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As many of you know, I bought a 550 spyder built by a company called "CMI" back in the 1980s. They are cool because they are narrower and shorter, like the originals. However, being the knuckle-heads they were, they splashed a mold off of a wrecked 550 that was poorly repaired (see the photos!), and proceeded to remake it with the flaws. 

I bought the car from 502 Motoworks (builders of Alloy 550s) who purchased it from Russ at Fibersteel. 

After getting a new tail from Ric at Rusty Tubs, @chines1 was given the task of fitting it to the car, and shaping it. 

I'd say his team has done a pretty nice job! 

Here's the CMI car with the original (misshapen) tail (check out the wheel well, for starters):IMG_3918

Here's the tail of an original car (Ingram collection, 550--0073):

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Here's what Carey has done with my car:

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Here's 550-0060. The rear fender comes to a point from this angle. 

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Once again, Carey captures the enigmatic shape incredibly well:

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@TRP: this car has a completely different shape from the other replicas -- it hasn't been widened or stretched at all. Given that I love originality, this car really does it for me. I'll never own a Spyder that drives better than a BECK, but this car looks super cool.

As for the plan, we are painting it French racing blue with white darts. I have alloy/steel 16" wheels made for it, and an original 420 mm Petri Banjo (not a 400mm like the Flat4 replicas). Carey has made another hard half tonneau, as well as a single plexi windscreen. 

The motor was posted here: 

https://www.speedsterowners.co...1#576789226690983351

arajani posted:

@ALB -- YEP! Those drilled wheels are really cool. That car originally belonged to a...

I forgot to ask, Anand- are you going to be drilling holes in the wheels for this car? Knowing that it's historically correct and all, how could you not?

And I didn't say it before, but good on ya for taking the time to correct the rear fender arches. They suit the car just so much better! Al

Last edited by ALB
arajani posted:

...@ALB : The only car that had drilled wheels was 0073. The first owner of the car, Paul Sagan, did that. So to answer your question, no! I do have proper steel centered alloy 16" wheels for my car, however...

Anand

Do you know the weight difference of 1 of your steel centered/alloy rimmed wheels and an all steel 16" wheel of the same width? I'm guessing all those holes in the drilled rim pic above would also remove 1/2 or 3/4 lb/wheel- as well as being period correct, losing that much a corner would be worth doing. And all that body work around the front beam is just sic! It's looking great! Al

TRP posted:

That color is perfect. Is that the same color as the one Jerry S. sold last year?

I can't wait to see this thing when it's done. It's going to be prodigious.

@TRP: Yep! I sourced the original Glasurit paint code (from an original batch of french blue paint believe it or not), so the color should be spot on!

@Kevin - Bay Area -- I'm not far from you if you're in SF...pop down and visit for the day? Robert, Teby, Troy and I will take you out for a beer and some food. 

Anand

Looking sweet and looks like we'll both be coming in for a landing right about the same time. I love that even your headlight buckets are correct. That is dedication.

I think your "spot-on" French Blue and my "Let's just use a common Toyota color" Voodoo Blue (aka Rustoleum Sail Blue) are pretty similar, and pretty close to "correct," but I don't concede yours is righter: I mean, a lot can happen to a pigment in 63 years, and as any restorer of fine paintings will tell you, often the "right" color as seen in period is much brighter than what's on view today in a pristine, unrestored work of priceless art. ...

So it's probably best for you and I to drive our respective Spyders to Stanistan next spring and meet there with the new owner of Seinfeld's old car and a couple of PCA-certified concourse judges to hash this out. 

I'd be up for anything but a drag race . . . with that engine you're installing, your license plate could be "BLUBYU".

edsnova posted:

Looking sweet and looks like we'll both be coming in for a landing right about the same time. I love that even your headlight buckets are correct. That is dedication.

I think your "spot-on" French Blue and my "Let's just use a common Toyota color" Voodoo Blue (aka Rustoleum Sail Blue) are pretty similar, and pretty close to "correct," but I don't concede yours is righter: I mean, a lot can happen to a pigment in 63 years, and as any restorer of fine paintings will tell you, often the "right" color as seen in period is much brighter than what's on view today in a pristine, unrestored work of priceless art. ...

So it's probably best for you and I to drive our respective Spyders to Stanistan next spring and meet there with the new owner of Seinfeld's old car and a couple of PCA-certified concourse judges to hash this out. 

