Stepping Up and Kepping this Hobby Going

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Sparknwire
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Stepping Up and Kepping this Hobby Going

Post by Sparknwire » Thu Aug 22, 2019 7:01 pm

Lets face it the the parts suppliers that custom mfg the parts that keeps these automobiles going is getting smaller and smaller. I see more and more of these special people are either getting out of it or passing away with nobody taking it over. I deal with the catalog industry supplying parts from Model T's -70's and having conversations with these purchasing people they are continuously telling me more and more are on the way out. So what I am saying here is we need to step up and if you have a talent or willing to get into it please get involved or the parts for your special car won't be around much longer. The junk yard is not to far away and will be happy to take the tooling, parts, machinery for mfg etc..


Henry K. Lee
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Re: Stepping Up and Kepping this Hobby Going

Post by Henry K. Lee » Thu Aug 22, 2019 7:05 pm

RJ,

You are crowding me on my soap box! LOL, with tears in my eyes.

Hank


Scott_Conger
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Re: Stepping Up and Kepping this Hobby Going

Post by Scott_Conger » Thu Aug 22, 2019 7:45 pm

RJ

after much researching, and guessing, now that I see your initials are RJ, I have finally (probably) connected you to RJ&L Automotive Fasteners. If that is correct, then your business is much farther reaching than Spark Plug Wires, which I think you've been advertising as being for sale on the Forum.

As far as this business or any other business that has been offered for sale on this forum, I cannot for the life of me understand why THIS is the place to advertise such a thing. If I was seriously looking for a business to buy, I'd never find it here, because I would NEVER THINK to look here. Your audience on this forum is maybe 200 people coming here often enough to have seen your ad, and of them only a fraction who have ever owned or know how to own/run a business, and fewer still who have the desire or wherewithal to pony up the dough and put together a business plan to take to a financeer to pull it off. Those that COULD pull it off, would also want to be purchasing a general merchandise automotive parts company...I have not seen or conversed with anyone on the forum who has ever expressed or appeared to express such leanings.

I don't think I've ever seen a sale price, business valuation, or description of your inventory of products or network of dealers. If I contacted a Sale Broker, would your name/company come up, if I asked? Would I find you on a D&B credit check?

I do not doubt your sincerity to sell, and I truly wish you all the luck in the world, but coming here to sell ANY business to a group of hobbiests who periodically debate the merits of using the cheapest oil possible, or finding a low cost alternative to pre-mixed coolant, and then lamenting the lack of interest in the business strikes me as odd. I feel this even moreso when a little bit of research shows that Model T's is only a very tiny fraction of your product/clientele base.

But that's just me.

Finally, please accept my very best wishes for you to be successful in your sale, and that it come soon for you
Scott Conger

Full Flow Float Valves - deliver fuel like Henry intended!


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Sparknwire
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Re: Stepping Up and Kepping this Hobby Going

Post by Sparknwire » Thu Aug 22, 2019 8:38 pm

Scott it’s not so much about me selling my Wire business but it’s all about the other parts suppliers that support the parts for this hobby not so much for the Model t s but the other makes and models. More and more parts are being discontinued because of the lack of interest. So the only ones who complains about not being available anymore is the consumer

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MKossor
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Re: Stepping Up and Kepping this Hobby Going

Post by MKossor » Thu Aug 22, 2019 8:58 pm

Scott, your post speaks volumes to those of us who HAVE ventured ahead, pursued our passion and invested heavily in both time and money to produce products for this tiny fraction of a very focused hobby.

THIS forum IS the life blood that determines if a Model T product or service succeeds or fails miserably because of the highly focused base of potential users. I for one am pretty much done with researching, developing, investing, manufacturing and marketing products for this hobby as long as the policy imposed on its members by the present management restricts Model T entrepreneurs from discussing the merits of their contributions, theory of operation and illustrated applications of its use here on THE medium of Model T knowledge exchange.

GOOD LUCK trying to find new people to invest their time and money developing or manufacturing products for this hobby when they are forbidden discussing them HERE.

