After 44 years in business I'm still looking for someone who can carry on the tradition of manufacturing and supplying quality new parts for the Model T Ford. We manufacture everything from the Ruckstell Axle to new Camshafts and about 300 other parts in between. We are a major supplier to all other dealers. At 81 I'm ready to restore my 1909 and 1911 but have no time to do so. We have about 1.5 M in inventory, patterns, tooling and equipment at cost. Our last offering resulted in a lot of interest but no money. They will probably bury me under a load of Model T Ford parts. I'm sure the dealers will be crying when the parts which we manufacture are no longer available.
I think you are offering a golden opportunity. If I wasn't so close to you in age we would talk business. Wishing you well.
I really hope someone with the knowledge , skill and economic muscles will take over your business. Not only the dealers will be crying.The hole model T community will also.
Your family doesn't have an interest?
Have you given any thought to cloning ? Imagine all
that you could get done if there were 10 of you !
As usual Burger has a wonderful idea except Glen is not a lamb.
The Chaffin's have worked hard to build and expand a business that serves the T community. It is going to take someone with a passion for Model T's, are willing to work hard, willing to take a risk, and deep pockets to take over this business. Many of us have the passion, fewer are willing to work hard, even fewer willing to take a risk, and almost non-have deep pockets with something in them.
I am wondering if instead of selling the business as one entity if it could be sold as bits and pieces.
I wish I had the economic muscles. With the Canadian US exchange rate I could likely make a real go at it.
Its the deep pockets thats killer. Someone young enough to see things thru over time doesn't typically have the deep pockets. Goes back to there being more corvettes in retirement homes than in high schools.
Glen, This is a sad news. I really appreciated your business and really hope someone will take the relay. I'm like Rob, the Canadian US exchange rate kill us. Wish you all the best,
I sure can't blame you for wanting to retire. My dad's first choice on parts was always you. When he passed, I updated his account and transferred it to me. You are my first choice also.
It is sad to see things change. The number of Model Ts out there for restoration is dwindling. When I worked on our first in the 60's they were everywhere, now increasingly there are only enough parts for speedsters it seems. (they are great too of course if that's a person's choice)
Each year the cost of restoration goes up and the value for the old stuff goes down. Even my '51 merc doesn't go fast enough for most, it seems.
These times they are a changin...
I sure hope you are able to find someone with a heart for the "T"s and a head for business, like you.
Thank you all for your comments and suggestions. I started the business with a $2,000.00 investment in inventory. we now have over $1,000,000.00 in inventory. That's quite a growth. I love the business, it gives me great satisfaction in producing new parts for the hobby and helping people with their projects. Have met many wonderful people who are passionate about the hobby. I will never forget them. It would be impossible to sell the business in pieces. There is just too much to consider that idea. And it is a smooth running machine as is. Dave takes the orders, answers question and does the shipping and I concentrate on manufacturing and product development. My son Mark could take over the business but he is still working his regular job in law enforcement and is too busy. I have had my 1909 and 1911 for as long as I have had the business and still have not restored them. Time is running out and I need a change.
None of us wants to see you close...but I think we all respect your right to retire,seems most of us have...I would like to see one of the family owned suppliers take over your business...would be catastrophic to lose your vast array of high quality reproduction parts....maybe a group or club could pool their resources...sort of like selling the business to the employees....its been done before....At any rate Best Wishes for a L-O-N-G and fruitful retirement, the hobby would not be same if you never took a chance all those years ago THANK YOU FOR ALL YOU HAVE DONE FOR SO MANY
I'm not 81, (but hope to be some day), but at 52, I'm coming to realize I don't have time to work on all the stuff I've got either. It's tough to do when you're a do-it-yourself kind of person, but I'm starting to have work done by others here and there. Maybe your 1909 & 1911 would best be served by farming out their restoration to others. I don't think you'd regret it.
Jerry, Your wrong. I would never be happy with someone else restoring the cars. I enjoy restoration as much as I do producing parts. We started out doing restorations. The original $2000.00 I spent for parts was so I could buy parts wholesale for my restorations. Then people started asking if they could buy parts from me. The rest is history and I had to stop doing restorations including my own due to lack of time. How things evolve.
"I love the business, it gives me great satisfaction..."
"I enjoy restoration as much as I do producing parts."
Well, what you've got there is a real conundrum I guess. Not the worst thing, to have two options, each of which gives you great satisfaction. It's their mutual exclusivity that's the trouble. I guess you knew that...
No one says he has to clone himself as an 81-year-old ! Clone up a
bunch of energetic 20-something Glens and git-r-done !
Years ago, the Weekly World News carried a series of stories of how
Russia cloned 100's of Hitlers. This was years before the entire media
was nothing but bullsh*t. I wrote to them and asked how I could order
one, ... you know, keep him as a pet ? Never heard back from them.
Hell Burger, if I were gonna clone humans they sure as heck would not be copies of me! At any age! You get my drift?
For 45 years I worked with my dad, while he touched each bolt on every car restored. I remember the day he gave away a perfectly restored '40 stake bed. Few understood it.
His favorite saying was: "its the chase that counts"
I will probably never complete the '51 mercury I am working on. But its ok.
I'm with Glen on this one. I too agree, its the chase that counts.
Glen, hope you find a buyer Its a tough market many business's like yours are up for sale and sadly no takers.. I hear more and more business's are getting out or merging...I too just downsized my business last summer and sold off all my old stock off. r.
I'd love to buy the business, but my pockets are much too shallow. I hope you can find someone to continue the business. Good luck to you, Glen.
This past year or two many business places have changed in our area. With no sales tax you can count a large percentage of Washington license plates in the new outlets in our area. Our NAPA outlet with great men behind the counter has been sold with Auto Zone and another large outlet moving in.
A super Costco-TJ MAX-Home Depot-Dollar Tree-Cash and carry- Ford, Chev, Toyota, Kia, Staples, Petco, and more are new buildings.--a huge Walmart is currently being built.
You cant support that amount of outlets with 5000 population and there parking lots are full during the fishing and camping seasons.
Personally at 74 I am happy being retired and still able to work on my Ts
I understand Glens thinking!
I hope you find a worthy and knowledgeable buyer Mr. Chaffin.
As a 48 year-old long-time old car tinkerer and restorer (but new to T's), I'd jump all over it if I had the green.
I do need several of your parts however so I guess I should start buying them now in case you opt to shut it down.
I think many here are missing one issue more then just the money. Money can be obtained through investors and other means. The main issue is the vast knowledge and skill needed to operate a business like Mr. Chaffin's. His life of research and dedication to manufacture period correct parts and maintain a high quality product should not be overlooked. My hat is off to you Mr. Chaffin and I wish you all the best with your restoration quest.
I don't think it's been overlooked Dennis.
I expect that part of any sale would necessarily involve Mr Caffin sticking around for a while in an advisory role.
It will take about forty years to get through that apprenticeship, way to late for me to start. Dave in Bellingham,WA
Way too late for anyone to start apprenticing at this business.
I fulfill all requirements, except one. Deep pockets! I'm one of those young'uns with a passion for all things T.
I've wanted to start my own T business, and hopefully do so in the future.
Sadly,I just don't have the funds yet to be able to undertake such an endeavour.
