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After disappointing reviews and discussions on the JPS Coupes I've decided to go another direction. I'm not saying the owners of the JPS coupes were disappointed, I'm just disappointed with what I saw and heard.

With not many coupe builders out there, I started to think the unthinkable. Watercooled. Started reading some posts here on SAS builds and their most recent coupe build.

Since I'm not a mechanic, the "reliability" of the Suburu motor is appealing along with need for functioning heater for the cold months.

Any specific questions or concerns I should ask Steve about before I send a check? I'm still undecided on 2.2 vs 2.5 engine. Feedback?

1956 CMC(Speedster)

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After disappointing reviews and discussions on the JPS Coupes I've decided to go another direction. I'm not saying the owners of the JPS coupes were disappointed, I'm just disappointed with what I saw and heard.

With not many coupe builders out there, I started to think the unthinkable. Watercooled. Started reading some posts here on SAS builds and their most recent coupe build.

Since I'm not a mechanic, the "reliability" of the Suburu motor is appealing along with need for functioning heater for the cold months.

Any specific questions or concerns I should ask Steve about before I send a check? I'm still undecided on 2.2 vs 2.5 engine. Feedback?
Hoss commonly gets better than 30mpg in his SAS, so I don't think that should be an issue. Even though the SAS coupe at the show was unfinished, the interior was done to a higher standard that the other coupes there, and it remained dry inside despite the deluge. I would recommending talking to John Hallstrand as he has had more experience with SAS than anyone (he has Cabrio #1). Very nice cars, but you must be very patient.
Did you go to Carlisle and compare them? There were 2 JPS Coupes - that looked very finished and uber authentic --- despite teething problems and annoying vendor issues. The SAS one was rushed to get to show --- and owner admitted was not yet finished. IMHO, Those finishing details could make/break it. I thought the 2.5L was the current Subbie production engine of choice. 2.2 is post 2001 era. In AWD Subbie format, the 2.5L is thirsty and requires premium gas. That's producing 165-320 HP --- so maybe thirsty is relative - especially if its just a fun weekend ride.
Wolfgang, I did get the opportunity to see all 3 coupes at Carlisle. Although the JPS cars were more complete, I was disappointed in the water leaking problems in both along with other issues. I'm not bashing JPS and think he could build me a decent coupe. I'm sure he has learned from each coupe he has build and I looked at #1 and #2. He just finished #12.

The SAS, although not completed, had none of the above issues which is more important to me than the bling (which I'm sure SAS will finish as promised). The watercooled is more practical for me needs. I have limited mechanical skills and there is not decent VW mechanic in my general area.
Bob,

As I'm sure someone will be happy to point out, I don't own an SAS car. But like you, I'm interested and I've been lurking here for a few years watching the story unfold. I remain optimistic and enthusiastic about the product.

They definitely have a unique, well engineered, well built product by all accounts. However, the stories about production time lines that continually slip are also well documented, so you'll definitely want to read through the archives and talk to some of the active members who are still waiting.

As a third party observer, watching threads and checking the SAS website, there does not seem to be a clear queue that you get in to, at least not that I can discern and only a handful of cars have been delivered to date.

Just one third party observation, but I think setting your expectations at 24+ months would be more consistent with the current people in the build queue...

-Jeff
They had the first one of those Speedsters at Carlisle last week (see photo). I think they're still in the final stages of development. I believe that Carey said the water-cooled drive train could be retrofitted to one of their air-cooled cars. Not sure it'd work on anyone else's, though. I also think they're still working on the mid-engined version, but I'm not completely sure about that.

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The 1996 Suby DOHC 2.5l was a one year only that required premium fuel.

The newer ones, 1997 and up made more power on regular, with a bit better economy. Also, they have taken care of head gasket issues, so anything newer than 2001, a SOHC, but still 16v, will work just fine.
Last year at Carlisle, Al Merklin and I looked closely at John Steele's first coupe (the silver one) and thought it has severely lacking in attention to details; adhesive smears here and there, emblems that were not straight, door gaskets that weren't straight - and that was just the stuff from 20 feet away. When you got closer the warts got bigger, and we've all heard the stories from Tom DeWalt about all of his problems (and Kelly Frazer's speedster, too, and Eddy's coupe, etc...).

