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I have access to the original Saxon/MX molds. The car and parts could live again. Entertaining the idea of a Partner...

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I have access to the original Saxon/MX molds. The car and parts could live again. Entertaining the idea of a Partner...

Post by aronhk_md on Sat Feb 04, 2017 11:51 pm

The original molds including all body parts, flared and non-flared types, both type hoods, hard top etc have been offered to me.  I have done a lot of research over the past few months.  Have thought about at a minimum reproducing some hoods, hard tops and maybe some pieces for those involved in a fender bender.

Have also thought about and researched what it would take to put the car back into production.  It could be a lot of fun.  It could be a headache.  It could be.....well, it could be. lol

As much as the idea of a partner makes me wary...I'm pretty sure I wouldn't want to do it alone.  Its a lot, and I have a career.  So...is anyone here interested in being a part of this?  Obviously there would be a financial commitment required.  To just produce a few parts that financial part is a small amount.

If the decision was to try and take the car further as a full kit obviously it would take more.  Keep in mind there are NO repros being built right now in the US, unlike the cobra which has many players.  So it would be pretty exclusive.  One down side is that the appeal is not as great as with the cobras.  That much is easily seen by the price difference between used sebrings and the cobras.

I have researched fiberglass and spoken with one potential supplier.

I have researched chassis development and spoken with a builder who happens to be a friend.

I have done some preliminary research into pieces and parts.

Anyone?
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Re: I have access to the original Saxon/MX molds. The car and parts could live again. Entertaining the idea of a Partner...

Post by aronhk_md on Sun Feb 05, 2017 12:15 am

P.S. - Yes, I am aware and know of Ryan and his purchase of all the classic roadsters stuff. He never had any interest in the Healey replicas.
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Re: I have access to the original Saxon/MX molds. The car and parts could live again. Entertaining the idea of a Partner...

Post by Hotrod on Sun Feb 05, 2017 11:14 am

Where are you located?  You may want to find someone, like a boat manufacturer, that does fiberglass.  You could get the molds and arrange for the fiberglass company to actually make the the parts as needed.  There are several street rod body manufacturers around the country, maybe one of them would be interested in helping.  This is an opportunity that I hope doesn't slip away. Once these molds are lost, the cars are pretty much dead. All that's left is cannibalizing other cars for repairs.

The chassis is another deal altogether.  The MX version would be the only way to go if you wanted to duplicate the original and it's my understanding that the jigs were destroyed.  However, there are several hot rod chassis builders, like Art Morrison, that could build anything you wanted with the latest suspension technology.  Once a prototype was done, they could make them as needed and save you from having to tool up to do heavy chassis fab.  Not the cheapest solution for the builder, but cheapest for you for sure.
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Re: I have access to the original Saxon/MX molds. The car and parts could live again. Entertaining the idea of a Partner...

Post by aronhk_md on Sun Feb 05, 2017 11:56 am

Hey Hotrod, yes...already contacted a fiberglass manufacturer as mentioned.

The chassis jigs were supposedly destroyed.  Truth is its an unknown, as there is a person who saved some jigs.  Only he doesnt know which ones they are.  Doesn't really matter though as I'd want to update the chassis if I did decide to put the whole car back into production.

As mentioned I have a friend who has built car chassis before, and I've spoken with him about doing this.  Most likely I would use off the shelf front and rear suspension setups that are readily available, combined with our own chassis/pan.  I would stay away from the big companies like Art Morrison.  They make nice stuff but ask way too much for it.

Not 100% sure I would try to go into full production.  That would depend on a lot of things.  I'm in PA near Philadelphia.  But whatever I do doesnt automatically have to be here if I found the right partner.
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Re: I have access to the original Saxon/MX molds. The car and parts could live again. Entertaining the idea of a Partner...

Post by aronhk_md on Sun Feb 05, 2017 12:14 pm

another P.S. - the body molds are reported to be in excellent condition. Apparently, these body molds were what set Classic apart from some other competitors. The finished product was much cleaner than competitors, requiring far less work afterwards in smoothing. Many hours less than a Factory Five body as an example.

