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Hello everyone, I am glad to have found this forum. I just put a deposit for a brand new Speedster made by VINTAGE MOTORCARS. I should expect delivery in 2 weeks. I am up in Toronto, Canada, and there are not many speedsters (real or replica) available here. It has the 2650 cc air-cooled engine.

I have a few very newbie questions.

1. As I will only be driving it once a week or less, how do I prevent the battery from draining? Is a plug in tender an option?

2. What is the procedure for winter storage? Top up or down and car cover? Hyperinflate tires? Put battery on a tender? Fuel stabilizer?

3. What should I look for when picking up the car? It is brand new.

4. This is the controversial bit. I want to have the car look more "Porsche" like, so would like to add a rear Porsche emblem and one on the dash. What is a good place to get these from and how do I apply it?

5. Any one know of a good mechanic in Toronto who could maintain it? it could take it to the dealer (Pfaff McLaren/Reserve) but they would charge me an arm and a leg.

5. Any other advice for a newbie? It would be nice to have a sticky with all the Newbie advice on it. Perhaps it is on the site but I haven't found it.

Cheers,



Ken

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Last edited by Theron
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Hi Ken, and Welcome To The Madness known as Speedster ownership!  If the pics are of the Speedster you're buying it's a great looking car.  With 2650 cc's I'm guessing that it has a type 4 engine- you're looking for a good aircooled mechanic (someone who still works on VW stuff and knows dual carburetors).  Don't think that a Porsche dealership will service what you have; they may not even want to look at a replica, and if they do prices will be outrageous, and most of the mechanics there won't have a clue.  Wanting to make your car more "Porsche like" is up to you, but know that a lot of P owners won't think much of a replica (it doesn't have a P vin #) so don't expect to be welcomed into fold.

Enjoy what you have for what it is- a super cool car to drive, and remember we're all here to help with whatever comes up.  Al

PS- I'm in Vancouver

Last edited by ALB

Thanks for the info, Al. I don't really care what Porsche owners think (I am one already lol ,maybe real Speedster owners are different). I just want a fun car that satisfies may boyhood fantasies. As for the emblems, It is a replica and I would never deny that, it would be for my own need to get it as close to the original as possible that I would apply them. For a mechanic I will look around, Pfaff Reserve (who I got the car from and I have a pretty good relationship with, as they service my McLaren and I sold my Ferrari to them), said they would be happy to service the car but they would charge quit a bit. I will look for an independent mechanic in the meantime.

Glad to hear it Ken; drive the tires off that thing!  You're also getting it right away vs having to wait for it to be built.  If you can't find an aircooled shop still in operation get in touch with the local VW clubs- someone will know who to take it to.  Enjoy- spring is here!  Al

PS- Have your salesman double check with Vintage as to engine size- I looked at the pics on the Pfaff site and really don't think what's in the car is 2650 cc's.  What's pictured looks like a type 1 (Beetle, Karmann Ghia, Thing) engine and although that big is technically possible, I know a little about what Vintage builds and I can't see them putting such an expensive engine in a car specced for resale.

PS- I'm guessing it's an 1835 or 1915

Last edited by ALB
@KenTO posted:


1. As I will only be driving it once a week or less, how do I prevent the battery from draining? Is a plug in tender an option?

2. What is the procedure for winter storage? Top up or down and car cover? Hyperinflate tires? Put battery on a tender? Fuel stabilizer?

3. What should I look for when picking up the car? It is brand new.

4. This is the controversial bit. I want to have the car look more "Porsche" like, so would like to add a rear Porsche emblem and one on the dash. What is a good place to get these from and how do I apply it?

5. Any one know of a good mechanic in Toronto who could maintain it? it could take it to the dealer (Pfaff McLaren/Reserve) but they would charge me an arm and a leg.

5. Any other advice for a newbie? It would be nice to have a sticky with all the Newbie advice on it. Perhaps it is on the site but I haven't found it.



1. Buy a trickle charger and plug it in.

2. Store it top up, side curtains in, with a cover. Put the tender on it and use a good fuel stabilizer (I use StaBil red). Tire inflation is up to you; 36 lbs would be good probably. You'll be running lower pressures in-season.

3. @Gordon Nichols has a book-length list. Really just make sure nothing's loose or leaking, tires are inflated and you should be fine.

