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Old 02-26-2021, 07:38 AM   #1
Tod
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Default An interesting idea regarding cylinder heads.

Recently, someone advanced an idea to me for moving heads in more quantity and with reduced pricing due to bulk sales. I am just starting to investigate and have posted the idea on Facebook, including the MAFCA page.


The idea is to offer a dealer-type discount to Model A clubs where if a club orders a certain quantity (yet to be determined) they can get a discount and also save on shipping, as the heads can be shipped freight rather than individually.


This idea would be offered on my Winfield heads, Thomas heads, and the new Stock Top Crow Foot head. I might even consider it on OHV heads as well.



I haven't gone any further than sharing the idea. Some think it is a great idea. Builders, who would want to be dealers are probably not going to like the idea for obvious reasons. The idea for me, though, is to find a way to get more word out and sell more product. I have been looking at a foundry that can produce more castings at a time for a little less than current methods, so that is what prompted my initial curiosity on Facebook.



I have not thought about doing this with blocks, intakes, or headers.


I will be starting to contact clubs to see what the response adds up to.


Input here is welcomed.



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Old 02-26-2021, 07:41 AM   #2
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Default Re: An interesting idea regarding cylinder heads.

Would they be ordering a quantity of heads in general, or all ordering the same head?
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Old 02-26-2021, 08:21 AM   #3
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Default Re: An interesting idea regarding cylinder heads.

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Would they be ordering a quantity of heads in general, or all ordering the same head?

It would have to be an order of the same head, as the foundry would be running orders off of the tooling for each head. Price breaks apply to individual orders.


Good question.



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Old 02-26-2021, 08:43 AM   #4
BRENT in 10-uh-C
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Default Re: An interesting idea regarding cylinder heads.

Tod, your business ...your call, however somewhere along the way greed has overtaken in this country on both sides of the fence (manufacturer and consumer).

With many things besides Model-A parts, both the Manufacturer and the Consumer have thought it is prudent to cut-out the Jobber/Dealer (the middleman) and take the Dealer's profits for themselves. If all of the manufacturers in our industry chose to do direct-sales, I feel this hobby would be 'killed'. My opinion is many Model-A parts manufacturers do not have the capitol to manufacture and warehouse all of the goods they manufacture until they are sold, so they rely on a dealer network to quickly pay for the items and distribute those items for them.

Adding to that, imagine all of the additional shipping expenses for each of us by us having to order from multiple suppliers. Using your cylinder head as an example, imagine if we had to buy the head from you, then we order the head gasket directly from FelPro, order the correct length studs from ARP, the head nuts from McMinn, the correct engine paint from PPG, the radiator hoses from Gates, etc. etc., ...then we had to wait for all of those packages to arrive at our homes (-while we hope something we ordered is not lost in the mail or shipped incorrectly!!).

I am going to guess that if most hobbyists had to go thru something like that, they would just say it isn't worth the hassle. At that point, you would likely sell less heads. As it is right now, most of the better Dealers (Berts, Brattons, Snyders, -insert your favorite) do a darn good job of stocking everything of what you need for doing a job like what I mentioned above. If they are out of stock on something, it is likely the manufacturer's fault, ...and if so it, the chances that if you ordered it directly from the manufacturer, they would tell you it is backordered too.

My suggestion is 'scrap' your idea of selling direct to clubs and the general public, -and work with the established Model-A Dealer network that will be there on a consistent basis to purchase your product when you have it available. If you want to ramp-up your production on a certain item, consider offering a SPIF to your dealers where they can take advantage of that $$ savings, and you can take advantage production savings too. Bottom line is, think hard before you bypass (cut-out) the Dealership network that most hobbyists will be using, as these dealers are the frontline for the hobby.
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Old 02-26-2021, 09:23 AM   #5
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Default Re: An interesting idea regarding cylinder heads.

As the Technical VP of my local club, I would promote the idea of a club quantity discount.
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Old 02-26-2021, 09:28 AM   #6
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Default Re: An interesting idea regarding cylinder heads.

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Terry has a great point, I think you have a great idea Tod but i can also see where it might be an idea you come to regret.
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Old 02-26-2021, 09:42 AM   #7
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Default Re: An interesting idea regarding cylinder heads.

Bob, your club is among the largest in the country. If the quantity were, say, 10 heads, and let's say the discount were 10%, do you think it would be easy to put together an order? Alternatively, does your club have enough in the bank that it would consider buying the heads in advance and selling them as orders came in?

I wonder also if clubs on the west coast would be interested in acting as de facto dealers. Shipping a head direct from Tod or from one of the east coast dealers is expensive and time consuming. If you could pick up a head from a club in Seattle or the SF area, and your money was going to the club, folks might like that.

People seem to be assuming that Tod is "cutting out" the major vendors, but do we know that? Maybe they don't want to stock these higher-compression heads, or they want too much of a discount. Don't assume this is an approach he hasn't tried.
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Old 02-26-2021, 10:29 AM   #8
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Default Re: An interesting idea regarding cylinder heads.

Brent hits the nail on the head regarding dealer concerns. There are other ideas I thought of that he did not mention. My main idea is to move maximum amount of product. I have to believe, based on what I have seen, that most Model A owners have no idea that I am making any of the products I sell. I posted the first block build all over the place and it seems that hardly anyone is aware of it. Any time I post about heads, it seems to be a revelation to most people. There is a specific reason for my even considering this suggestion, and that is that I need to make more than half a dozen heads at a time to get decent pricing, but that means I need to sell quantities to match the price breaks I get at the foundry.



