Annapolis 4/24/22

Ran the Spyder about 40 miles down to The City Dock at the state capital this morning for the cars & coffee they have there every Sunday. The car took a bit of coaxing to start cold; not sure why exactly other than it had not been started in a couple weeks. Then it ran well, although with ambient temps in the low 50s I was a bit chilly driving over the Key Bridge.

I got there just at 8 am and backed in next to a Lamborghini. Then this lovely, just refurbished 356 C Cabriolet parked across from me.

My friend Chris (Adidas, below) brought his Cayman instead of his Spyder but we still ended up almost adjacent.

Several people had questions about the Spyder:

Is it a Beck?

“No, but it’s very similar.”

What is that thing with the hoses and wires?

“You mean the fuse box?”

No, the thing below that?

“Those are fuel pumps. They’re called AutoPulse 500s and they used be on a lot of vehicles—cars, trucks, tractors and even airplanes. And Porsche sourced them as OEM equipment for the 550 Spyders.”

What kind of gearbox is in there? Is that a sequential shifter?

“It’s a VW 4-speed; and no, regular H pattern.”

By the time I got out of my car I was shedding layers and enjoying the warm sun and cool bay breeze.

Annapolis is not as big as the mall parking lot in Hunt Valley, but it’s a beautiful setting, right next to the Naval Academy in a mixed neighborhood of rowhomes and fancy businesses, with yachts all around. There were plenty of hotrods, including a small block chevy powered 914, various LSx=swapped chevies and Pontiacs, and this Charger RT.

This one has the works: Slapstick shifter. B stripe, Hemi—but no measly 426 here. The valve covers and air cleaner (dual quads, natch) advertised 572 cubic inches. Cuz ‘Murca!

Then there was this guy.

Said he was running something like 30 pounds boost. Lag? Oh yeah, but he could stage the car to avoid it on launch, which is all that counts. High sevens in the quarter mile, he claimed.

I preferred the somewhat understated rod right next to it.

“Firedome” was DeSoto’s name for “Hemi,” apparently. Awesome looking old mill in a very clean, tasteful build.

A guy pulled in with a Fiberfab MiGi—MG TD kit on a VW pan, and I geeked out on that for a bit with him (the MiGi was the only kit of that era that got the dimensions of the car correct). Then a real TD rolled in and then this very nice TC!

Just about the slowest car on the lot but what a stunning thing.

It’s always nice to see a well-preserved/restored piece of sports car history.

Spyder started easily when I went to pull out about 9:30 or so, and the ride home was easy. Nothing to do then but clean off the bugs until next time.


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