I'd be up for anything but a drag race . . . with that engine you're installing, your license plate could be "BLUBYU".

ED...Sounds like we've got a showdown coming in the Republic of Stanistan. I look forward to it! 

I'm sure whatever color you've chosen will be amazing, just like the rest of your build. I deserve no credit for anything with my car. I'll I've done is written checks and harrassed @chines1.

With all of the silver spyders floating around, it will be nice for us to have two cars in a distinctive color!

Anand

I fought the urge to do the Porsche silver for a long time.  My first 2 spyders were not traditional spyder colors.  My first one was ivory and my second one was BMW sterling grey metallic.  I thought about doing a Seinfeld blue car but I chickened out and went for the Capri blue darts instead.  I glad I went with the Porsche silver.  I think my car is beautiful.  But good for you Anand for being bold.  Your car will be special and unique in so many way.

Kelly, there are many "correct" colors for a Spyder. Some of us choose to not do silver. Some of us don't. It's all personal preference. I got rear-ended in mine when it was silver. I chose to go higher visibility, but period race correct, and uncommon.

You know, just like Speedsters. Many different strokes for different folks.

 

edsnova posted:

....Truthfully I can't think of a "wrong" color to paint a Spyder...

 That got me thinking (usually a dangerous thing).

What would a Spyder look like in some strong colors you'd pretty much never see one in? Or even bizarre colors that would never work on most cars?

Bob Hall, the auto writer who talked his way onto the design team of the original Miata used to rail against Mazda's conservative color palette for that car. He argued that the clean shape and very small size leant itself to bright 'ice-cream' colors as he used to call them. I think the Spyder (and Speedster) are similar shapes. So, do any of these work? The first one is Seinfeld's blue Spyder, the rest are Photoshop creations.

If you've got any suggestions you'd like to see, post a color sample here and I'll see if I can apply that, too.

 

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Last edited by Sacto Mitch
Panhandle Bob posted:
El Frazoo posted:

Agreed on all counts.  I think I saw a pink speedster somewhere, and aside from that one, both speedsters and spyders are so cool no matter what color.

I recall that there is a rental company in Hawaii that has bright green Speedster with red or orange bumpers. That might qualify as not so cool.

Theron boight that car a year or so ago. He knocked the ugly off it and sold it.

A couple of fun updates:

Carey is working away on the front end. We've got my disc brakes and backing plates all sorted out. I'm tempted to switch to 60 mm GT brakes, but that's going to be another project for another time!

Steering should be done early next week. Carey is working a bit on the wiring harness this weekend, which is no easy task. He's wrapping it in cloth like it was and making it look pretty.

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Transmission is in. Yeah, I know you don't like the color   -- it was supposed to be a bit of a darker gold, which was the finish found on the spit case 519 boxes. It'll get covered by my spare!

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Bill, Carey's in-house upholstery guy, is working off of loads of photos I've sent of both unrestored and restored 550s for reference; he's doing a lovely job.

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@chines1 got the rear end all sorted out. The front brakes are in, too. I'm still considering a set of 60 mm GT brakes; my buddy John has an extra set, so I might use them. 

Got a new TRW steering box (Carey said my old one had some flat spots).

My fake Carrera motor is also in place! I'll change the valve covers around so that they are forward facing. Exhaust and belly pan go on next week. 

Making progress!

Anand

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I know, Anand, I know. Any time something actually has a capitol P attached it starts at uber expensive and quite often doesn't stop until well past stupid outrageous! They would be so cool though. And check out the pics below. Would go so nice with those drilled/lightened wheels.

edsnova posted:

Very beautiful. I love how you have the air flow holes in the brake drums. Just every little thing.

Holes were also drilled in the backing plates-

lightened swing arm & backing platelightened backing plates and air scoops

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Last edited by ALB

Poor Carey has been working away on my car -- he's got it wired now and the gauges are about ready to go in.

I've got an original 550 steering column in-bound from Louisville that will work with my original Petri 420 mm steering wheel. Carey made a custom grommet for it too. I'm not sure how I'm going to fit in the car (the normal Flat-4 banjo is 400 mm), but we'll have to cross our fingers. I just love the proper 16" wheel. I'm clearly brain damaged.

Carey got the bezels for my dash nicely sorted -- we decided to just scotch-brite them on the lathe and they turned out dynamite. 

We also installed my fake Carrera engine! Excited to hear that bad boy in the car. I've got new headers and a sebring exhaust. Carey repainted my belly pan, so that can go on too. 

