Details, details

We had a deep freeze just after Christmas, so I came home to a really cold shop. So cold that I decided to clean out my office, paint it, install some shelves, work on my novel…pretty much anything but get back on the Spyder.

The weather broke a few days ago and I decided to take a break from the tub aluminum job and square-up my Autopulse 500 fuel pumps.

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Tub Aluminum, Part 1

With the frunk area well in hand I turned my attention to the cockpit. These Beck-design (and the Vintage Spyder variant) replicas are a bit more than three and a half inches longer than the real deal, and most of the extra real estate is in the body tub, mainly to accommodate taller drivers. Making the cockpit look authentic is a challenge just because of the added length. The curve of the inside rocker panels is another giveaway: the original cars had a crease between two straight panels.

So I kinda sorta made my own:


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Aluminum frunk side panels

The Spyder was not known for its trunk space. Some of the early cars stowed a spare tire up under the bonnet, many others just had humungous 26-gallon fuel tanks up there sharing space with the six-volt battery, the brake and clutch reservoirs and, well, nothing much else.

Replicas have it a little better. The VW fuel tank that’s usually adapted is a compact 10 gallons or so, and some replicas even move the battery to the back of the car, freeing up more space.

Replicas commonly also lack the airbox directing wind at the front oil cooler, which in the real cars protrudes about five inches up into the space under the front hood.

Our example has a truncated airbox, leaving a bit more room for an overnight bag up front. This week we stole some of that room away in the interest of original style.


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The spare tire rack, modified cross-brace and custom shift linkage are essentially done. I still plan to collar the bent tube where it meets the frame rails, and I’ll probably scratch-coat it with 400 grit before shooting the whole rear frame black again just before final (re)assembly. But it’s mainly done.


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