Market Research - FowardLook Parts
Chrisbarber0904
Posted 2020-06-18 12:37 AM (#599800)
Subject: Market Research - FowardLook Parts


Member

Posts: 43
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Location: Meridian, MS

Hello Everyone!

I am looking at a potential career change, I have this idea in my head that I may want to start my own business. The idea I continue to roll around in my head is reproducing parts for FowardLook cars. I love the FowardLooks but the one thing I don't like about them is that the parts are hard to find or non existent or they are outrageously expensive. 

So with this post, I am trying to do some market research. Throw out all the ideas you got for parts to be reproduced. At the moment I am game for anything. I know I am not the first person to have this idea but I think it would be awesome to be able to purchase reproduction parts at a reasonable price at a well developed MoPar specific website for our cars... so please pitch ideas and just maybe I could come up with something. I don't care if it's a reproduction of an original part or a new idea for a custom part.

All ideas are welcome! 

Thanks

 Chris

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geoffs60
Posted 2020-06-18 1:26 AM (#599802 - in reply to #599800)
Subject: RE: Market Research - FowardLook Parts


Regular

Posts: 72
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Location: christchurch New Zealand
HI Chris,
I take my hat off to you for looking at reproducing parts we need. No easy task, how ever i am sure you will get plenty of support. I guess we need to know where your area of expertise is, panel, mechanical, trim, rubber components etc, which would make it easier to narrow down the areas of interest for you that may be viable,also save doubling up against someone who may already be reproducing items of interest for the FL vehicles.
Trust me the cost of a die even for a single small item is quite eye watering, so it will boil down to cost over quantity/quality and possible sales which unfortunately is normally the stumbling block.
Good Luck
Geoff
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Powerflite
Posted 2020-06-18 3:39 AM (#599803 - in reply to #599800)
Subject: Re: Market Research - FowardLook Parts



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Location: So. California
If your goal is to make money, start with the Christine crowd. They are much bigger than any other forwardlook group. Otherwise, you will be making single parts that you may sell 50 of by the time you die. But here is a quick list of possibilities:

'58 Plymouth:
V emblem in grille
front & rear bumper wings
Stainless Side trim
Windshield rubber
Rear window rubber
Big block full length headers that fit (Thick tube, not cheap crap)
Dual rear antennas
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57plymouth
Posted 2020-06-18 9:19 AM (#599807 - in reply to #599800)
Subject: Re: Market Research - FowardLook Parts



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Floor pans
Trunk floors and extensions
all glass seals
steering wheels
upholstery kits
door panel kits
package tray kits

These are needed for all years. But the problem will be that the market is small. Your costs will be high enough that the part will probably be more expensive than most of us are willing to pay. You will have to price very carefully.
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mikes2nd
Posted 2020-06-18 10:41 AM (#599811 - in reply to #599800)
Subject: Re: Market Research - FowardLook Parts


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you will be lucky to sell 50 by the time you die..

Expect to lose alot of money

I would go for door panels or upholstery, headliners. SMS has no competition and you can easily branch out to other makes models.

not sure what SMS charges for door panels anymore but I know its an insane wait time.

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ABloch
Posted 2020-06-18 11:25 AM (#599815 - in reply to #599800)
Subject: Re: Market Research - FowardLook Parts



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I'm with the group that would like to see SMS get a little competition. They are the only ones out there doing door panels. Problem is is that Doug has all the NOS material that you would need to make him sweat.
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Fireflite56
Posted 2020-06-18 1:48 PM (#599821 - in reply to #599811)
Subject: Re: Market Research - FowardLook Parts



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Location: Wisconsin
My $0.02 based on market demands and lack of supply. I am most familiar with DeSotos.

Correct carpet heel pads
1955/1956 DeSoto chromed hood lip trim (these always crack)
1955 DeSoto front nose plastic emblem
1956 DeSoto front nose plastic emblem
1956 DeSoto Adventurer/pace car plastic nose emblem
1960 DeSoto taillights
Ball and trunnion housings and rebuild packages
Quality sheet metal replacement for just about any FL car, any panel
Windshield and window seals not covered by Steele or Quirey Quality Design (bought out Gary Goers). Particularly windshield and rear window seals for '57-'59 Mopars comes to mind.
Rubber trunk mats for just about any FL car
1960 Chrysler license plate surround trim (these always pit and crack)
Properly calibrated (resistance) fuel sending units

