Films: Vintage Motorcars Porsche 550 Spyder Replica: Visceral
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Made To Drive | S15 E17

Vintage Motorcars Porsche 550 Spyder Replica: Visceral

It may not be a genuine 550 Spyder, but this one is even more of a go-kart than the original.
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Babak Broumand
Babak Broumand
2 years ago

Hey Eric,
Love the enthusiasm! I’m in Lafayette and frequently drive on Bear Creek, what is the road you’re on? I don’t recognize it?

Eric Roth
Eric Roth
2 years ago

Hello Everyone!
Thank you for the nice comments on the film, it was an honor to be asked to do the film. Petrolicious and the Director of the film were amazing during the 4 days of filming. Can’t imagine what 4 days made into 8 min must be like to edit.

I absolutely love this 550, and all it has become. I learned so much building this car, and the tools it required to get it done. Most of which I had never used before so my learning curve was in building it and trying to get to my expected level of perfection. Lot’s of failures but I just kept at it till I got it right. If anyones thinking of building one…you just have to go for it and try. If you get yourself in trouble the worst thing you will have to do is ask for help. There is a very active community and Porsche owners will also help you out. Every one is amazing!

As for the car it a fast sucker and a big go-cart! It handles really well while still feeling vintage, but its very predictable and the mid engine drift into turns is the most amazing feeling. It just floats and is nimble to take the slightest input to re correct. Cutting the wheel and feathering the throttle…gives you such joy!

The motor in the car is a CB 2376 Type1, with much done internally along with dual 44 Weber’s providing around 200hp at 1345 pounds, and it’s no slouch with plenty of power. Hammering the gears through the solid rod shifter is so direct and mechanical. You feel all the engineering in this car, it’s raw, it’s open, and small. A person on a ten speed bike looks like a giant. But this thing is so fast getting out of the way is no issue.

I’m a person who like a visceral drive even in my daily drive (this is now my daily). In the film you will notice my 2006 Lotus Exige and thats about as raw as it gets also. This lotus was my daily for 10 years, with over 70,000 miles. The main difference is that the Lotus and the 550 is the suspension and the focus. The lotus does one thing extremely well, and thats to dive in and out of tuns with aggression. Hitting it as hard as you can. Issue with the Lotus is it’s very focused around being the best at this, ripping your face off in the G Meter. But thats it, other aspects of the car you have to deal with to have this total focus. The 550 is different in that its not designed to be as aggressive, and it actually does everything really good, not excellent but all around really good. It rides really well, is comfortable, very fast and inspires you with its nimbleness and all out lightness. It is controllable and dynamic! The 550 likes to dive into turns with a follow through to the exit of the curve, it likes to flow through twists. Finding the apex or the drivers line and getting that right with speed to match is the best way to move it, gentile allowing the energy to match it speed. Another thing I love is that the car to get the best out of her you need to cut the wheel as you go into the turn and keep doping so…this helps the car slide around a bit. There is actually a slight feeling of drifting. This is how vintage racers got around the track, and it inspiring to do this yourself and master it.

As for the location question it was filmed in Northern California by an area called Walnut Creek in the East Bay. We have some great roads.

If anyone would like to see more info on the car, aluminum interior, or my progress building the seats and other parts of the car. I have a few other builds I’ve been working on also. Please check out my instagram @autolgnd

Crossworth
Crossworth
2 years ago

Does anyone know Eric where was driving?

Petrolicious may want to feature the other cars in Eric’s garage.
I luv wood accents in Erics garage / work area.

Eric Roth
Eric Roth
2 years ago
Reply to  Crossworth

It was in NorCal near Walnut Creek.

Thanks for the nice comments on the garage and office. I built it as my working man cave, wanted it to have some soul and used reclaimed wood and new engineered wood. Never remolded a house before, I grew up in rentals. Was fun to learn how to remodel, and work with the wood and build. I made all you see in the film, tables, workbench built ins, cabinets, floors, etc. It didn’t exist when I bought the house, was just a dirt basement. I’m a product designer and my OCD can get the best of me. See more if you want on my insta @autolgnd

Eric Roth
Eric Roth
2 years ago
Reply to  Crossworth

few pictures of the garage and my little slice of office heaven.

Robert in LA
Robert in LA
2 years ago

Interesting that your parents never punished you for painting racing stripes on your father’s car and taping up the headlights. Amusing story. I think that I did things as a child, that were so out of box, so unexpected, that my parents simply did not know how to react, and so they didn’t react. Oh. Nice car. I like all of the 550 replicas. This said, the Vintage Motorcars replica always had an edge in build quality. Fun to watch you form sheet aluminum. How many people can still do that?

Bryan Dickerson
Bryan Dickerson
2 years ago

Eric
Yes! I was obsessed with The Lovebug too! The first time I ever heard the word Porsche was when we left the theater. My older bro said “That Beetle musta had a Porsh motor”.
What an absolutely fabulous car you have! The fact that old Porsches are so readily replicated is one of life’s joys.

Mark St Clair
Mark St Clair
2 years ago

A fantastic car and one of the best videos seen on this site for quite a while. Not an ounce of pretentiousness, just a great car, wonderful workmanship and a story well told.

Eric Roth
Eric Roth
2 years ago
Reply to  Mark St Clair

Thank you Sir!

Jan-Pieter
Jan-Pieter
2 years ago

Just love it…

Sotirios Bakaimis
Sotirios Bakaimis
2 years ago

great story

Nickg1933
Nickg1933
2 years ago

Very very nice Dean lovely job – your right original cars millions now
Bonhams Auction House sold one couple at Goodwood Revival – billed as top car in auction achieved crazy price enjoy your car

John Hewett
John Hewett
2 years ago

Perfect drivers car. I’ve been a Porsche fan since I was 5 years old. I understand the whole oh it’s not original thing but that’s for people who care about money. This car is for the people who want to drive it and smile! I have just the same fun and feeling driving my classic Fiats flat out. As an engineer I can improve the car to way better than when it was new, get satisfaction from the engineering and the driving. This guy has it just right.

Donald Compton
Donald Compton
2 years ago

Great job. Beautiful car

DAVI FOLENA
DAVI FOLENA
2 years ago

tenho uma replica do 550 nas características originais é um carro de competição antigo sem exigências de conforto, quer conforto compre um Panamera

Matt Gerken
Matt Gerken
2 years ago

Fantastic car….for short people.

Dean Paquette
Dean Paquette
2 years ago

Phenomenal car to drive. I have had many people insult the car, but the reality is that if it was an original, I couldn’t drive it. These replicas are the absolute answer to having the pure driving experience of the original cars, without the Millions of $$.

jeff2
jeff2
2 years ago
Reply to  Dean Paquette

Great perspective. Beautiful Car.