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Old 06-18-2009, 02:37 PM   #1
SLO 65
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Default Newman Car Creations Chassis Input

In 2002 I had a 1968 frame (to 63-67 specs) converted by Paul Newman Car Creations to accept 84-87 C4 suspension. I've gathered lots of parts but have since purchased a house and had two kids. The project has never quite gotten off the ground. I've tried a few different times to sell it but have gotten very little interest. I'm looking for some input on how to make this more attractive to a buyer. I'm ready to move on.

The good:
1. Solid CA frame, converted for C4 suspension, LS1 and T56 trans.
2. 1985 Suspension from an un-wrecked car, I removed it so I know the actual condition of the parts. Ball joints and bushings were removed, the casting marks were ground off, bought new Moog ball joints and Energy Suspension poly bushings. Front is set up for C5 brakes.
3. Has a Dana 44 rear with 3:07 gears.

The bad:
1. Perception, because it's a 68 frame. The front is replaced by the conversion, no problems there. I fabricated the rear 18" of the frame, it follows the lines of a 63-67, I think it looks good but not perfect, it uses a factory gas tank crossmember and rear crossmember. Outside to outside width of the rear frame is 1/2" narrower than the 63-67 because the width of the frame rail is 1/4" narrower on the 68. Inside to inside width is the same.
2. I have alot of new suspension parts but they need to be installed. Body mounts need to be installed as well.
3. Tranmission crossmember has a big dent that definately needs work.

Thoughts:
I've tried selling the frame, suspension, and associated new parts for less than the current cost of conversion (9K) which doesn't even include a donor frame. I have thought about completing it but have concerns my choices in finish may limit potential buyer (already very few).

Questions:
1. Is the lack of interest just due to the current state of the economy?
2. Is the lack of interest due to this particular chassis or the Car Creations chassis in general?

Please give me your input, comments, and constructive critisim. I don't have a burning need for the money but I would like the space in garage. Thank you.

Nick

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v7...ictures038.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v7...n/DSC03140.jpg
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Last edited by SLO 65; 06-18-2009 at 02:44 PM.
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Old 06-18-2009, 03:58 PM   #2
mike coletta
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Hey Nick,
I think that the economy is the biggest factor. Paul does a great job on the frames, and I don't think that it being a 68 has a whole lot to do with anything. IMHO, some of the small drawbacks are:

1. The early restomod conversions used old frames. Today you can buy a brand new, jig built frame for about the same money as the earlier conversions.
2. The early C-4 suspension. Most of the conversions today are using LATE C-4 (bigger brakes, better steering), or C-5.
3. LS1 vs. later GenIV powerplants. LS2, LS6, LS3, LS7.
I've been trying to sell my 61 (in the for sale section of the forum), and while I've had a couple of bites, it seems that everyone is looking for a bargain. There are many projects like yours out there, and not many folks are capable of completing the build. A friend of mine just sold a 66 vert, LS1, 6 speed, Jamison chassis with late C4 suspension for 32K. My thoughts are that you hold off for a while and see what becomes of the economy. Finished products are always easier to sell than projects. Maybe this mess will turn around in the next year or so. Otherwise, I think you have to go to the bottom to sell. JMO. Mike Coletta
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Old 06-18-2009, 04:35 PM   #3
53 Blue Flame
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61 Retro has sound advice. The Newman chassis is top notch. I had him convert a 54 frame for me back in 1999. The craftsmanship is outstanding compared to the other suppliers on the market. Advertise as much as you can. It's a good setup for a midyear. Someone may bite on it??
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Old 06-18-2009, 06:55 PM   #4
SLO 65
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Default Car Creations

Quote:
Originally Posted by 61retro View Post
IMHO, some of the small drawbacks are:

1. The early restomod conversions used old frames. Today you can buy a brand new, jig built frame for about the same money as the earlier conversions.
2. The early C-4 suspension. Most of the conversions today are using LATE C-4 (bigger brakes, better steering), or C-5.
3. LS1 vs. later GenIV powerplants. LS2, LS6, LS3, LS7.
Thanks Mike,
I mostly agree with all 3 of your points. Paul's chassis had some inherent advantages back when I bought it. There wasn't much competition, his shop is 30 minutes from house, and his work is top notch. There definately are bragging rights with the newer frames.

Nick
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Old 06-19-2009, 02:19 AM   #5
bowtie racing
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I think think the biggest "problem" is the fabbed frame. Nothing wrong with it but nowdays there are a lot more choises available. Just like 61retro said.
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Old 06-19-2009, 07:18 AM   #6
firstgear
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[QUOTE=SLO 65;1570494161]In 2002 I had a 1968 frame (to 63-67 specs) converted by Paul Newman Car Creations to accept 84-87 C4 suspension. I've gathered lots of parts but have since purchased a house and had two kids. The project has never quite gotten off the ground. I've tried a few different times to sell it but have gotten very little interest. I'm looking for some input on how to make this more attractive to a buyer. I'm ready to move on.

