Paint is done

Tommy Martin delivered my painted Spyder to my garage this morning at about 10 a.m. The Voodoo Blue looks stunning on this car, and he did a superior job laying on the clear and buffing it smooth.



I told him not to paint the trunk interior and I’m not done fussing about in there yet.


There are a few flaws here and there on the exterior but not very many. After we got it pushed into the garage, Cory Drake came by to help get me situated. Cory has built what’s easily the fastest 356 Speedster-shaped object in at least the Eastern half of the USA, and maybe in the universe. It’s a Fiberfab or CMC kit but with a full, custom tube frame and a 2.4 liter Type 4 VW/Porsche 914 engine that was built by the late James Sartwell, Sr., a VW/Porsche technical instructor who spent the late 1950s and beyond building and fixing Carrera four-cam engines. (His namesake son built Cory’s transaxle and also the one in this car).

IMG_2643IMG_2642Cory did some work and bought me lunch. He also got me to focus on the order of operations we’ll need to set and follow to get this car in working order.

We hung both doors and the hood to check fitment (looks pretty good) before taking the hood and clam off to facilitate final assembly.



The blocking paid off: gaps are good and the doors are on plane with the body pretty much all the way up and down.

There was a glitch though: on the door top and on the inside of the door jamb, tape we put on to protect the paint pulled some of the paint off.


dang! Can’t buff that out. We’ll touch it up after most of the rest of the stuff is done. There will be upholstery there, but still: it’ll be velcro’d on so you can peel it off for that “just raced” look.

We found that the vent fitting I put on my fake tank cover is about a quarter inch too high. The hood won’t latch with it on, so I’ll have to melt out the solder and screw it down a couple more turns, then maybe grind a little off the top. The hood will also need the stand-off effect from the keyed latches on each side. No biggie.


With everything checked-out we took the front and rear lids off again. The engine cover/clam comes off if you take the hinge pins out.


I’ll take the crossbar, spare tire mount and rear subframe assembly out tomorrow to get ready to remove the transaxle so we can mate it to the engine.

Cory’s brain wave was to put the clam on my ping pong table in the meantime, with the hood stowed under the clam, so we can wheel them out of the way easily until the time comes to put them back on.

The hood is much smaller but it’s harder to take on and off because of the way the hinges fit the body. It takes two people and a hammer to get it to settle in. Here’s the car on the lift with the table parked under it.


I really like the way the underneath of the engine cover looks: smooth but also sloppy enough to look “real,” with correctly-placed rivet heads, hammer marks and weld fillets in the aluminum. IMG_2653

This is about as close to what a real 550 is supposed to look like as you’re going to get with a kit like this.

There’s a touch of overspray on the bottom of the pan. I’ll clean that off tomorrow as well.IMG_2657

Then we’ll be into the lights, wiring the switches, etc., and getting ready to drop the engine in.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s