If there’s one things about Chuck Beck’s replicas, it is that most of the time they are actually, if not as good, better than the originals. His Carrera GTS, for example, is hand-build from the tube frame up.
His most popular model, though, is the solidly built 550 Spyder replica. It is unlike many other replicas on the market. Like the much more expensive Carrera GTS, Beck experimented with fiberglass and how to work with it.
He also developed processes to form fiberglass panels into solid pieces of work. Indeed, his attention to detail have made Chuck Beck’s shop “the place” in the Porsche replica world.
Like the Carrera, Beck won’t do anything half way. His Spyder kit is anything but a half-way finished job.For example, like the Carrera GTS, his latest replicar, Beck focused on getting things right.
The sleek Spyder, for example, is built from the ground up with only one thing driving it, quality. Of course, you can find a base chassis to use for any kit car as the Pontiac Fiero has proven to be one of the most popular frames on which to base a kit car to day (there were also 360,000 of them built from 1964 to 1968 and they were quite well made, right down to the transversely mounted engine and transaxle that drove the rear wheels on the mid-engined Pontiac. It is a solid piece of work and many kits have successfully been built using it as the base. The same is true of the mid-engined Toyota MR-2, which was in production until the middle of this decade and which has also proven to be a successful basis for many kits.
Yet, while kits can be made from these vehicles, Chuck Beck just won’t do it. His Spyder, for example, has been fit with a specially developed de Dion tube that helps to keep the rear suspension in alignment as the heavily loaded rear wheels fight to keep their their camber and caster. The deDion tube assists in this effort. It’s not something that most kit-makers would think about, but Beck, who also has more than a little experience designing performance vehicles, knows the value of that little tube.
Beck even knows how to shoehorn flat-head Porsche six into the mid-engine space, as well as knowing how to cram a turbo versions of VT, Porsche and even some Subaru fours into the cramped mid-engine space.
Beck’s Spyder, whose sharp looks, excellent performance and great sound (there are some rock cuts on various roadways where, if you hit it right while double-clutching, where you are rewarded with an engine sound that you find from few other vehicles.