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Old 03-22-2019, 08:31 AM   #1
HS
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Default Le Baron Bonney, Out of Business?

I just read today's Morning Hemmings On-line report- Wow!! Lebaron Bonnet closer as of Last week going to file Chapter 7 .. alot of Model Aers have used LBB!!! What a shame, I hope someone can it the company started up again!! I hope!

Hugh
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Old 03-22-2019, 08:41 AM   #2
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Default Re: Le Baron Bonney, Out of Business?

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I just read today's Morning Hemmings On-line report- Wow!! Lebaron Bonnet closer as of Last week going to file Chapter 7 .. alot of Model Aers have used LBB!!! What a shame, I hope someone can it the company started up again!! I hope!

Hugh

https://www.hemmings.com/blog/2019/0...mment-10628798
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Old 03-22-2019, 07:17 PM   #3
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Default Re: Le Baron Bonney, Out of Business?

I had always planned to purchase a complete upholstery kit for my '31 standard fordor through LB, but realistically wouldn't need it (or get to that stage of restoration) for a year or-so. Now I'm wondering if I should buy now, and just sit on it for a while(?). Hopefully those with more insight than myself (not a high bar to get over!) will chime in with advice/thoughts.
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Old 03-22-2019, 07:31 PM   #4
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Default Re: Le Baron Bonney, Out of Business?

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I had always planned to purchase a complete upholstery kit for my '31 standard fordor through LB, but realistically wouldn't need it (or get to that stage of restoration) for a year or-so. Now I'm wondering if I should buy now, and just sit on it for a while(?). Hopefully those with more insight than myself (not a high bar to get over!) will chime in with advice/thoughts.
Maybe I do not understand. But they are filing or are in chapter 7 bankruptcy, which means they are out of business, and there shorty will be an auction to sell off assets. From what I have heard, no more orders, all their employees have been let go.
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Old 03-22-2019, 10:04 PM   #5
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Default Re: Le Baron Bonney, Out of Business?

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Maybe I do not understand. But they are filing or are in chapter 7 bankruptcy, which means they are out of business, and there shorty will be an auction to sell off assets. From what I have heard, no more orders, all their employees have been let go.




YUP


Now, if someone contacts the attorneys and wish's to purchase all the assets for at least all the monies owned that might work as it would make all the debt whole and speed things up. What are those chances?
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Old 03-23-2019, 05:49 AM   #6
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Default Re: Le Baron Bonney, Out of Business?

If I hit the Powerball tonight, all will be good, will reopen the company soon. LOL
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Old 03-23-2019, 07:02 AM   #7
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Default Re: Le Baron Bonney, Out of Business?

If I hit the Powerball I’ll be buying fully restored cars
Smoking Cubans and spending more time on my private island(s)
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Old 03-23-2019, 08:47 AM   #8
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Default Re: Le Baron Bonney, Out of Business?

I have been wondering just how much stuff is left in those buildings.I know they have been moving stuff to Wilton Maine for quite some time now.They had been operating in 10,000 square feet,down from the previous 50,000 that had been used.The current owners of those buildings repair,renovate,restore,and rent out the old mill buildings.There are signs on those buildings right now,available for lease.With the renovations going on and actively looking for tenants I don't think they will warehouse LeBaron's assets for long with no rent coming in.But,who knows,it may all be up in Wilton.I do know the door is locked and nobody around except for construction workers.The building has staging all around it,and the windows had been removed.It looked like the new windows were there to go in.
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Old 03-23-2019, 08:56 AM   #9
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Default Re: Le Baron Bonney, Out of Business?

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If I hit the Powerball tonight, all will be good, will reopen the company soon. LOL



You would likely be in the same predicament as Scott was. I nodded my head when I read Bill's thoughts on how he would invest the winnings, ...because he was a CPA and he probably know which islands and cigars are the best!




So take a moment and think this thru. A company was started in 1938 and has arguably been the leader in the industry until sometime in the last decade. From my observations, the likely cause of the demise is lack of knowledgeable talent to perform the work. As L/B's knowledgeable talent retired or left, their craft training was likely not proactive enough to keep the company productive. As a result, it perished.


So now lets consider what happens if someone were to buy the extinct company. The patterns are a great starting point but they mean nothing to someone who is not familiar with them. If someone off the street is hired to be a trimmer, the patterns likely do not show how much selvage or excess material to leave, and often times it might be a little short (-or long) in an area that was discovered early on but not corrected because it was just remembered over the years and that info passed down to apprentices. Additionally, you really need to have a working knowledge of how the pieces are constructed to do the job correct. Cut the piece goods incorrectly, -or sew the pieces incorrectly and you have lost time and materials. Have one malfunction on each project and you soon are at a break-even, --or at a loss on profits.


So hopefully you are realizing the key component that makes it work is the company's talent. I am guessing that L/B had lost that, ...so the question is, where would you find replacements who are knowledgeable in Model-A upholstery & trim? Its kind of like purchasing a Brain Surgeon's tools. Just because you own the tools would not make someone successful at that business.


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Old 03-23-2019, 09:27 AM   #10
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Default Re: Le Baron Bonney, Out of Business?

