Kitcar and Replica
Kit tips and advice
Applies to any and all kits
Knowledge is your protection.
(Continued from page 1)
21. Just because a company has been in business for 10-20 odd years doesn't mean as much as you think. Are they resting on their laurels? Do they really make an honest-to-gosh fantastic kit? Ask the question, what have they done lately? The main thing to keep in mind; don't let their reputation lull you to sleep. Consider the product they are making today.
22. There are many kit companies that do not advertise in the US kit magazines. Some turn up at the kitcar events and some are featured in the big kitcar catalogs. Why they don't advertise is quite probably for the reason they have a good reputation and have a good following due to word of mouth. Seek them out.
23. Don't fall for the ruse that the kit is easy to build. If they are so darn easy, why does one company have to have high-priced classes to teach customers how to assemble their kit? Reality? NO car is easy to build! It takes work and tenacity. This is the point of the build, isn't it? If it was easy, any jerk could do it!
24. The auto repair manual for the donor car or the make/model of the car of the parts you purchased will show you how to re-assemble the parts on your kit frame.
Reason? The kit frame uses the same suspension geometry and mount locations as the factory car.
Why pay for kitcar assembly class? Put that money into something you can hold on to. (Every kit company should offer classes to show how to assemble their product. And like standard business practice in industry, these seminars should be free or at very low cost.)
25. If you don't want to or cannot build a kit easily, or you "just want one now", buy one that is already finished. What's your time worth? There are many good deals around.
26. Buying a kitcar is much like a marriage; you will be together a long time, longer than you realized in the beginning. If that doesn't make you think.........
.........................................no, it's not as bad as that!
27. Collect brochures because they say so much about the company?
It is a known fact that the best engineers are the worst salesmen. The best cars are more likely to have a poor sales presentation. What would an engineer know about;
press releases, "ABC Kit Co to offer more upholstery options",
media events, "ABC Kit Co dumps competitor's kit in ocean, did it really float? We have the story.",
name recognition, "ABC Kit Co name plastered everywhere, even the lavatory stalls; for a great kit call....",
The scene has taken on a Madison Ave. theme, it will never be the same, and you are the loser for it.
There is nothing that compares with ad agency mentality to cloud the thinking of the customer. It seems that more companies are beginning to jump on the bandwagon and use half-truths and hype to describe their products.
And some of the other tactics coming along are borrowed from the back door practices of big business and politics. Look at what is happening to your little old kitcar industry.
This is why, now more than ever, you need to sift beyond the ads, see the cars,
and know what to look for.
28. DO NOT approach any kit manufacturer with a bad attitude. Don't come in thinking they are building shoddy products and trying to cheat every poor soul. You won't get Cadillac service that way!
If you act like a jackass expect to be treated like one.
29. A low price shouldn't justify poor engineering or leaving off some vital part of the kit. If the kit company is so ingenious, let them learn how to make it better for less, not less for less.
30. The purchase of a basic kit allows you to commit to the project, get the decision over with, and rest for a while. It is a marketing technique designed to entice you with a low price.
You will immediately have to buy A LOT OF PARTS to get to work on a basic kit. However, YOU know this is true, but a basic kit purchase is ONE way to get it by the spouse. So it is an alternative where necessary!
(Some people like to go step by step, this is a time tested way, nothing wrong with it).
31. Don't allow one person's opinions to sway you without making sure it is fairly level-headed information. It's possible someone else sees things from a different angle than you do and they may be wrong where your interests are concerned. If you want the kit bad enough, and you are fully aware of it's shortcomings, use your heart and get what you want, if it will make you happy. But be advised, your heart may have been conditioned by an emotionally appealing advertising campaign. Experts in this field study you and know how to pull your trigger. If you don't know why you want it, or even if you think you know why you do, you still may be a victim of the image advertising game. "I don't know why, I just doo-oo".
32. Make sure you make the right decision. That rosy-glow can dissappear as suddenly as it appeared when you realize your dream kit is just that, a dream. But alas, too late, you have to keep it, you have to finish it, and you can't let on that you made a mistake. Remind you of something?
33. Picture the car with you at home, shopping, taking it to work, parking at the mall, going through a winter. Does it fit into your life?
to any kitcar company you can and take what you've learned with you so you can tell who knows what about cars or about public relations, but not both!
Ne'er the twain shall meet.
THE MORE YOU KNOW
the better you will be able to dis-arm that *professional who is baffling you with charm and mis-information. Don't make a decision based on something other than the kit, because, you end up with.............. THE KIT.
*professional = someone who does something a lot more than you do and has been through this before AND YOU HAVEN'T!
Send comments or contributions (literary) to 3rdParty at firstname.lastname@example.org
8copyright 1999 kitplace
This page may only be redistributed in unedited form.
Updated May 2000
Written permission from the editor must be obtained to reprint or cite the information contained within this page.