I’ve been away a couple of days here….had a death in the family, one Of Janies sisters, Francie, passed away in Ocala from a massive heart arrack……..very unexpected and we’ve been supporting that.
It was double hard to take time away with the great news I’ve had burning a hole in my camera now for a bit. We all know as these beasts age it’s really important to keep as much stuff as we can to keep them on the road. After many talks and soul searching on our parts, only being 5 miles or so from where they have been stored for what…over a decade……we have made the financial and responsibility commitments to bring the original General Motors molds that made up the SMC plastic body parts for our coaches back into the fold.
Built for GM, these original molds require a 100ton heated press to put them back into the original format production. The 2 sided front clip molds (an inside and outside mold weighs 90,000 pounds! It’s obvious we cannot reinstitute that process but with the new advancements in molding epoxys and processes……..we may be able to do some things with these. Every coach has 2…here are the inside molds of the front hoodsThey’re all there…the lower grill closeout and in the background you can see the inner RR rear pilar…..and the outer rear wheel surround! Our commitment is to first not let these historic pieces be scrapped…second we want to work with other people in that industry to see what can be done to make some parts. At the minimum we can splash a 1st generation fiberglass mold from these originals hopefully making some descent parts…we’ll see. But to own and have these to keep the GMC going is enough for me. We’ll be talking to folks interested in helping us with this and who knows, maybe in the future all of this will come together……for now, we need to get them trucked to our facility….no small feat for sure!
Jared was explaining to Phillip how those 2 molds sandwich a chunk of SMC with hot oil heating them to stupid heat for the process
Yep…2 chrome plated 45,000 pound chunks of Cleveland steel that perfectly mates together….awesome! We’re looking for investors to bring these parts back to market….anyone out there able to help?
Along with swetting ourselves to butter trying to deliver 4 coaches next week….yeah, think about that…..this is why you should never make plans to use your restored coach until you have that bird in hand….we’ll do our best……and with all that fun stuff behind the scenes keeps pulling at us………that’s the way it is. Stay tuned on where this skunk works project will go…stay tuned.
I’ve got more neat stuff from last week. Found a new material to make out late or early style side windows slide super easy……..I’ll caome in tomorrow and tell you about it. Marco…it’s all your fault….your windows were froven in place wors than any coach I have EVER worked on…something out of the box had to be thought of to fix this……..got it….I’ll see ya tomorrow
Marco Kathuria says
Glad it wasn’t just me, Jim. Those windows sound as if they’re well and truly stuck!
Looking forward to reading about your solution to this conundrum.
Carla Longbottom says
Really excited to read this post, Jim. Hoping you can find some partners to bring these molds back online.
Condolences, thoughts, and prayers to you and especially to Janie on your loss.
Wow, great news. I know we talked about this a couple of years ago, and it sounded like they had been left to rust outside and were soon to be beyond usability.