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They are a whole lot more work to produce.  Look at all the added upholstery inside (headliner) and the extra glass and fitting it.  A Speedster with a hard top would be a far better fit for most looking for added weather protection - ie look at David Bayne's red one for sale here.  Top down/off driving is far more rewarding that a hard top coupe. Coupes do look cool and unique.

Last edited by WOLFGANG

Coupes are relatively new on the scene, with the very first ones (excluding Envemos) coming from JPS in ‘08 or so.  As Greg said above, they’re more complicated, time consuming, and expensive to produce.  Beck is still figuring out the details on their Coupe with mine being used to work out the production process.  Carey tells me Chuck Beck told him it’d have to be a labor of love, and it has turned out to be so.  Of course some of that is the new, modern chassis.

Last edited by Lane Anderson
@Joel Roth posted:

Either way it points to a need to make more.

Yes but the real point is that these aren't mass made and sit on a car lot for coupe buyers to buy at their leisure. They're 99% made to order so if new buyers aren't buying coupes, there are few on the used market.

These aren't Ford Escorts sitting on dealer lots ....

And agreed, I love coupes and would like to see more used on the market.

@WOLFGANG posted:

They are a whole lot more work to produce.  Look at all the added upholstery inside (headliner) and the extra glass and fitting it.  A Speedster with a hard top would be a far better fit for most looking for added weather protection - ie look at David Bayne's red one for sale here.  Top down/off driving is far more rewarding that a hard top coupe. Coupes do look cool and unique.

Doesn't that depend on your individual point-of-view? Some people love closed cars more. Some people have skin issues and need to stay out of the sun. Some people don't like all the wind, and of course a lot of us do.

I really do not see why a Coupe would be harder to produce. If anything, I would think it would be easier. Its a one piece body. When you make the body, the roof is already there. There is nothing more that needs to be made and installed. With a convertible you have to make the body and then you have to make a separate frame for the top. Then you have to install the frame. Then you have to make the convertible top and install it. The extra upholstery is minimal. 

The make all of the different versions custom to order for a buyer. However, with Speedsters and Convertibles they also make them without a buyer and then someone comes along and buys them. I think they should so this with the Coupes as well  then more people will buy them. If people have to wait 1 year or more for their custom order Coupe many people will pass and buy an available Speedster or Convertible. I just think the demand is there. Make them and the buyers will come.

 

Druthers aside, if the question is WHY are there so many Speedsters around instead of coupes, you just need to look at the history a bit.

It's late '60s in SoCal, Bruce Meyers has just been proclaimed emperor, and the beaches are bountiful with buggies - the simplest and coolest thing you can make from an old, clapped-out beetle and some fiberglass.

Then everybody starts copying the Manx and the dune buggy market gets kinda saturated. OK, we're swimming in VDub pans and parts and dudes who know how to wrench on them - what else can we make that's cool and almost as simple - no windows, bare-bones seats, no fancy trim, and, of course, no roof? The Speedster was way easier and cheaper to build than a coupe and who in SoCal is gonna pay more for one with a freakin' roof?

Roof? Roof? Dude, you're gonna cruise the PCH with a roof?

Up until they retired and closed up shop just a few years ago, VS still sold a huge percentage of their cars in California.

Fast forward 50 years from the beginnings and more folks in places like Connecticut and Minnesota are now interested, so the whole roof thing seems more plausible. But it's still got to be a real stretch balancing engineering development costs with market demand and having the numbers come out in the black.

Labor of love, indeed.

I'm still amazed that SE is even attempting it. I guess making their new chassis part of all future builds - roof or not - is the answer. I sure hope it is.

 

Last edited by Sacto Mitch

An issue too that people are forgetting is that until recently there weren’t any makers for the coupe. Now, with Greg and Carey having finalized new frames, tooling, parts suppliers, and etc, more will be ordered. And with more being purchased more will become available on the secondary market, but it’s going to take a while  

Another issue is that Greg and Carey are both niche builders. They may not have the capital to build and sit on a large inventory of replica coupes. And of course trying to decide what colors for the exterior, interior, carpet, air-cooled, water-cooled, etc that makes it even harder. Just look how hard it was for us to choose a color for Lane. These are very personal cars. I know if I were to want a coupe I don’t know if I’d want to buy someone else’s choices. I’d like to make the car mine. 

