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I am somewhat ambivalent about the looks as while it certainly doesn't make me want to run out and buy one, neither does it make me want to throw up.  What makes it a nonstarter to me is the price.  Well over $100k for a used two generation back Boxster with less than thrilling looks.  I get that it's fun to have something unique and custom built, but for the price of one of these there are far better cars that you can order to your personal tastes.  Any used car would have to be really REALLY special to get me to pay that kind of money.

In the pantheon of exotic car owners (notice, I did not say “Drivers”) I am reminded of the CEO of Motel 6 who showed up at a car show in Boston with his pretty new Spyker, a high bucks exoticar, if there ever was one.

He knew nothing of the car, its specs or how it drove under stressful conditions (God forbid, that it would ever see the track), couldn’t answer questions about the car and purported that it was a German automobile, when the thing was built in Belgium (not a good or bad thing, but really?)  For all that, he got thrown out of a German Car Day car show a few years back.

Some people will buy a Stärke simply because it is different and has a strong, Exoticar Marketing campaign behind it, regardless of the specs or what the vehicle can do.  Whether it is worth the money being asked is irrelevant, to them.  It is enough that it is classy, pretty to look at and one of few.  THAT makes all the difference, to them.  

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

I get your point, El Gordo, but the comparison is not 100% "on-point". Choppers are not unridable. My banker owned (and rode) several... at least until he turned in front of a pickup truck* on one of them. He lived, but I'm not sure he'll be able to swing a leg over one again.

Choppers are a lot more like our plastic fantastics than a Stärke. They're not really safe. They scream "hand-built". They have an honest**, ancient, analog engine, and they look really, really cool.

A Stärke strikes me as being a lot more like the neo-classic thing your former boss loved-- just odd.

... but if somebody loves it, then they should definitely buy it (assuming their last name is Clamett and they have their own oil well). People (I?) have spent money on dumber stuff. I'm a lot more chill about it today than I was yesterday, as I have come to remember that a thing is worth what the buyer and seller agree it is worth. I also keep forgetting that the current owner of the company is not the same dweeb that came on here telling us how much more awesome his car was than ours.

I still don't get it.





*as an aside, I wonder if this gets counted in the hand-wringing killer-pickup truck death count?

** the irony of an "honest" fake car doesn't escape me, Ed.

Last edited by Stan Galat

Zoomed up to $35K!

Given the lackluster presentation of this thing, I wonder if the new builder just wants to get it off their books so it doesn't distract from Gen 2.0 as El Frazoo phrased it.

They do have a rep for building nice cars.

It must have been one of the glowing comments posted from guys here that made it move up...

Last edited by Bob: IM S6
@Stan Galat posted:

I get your point, El Gordo, but the comparison is not 100% "on-point". Choppers are not unridable. My banker owned (and rode) several... at least until he turned in front of a pickup truck* on one of them. He lived, but I'm not sure he'll be able to swing a leg over one again.

Choppers are a lot more like our plastic fantastics than a Stärke. They're not really safe. They scream "hand-built". They have an honest**, ancient, analog engine, and they look really, really cool.

A Stärke strikes me as being a lot more like the neo-classic thing your former boss loved-- just odd.

... but if somebody loves it, then they should definitely buy it (assuming their last name is Clamett and they have their own oil well). People (I?) have spent money on dumber stuff. I'm a lot more chill about it today than I was yesterday, as I have come to remember that a thing is worth what the buyer and seller agree it is worth. I also keep forgetting that the current owner of the company is not the same dweeb that came on here telling us how much more awesome his car was than ours.

I still don't get it.





*as an aside, I wonder if this gets counted in the hand-wringing killer-pickup truck death count?

** the irony of an "honest" fake car doesn't escape me, Ed.

I ate, slept, dreamt motorcycling from about 1998 when I traded my R100-RT for a K75RT until 2009 or 10 or so when I slowed down a lot. I’d guess I’ve put about 80-100K miles on my 6 or 7 bikes. Not a ton, but enough. In all that time I’ve seen a custom outlaw on the road exactly twice, both times on the strip in Las Vegas.

I’ve never been to Sturgis or Daytona Bike Week, but AFAIK, most of those bikes show up on trailers and spend most of the time parked on MainSt.

"To take the thing even further, I really hate the "continuation" type ads that Porsche 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." SPOT ON.

I watched a vid the other night of the Taycan EV and listening to the dealership just really pile it on thick as to why this is true to its roots and then right after that an owner was saying that in a year it's lost 50% of it's value and the dealer won't buy it back from him because they have too much stock.......

Or being trailered to shows and events behind the owner's stretch Limo.....    😉

(Or high-bucks "King Ranch" diesel pickup!!)  😉😉

From 1963:  
Hey little Cobra, don't you know you're gonna shut 'em down
I took my Cobra down to the track
Hitched to the back of my Cadillac
Everyone was there just a waiting for me
There were plenty of Stingrays and XKEs
Last edited by Gordon Nichols

Hi, guys!

Some years ago, I passed out the pitchforks and torches to help chase Starke's prior owner out of our little corner of the blogosphere, and he left -- clawing the walls as he was booted from the metaphorical airplane. The prior company had some significant problems, and I thought the old owner was doing some Ponzi-style stuff. He seemed to have been making impossible promises, and there was just no way he was going to be able to deliver cars in the numbers he was talking about -- OR at the price-point he was promising.