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Re: Stepping Up and Kepping this Hobby Going

Post by Scott_Conger » Thu Aug 22, 2019 9:31 pm

RJ and Mike

I've said before, that I think we are living in the golden age regarding parts availability, parts quality, and the expert providers of service. Lack of interest, customer ignorance of cost of doing business (price of parts/service), limited venues for advertising, a too-small customer base, and a stubborn loyalty to one supplier of goods/service at the expense of all others (of which I must express guilt as well) are some but not all of the reasons that I believe will shrink the supplier pool as well as discourage the development of new sources. We will ultimately be losing access to a lot of things we presently take for granted.

I suspect this will be a recurring theme, and not just in the Model T hobby, and that's a shame.

With respect to RJ&L, I think a Business Broker will gin up far more interest buying a diversified auto parts business than will be found on this forum.
Scott Conger

Full Flow Float Valves - deliver fuel like Henry intended!

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RustyFords
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Re: Stepping Up and Kepping this Hobby Going

Post by RustyFords » Fri Aug 23, 2019 12:04 am

As far as the Golden Age of old car parts availability...the beginning of the end is here.

I'm seeing it plain as day for some parts for my 54 Ford. Some parts that were right there in the Dennis Carpenter catalog for years are now gone. The mom-and-pop shop creating them closed when pop died.

There are some glaring signs of this starting to happen in the Model T world. Since I'm only 50, this concerns me because I intend to run my T as long as I'm able (hopefully that's at least 3 more decades). What'll eventually happen, I'm afraid, is that I'll have to buy another, less-desirable T to scavenge parts off of for my running/driving car.
1924 Touring


StanHowe
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Re: Stepping Up and Kepping this Hobby Going

Post by StanHowe » Fri Aug 23, 2019 12:30 am

I have been doing carburetors for about 15 years. I have been in businesses from violin repair and sales to water well drilling and the auction business for over 50 years. In between I have bought and sold a few ranches and some cows, bought and sold a bunch of small farm equipment and had a whole bunch of auctions.

I found what I thought was a retirement niche with the carburetor business that would work around the slow times in the auction business and keep me busy and profitable in the winter in the Montana mountains. At that time there were a dozen people doing some kind of brass carburetor work. Today, I know of one other shop that actually has inventory, parts, tooling and does it as a business. There are two or three people who piddle around with it and clean up some carburetor now and again and sell it here or on ebay but they are not really in business, they are just picking up a few bucks in a hobby. In the last two years, the last two guys doing brass carburetors other than Model T Holley G's etc., that were actually in business I knew of folded up their tent and went to the rest home, assisted living or just retired someplace the wife wanted to go. Or died. I bought a little of one guy's inventory, some kind of cool carbs for my collection but not really anything I could make any money on. He, like all of us, had no magic parts supply and robbed parts and robbed parts to rebuild whatever he was working on until the ones left were just cores or chunks of Brass. Not much there worth anything and a pretty small pool of people willing or able to buy it.

It is more and more like that. In everything in these mom and pop or just pop working out of the garage businesses. Most places anymore if you have a nice house you can't do any kind of commercial activity because of the neighbors and the covenants. Most of the businesses are not very profitable and the old guys doing this kind of thing don't want to invest in equipment or inventory because they don't see young guys wanting to get into the business. Who is going to buy them out??? Nobody.

I keep thinking I need to replace the little ten year old Chinese bench lathe I use constantly -- lots of times hours a day, I usually turn it on in the morning when I get to the shop and often let the motor run all day -- so it has thousands of hours on it.
But a new one is a couple thousand bucks, I'm pushing kind of lightly on 80, I'd like to spend a little time working on my own stuff and spend the winter in Texas, I keep thinking I don't want to invest in any more equipment.

Same thing with inventory. I'm not sure I need the piles and shelves and boxes full of carbs when I could sell the good stuff out of there and buy a motorhome to spend the winter in Texas.

I'm not the only one.