X2 Brent. Agree with everything, well said. An older long time employee may look like he is slower, but makes fewer mistakes, and usually has knowledge that is not written down. Bring in someone new that has not been through the same experiences, is bound to repeat mistakes and not know best methods the older long time employee has learned over time. Sometimes there is just no substitute for experience.
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Old 03-23-2019, 09:47 AM   #11
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Default Re: Le Baron Bonney, Out of Business?

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Now, if someone contacts the attorneys and wish's to purchase all the assets for at least all the monies owned that might work as it would make all the debt whole and speed things up. What are those chances?


Mike, speaking as someone who owns an upholstery shop, L/B's assets (-without real estate) would likely be less than an average blue-collared worker's annual salary. Of all the crafts in the automotive industry, an upholstery shop is likely the least expensive to set-up. Good quality walking foot sewing machines such as a Consew or a Juki can be purchased used for under $1,500. A button press is under $500, and all of the hand tools such as shears, rulers, a steamer, iron, small compressor, glue gun, and staplers can be purchased for under $1k too. Most established upholstery shops would only purchase L/B items as spares, and as such would not give very much for them. This is assuming they are in good working order, and not fallen into disrepair over the past few unprofitable years.


David has already commented that the company did not have the funds to purchase raw goods, so you are likely not going to find much value in the remaining goods inventory unless it is one-off piece goods materials used in rare applications.


So the only other asset would be the patterns. Most knowledgeable hobbyists knew that L/B's kits were not 100% accurate, however they were reasonably close. Therefore all you are purchasing for patterns is something close, ...which makes the patterns less valuable if you are wanting to offer something better than the competition. Now, old take-out upholstery kits can pretty much be had for the asking. Using one of those old interiors (-an original or old reproduction) can allow a person to spend a few hours using a razor blade to cut apart the covers at the seams, ...and when they are apart you will have a sample to make new patterns with. Since L/B's patterns apparently were not all that accurate, what are you gaining by purchasing theirs when you can make your own with a little effort or expense? Also remember that patterns are much like having your buddy's notes from his college history class. Those notes don't always tell you everything you need to know, especially if you were not there to hear the lecture.


My thoughts at this moment is to be thankful there are others who can fill the void for the hobby, and support those companies.
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Old 03-23-2019, 01:11 PM   #12
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Default Re: Le Baron Bonney, Out of Business?

And how many years will it take for a new shop to gather all of the patterns that LB had. Even if they were a little off, they maybe available during the liquidation. Don't forget, they did much more than Model A interior kits.



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Old 03-23-2019, 03:22 PM   #13
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Default Re: Le Baron Bonney, Out of Business?

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And how many years will it take for a new shop to gather all of the patterns that LB had. Even if they were a little off, they maybe available during the liquidation. Don't forget, they did much more than Model A interior kits.


Frank



You are correct Frank, ...but then again how many Deluxe Deliverys and Taxis (along with Auburns, Marmons, Stutzs, Lincolns, et/al) will someone ever do? In some ways those patterns are almost obsolete.
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Old 03-23-2019, 03:33 PM   #14
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Default Re: Le Baron Bonney, Out of Business?

If you had a existing order is there a chance that they would finish it ?
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Old 03-23-2019, 03:45 PM   #15
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Default Re: Le Baron Bonney, Out of Business?

Good afternoon...I would not be too surprised if someone/or some other upholster might purchase the assets of the Le Baron Bonney shop. I am reasonably sure that those who are owed money would like to see the assets purchased and the money distributed to those who are in line for repayment! Ernie in Arizona.
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Old 03-23-2019, 03:48 PM   #16
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Default Re: Le Baron Bonney, Out of Business?

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If you had a existing order is there a chance that they would finish it ?
Not very likely! Once the vultures move in, it's over. They could not care less about your existing order.
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Old 03-23-2019, 09:54 PM   #17
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Default Re: Le Baron Bonney, Out of Business?

There are far fewer cars being restored now than back in the 70s, 80s or 90s, and once a car has a new interior it will be decades until it needs one again. This as well may have something to do with their demise.
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Old 03-24-2019, 11:51 AM   #18
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Brent,


Aren't you forgetting their considerable business in post-Model A Fords up into the fifties and the patterns for all those applications that they offered?
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Old 03-24-2019, 12:57 PM   #19
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Default Re: Le Baron Bonney, Out of Business?

I quite agree with Brent....the odd’s or feasibility of someone buying what’s left and continuing the operation are slim and none....and Slim just walked out. The real value was the years of experience that many of their craftsmen had.....they were the key....when they retired or passed away, with no really qualified replacements, the operation was doomed to slowly perish. Folks hoping for a miracle savior better not hold their breath.....
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Old 03-24-2019, 03:29 PM   #20
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Default Re: Le Baron Bonney, Out of Business?

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Brent,

Aren't you forgetting their considerable business in post-Model A Fords up into the fifties and the patterns for all those applications that they offered?
Again, will those patterns be enough to guide someone "new" all the way through the project without making a mistake or a misfitting piece?

Remember that the majority of hobbyists here have no tolerance for any vendor making a mistake. If the manufacturer makes one or two minor mistakes on each kit while they are trying to learn, they not only lose profitability but they lose credibility with the public. It would seem to me the new company would be doomed for failure the moment they purchased L/B's assets.
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