Next week should be a fun one -- lots of little things to add. 

Anand

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Loving this build.

My car came with discs on all four wheels and I'm not changing them but I believe the drums should be more than adequate; if they weren't Porsche would've changed them out after the first season racing with them in '55. 

I also love that this car will be just subtly smaller (i.e. the actual right size) and yet the steering wheel will be imperceptibly larger (i.e. also the right size), meaning the different proportion of the wheel to the tub should be noticeable even if you're not parked next to another replica. 

All these little things add up.

Last edited by edsnova
edsnova posted:

Loving this build.

My car came with discs on all four wheels and I'm not changing them but I believe the drums should be more than adequate; if they weren't Porsche would've changed them out after the first season racing with them in '55. 

I also love that this car will be just subtly smaller (i.e. the actual right size) and yet the steering wheel will be imperceptibly larger (i.e. also the right size), meaning the different proportion of the wheel to the tub should be noticeable even if you're not parked next to another replica. 

All these little things add up.

@edsnova - You really are my brother from another mother. There's something about the larger wheel in the smaller car -- it changes everything for me. 

@El Frazoo -- you're totally right. I tried to talk Carey into a Disc conversion, but I think he knew that I'd also want authenticity, so he just said "no." Being such good friends, we have that kind of relationship! 60mmGT brakes should suffice, and I'll get those on soon enough. 

@Kevin - Bay Area -- You're always welcome here in Fresno -- come on down any time!

Here's the 420mm wheel. Carey thinks I've completely lost it.

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Yes, yes you have. Lost it that is! But I too love this build. All the details, the brakes, the link-pin front end with closed-in inner fenders, the faux-cam motor, and yes, even those awesome drum brakes(and y'all know what I have on my car!).

But that wheel, it looks like I couldn't even get in the car! I'm sure most of us are in that same boat. You must be skinny, Anand.

Well, @arajani I have previous experience with installing oversized, comically-large (i.e. "period-correct") banjo steering* in a replica. And it is a bit of small-frame privilege to do it.IMG_1726

*Also note: correct(ish)-sized speedometer and tach, legit MGTD center gauge cluster plate, legit Smiths dual gauge, correct horn switch (for late-model TDs), correct, original dashboard trim (including glove box trim), correct door latch, correct door pockets, correct chrome-plated shifter and properly shaped shifter "hump" (which is fake), correctly located chrome e-brake handle, correct carpeted upside-down U e-brake cable shield, correct Denso rear-view mirror, correctly-located tiny cube heater a la dealer-installed Arnolt heaters of the period, correctly-shaped and pleated seats and seat back. Unseen: proper roller wheel accelerator, correct (and properly shredded) fume excluder fit over the brake and clutch pedal shafts, correct MG rubber footwell, correctly-located, correctly useless spindly MG windshield wipers, proper windshield fold-down mechanism, painted 60-spoke knock-on MWS wire wheels, etc. & soforth. 

 

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arajani posted:

@MusbJim -- Absolutely. It will be an honor to cruise with you guys! I'm aiming to be there next year!

In other news, a unicorn was spotted in an area believed to be the "Garden of Eden". You better be there.

You said:

I'm not sure how I'm going to fit in the car (the normal Flat-4 banjo is 400 mm), but we'll have to cross our fingers. I just love the proper 16" wheel. I'm clearly brain damaged.

Seriously Anand?! You have a 26" waist you'll fit in the car.

Last edited by Robert M
Robert M posted:
arajani posted:

@MusbJim -- Absolutely. It will be an honor to cruise with you guys! I'm aiming to be there next year!

In other news, a unicorn was spotted in an area believed to be the "Garden of Eden". You better be there.

You said:

I'm not sure how I'm going to fit in the car (the normal Flat-4 banjo is 400 mm), but we'll have to cross our fingers. I just love the proper 16" wheel. I'm clearly brain damaged.

Seriously Anand?! You have a 26" waist you'll fit in the car.

Ha! Even though I'm slim, this might end up being a total backfire. We'll see!

Quick update! @chines1 got the belly pan installed. It was a total PITA. I vowed not to change anything on this build so as to not create headaches with parts not fitting (this car was already a running and driving car when I bought it, so the idea was to repaint it and get it back together for driving). 

I changed the motor and transmission, and of course the CB deep sump had to hit the belly pan. Great! And the nosecone on my new trans? It also didn't fit in the mount. FML. Then one of the headers that we made in CA hit the body. Again, fixed.