Also to be clear I have been offered the cobra side of the business as well, along with the new chassis that was developed for it. Even though there are many players in the cobra field, according to Double Venom/Ed Combs, a builder who has built them all, there is still room for another cobra if it was a top notch product.

However to acquire both body styles and related pieces would require a more significant investment as well. I have considered it. I haven't completely ruled it out.

Classic had competition even back in its heyday, but according to Ed (who built their products and visited the factory on occassion) it was one of the top 3 kits. Partly because they were well thought out and the quality of the molds.

They were a good business making significant money. The owner drove it into the ground.
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Re: I have access to the original Saxon/MX molds. The car and parts could live again. Entertaining the idea of a Partner...

Post by Hotrod on Sun Feb 05, 2017 5:03 pm

Is it possible that the new Cobra chassis could be modified to fit the Sebring?  Seems I read somewhere that the original CR Cobra and Sebring shared similar frames.  That could be wrong.  I know the wheelbase of the original Cobra is slightly shorter than my Sebring.

I hope you can at least get something going on the fiberglass.  I plan to drive the wheels off my car and it would be nice to know that spares could be sourced, just in case the worst happens. Perhaps, as you said earlier, you could offer small repair panels (like a rear quarter for instance).

What would you do about the Sebring windshield frame?  I know there had been some discussion in here lately on that subject.
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Re: I have access to the original Saxon/MX molds. The car and parts could live again. Entertaining the idea of a Partner...

Post by aronhk_md on Sun Feb 05, 2017 5:15 pm

Yes, it is potentially possible to make the same chassis fit.  But that chassis was developed for an independent rear suspension.  So we'll have to see.  If not, a new chassis can be designed.  I know people with the expertise.

I too hope that as a minimum that will be possible.  I think there are quite a few people that would want repair parts.  Not to mention the scooped hood and the hard top.

The original windshield frame was made from boat related parts. There is no mold for the plastic covers on either side.  There has been mention of possibly fitting a 67 AH replica type frame instead?  I was told that frame is reproduced and does not require those side plastic pieces.  

There are a number of things that will still need to be reverse engineered obviously. lol  Another would be the door glass mechanism.  Would be nice this time to try using a little electric kit.  If a small one can be sourced.
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Re: I have access to the original Saxon/MX molds. The car and parts could live again. Entertaining the idea of a Partner...

Post by Hotrod on Sun Feb 05, 2017 8:55 pm

It is my intention to add power windows to my car when I finally get that far along.  I have some ideas, but would like to try them before I post.  Hopefully, I can improve the windshield at the same time.  We'll have to see.  Of course, I'll post everything to my build thread.  

Just power windows should be easy, though.  I would like to have them just to eliminate the inside handle, which I find gets in the way (since I'm not exactly a small guy).  The extra weight isn't that important.  Besides, the Chevette parts are getting to be pretty much made of unobtainium.

Best of luck in your endeavor.  I really hope you can pull it off.
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Re: I have access to the original Saxon/MX molds. The car and parts could live again. Entertaining the idea of a Partner...

Post by aronhk_md on Sun Feb 05, 2017 9:09 pm

Yep, the chevette stuff is history. Funny that I saw one on the road last summer. Took me by surprise and I did a double-take. I actually owned one in the 80's Inherited from my mother. That gold color most seemed to be. lol Thanks, and I hope I can too. Would be nice to see these cars live again. Oddly, I think the car back in production would actually end up boosting prices on used cars.

Just a note. The Austin Healey replicas are not tied into any one type of drivetrain like the cobras, where many guys want a ford engine. I envision an LS based drivetrain if it came back, a modern front and rear suspension with C5/C6 brakes.
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Post by Hotrod on Sun Feb 05, 2017 9:20 pm

The LS would be an excellent choice.  More or less the same size as a SBC and many are aluminum.  The 4.8 and 5.3 truck engines are available cheap with overdrive transmissions(especially the 4.8 - ).  

