I was looking at my FF Californian Speedster this morning and admiring the look of the car. I know not everyone likes the flared fender cars but I am one of the people that do. I can remember the first one of the CMC flared fender Speedsters I saw was sometime in the 90's in Gatlinburg TN, at a VW event. It was a black car with a hot engine that was screaming up and down the main drag all weekend. I thought the car was the most gorgeous thing on wheels I ever saw. To me the car looked like it must have cost more than I could ever afford. As I was musing these thoughts this morning I was wondering if anyone knows what car or whose car they used to make the molds for the CMC and FF widebody cars. The interesting thing is the body of these cars are made off center where the passenger side rear flare comes out further than the drivers side. I actually have a 3/8"wheel spacer on the passenger side to wheel to compensate for this. 

 So, I wonder if there was an actual modified body Speedster someone built that they copied and if the car still exists or any old pics of the car exist. Does any of our members know the history behind these wonderfully shaped cars?  I still love gazing at my FF Californian any chance I get. 

speedster conversion 91


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I actually thought it was the sub-frame that welded off a bit or how the fiberglass body was fastened off just a bit to that steel sub-frame.  Might even be the bolt hole drilled off-center that connects to the rear torsion bar support.  I played with that when I mounted my classic body to the pan - elongating the mounting holes but mine is still off. The classic body is off the same way.  On an IRS classic body, it can easily cause interference with the tires/wheels.  To me, the body looks symmetrical side to side.

That blue brings out the flow of the flared body.  It makes it look like a more modern version of the classic staid older car. Wonder why they say the width is 66" for both cars?  Flare have to add a good 8". 


I've always (somewhat) - liked the optional 930 look whale tale on the flared body.  Must be out of vogue 1980's styling like the gold/chrome wheels.  Where's my bell-bottom jeans and turtle neck - ah, next to my Nehru jacket and white platform shoes.

whale of a tail




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Last edited by WOLFGANG

Someone told me the side to side discrepancy was from an imperfectly repaired original Speedster a mold was taken off of.

During the first CMC build I did I knew nothing about the weird off-centeredness of the CMC body so mine, too, is slightly skewed about the same as yours (but I can't remember to which side).

When I built the second one I had several years of this forum under my keyboard with people complaining about how their CMC was off to one side, so I made sure that I could get that body absolutely centered over the centerline of the pan.  It was easier to do than I expected, but cannot easily be changed once the body and pan are together, especially if, like me, other builders glue the body to the pan with Silicon caulk to prevent leaks and then bolt it all down.  If you know they're off ahead of time, you can compensate during the build.

As far as whose original body got used for the molds, I had heard that the original CMC/Fiberfab molds were bought from Intermeccanica, so if Henry comes to Carlisle with us this Spring, maybe, for the cost of a beer, you could ask him.

Last edited by Gordon Nichols

I agree with ALB about the inconsistency. My body is perfectly centered but the passenger side rear flare is different than the drivers side. No big deal for me, the wheel spacer fix doesn't cause any issue with handling or tracking. My car cruises great at speed. I have had mine just under 100mph according to my GPS driven VDO speedo. I am amazed the front doesn't get the light feeling I would expect. I think the front air scoop for the radiator keeps the front end from raising up. My Speedster is more stable at high speed than many factory built cars I have owned.

Hey Wolfgang, I owned a CMC red wide body speedster cabriolet with the whale tail back in the early 2000's. It had roll up glass windows. It was the first Speedster replica I had experience with and thought all speedster's came with roll up side windows. I didn't know the difference between a cabriolet and regular speedster. I kept the car until 2009 when the great recession hit and I sold off a view cars. Mine also was powered by a Mazda rotary engine which ran like a scalded dog and would run out to over 9k rpms. That car is what got me shopping for another Speedster a couple years ago when I found the blue one I have now. I think I saw it on Ebay the minute the owner listed it. I called him and bought it 10 min. later. I felt it was a steal at $16K with 100 miles on it and a 2276 engine. It was a good base for the Subaru conversion I had Special Edition Do.

 The rotary powered whale tail Speedster had Harley Motorcycle pipes for mufflers. The sound was great. I wish I would have kept the car now. I think I sold it for $6000.00 what a deal that would be today. The prices on our cars is happily going up. I hope the trend continues.

Jims CMC 356 Speedster CabrioletCMC Speedster Cabriolet.whale tail


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Last edited by Jimmy V.
Jimmy V. posted:

I was looking at my FF Californian Speedster this morning and admiring the look of the car. I know not everyone likes the flared fender cars but I am one of the people that do.

I actually prefer the look (your car is beautiful), especially the super wide bodies. We have a member here that has sold a couple of beauties.

Image result for 356 super widebody

@Troy Sloan wrote in the advertisement- "4 speed manual 3:88 Freeway Flyer Transmission"

So Troy- What gears does a 3:88 freeway flyer transaxle ( transaxle is actually the correct term, but minor detail) have in it?

Last edited by ALB

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