After 3 days of agony, Carey and the team got it sorted. Now to refit the engine lid, paint it, and get this car rolling!

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Ed-totally right! The type IV or a 911/4 would be good options. Luckily, this pan was made differently for the type I. We actually lost the original S pipes, and we remade them here in CA without having the car in front of us. As one would expect, the chances of them not fitting is pretty high! If we had the original it would have been fine.

I've posted these pictures on the Replica 550 Spyder: All Makes page, but I thought I'd post them here, too for anyone who doesn't have social media access (ahem! @Teby S)

Things are progressing nicely, albeit slowly. Originally, this car was not put together very well, so @chines1 has had the unfortunate privilege of fixing a lot of bad workmanship. Luckily for me (and every other BECK customer), Carey cannot leave anything alone unless it is just so, and I am the benefitting from his attention to detail. (Example: he repainted my original pre-A turn signal housing because he didn't like the way it looked! This guy is too good)

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Last edited by arajani

Thanks guys. Carey is getting the steering column buttoned up today (making a tab to secure it), and getting the front lights installed. There's some custom aluminum work that was done inside the front bonnet, and that is getting placed in also. 

We had my Sebring exhaust ceramic coated, and hopefully that will get put in later this week too. My 16" alloy/steel wheels should get painted this week too. 

Lots going on!

Anand

I don't know the "marketing" thought process behind car color selections (Hell I have never understood anyone from "mahketing", ever!), other than that awful period in the 70's when everybody went "Earth Tones" and Porsche had some really bad color combinations that I would rather forget,

But people are, generally, I feel, afraid of "bold colors" on their 550/356 originals and replicas.  Maybe the Emory boys are more daring, but there seems to be a slew of white/silver/red/black cars out there, and not much else.  I've also noted that the West Coast cars seem to be more bold than those found elsewhere (and you guys/gals ROCK!)

Honestly, bucking the "factory-only" Porsche colors within the PCA takes a lot of guts, as people with too large bank accounts often have too large opinions to go with them, but what the heck do THEY know?  I certainly didn't consult with them before painting my Pearl "Audi Pearlescent White" and didn't really care - I just thought it looked awesome!  Never seen another one, although Marty's IM uses almost the same shade of Base Coat (I parked next to him once, and was tickled at how close they were.)

My mom was a teacher in elementary schools and everyone remembers her coral/white 2-tone '57 Ford Fairlane.  No one remembers her all-white '60 Fairlane, nor her all-white '62 of the same model.  All of her students remember her '64 Turquoise Galaxie XL Convertible, though, while totally forgetting her '66 and '68 Gold Galaxie convertibles.  

Just goes to show that people like and remember bold colors, no matter the car model, and "Earth Tones" are, well, earthy.  That bright Blue up above is in the Awesome category - Right up there with my Mom's Turquoise Convertible.

Go Bold or Go Home!

Last edited by Gordon Nichols

Be careful, Anand and Ed, the color police over on FB might get you. I personally, love the French Blue. It didn't used to, but it's grown on me. I think white is outstanding as well, obviously. I've painted two cars white. 

Everyone seems to think that only silver is the "proper" color, but history gives us a different picture if you look past the common and get to the uncommon but still "proper" colors.

DannyP posted:

Be careful, Anand and Ed, the color police over on FB might get you. I personally, love the French Blue. It didn't used to, but it's grown on me. I think white is outstanding as well, obviously. I've painted two cars white. 

Everyone seems to think that only silver is the "proper" color, but history gives us a different picture if you look past the common and get to the uncommon but still "proper" colors.

He didn’t paint it “Gulf livery blue”, Danny, so we are good.

Stan Galat posted:
DannyP posted:

Be careful, Anand and Ed, the color police over on FB might get you. I personally, love the French Blue. It didn't used to, but it's grown on me. I think white is outstanding as well, obviously. I've painted two cars white. 

Everyone seems to think that only silver is the "proper" color, but history gives us a different picture if you look past the common and get to the uncommon but still "proper" colors.

He didn’t paint it “Gulf livery blue”, Danny, so we are good.

If he had, there would have been the problem of where to put the orange.

After a LONG day in the Neonatal ICU yesterday, I got a text from Carey. My friday update came early. Note: I've never seen ANYONE provide such regular (or thorough) updates as @chines1. This guy is top notch in every way. If you're going to build a car, you will never go wrong. I swear on everything I own. 

