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Jeff,
I can highly recommend Special Edition, Inc. (Kevin and Carey Hines) Beck Speedster manufacturers in Bremen, Indiana. I picked up my new Beck Speedster 27 November 2007 and drove her to Lake Lure, North Carolina without a hitch.
This father and son team are great to work with you; plus assist, you, the buyer in anyway possible before and after the sale. The car is right when you take delivery.
You can have the Beck Speedster your way.
As you can see, Jeff, this is a subject about which folks can get rather passionate. With the exception of Street Beasts, I doubt that any of the manufacturers can be considered bad. For every disgruntled customer, there is at least one "gruntled" one. It comes down to price (you'll never get an IM at a VS price), features, and location. It really is a good idea to pick a manufacturer that is either nearby, or can provide long distance support. If you're on the west coast you could get good service from either VS, JPS, or Thunder Ranch. On the east coast you would probably do better with Beck. In between you'll have to make a judgement call based on what your research here tells you. IM is in a different category, and a different price point.

Oh yeah - the owner's manual comment was sort of a joke, since I wrote the Beck manual.
I have products from both Special Edition and JPS. In my experience Kevin & Carey Hines of Special Edition really understand customer service and support. You will be able to count on getting the help you need whenever you hit a glitch (and you likely will, no matter what you buy). To me that is an priceless asset. Product's great and support is even better. I can't say enough good things about them.

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Lurking around this site for a few years I can say you can't go wrong with a Beck. Carey Hines is a very accessible guy and stands behind his product 100%; even helps out folks who don't have one of his cars. I'd say stay away from any re-sellers ("dealers"); they'll make a profit off you without really offering anything that you can't get dealing directly with the manufacturer.
Do a lot of research and figure out exactly what you want. Then talk to a few people who have previously (not currently) owned that brand of car. That should tell you everything you need to know.

Also remember that a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush. Look carefully at recent track records and recent builds on this site and ask these people in private email if they would do it again.

Finanacial stability of any company is especially important in times of recession. Of course were not really in a recession....LOL.
"With the exception of Street Beasts ..."
Dang, Lane. That's two zingers in two days! As a 1984 CMC/SB owner and product representative, I have to say both Vintage and Beck are fine choices.
I can't believe you sold my opinion down the river like that! So what if they're not that popular for reasons of mechanical unreliability, flawed bodies and the infamous, yet patented, chopper-gun fibreglas layup? Who CARES if the gauges are upside-down and the wrong type for the car? And who's really going to notice the upside-down Chevrolet logo on the front? Really!
(How could you tell if it WAS upside-down, anyway?)
If you want two-inch-thick bodied cars that loosely resemble the pedal car you had as a kid, they're ideal!
You should really leave it to us owners to make that di"stink"tion.
Geeez.
Jeff, they're all wonderful. I'm a glutton for punishment, but if I had known Carey Hines existed before I bought my POS ... Well, I'd have bought a Beck.
I've never seen a Vintage I wouldn't own, or a Beck, Intermeccanica, Envemo, SAW ... Lane and Tom are pretty much on the mark. Even most of the Classic Motor Carriages cars that have been successfully built have had their bugs worked out by now. The trick is to see a whole herd of them in the same place and get some stick-time before you commit to one in particular.
Not every make is as reliable or pretty as the next -- but cosmetics don't get you down the road, and ugly finish work doesn't get yout itch scratched. From what I've seen, very few inexpensive replica Speedsters completely cover both bases.
Even the expensive ones may have drawbacks. I'd have to say that Kelly Frazer's JPS is a great car. I think his entire package puts my 100 percent custom car to shame -- as delivered. He had a series of quality control bugs and some cut corners to work out, but they were easily identifiable and customer service is a two-way street.
We took to the streets at about the same time last year, and it took us both about the same amount of time to dial our cars in. Mine is a much simpler car, and shouldn't have taken that long.

Lane, you're off the CMC Christmas card list. ;)

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Here you go, Jeff. The best picture in my file of the smorgasbord-o'-Speedsters at Carlisle. Every night is a feast, and every cruise is LeMans. The show's a riot, too. I feel confident in saying that every 356 replica configuration possible, from water-cooled Volkswagen and Subaru to both types of VW -- and all possible mounting arrangements -- are there. Most of us are willing to either chauffeur you around or let you have a go at the wheel, too.
The Spyders are well-represented this year, also, and those are absolutely not to be overlooked if you're in the market for a little 50s Porsche replica.
As if that wasn't enough, it's the only venue where you can see Bill Drayer in action. Bring a Hawaiian shirt, some shorts and a hat. Shoes are optional.

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Thank you for all of the feed back from everyone and sorry for being redundant drclock. I live in South Louisiana and I have never seen a 356 up-close. There just aren't any? I've alway liked them and recently discovered the replica's. I never considered a replica because I always thought of them as a kit car with a cheap outer shell. I now realize how nice and well built they are. Without upsetting anyone else, how do most people register and insure their cars? I just want to thank everyone for their info, thanks...
You can not drive these cars daily and be properly and correctly insured. State Farm will insure you, but they will want to limit your mileage or charge you for mileage over 6000 a year, and then they will want to depreciate your car like a normal car. Not the best situation.

Youf left with Hagerty or Grundy. They limit your mileage, no big deal for most people, and the car can really only be a car for fun driving, not a go to work car. It also must be an extra car. Don't like the limitations, then don't own one of these cars.
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