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That's a nice car!


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10 hours ago, Dargo said:

In the 1996 David Cronenberg film Crash, a weird movie about people who receive sexual pleasure from being injured in or by watching automobile accidents (yeah, weird huh), one scene in it consists of a recreation of James Dean's death while he was driving his newly purchased Porsche 550 Spyder, and which was recreated in this film by use of the 550 replica shown below...

i002526.jpg

(...side note here...after owning a 550 replica for the past 15 years, I've decided to sell it...replacement in my garage will be another small great handling open roadster...either a 2000-2009 Honda S2000 or a 2017-2020 Fiat 124 Spider Abarth...I'll miss the Spyder, but it'll be nice to have the modern creature comforts of the newer cars for my wife)

Now I know why so many people watch auto racing.

Prices for Fiat 124 Spider Abarths are going to get interesting with the creation of Stellantis (merger of FCA and PSA Group (Peugeot, et. al.).  Expected that Fiat will disappear from US again.  Considering recent sales, it almost has.  Might want to just bite the bullet and get a Miata.

Ongoing question is whether or not Chrysler brand will disappear.  Chrysler products were a staple of movies and TV shows in the 50's and 60's and maybe later.  Product placement.

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On 3/23/2021 at 6:39 AM, ElCid said:

Now I know why so many people watch auto racing.

Prices for Fiat 124 Spider Abarths are going to get interesting with the creation of Stellantis (merger of FCA and PSA Group (Peugeot, et. al.).  Expected that Fiat will disappear from US again.  Considering recent sales, it almost has.  Might want to just bite the bullet and get a Miata.

Ongoing question is whether or not Chrysler brand will disappear.  Chrysler products were a staple of movies and TV shows in the 50's and 60's and maybe later.  Product placement.

I know what you're saying here, Cid. However and even though it's very possible that Fiat will once again pull out of the North American market, I'm loving the looks of the newer 124 Spiders much more than I do or ever have the Miata, as I think they did an excellent job of updating and modernizing the classic styling clues of the older model 124's that you and I owned back in the day.

And now an update re the selling of my 550 Spyder. It's a done deal. And so, now I'm even more seriously looking into the purchase of one. It'll have to be the Abarth version with the tuned suspension and the limited-slip differential AND the 6-speed manual transmission. The last option of which here being rare and  seemingly only on about 20 percent of them.

(...just can't understand why ANYONE would want a freakin' automatic tranny on a little sports car like this...seems drivin' a stick is some sort of "lost art" now days)

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3 hours ago, Dargo said:

 I'm loving the looks of the newer 124 Spider

WHAT! Boxster S not even in the running? What happn' to the 2000 Honda? 

Full discloser; I'm a coupe fan, so It'd be Cayman S or the after market hardtop on the Honda. 

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2 hours ago, Moe Howard said:

 

WHAT! Boxster S not even in the running? What happn' to the 2000 Honda? 

Full discloser; I'm a coupe fan, so It'd be Cayman S or the after market hardtop on the Honda. 

Good question here actually, Moe. 

The reason a nice used Boxster(and pretty much the "grandchild" to my soon departing 550 Spyder) isn't in the running for me is because any one within my price range of something around $25K-$30K would already have way more miles on it than I'd care to take on, and thus most likely would soon need some major mechanical work done on it. And I'm sure you know that Porsche mechanics are often a lot like Ferrari mechanics, and in that you'd be told just to LOOK at the car is going to cost you thousands of dollars.

(...but re the Honda S2000, I can't say I've totally marked it off my list at this point in time, and especially because it seems manual transmission Fiat 124's are as rare as the proverbial hen's teeth)

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33 minutes ago, Dargo said:

Good question here actually, Moe. 

The reason a nice used Boxster(and pretty much the "grandchild" to my soon departing 550 Spyder) isn't in the running for me is because any one within my price range of something around $25K-$30K would already have way more miles on it than I'd care to take on, and thus most likely would soon need some major mechanical work done on it. And I'm sure you know that Porsche mechanics are often a lot like Ferrari mechanics, and in that you'd be told just to LOOK at the car is going to cost you thousands of dollars.

