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Ed ! This has been an amazing journey for both you and the many followers herein. You've wrenched, installed, cursed, engineered for countless hours and your fabrication skills amaze me. I would not have taken on a Spyder build the way you did and have the finished car be a work of rolling art. Your skills have amazed me from day one !     Kudos & Applausos.. if there was a  Standing Ovation emotion thingy, it would be here !.... I am looking forward to seeing this Spyder at Carlisle in August !

Last edited by Alan Merklin

Thank you all.

I'm really looking forward to showing this car to you especially—folks with front-row knowledge of the whys and what-fors. I'm proud of what I've been able to manage and also extremely chastened, as this journey has taught many lessons about hubris, the folly of my own theories and the beauty of simplicity and doing things the way Chuck Beck intended. 

Hey @Alan Merklin I can't convey in words how much your approval of my meager "skills" means to me. Some day, if I keep this up for another 30 years, I might hope to develop car-building abilities to match yours. 

I'll be 85 by then though so you can just imagine my pace at that point.

Here's hoping the next few months will bring few irksome gremlins and no catastrophic failures. Obviously I'm nowhere near out of the woods yet.


"Dietrich was the librarian for Meadowlawn School in Sandusky for many years and wrote a racing column for the Sandusky Register and for a monthly publication titled the Northern Ohio Region of the Sports Car Club of America, for which she served as secretary." (From her obit).

She (and basically anyone else you ever saw pictured in a 550 Spyder in-period) started in an MG TC—

—though very few looked as good doing so.

Last edited by edsnova

Wasn't planning to meatball it but maybe? I just happen to have a few colorforms style 68s laying around the shop!

@Chris MacDonald I'll leave it to others to do a perfect copy of 550-0055. This one's for the connoisseur who'd be more apt to ask if this was in tribute to the one Sir Stirling drove Down Under (0056) or if it's a copy of the Jean Behra car (0067) or maybe Seinfeld's (0060).

I did toy with painting the fan shroud like

but quickly set that idea aside. 

I tried to get my quirky details from 550-0051, mainly because, when I started the build, there were a lot of really large, nicely detailed pics on the web featuring both the finished car and the rebuild from many years ago. That car is French blue and, like mine, has the full-width perspex screen, ten screws holding the the front grill on, Autopulse fuel pumps, banjo steering wheel, metric gauges and full upholstery, plus the five-bolt Knecht air cleaners and the black painted frame tubes under the clam. Its rear-view mirror is a Raydyot, which I bought one of but which would not fit on the dash with the windscreen in, so it's in a box. Dang!

It's also got the Sonauto badge on the back deck and the copy of that's like $230 euros so the next guy can spring for that if he's crazier than me.

And it's a high rail frame car and I decided replicating that was too much of too much.

But I did do one very insane, subtle detail in its tribute.




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Last edited by edsnova

Like Chris, I abhor any and all reference to Dean with respect to the Spyder. One of the many reasons my car is NOT silver. An actor of some talent, but not here long enough to care for me, he passed 9 years before my birth. He owned a Spyder for 2 weeks, oh wait, two WHOLE weeks! 

Ed, I applaud your choice for recreation/homage. Cheers!


Talked to my source at MVA and he guesses (pure wild guess) there might be some openings in a couple weeks. So finders crossed I'll be able to start the titling odyssey then.

Chasing oil drips. 

Changed the valve cover gasket on the driver's side today and backed the car out to see if that solved it. It didn't. Try again tomorrow.

While the car was idling in the driveway the neighbors mobbed it. This guy was driving to his girl's house in his dune buggy when he saw the garage door open and stopped. 


Gotta start paint touch-up processes now and gathering the last few nuts and bolts.

The rear underpan is fixed. Got the seams nice and tight. So that will be going on the car as soon as the oil drips are defeated.


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@Sacto Mitch posted:


Thanks, Danny.

Problem with Macs is that they haven't had serial ports since the Eisenhower administration. (OK, I wax hyperbolic.)

So, if there's no USB option, Macs are out, I guess. There may still be some kind of hardware solution for Mac that emulates a serial connection via USB, but I haven't heard of such a thing in years. Next question is does CBP supply software that will load on a Mac? Anyone? Bueller?

And, again, can you run the Black Box at all without some kind of vacuum feed? If so, does it seriously compromise performance to do so? In other words, if you get the box, should you assume you'll need to hook up a vacuum feed, too?




I had a whole dissertation typed up about this and I went to scour the Internet for some pics and it vanished. Long story short, you can buy a Dell D630 with an actual serial port, loaded with XP Pro on eBay for ~$80. I have a fuel injected motorcycle and I could never get usb/PC card to serial adapters to work consistently. Now I have a laptop for running the Walbro software and my Mercedes SDS exclusively. Bulletproof. 

Also, be aware that all "009s" are not created equally. There's a ton of info on about distributors. The best are the German ones, followed by the Brazillian ones. The Mexican ones are better than the Chinese ones (the only ones still in production) but not by much.  Easy to tell, the Mexican and Chinese ones aren't labeled. 

I lucked out. One of the two best Bosch guys in the country lives in SLC and he had a German 009 in his scrap heap that he sold to me for the cost of the refurb. and I'm going to use it for an optical trigger on the XR700 electronic ignition I'm about ready to install. 


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  • image: German 009
  • image: Brazillian 009
Last edited by dlearl476
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