Tom, I don't have a degree in business, but common sense goes a long way. My background is in microelectronics in the aerospace industry. The Model T Business just happened. While it is very helpful to have a working knowledge about the Model t providing good service and quick delivery of parts is essential. Even more important is manufacturing parts with quality. That has always been our goal and we have been quite successful. While we have had a lot of interest, no one has the financial resources to make it work. If you consider that all we are asking is payment for our investment in inventory, patterns, tooling and equipment. you are getting the business, good will, our reputation and all of our customers for free. I know Mark Auto tried to sell his business and failed. Apparently entrepreneurship is dead.
Mr Chaffin, the work ethic and integrity is what is needed for a business like yours. The money can be borrowed but the other has to be instilled at a young age. Sad to sat that today is rare. I have my own business and know the many hours put in that nobody see's or that there is no payment. I myself am new to T's but learned early on who you are and your reputation. Wishing you the best. Hope somebody will keep that reputation for quality and commitment to your loyal customers going.
Drive safe and often
of all the times not to be a young millionaire
If I had the cash I would buy in a heartbeat.
Best of luck on the retirement and hope someone can get you the money you need or you find someone worthy of the business
I forgot to mention that all of our development, documentation, drawings and manufacturing sources for our new parts is included free.
If I had the dough, was forty years younger, and wouldn't have to move back to California...
Steve, you strike out on all three counts. Too bad, you would be a good choice.
This would be a wonderful opportunity for a younger guy with an engineering back round. With a good credit history, financing could be worked out. It might take some creative financing, but it could be done.
Just my opinion....
I do some consulting to small business. In my experience, it takes at least 5 and sometimes 10 years to get a business ready to sell.
The other thing I always tell business owners, is that if they have to be there, to make it work, you don't have a business for sale, you have a job for sale. You can get a job lots of places without having to buy it.
If it will run with out you, there are lots of investors that will be interested in buying your business.
Maybe it's time for me to remortgage my house and go on the tv show shark tank!
Michael, Yes, there is a lot of interest but no money. You can't just give away what you spent 44 years building.
Can you hire someone to take over your role in the business, or is that the same for you as hiring someone to restore your car? I mean, selling the business to someone is essentially like "hiring" a new owner to do exactly that, take over your role. (Except HE pays YOU) Along with what Michael says, if the business can't do without you, then you have nothing to sell anyway.
Glen do what Rick Macintosh did and sell it to Ecklers. and walk away with the 6 figures you hoping for.
As others have suggested, find and hire someone to take over for you so that the business runs without you. Once it runs without you, there are choices. Keep it as a form of "passive income", or sell it.
There are people with piles of money looking for investments, not jobs.
Mack's reputation is in question and Eckler's has not made it any better. Yes, they have the money but our reputation is more important than that.
at this point options are not in the demand.No real takers after a few years advertising the business for sale.You are really dealing with an older hobbyist they rather buy the product than own a business. Your choices are Lang, Snyder, Birdhaven or Ecklers. Hate to see all that what you built become in a auction house for liquidation.
Come on Lang's, make it happen...
My opinion and only that, please don't crucify me and hear me out;
Glen hit the market at the right time and rode that horse to win but things have changed due to demographics and the business may no longer be sustainable as it is. The "other" suppliers mostly also supply Model A parts, V-8 and street rods (sometimes). This is the limiting factor that is not expanding but decreasing. A 1.5 million investment could be attractive to some investors but the business will never be as it is today as it seems to be stagnant and limited. We all wish this could work with everybody owning and working on a Model T Ford but the numbers don't increase and fall off. Glen is the manufacture of some items that only they make but it is not NAPA where everybody needs the parts. This market is probably not expanding but hopefully will maintain for more years.
A business can exist but investors want growth and I don't see that here without expansion or absorption from another corporation.
I am not writing this with no background, I also am incorporated for over 20 years while working a full time job. The challenge is to keep it manageable, legal, and maintain a family. I can't pass my business off either but upon retirement will be down to just one job in a few years.
Thank you for what you have done and all you have helped. I hope you get a good offer and it will continue in some part.
OK, so the hobby is going to lose a supplier and manufacture of Model T Ford parts soon. The gentleman wants to close his door and finish a project or two.
Why can't a few high rollers on this group pool funds, set up a management group, hire a manager and still supply parts?
Tim has a very valid point from a busisness point of view. In another 40 years just how many people will be restoring T's? How many complete cars will be "on the market?" On the flip side Glen has a very valid point as well.
"If you consider that all we are asking is payment for our investment in inventory, patterns, tooling and equipment. you are getting the business, good will, our reputation and all of our customers for free"
In short the way I see it is as follows you aren't buying a busisness but a shop and pile of parts. Having to build patterns and the time it takes to get things right I know about the cost involved. I'm sure there are a few high rollers around and perhaps the best bet for them might be to buy everything, sell the parts to a supplier and then take the patterns etc and lease them to individuals?
Out of curisoity would this include the shop/warehouse etc or would a new owner be expected to move everything? I visited CA last month and while I could see living there for a little while I am very happy with the land we bought in TN.
Retire now while you have the relative time - energy - health to do want you want.
I was raised in a family business - my Dad had a furniture store we all worked in growing up - but the" business " was my Dad.
I do not think you will find someone with the same skill set - dedication - patience that you possess along with the capital to make new ownership possible.
I was waiting for someone to bring up the word "AUCTION" and now that it has been mentioned you do have that option, but that means 25-50% on the dollar. So maybe you should consider selling for much less than your inventory price. You might be money ahead in the long run. Maybe Stan could give some advice here.
You own the business. Don't let the business own you. We appreciate all you have done for all of us in the hobby. Listen to your heart and your family.
There are 5-6 major suppliers of Model T Ford Parts in the country. With that, business is still good and profitable. However, we are well established as a major supplier of parts that they all of those dealers sell. If I just close my doors, I will be buried with a pile of Model T parts and the dealers will be in a delima with no source for the parts that we manufacture. I do not want to see that happen. We have spent years developing those parts for production and would hate to see all of that effort disappear. That is why I am offering it for free so that someone can benefit and continue to support the hobby.
What would it cost to service a $1.5 million loan?
Seems like the part suppliers have more to lose than us which is why I'm surprised one or more of them hasn't stepped up especially since this isn't the first time you've posted about it over the years. They would be in a better position to do it anyways than someone starting from the ground up with no background in business.
Dominic, good thought, but most of us small business owners ARE owned by our businesses; it's the nature of the beast. As I try to explain to folks; One of the benefits of being self-employed is being able to work a half-day if one wants too--And we can decide which 12 hours of that day it will be.
Not everyone gets that "half-day" part. . . . .
An example ---
Loan of $1,500,000.00 for 30 years. At 5.75%
Monthly Payment: $8,753.59
Total Interest Paid: $1,651,293.42
Total Paid: $3,151,293.42
Hell there's no profit in that.
Their is for the lender
After 4 years up for sale and no real takers just tire kickers it time to realize the future of the hobby.In the past 5+ years we have seen at least 25% of the antique car car catalog companies either sold off to their competitors, closed and auctioned off for business,retired,owner deceased etc. The antique car suppliers are getting smaller and smaller. A good examples is looking at the flea markets.. It turned into chinese tools,toys,garage sale items and real junk. and the real auto part vendors do better business on internet. Thats why Rick Macintosh and his brother got out years ago and sold his MAC's Auto parts catalog business to Ecklers.