I looked just as closely at this year's offering. Different car, but Emblems still askew, better-fitting push-out rear side windows, some rubber gaskets not quite straight and the paint on one corner looked a little less than smooth when viewed at the right angle. I didn't honestly hang around to see if it leaked, but after seeing the inch of water in the foot wells of Tom Dewalt's coupe after driving only 2-1/2 hours in the rain, I have to wonder if Steele has figured out how to make a coupe leak-free. After all....how hard can THAT be??

I also took a good look at Steve's SAS coupe and, even though it was not fully finished, Charles would be the first to tell anyone looking at it that they had pulled it out of the shop, loaded it on a trailer and took it to Carlisle before it was finished, just to show that there was a high-quality coupe alternative coming available, and it wasn't just a rumor. And even though it wasn't finished, in many ways it was far superior to Steele's coupes in every way, without question.

We've all heard about the very high quality of the cars coming out of SAS. We've also heard that Steve quotes 10 - 12 months and delivers, in 24 - 36 months. If I had the money, I would definitely wait the 2 - 3 years to get an SAS coupe. It's simply that much better than Steele's.

gn
It was a shame to see how disappointed Tom was, because it really was his dream car. John has always been helpful and straight with me, and it saddens me to say this, but the way that he rudely blew off Tom on Sunday was just inexcusable, particularly after making the appointment with Tom the afternoon before. I hope that, with Kelly, Cory, Danny, etc. helping Tom, he can solve his major oil issue as well as plug the leaks. Even driving into a heavy rain for 2 hours with a major leak at my top header, I had no significant water in my floor boards. His MUST be coming in at the back, somewhere.
I spoke with Steve in(great)length last night. I expressed by concerns about his history of not meeting timeframes. He feels quite confident with the R&D completed on the first coupe, he can meet the 10-12 month completion. He is also anxious to complete a (non-flared) coupe to advertise/promote. I will have to take him at his word.

I mailed a deposit check off today so time will tell. If I'm not at next year's Carlisle show with my new coupe, I'll be atop with water tower in Knoxville.
I think Dad may have mentioned this in another thread, but I drove Tom's convertible over to Carlisle and back to Easton. It should be noted here that Tom had SIGNIFICANTLY more water in his coupe (which did get in through the rear of the car somewhere) than his speedster took in.

When we pulled into Easton, there was at least 3/4" of water on the floor, everywhere on the floor, of the coupe. This was only after 2 hours of driving through the rain. I was literally shocked to see how bad it was.

The car has a lot of smaller issues that result out of a lack of attention to detail, and most, if not all, could have been avoided. But, as the little issues are added together, they've created larger issues that are becoming, or already are, pretty serious.

Count me in for the coupe party to start to fix this.
Jack, could you be more specific? I spoke with 3 SAS owners, all said they are happy with thier SAS. I read every thread here, other than wait period, no one had anything to say bad about SAS. I could have bought a real porsche coupe but didn't want to deal with maintance, rust, or expensive services. I really wanted a coupe. My options were JPS or SAS. The condition of Toms coupe and how he was treated by John completely rules out a JPS.

I'd rather wait 2 years for a functioning coupe than 2 months for a coupe that requires a coffee can for bailing.

If you have some information that would save me a ton of $$$ and heart aches, please email me at bobros@ptd.net
Bob; welcome to the SAS fold. I know you won't be disappointed with a SAS coupe, Speedster or Cabriolet. As for as I can tell there have been 10 Subi powered cars built in the 5-6 years they've been building them. Steve L is an engineer by profession and is always designing new innovations in each car he builds. There was a running joke that they should shoot the engineer after a good product is built. In Steve's case he's still engineering instead of just building a car. I waited a pretty good amount of time for my car but know it will be unique. Don't lose heart and be patient, Steve's reputation depends on the safety and quality of his products. His outfit is small and is not a typical cookie cutter operation. I've only seen one SAS 356 for sale, I think it was bought by someone who either couldn't keep it for one reason or another or speculation in selling it for more.

