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Beck 904: Is it too stupid?

Old 07-06-2003, 09:32 PM
  #16  
Dirk Tanner
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One of the above posts reads:

"What you would have is a car masquerading as something it is not"

Hell, Porsche itself does this...
it's called a Turbo-look (widebody, C4S, whatever you want to call it).

This is what I have a real problem with.

-DT
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Old 07-06-2003, 10:07 PM
  #17  
chroni
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Thanks to all for your great points. I've since had a phone conversation with Heinz Heinrich who is a 904 expert (www.the904store.com). He was of much help in explaining to me the value of a replica, and lack thereof, no matter how close to original it may be.

Paraphrasing him as best I can recall, "...to set up the tools and produce in exactitude a reproduction of any original car is extremely difficult if not impossible and incredibly expensive. Add to which each builder will tend to produce certain areas of the car "better" or with more "modern technology" ...the replica will never be exact and so what you will always end up with at best is a hot rod, and NOT a 904."

He made the point that the closer to original the replica will be, the higher the cost. He told me of a fellow who once set up and produced the absolute closest match to the 904 he had ever seen. These reproductions actually cost MORE than the originals and they were bought by the people who owned the originals so they could still drive something so very close to their 904 without risk. BUT, they still were not 904s.

All of this I am paraphrazing as I remember. Mr. Heinrich spoke kindly with much knowledge and I appreciate his insight and I came to the conclusion that an early 911S might be a best fit for vintage Porsche ownership.

BUT THEN after further thought ...I no longer want vintage Porsche, let alone a 904. Nope, I don't think so. A 904 is museum furniture and thus is useless to me. What I want is a cool looking HOT ROD that I can customize! I don't care to have a Porsche badge on it however I definately want a Porsche engine, because that is something I respect. I want something similar to a 904 in look and size and feel.

So the concept now becomes, "just build the hot rod" and to heck with the whole P-car/904 stature.
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Old 07-07-2003, 01:30 AM
  #18  
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Just make sure to check the "904 Look" box on the order form, or you don't know what you'll get ("VW Thing Look"? "Oscar-Meyer Weinermobile Look"?).

My take? I hear Beck does a superb job with the 550 that does justice to the original, so I'll assume the same with their 904.

No one, including Beck, is claiming it to be a real 904. I hate cheesy replicas, but a well-executed replica can recreate the experience, and to a large extent the car, for some with a passion for Porsche history and/or those who want the feel of a truly elemental driving experience - try getting that from a 996 (I own one).

-DT
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Old 07-07-2003, 02:03 PM
  #19  
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I have it on good authority that years ago, for a special event, in Hawaii I believe, Porsche rebadged a Beck 550 in order to have a 550 at the event. The story goes that Porsche had special manufacturer plates and badging hand delivered to Beck for installation prior to the car being shipped for the event. If it's true, I'm happy with a quality replica if Porsche is.
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Old 07-07-2003, 03:42 PM
  #20  
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My .02,
I don't have a problem with a quality replica of a 550 or 904 or even a 356 Speedster, IF, IF, IF it's not represented as being "real". We have a guy in our local PCA region that has a Beck 550. I have overheard him telling non-Porsche people that it's a 55 Porsche! This drives me nuts! Is it some Inferiority Complex that he just can't say that it's a replica of a very famous car made in the 50s that costs a half million bucks if you can find one? I don't understand.
I've seen one of the 904 replicas from the company that puts very crude 904 front fenders and body panels on a 914. It looks obscene. It's an embarassment to Porsche 914s and ALL replicas. I can remember seeing brand new 904s in Porsche Dealerships in the 60s. Would have been a nice investment. Buy a $2oK car, drive it for 30 years and sell it for $500K+!

The Beck 904 is a beautiful REPLICA that pays tribute to Porsche. I would not have a problem owning and driving one. I can imagine what one with a hot 3.2 in it would run like! AND I would tell people exactly what it is.
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Old 07-07-2003, 04:01 PM
  #21  
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Sounds like the owner's a fake, not the car.
What a poodle-boy!
DT
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Old 07-07-2003, 04:17 PM
  #22  
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I think the key is this.
Do it right. Details, Details, Details...
Get as many right as possible. Personally I'd attempt to use a 911 2.0L engine just to make it more preriod correct. Some 904's came with 6 cyl engines. (not sure which one however)

Second thing...
... Always call it replica. Never consider it a real one. Most enthusaists and purists will respect you if you attempt to get the details right and acknowldege that it is not real. It will be alot of work, just getting the details right and that along with knowing the history of the real cars will give you respect.

BTW... a VW motor is not going to earn you any respect! <img border="0" alt="[nono]" title="" src="graemlins/nono.gif" />
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Old 07-08-2003, 03:15 AM
  #23  
chroni
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M758, et al relative to tech spec.,

I agree that a 2.0L PORSCHE engine would be a great place to begin, and going straight to a 3.6L would be out of bounds for what I'm initially looking to do ...another great part of this concept is that nothing here has to be so permanent, the rules are not so rigid, though taste and Porsche engineering lessons are important - lessons that have already been mapped out by the best.

Although a 2.4L matched to the 915 drive train would also be a well done effort and probably the maximum power/force I'd be willing to exert on the feather light roller, but maybe the 2.0 is a better choice.