4. Stoddard. You want the 8-inch script. You can carefully drill holes for them or do what many here do and grind the studs off the emblems and use 3m double-sided emblem tape, carefully trimmed to fit. In many cases the 'glass body is a little too thick for the speed nuts to get the studs anyway so a little adhesive is often needed regardless.

5. ...

6. Yes it would.

Thanks for all the advice, I think you are right, It is a Vintage Motorcars of California replica, as I am new to this I found two companies with similar names very confusing. I am located in North York, Oakville is a little bit far out for me, I was thinking about taking the car to Peter's Garage downtown, he has been working on VW Beatles and imports for a long time.

@KenTO posted:

I was thinking about taking the car to Peter's Garage downtown, he has been working on VW Beatles and imports for a long time.

Before letting him touch your Speedster ask if he's familiar with hotrodded VW engines- guys who have only ever built/tuned stock engines sometimes have trouble with aftermarket distributors, dual carburetor sets and their settings.  Al

@KenTO posted:

Thanks for all the advice, I think you are right, It is a Vintage Motorcars of California replica, as I am new to this I found two companies with similar names very confusing. I am located in North York, Oakville is a little bit far out for me, I was thinking about taking the car to Peter's Garage downtown, he has been working on VW Beatles and imports for a long time.

Hi Ken, I use to goto Peter's garage in the late 70's off College near Euclid I think  Peter did excellent work on my Westfalia and Karmann Ghia.   A few streets over Willie's Downton Porsche was a small shop who worked on my 356A coupe(59) Willie was a long time racer of 356s but he is no longer with us.

I live in Trudeaustan and have an IM, there are a few of us north of the 49th.  Enjoy the car and the return to older technology. Ray

@KenTO posted:

It was purchased new by Pfaff Reserve, a dealer in Calgary, I am purchasing it through them. I think it is costing me about 5K more than buying it direct, downside I don't get to pick my spec and $$, upside don't have to worry about importing into Canada or registering as dealer will do it and has done it in the past.

Or waiting 2-3 years. Our little cars are pretty popular so it's hard for Greg and Carey to keep up.  



PS: love the White/blue.

Last edited by dlearl476
@ALB posted:

Glad to hear it Ken; drive the tires off that thing!  You're also getting it right away vs having to wait for it to be built.  If you can't find an aircooled shop still in operation get in touch with the local VW clubs- someone will know who to take it to.  Enjoy- spring is here!  Al

PS- Have your salesman double check with Vintage as to engine size- I looked at the pics on the Pfaff site and really don't think what's in the car is 2650 cc's.  What's pictured looks like a type 1 (Beetle, Karmann Ghia, Thing) engine and although that big is technically possible, I know a little about what Vintage builds and I can't see them putting such an expensive engine in a car specced for resale.

PS- I'm guessing it's an 1835 or 1915

You are correct, it was misleading on the Pfaff website, purchase agreement shows a 2332 cc engine with 145 hp.

I don't know which switch/knob is which on a Vintage, but the extra ball knob sticking out of the e-brake boot is to adjust the heat into the cabin.

I use the word "heat" more as a suggestion, rather than reality.

Earlier Speedsters using a VW pan built before 1964-ish(?) had a knob just ahead of the shift lever for heat control, like this.  This happens to be a real 1958 Speedster:

%22A%22 shifter

Here's a 356A dash, if anyone wants to fill in the switch functions.  This is the same real '58 car but who can identify the knob just above the starter switch?  It's never included on a replica.

Red Dash

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Last edited by Gordon Nichols
@KenTO posted:

Question for everyone, in the Vintage Motorcars Speedsters, what are all the knobs/controls? And more importantly, why is there an extra knob next to the parking brake?

@KenTO Ken, as @Gordon Nichols mentioned, that little lever next to the E-brake is the heater control.

As you pull 'up' on the lever, it pulls a cable attached to the flaps in the heater boxes on each side of the engine (exhaust pipes from #2 & #3 cylinders travel through these heater boxes). When you pull the lever, which pulls & raises the flaps, the flaps redirect a portion of the air flow from the fan (spun by the belt pulley on the alternator) to the passenger cabin through vents at both sides of the footwell as well as defrost vents by windshield. Volume of heated air to passenger compartment depends on engine RPM. Higher RPM, more air volume (such as it is).

Lever in 'up' down position = heat to passenger compartment off. Lever in 'up' position = heat to passenger and windshield defrost vents on.

