I am a few days late writing this months news letter. I had to delay my delivery trip to our new dealer in St. Paul, Minnesota, and our expanded dealer in Denison, Iowa, for several reasons, and finally managed to get on the road Wednesday night February 24th. The weather forecast had rain changing to ice and snow in western sections of Pennsylvania Thursday morning, which was my original departure time. By leaving early I only had to drive through heavy rain, and by stopping in Cleveland, Ohio to sleep, I also missed a fairly bad snow and wind storm in western Ohio and Indiana.
I traveled as far as Madison, Wisconsin on Thursday, made it to Hudson, Wisconsin by Friday evening, then in to St. Paul Saturday morning. I unloaded bodies and frames at our new dealer Hank Laurent. His phone number is (651) 263-3181. He is just starting as a dealer, but he has inventory for fiberglass buggies.
After unloading in St. Paul, I drove to Denison, Iowa and unloaded the rest of my stuff at Rail and Off Road Repair, (712)-269-9608 or (712)-263-5934. Ask for Pat. Again he now has bodies and frames in stock. He will also build a turnkey Buggy . Check him out.
After unloading Saturday afternoon in Denison it was a long drive East on I-80, and back to work on Monday.
The traveling series of shows starts in 2 weeks. We will be displaying at the Michigan Buggy Builders Show on Sunday March 13th. As in the past we are offering to transport prepaid orders to the show, with a minimum delivery charge. The last day we will be accepting orders is Wednesday March 9th.
We will also be making this offer for the Bug Out show in Dinwiddie, Va. On Memorial Day weekend, the June Bug show at Maple Grove Raceway in Reading Pa. June 5th, and Larry's Off Road show in Ohio, June 26th.
Tank has the CNC plasma cutter up and running. That has become the "go to" machine lately. The guys in the trailer repair shop love it because now, instead of hand cutting repair plates and pieces, they give tank the dimensions and a few minutes later they have their pieces. It has also helped immensely on our prototype work, greatly speeding up the process. We are now offering small quantity, and prototyping service for plasma cut pieces. Call for more information.
Speaking of prototypes leads me to the "Gob Stopper Project". I am not going to spill the beans, but give you older, "wiser" folks a sobering thought, which is part of my motivation on this project. The people who started college this fall or who are entering the work place (our future customers) were born in 1998. They weren't alive when the space shuttle blew up. Bottle caps for them have always been screw off and plastic. They have never lived without cable and an answering machine, or a remote control. This fact was never driven home to me more clearly than when I dug out my old electric typewriter to fill out the MCO's we now produce. My 22 year old grandson asked me what it was, as he had never seen one before. What a sobering experience! So, it is my belief, that for the Acme Companies to continue, we need to take our future customers culture seriously, thus the "Gob Stopper Project".
Tyler and the guys in the Carco shop are polishing the body parts for Johns' 57 convertible, and in the next few days will start to re assemble it. Next months newsletter should have finished pictures in it.
We have built an experimental version of our mid travel beam style front end for off road buggies. We are trying to see if we can build a front beam with ball joint spacing but use earlier link pin spindles and arms. We were about ready to test when the weather closed in on us. Hopefully we will know before the next news letter if it will work. We are somewhat concerned about caster angles and changes, but figure that an actual test will answer our questions. If it works we can offer an easier way to upgrade a ball joint car.
That's it for March. I get to rest this weekend then it is off to Lansing, and the Michigan Buggy Builders Show. If you happen to attend, please stop and say hello.