(...but re the Honda S2000, I can't say I've totally marked it off my list at this point in time, and especially because it seems manual transmission Fiat 124's are as rare as the proverbial hen's teeth)

That Spider is built on what, like a 914 platform?  I figured another mid-engine would be a nice fit. For $30k you should be able to find a nice 2009 with well less than 50k miles. I wouldn't look at anything older. This way you get the 987-2, 3.4 liter 6 (same size as the 911) the motors are bullet proof and will run forever. Provided you maintain them, and maintenance doesn't cost THAT much more . I'd stay away from the 7 speed auto with the paddle shifters, and search out a 6 speed manual. 

I sold my Cayman S a few months ago for what I paid for it 3 years ago. Had a bunch of air cooled Porsches over the years,  911s with differing body configurations and a 916, great little cars.

 

 

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15 minutes ago, Moe Howard said:

That Spider is built on what, like a 914 platform?  I figured another mid-engine would be a nice fit. For $30k you should be able to find a nice 2009 with well less than 50k miles. I wouldn't look at anything older. This way you get the 987-2, 3.4 liter 6 (same size as the 911) the motors are bullet proof and will run forever. Provided you maintain them, and maintenance doesn't cost THAT much more . I'd stay away from the 7 speed auto with the paddle shifters, and search out a 6 speed manual. 

I sold my Cayman S a few months ago for what I paid for it 3 years ago. Had a bunch of air cooled Porsches over the years,  911s with differing body configurations and a 916, great little cars.

 

 

Might be good advice here, Moe.

But re my soon to be gone 550, no, its frame isn't based on a 914. Its a tube chassis car, and which Chuck Beck the originator of the first 550 Spyder replicas out there during the 1980s, directly copied from the original 550's.

And, I can't begin to tell you how many people I'd encounter over the years who'd ask me if it was based on a VW Beetle pan, and which the replica 356's are built on, but just shortened a bit.

(...in fact, many of these people would seem surpised to learn that 550's were/are mid-engine cars...guess they weren't as big a gearhead as you and I are, huh) ;)

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1 hour ago, Dargo said:

Might be good advice here, Moe.

But re my soon to be gone 550, no, its frame isn't based on a 914. Its a tube chassis car, and which Chuck Beck the originator of the first 550 Spyder replicas out there during the 1980s, directly copied from the original 550's.

And, I can't begin to tell you how many people I'd encounter over the years who'd ask me if it was based on a VW Beetle pan, and which the replica 356's are built on, but just shortened a bit.

(...in fact, many of these people would seem surpised to learn that 550's were/are mid-engine cars...guess they weren't as big a gearhead as you and I are, huh) ;)

I looked those 550s up prior to posting before and the mid engine configuration looked very 914-esque. I saw that Beck name associated with most of the listings, there were a couple others. I hear ya, John Q hears replica and it must be a Bug underneath there somewhere. Sounds more like a reproduction than a replica.  

Well, do your due diligence, If possible go out and test drive a nearby Boxster or Cayman just to get the feel. You'll probably be surprised how familiar,  yet more capable, it feels when pushed around some turns. 

 

 

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27 minutes ago, Moe Howard said:

I looked those 550s up prior to posting before and the mid engine configuration looked very 914-esque. I saw that Beck name associated with most of the listings, there were a couple others. I hear ya, John Q hears replica and it must be a Bug underneath there somewhere. Sounds more like a reproduction than a replica.  

Well, do your due diligence, If possible go out and test drive a nearby Boxster or Cayman just to get the feel. You'll probably be surprised how familiar,  yet more capable, it feels when pushed around some turns. 

 

 

I'm sure I would, and considering that because of the lack of any weight bias either forward or aft on a mid-engined car, it's always much easier and feels more confident in a controlled four-wheel drift than any front or rear engined car. 

You know, kind'a like how it was/is said that you better keep your right foot down on the gas on a older/early 911 while in a sharp turn at high speed, or you're sure to end up doin' a 360 if you don't.

(...notice I said on an "older/early 911" up there, and thus referencing 911's made before the boys in Stuttgart started equipping them with traction control and other little helpful driving aids)

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8 minutes ago, Dargo said:

it's always much easier and feels more confident in a controlled four-wheel drift than any front or rear engined car. 

Yeah.  I hate not feeling confident in a four-wheel drift. . . .