Mac's was having problems before they sold and Eckler's hasen't made it any better. We pride ourself on our service and provide more free technical advise than we sell parts. We hope to find someone who will keep up the good service while making a good profit.
Thanks to all for your comments. Perhaps I have another 30 years! you never know. My health is good and model T's are good therapy. I was hoping my son would take over the business but he has other plans and wants to leave the state. Thanks Jerry Brown,You have screwed up the state and my retirement.
Glen - PM sent (in a moment)....
Looks like we will be in business until I die. Apparently there are no serious buyers who want to support the hobby and make a few bucks along the way. Only money hungry investors who want to give you pennies on the dollar. I would rather give the business away to some deserving person than sell it to a scammer. We are not desperate to sell and we're still in business, so keep the orders coming in. Thanks to all of our loyal customers, you are the best and we enjoy helping you with your projects. My cars will just have to wait a little longer.
Some wise person has said : All good things come to those that wait.
Hope that is true for you.
Mr. Chaffin....I'm about to start the process of running a business started in 1978.
The founder is in his 70's and wants to step away from it completely. He too has a son who's not interested in the business. I've been an employee for a while so I'm not new to it.
We'll transition the leadership of the company over the next couple of years until he's not involved except to meet monthly to examine the financials, etc. At that time we may talk about him selling to me.
This may be a path that you want to consider.
And I agree...it's too bad about California being run by incompetents. We have some friends at our church who, a few years ago, moved their entire HVAC company from CA to TX. They moved their inventory, employees, vans (15 of them), office furniture, everything....to The Woodlands, TX. They said the state had made it almost impossible to run a profitable business.
And for what it's worth...if you were in TX, I'd seriously consider approaching you with a plan like this. I enjoy the business I'm in and am looking forward to the future, but my passion is this old iron and I'd love to make it my work as well.
I'm certainly speaking out of ignorance, but....one would think that Ross Lilliker would be interested in buying everything and moving it to TX.
(Message edited by rustyfords on May 15, 2017)
Have you considered donating part of the business to a career center ? They most likely have all the machinery necessary to produce some of the items that you produce and it would be a great way to get young people involved and interested in the hobby. Might be a good tax benefit as well.
I think one draw back would be the schools governing body. You would no longer have control of your business or how to operate it and when their budget needs trimmed something like manufacturing would be cut in place of their salaries.
We have invested most of our profit back into the company to produce growth in our product line. This has been quite successful. Because of this I have not taken a salary because as sole owner everything belongs to me and the tax base on a corporation is much less than individual income. So it is a tax advantage. That being said, to run this business you have to have a working knowledge of the Model T. You can't just be a pencil pusher or a computer geek. I am not desperate to sell, would just like a little time to devote to my hobby. So I will never fall victim to the bargain basement offers or the investment wizards who want to give you pennies on the dollar. Unfortunately, those who have a genuine interest do not have the money.
What Glen builds is not something that "beginners" could create. Having been around college machining courses (back when "Industrial Arts" was taught--I actually have the last IA degree conferred by CSU, Chico) the projects for the student's were fairly basic to give them an understanding of how the machines worked, and (in later years) how to program them. They would create things like a cable come-a-long, so the end result was something useful--if they built it correctly! Some of the advanced graduate courses had student's doing more complex things, one student did a run of about a half-dozen cast bronze steam whistles, complete with valve--but it took him more than one semester, and he finished up much of it on his own time. The complex parts that Glen creates would not, in most instances, lend itself to a learning situation.
It could be that Glen will have to sell pieces of his production to different individuals or groups, resulting in multiple suppliers instead of one. Just an idea.
I lost my lifelong friend and mentor last year at the age of 86. He was
a gruff and sharp-tongued old dog, with a dry wit and strong sense of ethics.
And he played a wicked piano.
Our shared interest was old junk, and he often pined over the way the
average cul-de-sac mall drones thought his collections were trash, and
that he was nuts for keeping all that junk, never mind paying perfectly good
money for it !
Many times he said to me that his best "investments" were the things he
did for himself, in terms of personal satisfaction and pleasure. He argued
that others spent their "hobby" money on beer, or golf, or whatever, .... all
pass times where the money spent was simply gone after doing the activity,
what he spent his money on COULD be sold, and that he could enjoy those
things he bought over and over and over again. Made perfect sense to me !
In the end, his family did sell his collections. He had set them up for easy
dispersal. But the family did not want most of what had been his life's passions.
He said to me many times that he would rather give it all away to someone that
shared his passion than turn it into a pile of cash for his kids who did not care.
Food for thought. I know a bunch of my possessions will bring out every
scumbag money-grubbing weasel on earth when I croak. Like my friend, I'd
rather see them destroyed than go to the kind of pukes that only understand
Is it really necessary to keep reminding us of "pukes", "scum, "dirtbags", "people needing to be dead", how we are to conduct ourselves when buying & selling, etc.? I'm of an age where I don't need to preached to about who's good, who's bad, who I should avoid and how I should act. My mom and dad took care of that long ago.
I just can't imagine why, in the discussion of Model T Fords, any of those words or sentiments are needed. I guess you can say, "If you don't like it then don't read it". But, it's not like it's a topic heading that can just passed over. This self-righteous vitriol is spread liberally throughout several topics.
Can we just agree that some people are to be avoided in this hobby and in life, and just quit the preaching?
I would like to think that what we have done for the hobby is valuable. We did it for the challenge and our love for the people in the hobby and our love of the Model T Ford. However, it is disappointing that some dealer or individual is not willing or have the resources to carry on that tradition. We are proud of what we have done and hate to see it die with us.
Like most things, it will continue, but only out of necessity. I don't believe it will die with you, but that, unfortunately, may be what it takes for someone to decide to carry it on.
It's like a guy at work who's been complaining for weeks that his lathe is making a terrible racket. He can't figure out why management doesn't fix it. I point to the full chip bin and rack of finished work and tell him, "that's why". When the lathe finally blows up, they'll fix it. (We're not always big on preventative maintenance)
Glen, I wish you luck. Lately it seems everything needs to be bargain-priced in order to sell. Nobody seems willing to take a risk right now, myself included.
I think the path for future success (long term) with this business for the new owner is going to be keeping the Model T parts going and adding new lines of parts for other (newer) cars.
Even better, parts that can be used on any old car...not just Model T's.
I have a few of these ideas for parts knocking around in my head.
The problem, as I see it, is that our hobby seems to have three distinct classes (for lack of a better term) of people.
The first, and obviously most important, is the older generation like Glen and his kind. The guys who built the hobby because they liked it, and just happened to figure out how to make money at it to boot.
The second is the middle-age types. These guys have been around the cars and know a good deal, but they're in their careers and can't exactly afford to quit that just yet. They might be able to buy the business someday, or maybe not. But for right now they enjoy their T's when they're not at their real jobs.
The third group is the young bucks like me, the kind of guy who's young, dumb and full of... youthful enthusiasm. He would love to be like Glen when he grows up, but hasn't figured out how to do that just yet and doesn't have the kind of cash available to buy an established business. At least not one with the scope, or the prestige, of Chaffin's Garage.
It does warm my heart to know you're not just trying to sell it as soon as possible. I hope someone comes along to help you transition into retirement the way you deserve, Glen.
