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I'm sure this topic belies my newbie status. I'm looking for input to aid in helping me decide between the purchase of a Spyder or a Speedster. If I had the money, I'd easily solve the problem with the purchase of one of each...,however I can only afford one. I'd appreciate hearing from experienced owners and their views.

Original Post
Well, I have owned 3 Speedsters and one Spyder. The Spyder handles better than any of the Speedsters I have owned. The Spyder is hard for me to get in and out of, ultimately my wife refused to ride in it any more, so I sold it and bought another Speedster. The doors on the Speedster are wider and open lower also, making it possible for those of us who are less nimble than we once were, to get in and out much easier.

The Spyder is more of a raw vehicle IMO, corners very well, but the top is of no use at all in my case. Impossible to get in and out of the car with the top up unless your are a double articulated midget (excuse me horizontally challanged person) whose full time job is center stage at cirque du soleil. I am 6'1" and 225 pounds...

Most of the Spyders have swing arm transmissions....Speedsters have more space to haul stuff, but I could haul a couple of weeks of groceries in my Spyder, and did so fairly often. In the 6+ years I owned the Spyder I put more than 50,000km's on it, so I drove it often, every day it was not Speedsters I did use the tops and did get out in the rain on ocassion, a real bad idea in a Spyder, and a not so good idea in most Speedsters. One or more of the Speedster makers offers the car with roll up windows....these days, and have for a while....
Russ, amigo, have a firsthand look at both. Come to a show, call someone close to where you live AND look at how you would drive a Beetle if you had one.

I'd strongly suggest buying the car that will suit your particular needs after touching several. Do not jump at the first one you see for sale, and ask around (like you did) about whether or not any of us are familiar with the car you're intending to pull the trigger on.

If you're a gearhead, there are powerplant options galore. If you're a DRIVER, there are stripped-down go-fast cars out there in both categories. If you want a show-stopper, Spyders are less common. If you want your missus to ride with you, shop together for a Speedster.

If you want something that'll give you a heart attack, a stroke and that'll slap your face off of your skull all at the same time, I'll sell you my monster in a couple years.

Rich, Jim ... I have your numbers, fellas. If this guy wants to TRULY experience driving in its purest form, he'll hack off the bumpers, lose the top, add some foglights, ditch the carpet and hop up into the two-liter range soon enough. I don't need to bring Russ over to the Dark Side on his first day in town. ;)
I'm afraid the "dark side" has already been calling. I really like the access the Spyder provides to engine, trans, etc. I'm 5'9" so fitting in to the cockpit is not a problem.............except when factoring in my 62 year old body. I enjoy doing my own wrenching so 2110cc, dual 44IDF's etc., seems to be the engine I'm dying to put together. And a Spyder would really be a blast. On the other hand, my wife REALLY wants to put her 2cents in when I plan on spending something in the $25-$30K range. Questions such as "where do we put the luggage (groceries...ugh)" and "I'm supposed to squeeze into THAT"?" Start cropping up. Speedster then seems like the logical choice. Attending a few events is definately in the cards. I really need to see the cars up close and start meeting people. I anticipate this learning curve to take awhile......but I'm already having fun! I appreciate all your replys.
I posted this on "Spyder Owners":

"If you can wait, come join us at "Speedsters Meet Spyders" at the Carlisle Import and Kit Car show next May. You'll be able to compare cars from several manufacturers side by side, talk to the manufacturers (Beck, Intermeccanica, JPS, and maybe Thunder Ranch), and even ride/drive different cars. It's the best place to gather info to make a wise decision."

Check out the Events forum here for details. It's an absolute blast.
Speedster or Spyder. hmmmmmmm.............

As in most things in life, "it depends".

Lots of good info on here, but here's something else to consider:

Your desires are one thing, but if you have a spouse or spouse equivalent AND expect your loved one to ride with you, then that person should take a ride in both, too. Otherwise, you'll get what you think is a cool choice and after a couple of rides your partner may opt out on further rides in the "funny little car".

I remember giving a ride at Carlisle to the girlfriend of a spyder owner as he gave someone else a ride to the show in his spyder. When we took off, the first thing she said was "wow! There's a lot of room in here, and I don't feel like I'm liable to fall out!" and a little further down the road; "This car rides so smoothly!"

I think spyders are a slightly more acquired taste than speedsters are, but maybe I'm reading more into it than is there.

Still.....Come to Carlisle or Pismo Beach, someone will surely give you (both) rides in both styles, and THEN make up your mind. Or you could visit the folks at Beck or Intermeccanica or Vintage and take a ride in their cars and decide. Whatever spins your wheels.


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I'm unclear ( a state I find myself in often as I get older), you post that you're trying to decide between purchasing a speedster or spyder, yet your profile indicates the two year ownership of a 2010 Vintage speedster. And that you've been connected to this site since '06, hardly a newbie.
What gives? Are you posting this thread as a possible topic for other newbies?
I've been kicking the idea of owning a Porsche replica around for some time, hence my joinng the sites awhile back. Now, I'm seriously getting ready to purchase. I've been going thru this "Spyder vs. Speedster" quandry from the beginning. What really interests me is purchasing something on the order of a "Deluxe Kit", such as offered by Thunder Ranch and Beck. The ability to pick and choose engine, trans, etc. has a strong appeal. Of course, if "just the right" used example came along, I wouldn't be opposed to saving a few dollars. At this stage there are still MANY things that need to be ironed out. BTW, I had CONSIDERED a Vintage Speedster "back then".....but never combepleted the deal. Now, I prefer a tube frame model.....if it's to be a Speedster!
Russell coming from an old sales trainer I'd sit down and do the ole Ben Franklin Close for your decision... Ole Ben would take a piece of paper and draw a line down the middle of it.. he's post the reasons to do it on the left and the reasons not to on the right... After listing ALL your pros and cons your answer was right in front of you... Good Luck and Welcome to the Madness..


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Hmmm, I think I may know who Gordon was referring to!

Buy what you like, but try them all first. Go to a couple of meets, most if not all of the manufacturers will be represented. You do have a decision to make, is the car for you or both of you? That is the first question and most important one IMHO.

I have a Spyder and love it. It rides well, handles great, goes like hell and stops the same. I have driven and ridden in Speedsters. I like them too, but I own a Spyder. I have refined the car over the six years I have had it on the road. It is pretty bulletproof. I recently drove it on a 700 mile weekend to the Pumpkin Run. I have at least 23000 miles on the car. Yes, you need to be fit to get in and out. Yes, there's less room in a Spyder, you pretty much sit shoulder to shoulder with your passenger. Plenty of room in the front for luggage. I store the rudimentary top in there and a spare and there is still room for tools and a weekend's worth of clothes.

I have had plenty of females in the car. Only one isn't a regular passenger. 6 out of 7 surveyed.......

One final thought: 1450 pounds with a half-tank of gas. I think the lightest Speedster is about 1700 pounds(excepting Hoopty!)

Russ, you live in sunny California, right? Seems easy to me, I am on the east coast, and drive my car every day I can. More days for you to drive. Get the wife a Miata.
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