Y i i i i i i !

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3 minutes ago, slaytonf said:

Yeah.  I hate not feeling confident in a four-wheel drift. . . .

Y i i i i i i !

LOL

Well, at least you seem to have, ahem, caught my "drift" here anyway, slayton!  ;)

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13 minutes ago, Dargo said:

I'm sure I would, and considering that because of the lack of any weight bias either forward or aft on a mid-engined car, it's always much easier and feels more confident in a controlled four-wheel drift than any front or rear engined car. 

You know, kind'a like how it was/is said that you better keep your right foot down on the gas on a older/early 911 while in a sharp turn at high speed, or you're sure to end up doin' a 360 if you don't.

(...notice I said on an "older/early 911" up there, and thus referencing 911's made before the boys in Stuttgart started equipping them with traction control and other little helpful driving aids)

Traction control.......it comes with a flowered skirt.

I've found Porsches to be extremely forgiving in performance driving. Again, my experience is limited to air-cooled 911s, the 916 and the newer Cayman.  I think the Cayman had traction control, It had all kinds of stuff I tried my best to ignore or turn off if possible. 

Now, cars that are waiting to kill you? Panteras, Countachs.  (I'm an old gearhead) anything with large V motor behind the driver. Those cars start to get sideways and the brake is the last thing you want to touch.

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10 minutes ago, Moe Howard said:

Traction control.......it comes with a flowered skirt.

I've found Porsches to be extremely forgiving in performance driving. Again, my experience is limited to air-cooled 911s, the 916 and the newer Cayman.  I think the Cayman had traction control, It had all kinds of stuff I tried my best to ignore or turn off if possible. 

Now, cars that are waiting to kill you? Panteras, Countachs.  (I'm an old gearhead) anything with large V motor behind the driver. Those cars start to get sideways and the brake is the last thing you want to touch.

All true. But, you have to admit those Italians are sure pretty, anyway.

Have you  ever driven a Ford GT40...either a real one or a replica?

(...I'd guess they'd be about the same in this regard)

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10 minutes ago, Dargo said:

All true. But, you have to admit those Italians are sure pretty, anyway.

Have you  ever driven a Ford GT40...either a real one or a replica?

(...I'd guess they'd be about the same in this regard)

I think their track performance shows they are in fact NOTHING like a GT 40, it won races!

I've never even seen one up close. Love the car though. 

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1 minute ago, Moe Howard said:

I think their track performance shows they are in fact NOTHING like a GT 40, it won races!

I've never even seen one up close. Love the car though. 

Yeah, good point.

I've seen both a real one (years ago at the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn MI) and a few replicas over the years. 

Say, maybe we're now segueing back to topic of "movie cars" here?  ;)

(...good movie that Ford v Ferrari flick, wouldn't ya say?!)

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15 minutes ago, Dargo said:

Yeah, good point.

I've seen both a real one (years ago at the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn MI) and a few replicas over the years. 

Say, maybe we're now segueing back to topic of "movie cars" here?  ;)

(...good movie that Ford v Ferrari flick, wouldn't ya say?!)

Not my fav. There was a Carrol Shelby documentary on Netflix(?) that covered all the business aspects of the Ferrari/ Ford dynamic. 

Better IMHO is Le Mans with the more than adequate wheel man Steve McQueen.  Although my fav was the "Hippy Porsche"

image.thumb.png.e6fe3af196ede0c7c550b6df7aeaf2a7.png

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17 minutes ago, slaytonf said:

Ow!

Was a GT ever in a movie?

Yep, seems in quite a few of 'em, in fact:

IMCDb.org: Ford GT 40 in movies and TV series

And in regard to the replica version of 'em:

IMCDb.org: Ford GT 40 Replica in movies and TV series

(...although I'll bet a few of 'em in the supposed listing of the real ones up there might actually be replicas)

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*Sigh*  Guess I couldn't get you to do the work of listing some movies.  Well, from what I can see, they are mostly documentaries.  The one fiction movie likely to have a real GT would be, what else?, Le Mans (1971):

i015538.jpg

And, less likely, Un Homme et Une Femme (1966):

i003095.jpg

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On 3/22/2021 at 8:03 PM, Dargo said:

James Dean's death while he was driving his newly purchased Porsche 550 Spyder

 

A couple of years ago I was road-tripping down the Pacific Coast Highway, but eventually it came time to cut inland and head home.  I wound up turning onto the highway where Dean was killed and in fact past the very spot, which I didn't know until the sign saying "James Dean Interchange" or whatever came into view.  Dusty place in the middle of nowhere.

