Beck Production Back in the USA

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Beck Production Back in the USA

Postby WasserSpyder » Tue Aug 17, 2010 5:20 am

After much deliberation over the last several months Chuck, Kevin and myself have made the decision to return all Beck manufacturing to the good ol' U S of A. This will serve several purposes, but the most important for us will be 100% in house quality control and an increase in various stages of completion offered to the public.
We have a brand new 11,000 ft2 production facility that we have been working on for the last 12+ months, which will serve a dual purpose as a manufacturing and production facility while our new manufacturing facilities are set up.
Those of you who have seen our custom builds over the last 5+ years may not have been aware that they were fully painted, upholstered, and assembled in our US facility, but I can assure you that the workmanship of these builds is second to none. We are very fortunate to have one of the best workforces available due to the high unemployment rate of our area (the RV capitol of the world).
Chuck asked me to make this official announcement for several reasons. The first is an attempt to avoid any confusion on the brand. As you all know the \"Beck\" name has been thrown around before, and the bottom line is that there is only one \"Beck\" and that is overseen by Chuck, Kevin and myself. We will be continuing 904 production as a US built product, and adding the speedster and spyder to the \"made in the US\" lineup. Lead times on basic builds will not increase, and you will actually see a decrease in the lead time of the very custom builds.

One of the main reasons for this post is that Chuck wants YOUR feedback. Over the next few weeks I will be collecting your feedback, posts and e-mails, and compiling it for Chuck.
Here is the question: What changes/improvements would you like to see in a basic Spyder offering?
I don't want to \"sway' any ideas/opinions but we have discussed things like more modern suspension, rack and pinion steering, more leg room, and a variety of minor changes for authenticity... so please weigh in and let us know your thoughts, what it was YOU were looking for when you bought a spyder, and what it is you would like to see in the future.
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Postby sjgharib » Tue Aug 17, 2010 6:14 am

Hi Carey,

I think that rack & pinion steering would be high on the list (I'm currently modding my car to incorporate).

It is a bit complicated to get the trailing arm suspension & rack to work with minimal bump steer, so it might be worth going with a more modern \"a-arm\" style front suspension at the same time.

I guess there was a lot of discussion on the topic, but I would also like to see provisions for shoulder harness mounts...

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Postby Larry Jowdy » Tue Aug 17, 2010 7:08 am

The above assessment from sjgharib holds true.

Offering a variety of engines such as the Subaru is a great idea as well as real IRS rear suspension.

Your thoughts on increased driver compartment room is also a very good idea.

Think about gills as an option and maybe a bit more frame ragidity.

Also, think about getting rid of the VW pedal cluster and going with something more asthetic.
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Postby YamaBice » Tue Aug 17, 2010 7:10 am


I would love to see more modern suspension. Not that there is anything wrong with what I have, but coil springs, wishbones, struts, or the like would be a bit easier to work with. I'd love to be able to dial in more compression, rebound, etc., like on a sport bike.

Rack & pinion would also be awesome. More precise steering is always a plus.

Other refinements would be a more precise shifter with shorter throws and a trouble-free EFI system.

That said, I wouldn't want to remove the character of the car. The above changes might turn the Spyder into a Miata, which is not the intention. I still want to feel like I'm driving something special, so some of the idiosyncracies of the Spyder shouldn't be engineered out.
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Postby beck688 » Tue Aug 17, 2010 7:19 am

I hope you keep the old suspension available. Part of the challenge of owning a replica is learning how to handle a period design. I can buy modern sportscars all day long. Its not the same.
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Postby drdriddle » Tue Aug 17, 2010 7:29 am

1. Different pedal cluster
2. Aluminum master cylinders
3. hard tonneau and attachment points option
4. Lexan windscreen option
5. Better paint ( not the one step process)
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Postby SpyderMike » Tue Aug 17, 2010 9:58 am

A body that is correct - especially the back clamshell
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Postby cam550 » Tue Aug 17, 2010 10:20 am

It would depend on the definition of what constitutes a replica. On one side is the CMI/Prestige idea, a car that in every respect resembles the original as closely as possible vs. a car that has the look of the car known as the 550 while offering most if not all of the modern features of cars like the Boxster or Toyota MR2 (mid-engine, IRS, R&P steering,heater,A/C(?),functioning top,etc.).