The point was relevant. Glen has made it clear he has been low-balled
and played for a fool by the money grubbers looking to take advantage of
an old man who would like to step back. There are some of us who would
rather put the boat onto the rocks than be treated that way. Glen has stated
as much. Did you miss the part about the business dying with him ?
As for my post, I was simply agreeing with Glen's lament and offering my
own similar experience/s. It is MY story. I'll tell it as I see fit.
Glen, I feel for you. You have done so much good for this hobby. You deserve
Your "point" was not the "point" of my comments. Your holier-than-thou, self righteous indignation of anyone with whom you do not agree was MY point.
When do you ever talk about Model T's on this Model T forum?
I could ask the same question of you, Gus.
I often write about the reasons I have a Model T, or the things I do with
mine. Even more often, I chime in on historical background of the old
photos that get posted. Go check, you'll see.
Oddly, I do not seem to recall ever seeing your posts, constructive or
otherwise. You are turning this into a personal attack pissing match and
Glen's thread is certainly not the place for that.
Everyone loves a bargain. Perhaps I am wrong because I have a sentimental vested interest, but I think that selling any business for your investment cost with no profit for your hard work and development costs is a bargain.
Glen, have you put an ad in Hemmings magazine and/or the MTFCA and MTFCI magazines? I would try that, but I doubt you're going to find one buyer for the entire business that's going to pay a fair price.
I know it's not your preferred option, but if you truly want your legacy to the hobby not to end when you're gone perhaps spiting the business up and selling off parts is the next best option. Buyers and fair offers would be much easier to find. Your son might be able to manage a smaller scale Chaffin's that only sells the items it makes; just an idea.
"Glen's thread is certainly not the place for that."
" I know a bunch of my possessions will bring out every scumbag money-grubbing weasel on earth when I croak. Like my friend, I'd
rather see them destroyed than go to the kind of pukes that only understand
You are right however, it's Glen's thread. I'll leave it to you to make constructive additions to it.
At 55, I see myself transitioning out of the General Contracting business over the
next 10 years. Maybe I will remain stupidly healthy and spry ??? ... but most of
my contemporaries get pretty broken down and in NEED of retirement by that age.
I hope to beat the curve and by planning ahead, be doing so by choice and not based
on no longer being able to, physically.
That said, I began angling towards such an eventuality two years ago by taking up
an affiliation with a Veterans program called Vets on the Farm. I have hired 5 Vets so
far, and all have been given the proposition to dedicate themselves to the company
and learn the ropes, and I will GIVE the business to the lead dog with the best capa-
-bilities to keep it going in a direction I feel is best FOR the business. Likely, I would
reverse roles and end up working for my own company IN retirement, if I got the right
"kid" in there to take over, but we will see. I have one that is really sharp and has a
deeper sense of business and tact. At 22, he has a lot to learn, but seems to like the
challenges and working with clients. He might just be "the one".
I would like to think the weird business niche I have developed would be carried forward,
but who knows ? The bottom line is I have had a good ride, had a lot of laughs, it's
never been a job I have hated getting up in the morning for (something many of my friends
cannot say), and in the end, I will croak out and none of it will really matter. I just need
to be able to eat and have a little fun for as long as I can. My investments in tools and
inventory will never be recouped. And as stated previously, I'd rather GIVE it away to
someone that shares my passion, than sell out to someone who doesn't.
My focus is directed to where I would go from there, once I bug out, and keeping options
open to maintain a decent standard of living, as opposed to being the old hermit eating
Guess I'll be in business until the end. The last 44 years have been good and we have brought a lot of new parts to the hobby like the Ruckstell axle, new camshafts, correct early spring shackles and a host of other parts.Too bad someone else cannot take over where we leave off. Thank you to all of our loyal customers. It is a pleasure serving you.
Glen, Have you tried OPG. They have quality parts for Muscle cars. Mostly body panels. It might be an option.
Why would a muscle car dealer be interested in Model T parts?
Glen, if OPG were to be interested in buying Chaffin's Garage, it would be because the distribution part of your business would bolster what they already do.
If OPG does do custom manufacturing, and if there is someone there who knows how to work the machine tools, the manufacturing part of Chaffins' Garage would possibly fit them.
If Chaffin's Garage were strictly distribution, Bailey and I would be interested. Alas, what sets you apart from so many others is the custom manufacturing you do, and we are not set up for that.
So i can sell the distribution and manufacturing separately. I might even want to keep the manufacturing.
Yes. The distribution and manufacturing segments of Chaffin's Garage could likely be sold separately, or one sold, the other kept.
If you do approach it that way, selling just the distribution part of Chaffin's Garage should be considerably easier than selling both segments together.
Distribution is easier to value because you have a certain, known cost in the items you purchased for stock to sell.
Most likely, anyone who would buy the manufacturing segment of Chaffin's Garage would want to know detailed specifics of raw material costs, man-hours spent to produce any given product, the age of the machine tooling, etc.
In the event you want to sell the distribution segment of Chaffin's Garage, and keep the manufacturing segment, I believe you have the option there of having the best of both worlds.
What sets you apart from some suppliers is the fact that for the most part you make what you sell and that coupled with your service and advice makes a customer very comfortable and appreciative of your firm. (It is true that the same can be said of a few other “super” family run providers of parts for this hobby).
Unfortunately, to this consumer, there is many a “slip ‘twixt the cup and the lip” when I attempt to make a purchase thru an intermediary…an organization that does not manufacture, and in many instances, has no idea of the use of the widget they sell - think “Back Order”, “This part is not applicable to my need”, and so on.
As so many others have stated, I too, am sympathetic to your situation – I, too, left a job that was rewarding financially, but lacked enough emotional satisfaction to keep me happy during the years I have left on this planet.
Hopefully, a “rising star” will emerge that can carry on your manufacturing, advising, selling and distributing operation. Best wishes for an early riser. Dave
I am willing to sell the distribution side of the business for the actual cost of the inventory, no profit. All shelving, computers, sales equipment, customers, good will and 44 years of developing the business would be free.
as a supplier for OPG they would NOT be interested in the pre war stuff. Even Carpenter Industries, Drakes wouldn't be interested. You have to find that right person who is willing to take over.Don't forget the old car business is not what is use to be doesn't matter if it a Model T or a GTO the market has been soft for a few years now. I deal with alot of purchasing people of many catalog companies and they tell me who's selling, sold, merged or closed their business and also forwards me infromation on how busy or not they are.
Still looking for an entrepreneur with a little money. Willing to sell the distribution side and production side separately.
I think it might be best to let Dennis Carpenters speak for themselves.
They are a manufacturer/distributor so this is not new ground for them. They don't currently deal in Model A or T parts however.
I'm guessing that you've already called them Mr Chaffin but if you haven't, you should.
Don, Carpenter Industries handles 1932 and up and even so Danny at Carpenter Industries his only interest is MADE IN CHINA products they hardly mfg anything in the USA. Danny blew off most of his US suppliers to have the same product MADE in CHINA. (most of these are bad repops)
All of our products are quality American made parts and are still reasonable. I don't need any China headaches and don't have any, so our business runs smooth with few headaches. That's why any buyer would have an easy time keeping it going. We have already developed all of the good, reliable and reasonable sources.
Glen keeping your products is a A+. These cars were built in the good old USA and we should keep these replacement parts Made in the USA. We also do all our manufacturing in the USA that we supply our customers.