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7 hours ago, Vidor said:

 

A couple of years ago I was road-tripping down the Pacific Coast Highway, but eventually it came time to cut inland and head home.  I wound up turning onto the highway where Dean was killed and in fact past the very spot, which I didn't know until the sign saying "James Dean Interchange" or whatever came into view.  Dusty place in the middle of nowhere.

Yes it is.  I've driven past it a few times going to/from the Paso Robles area.   I believe I read the highway alignment has been changed over the years, so what we see today isn't the way it looked when Dean had his accident.  After hearing the stories all these years, I was expecting it to be on some twisty mountain road.

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15 hours ago, Vidor said:

 

A couple of years ago I was road-tripping down the Pacific Coast Highway, but eventually it came time to cut inland and head home.  I wound up turning onto the highway where Dean was killed and in fact past the very spot, which I didn't know until the sign saying "James Dean Interchange" or whatever came into view.  Dusty place in the middle of nowhere.

 

8 hours ago, txfilmfan said:

Yes it is.  I've driven past it a few times going to/from the Paso Robles area.   I believe I read the highway alignment has been changed over the years, so what we see today isn't the way it looked when Dean had his accident.  After hearing the stories all these years, I was expecting it to be on some twisty mountain road.

Yep, I too in the past have driven or have ridden one of my motorcycles many a time past this location:

Cholame, California - Wikipedia

In fact, and speaking of James Dean and Porsche 550 Spyders, the most memorable time that I purposedly made a visit to this place was back on September 30, 2005.

I had wanted to purchase a 550 replica for years and ever since I ran across an article in Road & Track magazine about them in the 1990s. And so hearing that there was scheduled  to be a, I guess you'd say, a memorial celebration dedicating the 50 years to the day that the young actor died at that location. And, also hearing that many in attendance would be arriving there in their own 550 replicas, I decided to ride up there one on of my motorcycles from my home in SoCal. On my Triumph in fact, and which coincidentally was the brand of motorcycle that Dean owned at the time of his passing.

45a3cd2c1baca2fd0e2afb60e18dda2f.jpg

 

My basic purpose for this little sortie was as a reconnaissance mission in order to ascertain from those who owned them, which of the three concerns at the time that were making the car was thought to be making the best version of these 550 replicas.

When I arrived there that day, there were probably 15 Spyders already sitting in the little parking lot of the little roadside cafe that's festooned with James Dean memorabilia inside it, and then with a few more drivers in their Spyders pulling in as I got off my bike.

I ended up talking to many of the owners and usually getting the answer that the best made ones were made by the Beck company, then in SoCal.

Another guy I talked to that day didn't own one, but had shown up because he had a striking resemblance to Dean, perhaps looked about 10 years older than the actor looked when he died. He was wearing blue jeans and a red waist-length jacket similar to the one that Dean wore in Rebel Without a Cause and which is now an iconic image of the actor. Many of the owners of the Spyders asked him to sit in their cars in order to take pictures. One Spyder in particular which was made up to look just like Dean's race numbered-130 "Li'l Bastard" car, made for a especially good shot of this. When I asked him what he did for a living, he said he was a writer in Hollywood but occasionally would also suppliment his income by dressing up as the actor and would stand in front of Grauman's Chinese Theater and have his picture taken with tourists.

(...a fun and memorable day, and one which would result in my own purchase of the Beck 550 Spyder within a year or so of that day...and yep, the one I've just now recently sold)

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Hate quoting myself here, but...

Quote

(...a fun and memorable day, and one which would result in my own purchase of the Beck 550 Spyder within a year or so of that day...and yep, the one I've just now recently sold)

And the Spyder which on this coming Tuesday will be replaced in my garage with THIS Spider...the deal done this morning.

Used-2019-FIAT-124-Spider-Abarth-WNav-Ab

(...still can't believe how difficult it was to find one with a manual transmission)

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