Since introduction in December 2002 we have had many requests to make direct comparisons between our mid-engine water-cooled custom chassis Speedster and the very popular VW air-cooled Speedsters. We found this to be quite difficult.  

     Because of the completely different mechanical nature of the two cars the only meaningful direct comparison is the appearance and dimensional specifications.

    At first glance the two cars appear the same.  The significant differences which do occur are a result of our using and adopting the specifications from original Speedsters where the VW based cars have altered features resulting from the adaptation to the VW chassis. 

    The value of owning a more accurate appearing Speedster has to be weighed by each owner; however......

The mechanical, electrical, safety, and structural comparison is another story. 

 You will find listed below a checklist of our standard features found on every water-cooled Speedster we build.

  This list can be used to make comparisons, where possible, with the standard features for any of the very worthy VW Speedster replicas available world wide.

 

It should be noted that engine cooling method is only a very small part of the difference between the cars ...see below

 

Here is some of what you  DO NOT  get with our Speedsters  

  • NO  noisy VW engine, cooling fan, and valve train-you can hear your radio at 75mph

  • NO  35 year old manual 4 speed transaxle 

  • NO  engine and transmission oil drippings on your garage floor

  • NO  constant valve lash, points, and spark plug gap adjustments

  • NO  frequent brake shoe adjustments

  • NO  concern about engine temperatures on hot days 

  • NO  burning oil smell from heater boxes - which do not heat adequately or at all

  • NO  heart stopping Porsche tail wag on high speed curves

  • NO  light front end woes at speed or during wet weather steering or braking 

  • NO  useless trunk storage space

  • NO  disinterested or non-existent VW air-cooled service centers......much more

 Remember that these are our Standard features

everyone knows the old saying about comparing apples and oranges

  Specialty Auto-sports, inc.  Speedster  

 Standard Feature list  (S)                                   (O) optional

 

   Compare  with  

other Speedsters   and  their             typical standard features  

Additional Cost to equate their Speedster with our Speedster standard features

Standard Cost  $29,700.00

(S)

$

 

Summary: fuel injected 170 hp mid-engine water cooled/automatic overdrive transmission/4 wheel disc brakes/ independent front and rear/hot water heat-defrost/ see more below

     

Engine Type

     

Air-cooled- VW

     

Water-cooled

(S)  

$$$$$$$$

Rear engine mounted - VW

     

Mid-engine mounted

(S)   $$$$$$$$$

Horsepower

     

63 hp

     

75 hp

     

90 hp

     

150 hp

     

170 hp  166 lb-ft torque

(S)   $$$$$$$$$

265 hp   266 lb-ft torque

(O)    

315 hp   300lb-ft torque

     

Displacement

     

1600cc   4 cyl

     

1776cc   4 cyl

     

1835cc   4 cyl

     

2010cc   4 cyl

     

2100cc   4 cyl

     

2500cc   4 cyl 

(S)   $$$$$$$$$

Fuel delivery

     

Carburetor 1V

     

Carburetor 2V

     

Carburetor Twin 1V

     

Carburetor Twin 2V

     

Electronic Fuel injected - multi port

(S)   $$$$$$$$$

Other

     

Emissions compliant

     

No

     

Yes

(S)   $$$$$$$$$

Trans axle type

     

VW 4 speed manual

     

VW 3 speed automatic

     

Automatic 4 speed overdrive

(S)   $$$$$$$$$

5 Speed Manual Overdrive

(O)    

Chassis type

     

salvaged 1960-1977 VW pan -  repaired and shortened

     

Tubular VW sub-frame

     

All new - Custom designed structural tubular frame

(S)   $$$$$$$$$

Wheel base  1957 356A

     

Actual Speedster 82.7" (82.7")

(S)    

Front track  1957 356A

     

Actual Speedster 51.4" (51.6")

(S)    

Rear track   1957 356A

     

Actual Speedster 50.1" (50.0")

(S)    

Empty Finished weight (lb)

     * VW Speedsters we weighed                 ** VW Roadsters we weighed

     

*1650 4 speed

     

**1850 4 speed  

     

