How to decide on a 550 Spyder?

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How to decide on a 550 Spyder?

Postby maclaren » Wed Jan 25, 2012 11:06 pm

Hi All,

I am new to the Spyder Club and trying to learn as much as I can about the different original Spyder models, and the replicas available for purchase at a more reasonable prices. :)

Is there a list of resources on this forum of websites?

I can imagine opinions about the different 550 replica models and producers are varied and people are passionate about their choices. I'd like to learn more about the different flavors of 550 replicas and the pros and cons of different setups, if there are any. :)

Thanks,

Richard
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Re: How to decide on a 550 Spyder?

Postby Larry Jowdy » Thu Jan 26, 2012 4:01 am

Richard, welcome to the forum. Go to the Board Index then to Marketplace. Under that catagory, you'll find links to manufacturers of cars, parts and accessories. All I can suggest is that you read the forum and learn that everyone has a different opinion. These opinions range from engine choice and displacement such as Audi, Subaru, Air cooled VW's, Air cooled Porsche engine (both 4 and 6 cylinders) 1600 cc's all the way up to 3,200 cc's. transaxle choices (VW, Porsche or Subaru) and the list goes on and on. Then there is the battle of the brands or in other words, which manufacturer makes the best car.. Again, opinions vary and it's not a wise thing to start a war on the board by asking "who makes the best Spyder"

READ READ READ is all I can tell you. Use the "Search" feature to find things which may be new and of interest to you but, be aware that they have been discussed at length, over and over.

If you're really interested, go to Amazon.com's book section and search Porsche 550. (author) Karl Ludvigsen has a book that most 550 enthusiasts own and it tells a lot about the car and it's history.

With all that said, let your fun begin.
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Re: How to decide on a 550 Spyder?

Postby daVinci 550 » Thu Jan 26, 2012 5:16 am

Welcome Richard.

A few general things to consider:

1) Why are you interested in the 550 Spyder?

2) This will likely never be a daily driver as it does not offer most of the creature comforts that you could find in a modern roadster (Miata, TT, Z4, etc.)

3) Are you at all mechanically inclined?

4) Are you looking for a project?

5) Purchasing a used model can often save you a lot of headache and time, especially if the vehicle has all the proper papers and has been well maintained.

Good luck. [8D]
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Re: How to decide on a 550 Spyder?

Postby Ralphc » Thu Jan 26, 2012 9:51 am

Post up your location. Nearby owners should be happy to offer a ride & brain dump.
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Re: How to decide on a 550 Spyder?

Postby midyearguru » Sat Jan 28, 2012 8:36 am

Like Richard, I am also going through the process of sorting all the choices pertaining to the purchase of "just the right" Spyder replica. At first the task appeared to be daunting, indeed. Now I find it to be most enjoyable as I learn more and more. I do not want to make the mistake of jumping the gun and making a premature purchase.
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Re: How to decide on a 550 Spyder?

Postby maclaren » Wed Feb 01, 2012 11:21 pm

Larry: Thanks for the suggestions. I've looked around on the site and like you said there are all sorts of opinions, but I haven't found a thread that compares some of the pros and cons of different 550 Spyder builds and setups. I'll keep digging around the site and reading. :)

Matthew: Thanks for the welcome. Some answers to your five questions. 1] I like the classic heritage of the 550 design and how simple the car is. I've yet to drive or ride in one. I saw a bunch up at Rensport Reunion 4 this fall and fell in love with the idea of owning one some day. 2] It would be an occasional (nice weather) commute and weekend car. 3] I have basic mechanical skills and would like to learn more. The 550 Spyder seems like a very simple car. I have started to do more work on my 87 911 the last year. 4 & 5] At this time I am not looking for a project and would lean more towards a completed build at this stage of my life. I'd love to build my own some day, but that's years off at this point; mostly because I don't have the time now to devote to such a project. ;)

Ralphc: Good idea. I'll post my location. I'm in the SF Bay area.

midyearguru: It sounds like you're in the same boat as I am. Let's start reading, as Larry recommends. ;)

Thanks guys,

Richard
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Re: How to decide on a 550 Spyder?

Postby daVinci 550 » Thu Feb 02, 2012 5:28 am

Richard,

By your first answer, I will assume you prefer a Spyder which maintains an authentic appearance (wide five lug wheels-no chrome, correct lamps, windscreen, oil cooler grill, fuel filler, interior, etc.). Like Larry said, get the Ludvigsen book and compare the photos to the replicas. One other noticeable diference that I have learned to ignore (thus far) is the subtle difference in the rear fenders. The replicas are a bit higher and more pronounced. Though I have seen other replicas with even more exaggerated features, this is mostly noticeable to those of us who have studied the photos over the years or have had the great fortune to see an authentic Spyder.

Also, check out this site for great photo references:

http://users.tellurian.net/robert/spyder/index.htm

Basic mechanical skills should be enough, assuming you have a mechanic in mind to handle the more advanced needs. An old-school mechanic with VW/Porsche skills is ideal. But one who knows his way around a carbureted engine may do in a pinch. Someone who works on replica/custom/hotrod may also work well.
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Re: How to decide on a 550 Spyder?

Postby maclaren » Wed Feb 08, 2012 12:54 am

Matthew: Yes I would love to enjoy the classic 550 experience. That is my point of reference. I am not in a hurry to buy a car, and am just starting my research now to inform a future decision. I just bought the Ludvigsen book on Amazon.com. I hope to catch a ride or two with some 550 owners here in the Bay area this summer. Thanks for the link to the photos.

Richard
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