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Stärke on BaT. (<click it, it's a link)

I'm told that every pot has a lid -- this must be somebody's lid. An infinite amount of monkeys with an infinite amount of clay at infinite design centers might someday produce a Speedster that doesn't look goofy built around a Boxster. We're not there yet.

Get it while it's hot, it may be your one big chance.

Screenshot 2024-03-19 5.01.29 PM

"BlazeCut®(TM) woulda' saved it!!"

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I actually just clicked through all the pics.

I HATE the diamond-tuck seat and door panel inserts. But in this case, they look less tacky than they do on an actual 356 Speedster replica.

The cupholder door is broken, as it is on my Cayman, and almost all of the rest of them. The cupholder is just under the dash pad(where it says Speedster) and above the glovebox. It's a little thing, but hey, they spent all that money on custom Starke logos on the seats, hubcaps, and even on the tach! They also spent big money for a carbon fiber key surround and doorsills.

My biggest problem next to the general ungainliness of the proportions: the engine bay lid is NEVER opened.

And everybody: don't put 17" or 18" wheels on your Speedster. They just don't look right.

I would like to run this pig over my scales and see exactly what it does weigh.

Tom Hanks - I Dont Get It memes | quickmeme

Marty wins the internet today. I absolutely love that movie, and especially that scene.

@Stan Galat posted:

Ed set the over/under at $30K. I'd definitely take "over", but I'm guessing it'll be well short of the reserve (whatever that is). The comments are not running positive.

$45K.

Agreed, although I wouldn't venture a number. RNM for sure.

And in the comments, daniel550 is NOT me. I am pretty certain it's our old friend Verwers from Seduction.

This one does not look so great.  As a tribute, I'm guessing it is that.  And you will have to admit: if you glance over it, your first thought is: its a Speedster. As Stan so wisely said (he always wisely says, I guess he is some kind of wise guy)  its not exactly the idea, its the execution. And is it just me, or does the front wheel seem not centered in the wheel well?  Something off there.  It is a rebodied Boxster, and Marty puts a proper point on it: how is this better than the original?  Boxster. that is.  I have always imagined the Boxster as Porsche's answer to the question: why don't you guys build another Speedster?  Well, they did and the Boxster is it.

Those comments. Lol. Best I can describe is “savaged.” I don’t think we’ll ever know what the reserve is. 90% chance it won’t meet it.

Unless it’s being sold by a creditor that got one of the two or three cars in the liquidation, chances are they paid $100K< for it. I’m guessing that’s what the reserve is.

In 25 years, these will be getting Glockler/Hebmüller money on rarity alone.

Oh, Stan... "Diamond Dan" was right there.

OK so we're gonna go on and on about this car, so I'm gonna lay my cards out.

Firstly, I actually like the Starke. I don't think it's ugly, I think it's pretty, and pretty well done, and an impressive project over all, and an interesting automotive conversation starter.

B. I think what Starke has done is of a piece with what almost everyone in the car biz has been doing since the changing of the millennium, which is lean hard on classic designs to entice the nostalgia crowd. From the PT Cruiser to the current iterations of Dodge's Challenger, the last 20 years of Mustangs and the Camaro—and the Boxster itself—a large proportion of modern cars are, effectively, much improved mechanical interpretations of 50- or 60-year-old body designs, which are updated to meet current bumper regulations..

3-ly: The Boxster is a modern interpretation of the 550 Spyder—not the Speedster. They made a whole long-form commercial about it.

D. In all things, by every reasonable metric, the Boxster is "better" than a 550 Spyder.

Eh. We on this Message Board know better, because we prize what is unreasonable—about the Spyder, the Speedster, and a lot of other automotive things.

For most potential sports car buyers, the rawness some of us crave (and work like hell to ameliorate) is all minus. Nice leather seats, a good-fitting top, climate and cruise control are all major plusses—as is the modern FI, electronically-controlled engine. All that in a unique package with a nostalgic look could be a big win for some buyers. Not at $250,000, but at $30k, or even $50k.

I'm not the Starke's target market, and I won't be bidding. But I won't be disparaging it, here or in the auction. I think it's cool, and I hope someone picks it up for a fair price and drives it a lot. Which would be a lot more than a lot of Porsche owners drive their 356s—and more than most of us drive our fake clown cars.

Last edited by edsnova
@edsnova posted:

Oh, Stan... "Diamond Dan" was right there

It was, but remember: I'm the slow kid in this class.

I don't really know why this thing repulses me like it does, but I think it has everything to do with the snotty pretense of its rollout here some years ago.

