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Hot Rods An observation about obsolete intake manifolds

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by 56don, May 5, 2016.

  1. Hot Rods Ta Hell
    Joined: Apr 20, 2008
    Posts: 4,313

    Hot Rods Ta Hell
    Member

    A lot of the reason it's not repoped is because the ROI just isn't there or worth the hassle on the small production runs.
    Sure a Hemi 6 x 2 Weiand Drag Star is $1000+, but even at $500, how many new ones could they sell in a year-a couple hundred? A big Co. could probably pour a few with the left over alloy at the end of a production run rather than set up to do hundreds that would be shelved for an extended period.

    Offenhauser used to stock about every damn piece they ever offered. They were doing very small runs of obscure Stude, Cad, etc. intakes and valve covers. There was an article on this way back in (perhaps the mid-late 70's) Street Rodder or Rod Action. Not sure if they still offer their catalog or even can (do they still cast domestically)?

    Something that might work is a limited production exclusive contract run. Someone with deep pockets would contract/purchase an exclusive run. Example; Speedway contracts Edelbrock for a run of 500 manifolds of a model that hasn't been produced in 50 years. Speedway is now the exclusive vendor and when the 500 are gone, that's it..
    AMT has done this with old model car tooling. They'll dust off an old tool and run 10,000 kits for an independent Co. or hobby shop. It's typically a model that hasn't been produced in decades. It's subject matter for niche/specialty markets (hard core model car enthusiasts) not the general public model car kit buying builder..
     
    Tim_with_a_T likes this.
  2. patrick english
    Joined: Feb 15, 2008
    Posts: 806

    patrick english
    Member
    from La puente

    I think you can still find deals on the intakes.I scored one a few months ago for $220.There were 2 others for double the price,but this one had my name on it i guess.Its for an engine thats not very popular though.A 55-60 pontiac.But i do feel ya on the high prices on stuff.I know alot of stuff isnt getting sold though.For example,i posted thread 3 years ago about a hilborn intake.I had borrowed pics from ebay of one for comparisson.Well that inatke i s still for sale on ebay.maybe if it was a little cheaper it would have sold in the past 3 years?maybe these guys are posting crazy prices so they can show the wife?"see hun,ive been trying to sell it,but nobody is buying these days"....:rolleyes:
     
  3. k9racer
    Joined: Jan 20, 2003
    Posts: 3,091

    k9racer
    Member

    A fellow from calif by the name of Don Orsco has been reproducing some very rare Flathead Ford parts. I can just guess how high his cash burden rate is. He even reproduced the AR DUN heads. I guess some will pay the price for what they want.. Bobby..
     
  4. The terms rare and and hard to find are often used by sellers when they are asking these huge prices on strange speed parts. Which may be true however they same term can used for the people looking for them.
    A good example- My friend has a Ellis 2x1 bbl intake for an International truck flathead 6. Super rare I am sure but how many people are looking for one?

    He plans on using it one his 39 International
     
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  5. Depressing is the fact that somehow somewhere along the way people have fallen into the same trap as the people who restore Deusenbergs and old Lincolns. This is not to say that restoration is a trap but it is to say that we as a whole have allowed what we used to do for fun to become way too straight laced.
     
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  6. patrick english
    Joined: Feb 15, 2008
    Posts: 806

    patrick english
    Member
    from La puente

    I think the tv cars shows are part responsible for that.A guy came into the shop last week talking about the gaps on his hood.Saying they are way too big,like 1/4"...HE wants it to line up Right.I just said yeah we can foose out your hood,but i wanted to say thats how they came from the factory.
     
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  7. banjorear
    Joined: Jul 30, 2004
    Posts: 3,872

    banjorear
    Member

    If I understand what you are saying correctly, I agree? I bought a new Eddy "slingshot" and have no qualms about using it. It's a good manifold and the $1,500 I saved not buying an original went into the engine rebuild.

