WOW so hear I am ... finally making my last madmaxmovies.com post after over 10 years. I bet I spell something worng, or miss something..
Anyhow yea we all grow old and move on, even on this board the participants have changed a lot over the last 10 or more years.
Right now of course I am under siege from criticism, various innuendos, censorship and so on, so this is a time for some careful word choices.
It was actually the censorship that pushed my decision to now spend my time away from this message board.
I just did not get the whole censor thing, the forum is after all a forum and the views expressed are only and can only ever be those of the posting contributors and can never reflect the opinions of the host website. Forums are free speech.
Actually the more colourful "puppet" never really bothered me, The "puppet" could in fact just be some clown deciding to disrupt the board, and might have actually picked me at random.
The fact that he lists a posting from
But the "Puppet" did bring to light the simple fact that once you build and sell a replica you are no longer viewed as just another Mad Max fan, you become a supplier, and as such on a forum you are subject to analysis be if fair or fowl by anyone at any level with any background and with any prejudices.
So build a replica and sell it and you are viewed as profiteer and no longer as a grass roots MAD MAX fan, particularly by a new generation who have no idea of your past.
But as this is last entry I will point out a few facts on replica building.
And I will be specific rather than general.
Quality of replicas is a question of MONEY how much replica can you really afford?
(Steve do not panic the replica is fine!)
Let's start with the Bill Brown car. It was constructed for Steve Pliant who was at the time serving with the
Steve had a budget, Grant took on the project and the budget was around $30,000 AUD from memory. Grant in the end made about $6,000 AUD from the project.
It took him 6 months or more of his non daily job time, I can't say spare time because "spare" time is an hour or so here and there, Grant was working 2-3 hours a night and weekends for months.
So now the perspective need to be applied, the replicas are 30 year old cars, in many cases everything is worn out, there is body rust, grease, dirt, rusted bolts, broken gauges, cracked weather seals, uncountable previous repairs, the variables and thus the problems are almost endless.
And you never see the worst of it till the project gets underway. ANYONE how has restored a 30 year old car or built a replica will know the issues.
The best way to build a replica is to strip it to a shell and start again, as in start everything again... we can do that... it costs about $70-75,000 AUD to build a black on black that way and about $50-60,000 minimum to do a yellow replica that way.
If you read the news paper report Scott Smith is also quoting a similar starting point of around $70,000 AUD for a black on black and I agree with that.
Steve paid about $30,000 and because we don't paint Grant had to trust the panel beater and spray painter to do what he said he could do for the money he said he could do the job for. In the end he wanted a lot more money than he quoted because he found "this was harder and that took longer".
Out of interest we have NEVER used the same painter twice, because once we have finished with them they will NEVER work for us again and that is always mutual consent. At one point we got so desperate that we thought of flying Jim Martino from the USA to paint a replica for us!
I don't even know what the Bill Brown issues are in fact I did not know he had any but Bill is a straight up guy living in the real world and I do not think he would dream of contacting Steve and saying something like "Hey Steve why did you not spend $70,000 AUD on that car you sold me for $Whatever USD", if you had spent $70,000 the car would have been better, gee I could never have really afforded it but that would not matter because you would have sold it to me for the same $$$$ Yes?"
If Bill had had any reason to complain or express a view to us he is the sort of guy who would have come forward and contacted us directly for explanation. I therefore believe Bill to be a realist in terms of what things cost and so on.
The West Cost replica was the same kind of thing, I think about $40,000 or $45,000 AUD something in that region (might have even been less) was paid for the car because it was a "budget" build up. To everyone's horror the engine did let go, (it dropped a cylinder) and we refunded some money (about $2,000 AUD or @$1,500 USD) to assist with the repairs, Grant flew to L/A to see what he could do. As it turned out the owner had said it was all under control and he had mates who worked in the film business who were working on the car. Grant and I always wondered just why the owner did not pick up a good running 351 for about $2000 USD (and heck we had just kicked in about $1500) and slot it into the replica, it's motor was stock anyhow. Even at say $42,000 total cost the replica was still way cheaper than a $70,000 AUD top end model. In the end the real expensive part in the body and body mods were totally over looked and the car was rubbished for the sake a couple of thousand dollars and the want of a second hand clean running 351 V8.
The supplied engine should not have let go... I agree. But it did and it was a tough break ( no-one should ever loose sight of the fact that replicas are 30 year old mechanical objects after all) ... yet through it all the real value of the car (in it's body shape and film correctness) was still present.
The L/A car was also a budget build up to a degree, it sold for $50,000 AUD the purchasers top budget figure. I did most of that replica it took about a year can't remember what I made out of it about $5-6,000 AUD at the most, it was not a bad car, new interior, even new side glass if memory serves. As I have said previously its black on black paint was subjected to perhaps 2 Californian summers,
The replica was never garaged, never under cover so imagine the result of different expansion and contraction properties relating to fibreglass and steel and then add winter moisture into the mix. The owner knew that car was aging fast through sitting outside, but he never complained because he knew his storage conditions were poor.