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Kaiser
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Re: Stepping Up and Kepping this Hobby Going

Post by Kaiser » Fri Aug 23, 2019 3:59 am

I hear you guys and think it is a sign of the times, sad as it is.
When i was young all i ever wanted to do was tinker with 'stuff' and get my hands dirty, my biggest joy was when i stayed with my grandparents, across the street was a garage and i couldn't wait to cross the street after breakfast and 'help out' the nice guys in their greasy overalls, got infected with the T virus there, they had an old 26 there they kept for a customer.
As a result i wanted to become a mechanic, but dad would not allow it, there was no future in it in his eyes and i had to get a 'higher education' .
I think the same happened to a lot of guys then, blue collar jobs were looked down upon, and it still is that way to some extent.
The end result is that the 'dirty hands hobbys' are not popular among our kids.
Oh they like an old car or a boat, but they rather rent one for a weekend than keep one in the garage and tinker with it.
Not to say anything against the few enthuosiastic kids that want to know everything there is to know about these old techniques we use on a regular basis, but most kids these days wouldn't know how to use a hacksaw, or a file for that matter, let alone properly harden a piece of tool steel.
It is a shame, it's sad to see but i think it is a result of the way we and the generations before us looked upon the status of blue collar jobs.
We'll end up in a world full of communication consultants and no one to change a light bulb.
Sorry for the rant, couldn't stop myself :roll:
When in trouble, do not fear, blame the second engineer ! 8-)
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tinman080
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Re: Stepping Up and Kepping this Hobby Going

Post by tinman080 » Fri Aug 23, 2019 4:38 am

If you think you have problems....
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''Just Passin' Thru.....Slowly! :D

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dykker5502
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Re: Stepping Up and Keeping this Hobby Going

Post by dykker5502 » Fri Aug 23, 2019 7:20 am

Well, to some extend its the same story as with driving and owning our cars. If you are not inclusive, you may scare those that might be interested in taking over the business over time.
For Model T there is a market of say 150.000 world wide. That should be interesting enough.
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Henry K. Lee
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Re: Stepping Up and Kepping this Hobby Going

Post by Henry K. Lee » Fri Aug 23, 2019 7:45 am

OK since someone said this is the thread for venting with therapy.

I believe a lot of this starting happening after the baby boomer generation, meaning parents to busy for one reason or another not getting involved with their children and their interest or making them get involved. Then the schools started promoting football and other sports to lower liabilities of insurance by the industrial art(s) courses. It became a fast track for destruction in fueling a different social way of being with the craftsmanship of many disciplines death sentence. Even our schools use computer base models/videos, etc. to capture their attention.

Unless things change quickly, we as a society and culture are doomed. We need to start with bare bone basics again, why, because look at yourself, IT WORKS! This new way of plugging in a computer to tell you what is wrong with your car, air conditioner, etc. is not thinking of principles of the devices. Manufactures have evolved into this due to the climate change in education. The pad of paper and pencil? I have attempted beyond my wits to get people involved with great disgust.

I feel everyones pain. I feel better now and could someone tell me where to send payment for this therapy session.

All the Best,

Hank in Tin-A-See

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Re: Stepping Up and Kepping this Hobby Going

Post by Will_Vanderburg » Fri Aug 23, 2019 12:57 pm

I'm not a machinist or woodworker by any means. However, I did have the foresight to take shop class in school, so I know at least how the machines work. It wasn't until I got into steam locomotive repair and maintenance that I began working with wrenches as tall as I am. When I was growing up, and I'm only 52 this year, all that knowledge from old timers was a closely guarded secret they were unwilling to share (My grandfather was one such person). It was only when they realized they were on the way out, that they began to open up. But by then, it was too late. A gentleman I worked with was going to show me how to run a diesel locomotive (I already knew how to run steam), and he fell off his roof into the back of his pickup truck the next day, and was never the same person again.
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John kuehn
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Re: Stepping Up and Kepping this Hobby Going

Post by John kuehn » Fri Aug 23, 2019 3:45 pm

This hobby is like most others. Supply and demand, popularity all add up to one thing and that’s interest.
We are the first line or direct descendants of the folks who grew up with Model T’s.
They are dying off if not already gone.
With that said I wonder how many of our kids will like what we do. I grew up around my Grandfathers T and later acquired and restored 2 more.
My 2 son in laws have a casual interest and are mechanically inclined but I’m not really sure what they will do with my T’s when I’m gone.
Most if not all old cars that are around here that you see are 50’s thru 70’s era cars and it’s interesting to see the owners of these car shows I go to in this area are guys that are 60 plus years old.
I guess it’s guess it’s like the old Bob Dylan song I use to hear on the radio cruising around in high school. “The times they are a-changing”.
And they are changing fast.