A couple other important notes to consider from a prospective buyer:
-Take the time to do it right. Fit, finish, quality, etc. are all very important to most FL guys. Do it right and they'll come to you. Word spreads quickly in this community, good or bad.
-Use quality rubber that will hold up to age, weather, etc. Earn a reputation as having good quality parts over the cheap Chinese stuff and you'll get my business. I'll spend more for a better part.
-Provide good customer service with timely and accurate delivery. This seems to be lacking in half of the businesses currently supplying parts for our cars.
-I think having your business online would be a huge advantage. Over half of the current suppliers do not have an online store where you can easily search, find a product, add it to a cart, and check out. In today's age of people wanting stuff right away, I think you would gain a huge advantage.
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Powerflite
Posted 2020-06-18 1:53 PM (#599822 - in reply to #599800)
Subject: Re: Market Research - FowardLook Parts



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Any plastic part would be great, as George Laurie is not an option and there really isn't another source.
The proper fuel senders for '57-up are available.
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Chrisbarber0904
Posted 2020-06-18 10:22 PM (#599838 - in reply to #599800)
Subject: Re: Market Research - FowardLook Parts


Member

Posts: 43
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Location: Meridian, MS
Good! All good inputs. I'm just in the research stage right now. To start off, I'd like to try to find a fairly easy part to reproduce and see how that goes. Something small and easy and grow and develop from there. Like I said, I am sure I'm not the first person to consider doing this and hopefully I won't find out the hard way if it's not profitable! I'll make a spreadsheet and start doing research to find a way to reproduce quality parts. In the meantime, please continue to post some feedback of some high demand or hard to find parts and what you all are looking for. I have a feeling that I will end up starting with some plastic parts such as dome light lenses, tail light lenses, or bushings. I'd like to do door panels and upholstery kits and sheet metal parts but I'd like to start fairly low risk and go from there.
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geoffs60
Posted 2020-06-18 10:58 PM (#599840 - in reply to #599838)
Subject: Re: Market Research - FowardLook Parts


Regular

Posts: 72
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Location: christchurch New Zealand
HI Chris,
tail lamp lenses for 1956, 1957/8 desoto, would be a great , i will put my hand up for some if you need a starting point.
Geoff
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normsclassicradio
Posted 2020-06-19 2:04 PM (#599858 - in reply to #599815)
Subject: Re: Market Research - FowardLook Parts



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ABloch - 2020-06-18 9:25 AM

I'm with the group that would like to see SMS get a little competition. They are the only ones out there doing door panels. Problem is is that Doug has all the NOS material that you would need to make him sweat.


$895 for a set of four for my 1964 880.



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mikes2nd
Posted 2020-06-19 7:05 PM (#599870 - in reply to #599800)
Subject: Re: Market Research - FowardLook Parts


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how long did you have to wait? That not a horrible price.

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normsclassicradio
Posted 2020-06-19 7:11 PM (#599871 - in reply to #599870)
Subject: Re: Market Research - FowardLook Parts



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Location: Kalispell, MT USA
mikes2nd - 2020-06-19 5:05 PM

how long did you have to wait? That not a horrible price.


Have not ordered yet. Have a lot of piggy banks to fill first.
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The Adventurer
Posted 2020-06-20 7:27 AM (#599891 - in reply to #599800)
Subject: RE: Market Research - FowardLook Parts



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Location: Melbourne, Australia
Forget about competition for SMS , he’s bought out the competition and you cannot compete with his inventory . A 50 kilowatt high frequency welder to put the pattern stamping in door door panels , seats etc is a huge amount of money, then the brass dies for each pattern are expensive as I’ve done some of this work in Australia .
For someone who has run a retro car parts business in the past , the best advice I can give you is make an item that within your scope , are popular , and ones that suit either multiple cars or models or applications Nd can be consumables like lenses which can get broken . Say like lenses like 57/58 desoto would sell like hot cakes , I’ve already had Detroit muscle make the gaskets for these so they are available to the world now . Or say a fireflite emblem that suits cars for 5 years .
People here will ask for what the6 ant without any thought of you making money as a business , as most people don5 have business acumen.
Pot metal was or poor quality back then so those items are good items to make also .
Anyway good luck .
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Finsinthemirror
Posted 2020-06-20 3:05 PM (#599907 - in reply to #599891)
Subject: Re: Market Research - FowardLook Parts



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Correct repo of 57-58 Plymouth trunk mat..
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imfinlay
Posted 2020-06-21 5:35 AM (#599937 - in reply to #599907)
Subject: Re: Market Research - FowardLook Parts


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Finsinthemirror - 2020-06-20 8:05 PM

Correct repo of 57-58 Plymouth trunk mat..


This, absolutely. One of the few things you can't even get used.

Also, ethanol compatible floats for 2 and 4 barrell OEM Carter carbs.
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Finsinthemirror
Posted 2020-07-03 1:13 PM (#600467 - in reply to #599937)
Subject: Re: Market Research - FowardLook Parts



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Location: CA
1957 - 1958 plymouth 2 dr HT 3 piece cardboard headliner/strips/caps
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