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						Special Edition Beck Speedster Convertible D 1
Through the looking glass

Beck Speedster convertible D

As Told by Carey Hines of Special Edition

One of the main questions we get regarding our Beck Speedster at Special Edition is, “Can I get it with roll-up windows?” Due to the shape of the windshield posts it is less than ideal to do so. 

With a taller windshield, though, designed specifically for roll-up windows, you can have the classic styling of the Beck Speedster with a number of additional cockpit comforts. Since the top frame was changed to more of a later-style design, it gives the driver slightly more headroom, better visibility, and a good seal for the glass. This top can also have a headliner for added insulation/sound deadening. In addition, the door panels were upgraded to accommodate these changes (windows/window cranks) and include a locking map pocket to store valuable papers.

Wanting to keep the look of classic window cranks, we integrated hot rod style, crank-trigger switches. The power windows operate by rotating the “crank” upward or downward 15 degrees.

As for this particular build, I built it for myself to bring to our trade shows and local car shows. It also serves as a test bed for our continued development and upgrades, as we have done on all of our products over the years.

I have a personal preference for the vintage 1950s colors, and the Harvest Moon Beige paint just looks like a hue that came straight out of the Fifties, with a modern-day quality and shine.

I wanted to stray away from our standard interior colors (black, red, tan, navy, grey) and had seen a sample of some green German square-weave carpet.  Once I had that sample in hand, I pored through our top and leather cards to find a suitable match.  I found the green Haartz cloth with no problem, but could not find a leather that worked well with the other colors.

So I called our upholstery rep and he led me to their “Ultraleather” product line, a polyurethane based faux leather.  I was skeptical, as we don’t normally use anything other than natural leather hides, but being out of choices, I figured I’d give it a try (and if I didn’t like it I could always change it later). 

While finalizing the seats we decided we had to break up the green just slightly and decided to add a contrast bead to the seat, common on these cars, and I feel it did the trick. It also helps to tie together the exterior and the interior colors.

Besides these custom touches, one of the great things about the new Convertible D (Roadster) is that the chassis, suspension, drivetrain, main body, and most of the trim are all the same “tried and true” Beck Speedster products we’ve been making for years, so there was little to no learning curve on most of this build, sans the new Roadster-specific parts.

The tube-frame chassis runs the ever-popular, 1600cc Type 1, fitted with dual 34mm Weber ICT carbs and ported-and-polished heads from CB Performance for a 70hp output. A Sachs clutch transfers the engine output to a VW type 1 swing axle, built by Rancho Performance Transaxles.

While the power delivery is smooth and sure, there’s even more driving enjoyment from manning the wheel in a customized cockpit that really stands out from the crowd.

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