SAFETY, QUALITY, ATTENTION TO DETAIL, PRICE
“Safety should be everyone’s first consideration when buying a replica.”
Safety was of the highest concern when considering the design of the steel sub-frame that ultimately gives a Platinum Speedster its structural strength. In Australia and New Zealand the vehicle regulatory authorities set a very high safety standard for such things as the overall structural design, seatbelt anchorages, side intrusion bars in the doors, burst proof door locking mechanisms, hardened hinge pins in steel door hinges, front “crumple” zones, the use of high tensile nuts, bolts and washers, etc. etc. For example:
Door hinges are bolted through the body to the steel sub-frame and the steel side intrusion bar within the door shells using high tensile nuts, bolts and washers, which in turn are bolted to the burst proof door locking mechanism. This burst proof door lock mechanism closes onto the door striker plate which is also bolted through the body into the steel sub-frame, effectively forming a steel barrier around the two front occupants.
Each seatbelt anchoring mount has been designed and approved by a certified automotive engineer. “Lap and diagonal” retractable seatbelts are fitted in the front as standard.Extra structural bracings are welded in around the foot well areas to offer extra strength in that area as well as offering additional strengthening to the steering column supporting cross brace. As a special order Platinum Speedsters can also fit lap seatbelt mounting points for two occupants in the rear which conform to the same seatbelt anchorage mounting safety standards as the front seatbelts.
A dual circuit (tandem) brake master cylinder is fitted to every Rolling Chassis Kit or Turnkey we sell. This brake master cylinder is a standard VW part available everywhere in the world.
Why dual circuit and not a single circuit system?
A dual circuit brake master cylinder splits the braking between the two “circuits” (front or rear) thus if one circuit fails you will still have the other to rely on for braking. i.e. half a brake system is better than none.
Platinum Speedsters use disc brakes not drum brakes on the front of our speedsters due to the better stopping power and less brake “fade”. Rear disc brakes are available as an option.
A collapsible steering column is fitted to every Deluxe Kit and every Turnkey Speedster.
Why? If we didn’t use a collapsible steering column we would have to fit a solid shaft non collapsible steering column and this would increase the chances of being “speared” as there would be no crumple zone built into the column to protect the driver in the event of a major accident.
In New Zealand and Australia it is compulsory to fit a third brake light to replica cars. Not a bad idea really as it makes you more visible when braking. We use a very subtle third brake light that is keeping with the 356 Speedster shape.
“Quality is best derived from design and followed through using the best materials available, finished with attention to detail to deliver the highest quality Speedster”
When we started our business we knew that we would have to export around the world to survive (New Zealand is a small country with a very limited market) so we had to develop a 356 Speedster as good as, if not better than the other manufacturers throughout the world if we were to export anywhere at all.
This meant stepping back from other examples of Speedsters already out there and saying
“How could we make these Speedsters better?” Better both in quality and practicality!
We wanted a Speedster that “we would be happy to drive ourselves!”
So we assessed the bodies first.
All our Speedster bodies and body panels are hand laid fiberglass as apposed to spraying fiber strands. Hand laying reduces thickness variations in the fiberglass which can lead to long term problems.
We add “coremat” to a large number of areas in the body that we decided needed extra strength or protection from stone chips.We also spray black rubberized under-seal on the underside of all Deluxe Kits, Rolling Kits and turnkey cars we build as an added protection from stone chips.
We fit “6 splash panels “ to the inner wheel arches on all our Deluxe Kits, Rolling Kits and Turnkey Speedsters to cover up those obvious areas that are exposing non original sub-frames
We wanted our Speedsters to last a long time without giving “fibreglass” problems so we hinged wherever possible all panels off the steel sub-frame and side intrusion bars rather than off the fiberglass itself.
Why ? Because there is nothing worse than seeing a five year old speedster with cracks around the hood and boot hinges and door jams etc plus the obvious safety aspects.
A lot of time was spent looking for a person who would do superb fiberglass work. We are very happy with the results. Thanks Scott!!
Platinum Speedster body-shells and other fiberglass components are also “prebaked” in a spray painting booth to identify any problems before they are actually painted. We seldom find any!
Some Speedster replicas we looked at had the fuel tank above the pedal assembly. This made them very hard to drive (lack of foot room), especially in right hand drive configuration. So we have positioned our fuel tank above the front suspension as it would normally be in a VW Bug. This bought four advantages:
- More foot room.
- No need to modify a fuel tank.
- No need to modify a steering column and
- Puts a little extra weight forward and over the wheels.
When it came to the chassis we decided that the shortening process could be tidier, stronger, and that the gearlever and handbrake levers are too far forward in most Speedster replicas. Taller people need to “reach” forward to select first and third gears. Platinum Speedsters use a different technique to shorten VW chassis which solves all these problems at once.
During the shortening process we always fit new floor pan halves as most donor VW Bugs have rusty floor pan sections these days. These new floor pan halves have black rubberized under-seal applied on the underside for stone chip protection. A new shift rail bush is fitted to eliminate the gearlever from “rattling”. New cables are always fitted and just about every VW chassis component is new or rebuilt! (such as ball joints, tie rods, brakes, steering box, starter, etc, etc.)
A Platinum Speedster Rolling Chassis is basically built to show car standard. “We couldn’t build our chassis any better” Just look at the pictures !
When considering upholstery materials we had to consider the effects of UV light on the materials, especially in New Zealand where the sun is very harmful. So we specified marine grade vinyl for longevity in our Upholstery.
We also let the customer choose their own upholstery colors so you are not fixed to a basic two or three colors.
ATTENTION TO DETAIL
Attention to detail goes hand in hand with quality and design. The attention to detail is probably best shown pictorially.
As you can see from the pictures above a lot of effort has gone into the finishing of each Platinum 356 Speedster.
It’s all those little details that add to the overall finished product giving you and others the view that your Platinum Speedster has the feel that “these cars are right”
Now we all know that you should never buy a product based on price alone! But price is just another benefit that Platinum Speedsters Ltd can offer due to our location in New Zealand.
The New Zealand Dollar exchange rate compared to most countries throughout the world makes buying a Platinum 356 Speedster a very attractive proposition even after shipping around the world.
At the bottom of each Kit page we have provided a link to convert the New Zealand Dollar prices shown throughout this website into most currencies to help you better assess the value for money that a Platinum 356 Speedster represents.
We also provide through our “Worldwide Dealer Network” page a shipping estimate to various countries. If your country is not listed on our page we will be glad to arrange a quote for you and then list it on the site.
Summary of Why buy a Platinum Speedster:
Safety, Quality, Attention to Detail, Price.