With all the interest in the LS platform, the aftermarket can supply pretty much anything from standalone wiring harnesses to hi-tech accessory drives.  If you don't change any important mechanical parts, in most cases the original PCM can simply be altered to remove the anti theft programming and no other programming is required.
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Re: I have access to the original Saxon/MX molds. The car and parts could live again. Entertaining the idea of a Partner...

Post by aronhk_md on Sun Feb 05, 2017 9:39 pm

Exactly. Lots of inexpensive options with the truck engines, overdrive transmissions with automatics and 5 or 6 speed manuals. The wiring harnesses and ECM can be adapted easily.

High performance is a cam choice away or you can go wild. Excellent fuel economy too. Lots of aftermarket support and stuff. The aluminum versions are light.

Heck, even if we did the cobra too I think its a viable option.
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Post by Hotrod on Sun Feb 05, 2017 10:25 pm

One suggestion on the LS.  Find a set of easily sourced long tube headers (like Gen 1 Camaro) and adapt the chassis and motor mounts to them.  The easily adaptable motor mount setup of the original chassis makes good exhaust almost impossible.  

I'm going with an LS engine and used some semi-custom shorty headers from Street and Performance.  I recently came across a set of Gen 1 Camaro long tube headers, but still can't get them on without modifying the tubes. I'm too far along to back up and modify what I've already done.

You could build around the truck manifolds too and give a builder the option of headers.
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Post by aronhk_md on Sun Feb 05, 2017 10:52 pm

The front suspension and chassis wont look anything like the old design if we get that far Wink
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Post by DrJ on Mon Feb 06, 2017 9:36 am

Certainly sounds exciting but surprised with regard to the Cobra. I was new to the hobby two years back but quickly became addicted to the challenge of it all. Frankly I have a developing case of the "I want to build a kit from scratch-itis". Each month I scour ReinCarNation magazine hoping to find something new, round and sexy such as the once available Ferrari California or the UK Challenger E-Type (I'd be all over that). What you do see is Cobra, Cobra, Cobra. Seems like that segment of the market is well served. The Healey's we enjoy are as good as it gets for now to have that beautiful classic look, an open cockpit and weather protection. An updated version would be the only choice that I have seen, short of the new Enigma kit, that would provide builders whom wish to do cross country cruising as a priority with the occasional track appearance.

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Re: I have access to the original Saxon/MX molds. The car and parts could live again. Entertaining the idea of a Partner...

Post by aronhk_md on Mon Feb 06, 2017 9:50 am

Well, as popular and "common" as the Cobra is in the replica world, I still do appreciate its lines. I wouldn't mind parking one in the garage. But I love other cars too.
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Post by DrJ on Mon Feb 06, 2017 10:01 am

I do agree. It was one of the 3 dream cars of my youth. When I finally got the time to enter the hobby, the wife and I were of an age that where we really wanted the ability to get out from under the rain. I am a VFR pilot and can fly in poor weather up to a point. Can not tell you how many times a 3 day trip turned into a 5 day trip due to weather issues. Sort of the "you got time to spare...go by air" thing. We just don't want to worry about the weather anymore hence the fondness for tops and windows.

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Re: I have access to the original Saxon/MX molds. The car and parts could live again. Entertaining the idea of a Partner...

Post by aronhk_md on Mon Feb 06, 2017 10:24 am

Oh I understand. Interestingly enough, where theres a will there's a way they say. Check out this beautiful cobra with a hard top and windows.

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Re: I have access to the original Saxon/MX molds. The car and parts could live again. Entertaining the idea of a Partner...

Post by Kevin on Mon Feb 06, 2017 10:24 pm

Would be very nice to be able to have access to someone who can produce scoop hoods and hard tops. For many of the Sebring owners I am sure the scoop tops and hard tops would be nice accessories to have! Would that be enough of a market to start production?

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Re: I have access to the original Saxon/MX molds. The car and parts could live again. Entertaining the idea of a Partner...

Post by aronhk_md on Mon Feb 06, 2017 11:47 pm

Well, probably enough to make some parts. Beyond that I can't say yet.
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