    I also have my pick of 8 different vintage set-ups, but choose to use the slingshot since it is the best of the bunch.
     
    volvobrynk likes this.
  8. Larry T
    Joined: Nov 24, 2004
    Posts: 7,668

    Larry T
    Member

    I've had the reproduction deal bite me in the butt several times on Harley stuff. You scrounge and look for parts for years (not even looking for bargains), finally find what you want, get it done and on your project only to have the part introduced later. That makes your rare parts, time, and money worth less. I'll use reproduced parts as a stop gap until I can find originals on lots of things, but.......................
     
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  9. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 49,561

    squirrel
    Member

    1-800-ROD-PART is just too easy....do some scrounging, ask around, find what you want the old fashioned way. If the car needs the part, then save up your pennies.
     
  10. LOL I remember when you had to know someone to find panhead parts. I used to have a friend that we began calling "Spare Parts" because he always had the valve train pieces I needed. Now you can buy a whole damned motor repoped.


    I think that you and I think alike on the subject. I was at a swap and shop the other night and found lots of stuff cheap enough and other things were a way over priced. I got a chuckle a guy had a fuel tank that is a match to the one I am using on my A. He was asking a 125.00, we bought ours for 10.00.

    I think the trick is to keep hot rod money stashed when or if you can so that when you see a bargain even if you don't need the part today you can snap it up. Like my fuel tank the missus saw it and bought it and drug it home. I said, "What did you buy that for," and she said, "10 bucks, you may need it someday."
     
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  11. 57JoeFoMoPar
    Joined: Sep 14, 2004
    Posts: 5,044

    57JoeFoMoPar
    Member

    The reason this old, obscure stuff costs so much is because it's old and obscure, not because it works any better than the common parts or new stuff. The cost of doing something "different" is high, and is arguably a hipster pissing-contest with who has the more rare components, but that doesn't detract from the cool factor when your ride has some crazy old off-brand intake on it that sets it apart from someone else's car. If the only purpose is to make it run and produce as much power as possible, then call up Jeg's and get yourself a single 4 bbl and a Performer RPM or Torker intake and run. But that's not the only goal; it's gotta run good and be cool, even if it means sacrificing a few ponies or some reliability/serviceablity. So instead of that new inatke and single 4 bbl, you opt for the 4x2 Sharp intake with a bunch of old Rochesters and now you're cool, albeit with 30 hp less. The reason your induction setup cost more than your monthly mortgage payment is because the cool, legit old stuff is scarce. If you don't want to pay the high price, then go buy it somewhere else. Oh you can't? Guess you need to pay up then. I call that the I-Have-It-And-You-Don't tax. It's a surcharge attached to the price whenever people ask me if I want to sell my VR57 McCulloch blower or Edsel Wagon Taillights. If you started repopping the old off-brand intakes, it wouldn't be cool anymore since it defeats the point that it's old and obscure. You'd be making it new and readily accessible. It's like when your favorite indie band gets a top-40 hit and you hear them on Z100 and you're like, "man, fuck these guys"
     
  12. Squablow
    Joined: Apr 26, 2005
    Posts: 15,254

    Squablow
    Member

    I was all ready to write my theisis on this and then 57Joe spelled it out for me.

    Some builders want to have something unique/rare/different. If it's a part that can be bought brand new, it's none of those things.

    It has nothing to do with performance. You can make a shitload more horsepower per dollar with brand new, common stuff we have available today. But that's not the point.

    If the seller can find a buyer at that price, then that price is the market value. If they're overpriced, the part won't sell. No harm done either way.

    If the part in question gets reproduced, typically the value of the originals goes down some, as some of the demand is satisfied AND the part is no longer rare/different.

    It really boils down to the "I-have-it-and-you-don't-tax" like Joe said, that's a perfect summary. Works for the buyer who paid the big bucks, works for the seller who's holding out for a big price indefinitely. A perfect explanation in 7 words.
     
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  13. You're assuming that companies that manufactured them originally, are still in business... If it's old, rare, and hard to obtain, the price will reflect.
     
