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My Replica Speedster "The Black Sheila"

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  • My Replica Speedster "The Black Sheila"

    I became fascinated with the 356 speedster at a young age, for years I dreamt of owning a speedster. In 2012 I decided it was time to fulfil my long life dream. For a entire year I tried to find a replica that was completely built up and ready to drive, honestly some of the speedsters I came across were horrific not even close to reasonable. In 2013 I decided the best thing to do was to start building a replica speedster from scratch, in April 2013 I bought a speedster replica kit from our local kit car manufacture, I supplied the donor VW Beetle.
    From the beginning I knew exactly what I wanted to achieve with this build and that was to build a replica that closely resembles an original 356 speedster, by this I mean "attention to detail" believe you me easier said than done this project had it's fair share of highs and lows, but more high's than lows. This project also introduced me to many amazing people and for that I am truly grateful.
    Over the next couple of days I will be uploading all the build stages.

    The donor:

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    The Kit:

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  • #2
    Looking forward to your pics.

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    • #3
      Pre-Fitment:

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      Pre-Paint:

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      After Paint:

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      • #4
        Exterior Trim Placement & Fitment:

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        • #5
          Hello Black Sheila,
          Looks good and you are lucky that you will never have to deal with the tinworms that you find in our old metal sisters
          You get the sporty Porsche look and totally rustfree
          Njoy thau ride
          / Per
          JOP

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          • #6
            Saw it was right hand drive then had a look and saw you're in South Africa...cool!

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            • #7
              Assembly:

              From the start I wanted to build the replica to closely resemble an original.

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              Upholstery:


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              • #8
                Interior trim:

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                • #9
                  Manny, Thanks for sharing your build with us! I can certainly appreciate all the time and effort that has gone into this project so far. Your commitment to authenticity were possible is also very apparent. The use of authentic German square weave carpet and recreating the pocket in the kick panel is something I don't think I've seen before. I see you've also rounded up a steering column clamp as well though it looks to be for coupe as its a touch too short for that correct speedster grommet. Extensions could easily shaped and TIG'ed on to take care of that short fall in length. I also like how you have taken the dash upholstery all the way to the jambs at the corners. Most others I've seen stop just shy of the corner.
                  I have one suggestion for you if I may, since you're putting so much effort in getting the details right I highly recommend finding and installing the correct 356A version gauges. I see most of these speedster builds running early 911 or 356B/C gauges and in my mind it just completely short circuits the illusion.
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                  Here's an "A" speedo that would do wonders for your dash presentation.
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                  This is the chrome bezel and the face artwork your car needs.
                  Just a suggestion of course.
                  Great work and effort all the way around!
                  Justin
                  Justin Rio

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                  • #10
                    JOP,
                    Thanks, very true no tin worms..

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Don C" post=25571
                      Saw it was right hand drive then had a look and saw you're in South Africa...cool!
                      Don C,

                      Yip! Sunny South Africa but the majority of the time, 11 months of the year in West Africa, Angola.

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                      • #12
                        Having the speedster almost 90% complete a fellow Porsche 356 enthusiast (Roger)informs me that our replica's headlights have been raised about an inch to comply with road regulations back in the days. I did notice that there was a discrepancy believing it was the fiberglass bumpers and decided to fit reproduction steel bumper's sourced from the USA. The steel bumpers did improve the front-end look somewhat but not exactly correct. Being told about this flaw which I am grateful for I decided it was back to the drawing board and back to kit car builder. At the time Roger had already modified his speedster front-end by retrofitting a front-end of a Coupe kit car which is a direct mould of an original 356 coupe. I also thought while the front-end is going to be replaced might as well do the rear-seat correction.

                        Before the Front-End Modification:

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                        • #13
                          Comparison:

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                          Front-End Modification:

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                          Rear Seat Correction:

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                          • #14
                            Final Paint Second Time:

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                            • #15
                              That sure was a BIG improvement with the changes that you did...much better
                              /Per
                              JOP

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