400 Mile Road Trip in a Beck Porsche Speedster - SPEEDSTER FOR SALE

Discussion in 'Gearhead Garage' started by tweakmonkey, Dec 8, 2008.

  1. tweakmonkey

    tweakmonkey Webmaster Staff Member

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    On Saturday, I came to the shop around 11 to work on the S2000 seats that I'm swapping into my Insight. My roommate told me to check my email and see the car he was thinking about buying. This was what I saw...

    Unlike the VW replicas and kit cars, the Beck Speedster is built from scratch using a tube frame and a Speedster chassis. The car's powered by a hopped-up 1600cc VW flat-4 that makes around 130 HP (more than the real one). That might not sound like a lot but the car only weighs something like 1500 lbs, so it's really really fun.

    He said he was going to fly down and buy it tomorrow (Sunday) in south LA, and I said, "Cool, I'll come if you want." Keep in mind it's about 400 miles away.

    However, just 4 hours later we were crossing TSA airport security to fly down to Orange County for the journey. After a short 1 hour flight, we had to walk to a hotel to meet the seller of the car. Side note - This airport is the least pedestrian-friendly complex ever built by man. We walked a mile around trying to find a way to cross the highway that didn't involve jumping off a 20 foot ledge until we ended up circling blocks around on non-sidewalked / heavily trafficked roads. We waited at the hotel for about 40 minutes, then the car showed up.

    First impressions... DAMN this thing is hot. It sounded really good. VW motors can either sound really bad or really good and thankfully this was the latter.

    It was gorgeous. People constantly came over and asked about it or commented on it, just in the few minutes we were at the Chevron. After figuring out the paperwork, we were on our way. The car just hummed along happily but made some really evil / beautiful tones at full throttle. The first time my roommate jumped on the car was slightly around a corner and I just giggled with happiness. Go-Kart Fun.

    !!! BEGIN CRAPPY QUALITY iPHONE PICS!!!!
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    It was about 8 PM when we left from LA (we had dinner at some awesome place called Veggie Grill nearby). So.. early December, no roof or windows, and at night. Oh, this Speedster has a heater, but the fan was disconnected and the heat only vents through the driver's side.

    It was about 55 degrees when we left LA, drove about 90 minutes, then we stopped at Santa Clarita for the night, right near Six Flags.

    We put the windows in (you have to attach them from above into the doors) and the top up while we parked it for the night. It was such a little car that barely filled the parking spot. <3

    It was a bit warmer in the morning because of this, so of course the top went down as we blasted north up the Grapevine on I5. There's nothing quite like roofless driving on a nice day... talk about euphoria!
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  2. tweakmonkey

    tweakmonkey Webmaster Staff Member

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    We were pretty bundled up by then. I had my hooded sweatshirt on under my heavy snow/rainproof jacket, gloves, and a beanie with my hood up. Oh, and sunglasses. Sunglasses are a must even if it's not sunny or your eyes are blasted with air the whole time. Probably since the windshield's so short. I wish I had cool aviator goggles and helmet.. maybe next time.

    There was hardly any traffic and the weather was okay (cold and cloudy), then it rained a little bit toward the top. But the rain just kind of blew over us since it was such a light mist and barely even got the windshield wet.

    People were staring at us like we were CRAZY as we drove up this freezing mountain with the top down. Or maybe they were shocked that someone would even try to drive this car on the freeway like this. This added to the adventure.

    We stopped for gas in Bakersfield. The car got around 24.8 MPG on the first leg of the journey. Not too bad considering it's got two Webers.
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    I look like a hobo all bundled up...
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    To fill up the gas, you have to pop the boot (front trunk).
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    At one point on 99, a trucker honked his big horn as we passed him on the left. Maybe because he thought it was cool seeing a Speedster like this on the road, or maybe as suggested by James the motor was on fire? :confused: No smoke = keep on driving.

    It was really damn cold now. For some reason from Fresno to Bakersfield was the coldest part of the trip (usually it's the opposite). During this 100+ mile stretch, there was fog and the temperature hovered around 40 degrees. After about an hour of this, we decided it was just too damned cold to have the top off :)mad:) and the windows/top must be set up.

    We pulled off at a rest station and dropped the windows in and put the top up.
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    This was the first time driving with the top all sealed up and the previous owner probably didn't drive with the top up much, if at all... so it was a bit of work to get it fitting the first time.
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    A trucker came up to us at the rest stop and said, "It got a bit chilly there didn't it!?". Yessir, it did.