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Re: Stepping Up and Kepping this Hobby Going

Post by Al Meadows » Fri Aug 23, 2019 8:07 pm

John, "Times are a changing". I know what you're saying.

I was in my 20s during the 1970s and at that time other Model T people called me "the kid". No more. Those members are all gone and now I'm one of those guys. Years ago I would drive down to the Boulevard, the main street in Castro Valley to visit the hardware store, get gas or just cruise around a little, my exhaust whistle at the ready, hoping some good looking girls might pass my way. Inevitably, some old guy exiting the feed store would see the car. His eyes would light up and he would begin a lengthy spiel about how he had several of these cars when he was younger.

"I was about 12 when me and my brother rolled our old man's sedan down a hillside. We had to hitch a team to drag it out and we put it right back the the garage where we found it. The old man somehow knew though and whupped us good. Hey, you got them buzzers on this thing?"

I liked the tales and each time I'd point out some part on the car like the engine, Ruckstell or gas tank or , a new memory would pop up and we would go again. I know I made his day and then some. Good times. What I'd give to be able to chat with those guys again. They're gone now. Sure, people ask about the car nowadays too but the questions are different and the good stories seem to be gone, unless of course, they're real Model T guys.

Tomorrow night is our annual "Cruise Night" and the Misses and I will be there. There will be a lot of nice cars, mostly hot rods and restored newer vehicles. I'm sure I'll qualify for the "Oldest Vehicle" award although they have no awards. There will be a few of us old guys there and I know that some of the kids will enjoy the older cars. The stories may be gone but that annoying young fellow will still ask, "Wanna race?" or "Wow, I bet that thing would fly if you dropped a 350 in it, dude." Ya, right. That would be rad.

Al


Burger in Spokane
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Re: Stepping Up and Kepping this Hobby Going

Post by Burger in Spokane » Fri Aug 23, 2019 8:29 pm

If there were 12 of me, I'd consider getting in to many other lines of work, related to
the old things I enjoy. As it is, there is only one, and I set the wheels in motion over 40
years ago to pursue a career in General Contracting, with a specialized bent for historic
restoration.

My TT gets a lot of use with my business in the summer, and I always take time to chat
up interested parties that come around. I consider it doing my part to promote the hobby.
Some get rides. Some get to try the crank start. A few have actually been inspired to go
buy a T.

Not sure how a person might specifically gear up to be a parts vendor, but for me, I already
have more on my plate than I can handle. I really need to work on cloning FIRST. Then, with
more of me, I can take on all sorts of things !
More people are doing it today than ever before !

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BuddyTheRoadster
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Re: Stepping Up and Kepping this Hobby Going

Post by BuddyTheRoadster » Sat Aug 24, 2019 2:59 am

Brent, thank you for doing historic restoration. When I went to Gonzaga, I felt like the campus architect and I were the only people who cared about all the great Edwardian architecture in Spokane.

Anyway. I'm 38, I bought my T when I was 14. I call him Buddy, (hence my screen name, Buddy the Roadster.) I definitely see the transition that our hobby-and the vintage car hobby in general-is going through. There are some younger people interested in early cars, and I've found a few through Facebook and Instagram. Some of them are actually becoming damn good mechanics. And the nice thing about now is that we have forums where the masters let us pick their brains. That, and the advent of 3D printing for prototyping parts makes things exciting.

What does concern me, however, are all of the sundry parts that are made by a retired guy in his garage. I would love to take up the slack now, but my skills aren't there yet, and I can't afford to work for free. But what I can do is drive the heck out of my car, learn what I can learn, and pass it along to the next generation. It might be small, but there will be another generation of old car guys after us.


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Re: Stepping Up and Kepping this Hobby Going

Post by Burger in Spokane » Sat Aug 24, 2019 3:15 am

Doing restoration work is really fun and satisfying.

Sunday, I have a "date" with a 3-year-old and the T. Dad and kid came by on a walk last
weekend and saw the truck, when the shop doors were open. We're going to give el kiddo
a ride that his dad says he has been talking about non-stop for a week !