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  14. banjorear
    Joined: Jul 30, 2004
    Posts: 3,872

    banjorear
    Member

    Let's use the Eddy Slingshot. I'm not trying to flame and I'm asking seriously. If a part is made by the same people who made it originally, is it really a re-pop? It may be new, but from what I understand, they are using the same casting molds as the old one. I guess they added a boss for the little Made in USA tag that goes on the new ones, but otherwise it is a dead nuts correct.

    I bought Navarro heads directly from Barney in the '90's. Some guy called them re-pops. I was like, how can they be re-pops when he never stopped making them?

    Now H&H bought Barney's molds and they've actually made a new intake using Barney's name. I guess then the chain gets a little longer.

    Or let's use Don Orosco's products. He is re-popping some rare stuff, so I understand why these could be considered re-pops, but some of what he is doing is so unobtainable, it may be the only way to get them. For example, those Smith heads he sells. I've be into flatheads for a long time and never have seen a pair in the
    "wild". I know they were sold back in the day for their are adds for them in old mags.

    Should they be left to die or is it cool to bring something like this back?
     
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  15. F&J
    Joined: Apr 5, 2007
    Posts: 13,223

    F&J
    Member

    Yes, IMO...it's not old and not from back in the day

    No different than a person that saved for years to find and buy an original 32 Ford roadster body, because HE wanted one.

    or, ..Some people want a true survivor rod built in the 50's, and have no desire to build a perfect clone.

    It's either genuine or it's not. No debate can continue, as far as using common sense.

    .
     
  16. And I can't sell my MK2 for 5 grand. Go figure.
     
  17. metlmunchr
    Joined: Jan 16, 2010
    Posts: 774

    metlmunchr
    Member

    Lets say the mfgr still has the patterns for a manifold that was last produced around 1970. Unlikely, but say they do for purposes of illustration.

    Machine tools and machining techniques are totally different now than they were back then. Due to the various angles involved, a manifold would likely be machined on a horizontal machining center today with all operations done in a single setup. All the machining on a typical manifold could be done in less than 2 minutes, so, with an 80% utilization rate, you could machine about 200 manifolds in an 8 hour shift. It wouldn't be worthwhile to run a $400,000 machine on a job for less than a full shift, so 200 manifolds would be a reasonable minimum quantity.

    To do all ops in a single setup would likely require some modifications to the original patterns such that the new castings would have reference surfaces suitable for fixturing. Say a day for engineering to design the fixture and the pattern modifications. Another couple days for modifying the patterns and building a pair of fixtures. 2 fixtures would be required because the productivity of a HMC requires that one fixture is being loaded and unloaded while the 2nd one is in the machine. And another day for CAD work, programming, and specifying the inspection routine for finished parts.

    So, you cast the blanks, machine and inspect them, and package them for sale. They're not likely to fly off the shelves since production was discontinued 45 yrs ago due to lack of demand. Rather than being written off as a cost, the finished manifolds become part of inventory, which is an asset of the company. Increased inventory brings increased tax liability. This is why no company wants to hold inventory long term. Additional costs accrue for handling and storage as well as inventory tracking.

    This should make it fairly obvious that having the patterns in stock is only a minor part of the cost equation. If anyone here was running the company, would they be interested in stopping a machine that's making SBC manifolds for a day and a half to make a couple hundred manifolds that may take a year or more to sell when it costs the same amount to set up for those 200 as it cost them to set up to produce the SBC manifolds that sell by the thousands every month?
     
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  18. falcongeorge
    Joined: Aug 26, 2010
    Posts: 18,341

    falcongeorge
    Member
    from BC

    Yes, you got it. I have hoards of "ROS", I could care less if the "value" drops because some of it gets re-popped, I'd buy more, and it would mean more people could build "period" cars. Personally, I could care less if the parts are 60 yrs old, or made yesterday, as long as they are the correct parts for the era I am building, I'll use 'em.

