Taking a few days off, making over to the Turkey Rod Run in Daytona… seeing those thousands of cars who have had tens if not 100’s of thousands of bucks to have just that special thing on that special car…… Most of those cars either had huge dollars poured in if the owner “DIY” and maybe more if a custom engine builder, painter and upholster got involved. Hey the cars are awesome and if that were my business I would have to fret and spend money for other unique projects.
As it is though the GMC Motorhome and Transmodes are also specialty cars but in a moreso they are your home when travelling so may more issues must be addressed. So what hot rod shop has experience in holding tanks or generators? See, that’s the difference in what we do. We address every system in a house… except of course grass and shrubs…. a septic tank, AC generating power plant AND then every system in a normal hot rod…. and all has to fit smartly in a box designed to hurl itself down the highway all day…. I mean what could go wrong??? And how much work is it to look through and update most if not all those systems?
Working on bringing a 40 year old big ole machine is not for the uninformed or the person only concerned with “getting it out the door”. Why is that? Think about it, most every specialty vehicle restoration shop you find is centered around some guy that has the knowledge but has to be in every loop. Maybe a helper, usually someone who can hand tools but has no idea the coach is even front wheel drive! The shop is usually cluttered with parts and old pieces scattered everywhere. The work benches are buried with stuff. Half the lights are out… the guy doing the work is grumpy, behind schedule on so many projects it’s all he can do with keeping up on income to keep the lights on. Furthermore,, it takes so long to get any work out because of all of this that you want to support a guy who knows the coach but you end up sometimes taking your chances at the Firestone dealer……… Any of this sound familiar? It was that way when I wanted to get a Mustang worked on and getting my Harley worked on is a pain!
See that’s the way of the industry… specialty shop who say “if you have to ask the price you probably don’t want to afford it and getting it done will of course take a while but that’s just an estimate…… So any of THAT sound familiar? Well, that’s a product of the production style most restoration shops work under. Heck, I thought it was how we were supposed to do it….. everyone else is!
.And like all those shops we fell into that routine too. There are 2 aspects of GMC motorhome work……. repair and maintenance and thn there are full restorations. The big jobs take massive amounts of concentrated work and those in/op brake jobs and what-not messed with our production. WHY? Because thinks had to be done one thing at a time. When there are 6 things to do and only 1 can move forward at a time….. well, you see the issue. So what could be the answer? It’s a tough one because right in between is the “glass ceiling” of how much more things cost when you expand a business. You can’t afford to get bigger but without doing it how can you break out of the “1 thing at a time” mentality? It’s a huge issue many that have been there know from what I speak.
Well, that’s where the Co-op was last year… the last Co-op… our conventional 1 at a time, one off approach was holding our progress back. You must work as a team to have a more effective labor flow. Not cheaper… faster work but a more effective larger quantity of work accomplished in a shorter amount of time. Not one guy sanding on a paint surface the size of the Gobi Desert all alone… for weeks. Nope, we have several experienced DA sanding hands, several body guys who all understand SMC and aircraft grade aluminum all focused on a project together.
OK so how did this happen? I tell you it wasn’t easy, many ways of doing things had to be fundamentally changed. We now have 2 upholstery guys and 3 dedicated exterior refinishers. Not last year but this year and for sure 2017, we are a lean, mean working machine focused mainly on one vehicle… the GMC Motorhome. The difference now is the people… not just having me kicking around. This one fact makes all the difference. Now I’m not saying we compete with Jiffy Lube… no sir I will spend your money to do a quality job not a fast job still but now I have real help. Real professionals who bring their expertise to the table… that along with what the Co-op has learned over the decades.. really, now don’t you want the knowledgeable advice, service up to a full restoration from a place like that? There ya go…. that has been my dream from the beginning and with what we have now…. brother we can do it now!
Please understand, cost of getting something done is a function of the labor put into the project and the parts… but there is also time. I mean if it takes 6 weeks to get a banana split at that little ice cream window you kinda loose taste for the goods! I know this and this is the change along with quality work complete our new “Co-op 2.0” really is. We’ve knocked out that glass ceiling, swallowed deep and we’re now going for it. No dingy cluttered shop with one guy sitting in the corner no… we have a real facility to do quality work in Now dangit, if you had some notion we took to long or cost too much money brother you may wnt to think about that again. What does a really nice 30′ (or smaller) downsized motorhome cost today… and forget a used one… most have already started leaking and man, you can’t touch anything under the hood! That machine will cost you $100,000 and more. New we can take a good survivor GMC and for half of that offer a reliable travel vehicle you can be happy with AND get fixed without melting your wallet.
Now you in the choir are probably bored right now but guys understand… there are new folks rediscovering the GMC and they need help. These things are all pushing 40. A 40 year old anything made by man must be respected. That’s where the GMC is but the good news is that’s not a big speedbump. If you brought me a coach that needs EVERYTHING like the “full mechanicals” project we’ve been showing on the Daily Pose… there will be in access of $25,000 to replace as I said everything. Hey, your coach may have many redeeming things but even those must be suspected. Compare that to anything else that could reliably take you cross country or even to the next state! You just can’t do it and that’s why I call our coaches “the cheapest toy in the box” and done properly, a GMC can be comfortable to todays standards, reliable and impressive looking for far less than any other way you could try it. And if you are not that discriminating and like a project for your own frustration… brother a GMC will certainly keep you out of the bars!
Guys the day is on and I need to go. Bottom line is The Co-op 2.0 sounds all good but guys it’s working and if what you know of us is more than a year old…. think through this again..
See ya tomorrow……