Poisoning young minds is my primary goal in life ! :lol:
More people are doing it today than ever before !

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Charlie B in N.J.
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Re: Stepping Up and Kepping this Hobby Going

Post by Charlie B in N.J. » Sat Aug 24, 2019 8:28 am

I honestly can't see turning a profit in a market this small. Especially if you're going to start from scratch as opposed to buying out someone's stock. As to manufacturing; what would you make/sell that could turn a profit? The folks in this hobby are a bit spoiled any way as the parts availability for the T is probably the greatest of any car from that era. Going into debt for the sake of a hobby isn't an option for any one hence the reason these businesses aren't picked up.
Forget everything you thought you knew.


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Re: Stepping Up and Kepping this Hobby Going

Post by Mark Osterman » Sat Aug 24, 2019 9:04 am

LOL .. yes, those whipper snapper baby boomers! Hmm ... and so says every older generation about the new one. How about those crazy people in them horseless carriages ... and that war in Europe that will end the world ... and flying in those Aeroplanes ... if God meant for man to fly we would have wings! What did your grand parents say about your generation?


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Re: Stepping Up and Kepping this Hobby Going

Post by Banjoe » Sat Aug 24, 2019 9:42 am

The world of the Model T is certainly unique with its outdated technologies, parts, processes, and even participants. There is nothing modern or leading edge about any aspect of this hobby. These are just basic machines, operated with basic rules, by basic, but unusually incredible, folk.

It is also unique that this world is inhabited with dedicated, knowledgeable, amazing souls who want to share what they know and to celebrate Henry’s contraptions. There is also the group drive to create and expand the library of information, successes, and a few rare failures that combine to build on what’s gone before and to improve future efforts in support of the Model T.

I have been the present caretaker of our 1927 Tudor for 56 years and have very fond memories of working on this wacky machine with my Grandfather. I have promised to get through a complete restoration year after year while life moved on in a blur. With life finally slowing down, I have finally grabbed my dream face on by starting at the front and then working my way through each and every fitting, component, and assembly until we get back on the road to celebrate this kooky machine’s 100th birthday in 2027.

I have met and dealt with some unbelievably exceptional folk who have allowed me to share their time, tools, knowledge, experience, and, with their guidance, and not a few corrective tugs on the reins, moved me correctly along the path. Besides being presented with way too much knowledge to absorb some days, the valuable lesson of “It’s 5 o’clock Somewhere” was a major knock on the head and it created a significant shift in attitude. Who said all great lessons have to involve grease and bolts?

I have also driven some folk to complete distraction by missteps in processing long distance payment but honor, support, and highly respect them for their help on this path. I have started at the front axle leaving a long way to go, so it’s guaranteed that more stepping on toes will be coming up in this long dance. I offer a sincere apology over the actions of this old dog learning new tricks as well as extend a large pre-emptive apology for what will inadvertently happen over the coming years of work. Hopefully the successes will outweigh the failures on the trail and the list of friends will be longer than the list that I’ve unintentionally wronged.

I wish I could have, or even now, participate in the support of this hobby as it would be an incredible experience to join the group of the wise & knowledgeable, the valued vendors, manufacturers, and talented scroungers who support us all. My window on that kind of work has passed so, like all of you, I can only hope and trust that bright, motivated, and talented people will take over the driving and keep things moving while we have to step aside and watch our cars head down the road.
None of us is as smart as all of us.


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Re: Stepping Up and Kepping this Hobby Going

Post by Scott_Conger » Sat Aug 24, 2019 11:11 am

For a long time, I fancied the idea of being a supplier to the hobby and worked diligently toward that end for years. Retired now and have the time for it. After remachining an NH, blasting, cleaning, plugging, painting, installing $35 worth of new parts, I can now wholesale it to a dealer who will sell it for $110. I make maybe $30 for my time? Or strip down a generator, clean, blast, rebuild brush block, insulate, add $275 worth of parts to it and wholesale it to a dealer who will sell for $425. Will I even make $70 for a day's worth of filthy work? When things are slow in the shop, which isn't often, I will devote some time to do a few of these jobs, but no longer even remotely consider putting in a grinding week of multiple units and reap minimum wage, knowing full well there are well known reputable and high name-recognition folks doing the same thing. I never was, and no longer seek to be competition to them.