Just a bit of info I was told about 3 weeks ago. Dennis Carpenter did buy 2 model T's as he sent a man over to a friends place to get 4 wheels for them.
Dennis has a extensive collection of Ford built cars, trucks, tractors etc..but buying Glens business sorry to say its different story.
I would think that Dennis is approaching, or is at "retirement age" and the way his business model is run, is "make the stuff in China, it's cheaper."
None of that fits Glenn's situation, let's move on! Decades ago, Dennis' stuff was very good and the only source for some late '31 A parts, although he never marketed them as such; you had to know your parts to figure out what fit!
But, that was 2 decades ago!
I know for a fact that Carpenters makes a lot of their rubber and stamped metal pieces right there in their shop. I've been inside there and have seen it!
They do buy some Chinese stuff but to say that's all they're interested in is either ignorant or deceptive.
I've used some of the rubber they make there and have some of the trim pieces they make and they're absolutely of the very highest quality. They've made the decision to supplement their manufactured line with Chinese parts and that's their decision.
Dennis' son is mostly running the business and although I don't know him personally, I'm just guessing that he might want to expand his line past 1932 to include A's and T's. He may not but it certainly wouldn't hurt for Mr Chaffin to make an inquiry, regardless of whether someone else on this forum has an axe to grind.
that's good to hear Don; I know that some 20 years ago, their rubber products were excellent ( they just didn't seem to know that some of them fit the late model A!).
Our interest is model T's, not Model A's. There are plenty of model A dealers, don't need any more. But it would be a shame to see a lot of Model T parts disappear.
Last chance, otherwise the business dies with me. Glover Ruckstell will cry when parts for his beloved Ruckstell disappear.
Like I said Glen, only when you finally stop making Ruckstells, and other stuff, someone else will. Until then, they'll let you suffer with the burden of doing so.
Too bad the other major model t vendors can't absorb your loss somehow. Sorry to see you go!
Jerry, No one is going to invest in making patterns and tooling as we did years ago. The cost would be prohibitive today and it would be stupid to do so when they already exhist! We have hundreds of parts that we manufacture for the public and other dealers. I don't know what the dealers are thinking, maybe they don't care, but it is sad for me and the hobby.
I understand and sympathize with your dilemma and wish I had a solution for you. Long story, but I can relate to your son being invested in a career.
My father would be 73 if he were alive today. He spent over forty years wheat farming and, unfortunately, Parkinsons (so the doctors' claimed) took him in 2008. The price of wheat was terrible in the 1980's and still is. He told all of his sons (three boys) that there wasn't room for two families to farm, to go to college and find other jobs - so we did. I went into teaching, one brother is a CFO, and the other brother manages the internet at WSU.
My grandfather managed the farm until 1985, when he passed, and for some unknown reason wouldn't allow the grandkids to do any fieldwork of any sort. Consequently, I received absolutely no training except during the summer months of my college years when Dad needed a tractor driver to disc or rodweed. Dad wasn't a teacher and refused to teach his sons how to repair rigs, weld, etc.
Having little incentive to come home and farm after college, I married a woman who was not interested in the farm life at all and began my career in teaching. My brothers did the same. Three months before Dad died, he begged me to come home and take over for him and I showed him a letter that he wrote to me in 1989 stating that there wasn't a place for me and that I should find other employment. After reading the letter, he said, "I was wrong."
It is too late for me to come back now. I am well invested in my career and the equipment on the farm is too outdated to keep running. Mom now has a tenant who farms the ground. I loved the farm and my heart goes out to my mom; however, due to poor planning of the prior generations, they pretty much aced their kids out of the legacy.
With all due respect, do you plan on taking the patterns and tooling with you when you go?
Yes Jerry, I made a lucrative investment and would be stupid to give it away. All I'm asking is to receive payment for my investment. No profit, just to keep it going. The investor gets the business for free. I took all the risks and made it a success and now no one is willing to take over what I spent 44 years building.
Glen you might want to join the other people (Ford, GM, Mopar) in the hobby that mfg/wholesale/retail car parts business that wanted out and could not sell their business because of no takers. They just shut down and liquidated their entire inventory for penny/ dollar or sold it at auction. Big question where are you advertising you business for sale??? Have you tried the specialized brokers who handle these type??
I have only advertised in the MTFCA Forum. Almost everyone in the hobby visits the forum. The brokers and business investors all look to make more than you in any sale. I will not play that game. I would rather scrap everything than give it away.
Glen, if you stopped production of all items you manufacture tomorrow how many months of supply would there be on popular items?
My guess is some potential buyers may believe they'll get a better deal after you're gone.
By stopping production now, you will maybe force their hand. I think that's maybe the point Jerry was trying to make...once what you make is longer available that's when they'll start thinking seriously of trying to make a deal.
So maybe the best option for you personally is to stop all production now. Start restoring your 1909 and 1911. Wait for buyer when stock runs out. You make a fair deal and have an orderly transition to the new owner/s. Quality parts are available again; win-win situation, everyone happy.
This could be the best option too for the hobby and your legacy since there's no current plan as to what happens when you go.
Yes Constantine, that's what I meant. Thanks.
Thanks guys for your comments. Very good point. Keep what production stock we have for retail only and stop selling wholesale. Or, offer everything we have to the public for wholesale prices. That would really upset the other dealers and I don't want to do that. They have all been good customers. I want to be fair to everyone including myself. My goal has always been to support the hobby but I now need to retire.
I love it when people say "if I can't get my price, I'll die with it".
Who is going to pay your price when your dead and how will you spend the money?
Hard to appreciate principals when your dead.
There was a big brass car that had been for sale for awhile. Myself and others offered the seller a fair price. He played the "If I can't get my price, I'll die with it" card. Well, he died. The car was put in a major auction and well publicized. I was able to buy it at auction for about 40K less than I offered him. After the auction company subtracted their fees from the selling price, the widow-who genuinely needed the money-recevied about 60K less than her husbnd was offered before he died.
Yes, you can put a price on being stubborn.
Well, I love it when someone says, "I won't buy it unless it is a bargain." Maybe I'm wrong but if you can buy something for what it cost with no profit and has a very large retail value then you are getting a bargain. Never mind that it took 44 years to get it to that point. I may be stubborn but I am not stupid and I find it insulting for someone to suggest that I am. It is the principle not the money. I don't need the money or the insults. The insults make me wish I had never tried to help the hobby.
Mr Chaffin...if I had the $$ I'd be on the phone making a deal with you.
The rat race in the Houston oil industry is no place for a civilized person and although I'm good at it, I'd walk away from it in a heartbeat and be happy as a clam running your business...even if it meant making less than I do now.
Don, Make me a reasonable offer.
I may be in a position to do so in a couple years but I'm not there at present.
Finding someone with both 1.5M and a love of model Ts might be difficult. If the business nets enough to cover a loan, someone that is interested in buying, that does not have cash, could get a loan.
Share your books with a local bank and see how much they would loan someone to buy the business. If they would loan someone a significant portion of the asking price it may increase the number of potential buyers and you could advertise it as such.
(Message edited by 2slow on May 24, 2017)
(Message edited by 2slow on May 24, 2017)
No bank would loan anything close to $1.5MM for the business. Not even close. Glen is a gift to the hobby, but just because there's emotional attachment to the business does not add to its valuable. Sad but true.
Ron's story above is a common one. Has nothing to do with sharks or scoundrels. Something is only worth what someone will pay for it.
