It isn’t often, but occasionally you will encounter an automotive “build” that is more than the sum of its proverbial parts. When that does happen, it is something to be celebrated. In the vein of modifying every component of a car in such a way that it cannot be deemed the same car, Seduction Motorsports of Phoenix, AZ have taken the concept of the 550 Spyder “kit” and delivered it to another level altogether. The manufacturers of this car are more than mechanics, more than “tuners”, they are creators. Creation of art, no matter what the canvas, should be lauded. Functional art, however, deserves true recognition.
This piece of art, not nailed to the wall of a gallery, can truly be experienced. The wind in your hair during an afternoon drive, the sound of the air-cooled engine, the feeling of sweeping up a mountainside, and the connectivity you feel with everything is what you receive from a car like this. The magic of a car like this is not in where it takes you physically, but where it takes you mentally. We think a form of four-wheeled escapism, like this curvy, open-topped beauty is worth every cent of its $37,995 price tag.
It began life as your standard 550 replica, a fiberglass shell over tubular frame from Carrera Coachwerks in El Cajon, California. Upon delivery of the empty shell, Seduction set about creating their version of the perfect Spyder. Thinking outside of the standard Beetle-sourced suspension box, Seduction worked with Mendeola of San Diego, California to create a new design adjustable tubular A-arm coil-over suspension setup. When combined with sporty Falken tires on a staggered 5X15 front and 5.5X15 rear set of polished Porsche 4X130 steel wheels, the car is said to perform quite well, perhaps even living up to the expectations set forward by the original Spyder of the 1950s.
As you can sure imagine, an authentic Porsche 4-cam engine, like that which would have come in a 550 Spyder when new, is quite an expensive piece to be powering a replica. As such, Seduction chose to use a more traditional Volkswagen typ-1 engine, hotted up a bit to keep performance balanced with reliability. Originally desiring a 1915cc engine, they settled on a 1776cc power-plant instead, due to its thicker cylinder walls and their propensity to dissipate heat more efficiently. In the Arizona desert heat, these considerations are doubly important. The 4-speed Volkswagen manual gearbox has been upgraded to operate with a Phoenix cable style shifter, and utilizes hydraulic clutch actuation. The drive-train was assembled from all new components in conjunction with V.W. Performance, and Don’s Bus Box. Both the trans-axle and the engine are sure to last well into the foreseeable future, and will keep this 550 churning out consistent lap times or providing commuting fun for a good long time.
Working with the brand new Wilwood braking components three pedal adjustable cluster, Seduction created a four wheel disc brake system, using twin brake master cylinders providing pressure to rebuilt ATE early 911 calipers, clamping 914-sourced solid front rotors and cross-drilled rear rotors. Keeping fluids in check, all flexible lines are custom crafted of -3AN stainless steel braided hose and coated in a black protective coating for equal parts safety and style. This braking setup allows the driver to keep the lightweight beast under control and in check.
While all of the specifications of the car are certainly impressive, it is the exterior appearance of the vehicle which makes it art. Daniel Verwers, the project’s designer, selected a grey from Porsche’s contemporary palette. This grey was most recently used as an option for the 997.2 GT3 RS 3.8, and in that application, paired quite well with red. In this case, however, the same grey is working with black accents to create a modern spin on a vintage hot rod look. With all chrome or polished accents, save for the wheels, having been anodized or powder coated in black, the car now cuts a dark figure against the landscape.
The modern/vintage theme is carried over to the interior, where a wood rim Nardi steering wheel sits front and center over a trio of useful gauges. Minimal switchgear dots the left side of the body color dashboard, keeping the interior feeling minimalistic and useable, while still aesthetically pleasing. The sport bucket seating is colored a deep Merlot, and color matches the door pull straps and door panel covers. Two-point racing lap belts keep the vehicle’s occupants secured in the deep bolsters of the seats. A lightweight charcoal carpeting was chosen for its Spartan appearance, along with its weatherproof capabilities. Capping everything off, however, are the gorgeous custom billet aluminum foot boards.
Every detail of this machine was crafted to perfection. From the use of minimum grade-8 hardware and out-of-sight wiring, to the HID headlamps, and Seduction Motorsports logo in the fuel filler cap, the car is 100% unique. For the discerning enthusiast, this “kit” car is so much better than your average cobbled-together Cobra, and provides all of the fun of an authentic Spyder without the multi-million dollar price tag. Seemingly, this is the perfect car for a dry climate resident Porsche nut. Seduction is offering the car seen here for $37,995, and stands behind the engine and trans-axle quality with a surprising 1 year / 12,000 mile warranty. For even more information and pictures, visit seductionmotorsports.com. FLATSIXES.com has no affiliation with Seduction Motorsports. We just really liked their work!
UPDATE: This Spyder just sold. However, if you're interested in acquiring one of your own, Seduction Motorsports can build another.