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09-14-2002, 04:22 PM
I have the option to buy a Porsche 356 replica of a '55 speedster for $12k. I'm still working on getting some of the finer details from the guy but I do know that it is a fiberfab international of minneapolis, MN and that it is licensed as a '55 speedster. I'm wondering a few things about these replicas such as how hard are they to get insured and would it be better to get it re-titled as a VW and insured as such? Also, is there a good place to get parts for them, for example I'm not very fond of the gages as they are too large. The gages are easy to find but the hole is still too big. Any insight into the owner ship of one of these things would be appriciated.

Thank you,

10-02-2002, 08:50 PM
I built a Speedster replica many years ago. It was the Intermeccanica body kit from Santa Ana, Calif which I think was since sold to Classic in Jacksonville Fla. The large gauges you refer to were from a 914 in mine, never had any problems with them. I built mine on a 67 VW bug chassis which I cut & spliced myself. I think the shortening job on the pan is one of the more critical elements you should look at. If possible, get it up on a lift & check to see if the welds look clean without signs of burn-thru when they were made. I registered & insured it as a 79 VW since that was the easiest way to do it. I used the 67 VW tranny in it which I had new syncros & seals & shorter width axles put in. I clearanced the bell housing for a 68 Porsche 912 motor which made it very fun to drive. Except for the motor, all maintenance is per whatever year VW it is based on. I had a little trouble with the stock VW clutch throw-out arm but replaced that with a Scat heavy duty aftermarket part & that fixed it. I lowered the front & back to match the original Porsche Speedster specs. I had some trouble with overheating in stop & go traffic, an electric fan would have helped. It's very important to seal the engine compartment sheetmetal so the engine doesn't suck in hot air off of the exhaust manifolds.

If it looks like it was put together well & has a decent motor, then the price doesn't sound out of line. They are very fun to drive but have more of a VW feel than that of a Porsche, but they handle very nicely & are a bit more comfortable.

58 356A 1600 Super sunroof coupe<br>gale
92 735i, 151k

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