A great reason no one is racing to spend an enormous sum of $$$ to buy into a business in T's, is the simple truth that the cars and resultant parts have very little value in the grand scheme of things. If I spend $2000 to make a production die to stamp out a glorified washer, do I want to make one for a T, or a Deusengerg?

T generator oil slinger for $2.50: https://www.modeltford.com/pl.aspx?t=s&v=slinger&page=1
Deusenberg generator oil slinger (Delco) for $29.50: https://www.classicandexotic.com/store/ ... inger.aspx

The coming dearth of parts is purely economic, and has nothing to do with lack of will, desire, skill or education. There is nothing low tech about it, either. Soldering a coil takes the exact same material, tools and skill as soldering a wire on a satellite. Machining a bushing or jet for a carburetor takes the same machine and skill as a clockmaker repairing a valuable clock. Designing a pattern, and casting a part for a T takes the same time, skill and equipment as making the same thing for a Deusenberg.

The only difference is the amount of gelt an owner is willing to part with.

Supply and demand is key, but unfortunately, an awful lot of people equate demand with "want" or "need".

Sorry, but Demand in this equation = $
Scott Conger

Full Flow Float Valves - deliver fuel like Henry intended!


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Re: Stepping Up and Kepping this Hobby Going

Post by Henry K. Lee » Sat Aug 24, 2019 12:24 pm

BINGO SCOTT!!!!

Hank


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Re: Stepping Up and Kepping this Hobby Going

Post by StanHowe » Sat Aug 24, 2019 1:16 pm

Yup!
And many times after you DO invest time money and a learning curve in a product or method somebody will decide they can do it cheaper.


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Re: Stepping Up and Kepping this Hobby Going

Post by Scott_Conger » Sat Aug 24, 2019 1:36 pm

Ain't THAT the truth!
Scott Conger

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Post by FreighTer Jim » Sat Aug 24, 2019 2:37 pm

The way things have always been will continue.

When you meet someone & extend a hand - what you hope for ( whether you realize it or not ) is that they also are extending their hand in true friendship.

As I get older - I value true friendship.

I have pretty much had a family owned & operated business because - largely in part - I was raised in one.

It died with my Dad.

Most family owned & operated businesses do not pass down to the children because they are not profitable or they are so personalized you cannot separate the operator from the business.

I pretty much give everything back - always have.

Every day gives us Opportunity to make a difference in someone else’s Life.


FJ
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Sparknwire
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Re: Stepping Up and Kepping this Hobby Going

Post by Sparknwire » Sat Aug 24, 2019 4:16 pm

But there is more T’s than Duesenbergs If you own a Duesenberg money is no object

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TonyB
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Re: Stepping Up and Kepping this Hobby Going

Post by TonyB » Sat Aug 24, 2019 5:11 pm

Recently a respected Model T dealer offered his successful ongoing business for $800,000. I asked my son in law if he was interested as he is close to retirement from his teaching career.
First if he had $800k on hand he wouldn’t need a retirement job.
So we considered a bank loan which we suspected would be at 6%, so say $50,000 a year for interest. Add to this paying off the loan, say over eight years is $100,000 a year. Add to this some premises which we estimated at $2000 a month here in Sunny California, say $25,000 a year. So now he is faced with an outflow of close to $175-200,000 a year before he makes a single sale. Now we understand the business turns over about half a million a year. Suddenly the economics are just not there with this approach.
So how does a new younger guy buy an existing business???
Money laundering seems the best approach......
Any better ideas????
Tony Bowker
Ramona, California
1909 Touring, 1914 Touring, 1915 Speedster, 1924 Coupe.


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Re: Stepping Up and Kepping this Hobby Going

Post by Scott_Conger » Sat Aug 24, 2019 5:30 pm

RJ

I absolutely get what you're saying. However, consider this: I could work at McDonalds and serve 1000 people in a day, or I could be a waiter in an expensive restaurant and serve 80 people; I would make maybe $48 on an 8 hour day at McDonalds or $300 in 6 hours at the restaurant. There are WAY more people that can afford a $6 meal than a $60 meal, but that would not keep the 1 of me from making a lot more serving a higher end clientel of far fewer numbers.