There is no white knight who will materialize for this business. Glen has to either reduce his price significantly or he really will die with it. If that happens, the hobby loses, but so does Glen, his employees, and his family.
Maybe selling the business by asking someone to come up with $ 1.5 million plus in cash is not a workable approach. It would seem to me if you really want to sell and restore your cars then you need to take the best deal you can negotiate and you may or may not be able to recoup all you have invested.
Joe and Eldo:
Ever heard of seller financing? Businesses are sold on a regular basis using this method.
That requires the buyer to provide a down payment, not the entire purchase amount.
I was offered a business at one time, and the numbers were exactly the same.
I'd become friends with an equipment manufacturer in the food business. He has a small, but profitable, operation, in Jackson, Mississippi.
The numbers were the same, $1.5 million for the land, building, current inventory, right to use his designs and blueprints, and customer list.
His profit, after all fees, taxes, small reinvestment to keep business current, and so forth, was about $150K a year, which he put in his pocket.
Now, the KEY is, he OWNED everything and everything was PAID for, so he had no loan note.
When I went through the books, yes, it was profitable, but once you start paying off a $1.5 million note (20 years, the 5.75% rate mentioned, about $11,000 per month), there's no money left for the would be new owner.
So, unless someone has the money in hand, and will take the profit as interest on that money, then it's a hard sell. Many small businesses just disappear after the original owner moves one. It's a tough situation, and I understand your frustration.
At some point, the only way you may get money is to stop making new parts, sell your inventory, and move on...as painful as that would be for you and the Model T community.....
Seller financing is an option, however I encourage Glenn to see what a bank would loan someone to buy the business as a way of getting an unbiased third party opinion of the business value based on the books. How much something cost, and what it is worth are different things.
As David points out, if the new business would not be profitable for someone paying a loan on it, you are looking for a cash buyer. (that is into Model Ts.)
TIME is what you and all of us here have a limited supply of.
Every day could be our last here on this earth.
I was raised in a family business - a furniture store - it died with my Dad.
If someone has 1.5 million to invest - it most likely not be in your life's work because the fiduciary return does not warrant it.
If you scale back manufacturing - your manufacturing sources will go elsewhere to keep in business along with your customers who buy your product.
The house next door has market value - sell it.
Your house has market value - sell it if you do not plan to stay in Corona.
I agree with Mark - California does not look like a secure state to experience retirement in - that is why he is looking to relocate.
Sometimes - the children can be the ones to look to for the answers we are seeking.
Whatever you decide to do - I wish you enough time to facilitate it.
THANK YOU for all you have done for the Model T Community.
Erik, I'm very familiar with Seller financing. My point is that the business isn't worth what Glen is asking. It doesn't matter how you finance the deal. No one is going to invest in any business that would require over 100 years to recoup your investment - and that's a very very generous estimate. Maybe someone wants to play ball for the good of the hobby regardless of the math of the business - and that would be great. But that's what a sale would require at the current ask.
Nicely said, Jim.
I don't know how secure or insecure California is for retirement. I don't know what that means. But I know it's mighty expensive. The cost of living is considerably less in much of the rest of the country. I was happily surprised to find when I escaped to Kansas that the move cut the cost of my car insurance in half. That's just one of several expenses that are less in other places.
Back in 1998 I had a farm machinery auction when I quit farming. Some of my machinery brought less than half of what I thought it was worth, but that looked a lot better than the price of hauling it in for scrap.
"But now I need to retire". You're overdue to do something for yourself Glen. While I truly don't mean to insult you, (& hindsight being 20-20), you surely held on too long. You need to do whatever it takes to look out for yourself. You devoted your life to the hobby but like any life job the time comes to lock the door and move on. I sincerely hope something turns up but you simply have to move on. Your asking price, while I'm sure is worth it value wise, is going to be a tough nut to crack on short notice no less. Best of luck to you.
l can stop production but that will severely hurt the dealers and the hobby. I can hold a fire sale and discount parts at 10-20 percent but that will irritate the other dealers. I don't like either option but may not have another choice. I would prefer that some dealer with cash make me a decent offer even at a loss. That would enhance their investment and profit and significantly enhance their business. The only other option is to continue running the business making a decent profit then leave the headache to my wife and son when I die. I would hate to do that to them.
Glen, give the other dealers 2 or 3 months notice of your plans to stop production and hold a "20% off everything sale". If they choose not to step up to the plate and make a deal then they're the ones who've hurt themselves and the hobby, not you.
Perhaps the time has come for you to play hard ball for the sake of both yourself and the hobby. Worse thing for the hobby would be you leaving without a succession plan...that would result in chaos and I long halt in production.
Constantine, I totally agree. However, It disturbes me to think that all we have produced for the Model T will disappear because there is no one willing to step up and take over production even at a loss for me. It does not make me feel good about the hobby that I so dearly loved. I would like to leave this world with a smile on my face instead of a frown.
Its ok Glenn don't worry about a thing. if you stop it someone else will duplicate it...
Where would the loss to you come from?
Your initial investment, tooling, patterns & engineering must have been paid back to you several fold in the last 44 years, (I realize you didn't incur all those costs the day you started, 44 years ago, but still...). Your cost of finished goods, (inventory), would hopefully be sold at least at par with cost, as well as your work-in-process. An asking price covering your inventory value, plus a percentage of expected sales for the next several years should theoretically net you a profit.
If you have the 20% off sale, as you suggest, that will further cut your inventory value, put more money in your pocket, and ultimately lower your asking price as the new owner will not have to purchase so much of your inventory.
Yeah, but the quality control will likely be lacking. . . .
Glen, ask your CPA just how much inventory you need to have on hand in order to do the average of the last three years sales. I'm assuming that your business is fairly steady year 'round is not excessively seasonal.
How much purchased for resale inventory (cost) is necessary to have on hand?
How much that you manufacture inventory (cost) is necessary to have on hand?
Once you sweat out those numbers, you can begin discussions with a buyer and possibly a bank.
Getting the impression that he hasn't done much beyond advertising on this site. Also getting the impression that he doesn't know exactly what the heck he wants. Kind of late in the game to keep upping the ante. Dump it. Enjoy life your job is done. The hobby owes you nothing. None of my business but the guys that talk about what you'll leave behind will be a burden on your family and will absolutely go for bargain prices are 100% correct.
Jerry, Our loss would be our investment. Yes, we started out with a $2,000.00 investment, but to grow the business I did not take a salary. Taxes on a corporation is less than a personal incomen so I chose to pay taxes on the profit of the company. By keeping the money in the business we could buy more inventory and start manufacturing our own products. That is how our $2,000.00 investment grew to 1.5 m. So if I were to sell at $1m I would be loosing $500,000.00. At this point I might be willing to do that.
That sure sounds like farming!
Glen you should go on the Shark Tank...lol
This logic defies any analysis a rational buyer would use.
Since $1.5M is what you say the inventory is worth, why not simply liquidate to get your money out of it?
At that point, since you already said the development, documentation, drawings and manufacturing sources were included "free" in the deal, you could give that to someone deserving of your choice who would carry on what you started.
You get your $$$, someone gets the means to continue to make parts, and the whole hobby benefits in the long term.
