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What FABEL said is spot on. People have no idea the time and money it takes to fabricate new products. Working as a vendor, I do. There are many things to consider when creating a new product and there is tremendous financial risk involved too.

I can tell you we have thousands of dollars invested in our much less expensive products and we need to front thousands more each time we need to replenish our stock. Meanwhile, the product on the shelf make no money until they sell and we repeat the process all over again. Since we sell our products in a larger volume, we can afford to make less profit and keep things affordable but the upfront expense is always there. Don't forget we also have our building lease, utilities, insurance, payroll, supplies, etc... Point being, we aren't getting rich off this but we make a living doing something we love.

Ultimately you have to look at the product and consider how to price it to make it worth your while to produce. I'm pretty sure JJ is not producing these for charity. Three large is a lot of money but this is a lot of product. The cost of his time and materials to develop and then the cost to produce each one is substantial.

This is a low volume product and likely will be hand-made to order so he needs to make more profit than if he were to sell stuff by the hundreds or thousands and could stamp them out by the hundreds easily.

Based on all this information, I'm curious to know what Cxmoney thinks is a fair price.

BTW, Fantastic product. I hope to see an NA top someday and if I hear it is being developed, I will be saving my beer cans!
 

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Lmao. $350 would be amazing! But in all honesty, i was think more along the $2500 range. When it come to autokonexion, whose tops are are actually very nice with a price range of $2200, i figured this one would not be so much more. But with an $800 price difference, that $800 could go to tons of different things. but an extra $200-$300 isnt that bad of a difference.


and i know i am not the only one that thinks this.

The same thing is going for other replica parts, like bumpers, GV lips, ect. Sure they are more wear and tear parts, but would you rather have a $80 lip, or a $200 lip?

Not hating a all, the top looks great! But to me, the price does not. Not when there is a company that makes fastbacks just as good.

But like i said, thats just me.
 

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When you look at the price and then you consider how much more work and prep it will take to achieve a similar level of execution, I think you would find the price to be more than competitive.

Have you read how much Woolery tweaked his Fastback?

I've also personally seen a local top that was installed that had a gap between the top seals and the driver side window. I seem to recall that car getting a ton of water during the rainy season here in Florida. Needless to say she sold it not long after it was installed.

Now, I've never seen JJ's top firsthand, but from everything I've read, I'm confident his product has a very nice fit and finish.

Ultimately, it depends on whether or not you want to pay that money upfront or spend more during the prep and installation. Up to you.
 

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Also 2200 with no seals.

This top has everything for 800 more. Honestly worth it.

The price.for this top is not off at all.
 

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Discussion Starter #769 (Edited)
A lot has been covered here already... thanks guys, you've made some good points and saved me quite a bit of time ;)
Fabel, your posts can come off as a bit overly sincere and make me wonder, but thanks for that one.

I'm not going to tell anyone not to buy an AK top. The AK top is less expensive and better for people who want to take their top on and off more easily. Some people may like it more then ours for other reasons as well. I never intended to compete with AK directly at their price point. Our top is quite different in design, both aesthetically and in function. Those differences may be worth the premium to some people, but not others. That is cool too. Parts of our manufacturing process are also very labor intensive, but the results are something that customers will see the first time they set a top on our car.

If you rather go with the "cheaper alternative" top as you put it, then go for it. I'm not lowering my price in a race to the bottom just to break even on time and material costs per top (while ignoring all the development costs). Its not worth the associated work and stress when I could be putting my resources into something more profitable. I've been told by people with 20-30 years experience restoring classic and exotics, building race cars, owning very high end and highly modified cars, custom fabbing etc. that I'm at _very least_ $500 too low on my retail price (judging from my margin, they are correct) and my mistake may have been doing this for the miata market for this very reason. With that in mind, the good thing about this project is its already starting to open more doors.


I built a top that I could justify spending 3k on. Its a big chunk of cash, but if building a 3kish OEM looking (well, so far a good majority of people seem to feel so) top with a hinged trunk, functional gas door, nearly gapless quarter panel fit and individually fit to a dedicated "assembly" car before shipping was easy, why did it take until now for one to hit the market? Either its a lot harder then people think, or those who could pull it off had much better judgement then I do and decided that not enough people would be willing to commit to that 3kish price to make such a product worth it. The truth is its probably a little of both.