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Know the SAS Coupe was rushed to show and unfinished - BUT was that the final paint color on it --- or was that the mold gelcoat finish? Seemed an unusual color (bleached celery green?) To fix the panel gaps would take grinding and repainting (is why I ask). PLUS It didn't look real shinny so perhaps waiting for another color coat, clear and buffing.
As the owner of the first SAS coupe I can probably respond to all of the speculation. The coupe is painted a 2008 Ford Edge color known as Creme Brule. There is no green tint in the paint. I brought some detailer with me to wipe off the shop dust that the rain on the way up did not remove in an effort to get the car to Carlisle this year. The car had not been buffed out and polished before I left. Some of the misalignment of the doors and deck lids, although I did not observe it was that bad, was caused by the lack of time to adjust the thickness of the rubber door seals and insulation. It is my intention to post pictures on this blog as soon as SAS completes the car, which I anticipate will be very soon. We have since added a Third Brake Light between the rear window and rear deck as a safety feature. Road testing and other adjustments are taking place as we speak.
Tom, I went to Carlisle specifically to see your coupe. I have every intention of buying JPS. His unwillingness to address your problems cost him at least 1 sale. Your pictures speaks volumes to the lack of workmanship and more importantly, unwillingness to make it right.
You certainly have taken the "high road" with this situation.
Im sorry, but I just don't get the "coupe" thing. Gee for the money they must cost to build, there are some very nice,"restorable" authentic hardtops out there that will allow you to seize the opportunity to revive one, have it appreciate over time and be well made. You'd be welcome anywhere, by all the Porsche enthusiasts, and take part in historical restoration. I understand the spyder/speedster replica market, I just dont get why anyone would spend large coin for what is a badly finished coupe. What am I missing? Ive seen many B and C coupes for reasonable prices on the market, certainly within striking distance.
Howard, it wasn't too hard for me to decide. I love the look of the coupe would normally choose an original over a copy. But in this case, the "copy" better fits by needs. Yes, I could have bought an original B or C for about the same money. I do however have other interests. I don't have the time nor interest in a restoration. I am not looking to buy a car for an "investment." It is also not important that I am welcomed by the "Porsche enthusists." I don't want to deal with expensive Porsche parts and service. I'm simply looking for a fun car to drive when I want.

If Steve delivers me the car we agreed upon, I will be happy.

I'm not sure what you mean by a "badly finished coupe" since the first one is still in the shop being finished. I'd appriciate any information you have regarding this.

Some would ask why people are paying 65k for an IM Speedster.
Bob,
Howard is referring to the JPS Coupe, I assume.
Please refer to various threads on the subject.
Regarding 65k for an Intermeccanica.
If you have the disposable income and you truly appreciate impeccable workmanship, it is arguable that Henry charges far too little for his cars.
Yes, they're that good.
I also hope to win the lottery some day............
Terry, you have to play to win....are you??? ;-)

Howard, the choice of a coupe over another body style is just a thing about taste, something that, on an individual basis, cannot be disputed; people like what they like and that's that.

As far as original coupes go, yes, you can find one for about the same money as a replica. But what have you really bought with your 30K? Even restored, they are still fifty year old cars. Unless they are truly restored to "as new" they are just expensive trouble waiting to happen. I doubt that the most pristine examples will be available in the 30's price range.

When John Steele's first two coupes were written up in Kit Car Builder, the writer suggested that the price of original coupes had reached the point that replicas were viable in the market place. I think John was correct in this assessment. Had they been available from SAS when I bought my Cabrio, I would have considered one, but I think I enjoy a drop-top much more.

my 2 kroner
Hoss
I've been watching some coupes on the auction block. I might try to score one, and start putting it right over time. This is a hobby pure and simple. But if Im going to pay money for a coupe, it had better be the real deal. For fun the 911/356 that Henry built is as bullit proof as it gets, no water to bail, heat aplenty, defrosting too. In essence a real car. I can deal with a 50yr old model, because hell, they weren't that good back in the day. But to have a replica built, and have all sorts of problems getting it "right", after you paid someone else to get it right, makes no sense to me at all. But to each his own I guess
Bob, I hate to say it, but you won't have a car by next years Carlisle show. It simply won't happen.

In fact I will come to Carlisle next year and publicly kiss your bare asshole if you do have it by then. Thats right, not just the fleshy cheek, but literally the rings around your anus. Now that is a nasty thought, but I'm that sure you won't have a car in 12 months.

I'm the only ex-SAW owner in existence. Therefore I'm probably the only one who can give an honest and open opinion.

I'm going to say this simply, I wish I still had my SAW. Would I buy another? Yep, if a used one comes available, I would buy it. Would I want to go through the long build with multiple time delays that you will get, nope. I would at this point in my life and financial situation, not be comfortable. Even if I had the money right now, I wouldn't be comfortable with the lack of honesty or openess about the "Que" that SAW seems to think is good business.

I think it really only works for them. You got to want it really bad, and have a lot of faith to make it through a SAW build.
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