Mitch nailed it.  Its the upfront engineering cost more than the demand.  I asked Henry at Intermeccanica more than once if he would do an A body coupe.  His answer was "sure"  Get me a minimum of 10 guys to buy at one time and he would start the process.  Even then, I think he was thinking that he would probably loose money after all the start up cost.  The platform that most build on has been around for many years (maybe 30 years plus) and things were much cheaper then.  That is why they can keep building and make money.   Starting today would be very difficult.  You would need access to money, cheap money for it to work.  What JPS builds was nice but would not satisfy the needs of most buyers living east of the Mississippi.  A Coupe buyer wants a real 3 season car. Water tight and insulated from the elements.  It also has to be quite when cruising.    

It's funny, Mitch is talking about the glut of VW pans and parts that were available in California YEARS ago. Those are getting more scarce by the day, forcing both Greg and Carey to investigate getting AWAY from the whole VW beam/torsion bar rear suspensions, whether the car is on a pan or not.

The way forward is without a whole lot of VW DNA. It is definitely an expense in R & D and tooling/supply chain. But once it's done, we as clown-car consumers will have choices.

You want all-independent, modern suspension? Check. Four-wheel disc brakes? Check. 5 speeds? Check. Whatever engine choice you want? Check. A/C and heat? Check. Water-cooled, air-cooled, whatever. Check.

You'll be able to have it Burger King style: your way.

I know Carey is busy. I spoke to Greg the other day, he's had to turn some customers away, he's so busy.

I agree with Robert, if I'm spending the money on a one-off custom car, I'll order it the way I want it. I'd rather not buy a used one that someone else spec'd out.

I also wanted Henry to build me a coupe but he offered a hard top which I had decided to do at first but in the end we decided not to do it. 

A coupe requires a lot more work on the window frames and the rear push out windows not to mention someone is going to want a sun roof and of course a lot more sound deadening and quieter drive train.  

All in all the rear body shell has a different slope and for me I like the 356A or pre A series body style.  Just saying. 

The right thing to do would be to replicate all the work Metalcraft did on their pan-replacement chassis.

Greg could just carry on as is, since the bodies would be unchanged.

Carey and Henry would have a lot more work to do, but they're mostly there now.

Henry's proprietary frame accommodates 911 or Subaru gear already.

Carey's new coupe frame dumps all the VW stuff and has different engine/trans cradles. He just needs to make it work for the Speedster body as well. Don't know his plans for Spyder frame/chassis changes.

Greg is working on his Spyder frame now(a la Bruce).

I wish all the manufacturers well in their efforts to move our hobby into the century we're already in.

With the price of real 356's in the hundreds of thousands+, people who love 356's are willing to pay good money for a quality replica. That being said, in my opinion, the VW pan based replica is going to be a dying breed. It does not have the quality or flexibility to serve as the base for the "quality" new 356 car of the future. A custom tube frame is the future of all 356 Replicas. Design and build it now or design and built it later, but design and build it you must. 

Having said that, once you have the frame designed and built the tie to VW components will no longer be required. You will be able to use modern independent front and rear suspensions and any engine and transmission choice you want. Subaru has been a popular choice. They offer bolt on front and rear independent suspension parts along with 4 wheel disc braking systems. Their motors and transmissions are high quality and reasonably priced, powerful, compact and water cooled. I am sure VW and Porsche will continue to be popular choices for their similarity to the original 356 components.  

Outside of SE/Beck, IM and Vintage the most well known builders and I would say builders that you are sure your going to get your car built in a reasonable amount of time, I would stay away from others, as other members have found the other vendors to be less then trustworthy.  
I don't know how long Vintage, Greg has been offering a coupe but SE is the first to produce a C coupe based on the Brazilian C. 

There are other builders of course but none as I mentioned that I would put my money on.  

As to coupe verses speedster the whole market developped from top down driving so the market was created and spun off and now that builders have matured they are offering coupes but the cost to tool up is not without a lot of R&D investment which has to be re-Coupe-rated.  Just saying. 

Last edited by IaM-Ray

”...but SE is the first to produce a C coupe based on the Brazilian C.”

Actually no, they didn’t base it on the Envemo.  The mold was made from a Carey’s real 356C and then Chuck lengthened the wheelbase and widened the rear track both by 2”.

All new Beck Speedsters are being built on the new chassis and the first of those is very close to being finished.

Last edited by Lane Anderson

Guy in Sarasota FL has old CMC wide body molds.  He did build a Speedster on a Miata chassis.  It was featured in ReinCARnation site/magazine. He custom builds kit cars.   He could do a Kitman coupe.  A 181 hp 6 speed under pinning would be nice.