I am from the conservative side of the spectrum when it comes to what needs to be offered as a replica 550 Spyder. I would think a frame that is true to the original (center cross member where the correct ebrake is attached, two feet longer for front jacking points), etc. is more in line with the recreation of the classic from the 50's.

So I'm suggesting that perhaps a move back to the CMI/Prestige approach would be more in line with recreating the spirit of a historically significant piece of automotive engineering. This way one can come as close as possible to experiencing the feel of the car as it was intended, warts and all.

But then again who can argue against having A/C available when it's too hot to enjoy the car (like the past 3 months in the East Coast)!

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Postby WILL » Tue Aug 17, 2010 11:15 am

Hi Carey:
For me it Would Be:
1) A Much More Accurate Clamshell.
2) An Engine compartment Belly Pan To keep The Cylinder And Exhaust Heat MOSTLY Out Of The Fan Intake!
3) Some Provision Ensuring Cold Outside Air To The Carbs!
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Postby Charles » Tue Aug 17, 2010 3:16 pm

A few of thoughts:

A proper rear-end is probably top of the list

Building with a proper wiring kit (color coded, etc) would be helpful

Perhaps the option of options (the things we all end up changing over time: from gas caps, oil cooler grilles, seats, windshields, steering wheels, gauges, etc)

If possible: more accurate gas tank/cap location and a flat floor (no hump)

Best of luck!
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Wish list

Postby Ralphc » Tue Aug 17, 2010 4:18 pm

Symmetrical body/chassis
Accurate clamshell
Belly pan in engine compartment
A arm front susp
Rack & pinion

rigid tonneau
550A style rear deck with Headrest, gills & lower grille openings
3/4\" front sway bar to work with trailing arm suspension
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Postby WILL » Tue Aug 17, 2010 4:44 pm

Hey Ralph:
I agree with you about an optional 550A rear deck.
I have always liked the look of that flat area with the grills lower down.
It looks as if Carey may have to compose an \"email\" type ballot, and we can then vote for the proposed listed options thus rating their popularity :D
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Postby Aussiespyder » Tue Aug 17, 2010 6:04 pm

My 2 cents

More accurate clamshell.

Correct left to right front fender offset.

Undertray might be good.

A steel tube down the side ala (dare I say it) Vintage.

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Postby JayNiz » Tue Aug 17, 2010 6:16 pm

Hey Carey -

That's interesting news. Several questions for you:

-So does this mean dissolution for Chamonix or business as usual with production relocation to North America?
-Will all 3 vehicles bare the Beck name or just the 904?
-Is Special Edition going to offer the 904 or will these continue to be sold directly through Chuck?

And finally, what are the rough timelines to incorporate the changes/improvements into the Spyder, when do you anticipate taking orders, and do you have any guesstimation as to when you believe the first improved version will roll out of the new facility (or is it the old Bremen bowling alley)?

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Postby prototype4 » Tue Aug 17, 2010 11:21 pm

WILL wrote:Hi Carey:
For me it Would Be:
1) A Much More Accurate Clamshell.
2) An Engine compartment Belly Pan To keep The Cylinder And Exhaust Heat MOSTLY Out Of The Fan Intake!
3) Some Provision Ensuring Cold Outside Air To The Carbs!


Eliminating the 365 windscreen crown in the front hood/body and using a flat base plexy low profile windscreen is a snazzy idea. I suspect Mr. Beck had some say in the intergrating of the bulge to utilize existing OEM or repro windscreens. But that cost/benefit ship has sailed decades ago. Why not go for closer visual authenticity.
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