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Folks Of Interest Where Have All The Independents Gone?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Ryan, Jul 18, 2018.

  1. Ryan
    Joined: Jan 2, 1995
    Posts: 19,320

    from Austin, TX
    Staff Member

    Ryan submitted a new blog post:

    Where Have All The Independents Gone?


    Continue reading the Original Blog Post
    IronFord, kidcampbell71, 0351 and 7 others like this.
  2. Clay Belt
    Joined: Jun 9, 2017
    Posts: 381

    Clay Belt

    I suspect they went the way of the dodo bird
  3. I'll chime in for @graceandco !! If he puts something out, it's PERFECT! Air cleaners, dash inserts, turn signal housings....he's the schiznit!!
  4. DRD57
    Joined: Mar 5, 2001
    Posts: 3,851


    Stamped blisters available in steel ($49.95 ea) or aluminum ($79.95 ea).
    HAMB Alliance members get 15% off.

    Don Dillard
    Highway 99 Hot Rods
    1454 S. Blackstone Street
    Tulare, CA 93274
    TERPU, Xtrom, Hollywood-East and 10 others like this.

  5. Sometimes, it gets to a point of wondering if what you make is what others want.
    Last year I questioned the continuation of our calendar, we were blindsided by another similar product put out by people we thought were our friends. And almost 20 years of doing it burn out comes into effect...
    But, we got a great response and we will trudge along.
  6. dana barlow
    Joined: May 30, 2006
    Posts: 4,113

    dana barlow
    from Miami Fla.
    1. Y-blocks

    Back in the 1970s,it was still fairly EZ to get things made. Foundrys were still around,before too many Gov. rules/laws/EPA n Greeny types drove them out of bizz. Here in Miami by the 90s only one was left an it was gone too by 2000. I know do too being one of many that made Matchplates for sandcastings in the 70s.
  7. Tate
    Joined: Aug 19, 2005
    Posts: 44


    I don’t know that I would consider Carpy a “young lad” he has been doing a bang up job with CB750 cafe racers and parts for many years. I am glad to see him doing some nice car parts now as well, his car is pretty bitchin’ as well.
  8. alchemy
    Joined: Sep 27, 2002
    Posts: 16,059


    I still make '41 Studebaker taillights, and my version of a Chris Craft style dash panel. I don't market them actively, but I sell a few a year. I look at it this way: if these parts were on every other car at a gathering, they wouldn't be special any more.
  9. RichFox
    Joined: Dec 3, 2006
    Posts: 9,961


    Ten years ago I was making FI units for 32 Plymouth four cylinder motors. And such. Failed. Maybe I read the market wrong. Sold five cheap and gave one away. img48.JPG
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2018
  10. flatheadpete
    Joined: Oct 29, 2003
    Posts: 9,955

    from Burton, MI

    How about Matt at Geardrive? He does headers, some bad ass intakes and other stuff I'm sure I'm forgetting about.
    Tman, patmanta, blackout78666 and 3 others like this.
  11. Gearhead Graphics
    Joined: Oct 4, 2008
    Posts: 3,678

    Gearhead Graphics
    from Denver Co

    I remember carpy from the 750 days.

    Myself, I'm making acrylic and wooden shift/dash knobs. Just getting the hang of my wood lathe but is sure is fun. A few more for inventory and ill post up some for sale here
    hillbilly and Pinstriper40 like this.
  12. A refrigerator full of beer and a leisurely afternoon of time and we could have a really good conversation. It would take that much time and lubrication to cover all the reasons, too difficult (and probably boring to many) to do it here. Just say that historically around 80% of small business endeavors fail in their early years (3-5) usually because they underestimated what it takes money and time wise, or don't know how to market effectively. There are many more but those are the core. Running a business successfully, no matter how small, isn't just about the product or service offered.
  13. dreracecar
    Joined: Aug 27, 2009
    Posts: 3,076

    from so-cal

    Making the part is easy, Marketing the item, people find out is the issue. To effectively do it one must understand price point, distribution and advertising, and then throw in the " Idea Whores " and "Cheapsters" . it really takes the shine off the idea
  14. Gasolinefed
    Joined: Apr 17, 2018
    Posts: 105

    from OR

    If the parts are great and there's a market there can never be too many imo.. its like having too many 97's, 32 3 windows or cool survivors.. can't get enough if you can manage them all..

    Not a personal criticism but be care full not to spread misinfo.. I'm sure those in power know industry is the foundation.. It's almost how our standard of living came about... jobs, infrastructure, transportation.. ect..

    At least we don't have to live with the bs..
    chryslerfan55 likes this.
  15. silverdome
    Joined: Aug 23, 2007
    Posts: 547


    If one was to only read the thread title and not look at the picture or read the content this could have been a political thread. Hot rodders have always had an independent side to them. Different is better in many aspects of life.