Lights are going back in. Carey has riveted the jack point surrounds on...

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Steering is all set and in place. Carey installed a new TRW box. 

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I have 16" wheels that have steel centers (KPZs) with new T6061 alloy hoops. I'll be running Excelsior Stahl sports in 5.00x16 (bias ply looking, but they are radials -- available at coker.com); they should work out nicely.

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Bendix fuel pumps -- these were actually working as the fuel pumps for the car when it was equipped with a 1915. As Carey likes to mention, the car was built by an idiot -- it has the wrong banjo bolts (see third fuel pump photo below), and there was fuel leaking from them. Thank goodness Carey is sorting that all out. It will look like the photo below when it is done (we've got the fittings, german hose and new decals). 

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Aluminum surround pieces; I think Russ at Fibersteel may have built these pieces when he owned this car. The side pieces hold the reservoirs. 

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And the piece de resistance (ironically, and not the true meaning -- but the piece that gave Carey the most resistance LMFAO). We tried to flatten the license plate area as much as we could. There were 3 different bucks used, and all were a bit different in this area, and this was where we ended up. This engine lid was a hot mess when we got it, so there were MANY hours that went in to getting it to look like something (the fiberglass was rough).

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Carey probably loves this car as much as Greg loves the car he did for Daniel Cheng. He did a lot of original-looking stuff, but not to the same crazy level of detail as you, Anand.

This looks FANTASTIC! And the yellow darts are so subtly yeloow they look almost white. Awesome!

I wish I had functional front jack points......

This car is going to fool quite a few folks.

Panhandle Bob posted:

You going to stick this car in a museum when you're done? Looks good enough to go in one.

Bob-I think you all will need to stick the car in a museum when you stick Carey and I in the mental asylum -- this car has been a challenge (for Carey, I just sit here and enjoy the photos)

Also, I got a set of these 60 mm GT brakes from my buddy John Willhoit. Should help this thing stop a bit better. I've got 40 mm brakes on the rear with proper 20 mm donut spacers. It will be a nice touch. 

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DannyP posted:

That is until some asshat taps the fender. If that happens, no one will blame you for his death.

Danny-No problem by me! I'm open about what it is. I just love the shape. Actually, I nearly bought a car from Rainer Cooney. But for me, this just seemed like a more practical solution. Finding someone to help me with a crank triggered 547 and all of that was a headache. With Pat Downs just down the road, this makes sense. 

As for Daniel and Greg, there are definite similarities. Greg did an amazing job on that car. Most of the detail here has nothing to do with me, but rather, with Carey's incredible eye. The idiot who originally built this car also did some neat aesthetic things -- but his forte was not the mechanical end!

Stan Galat posted:
arajani posted:
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Is that drum aluminum?

I’m getting all weak in the knees...

Stan, yep! Made by Peter Hofmann (Classic Parts, Germany). I've got the wheel cylinder spacers, bleeder screws, etc. The whole deal. It's pretty cool.  This photo is from my 1956 356A. I had the same setup on that car. Stopped well. 

Those drums are very like the Alfin drums that older MGs (T series) used to have for racing.  They were finned exactly the same.

Along with Andrex shocks, in addition to the standard lever arm ones, they added a little to the car's braking and handling.

Some days I miss my old MG-TD.  Bought it from a high school friend, and kept it for years, but never had the money to look after it.  Finally had to sell it to help pay for the kids' university costs.

edsnova posted:

Oh you gotta be kidding me. You made him WIRE LOCK the bolts on the backing plates?

Look, man, we all know Permatex Blue is not "period correct," but jay-suess crytower ain't nobody gonna see it inside them brake drums! 

Hey now...those bolts were wire locked like that when I got the car (that was the way the 356s and 550s were done)!

As for the brake shoes, trust @alb to pick up on the subtleties. Kinda cool stuff. I like these little details! 

It was a whole-day affair for Carey, as lots of little things had to be adjusted to get these "just right." I offered to do this later when the car got to me, but Carey wanted to see it done right.

I'd imagine there will be more photos coming today...

Carey has been working hard on my tonneau, and will start working on the shift rod for the original style shift box next week. That's probably the last "new" part that needs to go in it. 

The rest of the stuff is all original to the car; the latches for the rear bonnet could also prove to be challenging, but nothing Carey can't tackle.

More to come!

Anand

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Here's the shift box -- in pieces and assembled like it will be in my car.