Last edited by MusbJim
@KenTO posted:

Question for everyone, in the Vintage Motorcars Speedsters, what are all the knobs/controls? And more importantly, why is there an extra knob next to the parking brake?

That's the "Wish Knob."  You adjust it based on how much you wish it wasn't so cold.



But in all seriousness, a fully functional VW heater is adequate for all but the coldest weather. The kicker is the fully functional part. JTubes, flapper boxes, and cabling needs to be in perfect condition for them to work properly.

Last edited by dlearl476

I don't know which switch/knob is which on a Vintage, but the extra ball knob sticking out of the e-brake boot is to adjust the heat into the cabin.

I use the word "heat" more as a suggestion, rather than reality.

Earlier Speedsters using a VW pan built before 1964-ish(?) had a knob just ahead of the shift lever for heat control, like this.  This happens to be a real 1958 Speedster:

%22A%22 shifter

Here's a 356A dash, if anyone wants to fill in the switch functions.  This is the same real '58 car but who can identify the knob just above the starter switch?  It's never included on a replica.

Red Dash

The 356 Registry has copies of all the different owners manuals. But with replicas, it's up to the builder, and there is a lot of variation in switch position/function.  

Hand throttle? Although most of the pics I've seen have them between/above the speedo/tach or tach/combo.

image



ETA: I'm guessing that car has had some customization. All the factory owners manuals have the ignition key to the left if the steering wheel.

https://derwhites356literature...ittleKnownFacts.html

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Last edited by dlearl476

@KenTO

The three alternatives to stock VW/Speedster replica heat are:

1.  No heat at all (because we sometimes don't install the heater units on the exhaust pipes) and

2.  Using the stock or modified heater units on the engines or;

3. Restoring an old (pre-1960 - 1980) VW-style gasoline-powered heater.  These things put out GOBS of heat but only had two operational modes: Scorch the top of your knees right below the heat outlet or..... Off.  

The originals were not automatic at all and required a lot of operator intervention, turning the switch on and off to control cockpit heat level.  I've modified mine such that I can dial the heat output level up and down with a dash knob, but AFAIK mine is the only one that does that - more modern versions have this feature as well.  

Two photos:  The installed heater in the nose of the car and the dash controller under the car radio.  It's a lot more involved than the engine heater boxes:

final install

IMG_1101

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Last edited by Gordon Nichols

@Gordon Nichols I am trying to figure out another heat option, that being the stock heat exchangers but with airflow supplied by 12v blower. I first pictured this as simply capping the fan housing outlets and plumbing in a two-outlet blower fan, see https://www.flickr.com/gp/farsightful/F03aF0 . But now everything I read emphasizes the vital importance of having continuous airflow through the heat exchangers even when the 12v blower is off. I interpret this to mean that my idea requires four heat-tolerant 2-in diameter one-way backdraft dampers, so that airflow doesn't flow back into the blower when it is off, nor flow back into the fan housing when the blower is on.

Or optionally I need two very-heat-tolerant all-metal blower fans, that can handle heat exchanger output when heat is on but blower is off, installed in the ducts between the heater flapper boxes and the cabin.

Do you see a third way? Thanks for your insights either way.

@KenTO Apologies for parasitizing your thread, and welcome fellow newbie.

Bill

@wrkinprogress The porsche 914 had a similar setup with a fan in the engine bay that sucked air in and pushed it through the heat exchangers then through a damper on each side into the cabin to be distributed at the dashboard. I don't remember having to have air going through the heat exchangers when no-heat was selected. I'm sure you could devise a way for a type I motor. The 914 was a type IV.

Inside the original type I heat exchangers there is a heat sink that surrounds the J pipe. This is critical in making heat. I think some aftermarket heat exchangers don't have this, or it's not as efficient.

One more thing. If you have a bigger than stock engine and you want to maintain some performance, the stock exhaust with heat exchangers usually have a small diameter exhaust pipe. They're might be an aftermarket set that has a slightly bigger pipe. I'm not sure.

I have a Spyder with a 2276 Type I. I've played around with an idea to fabricate my own heat exchangers with the 914 fan setup. This is one of many thoughts bouncing around my head that'll never come to pass though. I should just pony up and get a heater like Gordon and Danny's. Danny has a Spyder and his heater is under the dashboard.

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