    But back onto the subject. I've had some ideas on making some aftermarket parts on a small scale. If they ever come to fruition I will let you all know.
  16. E.C.
    Joined: Apr 7, 2007
    Posts: 546

    from Tx

    I've seen a few new products.
    Tman and Anderson like this.
  17. uncle max
    Joined: Jan 19, 2006
    Posts: 905

    uncle max

  18. krylon32
    Joined: Jan 29, 2006
    Posts: 6,782

    Alliance Vendor
    from Nebraska

    I'm heading out to the backyard shop to make some more slave cylinders for my T5 trans conversion. While I've been around for a long time I'm still a small time manufacturer that has been very lucky that some people still come to me instead of the big S. I think a lot of the small backyard entrepreneurs have just given in to being buried by cheap knockoffs by big companies of their quality products
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2018
  19. denis4x4
    Joined: Apr 23, 2005
    Posts: 3,595

    from Colorado

    25 years ago, it was easy to make a unique
    Performance product and get it featured in the new products section of HOT ROD, CAR CRAFT, etc. There are so many digital platforms out there that it’s impossible to get the word out on a new or unique item appealing to the traditional builder. Perhaps Ryan would do well to have a new products forum that is like the gear journal only aimed at the traditional builder.
    Beanscoot and chryslerfan55 like this.
  20. Ryan
    Joined: Jan 2, 1995
    Posts: 19,320

    from Austin, TX
    Staff Member

    Geez... In any case, I'm throwing a bone to the small batch guys...
    Beau, 6inarow, Pinstriper40 and 3 others like this.
  21. Places like Speedway & Summit come to mind that copy and undercut the small minority of parts wanted by the masses. Also on the traditional end of it, the guys making the parts are no longer spring chickens.
    hugh m, clem, 6inarow and 2 others like this.
  22. Happydaze
    Joined: Aug 21, 2009
    Posts: 1,034


    The list of little guys ripped off by the folks in Omaha, Nebraska is long, and that's just the one's I know of. Maybe the little guys have just gone underground to try and avoid this happening? Or been put off starting because of that crap?
    Or maybe the 3D printing / rapid prototyping stuff is deskilling it (ducking for cover!) such that it's not worth bothering - I don't know whether that's real or perceived though.

    Unkl Ian and chryslerfan55 like this.
  23. Engine man
    Joined: Jan 30, 2011
    Posts: 3,476

    Engine man
    from Wisconsin

    The minute a product is offered for sale, it is copied. Even things submitted for patents are copied. It doesn't matter if you have a patent, you need lots of money to defend the patent. It does make sense to patent anything because it provides a location for others to get the full description of an item. I've sold some ideas for tools to companies as well as modifications for equipment.
    OldBolts and chryslerfan55 like this.
  24. bct
    Joined: Apr 4, 2005
    Posts: 3,092


    ive been making cowl post tops to fund my parts hoarding.


    it has gone well so far . 28 29 ford roadster.
  25. pscalz
    Joined: Oct 3, 2015
    Posts: 37


    those scoops look pretty cool. It is always great to see people who have a passion for making their own parts.
  26. denis4x4
    Joined: Apr 23, 2005
    Posts: 3,595

    from Colorado

    The “rip off factor” is not new and is not limited to stealing from the little guys. I had a client who developed a new item and sent one of the first production pieces to a competitor known for stealing ideas with a note saying, “this will save you some time”. A lot of times, somebody would come to the agency and we would set up a meeting to help them sell or license the product to a major manufacturer. Sometimes large outfits buying from a small manufacturer would lose patients with delays and poor quality and take the production in house.

    This is not to say that guys get ripped off by Speedway, Jeg’s, etc. nor am I defending the practice, but there is usually another side to the story .
    chryslerfan55 likes this.
  27. Metaltwister
    Joined: Jul 10, 2007
    Posts: 891


    We are surviving on your Ham O Dex pages here on the HAMB and I must add its greatly appreciated. So much so you have a special spot on the home page of our website. Thanks for everything Ryan.
    Instagram... Metaltwister
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2018
  28. RidingMechanic
    Joined: Jul 31, 2017
    Posts: 87

    from Cincinnati

    The Etsy crowd is bigger than ever, but a lot of that is handicraft or 3D printed stuff. And there seems to be a ton of younger guys in the knifemaking/blacksmithing/casting the skills haven't completely died out.

    Maybe there's some barrier to entry that the younger hot rod guys face - either cost of equipment or fear of rejection/criticism from the group? On the other hand, most of the younger "car guys" I meet seem to only care about their social media "brand" and not about making a tangible product. Its all about how it looks on Instagram.
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2018
  29. manyolcars
    Joined: Mar 30, 2001
    Posts: 8,377


    I saw information that said many many reproduction parts are made by one old guy at his home. Those old guys are dying
    chryslerfan55 likes this.
  30. Grace and Company make the coolest Air cleaners around. And they are all hand made by the owner Chris in his shop. I was lucky enough to get one of the Dash panels that he was casting, and I have had 5 of the Air Cleaners that he makes. They are Top notch.

    He even had a little spread in Rodders Journal awhile back. Chris is a stand up dude and a Hot Rodder himself, his A coupe is amazing. If you are on the East Coast look to head to the Old North State Invitational on Sept 29 in Winston Salem NC, Chris will be there and he will have parts, at least until they are all sold, which wont take long.

    Check out some of his stuff in the pics. Chris is on the HAMB as well @graceandco Support you local Hot Rodder and Buy his stuff, you wont find better.

    graceandco2.jpg graceandco1.jpg graceandco3.jpg

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