How do new steel bodies affect the restoration industry?


Conducted by Joe Whitaker of Real Deal Steel, LLC and Nate Miller of Thoroughbred International

Body styles, makes currently manufactured and totals sold to date.

Positioning new steel bodies in the marketplace:

Keeping costs low to introduce as many new bodies as possible into the marketplace. Work to improve reputation for quality, generate excitement among distributors and retailers.
Importance of project cars - Chop Cut Rebuild 1956 Chevy convertible, Street Rodder 1940 Coupe and 1955 Sedan.
Advantage of US-built(reduce "cheap foreign" stigma, reduce costs, employ US workers, trickle-down to local economy).

Why a new body?

Scarcity of originals of certain body styles
Reduce overall cost of project by reducing body shop time
Brings in enthusiasts that might otherwise not have entered the hobby
Lends importance/direction to the year/make/model being reproduced
Importance of quality, fixture built bodies using spot welders.
All parts must be reproduced to build the new body, so this makes available repair parts never before available to restore originals as well (roof structure, firewall, inner quarters).
Aftermarket items needed to complete the build – aftermarket chassis, crate engine, transmission, rear end – hundreds of new mechanical items.
Perpetuates and guarantees the extension of the hobby and demand for parts needed far into the future. Where would the ’32 Ford market be today if we relied only on original deuce bodies? Many other areas of the market are or will soon see shortages of original, buildable cars.
Lack of parts car availability for certain models (Camaro, Mustang)

License or not?

License fees add approximately 10% to COGS per body which results in higher price to end user. Many view it as a tax.
Licensing does help add credibility to newly introduced bodies.
Not everything that is licensed is worthy - customers realize this now. Licensing has lost some importance.

Negative stereotype of overseas suppliers:

Some bad bodies and parts are available and this negatively affects our industry.
Requires strict oversight of US-side importer/assembler/distributor – it is very easy to have a poor part or body produced if samples are not checked and demands are made for improved quality

How do you title it?

VIN switching
Chassis VIN
Register as kit car
Register as newly assembled per the laws in your particular state. SEMA/SAN