I wonder if PORSCHE AG went after UK Covin?  They had a great looking 911 coupe replica on a VW pan.  A few made it to US. 

Image result for covin porsche 911 kit carImage result for covin porsche 911 kit car

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Last edited by WOLFGANG

Did someone say "Coupe"?  I've always been a coupe guy, though I've owned and enjoyed any number of convertibles.  I also live in the pacific northwest and I want a 3-4 season car that my wife might consent to ride in on occasion.  So I decided to have Greg at Vintage Motorcars of CA build one for me because I've not the time or space to do it for myself these days.

The process for building a speedster or spyder is well trodden and worked out so that any of the builders can crank out a basic one in short order.  Most of the likely options have been worked out as well.  Some of those translate to coupes, but not all.  I started the actual process in March...of 2019.  Greg ( @Vintage Motorcars Inc   warned me I was entering into a 10-12 month process and that was before I started adding the extra bits I wanted on my custom car: Subaru engine, heat, defrost, AC, custom upholstery, hidden sound system, etc.  I specified and sourced the transmission, engine, brakes, tires, shifter, and some of the upholstery fabric myself.  When you stop and think about it I've complicated a complicated process, and there may well be days he hates me. That's why I've been patient with the process. Lots of things haven't been done before on this pre-A style coupe, like AC.  Neither Greg or I want to wreck that lovely pre-A dash with ugly outlets and big clunky boxes sticking out from under the dash; so where do you put the controls, ducts and evaporator stuff that you usually see hanging like a lump under the passenger side dash of a typical speedster with AC?  It's all doable stuff, but it ain't easy, and it ain't fast, and it sure as hell ain't cheap.  Plus Greg can't have any car up on the lift for months while he walks around it solving problems like we can with a self build project, so much of the thought and planning has to go into it before it's up on the lift.

Like with @Lane Anderson's coupe, theres a lot of new territory to negotiate and people's reputations are on the line, so they go at a pace that'll guarantee success, or as close to it as they can.  That makes for scarcity because most people don't want to work that hard; at either the task, or the patience to have someone else do the task for you.

When they pat me in the face with a shovel you can buy mine if you like my choices.

Convertibles and Speedsters are beautiful, but for me the Coupe has always been my love. The lines and the shape are simply stunning to me. I nicely done Outlaw Coupe is my dream. No bumpers, bee hive style tail lights, through the hood gas cap, front hood straps, front driving lights, with a 911 engine and 4 speed transmission with dual Webber carbs and AC. I would have a dual exhaust exiting through the rear quarter panels with stainless steel trim rings. Fuchs wheels.  So where are all the pictures? lets see your Coupes. Exterior and Interior? color? Engine and transmission choices?

@Joel Roth posted:

Convertibles and Speedsters are beautiful, but for me the Coupe has always been my love. The lines and the shape are simply stunning to me. I nicely done Outlaw Coupe is my dream. No bumpers, bee hive style tail lights, through the hood gas cap, front hood straps, front driving lights, with a 911 engine and 4 speed transmission with dual Webber carbs and AC. I would have a dual exhaust exiting through the rear quarter panels with stainless steel trim rings. Fuchs wheels.  So where are all the pictures? lets see your Coupes. Exterior and Interior? color? Engine and transmission choices?

4speed?  Why?  5th is in, or maybe even 6th

@JMM (Michael)  I thought about the AC situation and so far no one has created a nice under dash panel to house the equipment in any coupe that I have seen.  A lot of black boxes which are unsightly but no nice panel.  

It will be the challenge to make it look good as either an integrated panel or an extension to the dash board, either way the style and look of the vents as well and their locations as well as level of adjustability and control of the vents will all be a trial and error process that will take time to get it right. 

I think I would start with a bunch of drawings and look at how others car makers have intergrated them as ideas before you start to draw the dash out. Anyway, that is what I would do to mock it up

@IaM-Ray I'm leaving this one to Greg.  He doesn't need me in there anymore than I already am!  He saw some things at SEMA last year that looked very promising.  It'll be a challenge, but one saving grace will be the small size of the cockpit.  It shouldn't take much to cool it!  He also has the controls to hide, we were thinking about just putting them on a panel in the glove box, but he was trying to come up with something else. Stay tuned...it's journey I'll update on my build-thread in the vendor's section. I have some updates and technical specs to add, I've just been waaaay too busy to get to it lately.

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