The good:
1. Solid CA frame, converted for C4 suspension, LS1 and T56 trans.
2. 1985 Suspension from an un-wrecked car, I removed it so I know the actual condition of the parts. Ball joints and bushings were removed, the casting marks were ground off, bought new Moog ball joints and Energy Suspension poly bushings. Front is set up for C5 brakes.
3. Has a Dana 44 rear with 3:07 gears.

The bad:
1. Perception, because it's a 68 frame. The front is replaced by the conversion, no problems there. I fabricated the rear 18" of the frame, it follows the lines of a 63-67, I think it looks good but not perfect, it uses a factory gas tank crossmember and rear crossmember. Outside to outside width of the rear frame is 1/2" narrower than the 63-67 because the width of the frame rail is 1/4" narrower on the 68. Inside to inside width is the same.
2. I have alot of new suspension parts but they need to be installed. Body mounts need to be installed as well.
3. Tranmission crossmember has a big dent that definately needs work.

Thoughts:
I've tried selling the frame, suspension, and associated new parts for less than the current cost of conversion (9K) which doesn't even include a donor frame. I have thought about completing it but have concerns my choices in finish may limit potential buyer (already very few).

Questions:
1. Is the lack of interest just due to the current state of the economy?
2. Is the lack of interest due to this particular chassis or the Car Creations chassis in general?

Please give me your input, comments, and constructive critisim. I don't have a burning need for the money but I would like the space in garage. Thank you.

Nick

[QUOTE]

I will offer up my opinion, and please understand that this is really a presonal preference, what one person sees will not be what someone else sees or wants.

1. The frame - as mentioned there are way too many choices that will have the WOW factor associated with them as compared to the frame you have. I am not sure that anyone that wants WOW, me included will want that frame, even if you tossed it in at no extra cost over the piece of the suspension. As you mentioned it needs repair to fix the dent in the cross member. While I am sure that it is structurally sound, when you think about how much someone is going to spend to get a car completed the $5 to $8k they might save on the frame, really isnt a consideration. So we are back to the WOW factor of what is underneath the car. Personally, I think that you are going to have to just about give the frame away with the other pieces, call it sunk costs, but I think the money on the frame is gone as it sits there without a completed car sitting on it. Will you ever get the money back out of the frame in a completed car? Again, I am not sure, just my opinion.

2. Your third member in the Dana 44 with a set of 3.07 gears IMO isn't going to fly. Having a T56 tied to it isn't really a good combination. Stock C5's have a 3.47 rear gear while many builders of these cars start at 3.55 and most are at 3.79 or 4.11. 3.79 with a stock geared T56 puts a third gear combo down that is close to the C5 Z06. That gearing in the Z06 is a kick butt combo. I have the C5 Z06 and third gear is what I call the PASS NOW gear, runs all the way right up to 105mph pulling strong the whole way. So, not to throw more gas on this fire, I think there is a problem with the Dana 44 gear selection. This would be another cost that someone would have to consider when buying the set up.

3. LS1 vs LS2 or even LS3 (forgetting LS6 or LS7) would be like buying a Pentium III computer when you could get the Pentium IV with dual core. Again, I think this will take a hit on the value of what you have in it versus what you could get out of it.

4. I don't think there are any issues with the Newman Car Creations Frame and its reputation in the marketplace. Those units have a very good reputation.

5. Finished product, I can go a couple of different ways on this. Complete the car and it could go one of two ways on you. Someone sees the car and falls in love with it and they look past some of the issues I noted about. OR, someone sees it loves the car but cant get past what is underneath it and how it looks compared to other purchase opportunities. In the later case significant discounting of the sale price would be necessary to counter the feelings of the buyer. I would be real cautious about going down this path. There are a lot of restorods out on the market for sale and while the cars that have been sold in the past as more become available the novelty will wear off and the prices they command will drop. This is a very unsettling thought for me and I am sure others as I am building a 63SWC restorod. Will I ever get my money back (forget my time), I am not sure. They cost a lot of $$$ to build. Most people would tell you to not build a car, but rather buy one finished. I enjoy building them and the challenges they present in the thought process of completing. But without a doubt building a car, depending on ones skill levels eats cash like no tomorrow.

What I would do - This would be hard even for me, but if I was being honest with myself, I would try to sell the pieces off. The frame would probably be left in the end. You would have to decide if you could continue to sell it or cut your loses (you decide what that means). Again I think the biggest problem that you have is that people might consider that the technology that you have in the frame is old technology even though the suspension is often selected by builders as the choice of preference.

