... covidly yours,  Ray

I like the shape even more than I like the Puma, but I never warmed up to the orange trim on the side.  It goes with a few colors and not with others, but it's actually metal trim with horizontal ribs and it is set into an inset on the side panels, so it can't be easily deleted.  I could learn to live with it, though.

While we're talking about an engine upgrade I think I'd want 4-wheel disks and maybe a Cool-Ryde front suspension conversion.

Last edited by Lane Anderson

People confuse crank hp and rear wheel hp. Completely different numbers. Do that Subi dyno sheet at crank numbers and they will be more in line with posted numbers generally seen, ie bigger numbers. Crank number sound better. ...Playing with numbers... just saying. Talk up a motor, use crank numbers... talk down a motor, use RWHP... Got a killer motor?! Show us the RWHP!!

Also, very few here have VW dyno sheets posting their HP, and probably most rated 120 VW HP numbers are crank HP also... Just saying. Same goes for 90 HP numbers, and probably original Porcshe HP ratings... The factory's generally rate at the crank. Aftermarket will put it on a chassis dyno.

But that is ok, enjoy the build and HP you have!

I can't vouch for JPS's Subie DOHC JDM motor's HP numbers. Trumped up? (sorry) Its a strong revvy engine regardless of the actual crank HP or rear wheel HP.

Any doubts?... I'll run ya... I have the power I have.

All for fun guys... don't take it too seriously with our plastic Corgi cars lol. Enjoy yours, and I'll enjoy mine. And mine is a coupe with attitude.

@MaxMartens posted:

People confuse crank hp and rear wheel hp. Completely different numbers. Do that Subi dyno sheet at crank numbers and they will be more in line with posted numbers generally seen, ie bigger numbers. Crank number sound better. ...Playing with numbers... just saying. Talk up a motor, use crank numbers... talk down a motor, use RWHP... Got a killer motor?! Show us the RWHP!!

Also, very few here have VW dyno sheets posting their HP, and probably most rated 120 VW HP numbers are crank HP also... Just saying. Same goes for 90 HP numbers, and probably original Porcshe HP ratings... The factory's generally rate at the crank. Aftermarket will put it on a chassis dyno.

But that is ok, enjoy the build and HP you have!



I respectfully disagree. Car guys are definitely smart enough to differentiate between crank readings and wheel/chassis dyno numbers. On a type1 VW trans, you typically lose 15-20%. Here's my engine dyno sheet from Jake in Georgia, before my crankfire ignition, dry sump system, and now EFI. This is on Weber 44 IDF and an 009 dizzy:

XLS Danny T1

So, I've got 138 to 145 hp at the wheels, give or take. In a 1500 pound car.

I still say that 230hp(John Steele) number is BS, and BS shouldn't be repeated.

Anyway, I ain't skeered. And yes, I do enjoy the heck out of my car.

Cheers.

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Last edited by DannyP

Petrolicious 911T 1969

2250lbs

0-60 9.8 secs

6 cyl   155hp  141 Ft-Lbs (191 NM)    2.2L

Interesting reasons for owning this car.

"The 911 T was the most stripped-down model in the range, and arguably the most pleasurable experience because of it. No excessive luxuries or functionality to take away from a pure driving experience. Read more about this maximally minimalist Porsche and go behinds the scenes during the making of this film at http://petro.li/911TGallery"  

One of the most fun things about these cars, I think, is how fast they feel. Low and light and open gives such a different experience from sitting three feet up in your Panamera or whatever, cocooned in leather and Blaupunkt-in Vivaldi, texting Kayleigh to find out when practice is over.

It's the difference between acceleration and exhilaration.

Make no mistake: The soccer mommy in the Porsche SUV will beat you, Max. And me and Danny. The Panamara will soundly thrash any of us, even Cory Drake, whose Revell-badged clown car is capable of pulling wheelies on launch. Six hundred twenty horsepower is a lot of hp, and 3.0 seconds to 60 is very fast.

What most guys still don't realize is, it's been about a decade since there was any use in trying to make these cars hang with modern sports and GT cars on the track or street. You might as well try launching yourself "to Mars" with a steam-powered ski jump over the Snake River Canyon.

This huge gap between fantasy and reality is part of what gives rise to the "Orange County Correction Factor" crank HP numbers guys like John Steele (and many others) insist on advertising. Boys who like toys like big horsepower numbers. It's a fact!

But it doesn't matter.

The clown cars' magic is how death-defying they feel even at normal highway speeds. Most times, even 180 horsepower in a 1650-pound Speedster replica is enough to overwhelm the suspension. You're driving for your life, at 10/10ths, within five seconds of putting your foot down. Every time.

