choices do I have ?
the specialty car industry can be divided as follows: Replica or kit car,
Street Rod, custom car, limited production.
or Kit Car - these are constructed using a fiberglass body imitating a
desirable classic or exotic car which is then married to the mechanical
and electrical systems of another popular production donor car in order to produce
a cost effective imitation of the original desirable car. The cars
typically incorporate the used suspensions, brakes, engines, etc of the donor car
and are only upgraded as required. Since the donor systems are used as
removed from the donor car in depth knowledge and understanding of their
functions is not necessary, but mechanical assembly skills similar to a repair
garage are required.
Rod - This is a
big step up from a kit car in that the classic bodies of choice
can be from an original car or a fiberglass replica. The out-dated and awkward
mechanical and electrical systems are typically scrapped and a composite of
parts from many different donor sources are used to make the car faster, safer,
and more comfortable. A good knowledge of these systems and parts is
required in order to make prudent decisions as to their use. The parts
used for assembly will be a
combination of new and used. Body shop and mechanical skills are
required, but very little systems engineering skills are required.
car - a custom car is neither a replica nor a street rod. It has
a style and appearance that is unrecognizable as an original car, and normally
will be one of a kind. It incorporates parts and systems from donor cars
but usually has a high degree of custom built and designed parts and systems
usually unique and innovative. These cars, although not always, are more
for appearance than for practical driving purposes. Builders of these cars
must have a broad automotive knowledge and skills to bring all of these systems together to
make a total vehicle. Engineering abilities are required in many areas of
a custom car in addition to body shop and mechanical skills.
Production - these cars are designed and built from the ground up, and will
be produced in very low quantities. They can be replicas of desirable cars
or even custom type designs. They may use exotic parts from other vehicles but
the basic configuration is unique, and the responsibility of appropriate choice
and safety considerations is solely in the hands of the designer and builder. A very high
degree of engineering knowledge, welding, fasteners, fabrication abilities,
system understanding, and vehicle dynamics is essential. Only properly
trained individuals and shops of proven skills should embrace limited
production. Limited production cars do not have to meet all of the
federally mandated requirements of new OEM cars, but do have to meet emissions
and DOT safety requirements as a minimum.
Which type of car
is the VW based Speedster ?
definition most VW based Speedsters are kit cars. All
VW-Speedster companies sell their car as a kit and also a turnkey assembly. They were created many
years ago for that purpose and still embrace the philosophy of using an older
donor car to be the foundation of the imitation body. Virtually all of
the parts including the chassis are used, but are upgraded wherever
possible. The decrease in VW parts and donor car availability is making
upgrading more difficult. The fact that virtually all of the VW donor
cars used are between 30-45 years old raises questions about the safety of
these critical suspension, steering, and braking parts. A few Speedster producers have admirably
moved a step towards a street rod philosophy by modifying the chassis and using some after
market parts, but the basic suspension, steering, brakes, and driveline remain
VW Beetle. To support this point in the past virtually all VW based Speedsters
were registered and licensed using the donor VW Beetle title. However,
this practice is illegal since the original identity of the car was lost
during the transition and most states require that the original title be relinquished
and a new specially constructed title issued.
Which type of car
is the water-cooled Speedster ?
Our water-cooled Speedsters are Replicas. Our Speedster
"kit" is only sold with a complete assembly package.. The entire suspension,
chassis, braking, and driveline systems are designed using modern parts for proper and safe
operation. Virtually all of the wearing suspension, braking, steering, and chassis
parts are new and have never been in service. Only the recognizable fiberglass body shell of the Speedster and
its ornamentation were
used from industry sources. The water-cooled Speedster was designed around the very
Subaru engines, transmissions, suspensions and brakes plus their sophisticated
USA-EPA legal OBD II
CAN-bus engine management
system. A high degree of systems and component integration was required as
well as assurance of structural and operational correctness through extensive
engineering design and testing. Our water-cooled Speedster is registered using
our Manufacturer's Certificate of Origin (MCO)
displaying a unique ID number along with other pertinent driveline ID data.
Is a VW Speedster
replica more like the "original" than the water-cooled Speedster ?
No. I doubt that you would find nor would you want a Speedster replica
"exactly" like the original. The original Speedster had 36hp,
4 speed manual transaxle, kingpin front suspension, swing axle rear
suspension, small drum brakes, rubber floor mats, and no radio to name a few.
typical VW Speedster replica today has 50 to 63hp, 4 speed manual
transaxle, ball joint front suspension, independent rear suspension, drum
brakes, carpeted floors, radio-CD players. However, there are clear
deviations from correct wheelbase and track, floor shape and interior room, center
tunnel, park brake handle location, etc.
Our water-cooled Speedster replica was created to remove all of the antique
suspension and driveline , and provide a more sophisticated
and modern replacement without being visibly apparent. Additionally,
since we were not married to the VW Beetle platform shape and design our Speedster has a more accurate
dimensional specification and external appearance with a correct appearing and
more comfortable interior.
boil down to some as to which form of deviation from the "original"
Speedster do you prefer.