That said, there is always room for small tweaks and improvements. For example I am having molds machined for urethane rubber blocks to sit in the "drain cups" at the base of the b-pillars. I am sending the first set free of charge to my first customer in Australia (who will also be getting any additional WH products they want at cost for being the first to step up and make the commitment...my way of saying thanks). Are the blocks necessary? No... but its a little detail that I want to include in 3k top. The current acrylic/polycarbonate windows are about 1/8-1/16" radius too small from being dead on perfect. This tiny gap is the difference between being very easy for the average semi-handy person to install and make it look perfect, or being a messy time consuming PITA you would be best hiring a professional to do for you. I installed the windows in the top that went to canada/australia myself because of this. When I get the next 1-2 orders I will drop the necessary $1600 on a minimum run of windows and offer the customers a chance to have one of the leftover slightly undersized $175 mar resistant rear windows for free if they dont mind dealing with the tiny gap. Its going to be while before I actually "make" any $ on this project (if I even do), and I will always put getting it right first.

I always said I may sell 5 of these things, I may sell 500. I am well aware that this top may be more expensive then what most are willing to spend, but it certainly isn't too expensive for what it actually is. I may have seriously misjudged the market in that aspect. Regardless, I am done stressing about it and I'm going to just keep doing my thing. :slayer:
As always... thanks for the support.
 

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Very well put JJ. I understand your viewpoint and what you are talking about. It does shed some light in the aspect of how you go over and beyond. So thank you for all of that. Maybe one day if i have 3k+ laying around burning a hole in my pocket, your top might be mine. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #772
Here is what I was talking bout with the windows being about 1/8-1/16 radius too small.
Its not that bad, and it could be cleaned up with a razor blade... but its not what I want to sell people in a 3K top. Slightly larger windows will push the rubber gasket right up to the edge so the urethane doesnt squish out. Very simple fix.




 

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I probably dont deserve a request, but anychance you can post up a video of the entire top? Like a walk around, interior view, and the truck working and all of that fun stuff?
 

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Discussion Starter #777 (Edited)
I know I'm not the only one wondering but what is the possibility of seeing an N/A version? I have always loved the M-Coupe. I wish they produced it.
We intend to do an NA version, but it depends on sales and demand. It will be hard to justify it if NB top sales dont support the case. People will need to be _very_ serious about an NA version. I don't have the extra $ to put into development on speculation. We will have to take everything from the base of the b-pillar back, about 6 inches up from the quarters including the 1/4 window shapes and trunk design, and redo it from scratch to make it match the NA's lines, so it wont be just a quick adaptation. I think it would be awesome and I'd love to do it, but I don't want to get all done with it and hear how cool it is but but how people are not going to want to spend more on a top then most have spent on their cars. Considering I am currently questioning the wisdom of my choice to bring this NB top to the market, I don't think I'm in a very good position to make any choices about an NA version quite yet ;) But its early, and this could change in a few months.

However, today we decided we are going to start moving quickly on an OEM hardtop copy. When I say copy, I mean as close to OEM as possible to keep it SPEC legal.
We're going to concentrate on keeping the price low which wont be hard considering the simplicity of it. But it also means it will likely be just a shell which customers with have to buy their own window, hardware and seals for. I know there is a market for this.

We are also trying to figure out how to do a much cheaper version of the fastback, but it would involve cutting some pretty big corners. For example, gascap lid would turn into a divot, hand laid quarter panel flanges would be gone, and trunk would be a simple cut out and some flat brackets to pin it down to and a trunk lock loop for security. These changes could knock a very sizable chunk of $ off the price tag.
 

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Discussion Starter #778
I probably dont deserve a request, but anychance you can post up a video of the entire top? Like a walk around, interior view, and the truck working and all of that fun stuff?
Of course you deserve a request.
I am going to do this eventually, hopefully in the next few weeks. I have plans to get it on a turntable in a TV studio where I know the GM, but the car needs a LOT of work before I am ready for that. The top is currently unbolted from the car while I try to clean out all the fglass dust and deal with the windows. I am also a few weeks from closing on a house and may start moving as early as this weekend. The good thing is I'll have over twice as much personal shop space, which I really need right now. Add getting the the diffuser project ready for a group buy, my friends 600hp 69 mach 1 restomod sitting in my garage that I have to button up and ship to him in TX and my time away from work is pretty booked up for a few weeks.
 

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People will need to be _very_ serious about an NA version.
Nah, if the NB guys won't pony up, the NA guys even less. :domo:
However, today we decided we are going to start moving quickly on an OEM hardtop copy. When I say copy, I mean as close to OEM as possible to keep it SPEC legal.
We're going to concentrate on keeping the price low which wont be hard considering the simplicity of it. But it also means it will likely be just a shell which customers with have to buy their own window, hardware and seals for. I know there is a market for this.
Lightweight? :winky:
 
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