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Old 03-24-2019, 05:02 PM   #21
Keith True
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Default Re: Le Baron Bonney, Out of Business?

I was told the later Ford part of the business was sold off quite some time ago.LB had bought it as EZ-Boy interiors,years ago,and somewhere along the line I heard it called ABC.I have no idea what happened to Hampton Coach,if they were still owned by LB??,sold?? I don't know.I would really like to know if everything go moved to Wilton Maine,because by the looks of things in Amesbury,I can't see much being left there.Stuff could be piled up in the backs of the buildings though.When they were operating with around 50,000 square feet things were cramped,and for quite a while now they were operating in 10,000 square feet.The panel board cutting room alone had to use up 1000 feet.The room for the bucks for top fitting had to be close to that.Tomorrow I have to pick up a machine I dropped in the parking lot last week,I will try to have another look around.
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Old 03-24-2019, 05:26 PM   #22
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Default Re: Le Baron Bonney, Out of Business?

All I've ever seen of their assets were those that were on their videos but they did show some of the modern cutting tables. That stuff is computer aided so a lot of paterns aren't needed with that type of equipment. It is just software.

The company started as a trim shop and grew into a kit manufacturer. Their assets would reflect that unless they sold off all the mechanized stuff.

What I can see though is that the original owners got out of the business likely due to wanting to retire or they just couldn't do it anymore due to health. The next gen company went heavily into the sales of restoration parts which was reflected by their catalogs. This would have been a large investment in inventory. With the downturn of the economy in 2008, a lot of companies went bust including one of the big three and the other really should have gone bust too but the government stepped in. A company that had large investments and a lot of overhead and bank notes to pay, felt a big hammer blow at that time. I figure it lasted longer than it likely should have if reorganization didn't bring it back. It was already dead and it just hadn't figured it out yet.

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Old 03-24-2019, 06:56 PM   #23
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Default Re: Le Baron Bonney, Out of Business?

With the conversations I had with the original and current owners, I see a total change in attitude to customer service. Original owners did whatever it took to make sure everything was right. Latest owner was not at all interested in making things right. I used to deal with Cam, who was a first class lady. I purchased 3 complete kits from her for my 30 and 31 roadsters and my 31 phaeton. the current owner was terse and unwilling to make things right. I went elsewhere after that . Just my experiences.
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Old 03-24-2019, 07:57 PM   #24
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Default Re: Le Baron Bonney, Out of Business?

Yes Cam was great. Just spoke to her less than two weeks ago .Always willing to help if there was an issue. I think she was there 25 plus years.
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Old 03-25-2019, 08:34 AM   #25
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Default Re: Le Baron Bonney, Out of Business?

ive been told that cartouch (macs upholstery) has sold to Eppler . they only sell full kits , no individual parts .
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Old 03-25-2019, 11:11 AM   #26
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Default Re: Le Baron Bonney, Out of Business?

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ive been told that cartouch (macs upholstery) has sold to Eppler . they only sell full kits , no individual parts .

Amazing how these kinds of rumors get started huh? Cartouch is actually Cartouche Upholstery, and their parent company was Mac's Antique Auto Parts, -not Mac's Upholstery, ...and that Eppler is actually a company called Ecklers Industries --which is a large automotive parts supply company which purchased Macs Antique Auto Parts back in 2012.


Also, while individual pieces are not listed in their catalog, I'm sure if you spoke with David Trank, he could likely outfit you with whatever individual piece you were needing.
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Old 03-25-2019, 11:26 AM   #27
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Default Re: Le Baron Bonney, Out of Business?

Would be nice to see someone pick up the company but as Brent mentions, you need the skillset, the equipment, etc. It may also be the volume of orders required to keep the business feasible from a profit standpoint. As more generations move away from our hobby, the demand becomes less and less over time.
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Old 03-25-2019, 11:48 AM   #28
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Default Re: Le Baron Bonney, Out of Business?

I've bought individual pieces from Cartouche before.Quite a lot of people jump the gun on buying an interior,and it winds up in a closet or on a shelf for years.Sometimes they get installed at a later date,sometimes they get sold after the owner dies or loses interest.In the meantime it seems like mice will find and destroy parts in the boxes.i don't know who I talked to there,but they have always been helpful,and sold me just what I needed,with the warning the chance of the fabrics matching is about zero.I bought a new top for my roadster pickup at a swap meet,it was one that was bought and never got around to using.It had one part that was just cut wrong.Somebody there was on the phone with me,I measured what he told me to,and he said,you're right,we made this wrong,we will send you a new one.I explained to him that at best I was the third owner and expected to pay for it,and the kit was so old it was marked Lincoln Textiles.He just said it wasn't right,and the paperwork for me to pay was worth more than the piece.
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Old 03-25-2019, 01:11 PM   #29
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Default Re: Le Baron Bonney, Out of Business?

I agree that it would be hard for an individual to step in and buy the whole, then set up a business. I would imagine if there is any value a larger corporation may step in. I think the original owners may have started small and built the business to what it was over many years of hard work. Its hard to pay a lot of money in one fell swoop to buy a company that may have been doing just enough. There is a local auction company near me that has been for sale for about 10 yrs. The owner has had it for close to 50 years and it has been built up over that time. He makes a very good living at it. However, for the several million dollar price tag someone will have to do a tremendous amount of volume to cover the expense. Not likely to happen. Same idea applys to LB.
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Old 03-25-2019, 01:46 PM   #30
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Default Re: Le Baron Bonney, Out of Business?

Quote:
Originally Posted by heneste View Post
Would be nice to see someone pick up the company but as Brent mentions, you need the skillset, the equipment, etc. It may also be the volume of orders required to keep the business feasible from a profit standpoint. As more generations move away from our hobby, the demand becomes less and less over time.


Please understand that I am not trying to start an argument but that comment is just NOT factual. People start these rumors that seem to have no validity and people jump on spreading them because they seem believable.


I have been an active participant in this hobby all of my life of nearly 60 years. I remember going to car club meetings and listening to the guys talk about declining demand for Model-As. Each decade since that time I have witnessed the Model-A hobby continue to grow. From my vantage point, the only things that have changed is that the hobby has gone from a Parts Restoration hobby to more of a Parts Replacing hobby. The hobby has also gravitated from hobbyists formerly being hands-on until now they much rather just drive and smile. Outside of that, there is still a strong following for both restored and unrestored Model-As.


As in the case of LeBaron Bonney closure, it appears they were a victim of employee turnover that was too difficult for them to survive profitably with apprentice craftsmen. Ironically, until the time comes where a new company emerges into the market with a more authentic or accurate Model-A kit, there are several very capable companies that are presently in existence that supply the same quality of material and craftsmanship that L/B was known for. Because of this, the hobby will never falter or be crippled by L/B's closing.
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