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I'm very close to picking up my Vintage Motorcars Speedster from Greg and I'm sure he will instruct me before I drive off. Over the years I've owned many VWs and Porsches so this format is not new to me. I was wondering if there are things the SOC can advise on, things to buy, things to watch for, tweeks, best vendors.  I await your sage advice.  Cheers.

Richard

Meissen Blue 1958 Speedster Replica

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@R Thorpe

Rich, a while back, some of our members were having difficulties with their newly delivered cars from one or two (or maybe three) so-called "builders".   No, VS wasn't nor has ever been one of them and most of those questionable shops/people have closed or sold but we still needed to give newbies some guidance, at the very least to insure that their new cars were safe to drive.  

So I sat down and wrote a new car delivery checklist for people to use either by themselves or through a trusted mechanic.   It is pretty extensive and covers everything I could think of at the time, with input from a few folks on here.   You may think it goes overboard, but if something you think is trivial and you don't at least check it and it bites you, well, it's not so trivial, is it?

And, as Danny says, there is probably more on here via the search function.

Here's the list:

https://www.speedsterowners.co...acceptance-checklist

Last edited by Gordon Nichols

It is a bit of a vague request/question but one of the things you must do before every drive is let the engine/oil warm up before you go roaring off like a race car driver. Don't use the windshield from to assist you, or anyone else, when getting in to the car. Older, less fit, or just clumsy people may try to balance or aid themselves whilst lowering themselves in to the car. Don't let them.

Speaking of getting in the car. It's easiest if you open the door, sit down in the seat (perpendicular to the car), then swing your legs in. Exit in reverse order. Another method is to put the right leg in first all the way to the tunnel, slide down in to the seat, then get your left leg in.

Start building strength in your forearms. If not your arms will get tired from waving to everyone who honks at you and/or gives you a thumbs up.

Warn your wife or significant other, if you have one, that you're about to become a rock star and you will garner the attention of hotties everywhere you go. Just tell her, "It's not me, it's the car.".

Oil changes and valve adjustments once a year or every 3K miles. Use fuel additives like Startron or Stabil at every fill up. I also use SeaFoam in the fuel to keep everything nice and clean. I don't use Stabil because I drive year round but I use SeaFoam at every fill up.

Robert's post is sage advice, too.  These cars generate a TON of interest - People waving at you on every ride, people asking what it is, especially at gas stations, I've even been stopped by traffic cops who just want to now what it is.

The windshield thing:  The Speedster windshield is the Achilles Heel of this car.  When assembled properly it is still prone to cracks from torsional stress and/or point stress.  There are literally four little screws holding the upper frame in place and one big bolt at each corner.  The center strut rod should only be tightened finger tight and then one more turn NO MORE.  Any more causes torsional stress at the center that can trigger a crack from road bumps.  Never use a metal tool anywhere near the glass, either.  

On the one hand, I have put some serious stress on the windshield glass and was surprised that nothing happened to it.  OTOH, I've seen them installed "correctly" (not by me, but by others who were careful) only to come out the next day to find one or more cracks in the glass.  

I'm still spry - I can get into the car right leg first but getting out is an interesting roll of the body to the left, hand on the sill and just sorta roll out there.  It ain't pretty.

@Jethro posted:

Sage is often paired with other herbs such as thyme, marjoram, and rosemary and harmonizes well with garlic, onion, oregano, parsley, and bay leaf.

It's really good on roast chicken and turkey, and maybe a little bit on a country ham

Oh yeah- and what Robert and Gordon said about warming it up before driving off like a madman (and blowing the oil filter seal or canister, if the car has 1) and not using the windshield for climbing in and out, I suppose...

Interesting extinguisher, Rich, although that's the first of that type I have seen so have zero data on it.

Some of us a passive BlazeCut suppressor system, somewhere from one meter long to about 2 meters and circle the engine bay with it.

http://blazecut.com/small-enclosures/description/

Others use a bottle-type with extinguisher nozzles pointed at the carbs and engine.  Danny P has a bottle type on his Spyder similar to this:

http://blazecut.com/local-application/description/

I think Summit Racing and Speedway Motors sells complete systems, too.

The windshield thing:  The Speedster windshield is the Achilles Heel of this car.  When assembled properly it is still prone to cracks from torsional stress and/or point stress.  There are literally four little screws holding the upper frame in place and one big bolt at each corner.  The center strut rod should only be tightened finger tight and then one more turn NO MORE.  Any more causes torsional stress at the center that can trigger a crack from road bumps.  Never use a metal tool anywhere near the glass, either.  

On the one hand, I have put some serious stress on the windshield glass and was surprised that nothing happened to it.  OTOH, I've seen them installed "correctly" (not by me, but by others who were careful) only to come out the next day to find one or more cracks in the glass.  

I've broken two on my Spyder. The one that came with the car, Carey said they'd had issues with after it broke when they installed it. He replaced it for free, being the great builder he is, and I cracked that last summer.

100% my fault. I hadn't used it as a grab handle, but yeah, just to steady myself on egress. And like you say, it happened in the dark. I drove it, put it away, and the next time I got it out for a drive it had cracked.  

Just sorry I didn't re-mount the lexan screen before I busticated it.

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@R Thorpe , enjoy the honeymoon.

As Gorden noted, in days of yore, there was much to be wary of on a new build from some vendors, but Greg is not one of those. We used to advise, "Have a good VW guy look things over before you drive it much," but Greg IS one of those.