Finally the economy isn't helping you right now. People that might consider the discount that you are offering of the total package would probably be those that are on a tight budget. People that are on a tight budget right now do not have or want to spend the cash to do something like this. The higher end builders that have the cash are going to go for the WOW factor and the adder for the WOW isnt a factor in what they buy and pursue.

I may have been a bit brutal on my assessment, and if I have offended anyone, I am sorry. This is the view from my eyes. Again, someone else will see it completely different.

Asking the question like you did is like walking up to a cherry tree full of cherries being offered to you, some are very good tasting and some have worms in them, you have to decide which ones are the good tasting worm free cherries!

Good luck to you!
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Old 06-22-2009, 05:17 PM   #7
SLO 65
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Default Car Cration Frame

Herb,

No offence taken. In fact, thank you very much for taking the time to respond.

1. I will have to disagree that the frame is worthless, I believe Paul is still in business so there must be some demand for his product.

2. One of my dilemmas. I know the 3:07 ratio is useless for the application but the proper ratio is dependent on engine power, transmission ratio, tire size, driving style, etc. Setting up the wrong ratio is a complete waste of money.

3. I should have stated this differently. The frame is set up for a gen 3/4 motor and a T56 tranmsission. I have an LS1/T56 but they weren't particularly part of the sale. Paul uses different mounts for the sbc vs. Gen 3/4.

4. I agree, not as sexy as an SRiii, Street Shop C5/C5, or a Hedges Speed Shop frame, but it is probably on par with the other offerings.

5. Go figure, my wife won't let me sell the body, so completing the car in order to sell it isn't going to happen. Too much of a time investment for the risk anyway. These projects need to be a labor of love. Cut my losses? Ebay, start it at a buck, no reserve!

Nick

Last edited by SLO 65; 06-22-2009 at 05:19 PM.
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Old 06-22-2009, 07:19 PM   #8
Ron Champe
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I'm not sure that I totally agree with many of the other replies given, although some valid points were made. When I think about what you have...I think about your targeted audience and thats the back yard builder that attempting to build a rest-mod Corvette by himself with moderate upgrades in the range of $30 to $50.000 and hopefully at the same time is in need of a frame and suspension parts. Other replies were correct in that if you were going to build or have built a higher end resto-mod of $100 to $150,000 or more....then they would go for the high end tube chassis, etc. I still think there are more back yard builders than there are folks building the high end, high cost builds.
I would correctly repair the rear 18" of the frame and trans mount, install the body mounts and then at least prep and prime....price correctly and find the correct avenue to advertise the Newman Creations up graded frame with all needed suspension parts as you described.
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Old 06-22-2009, 08:43 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron Champe View Post
I'm not sure that I totally agree with many of the other replies given, although some valid points were made. When I think about what you have...I think about your targeted audience and thats the back yard builder that attempting to build a rest-mod Corvette by himself with moderate upgrades in the range of $30 to $50.000 and hopefully at the same time is in need of a frame and suspension parts. Other replies were correct in that if you were going to build or have built a higher end resto-mod of $100 to $150,000 or more....then they would go for the high end tube chassis, etc. I still think there are more back yard builders than there are folks building the high end, high cost builds.
I would correctly repair the rear 18" of the frame and trans mount, install the body mounts and then at least prep and prime....price correctly and find the correct avenue to advertise the Newman Creations up graded frame with all needed suspension parts as you described.
Nick, Ron certainly has a different perspective than me and I value his opinion. He has built a lot more cars than I ever have so he will see things a lot differently (I have a very narrow view point on this stuff). If you could follow his advice without having to invest a lot more money I would try it, you have nothing to loose and certainly a lot to gain....good call Ron
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Old 06-23-2009, 06:48 PM   #10
mike coletta
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Hey Nick,
I don't disagree with anything being said here, but I'm not sure that the numbers can work in your case.

you said:

Quote:
I've tried selling the frame, suspension, and associated new parts for less than the current cost of conversion (9K) which doesn't even include a donor frame. I have thought about completing it but have concerns my choices in finish may limit potential buyer (already very few).
I think that before you spend any more money or time, you might consider that you can purchase a brand new SRIII powder coated, jig built chassis, with new brake assembies (C5/C4) installed, all mounts installed, rebuilt Dana 44, new QA1 coil overs, emergency brakes and cables installed, etc for $13,800. Or, you can buy the basic frame for under 7K. All of the aftermarket guys are in this range.I guess my point is, that while there are backyard builders trying to save a buck.....there has to be a buck to save. It looks like you had your "package" for sale at around 9K. I think if you do a comparison of what you have to offer, against what is available, you'll come to a price that makes it "worth while" for a project guy to want it. Apples to apples. I don't think that you'll ever get Newmans' retail back out of the frame, even if it's completed, because your potential buyer is going to go straight to Newman. I do agree that finishing to primer, will get you a bigger buyer base, but I'm not sure that you'll score any more money. JMHO. Mike Coletta
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