    Oh I see, yea, thanks for straightening Don and I out on that, we dont get that stuff...:rolleyes:
    DSCF0039.jpg
    tripps 024.jpg
    vette hoard 003.jpg

    And Dons truck...
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: May 6, 2016
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  19. falcongeorge
    Joined: Aug 26, 2010
    Posts: 18,341

    falcongeorge
    Member
    from BC

    Agree 101%. Some of the small stuff is just IMPOSSIBLE to find. The "Big M" coil bracket that came with the coil I am using in my '39 is WASTED. I have hunted for 2 years, rooted through countless small parts boxes at countless swap meets, no dice.
    At this point, the only solution I can see is to use photo-etching to make a new one. Horror of horrors! No ghosts!
     
    Last edited: May 6, 2016
  20. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 29,813

    Mr48chev
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I'd say that there are your answers. The guys asking the astronomical prices either are hoping for that one guy who just absolutely has to have that certain intake with all the correct marking on it to build his perfect period correct build and is tired of hunting or that shop hunting that piece for a customer build who will pass on the cost. In their case what's another thousand or so if it speeds up the build by months.

    There are still honest deals out there though. I bought a dual carb flathead intake off a guy who advertised it on Craigslist for a fair price (not dirt cheap but fair) because he had two of them for one engine and decided he needed to sell one.
     
  21. 35 Dodge Hot Rod
    Joined: Nov 29, 2007
    Posts: 182

    35 Dodge Hot Rod
    Member
    from Mecca

    Those guys that did the 318 Poly parts didn't have a clue as to what they were getting into. They were never going to meet their deadline they advertised. I would be willing to wager that the group of people behind the project have essentially lost their ass as far as a return on investment.

    They also totally missed the point in my opinion, people aren't paying big money for an old intake manifold because they're looking for performance, they want it for the cool factor. People pay good money for the Edelbrock 318 poly valve covers because they are old, cool, and rare, not so much because they want finned valve covers.
    The idea is ok, but the end result makes everything less interesting. I like the 318 poly and the old speed parts because they were unusual, and rare. Now there will be more people running them.


    Unless you're a machinist or a pattern maker, most people don't quite understand the process and the amount of labour involved. And a note about past productions, perhaps many of the places did their own pattern work and machining, which would have cost less than outsourcing it.

    There is also a very good point about how unlikely it is these patterns are still sitting around on a shelf somewhere. Foundries typically store the patterns/tooling for the customer, and it isn't uncommon for a pattern to go missing or get thrown out by mistake. The more people involved the greater chance for a fuck up, like anything.




     
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  22. falcongeorge
    Joined: Aug 26, 2010
    Posts: 18,341

    falcongeorge
    Member
    from BC

    I agree. I probably overpaid a bit on the OL496 for my Olds, but I really wanted one, and they are hard to find. When I buy stuff like that, my feeling is "Ok, maybe I am $100 over the odds on this, how much happiness is that extra $100 gonna buy me when the car is done, and I still havent found another one"? I have since also bought a Drag-Star, it was less that one would be if they were still making them. I find TONS of bargains.
     
  23. DDDenny
    Joined: Feb 6, 2015
    Posts: 15,208

    DDDenny
    Member
    from oregon


    Exactly
    Some old car parts are a lot like antiques in general, they either have "provenance" or they don't. It doesn't matter if it is a reproduced oem part or aftermarket, and regardless of price; a buyer is gonna want what he wants, people shouldn't expect someone elses value system to be the same as their own.
    I will use my own as a prime example, albeit a small one but mine nonetheless.
    I needed a pair of oem style (GM) bearing/grease caps for an ongoing (long) project.
    They were discontinued long ago, but you could get NAPA type replacements, now normally these would have been acceptable, but all they have now say TAIWAN right on the face and there was no way in hell this red blooded American hot rodder was going to have that part right out where it could be seen, that just was not going to happen.
    So what does a guy do when his "value system" overrides his common sense; he sucks it up and pays the price for the part he "has to" have. Didn't like paying X $$$ for something that use to cost four bucks, but that's life, my decision.
    Same thing whether it's a Winfield intake manifold or an Eames chair, the best reproduction just won't pass if your mind is set, regardless of price.
    It'all about relevance and ones perspective (at a given time).
    A guy that "has to" have that old baseball cap that was striped and signed by Von Dutch that is going for $200 on the Bay won't accept those ones at the mall for $20.
     