              + 1850  5  Speed                      +1980   automatic

(O) (S)    

Other

     

Front/rear weight (balance)

* VW Speedsters we actually weighed                                                  **VW Roadsters we actually weighed   

     

    *38/62 

     

**40/60

     

     +46/54    5speed

    ++44/56 automatic

(O)

(S)

   

50/50

     

Other

     

 weight/power ratio

     

(1650/63)   26.1 #/hp

     

(1650/75)   22.0 #/hp

     

(1850/63)   24.0 #/hp

     

(1850/165)  11.21 #/hp 5 speed   (1980/165)  12.0  #/hp automatic

(O) (S)    

      (1850/250)   7.4  #/hp         (1980/250)   7.8  #/hp    

(O)    

Other

     

Front suspension

     

  VW King-pin (1936-1967) US

     

  VW Ball joint (1968-1977) US

     

VW torsion leaf with cast steel upper/lower trailing swing arms (1936-1977) US

     

Unequal length tubular upper/lower control arms with adjustable coil-over spring gas shocks

(S)    

Rear suspension

     

VW Swing axle (1936-1968)US

     

VW independent (IRS) (1969-1977)US

     

VW torsion bar and welded trailing arms with hydraulic shocks(1936-1977) US

     

Independent (IRS) with triple lower control arms- double upper wishbones longitudinal trailing arms- adjustable coil over shocks

(S)   $$$$$$$$$

Front caster       +5.0 

(S)    

Front Camber      -0.5  

(S)    

Front toe-in        0.25"

(S)    

Rear caster        +2.0 

(S)    

Rear Camber       -0.75 

(S)    

Rear toe-in        0.125"  

(S)    
       

Steering

     

VW  recirculating ball/worm gear box with link arms

     

New Rack and pinion

(S)   $$$$$$$$$

Brakes (front-rear)

     

 manual adjust VW  Drum-drum

     

  manual adjust VW  Disc-drum

     

Power assisted Disc-Disc (4 wheel)

(S)   $$$$$$$$$
Park Brake      
VW  style handle between seats      
   356A style Tee handle below dash      (S)    

Wheel size

     

15 x 4.5  8 slots

     

15 x 5.0  8 slots

     

15 x 6.0  10 slots

(S)   $$$$$$$$$

Other

     

Bolt pattern

     

VW  Wide five

     

VW  4 lug

     

5 lug Porsche wide 5

(S)   $$$$$$$$$

Other

     

Tire size

     

165-75 15

(S)    

175- 70 15

     

Other

     

Steering column

     

Used - VW 

     

New - GM style

(S)   $$$$$$$$$

Wiper system

     

VW link arm

     

2 speed/park/washer - cable drive

(S)   $$$$$$$$$

Heater/defroster

     

VW exhaust pipe heat exchanger

     

Open flame VW gasoline  heater

     

195 degree hot water

(S)   $$$$$$$$$

Convenience features

     

Fold down canvas top

(S)    

canvas Tonneau cover

(S)   $$$$$$$$$

Door Map Pockets

(S)    

Kick panel storage pockets

(S)    

Seat back storage pockets

(S)    

Roadster Seats - tilt/slide/recline

(S)    

Side curtains

(S)    

Hazard lights

(S)    

VDO Style instrumentation

(S)    

concealable AM-FM-CD stereo

(S)    

Interior courtesy lights

(S)    

Front trunk storage

(S)    

Rear trunk storage

(S)   $$$$$$$$$

15+/-  gallon fuel tank frame protected - steel protective firewall

(S)   $$$$$$$$$

Halogen seal beams

(S)    

full engine access for maintenance

(S)    

cup holder

(S)    
       

TOTAL STANDARD COST

$29,700.00

(S)

 

$

Total added features $

Standard Plus added $

Take a look at our Standard Build Sheet

Some options we offer for our standard Speedster :

AC-(heat-defrost is standard), cruise control, all leather interior, 265 hp engine, 5 speed manual shift, flared fenders, custom wheels, bumper guards, nerf bars, seat head rests

 

steve@specialtyauto.com