I wanted to start this build section with a brief history of how this whole thing got started. What caused me to create social media pages and register the SpeedsterDreams.com domain back in 2009? Let’s just say that I have always been a fanatic about Porsche cars from an early age. They seem to capture the perfect balance of having something nearly exotic but still being useful as a daily driver if you wanted. I also have always enjoyed James Dean’s movies and the style that he represented. The fact that he drove and raced Porsches just made him that much cooler in my eyes.
In early 2009, while on vacation with my family, I was exposed to a Vintage Speedster replica that really made me start thinking. I knew that I would likely never be able to afford an actual Speedster, but a replica might be in the cards. By this time I had already owned several real Porsches and thought adding a Speedster to the garage would make a perfect addition. I actually took a trip to visit Vintage Speedsters at their Hawaiian Gardens location to see how the cars were built and speak to Kirk about the process.
Then, as often is the case, life happens and the years slowly passed. I never stopped thinking about having a car built and even came up with a bigger plan. What is I commissioned a Speedster build that paid homage to the 356 Speedster (SN 80126) that James Dean actually owned a raced in 1955? The idea of a James Dean Speedster Tribute Build was birthed.
As I thought about the idea more, I added the idea of including a cross country drive with the newly built car. The trip would try to follow Rt 66 when possible and include stops at the Dean family farm, James Dean Museum and grave site in his hometown of Fairmount, Indiana. We would fully document the build process and the subsequent trip across country. This would become part of this car’s unique history going forward and I would end up with the Speedster I had been dreaming about and a great story that documented the entire process.
Fast forward to 2019 and I was finally ready to move forward on this project. After doing some research on who I might want to work with on this build, some things had changed since my visit back in 2009 with Kirk. Vintage Speedsters had been sold and was now located in Scottsdale, Arizona. I connected with the new owner Matt Teerink and we scheduled a visit. When visiting, I was impressed with the improvements that they had made to the cars vs what I had looked at 10 years prior. I was also impressed with the attention to detail in the small areas. I was formerly an electronics technician on F/A-18 aircraft for the US Navy and tend to look at things with an eye to detail. Everywhere I looked on the car, I was impressed that they paid attention to the little details that most owners would never even notice.
After that visit, Matt and I again met up at the 2019 SEMA Show to discuss the build and the drive. We put a plan together that is culminating in the car being delivered the first week of October this year and my co-pilot (Ross Thompson) and I immediately embarking on the cross country trip. This should serve as not only a great adventure, but a true testament to the build quality to have a new build immediately set off on a 2000+ mile trip.
Anyway, stay tuned as the fun is just about to get started! Thanks for following along.
This sounds awesome… good luck. I know both Matt and Kirk personally, and there both great guys… keep us posted and I’m sure you’re gonna post pictures from the build as well!
We will be posting pics of the build for sure. Thanks for the comment!
What a great story, and as a huge Dean fan myself I’m very interested in seeing the finished product and follow along on its adventures!
Side note: I’m actually having a speedster built as well… not a direct clone like yours but preA body is a must. Gotta love those beehives.
Thanks for your comment. We are going to try and keep with the spirit of the car. We know we cannot hope to get all the details right. We just hope to do the actual car justice.