So, bask in the sunshine, the wind in your hair, the admiring glances, and more attention than you probably expected.

You'll discover you've entered a time machine and will have to learn what motoring was like 70 years ago. As mentioned, that means a motor that needs a little more attention, and may be reluctant to start of a cold morning, until you learn what it likes.

You might find yourself favoring older roads over new and a slower pace than you're used to. The car will go plenty fast, but it will remind you that the quickest way isn't always the best.

Something often learned on a honeymoon.

.

I worked on a business project for Boeing back in the 1990's which worked out really well for them.  They visited us a while after and gave all who worked on the project official Boeing Bomber jackets like Bob is wearing up above.  Just the thing for those cold winter driving days.  You look really cool getting out of the car with it on, too.

I have to admit, though, that I've not yet had need for one of those "Hell's Babushka" driving hats.

Last edited by Gordon Nichols

I use either a baseball hat(in the summer) or a proper wool cap with flip-down ear flaps. The baseball hat stays put unless it isn't tight enough. The cap doesn't move.

I wear a hoodie if it's 60 and up, add an insulated leather jacket if it's less. Seat heaters and heat are needed in the Northeast, but probably not in the Cali region.

@Bob: IM S6 posted:

Cooler temperatures?  What that?

P1070134

I worked on a business project for Boeing back in the 1990's which worked out really well for them.  They visited us a while after and gave all who worked on the project official Boeing Bomber jackets like Bob is wearing up above.  Just the thing for those cold winter driving days.  You look really cool getting out of the car with it on, too.

I have to admit, though, that I've not yet had need for one of those "Hell's Babushka" driving hats.

Unless it's a blizzard, I'm going to do my darnedest to drive up to Sundance in New Year's Day in a couple of months, looking much like Bob, I'm sure. This is the first winter since I've been home that I didn't have a major winter project planned.

Last edited by dlearl476

32 F is freezing BTW. I remind my wife of this fact pretty much daily.

I'll drive into the 40s. I also have heated seats and I drive with the tonneau over the passenger area. This helps with the wind. I also made a prototype tonneau cover that helps even more. This with Danny's heater, and I'd drive anytime.

Proto tonneau 2

The final version might have a zippered seam so one could use the door for exiting the car.

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Welcome aboard, @R Thorpe!

Are there ladies in your life who will sometimes accompany you in your lovely, sky-blue Speedster?

My wife and our three daughters have made for some uncommon additions to the usual emergency arsenal of Fix-A-Flat and an extra belt.  Here's what I've learned...

Speedster Mary Jane

If you'll be transporting the fairer sex, invest in and keep in your trunk (frunk, boot, whatever we're calling it these days) a nice, fleece-lined bomber jacket in a lady's size.
Tuck into its sleeves a scarf, a stocking cap, and some warm gloves.
Lay in there a nice heavy blanket for her legs, and brother, you'll be a cool-weather HERO.

Who can know the workings of a woman's internal thermostat?

No one, that's who.

One can never tell when her thermometer will read "How much longer will we be out here?"

Also, next time you're at Walgreens or CVS, grab a little bunch of those little black ponytail holders (they come in a package of 20 or so) and toss the lot into the passenger-side door pocket.  Now, when her hair's flying about, and you casually say "I think there's something in your door pocket that can help," by gosh she'll think she rubbed a lamp and you popped out.

Finally, as long as you're in Walgreens, grab a small bottle or tube of sunscreen and a pair of cheap aviator sunglasses, or some of those big Jackie Onassis jobs, and tuck those into the door pocket with those  ponytail holders, and she'll always be protected.

Let's be heroes, boys.

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  • Mary Jane
Last edited by Cory McCloskey

"Who can know the inner workings of a woman's internal thermostat?"

Now that right there is an absolute truth, Cory!

I keep ladies leather gloves, a wool scarf, and hair ties in the passenger door on my car.

I've also made pedal extensions for my 5'3" wife, that she has yet to use(the driver's seat is bolted down and I'm 5'9").

We also have a 12 volt electric blanket folded on the back "seat".  It's big enough to cover both of us.  I would assume that you have a 12 volt outlet for phone charging and GPS etc.

Have fun with your new car.  WTTM  You've had plenty of experience with air cooled cars. It's not unusual with these hand built cars to have a few glitches , but you have a good builder.  You will be fine.

Oh, Great...

Now I have to add door pockets to my pocket-less CMC just to hold even more "stuff" that I'm never gonna use!

What really made things "modern" for my car was adding the gas heater.  Even down into the 30's, I put the top up and windows in, toss my coat on the passenger seat, start the car, start the heater and by the time I get to the end of my street (about 1/3 mile) I'm getting heat.  Set the thermostat to 70F and enjoy the ride.

Rich, my wife recommends getting a good car cover and that you'll ultimately want to get a lift of some sort.  To that, I would recommend a 48" scissors jobbie, but we've all covered that, lately.  

Add to everything else, a Bentley or Haynes VW Service manual for 1970+, for working on the chassis/running gear.  For the rest of the car, I have made my own service manual with lots of material pulled from here over the years, covering things like maintaining the top, the entire electrical system, Removing/Replacing the windshield, setting the rear ride height, servicing the brakes and wheels, Lubrication and suspension maintenance, the BN2 heater and anything else I can think of to add, but it is specific to my CMC and may or may not apply to other cars.

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