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From: Bob O.
Remote Name: 188.8.131.52
Date: January 08, 2003
I think this was all a good case of "failure to communicate", through no one's fault, but just accidentally. It's a problem with e-mail and the Internet, and I've ceratinly done it myself. Face to face, or even over the phone, you can soon tell if someone is trying to diss you, but on this new electronic medium the replies can be instantaneous, but then posted up forever to give the impression that it's someone's last word, or inflexible attitude on the subject. Number one, producing these parts is a thankless task, as I'm sure Lee and the people producing sills, gas tanks, tail light lenses will all tell you. The smaller the number of vehicles (= the customer base) the more thankless the job will be. If you're a BowTie supplier, you pay off the tooling and advertising costs at the beginning of your series and then even a low price brings in rich rewards. On the other hand, just how many customers are there out there for those 300 sill plates? Too damn few ever to cover costs, let alone MAKE MONEY! So Lee's responses to Frank and Alumcan just reflect (I feel sure) the pain he has felt when he has gotten the impression that people are accusing him or the parts makers of profiteering, when really they are just trying to provide a service and not lose their shirts. Remember what Dave told us about the costs of producing the calendars, but then how many people who visit this forum think that someone's making big bucks out of them! So let's go to the other side, to the customers like Alumcan, Frank, you and me. Yes, different economic conditions, and also differerent priorities in life. I'll confess I have a tendency to be a bargain hunter, but in the last few years, as I've seen this country Walmnartize and Costcoize I've started to appreciate that the lowest price is not always the best deal, and certainly not necessarily the best thing for our nation. If you always go to Walmart for the two standard widget sizes they stock then you drive all the non-standard widget manufacturers out of buisness. You have to pay for convenience, pay for diversity, pay for quality. Not many of the people who buy those "expensive" repro parts are rich, nor can they really even afford them. You know as well as I do that most of us deceive our wives when we buy these things, and (I'll confess my own sins here) sneak hundred dollar bills off into a coffee can until there's enough to blow what is really an inexcusable amount on something that is really an unnecessary toy...... but still I gotta do it. As Frank says, there are plenty of people out there who can drop 100 grand without a thought. If we let that bother us, we'd better dig a hole, jump in it, and have our best buddy fill it in after us. Differential wealth is a fact of life: start to resent it and you'll just make yourself miserable. But you don't HAVE to have those brand new sills. Although it's occasionally nice to see a trailer queen sitting at a show, the cars I like to see are the ones that have driven there, and may not be perfect but are actually being used. I've always said it's better to have a few good cars out there driving around than a bunch of junkers sitting up on blocks, but I also believe that they're better than the "museum piece" cars too. So do what you can, appreciate ANY effort of someone like Lee to get us good parts if we decide to stretch our budgets to buy 'em. And let's no one get hot under the collar.