    With the top up, the drive was much more enjoyable during this cold stretch. The exhaust seemed louder now, and the resonance nearly put me to sleep near 152 West.

    We stopped at Casa de Fruita for lunch, but ended up not eating there. We decided to wait till we were back in San Jose as it was just over an hour away now.

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    All cars should have such simple controls. What's funny is we didn't even know what one of the switches did the whole drive...

    It was nice and warm again now, so we dropped the top and stripped off our heavy jackets for the last leg of the journey. This part of the 152 is really fun. Lots of long sweeping turns through the hills and a great view of the reservoir. As you reach the end of the hill, you have a few long stretches of winding road near Gilroy, then you take 101 North to San Jose.

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    I was pretty worn out by the end of the trip. Being in a car like this, for that kind of distance, especially with that kind of weather... really wears you out. I'm sure James was much more worn out than I was. Still it was an awesome trip and I'm really glad I spent my weekend in this fun little thing instead of sitting at home. Spontaneity rules. :mrgreen:
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  3. ivwshane

    ivwshane We are all old school!

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    So what was the cost?
  4. Commissar Smersh

    Commissar Smersh 2020 Staff Member

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    Understatement of the year considering Porsche added almost 100 hp to the engine. :p

    The original ad makes it look like a Karmann Ghia. Which definitely doesn't do the car justice as it's gorgeous.
  5. smirnoff

    smirnoff Curmudgeon

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    I'd actually take a Karmann Ghia any day, but that's just me :)

    This is an awfully nice car too.
  6. ninefivezero

    ninefivezero infinite resolution

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    Freaking clean man.
  7. Commissar Smersh

    Commissar Smersh 2020 Staff Member

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    Karmann Ghia's are pretty slick but if I had to choose between one and this Porsche, I'd have to choose the Porsche. ;)
  8. ivwshane

    ivwshane We are all old school!

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    I'd probably have to concede to that as well:(


    off topic

    So tweakmonkey if I wanted to restore my ghia do you have recommendations on shops that would do a good job (in northern ca preferably but would go south if I had to)?
  9. tweakmonkey

    tweakmonkey Webmaster Staff Member

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    I'll have to ask my friends, I don't know who...
  10. tweakmonkey

    tweakmonkey Webmaster Staff Member

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    What are you looking to do with your VW? Complete restoration ($$$), paint, motor?
  11. sims

    sims walls of text

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    sexy.

    is this the same roommate who bought a smartcar?

    I wish I had a roommate who took me on roadtrips to buy cool cars :(
  12. tweakmonkey

    tweakmonkey Webmaster Staff Member

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    Yes it is. He sold the Smartcar a few months ago. He buys and sells a lot of cars.
  13. gB dAvId x

    gB dAvId x thats what she said

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    That thing is aweseom! It's almost like something James Bond would drive! :p
  14. ivwshane

    ivwshane We are all old school!

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    A complete body off, custom restore. It will be a daily driver so nothing fancy and any body mods would be minimal.
  15. sharky

    sharky Junior Member

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    i like the beetle better
  16. MSP

    MSP Haunting a dead forum...

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    Very cool.
  17. ThatHideousStrength

    ThatHideousStrength Junior Member

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  18. freeridemusik

    freeridemusik Yep.

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    Wow, awesome car... wish I had some random cash like that to blow! That last picture is the best, I'd have that car over most newer Porsche's.
  19. randomtask

    randomtask Chimp.

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    very cool looking car
  20. tweakmonkey

    tweakmonkey Webmaster Staff Member

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    I think if I sold my Insight and my 912 (after another month or so of work) I could buy this from my roommate. Sensible/great MPG daily driver and authentic Porsche project VS. super sexy totally driveable replica. Ugh tough choices...
  21. -=Lurker=-

    -=Lurker=- **BANNED**

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    You know you want to...... ;)
  22. ThatHideousStrength

    ThatHideousStrength Junior Member

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  23. tweakmonkey

    tweakmonkey Webmaster Staff Member

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    Hell yeah I want to!

    You're crazy! But I just may. :D

    What have I got myself into...
  24. tex

    tex jive turkey

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    i've already called dibs on the 912 guys, i've decided to start collecting
  25. ThatHideousStrength

    ThatHideousStrength Junior Member

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    Do you have a Boxter?