Firstly: it's not a handsome automobile. It's 5/3 scale and lumpy in all the wrong places. Secondly: its raison d'etre is the Porsche VIN, something that I could not possibly care less about. Thirdly: the pretense is that this is somehow worth 170 large PLUS a decent 986/987. This really rankles my egalitarian "everyman" sensibilities. I get hives around pretentious people who think they are the Übermensch because of what they can buy (rather than what they can do). The utility of a thing has to at least be in the ballpark of its cost or the reason for its being should be called into question. The disconnect here is off the chain.

To take the thing even further, I really hate the "continuation" type ads that Porsche (and Dodge, etc.) runs -- the kind Ed linked. You know, the one where the current 4000 lb hybrid/electric pig with self-centering steering, torque-vectoring, near-self-driving "sports vehicle" is linked to the iconic purebred of decades gone by, and how the new car is just an evolution of that, rather than something completely different. Stärke aims directly for that nonsense.

I've got nothing against a new Boxster or Cayman or 911, but they have almost no engineering-based link to the 356. A Camaro or Mustang is still a pushrod V8 with a front engine, RWD platform. A 911 is still a rear-engine Flat-6. A mid-engine car with an OHC water-cooled flat-6 has no discernable link to an air-cooled, rear-engine, push-rod flat-4... other than the VIN and nameplate.

Given that I think the car looks like something a high-school kid sketched in study hall, that's nowhere near enough for me.

Last edited by Stan Galat
@Stan Galat posted:

I don't really know why this thing repulses me like it does, but I think it has everything to do with the snotty pretense of its rollout here some years ago.

Firstly: it's not a handsome automobile. It's 5/3 scale and lumpy in all the wrong places. Secondly: its raison d'etre is the Porsche VIN, something that I could not possibly care less about. Thirdly: the pretense is that this is somehow worth 170 large PLUS a decent 986/987. This really rankles my egalitarian "everyman" sensibilities. I get hives around pretentious people who think they are the Übermensch because of what they can buy (rather than what they can do).

To take the thing even further, I really hate the "continuation" type ads that Porsche (and Dodge, etc.) runs -- the kind Ed linked. You know, the one where the current 4000 lb hybrid/electric pig with self-centering steering, torque-vectoring, near-self-driving "sports vehicle" is linked to the iconic purebred of decades gone by, and how the new car is just an evolution of that, rather than something completely different. Stärke aims directly for that nonsense.



@edsnova posted:

D. In all things, by every reasonable metric, the Boxster is "better" than a 550 Spyder.

Eh. We on this Message Board know better, because we prize what is unreasonable—about the Spyder, the Speedster, and a lot of other automotive things.

For most potential sports car buyers, the rawness some of us crave (and work like hell to ameliorate) is all minus. Nice leather seats, a good-fitting top, climate and cruise control are all major plusses—as is the modern FI, electronically-controlled engine. All that in a unique package with a nostalgic look could be a big win for some buyers. Not at $250,000, but at $30k, or even $50k.

And another thing.

Everything about the Boxster is as it must be circa 1997 or 2007 or now. It weighs more than two 550s because it's required to have six airbags, two 12-inch crumple zones, 6mph bumpers, side impact bars, and power everything, cruise control, A/C and subwoofers with more power than the bomb that leveled Nagasaki.

The Boxster is two and a half feet longer than a 550, and most of that is the crumple zones. Add the reality that modern corn-fed Western men cannot fit in 550,* and the new car's dimensions become inevitable.

They're fat pigs, yes, and in 1998 they rolled out with no better acceleration than the originals, because if they were lighter and smaller and faster they would have been illegal. And nobody would have bought them anyway.

Starke made explicit what Porsche just strongly hinted at. But Starke also used the wrong iconic classic. If they'd done this instead, would things have gone differently?

My guess is not. At least not On Here. We're all purists (oh, the irony!) at least in terms of scale. Making it tiny and dangerous is right. Making it modern and safe and comfy is cheating.**



*At least, not as they are accustomed to fitting in a "car."

**Unless you DIY it.

A few of us Hybrid Hot Rod/Computer geeks remember Henry Burkhardt III who founded, among other companies, Data General, where I worked.  He was gone ten years after starting the place to found a few other computer companies and making Gobs of money with each one, but somewhere along the line he made a trip to Las Vegas for the now-gone COMDEX computer show and while there he fell in love with a Zimmer.  

Zimmer 2

He liked the car so much he made a significant investment in the company to keep it afloat for a few years til he realized the management was incompetent and then he pulled out, causing the place to go bankrupt in 1988.