As there is only one of me, and since I am not a machine, ME doesn't scale to numbers, so my family would pretty much hope that I work at the restaurant. When I was a watchmaker in the 1970's, I could clean a Lady Hamilton wristwatch for $14 or a Rolex for $65. Lots more Hamiltons than Rolexes, but it didn't matter to me as the millions of ladies' watches vs the tens of thousands of Rolexes all still needed to be cleaned. I worked on them all, but which one do you think I advertised for and specialized in? I knew that wealthy people would survive all sorts of economic downturns and elderly retirees would pull in their spending and I had to be able to continue to make a living...do you remember the 1980's?? Darn glad I had the foresight to grow a wealthier portion of my customer base, as their discressionary spending kept on like nothing ever happened...not so with the struggling retirees...(although 14% on CD's wasn't so bad...tough on me with a mortgage at 17% though)

I'm sorry, but when you can buy a running T for $3K, a nice T for $8K, and a recently restored T for $14K, I would not sink my treasure, time, or skills to buy a business that caters to this price-point of a car. I think most larger and successful outfits in the business grew organically, were family businesses with lots of unpaid help, and met a burgeoning demand...growing probably beyond their wildest dreams. As long as they "run" they're fine, but to sell, a particular killer is unsold inventory, representing an investment that would be extremely hard to recover costs on within a reasonable financial cycle, and certainly a turn-off for a buyer. For me, a cottage industry is fine, and since I am retired, I don't wish or need to support my family on what I earn, so this stuff is just fine. If I was to sink my entire savings into something in my 40's, expecting to pay a mortgage and send kids to college...uh-uh. No way.

I picked Deusenberg as an example, because I sincerely doubt that you would find those owners contemplating the cheapest oil, the merits of mixing their own coolant concoctions, or buying black painted "rebuilt" generators off of eBAY. In buying a business, it simply makes economic sense to deal with people with money, who are willing and able to part with it. I think that is why your business is so diversified and only has a tiny exposure to T people...which is why I am still mystified as to why you are advertising it here and not with a business broker.
Scott Conger

Full Flow Float Valves - deliver fuel like Henry intended!


Henry K. Lee
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Re: Stepping Up and Kepping this Hobby Going

Post by Henry K. Lee » Sat Aug 24, 2019 5:33 pm

Making it into a church for tax purposes is an option?

Hank


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Sparknwire
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Re: Stepping Up and Kepping this Hobby Going

Post by Sparknwire » Sat Aug 24, 2019 6:03 pm

Scott free advertising we hit all the forums as well as talk to our customers they are willing to help so they keep the product going. I’ve been doing this for over 50 years I also was working for corporate America before I retired in 2007. I told Don Lang that if I don’t sell sell the wire business I won’t kill it. We cater to too many car catalog companies Ford, Chevy, Buick , Pontiac Mopar Packard etc. We also have our mfg fasteners business that has a big demand and keeps our employees busy 40+ hr weeks all year. So basically it all depends what product is in demand. Brokers work mainly on commercial business’s but niche markets they are not familar with

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BRENT in 10-uh-C
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Re: Stepping Up and Kepping this Hobby Going

Post by BRENT in 10-uh-C » Sat Aug 24, 2019 6:24 pm

Sparknwire wrote:
Thu Aug 22, 2019 7:01 pm
Lets face it the the parts suppliers that custom mfg the parts that keeps these automobiles going is getting smaller and smaller. I see more and more of these special people are either getting out of it or passing away with nobody taking it over. I deal with the catalog industry supplying parts from Model T's -70's and having conversations with these purchasing people they are continuously telling me more and more are on the way out. So what I am saying here is we need to step up and if you have a talent or willing to get into it please get involved or the parts for your special car won't be around much longer. The junk yard is not to far away and will be happy to take the tooling, parts, machinery for mfg etc..
So, -if you don't mind me asking, ...exactly 'what is the hobby'??

