The Intermeccanica Roadster Story
Condensed by Henry Reisner.
Body: We use a one piece body laid up in our molds by a local supplier using
exclusively ISO based gelcoats and ISO resins. These low profile products result in a
body with a much superior resistance to temperature change, humidity and long term
deterioration. The thickness of the bodies is kept between 3/16" and 1/4". giving a
strong, durable yet reasonably light product.
Chassis: Our exclusive INTERMECCANICA frame addresses numerous problems
associated with original Porsches and early products built on VW pans. The frame is a
box section steel tube perimeter frame incorporating 5" x 3" side members, making it
torsionally rigid and side impact resistant. Its design attributes include a front axle
mounting base that is twice as wide as the standard VW, with increased caster (5 deg.)
for straight ahead stability.
The elimination of the large VW tunnel and increase of the overall interior tub width to
48", plus redesign of the footwell area, results in an amazingly spacious interior with
lots of room for your left foot, seating that is centered on the steering, and the ability to
mount our exclusive 356 replica seats. The car is an easy fit for people up to 6' 3" and
has good hip/shoulder width. Seats, as well as belt systems, are mounted on tubular
steel crossmembers. Floorboards are fiberglass.
Possibly the most innovative part of our frame is the rear suspension crossmember
which uses stock VW IRS suspension components with in conjunction with short VW
torsion bars. The design allows us to move the engine and transmission location
3" forward of the standard Porsche. This is combined with the relocated and now adjustable trailing arm mounting points for camber and added toe adjustment.
The combination improves the weight distribution of the ROADSTER while also
eliminating the excess camber change of the Porsche swing axle rear suspension. This
results in very neutral handling, quite dissimilar to the original unforgiving Porsche.
Engine mounting has been reworked using standard VW mounts front and rear, but
incorporating a 356 style cradle to carry the transaxle. Both engine and transaxle are
thus much better supported. A wider and longer
engine bay for easier service and added cooling round out the frame. All this and more
for only 365 lbs. which is less than the combined weight of the original shortened VW
pan and subframe. Through proper matching of front to rear torsion bar stiffness,
Intermeccanica endowed the ROADSTER with an excellent ride quality while still
retaining a true sports car feel. Jarring suspension and freeway hop (pitching) are a
thing of the past. Front and rear suspension ride height is also adjustable with a simple
turn of a bolt.
Body/Chassis assembly: Body and epoxy painted frame become one unit in the
custom shrink fixture, guaranteeing proper panel alignment. All mounting points for
hood, trunk and door hinges are steel reinforced. Hood and trunk hinges are heat
treated cast aluminum, door hinges are fabricated steel with nylon bushings and, of
course, mounted directly to the frame. All locks and latches have built in mounting plates
of either steel or aluminum, making for a strong, durable unit.
Preparation and Paint: The body is post cured at 175 deg. F in an oven prior to paint
preparation. Panel gaps and fit are checked throughout this process. Hand preparation
and machine blocking produce a show quality surface. All fillers are two part BASF OE
quality. Matched primers are used and the entire body is sanded to 800 grit finish prior
to painting. The painting is done under close supervision of BASF/Glasurit
representative. Paint is Glasurit OE acrylic urethane. All cars are clear coated, tri
coat pearls are no problem. The entire outside surface is then wet sanded and
Body: Once the painted body is returned to our facility, our wiring harness is
installed, gas springs for the hood and trunk, all locks, strikers and releases and
special door holders are fitted.
Numerous items are proprietary, such as the windshield frame, locally cast posts and
extrusion for the top bow. The top mechanism is an in house product, using a
fiberglass/aluminum reinforced box section header, heat treated cast aluminum links
and steel bows. All parts are powder coated or upholstered. Top latches are aircraft
grade. All trim, hardware and electrical components are carefully installed and tested to
guarantee long term reliability and service. All interior fasteners are polished stainless
Sound absorbing underlay is used as well as special materials in the engine
compartment to keep noise levels reasonable. Interiors are custom made to original
patterns. Tops are Haartz Stayfast in a wide range of colors and are custom fitted to
each car for perfect fit. An Intermeccanica addition to the original design is a zippered
rear window which eliminates the damage when the top is lowered. The ROADSTER
also has above average water and wind proofing with rubber seal on all three sides of
the side lights, and adjustable latches on the top header. The top can be lowered from
the driver's seat. A boot cover in matching material is standard.
All the instrumentation is original VDO with speedometer featuring trip meter,
electronic tachometer, electric oil temperature and fuel level gauges, as well as several
warning lights. A matching clock is also available in limited numbers. The look of these
instruments is very original.
Lighting and trim components are sourced from the best quality restoration suppliers
where possible. Side molding sets are in-house manufactured with original half round
solid aluminum. All components, such as lights, grills, handles are installed using
original rubber seals. Door panels, upholstery and seats are reproductions of the
original to complete the authentic look. The seats feature a full tube steel frame with
proper "no-sag" springs, the cushions are molded foam from Intermeccanica molds
and are medium firm. The covers are cut and sewn using original Porsche patterns.
The seats have a fully adjustable back and seat sliders with 7 inches of travel.
Headrests have been added for safety. Seats are fully DOT tested. Customers tell us
that on long drives these seats are more comfortable and supportive than the ones in
their large European sedans. Seat heating is now also available. Front trunk
compartment is fully upholstered with gas tank cover blanket.
A three speed under dash heater/ defroster is very efficient and standard. A highly
efficient CFC Free air conditioning incorporating American made components with
front mounted condenser, large capacity evaporator unit and smooth Sankyo rotary
pump. Electric windows are also available. The three point belts with retractors
standard offered are DOT approved.
The interior materials chosen for the ROADSTER also reflect desires of our
customers. The standard interior is offered in vinyl and can be had in all original colors. The optional leather interior is done exclusively in all leather, three hides making up the car. Again a full range of original leather colors are available as well as up to 100 alternate colors. Leather is top quality full grain analyn dyed from the best North American suppliers. The standard carpeting is a high cut pile with a modern European look and is available in several colors. The binding is in vinyl. The popular all wool German square weave carpeting is available in seven colors and is finished in matching cotton binding. This material is a must for the original look and feel of the interior. The ROADSTER comes standard with Stayfast cloth topping which is also used for the boot cover. Today this topping is available in a range of colors. The original Sonnenland German textile topping can also be had with its traditional rolled binding. Each Intermeccanica top receives either a tan or black original look headliner in plush material. Custom finish to the ROADSTER have included punched leather for seat centers and rear seat, or corduroy inserts for seats, custom floor mats and contrasting piping among others. Also available ate a hard top, luggage rack, original steering wheel and rear bumper guards with exhaust outlets.
For those people seeking a totally original look INTERMECCANICA manufactures
reproduction bumper overrider tubes that are more exact than what is available on the
restoration market and combines these with tall guards. All these are chrome plated
and installed with original rubbers. Authentic door handles with integral key lock,
reflectors and ash trays, are just a few of the small details that can complete the ROADSTER.
   Please contact us if you have any photos or information about these vehicles!
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