None of us Hot Rod types thought too much of the car (It was a bit too "over the top" for us) but the guys from "Top Gear" seemed to like it, if a bit dated for their tastes.

https://www.topgear.com/car-ne...n-spirit-real-luxury

Bottom line is, it's a really big tent.  Someone out there likes just about anything anyone else wants to build.  The Stärke, too (current bid $35K).  Or like the Seduction 550.  The one I've seen in the flesh was flashy, well constructed, tastefully done and the owner loves it.  Just remember all of those un-rideable, chopper "Motorcycles" cranked out by "Orange County Choppers" that seemed to sell quickly.   Lord knows what the new owners did/do with them.  Wall decor?  

OCC Chopper

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Last edited by Gordon Nichols

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I haven't had much to say here because, at this point, I think there's not much new to be said. However...

I don't dislike the thing as much as Stan does, but don't think it has as much merit as Ed gives it credit for.

If I wanted to spend around $100K for Boxster performance, I can't think of one reason why I would want this instead of a new Boxster. Add a premium of another $50K for this, and even more so.

New Boxsters look better than the first gen (IMO), and certainly better than the Starke. And even for the maybe $40K this will bring on BaT, you could get a pretty nice used (but newer) Boxster, with low miles and better specs. And too, if you had any problems with the Porsche mechanicals in your Starke, good luck getting a dealer (or even most aftermarket P shops) to have a look.

"Hello, Palmdale Porsche service department? I'm having a problem with my check engine light. Could I schedule an appointment? Which model? Uh, well... it's complicated..."

I think Porsche tried to do exactly what Starke attempted — modern mechanicals with a nod to 'heritage' styling (be that 356 or 550). But, being a company with some depth in the engineering and styling departments (and some concern for turning a profit), they realized pretty early on that a close 'copy' just had no chance of succeeding. For all of the reasons Ed lists, you simply can't make something as small and light and as 'tossable' as you used to and still be legal or come close to the expectations of the modern marketplace.

One thing I'm trying to figure out is why the photos of the real car don't look nearly as good as all those computer images we were shown. Long after there must have been a real prototype (or at least a non-running mock-up) actual photos of the actual car (and public appearances) were pretty scarce. I think we're beginning to realize why.

The designer was probably more car guy than engineer or fabricator. Take a digitized scan of an original Speedster, punch in the exterior dimensions of a Boxster, stretch to fit, and zap, out pops something pretty cool looking.

I'm not an engineer or a fabricator either, but just thinking about how you would wrap vastly different mid-engined drive train, suspension, and cooling mechanicals in a shape never designed for the task while incorporating Boxster windscreen, doors, top, ventilation system, seats, and interior makes me suspect this project was somewhat underfunded from the go.

Which could explain why advertised prices for a Starke, as things progressed, exceeded the rate of inflation by a goodly amount.

Anyway, after swearing I would never again jump down this rabbit hole, here I am again appearing to rag on a project that took more courage to begin than anything I've ever attempted.

And I am again reminded just how impossible a task it must be to create a thing as complex as a car, make it functional, beautiful, fun to drive, and reasonably priced all at the same time, while doing so in a way that returns enough of a profit to keep the maker solvent.

You'd have to be nuts to even try.

Last edited by Sacto Mitch

I think it appropriate to note the difference between Starke 1.0 and Starke 2.0. The first rendition had some serious problems with execution and transparency in their marketing.  Promising way more than they could deliver.  That enterprise was bought out by Starke 2.0, a reputable company (name escapes me at the moment) that has been rebodying various cars for a while and has a decent rep for doing so.  The principal there has been very open about what he is about and how he intends to make a go of this.  I do not know, but could easily guess, the poor example on offer in this ad is one of the first versions. 

I'm kinda with Ed on this one: to use one of Stan's favorite assessments about every pot having a lid.  If we focus on Starke 2.0, I think we'll have to say they are making a tribute car with lots of modern enhancements that they readily admit is not a Speedster replica.  It's a Boxtster that kinda looks like a Speedster, if you don't look too close and/or know what you're looking at and comparing to. It's abundantly clear that the whole of the SOC is NOT where their marketing is focused.  Even if the buy-in were 1/10 of what they are asking.  I'm still looking fwd to the (remote) possibility that I could see one in person.  Final note, worth repeating: imitation is the most sincere form of flattery.  And there you have it.  Starke 2.0

That this whole concept might have had a better result if they chose the 550 as a model is an interesting twist.  Clever thought ...

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