Dan, No, We have $1,073,244.00 in inventory at cost. And about $500,000. in other assets. If I liquidate I will not even get back my inventory investment so I would never get my investment back. Eido believes that you must give away what you have spent your life developing or it is not a bargain. Well, sorry but that just isn't logical and it is a bargain. I am not desperate to sell, so don't try to scam me. I am just hoping to find someone to carry on where I leave off. Scamer's and thief's be damned.
Ok, well by liquidate I meant to simply turn your inventory into cash. Selling it at cost, and not making anything new (for a short time) seems like a good way to raise funds.
How many years now? So if your competitors are not interested and you have been trying to sell it on this forum only ( not advertising worldwide on other sites, brokers etc) your only remedy is to start liquidating inventory, selling off your tooling etc.
Glen what do you see where this hobby is going in the next 10 years?
RJ, Business is still good. As long as we can get new blood in the hobby it will continue. My only fear is that California and maybe some other climate control freak states will ban the old cars from the road. That is my biggest fear. That could kill the hobby.
Get the business professionally appraised. See what number a professional prices the business at. Then we can see who's scamming who.
There aren't 15 million of these cars left and they aren't making any more. New blood isn't going to produce any more Model T's. The hobby is headed in one inevitable direction. You have a shrinking, aging market and you can't fight that. That's reality.
There is no white knight for the business.
When discussion comes around about the dying Model T hobby, have to again look at today. At the Luray Swap meet, I spent some time with a teen age new Model T'er. He has two Ts. His newest a barn 1915 runabout that he want to keep that way. Gave him some parts deals too. Times change, but antique cars will be part of future hobby for young men. The T is a significant historical auto, that will continue to be owned, driven, repaired, modified with new parts like Ruckstells, for a long time in the coming decades.
Like to look back a few years with this post about the T parts business......the last sentences are telling. Same as today
By Tom Rootlieb on Tuesday, September 10, 2013 - 06:47 pm:
[Mfg. of replacement Ford T sheet metal parts] We have never kept track of numbers. Our company is 40 yrs. old this year and we can somewhat guess by recollection. The number of employees has varied from 3 to 18. My guess is that we have sold 3 to 4 thousand dropped- axles and sold 4 to 5 thousand Model T speedster kits. Some years ago we were looking at similar data and we realized that we had put a new hood and 4 new fenders on a minimum of 40,000 cars. At the same time we put our best guess on how many cars survived, intact and in pieces at 200,000. While that number may seem big, it's only a 1.3% survival rate. So we have at least another 100 yrs. of work to do. Back in 1973, when I was 24 and we were just starting out, my father and I were talking one day and he told me not to count too much on this business, because in 10 years there wouldn't be any old cars left out there and we would both be looking for a job. I'll be 65 on my next birthday.
The Model T hobby is not necessarily heading in a completely bad direction.
I am 17 years old, and I will keep working on Model T's my entire life. I hope to do restoration on my car by the end of the summer, so I may share my enjoyment of the hobby to others.
At my high school, we must create a "senior project" where we must do something to help the community. For mine, I am going to share my knowledge of Model T's to an Elementary school and show them what life was really like back over 100 years ago, and hope they all become fascinated like I am.
I always believe that another generation of Model T enthusiasts are on the way. Besides, there are no more original owners left, so the hobby must have been picked up once by a younger generation, and probably will again.
I always thought the best dream job would be create a Model T dealership, or even make Model T parts, but life always permits.
"They aren't making anymore...." My good friend and I discussed this very thing yesterday.
The Model T is one of the few antique cars that ARE still being made. Look at Mr. Rootlieb's comment about speedster bodies, thousands.
Yes, someone has to rescue a Model T frame, but those are available, and if you look hard enough in the vast deserts of the West, probably available for the taking!
The Model T guys are among the most enthusiastic and active old car guys out there. Just look at this forum, lot's of activity. There seems to be more and more gloom and doom talk about the old car hobby, but I just don't see it going away anytime soon.
Just the businesses supplying T parts should give you a clue. If there was one struggling business doing so, then alarm bells would sound, but there are numerous and all seem to be doing well...
You need to post more ....
Great profile image !
I am scheduled to pick up a 1923 Touring T in Illinois & will be dropping off in Manchester, Maine.
I would like to meet you & buy you lunch.
I've been involved in many corners of the antique car hobby. Heck, I'm THE GUY for the 54 Ford Club.
And...I can say without reservation that the Model T is unique. Skyler's post above is correct.
Thanks Freighter Jim!
I have never been to Manchester, but I looked on Google Maps and it seems to be an hour and twenty minutes away.
Not too bad considering that most of the people on the forum are located in the midwest.
I wasn't suggesting that the hobby was in a death spiral. I'm 40 and just got a T that was sitting in a shed back on the road. My point was simply that these cars aren't rolling off the assembly line a more. Yes, all of us need parts to maintain the cars we have. And an occasional barn find will get a new lease on life. But that does not equate to massive growth potential in Glen's business. And any appraisal would bear that out because they look at market conditions.
If Glen decides to give away his business, I nominate Skylar to get some consideration. If this kid can make a go of it for 50 years, that would cover my lifetime for sure.
Eldo...I don't think anyone expects "massive growth potential" out of Mr. Chaffin's business.
Just owning a profitable business that you enjoy would be a blessing that few ever get to experience.
"Profitable" is an important part of that statement.
The Model T is a great hobby to get into, just not the best profession.
If Glen can determine the minimum amount of inventory-at-cost that's necessary to maintain good customer service, this will be the first important step in finding a buyer. Then, he can work towards lowering his inventory to that level; the lower it is, the easier it is for Chaffin's Garage to sell as an on-going business.
If Chaffin's Garage is not steeply seasonal, a new owner would be able to cash-flow any debt out of the profits of the business as it continues to operate.
Glen, I hope you can work with a CPA and/or business planner to find that inventory number. Once you do find it, an interested buyer has hard numbers to present to a bank and to his own CPA. If you have inventory that's just not selling, consider having an "inventory reduction sale". As far as the intersection of gross profit and inventory-turns-per-year of any item, if multiplying your gross profit by turns-per-year results in .80 or higher, that item is good for you to keep in stock.
At that point, the process of selling Chaffin's Garage will begin to move forward.
My interest in Model T's began in 1973 when I was 20. The availability of new, good quality parts today is better than it ever has been. I never would have guessed that something like a brand new crankshaft, brand new camshaft, and transmission drums, etc., would ever be available.
Yes, it's a small market in the scheme of things, but I haven't seen any signs that it's slowing down.
You guys are all right and Eido is wrong. The hobby is healthy and growing. I could not have turned $2000.00 into 1.5M if that were not true.
Bill, We started out in 1973 also. Met Don Snyder, Senior at Harrah's swap meet in Reno and became a dealer with Don's help. As far as inventory is concerned, I have always said that if you don't have it you can't sell it. That is why we have such a large inventory. But that is an advantage for any potential buyer. But I understand that that is a problem when it comes to finding the money. As far as a CPA is concerned, I have all of the hard numbers and fully understand the potential of the business. CPA's and Business Planners are in the business of getting you to sell at a loss so they can collect healthy bonuses. Anyone with a little common sense can look at the numbers and make a good decision.
One thing very lightly touched here is that Glenn has patterns for parts AND knows where to send them to become GOOD castings. Lots of places can cast parts, but casting parts and casting parts with good grain structure are two different things. This knowledge is priceless, actually. he also has sourced good materials suppliers. I don't know if he machines the axles in house, or has developed a good relationship with another shop who likely has numerical controlled machining centers.
