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Old 09-22-2019, 09:15 AM
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I decided to start a new discussion instead of leaving this is the parts / for sale section.

Why do we under value the Sterling so much? It takes as much work to build / finish one as any other VW kit car.

When 356 replicas sell in the 20's and 30's very often, why then is the Sterling worth so much less?

356 kit cars are not real a Porsche. Most have no real Porsche parts. They, like the Sterling are just VW kit cars.

I think part of the problem is that Sterlings, are all over the map on how they are finished. There is no blueprint to follow and they are finished how the builder wants it to look. Where the 356 kit is almost always finished the same. Same seats, same gauges, same badges etc. 356 builders usually want their car to look like an original. The only variables are typically the color choices. Even then, its typically colors that were on the originals. The 356 is thought of as timeless and classic and really is a beautiful work of art. The 356 wide body seems to be the only real deviation from the original, and in my experience, they don't seem to do as well as the standard 356.

What does an original Sterling look like? Wood dash? Shag carpet? Stewart Warner gauges? I think the Sterling kit car gave the builder the basic building blocks, then they personalized it as they saw fit. We all know, taste is very subjective. No 2 Sterlings look the same. Even today, we all seem to do to them what we want and envision. Myself included.

So my question is this. Is it mainly because the 356 kit is a replica and the Sterling is not that effects the value so much?

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Last edited by ratrog64; 09-23-2019 at 06:50 AM.
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Old 09-23-2019, 10:55 PM
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It's the "Porsche" mystique for some reason. The bathtub replicas came much later than the Sterling, Sebring etc. When our cars were being manufactured, it was the same times at the Bradley, Lazer series vehicles, and the Bugatti replicas - all of them (save for the Lazer 917) suffering from the dreaded "cheap kit car" syndrome of thin fiberglass, spotty manufacturer support and overall poor owner builds. The Sterling fell under that umbrella for some reason, probably because it was different and therefore suffered the unfortunate fate of 'if it's a kit, it has to be crap' mentality. Even though the Sterling guys at CCC went out of their way to make sure that owners had everything they needed and an extended network of owners and suppliers to help them out.

To answer the blueprint question, all Sterling kits were supplied with: lay-back fiberglass seats with the black square-padded covers (and optional basket weave cover was available), Stewart-Warner Stage III gauges, an optional carpet kit, and optional interior "wall" covering that resembled ribbed padding that surrounded the cockpit, pod dashes had wood grain inserts, straight dashes had wood grain inserts. Shifters were left as standard Beetle items, being harvested from the donor. There were no interior lights (overhead maps or otherwise). Gauge placement was left to the buyer. Aircon was optional with a right hand evaporator under the pod dash and an underdash unit for straight dash. Exterior finishes were always a gel coat, multiple colors. Round 7" headlights, marker lamps from an unknown UK source. Tail lights were initially Bedford van, later to the TR7 style with the revision of the rear valance. Wheels were left up to the customer, but custom 5 hole alloys were developed for CCC early in their production.
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