  24. I see a similar way on stuff like that. It might be $100 more, but when I find one on the opposite side of the country for $100 less, by the time I get it shipped here, that difference is negligible.
     
  25. DDDenny
    Joined: Feb 6, 2015
    Posts: 15,208

    DDDenny
    Member
    from oregon

    Again, my thoughts exactly.
    Even if you saved $200, what good was it if it wasn't what was advertised or the seller used "creative photography" in the ad.
    This whole attitude nowadays about buying stuff online strictly based on price just doesn't set well with my value system. I'll pay a hundred bucks more at a swap meet for something that I can actually hold in my hand before deciding to hand my money over to someone.
    Now I can understand it if someone has exhausted all local purchase possibilities and needs to buy it online to finish a project.
    It just seems like the people that fork over money to out of state sellers then complain about the outcome are the ones that either won't go to the trouble of driving a hundred miles to a swap meet or "pay that ridiculous price" at a swap meet.
     
  26. Dapostman
    Joined: Apr 24, 2011
    Posts: 294

    Dapostman
    Member

    When the speculators get in to any collection society the cost goes through the roof and drives the legitimate enthusiast out until the speculators loose their ass on it and the price comes down again. The hype auction shows are still driving the problem as the suckers are still being brought in. You can see the shift in the cars that are wanted as the customers age and the car that they couldn’t afford or daddy wouldn’t let them have in high school is now available to them, and most of them couldn’t change a spark plug. Least of all build something.
     
  27. Moriarity
    Joined: Apr 11, 2001
    Posts: 21,651

    Moriarity
    SUPER MODERATOR
    Staff Member

    There is something to be said for having the only horne manifold at any place I take my 40. Runs beautifully too. Money well spent I say ImageUploadedByH.A.M.B.1462561917.241239.jpg ImageUploadedByH.A.M.B.1462561935.122285.jpg
     
  28. Like some of you, I search out the swap meets and hold out until I can find parts reasonably priced. I am lucky in that I am now retired and in no hurry so if it takes me a couple of years or so to find what I want for my price, then thats ok. I bought the 3x2 setup for my 348 Chevy for $350 complete and it had the correct carbs that had been rebuilt. I just waited until the deal came along. I recently bought a polished 2X4 SBC intake that was new other than being installed once and removed because it wouldn't clear..$40. I didn't need it, but I might later. I don't care if the part is new or old, if its what I want, provenance means little to me. I would rather have a good new part than an original that was in crappy shape.
    I don't try and rip off others either when I sell stuff I don't need. Last summer I sold a Dodge Hemi 3x2 intake in near perfect condition for $250 because thats all it was worth and I wanted to sell it instead of use it for a wall ornament until someone was willing to pay crazy money for it.
    I have been around a long time and I recall when this stuff was dirt cheap. Multi carb intakes with carbs were to be had for $25-$75 a lot of times. I know because I bought them that cheap. Perhaps I am just not facing reality that a thousand bucks is just not as much money as it was before I retired.


    Moriarity, man, the stuff you have is definitely museum quality.
     
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  29. And boiled down even further it's the same ol' 'Mines bigger than yours'.... LOL.
     
  30. F&J
    Joined: Apr 5, 2007
    Posts: 13,223

    F&J
    Member

    I don't think some are being totally honest, on why they have what they have. Question for Moriarity: Let's say your life, income, and interests were exactly the same as they are now, but you were very reclusive about your cars and nobody ever knew you had your cars, you never allowed anyone to see them or take pictures, and they never were out of your showroom....... I'd bet my house that the Caddy would still have that intake... Yes, or No?



    .
     

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