And that is it for replicas, no other issues. Both
That means that it is just as well I loved the replica, because I made perhaps $1-2,000 AUD profit out of it.
The only Australian that has an issue with us is the guy who a few years ago ripped off moulds of our 4 door spoilers.... we objected. Grant hand made the original plug for the front spoiler, took him about 6 months of messing about, I hand made the roof spoiler not as hard as the front spoiler but it took me a couple of months of messing about. And we objected! What a bunch of bastards we are eh?
Another popular misconception is that you can pick up an old GT look a like and stick on some fibreglass and there you go a MAD MAX replica !
NOTHING COULD BE FURTHER FROM THE TRUTH.
Loom at the current crop of "replicas" how many have the correct door trim, correct door handles, correct head lining, correct blower set-up, door trim running along the door tops, MPH and KPH Speedo's in fact the a full and correct XB GT dash set-up, correct seat patterns, Correct wheel offsets (requiring under guards cut), correct paintwork, correct roof spoilers, correct trunk spoilers, Correct Monza nose section, Correct drive train as in 351 V8 top loader gearbox and Ford 9 inch disk brake rear end.. How many have the GT correct factory traction bars. How many have a correct looking roof console, rear honeycomb, how many have sirens, film correct exhaust system etc etc...
IF YOU BUILD A REPLICA FOR YOURSELF IT DOES NOT MATTER JUST HOW CORRECT IT IS AS LONG AS YOU ARE HAPPY[/font] plus of course if it is your own replica you can always correct the small things later, but build it for customer and we have to have things right that sometimes even the customer does not know are right or else we are held accountable.
And it is getting harder to even find the parts. I think it must be almost impossible to convey just how hard parts can be to find when in the
In fact even when you can buy stuff it is often a nightmare to get things to fit ... ask anyone who has tried fitting a reproduction rubber seal kit or door felts!
Anyhow to do all that and have it as new mechanically is way tricky but then we can do that... as I said it costs about $70-75,000 AUD to build a black on black that way and about $50-60,000 minimum to do a yellow replica that way.
Currently we are finishing of a "budget" 4 door replica for Steve and that's OK, I enjoyed making it but as always lots of issues and problems the front seats right now are back for correction work and like always the build-up has taken a year, my personal profit is around $4,000 AUD as a result it will be the last such reduced price replica, we pay $6,000 a year in factory rent. Our other project that Grant is devoting himself to has actually been propping up the Budget project.
I was into Mad Max and building my replica for 13 years before madmaxmovies.com even happened and I shall always love the cars, I always have. But like in the beginning I don't actually need an audience so it is indeed goodbye to all...
As I said at the start it was actually the censorship aspect that pushed my decision to spend more time away from this message board and move onto other things.
I seemed to be accused of not following "rules" yet I never even knew there was any, and later I was accused of being stupid and still not following rules after they were clearly explained to me, no-one explained anything.... nothing of the sort happened so I just thought gee .. I am too old for this... a new group has come up behind and this new era born out of the success of the old guards founding interest is now assuming ownership, So oh hell... I am out of date!
This is a public forum so I tend to say what I need to say, rather than taking something to link section called "Thunderdome" this concept is called "free speech".
Come to think of it when I access this site I check the "general" section and the "replica" section and that's it, that's my area of interest so with limited time I never looked at the others at all.
So here to end it all are my favourite MAD MAX moments... not in any order:
* Building, equipping and driving the Road Warrior replica... I just loved that car!
* The first time I closed the hood with the blower in place on my own replica don't remember when 1998 perhaps, it was just awesome finally seeing the Interceptor sitting in my driveway.
* 1984 and reaching the Mundi Mundi plain for the first time in my not exactly correct replica, racing the Airplane in the same and that time I average over 180 KPH from Wentworth to Broken Hill, impossible to these days I am told with wildlife now everyplace (they are not culling the Roos any more).
And these days I don't think I would run an engine that hard for that long when so far from home, (gee...that confirms it, I am older... crap).
Gosh going back to 1984 and madmaxmovies.com was still 11 years distant and everyone still thought I was stupid for "stuffing up" my XB coupe with a dumb roof spoiler and"Madmaxing" it!!
* Attending the first pre-view screening of Mad Max 2 in
* Finding madmaxmovies.com and Peter Barton in 1995 because with it came the realisation that after 13 years solo other people in the world actually felt like I did about the cars and the films. Hard to explain today because the Mad Max movement is so wide spread and accepted but back then in the pre-internet time well 13 years is a long time to hold a private and largely unsupported dream.
Oh and finally to the "puppet" I shall be at the Motorvation 2008 car show next year so bring your mouth and see me in person.
So now it is onto other things... please no-one ask about the picture's below... my Mad Max movies message board experience in all aspects posting and viewing is now over ...[/font]
All in all you have been a great bunch to associate with, keep the dream alive guys... ciao..[/font]