I had an opportunity to visit Vintage Motorcars of California this morning and I took some video of all the current Speedsters, Spyder and Coupes that Greg is currently building.  Amazing! 

There was an additional unexpected treat.  Kirk Duncan happened by and we had a nice visit.  It was great to see him again.

Here's the link to the video on YouTube. 

https://youtu.be/eo2p3wst9xI

Original Post

I'm actually surprised how many Speedsters, Coupes and Spyders are in various states of completion there. It bodes well for the continued used car market and makes me wonder how prices continue to climb. Tail end of the boomers fulfilling dreams?

@Troy Sloan  while you are in town , you should have tried to arrange a tour of john boy's JPS taj mahal....i wonder if he would even allow you on the premises....would depend on if you caught him as Dr. Jekyll or Mr. Hyde

I was there a few weeks ago about 10:00 am and the place was hopping. Guys were grinding, guys were sanding, guys were building suspensions, guys were welding, and the phone never stopped ringing. The place was a regular beehive of activity.

years ago i went to see JPS before buying,never did, went to Kirk.Anyways it was a unorganized mess down there,,bunch of illegals(?) and saw alot of crescent wrenches and visegrips under the vehicles..

It's actually a shame that John couldn't come to grips with his lousy business practices, his attitude and less than truthful statements. Despite general life and personal problems, he did begin to produce a better product however it's nearly impossible to eliminate the stigma .

Last edited by Alan Merklin

@Alan Merklin i agree 100%....i got what i would say is one of his better cars...but the entire experience of 1 1/2 years of exactly what you described left a very FOUL taste in my mouth.....now that my car has been very well sorted out...and no longer need to deal with him again (hopefully)...that feeling is now waning....but that guy is a true piece of work...and that's being kind.....we could start a new thread and let all that know list their stories for any future potential buyers that still need to learn what "let the buyer beware" truly means

@DannyP  @Stan Galat    you are both right....before i put down my deposit, i had some nice chats with john boy...but after he had $30K of my $$$ the claws came out & he became intermittently LINDA BLAIR from the EXORCIST....like i said, now just a PAINFUL MEMORY

I remember the nightmares with that first green coupe; I saw one just like it being offered for sale in Ft. Lauderdale a few months ago; not sure if it's the same one.

My VS was far from perfect when I got it; it was missing the front anti-sway bar, had mismatched spring plates, was missing the rear bump stops and had a non-functional tach right from the get go. It was missing the rubber seals for the hood ornament and the horn grilles/turn signal lights. The ones that it had such as for the door handles and tailights were not that good either so I ended up replacing them. I had to rechrome the license plate light assembly as well as the tailight rings.  The pans were less than stellar and the right one on the battery area eventually rusted out 15 years later even when the car was always stored inside since I got it (see photos). In that respect I understood that VS cranked out cars in quantity and cut a few corners in the process but the product itself, while not perfect, I found fairly adequate.

I was so stoked to get the car that I was cool about this and apart from the tach decided to get it right all by myself. Kirk was very nice to me and he sent another tach, which worked for a while but died; in the end I decided to just send it to North Hollywood Speedometer and get it "VDO'd" inside. It has been a journey for the past 16 years but I've had fun tweaking it to my taste and I haven't finished yet!IMG_4605IMG_4625

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@Impala posted:

I remember the nightmares with that first green coupe; I saw one just like it being offered for sale in Ft. Lauderdale a few months ago; not sure if it's the same one.

My VS was far from perfect when I got it; it was missing the front anti-sway bar, had mismatched spring plates, was missing the rear bump stops and had a non-functional tach right from the get go. It was missing the rubber seals for the hood ornament and the horn grilles/turn signal lights. The ones that it had such as for the door handles and tailights were not that good either so I ended up replacing them. I had to rechrome the license plate light assembly as well as the tailight rings.  The pans were less than stellar and the right one on the battery area eventually rusted out 15 years later even when the car was always stored inside since I got it (see photos). In that respect I understood that VS cranked out cars in quantity and cut a few corners in the process but the product itself, while not perfect, I found fairly adequate.

I was so stoked to get the car that I was cool about this and apart from the tach decided to get it right all by myself. Kirk was very nice to me and he sent another tach, which worked for a while but died; in the end I decided to just send it to North Hollywood Speedometer and get it "VDO'd" inside. It has been a journey for the past 16 years but I've had fun tweaking it to my taste and I haven't finished yet!IMG_4605IMG_4625

Wow, those are some nasty photos.

Cranking them out or not, there's no excuse for not having a build, plus a punch list so as not miss even simple things like seals or bulbs or operating tachs. Mismatched spring plates and missing sway bars goes beyond poor management, it's intentional.

my last kirk car was good, but after two tachs(chinese) that failed he had one rebuilt at N. Hollywood....in addition, trans was only 1/2 filled and the steering box was empty..dont know if he knew all this, maybe too busy...

Well.  First let me thank Kirk for all he did for the Speedster community over some 30 years and more than 3,300 builds.

My experience with Kirk and the old Vintage Speedsters between 2007 & 2017 (prior to the sale and move to Arizona) has always been friendly and professional.  I've had over 60 Speedsters built by Kirk and company and rarely have I ever experienced any significant issues with any of those cars.

Like many other Vintage owners, I also experienced the "twitchy tachometer" issue and Kirk actually sent me 4 new tachs while I was still under warranty.   That's probably the biggest issue I ever had with any of those 60 cars.  I'm aware that there have been some part quality issues from time to time, but that's to be expected when you're dealing with parts from China and Empi.  I'm also aware that a few of you had issues more significant than a bad tach, but overall all I think the vast majority of Vintage owners were and are happy with their cars. 

I'm fairly confident that my experience would not have been the same if my cars had come from another California builder during that time period up to the end of 2017.

Kirk is enjoying his well earned retirement and I wish him and Mary many more years of enjoyment.

Thanks again Kirk.

Now back to discussing how excited and pleased we all are with Greg and Vintage Motorcars of California Inc.. 

 

Last edited by Troy Sloan

I'm just glads there are more quality builders out there than there was even a few years ago. The more the merrier for buyers.

@Napa Paul posted:

Unfortunately, all builders are not created equal...some, far from it!  And that doesn't necessarily make much for "merrier."

Absolutely. But there ARE more quality choices out there today than there was years ago. I think that's great for consumers, always is.

I'd say you would do well to buy from Henry, Carey, and Greg(That's IM, Beck/SE, and Vintage Motorcars Inc.). If you want an honest, straightforward experience, that is.

If you want to be messed with, call John Steele or Steve Lawing, you'll get what you deserve, you've been warned.

If you're looking for an actual kit, I'd call Doc Kleber at Kitman Motors.

Disclaimer: I've bought a roller and a semi-roller from Greg at Vintage. I've bought a bunch of parts from Beck/SE, and personally know Carey(and the boys!) and Henry Reisner and consider them friends.

I drove my Spyder today, it's been a few weeks or a month since the last drive. That sucker is quick! And comfortable as a Spyder can be. Thanks again Greg, for giving me a great base to customize to my liking!

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