That's exhilaration. Now, the acceleration is still pretty good. My guess is Danny's car is in the low 5s— maybe high 4s—to 60 in the real world. A NA Suby-powered Speedster would likely be a couple 10ths slower, depending on gears. Marty's turbo Suby is gonna clock in a 10th faster, probably. That's an honest 265 HP. Ask Cory what his 60-foot slip was. His car weighs about 1200 pounds and the big Type IV he has was built to pull.

Now, the IMs (like Marty's) with 911 suspension bits can certainly safely handle more power than the beam-and-swingaxle cars. I'm sure the new Beck chassis will be as good, if not better. So it's not unreasonable to predict that, in a few years, modernized clown cars with 350 hp and more will be available to the midlife crisis masses. And they will be glorious 3-second-to-60 machines.

But you gotta ask yourself...will they be more fun?

^ that, all day long.

I once bought a JPS speedster with a "110 hp" 1776: stock heads, stock crank (not even couterweighted), stock internals, with a 90.5 Mahle kit, a W110 cam, and dual ICTs that had never been tuned. It breathed through an EMPI "Monza" exhaust with the dual tips cut off and single pipes welded in their place. If that engine made more than 75 hp at the crank, I'll eat my hat.

Also, has anyone actually witnessed Cory's car pulling the wheels?

Last edited by Stan Galat
@Stan Galat posted:

Also, has anyone actually witnessed Cory's car pulling the wheels?

No. For all the hype attributed to that car, I've not seen the same in the real world. Nobody knows what it actually weighs either.

We did run on I-76 back to Mechanicsburg, and I pulled several car lengths on him each time of three times. Jeni was in the passenger seat of his and Chuck Heath was right seat in mine. LennyC and Todd El Taher and wife Sarah also witnessed this. Ended up in the 110 mph range.

Right after that, a hopped-up Miata tried spanking my Spyder. He failed as well.

Fortunately, we all slowed down to a reasonable pace(under 70), there was a PA State Trooper lying in wait. Didn't get a one that day.

Last edited by DannyP

On my recent (last week) bike season kickoff, I stopped by Rich MacKoul's shop on the other side of town and his son, Jessie, asked if I saw his wife's new ride out front.  It turned out to be a twin-turbo V6 4-door Panamera which has now been chipped up to around 480hp which should shave a little off the stock, published 0 to 60 time of 3.6 secs.

What really gave me a chuckle about @edsnova's piece, is that her license plate says:

"HKYMOM"

Ya gotta love it.

Each of us find what we're looking for in our clown cars. Some want perfect replication, some want a sleeper that will blow the doors off those boyz in their new Camaros, some want a car that puts a smile on the face of bystanders while being comfortable to drive for a few hours. To each his or her own.

My old supercharged Miata did 0-60 in 4.25 seconds but had way too much power for me to EVER bring home a first place trophy in Solo II (couldn't have been the driver so it must have been lighting up the rear tires too much).

My old franken911 turbo did 0-60 in the mid-3 second range and would light up the 10" rear tires at 45mph if you stepped on it. I never raced it or spun it even though it was sitting on the old 1982 SC suspension design. I built the engine to handle up to 700 crank HP, but kept the boost restricted to 425 at the crank. It really didn't need any more. It was simply a beast that you had to respect or it would kill you.

When I built the speedster, I was looking for something different. I didn't want to worry about overtaxing a 50 year old chassis or getting wiggly going around a corner because I was tempted to light them up. I wanted the comfy seats and something that you didn't see everyday. I built what I wanted.

Each of us should buy or build the thing that fits what we want at our time in life. But, we shouldn't take offense that other members of the clown car club don't have the same vision or desire for their cars. Make it your own and appreciate what others have done to do the same.

That being said, I do want to see Hoopty do a wheelie. Maybe @MusbJim can do a video for me???

I don't think new owners/potential owners should expect a replica 356 to be as fast as most modern cars. But you can have the expectation for your replica to be faster than an original 356. Maybe handle better too... or not, depending on how well set up it is.

Its a bonus if your replica 356 is as fast as a modern Camaro, and if it is you have a lot of time & money in the motor/trans package to get that performance. Most don't need or want a dyno sheet, or continual tuning. Turn key & take the wife to lunch is usually enough. Or a Sunday rev through the mountains.

I regret talking performance here, as some just want to shove their own spectacular performance in your face. It is really just a touring car, and thats all my whatever horsepower it is Subaru motor provides. Treat it as a touring car, work out any bugs, and enjoy your time with your 356 VW Bug!

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