If you are referring to owning Model-T(s) in general, there will always be someone to "take it over" if history continues to repeat itself like it has over the past half-century or so. I have been in this hobby for all 59 years of my existence on this planet, and I can remember guys at the car club meetings some 50 years ago saying theirs was the last generation that will want these cars and the prices are going to fall thru the bottom. Ironically there were people who were there to purchase their cars and the hobby continued when they 'aged-out'. Matter of fact, the overall prices for these cars rose when compared to a decade prior. Then in the latter 1970's, the new round of guys at the car club meetings started touting that doomsday for the Model-T was near because no one will want them. Guess what, ...during the 80's the same thing was stated yet again but ironically the price of our beloved cars had risen yet again. This same mindset or trend has follow suit each decade with there still as much of demand as always.

What I feel is the detriment to these cars vs. other marques is the 'frugalness' of the owners and the poorer upkeep that is seen today when viewing the entire hobby as a whole. No one seemingly is interested in 'restoring' original parts back to original specifications, -but instead is content with replacing parts to just get by. I compare it to a dog. A purebred dog and a mutt can both be lovable to the same level by their owners, but one type holds it value much differently than the other, and when trying to 're-home' them both, one has much greater desirability.

As for stepping up, -as so eloquently stated above, often times an item lives or dies by the comments posted here, ...no matter whether their widget is great or not. Time as a commodity has become more precious, -and expensive than a manufactured item. The ROI on purchasing an existing company is just not there for many companies in all sectors, ...and there are many companies that basically lose their franchise when the owner sells the company. Most savvy purchasers realize that a company can be profitable until the company is sold, however the profit of that company's products usually cannot support the additional overhead derived from the sale of the company. Therefore it is cheaper (i.e.: more lucrative) for an entrepreneur to start-up from the beginning with low overhead where they have the versatility to change directions based on trends and needs of the time. Dinosaurs were the dominant creature on this planet for many years because of their mammoth size & strength however it ultimately was their size that caused their extinction. Ironically others in the animal kingdom adapted and survived without their existence. My opinion is this hobby will survive well after most of us are gone. History has proven that to us.


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Re: Stepping Up and Kepping this Hobby Going

Post by Henry K. Lee » Sat Aug 24, 2019 9:09 pm

Brent, Very nice and well put. Please pass me another piece of humble pie over here.

Hank in Tin-A-See

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Re: Stepping Up and Kepping this Hobby Going

Post by TRDxB2 » Sat Aug 24, 2019 11:43 pm

Times are changing .... As a teenager in the 60's about the only was to make a few bucks was as a paper boy, gas station attendant or cut grass. Girls were limited to baby sitting. High schools taught shop or home economics. Used cars were cheep and plenty of junk yards to get parts. So where has Teen Car Culture gone? You must read this - it will give you an entirely different perspective of what happened. https://www.theatlantic.com/family/arch ... re/561290/

So I just started my first T. My goal is to show it off at those Muscle Car cruse-ins, participate in every fund raiser I can - WHY - to get the public interested in these old cars! Taking it to a Model T meet does little to publicize the product (as they say like preaching to the Pope). So if you want to breathe new life into your hobby - get out an show it off to the public. Out of sight out of mind

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Re: Stepping Up and Kepping this Hobby Going

Post by Duey_C » Sun Aug 25, 2019 12:52 am

I skipped way ahead in what I thought a very interesting thread. OT ahead,
OT! OT alert: I brought a water pump/magneto drive shaft and housing for a 1929 Twin City 21-32 to work since my old friend Cliff said "bring it in". I brought the shaft housing also as it needs truing. If it costs me work style "shop hours", so be it. Don't care.
Pleased as punch I might be able able to supply new water pump shafts for the 21-32 Twin City tractors built in Minneapolis while I'm alive, at a decent price too. Very narrow niche here.
We are out here but the real T helpers are getting older.
EDIT: Oops. Thought I was over in the OT...
Since I lost my mind mind, I feel more liberated


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Re: Stepping Up and Kepping this Hobby Going

Post by art32mor » Sun Aug 25, 2019 2:07 am

I looked into buying several businesses dealing with T parts I do see a customer base
But looking at spending/ financing large sum of cash for small on no return 1st 10+ years get it up and running it becomes impossible and top that off need insurance food and pay the Bill's to live
Becomes even harder
I know these business that are selling probably that much invested and selling numbers but takes money to make money

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