It might be possible to separate the retail business from the manufacturing business--or maybe even businesses; there might be more than one "piece of the making action" that could be spun off. One thing that will be likely lost is the great customer care that Glenn's business supplies--just call on the phone and get an answer or an explanation! Part of this is only possible because they "make what they sell" and can tell you what will or won't work from personal experience.
David, You are right. We have developed all of the right contacts to manufacture our parts at reasonable prices right here in the USA. That is invaluable in itself but it will be free with the sale of the business. Apparently Eido thinks that is worthless. Dave and I have helped countless customers with their problems. This takes countless hours on the phone and never costs a penny. Time that we could devote to business but believe that helping the customer creates more business.
I have been watching this thread with great interest. I cannot consider buying this business with the exchange rate, and living in Canada. I couldn't make it work. But something I've noticed, and a potential buyer should notice, is thst not once has Glen put a price on his emotional attachment to it. He's been giving hard, solid numbers. X dollars stock on hand, Y dollars in tooling etc. Most people overvalued the business. I don't see this as the case here
Bob, I obviously have an emotional attachment to the business. I have put my heart and soul into it. But I have not let that influence my opinion about what I feel it is worth. The numbers speak for themselves and are what is important and It is obviously a viable business. We are among the top two manufacturers of new parts for the hobby and among the top three dealers. I cannot imagine someone not wanting to take over that position or adding it to their business.
Glen, hire a responsible manager for your business
This manager should handle customer service,inventory & mfg and you should sit back and relax, collect a weekly or monthly check form the business and work on your cars
Glen, I'm with RJ. Find yourself another gem like Dave (not gonna be easy though), a quality person that you trust and let the business finance your "retirement."
Jerry, We pay Dave a good salary and he earns it but he is my biggest expense, He may be grouchy but invaluable. Wish I could afford a manager but it is not possible.
Ouch!! Glen, if you own every thing and can't afford a manager, how's the business going to service the expense of someone to buy it.
Frank, Two things, It takes a lot of money to develop and manufacture parts and there are a lot of expenses to run a business. Second, those in the hobby expect quality merchandise at cheap cost. So making a good profit is very difficult. You have to look for ways to minimize expense so you can make a good profit. But adding expensive employees is not the way to do it. I chose to put all of my profit back into the business so it could grow. We have now reached the point where there is not much left that needs manufacturing so maybe we can increase the net profit.
Glen, Grouchy Dave may be one of the biggest assets we have in the hobby!!! Dave, hanks for all your help!!!
I with all of the other people trying to help, have the same situation that selling a business is required that you go with it. As a new direction since you have a much larger elephant in the room, why not design the sale to shares where others with less can contribute. Mold the company into several other principal owners and division of interested and talent. Work in your best area of interest while another manage finances, for example. Just another idea.
Being part of a younger generation and familiar with what it takes to make a pattern and produce (antique 17th century detailed bronze cannons) I know the value of a pattern. However, I would be seriously lacking if I was to ignor the new technology. By this I am refering to 3d scanning. I can only see a future where the cost of scanning and printing is reduced. Unfortunatly and I have delt with this personally, a significant amount of time and money is invested into a piece only to have it copied. I forsee a time when if you can get your hands on an original you will be able to create a pattern with very little effort.
A perfect example. . .
We have a lot invested in patterns, cores and tooling. It would cost a lot more today to copy what we did. It would be stupid to try to redo what we have already done.
I appreciate what you have done for the hobby. Although it sounds rewarding, I am not trying to buy your business or scam you. I and others are trying to help.
How much something cost to build, or what it would cost to duplicate is not necessarily what it is worth. Ask anyone that has sold a well restored black T if they were able to recoup even half what they had into it.
If the business cannot run without someone doing what you do, and it cant afford to hire someone else, it is not worth what you are asking, and you are selling a job. Something that has been for sale for 4 years and has not sold is either overpriced, or not well advertised.
If it can't afford another employee, a new owner would not be able to pay a loan and collect a salary.
If the business can't generate enough cash flow to pay a loan and have the owner make enough to live, you are looking for a cash buyer that loves model Ts. Does the business/job make more than a passive investment that could be made with 1.5M? If not why would someone go to work every day to make less than they could with a passive investment?
It is your business, you know it better than anyone, and can do whatever you like with it. Financially it may be better to liquidate the inventory, and give the patterns and name to someone you feel could continue making the parts.
Where can you invest $1.5M or even $100.00 and get 20 percent interest? We make more on the parts that we manufacture. We plan on making more profit by reducing our costs to operate and I will no longer be putting all of our profit back into the business as I have for the last 44 years.
There are no reasonable risk 20 percent return passive investments.
If the business is consistently netting 300k per year, it is worth 1.5M. It also means you could afford to hire an employee who can run the place as several people have suggested. This would make it easier for an investor to buy, and give you the time you deserve to work on your cars until the buyer came along.
Joe, I am not selling the business. I am only selling the assets. The business is free.
I do believe this is the thread with the most replies year to date.
I think perhaps, inadvertently you are authoring The Great American Model T Novel ...
I've got the impression that it's your way or the highway Glen. If you're not going to loosen up a bit with your standards you're going nowhere with the sale. No takers for the lot only means (to me) that parting out is the only option. Offering your more profitable manufactured parts to the big boys a bit at the time might work as there's no takers for the lot. I'm sure you turn a profit but I feel the market is limited and possibly shrinking and these guys already in the business know it. Their not jumping because time is on their side. These things will be picked up for a song if they just wait.
Charlie, I am not desperate and I don't have to sell. But I'm not going to be taken advantage of by the bargain basement investors that are looking for a quick profit. I would rather give my loyal customers a big discount than sell to a scammer.
No one here is a scammer. Enough with the name calling. We are all friends here.
Glen never called any of us a scammer .
Glen : I think is about time you try to leave
this thread little by little . We are just seeing not too smart remarks . From people that dont have a heart , dont have knowledge of anything but think they know it all , people that just talk bs. People that have nothing better to do but think that they can tell other how to do things .oh boy ! Well Glenn: thats the price you pay sometimes for being a humble person . You just wanted to let all of us know that you would like to sell the business
and now theres people pointing fingers and finding mistakes in the 44 years of a pioner business . LOL to them ! THANKS GLENN !!! ( can i make the letters bigger ? ) THANKS GLENN !
Thank you Mike and others for your positive comments and many suggestions. I have watched my father toil away for the past 44 years working toward building the business. It has indeed been a labor of love for him. He has enjoyed supporting the hobby while realizing a modest return. I support any decision he chooses to make. I think he has a lot of options to explore. Like Mike, I think it is time to let this thread go down in the annals of MTFCA history. Again, thank you all for your advice.
Best wishes to both Mr. Chaffins.
If I had the money, I'd buy it in a minute and quietly toil away making these parts....just for the love of it.
Mike, you are right. It is time to leave this thread. I am proud of what we have built and would love to run it for another 44 years. But that isn't possible. That is why I would like to pass it on to someone else that is deserving and has the desire to serve the hobby as we have. Since that may not happen I must continue on as we have and not give in to the scammers. And believe me, there are scammers out there. I know from personal experience. Thank you all for your good advise and some not so good. Keep the orders coming in, Thank you. Glen