I sell more heads from my personal Facebook page than anywhere else. So, as regards builder dealers, I haven't been impressed by their purchasing power yet. Not to say it cannot be there and be the better way to go, just not yet. Right now I can sell everything I make, and do, but that is only because I don't have time to make 20 of each casting and then also hope I can sell them. If pre-orders, through whatever avenue proves best, were enough to take time to make them I would focus on that.



I hope that all makes sense. I am running 2 machines right now and doing a lot of tooling design while I do this so I may not be clear.


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Old 02-26-2021, 11:26 AM   #9
ed thibodeau
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Default Re: An interesting idea regarding cylinder heads.

Our local club has around 60 members and I can only recall about 6 members buying
heads over the last 20 years. It seem somebody always had a good head they
can give or sell to anyone that wants one. Just wondering how many heads are in demand
that would make it worth while.
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Old 02-26-2021, 03:59 PM   #10
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Default Re: An interesting idea regarding cylinder heads.

Brent, I fully understand what point you are making. I would sooner get a group of 5-10 car guys to approach Don Snyder or Walt Bratton and see if he was willing to throw some sort of discount for a quantity. That way there might be winners on both sides of the transaction. I have dealt with Uvira for getting headlight reflectors coated and collected 15 pairs of Model A Ford headlight reflectors from our club. I had each member mark his or her reflectors on back with a dremel and received a nice discount for everyone. I also went with getting members to pool their money together and purchased 50 cast iron brake drums. The vendor purchased them from Plasemeter and because of the quantity was able to pass on a small discount.
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Old 02-26-2021, 05:49 PM   #11
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Default Re: An interesting idea regarding cylinder heads.

Great idea. Quantity is the key. I think you could extend that to entire cars. I would suggest setting up an automated assembly line. And start your own foundry. While you are at it why not buy some iron mines and coal mines and the ships to transport the ore in. I think by the time you produce 12 million cars you could get the cost down to under $350.
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Old 02-26-2021, 06:11 PM   #12
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Default Re: An interesting idea regarding cylinder heads.

I saw this idea posted on one of our club's Facebook page. I can't see them ending up any cheaper for the driver than buying one from the dealer who brings stuff into the country by the container whereas the club would have to pay a higher unit price to bring in a few at a time.
I also think that many of those who would be prepared to change the head from original have already done so. I'm sceptical about its chances of success.
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Old 02-26-2021, 09:05 PM   #13
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Default Re: An interesting idea regarding cylinder heads.

Most of the club members I know are so tight they squeak..what I can't understand is the majority of A owners would love a high compression head if they had one, the efficient use of the engines capability is pleasant.
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Old 02-26-2021, 09:09 PM   #14
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Default Re: An interesting idea regarding cylinder heads.

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Most of the club members I know are so tight they squeak..what I can't understand is the majority of A owners would love a high compression head if they had one, the efficient use of the engines capability is pleasant.
Agree on every point
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Old 02-27-2021, 05:45 AM   #15
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Default Re: An interesting idea regarding cylinder heads.

I certainly like my 6:1 head, but the spark lever needs more attention in hilly areas.
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Old 02-27-2021, 09:07 AM   #16
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Default Re: An interesting idea regarding cylinder heads.

Quote:
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Most of the club members I know are so tight they squeak..what I can't understand is the majority of A owners would love a high compression head if they had one, the efficient use of the engines capability is pleasant.
John, the issue is that most local club members rarely drive their cars where the extra compression would be of a benefit. Besides the local 4th of July or Christmas parade, an occasional trip to church on Sunday or maybe an evening trip for ice cream is about all they do in their A.
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Old 02-27-2021, 09:26 AM   #17
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Default Re: An interesting idea regarding cylinder heads.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack Shaft View Post
Most of the club members I know are so tight they squeak..what I can't understand is the majority of A owners would love a high compression head if they had one, the efficient use of the engines capability is pleasant.
I certainly agree. Just the amount of farmer fixes is proof positive.
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Old 02-27-2021, 10:21 AM   #18
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Default Re: An interesting idea regarding cylinder heads.

There were 375 of us at the Canyon Lands Tour at Kanab in October 2019. We all got a good workout; 500 miles of mountains. At least 200 Model A’s and another 375 miles of West Virginia hills at Elkins, WV in the spring of 2019. I could have effectively used a little more compression.
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Old 02-27-2021, 10:11 PM   #19
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Default Re: An interesting idea regarding cylinder heads.

Group buys are not a new concept, been around for a while.

I know that in the past, especially with OHV heads there is a minimum of castings to be made in a batch. But due to the cost of a fully finished assembly there is always a couple that are sold as just castings. These seem to never be finished, or, someone makes an attempt without the proper machinery and get ruined. I have been lucky in the last couple years, I have found castings without any machining and they are a perfect candidate to finish.

Clubs would be a logical place to work something like this.

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Old 02-28-2021, 08:35 AM   #20
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Default Re: An interesting idea regarding cylinder heads.

I've never seen any advertising for your products. I recieved both Fast and Secrets magazines for years and only heard about your stuff in a few random post here and on the Hamb. Yapp produced heads for years but even he only runs small batches at a time.

I'm not sure there is a market for volumes of heads. I watch the classifieds daily and more old speed parts are showing up as our age group shrinks. I also agree most A owners dont use there cars enough to warrant the cost of performance parts.
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