Which manufacturer makes the most reliable?

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Which manufacturer makes the most reliable?

Postby FLETCH3 » Thu Dec 05, 2013 11:09 pm

Without offending anyone, I was wondering if I could get feedback on:
1. who makes the most reliable car?
2. who makes the most accurate/authentic looking car? (I am not concerned about authentic mechanical)
3. The biggest problem to look out for/avoid when buying used

I work a lot of hours, so I don't want a garage queen.

these are the manufacturers I have found-
please let me know if there are any others:

http://www.beckspeedster.com/
http://vintagespyders.com
http://www.thunderranch.com/550.html
http://carreracoachwerks.com/550spyder/?p=1

Thank you
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Re: Which manufacturer makes the most reliable?

Postby SpeedwaySpyder » Fri Dec 06, 2013 3:45 am

Well, this is a loaded question. Are you looking to buy new or used? If used, it would depend on when it was constructed, as they have come along way since they have been building these replicars. I have an early Beck now and had two much newer ones also. Night and day difference. The newer ones are so much better quality now.
Mechanicals just your depends on what power and mechanicals you want for the company you select. Engine, Trans, Shifter and Brakes can all make the difference. They are all nice now. I also had a Thunder Ranch one. It was nice too. Never owned a Vintage, but they seem to be very nice also.
Thunder Ranch was sold to Carrea Coachworks I believe.
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Re: Which manufacturer makes the most reliable?

Postby FLETCH3 » Fri Dec 06, 2013 5:59 am

Thanks-
I am leaning towards used-
1. Power- "appropriate" (I realize this is a 1955 European car & not an American muscle car). Main thing is to be able to drive on the freeway & not feel "underpowered".
2. Engine: I am leaning towards the water cooled, but I realize they might be hard to find used.
3. External- accuracy is very important to me. I I can't stand replicas that look like "kit" cars
4. What year range are considered "newer ones"?
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Re: Which manufacturer makes the most reliable?

Postby DannyP » Fri Dec 06, 2013 7:29 am

Stay far away from Carrera Coachworks/TR. They are having some problems over there. Used and sorted is the way to go, but stuff breaks and they need TLC from time to time. Either maintain it yourself, or you'll need a good mechanic. They can be extremely reliable, as mine is, but they are not like a modern day maintenance free car.
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Re: Which manufacturer makes the most reliable?

Postby Larry Jowdy » Fri Dec 06, 2013 7:41 am

Fletch,
Let me ask you a question, Which auto manufacturer makes the best car, Ford?, Chevy, Chrysler, Porsche? Everyone knows the answer, it's __________
(you fill in the blank)

Beck has been making them for a long time, they use a frame similar to Porsche's original design. They have spring plates with torsion bars in the rear, a pre 1968 swing arm transaxle and a stock VW front end assembly. Thunder Ranch, (out of business) used a similar set up. Vintage uses a propriatary tube frame similar but different than the Beck. They also use a VW front end but they use coil over shocks coupled with a swing arm transaxle. Both Beck and Vintage will fabricate an IRS rear suspension. The 'hot' ticket is a Subaru engine, coupled to a VW transaxle or certain model Subaru transaxles If it's a Subaru transaxle then it's IRS. To answer the question about "looking like a "kit" car: Just about all of them look like a "kit" car to the knowledgable person. 98% of the public has no clue.

Even older cars can be retrofitted with better brakes, engines, transaxles, suspension components etc. and if it's a Beck, they can be outfitted with wide 5 bolt wheels rather than their original 4 bolt wheels. The list goes on and on on what you "can" do to the car. It all depends on how much money you want to spend.

Look here in the classifieds as well as http://www.spyderowners. com They pop on on occasion and seem to hold their value, especially if modified.

In regard to an engine, lf you're inclided to go water cooled then Subaru is good choice, if you're going air cooled then an engine with 1900cc's or more is desireable. (either Type 1 or Type 4) Type 1 engines were in Beetles and karmann Ghia's and, very early VW busses. Type 4 VW engines were in the old 411 and 412's along with later air cooled busses as well as the Porsche 914's. They usually start at 1,700 cc's and in this case, it's sufficient to propel a 1,250 car around with style.

In regard to who makes the most "reliable" the answer is all of them and none of them. It all depends on the mechanical issues present or not present. In other words, you could own a $100,000.00 hand fabricated aluminum body replica who's engine is a piece of junk or the suspension is damaged and it won't be reliable. On the other hand, you could buy a well used replica Beck, Vintage, Thunder Ranch etc etc with a pristine engine/transaxle and suspension and it will be totally reliable.
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Re: Which manufacturer makes the most reliable?

Postby FLETCH3 » Fri Dec 06, 2013 11:07 am

Thanks for everyone's input

Some info about about me that might help with responses-
I am a previous Lotus Elise Owner & I just recently "discovered" that replica 550's existed. I love the looks & am encouraged they are a "pure" sportscar like the Lotus
I am taking a test drive next week.
Prior to the Lotus, I was a BMW owner & had a cherry TR6 for years.
The Elise was the least trouble free car I ever owned, the BMW & TR6 were the most problematic
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Re: Which manufacturer makes the most reliable?

Postby danstern » Sat Dec 07, 2013 5:37 am

Fletch,
Where are you located?
Buying used and after accurate appearance and mechanical reliability are reasonable goals.
In addition to wide 5 wheels you may want the newer (more accurate) rear clam.
After 5 years and 15,000 miles, my Vintage Spyder (2109cc VW) is more reliable than my 2010 Exige S 240 !!
Find a well sorted car and you'll be enormously happy.
Dan
Quantum Mechanic, Black Holes refilled, Quarks repaired
Vintage #74, 2109cc
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