When I was into Alfa Romeo a few years ago, I remember reading about a guy who foolishly went to the effort and expense installing a Chevy small block into his Spider ...he couldn't keep it on the road and the engine killed the frame structure. As a best guess, a 3.6L would likely do the same to this car.

It doesn't matter right now, the Beck's are apparently not going to roll out for just a little while yet. I'm planning here and getting inline with what this knowledge base has to offer.

I'm waiting to hear back from a dealer rep of these Beck cars. I'll post what I learn then.
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Old 07-20-2003, 02:39 PM
  #24  
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The Beck 550 replicas enjoy a great reputation for what they are -- a 550 that you can drive on public roads (and tracks) without risking the loss of a huge investment (and a historically significant car).

I saw the prototype for the Beck 904 when Chuck Beck was testing it at Willow Springs. It was gorgeous. Is it historically accurate? Who cares? (Hey, you asked for opinions.) It's certainly got technology that's light years ahead of the original. It had a 993 3.6 in it with an early 911 (7:31 r&p) transaxle, and it weighed something like 1100 or 1200 pounds (if memory serves). With 8's and 9's that car would be an absolute blast to drive, on the road or on the track.

I think there are two different basic points-of-view that collide when it comes to replicas. On the one hand there's the historian's (or librarian's) perspective, that a certain number of these cars were made, and that they should be documented and preserved, and possibly brought out once a year by some millionaire to do some cautious laps at the Monterey Historics, or something. I think this is fine. I'm glad no one is chopping these museum pieces up, and it's nice to know that future generations will be able to experience them and appreciate them.

On the other hand, there are a lot of guys who love the history and the heritage of these cars, but don't want to only have that experience by staring through glass cases atcold, over-polished examples. The 904 was a great-looking and well-designed street-legal race car. If I had the resources to own one of the originals, I think it would be a blast to take out and drive, hopefully on a track, on a regular basis. Of course, that would make me crazy, since the odda are I would eventually put it into a wall. Whatever my abilities to absorb the financial repercussions of this, there's be one less original 904 in the world for people to enjoy.

A 904 replica offers exactly the 904 driving experience (and then some), without jeopardizing the limited pool of (largely underutilized) historic road-and-race cars out there. As a street-legal DE car taken to its logical conclusion, a Beck 904 replica could be modified and developed into a phenomenal performer on the track, preserving a great deal of the historical 'resonance' so many of us love about these older cars, without the owner ever having to consider whether he's taking too many liberties with a piece of modern history.

A replica 904 will never be an authentic Porsche 904, of course. But the fun part is that it could decimate the real thing on a track, and still deliver most of the experience that the owner of the original gets (except, of course, the 'getting beaten on the track by the replica' part of the authentic 904 owner's experience. )

Last edited by JackOlsen; 07-20-2003 at 02:45 PM.
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Old 07-23-2003, 11:45 AM
  #25  
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Jack.....

well stated !! The purist's may not like it... But part of the Porsche experience is the spirit of it !

I think your post sums up that spirit nicely, at lest for me it does.

I like these well done replica's that are in the right spirit.... they pay homage to the legacy and allow the enjoyment of modern mechanicals...

Just my opinion...............
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Old 09-03-2003, 07:52 PM
  #26  
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Cool Beck 904

I agree with Vinney !!

I had occasion to meet Beck personally and examine his "904" and must say that I was impressed. What do you care what others think of your choice of wheels if it pleases you and performs fantastically and doesn't cost you an outrageous amount? Maybe you should ask them to choose your car for you. Take a close look at the Beck 904 and you might be impressed also. The only noticeable quirk was the absence of deep frame rails under the doors.
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Old 09-04-2003, 01:45 AM
  #27  
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You know what, ide love an original. I love the 904. I would hate to lose one of the few available to some idiot that cant drive and decides to put my bumper in. I think one of these would do just fine. Ok, its not a Porsche, but its dedicated to the spirit of what that car was. And i feel it does justice. It sounded like a Porsche to me when i was there! And the comment about the PCA owners not accepting it, it looked like there was more interest in it than non-acceptance.

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Old 09-05-2003, 05:39 AM
  #28  
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Wow, I never realized how similar the 904 is to the Dino (outwardly):
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Old 03-04-2004, 07:13 PM
  #29  
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Well, here we go! I said I'd post the info when I found Avanti was ready, so here's the info link I found, apparently in stock and ready to roll, the Beck 904. Check out the "Options" link for pricing, the kit starts at $40K without an engine. Personally I think they missed by $10K, but it is a "big boyz toy" so I suppose I'm not their market demographic.
http://www.avantimotors.com/gallery_beck904.htm
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Old 03-05-2004, 03:51 AM
  #30  
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IMHO simply put Porsche has the greatest history of any automobile manufacturer. They have put more effort in their early years into racing than any other manufacturer. Most of their competitors are no longer in existance or are owned by huge auto assemblers. I call it "Porsche Panache."

The demographics of a Porsche buyer has certainly changed over the years. Many of the folks who buy/lease a Porsche doen't even know what a 904 or a 550 is. For them, it's just a car to be seen in.

I saw a pic of a 904 stored in a plastic bubble. If I were that owner, I would buy a replica and drive it around to have fun in knowing that I and others know that I own a "real" one.

I also have a fairly expensive watch that I wear on occasions. I also have a "knock-off" of the same thing that I wear most every day. I enjoy both.

Oh well.

Last edited by DonW-Cape Cod; 03-05-2004 at 04:14 AM.
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