No, not all Speedsters are built on VW pans and not all spyders are built on tubular frames. Check out each manufacturer's specs to discover what they do. Starting with a VW pan is not a bad idea but personally, I prefer a purpose built frame for stiffness and the effect the design has on handling. Others? Hoss
Mitch, The spyders are inheritantly difficult to build out of pans. I think there is just one pan-based manufacturer of spyders out there. Perry. The Perry uses a VW pan and is rear engined. All other spyders are mid engined and (99% sure) are body on frame.
The speedstah's are more adept at using the VW pan as both cars are rear engined. Getting harder to find good VW pans from breaker yards anymore between rust and crash damage. As to one versus the other in a speedster, I'll let the other guys chime in (as I don't have a speedster).
Speedster manufacturers are moving away from the VW frame because there are fewer of them avaiable in decent shape. As far as I know, the only US manufacturer that doesn't at least offer a tube frame option is Vintage (correct me if I'm wrong, folks), but even their's has a rectangular steel subframe added. Beck uses a 3" DOM round tube steel frame, while Intermechanicca (IM), Specialty Autoworks (SAW), and Thunder Ranch use Rectangular section steel tubing. JPS-Motorsports (JPS) still uses a VW pan, but offers a rectangular tube frame similar to Thunder Ranch's as an extra-cost option.
Of these, IM's suspension is significantly modified, and SAW's is completely proprietary. Their Speedster is a mid-mounted Subaru with a double-wishbone suspension front and rear. Check all of these out at one of the spring kit car shows (Knott's or Carlisle).
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