Because I felt like I had done my part to yank the rug last time, I thought I should see what the new company was up to, especially seeing that every reference to their product was a Glamour Shot of a single car in a bunch of computerized locations and colors. It smacked of AI and looked like the business model was a reboot, so I decided to call the company and ask for an interview.

I talked to the guy who's trying to resurrect this company back in October, and found him to be a pretty credible subject-matter expert. His name's Seth Gortenburg, and the KC, Missouri-based company's new name is Starke Speedsters.

The interview is here:

(4) SpeedsterOwners | Facebook

They're not for me, they're going to cost upward of $200K in paint, and I don't like the Boxster windshield or overall obesity of the proportions -- but I wanted to share what I found out about the cars and the company. If you want a car nobody else has and don't mind spending money on a rebody ... Maybe. But the guy really believes in what he's doing.

A lot of the problems he's having to solve stem from manufacturing body parts which will flow right into the current-generation Boxster, and he's using a five-axis process to make sure it all goes together better than the prior owner's 'Gen I' cars did. He's having the molds made differently, and it looks like the Starke brand is now a subsidiary company to a larger hot-rod operation which also rebodies several other vehicles.

I have seen some unedited photos recently of how they are putting the new ones together, vastly different from the glitzy PhotoShopped slickness they've been pimping as advertising. They look like they're actually coming along pretty well. The price range for one is going to be in new-Lamborghini range (by the time you factor in the donor car and their price for the conversion). He said they're keeping the interiors mostly intact, but using their finishing touches to personalize the cars somewhat. I think that's a season-to-taste, optionable thing.

The biggest question I had for Seth was the obvious one: When can we expect to see one in the flesh? He answered, "We are in the mold creation stage which should last 60-90 days. If all goes as planned, we should be assembling first of 2024 and have cars ready to go by March." That was in October, and the photos I saw were from a month ago.

I hope that helps answer at least a few questions. Starke's info is linked from the fb page.

Last edited by Cory Drake

Or being trailered to shows and events behind the owner's stretch Limo.....    😉

I see the irony, but like most of us: I'll trailer sometimes and drive sometimes. What I do depends on a number of things, the most important of which is how my wife plans to be involved once we reach the destination.

Going to the mountains in the east (the only long-distance place I've ever trailered to) -- surprisingly Mrs. Galat prefers not to engage in my balls-out wheeling on the side of the mountain, and so needs a vehicle to peruse the art galleries, tea rooms, and artisan workshops that make it enjoyable for her. Having a luxe vehicle to ferry people to dinner in is a nice bonus.

We we went out west, cruising up and down the PCH and in the mountains around Yosemite was an enjoyable part of the trip for her -- and so I drove it.

There are tools for every job.

@Stan Galat  I just couldn’t resist the dig and I knew you would see the irony.  

As someone who trailered to just about every place I took my car to, who am I to fault someone else?  It was always nice to have A/C, a quiet cab and decent stereo to pass the time.  The farthest places I’ve driven to are up into Vermont and New Hampshire and out to Lime Rock Park, all three-ish hours one way and I gotta tell yah, that last hour headed for home is a very long hour.

Last edited by Gordon Nichols
@Stan Galat posted:

I know you had one, and I'm sure I don't know what I'm missing, and I mean no disrespect to the Italian masters at Alfa, but the GTV always looked like the world's nicest Ford Pinto to me.

RNM, $45,000.

Yeah but you could drop a 460 in a Pinto and go GTX hunting on Friday night. Whereas, with the Alfa, you'd be confined to some art house theater downtown...

@edsnova posted:

Yeah but you could drop a 460 in a Pinto and go GTX hunting on Friday night. Whereas, with the Alfa, you'd be confined to some art house theater downtown...

The best man in my wedding had a '76 Pinto with a built 289/T10 4-sp/9" Ford rear end. I had a Chevy Monza (a nice Vega) with a 350/Saginaw 4-sp... and a Marvin Miller NO2 150 shot. Both cars were legitimately scary ("kid killer" would be an apt description). He barrel-rolled his, I sold mine to get married.

I know all about GTX hunting.

Last edited by Stan Galat
@dlearl476 posted:

RNM @ $50-$60K.





Meanwhile, in “The Pictures Make The Auction” news, this very well done Alfa GTV went for ~4X the previous record for the model.

https://bringatrailer.com/list...lfa-romeo-alfetta-5/

There is no debate that a cool wheel and tire package really add value when selling a car. IMHO, these are too beefy for street use but would be great for the track.  It will also put a lot of stress on the steering box(assuming its standard box)

 

Gotta disagree with ya, Stan.  I love those Alfettas - that one in particular.  But $80k for one is waaaaaay too rich, no matter how pretty.  Marty's, on the other hand...

Well, on the edge of that coin is Rich MacKoul's 1955 original, totally-numbers-matching Speedster, worn a bit from when he restored it, but in great, drive-able shape, which he could no longer safely drive, so it was sold, along with a lot of spare parts including another engine, all for the princely sum of $340K.  It is currently being freshened up in New Jersey by a doctor who loves it.

And who says that replicas are ruining the original 356 market?

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