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Hi Brian
I think we are seeing another transition starting. Many of the long time players are retiring or dying out now. Some of the remaining rebuilders are more interested in quick profit than integrity with the work they offer. I have seen "custom" diff work on some forums where the rebuilder clearly cut corners in the work yet no one had a clue what they were looking at and could only offer dumb struck phrase.

Over the past few years we lost Tom Reina - corvette steering
Pat Ikerd, Ralph Eckler, some local car guys, and the rebuilding crew and now the owner of Tom's. In the meantime the age group for C1-C3's as increased while the younger age group does not have the numbers to support hobby as the generations past have. Restomods are overtaking restoration work which will peak in time due to the high cost that won't be able to sustain it.

Part quality is going down. 5 cut gears, as you know are history. USA made gears, for the 63-79 vettes were only offered by Toms - made by US Gear. Richmond,Motive,and Yukon I believe are all imported. Richmond closed it's US plant about 5 years ago and sold out to Midwest truck I believe. I haven't heard of any changes since but then I didn't bother with them either.

SO what does the future hold- who knows but I moved my shop in January, down sized,and sold off a lot of parts. Once Tom's parts are gone that could be the end of the run.
I really do not care what those Jokers on Corvette Forum do.
I refuse to put out crap **** work builds by me.
Just like You Gary.
 

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I know Gary.
I will 49 later this year.
We are aging each.


We talked about this in past together.
Having parts you need made once again to your own Blueprint specs.
The USA Is Still here.
The manufacturing capability is still here.'
The machine Tooling is still here.
And it can be made in small batch numbers 20-50-100 at a time.
 

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https://fabcraftmetalworks.com/

Brad builds rearends like us Gary.
He is on the Nostalgia Pontiac side.
Vintage Gasser Racecars.
He had many parts custom parts made to his specs.
They are not inexpensive.

Corvettes are not either.
Everyone should know this.

Site more examples next.

I believe he has US Gear make his Ring & Pinion gearsets.
I talked to his wife once on the phone and she gave up the ghost.
Bought 3.64 & 4.30 gears from Brad for my Pontiac 9.3's.
They are both 5- cut gears we Love.
 

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Discussion Starter · #105 ·
well I have 10 years on you! Many of those we lost never hit 70.

I will build as long as I still enjoy it, can still get good parts, and people want quality work, yeah time's are changing.

You're correct, others can make the HP parts but the market has changed. The cost to have say 30 HD axles made would be high and could take time to move. ROI would be low that's why no one challenged Tom on the vette parts over the years. There are those out there now with new $10k 9" IRS diffs or billet housings in the same price range, some will buy them but most will not.
 

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well I have 10 years on you! Many of those we lost never hit 70.

I will build as long as I still enjoy it, can still get good parts, and people want quality work, yeah time's are changing.

You're correct, others can make the HP parts but the market has changed. The cost to have say 30 HD axles made would be high and could take time to move. ROI would be low that's why no one challenged Tom on the vette parts over the years. There are those out there now with new $10k 9" IRS diffs or billet housings in the same price range, some will buy them but most will not.
I think Prices on C3 Corvettes will rise.
See more $50-$100K sales.
Advantage of your Iron C3 Diffs is no custom Fab Mods required.

One 1970-1/2 Trans Am RAIV 400 4- speed sold for $185,000 last year.

Mine is worth well North of $50,000 today.
$100 K ? I do not know.
Never sell.
Saving for my young Sons.
 

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I registered here specifically to say a huge THANK YOU to Gary for this incredibly helpful and informative post.
:thumbsup: good stuff. So much to learn from Gary.
 
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