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Coupe to Speedster Conversion

 
Old 02-23-2008, 04:52 PM
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jturbo
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Default Coupe to Speedster Conversion

Has anyone attempted a 356 Coupe to Speedster Conversion? Is this possible?
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Old 02-23-2008, 06:27 PM
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The rear clip on a Speedster is much different from a Coupe.
While you could certain chop the top off a coupe and "create" some kind of 356 convertible, what you'd be left with would not be a Speedster.
And it certainly wouldn't be worth what the coupe was before you messed with it.
Want a Speedster? Build a replica and save yourself $100K.
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Old 02-23-2008, 08:44 PM
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it would be a horible mistake, and would cost a fortune to do it properly (especially in body work and reinforcing the body since the roof of a coup is structurally integral (sp) to its design, where as a speedster has a different set up in structural design). after you did it, the value wouldnt be worth it either, as your very valuable coup would be less than it normally would, and wouldnt reach a fraction of a speedsters value.

if you want a speedster it would be less expensive to just buy a speedster in this case, and even cheeper to buy a replica speedster.
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Old 02-24-2008, 02:34 PM
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A Coupe cannot be converted to a Cab, Roadster or Speedster... I wouldn't do that, but a Karmann Hardtop (Notchback) can be converted to a Cab... and if you want to do so... get one that is already chopped:

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/Porsc...spagenameZWDVW

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Old 02-27-2008, 07:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Freddy View Post
A Coupe cannot be converted to a Cab, Roadster or Speedster... I wouldn't do that, but a Karmann Hardtop (Notchback) can be converted to a Cab... and if you want to do so... get one that is already chopped:

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/Porsc...spagenameZWDVW

Freddy
Ha! that is my old '61. I did the "surgery" on it. That was my original intent was to make it an outlaw Speedster. That car is a great candidate for it. I just got too consumed in my coupe and other projects.
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Old 03-04-2008, 10:46 AM
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First, I want to stress that I am not trying to flame anyone. I am still new to 356s and am trying to learn as much as I can. Also, I DO NOT advocate chopping a perfectly good coupe. I'd reserve this option for cars who have had their roofs seriously compromised. However, this topic is of specific interest to me given the "mongrel' sitting in my driveway...

Originally Posted by hoffman912 View Post
would cost a fortune to do it properly (especially in body work and reinforcing the body since the roof of a coup is structurally integral (sp) to its design, where as a speedster has a different set up in structural design
I'm curious about this as I have studied the parts drawings and see no discernible difference in the chassis design between coupe, cab and Speedster. (I will qualify this to say I have only studied the "A" parts diagrams.) I also don't see any obvious stiffener elements employed in either the cab or Speedster. What might I be missing?

Originally Posted by Freddy View Post
A Coupe cannot be converted to a Cab, Roadster or Speedster...
One thing I've learned in life is never say "never" so I am curious about the absoluteness of this statement. Quite a few have been done with mixed aesthetic results. The one in my driveway is one of the less fortunate ones as the "sculptor" didn't stop with the top -- he also added gaudy "wide-body" flares front and rear.

However, in Excellence #59 (February 1996) there's a fun article about Steve Schmidt's (proprietor of Honest Engine) "Coupester". That car had been rolled and rather than scrap it, Dick Coyne (a Porsche indy in Santa Monica) chopped it and made it a racer. He club-raced it for a few years, then sold it to Jeff Scott who raced it in SCCA "E". He in turn sold it to Steve who raced it for years (maybe still does?). This car looks great, even in the grid with a line of real Speedsters. The article discusses this conversion to some degree and there's no mention of significant mods needed to stiffen the car and, well, Steve and the gentlemen before him, raced it pretty hard. So, I have to assume that the structural integrity wasn't compromised.

BTW, I've adopted the "Coupester" moniker for my mongrel. I came up with the word before learning of Steve's car -- I thought I was so clever! I plan to remove the steel wheel flares and return the side profile to stock. I'm thinking of having gold "Coupester" emblems made up in the "Speedster" font to place on the front fenders. Just a little good-natured tweak to the numbers-matching folks.

I've started a rudimentary website about my mongrel if anyone is interested: www.356coupester.com
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Old 03-04-2008, 12:27 PM
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Jonesn,
- doing any major chassis / body work on a 356 "properly" is a major undertaking - meaning research, thought & esp $$$s in parts & labor. that's just the way it is, unless you define properly differently from the norm among 356 experts.
- body panels among 356s, even though they have the same (or very similar) unibody chassis, are often not interchangable... there are numerous subtle (& not-so-subtle) differences. when you examine many 356s closely, all at the same place & time, this becomes evident. it is a good reason to go to 356 registry events. so, strictly, I suppose a near-perfect conversion might be achievable, but it will not yield a car that isn't fundamentally what it started out as from the factory. semantics plays a role here.
- when you install a rollcage in a race car, it becomes much stiffer, if done correctly.

a project like you have taken on can be a great education (for everyone, not only the owner) and accomplishment. have fun & best of luck.
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Old 03-04-2008, 03:01 PM
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I am currently restoring a speedster and have also restored previously a 1957 cabriolet and a 1953 coupe and a 1965 SC coupe. I have not seen any additonal reinforcements for the open cars compared to the coupes. There are some differences in the shapes of the panels but not in the number of panels. The difference in shape is do to the difference in vehicle design not in the intended structuyral load. If the cars lower half is structurally sound there is no reason you could not cut off the roof and still have a rigid car whose doors will shut properly every time. The key is haveing good non rusted longitudinals and door pillars. If there is any integrity loss in any of those areas you are sure to see a sagging body.
Just my .02 cents
JIM
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Old 03-25-2008, 02:24 PM
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Default Not at All Impractical...

It not only CAN be done, it is being done right now by a very talented Porsche restorer in Rockford, MI. I believe he has sent jturbo a PM or direct e-mail regarding his project. I cannot recall if he started with an A or a B coupe, but he is at a point now where the car is close to being ready for paint, and it not only looks like a Speedster... it is all "Porsche" in content. No, he's not trying to pass it off as the real thing, he's just building himself a beautiful "extreme outlaw" that happens to look like a Speedster.
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Old 09-29-2008, 05:01 PM
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by now he should have some pics?????
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Old 10-06-2008, 07:34 PM
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Default Outlaw Progress Photos

If you were within millimeters of Scarlett Johansson you would be close enough for practical purposes. The dimensions of this outlaw are within millimeters of the factory, therefore....?
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Old 10-07-2008, 03:35 AM
  #12  
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Originally Posted by Leader View Post
The rear clip on a Speedster is much different from a Coupe.
While you could certain chop the top off a coupe and "create" some kind of 356 convertible, what you'd be left with would not be a Speedster.
And it certainly wouldn't be worth what the coupe was before you messed with it.
Want a Speedster? Build a replica and save yourself $100K.
I agree. Horrible Thought!
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Old 10-07-2008, 09:55 AM
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Old heap, regardless of right or wrong............lovely work. Please continue to post pix.
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Old 10-10-2008, 08:08 PM
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It would be easier to "turbo your NA"
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Old 10-28-2008, 04:36 PM
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Old Heap, awesome work! Thanks for posting the pics -- but, they must be photoshopped since the 'experts' say it's impossible.

Can you email me?
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