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Getting close to pulling the trigger on a Spyder body to start a build, and I have read a lot about the lack of leg room in most Spyders. I'm around 6' 1", and was curious about the pedal placement in most of the Spyders I have seen. It seems to me that the limiting factor in how far away from the driver the pedals can be would be the front beam. Seems to me that the pedals in most cars I've seen pictures of could move the pedals back a bit and not risk hitting the front beam. Some minor cutting may be required in the driver footwell area, but that shouldn't be too bad. I'd even consider a set of  hanging pedals if that would make it work. What do you guys think? Am I misjudging how close the pedals are to the front beam on these cars?

1957 Vintage Speedsters(Speedster)
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I'm currently 5'9"(was 5'10" when I first got the car 20 years ago) and fit fine with a 32" inseam. My gas pedal leg is bent and not straight out. In the summer I usually drive barefoot, and slide my left foot between the clutch and inner fender. My foot doesn't reach the firewall with my leg flat to the floor.

I've seen over 6' guys fit in a Spyder, so as Mike says, try one. You might fit in mine, the seats are all the way back, slightly tilted rearward and bolted to the floor with no tracks.

There isn't much room between the firewall and beam. I had to slightly grind the end of the brake master cylinder to get it into place. You can't really move the firewall forward as it will interfere with the tie rods, especially on the driver side.

A hanging pedal assembly probably won't work either, it's REALLY tight up there. You could try it, but I'm doubtful. All the "extra" room you think is there, is there for a reason. Somehow it all just works and just fits.

People have tried unsuccessfully putting an unequal length A-arm setup in there with rack and pinion steering. I'm sure it can be done, but somebody needs to design it from the ground up BEFORE the frame and body are bonded together permanently.

@brsturges  The brake master cylinder almost touches the front beam in my car. I have a Vintage built by Seduction.

BTW, what's your inseam? and shoe size? I'm 5'10"ish with a 32" inseam and have 13ish sized feet. I cannot wear a shoe on my right foot because of clearance issues with the bulge over the gas pedal that covers the fuel tank exit. I did trim the bulge and it's better, but not perfect. I need to weld the exit farther down the tank to get rid of it totally. I'll do this at some other time.

If you have a long torso, you might have trouble getting below the windshield frame. I have my seat bolted directly to the floor in the rear, without sliders, and lifted in the front about 2.5" or so. If I drive while leaning back, relaxed and just cruising, the windshield frame in kinda in the line of sight. BUT, I rarely drive this way. I got this car to play speed racer, and I'm leaning forward in attack mode searching for unsuspecting Prius drivers.

I don't think hanging pedals have been tried. The area between the forward firewall and beam is very limited and is taken up by the steering.

As SpyderMike suggests, try and sit in one before you pull the trigger.

Haha, Danny just posted pretty much the same thing.

Last edited by Carlos G

I’m 6’2” but with a similar 32” inseam and I have no problem with my Gen 1 Beck without the 2” relief in the firewall. (Most more modern Spyders have this) Originally came with the usual Beetle pedal cluster but even after I redid it with CNC pedals, there’s still plenty of room.
Like Danny, my seats are mounted to the floor, all the way back, without tracks.

In driving mode, my right leg is a little bent on the accelerator, but my left clutch and using the brakes I can straighten my leg all the way out.

Like Danny said, the limiting factor is the brake master to the beam. I used a super beetle master on mine that is a little different than a standard bug.* (Flange moved away from the pedal 1”-1.5”)

*I was going from the original single circuit master to a dual circuit master and the regular bug one wouldn’t fit, even with grinding.


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Last edited by dlearl476

@brsturges, unless you're built like Kermit the Frog, you'll probably fit fine with the stock Beetle cluster, which is a marvel of compact engineering. If you do not, there are some minor options for adjustment.

The main one: width. There's lots of foot room in these cars, because there's no center tunnel and no transmission impinging on the foot box. The original cars had their gas pedals in the center of the cockpit, not offset to the driver's side as it is with every other car. That affords a skosh more room. The Spyder pedal frames are also very short—shorter than the aftermarket dune buggie frames we tend to use. Fibersteel sells a kit of authentic looking 550 pedals for a lot of cash. It might (I don't know—might) be worth a half inch of leg room.

See how the bottom of the gas pedal is in line with the handbrake handle? That's the centerline. The top of the gas pedal is actually on the passenger side of the cockpit.

Looks like your questions were answered (I didn't read them all) but I'll reiterate, there is NO room to move pedals forward in the car, which is why we recessed the firewall on Gen 2 and up cars for the added room.  Standalone pedals vs. a VW pedal set also allows for better fitment and pedal spacing.  Standalone pedals are a standard in all Gen 3 Becks.  No room for hanging pedals.

It May be possible to buy a tiny bit more room if you went to a dual single circuit brake master with a balance bar using floor mount type pedals, but you;d have to modify the toe board as well as the fiberglas above it, all while missing the left tie rod which rides in that same location and would then become your limiting factor.

I am 6'1" 225lbs and I fit fine in a spyder.  I prefer to run with no seat tracks and I prefer a smaller steering wheel.

@chines1 posted:

Standalone pedals vs. a VW pedal set also allows for better fitment and pedal spacing.  Standalone pedals are a standard in all Gen 3 Becks.

LOOKING at my pedals when I got them I was a little concerned that I was going to lose an inch or so compared to the VW cluster but it’s an optical illusion because of the floor mount. When all was said and done and the pedal position adjusted, I think I gained an inch-inch and a half.

What I did lose was the area under the VW clutch pedal to rest my left leg, which used to lay flat in the floor. Now I bend my knee and flop it over into the area behind the wheel well. But the heel/toe action more than makes up for it.

An added bonus is that the pedal position is probably adjustable in about a 2”-3” range with the CNC pedals.

Last edited by dlearl476
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