When I bought my first Rebel Machine (1 previous owner) for $6 in August of 1970, I knew I’d gotten the deal of a lifetime. There was little indication that purchase would define most of my life.
I had to tear myself out of that car each and every time I arrived at a destination. Getting there was all of the fun.
Nothing about those experiences has diminished over the years and I hope you guys feel the same way about your Machines.
I still have my original Machine though rust ensured that the car itself is no longer original. It’s made up of two other cars now. Or will be once the final parts are finally welded in place.
This site, the stripe kits and all the new AMC parts I make are all due to that car and my second Machine that went in trade for the bodywork on Number 1. Without that car, none of this would have happened and there’d be almost no original looking Machines left.
The plan is to continue making the parts as long as the key people involved are still able to make them. My parts fit like paint and while expensive, are very cheap compared to the time and effort you’d have to pay someone to cut out and repair used parts from a wreck if you can find one. Plus transportation of course. Plus you still have a used part that isn’t as good as a new one. New is best. New is cheapest. Yes you can save money by doing the work yourself but what’s your time worth? Wouldn’t you rather be driving your car instead of welding patches to cover spot welds you had to drill out?
The body panel business started in January of 2016 with a phone call while I was sick and bored with nothing to do. Like the original purchase, the phone call changed everything and I was soon selling parts made to my specifications from templates I supplied.
Since then I’ve helped a lot of people get their AMC cars from rust bucket to finished project.
I treat my customers as my best friends. We become friends generally because there’s a lot to know when it comes to buying parts for your baby. Every order is preceded by a personal phone call from me unless you’re overseas. During that call we establish what you really need and whether or not you have photos of the work areas. If not, you shoot some. No orders are placed until I can be sure that what you’re asking for is what you really need. I don’t take parts back.
Once we’ve established what you really need I send you an invoice.
You pay the invoice via PayPal or E-transfer if you’re Canadian.
I then send you another invoice after the money has cleared marked PAID.
At that point the factory is alerted and your order is scheduled for production. Turnaround time depends on how busy the factory is. Sometimes turnaround time is two weeks. Other times it’s two months or longer. Nothing I can do about that. I advise you at the time how long the time will be if possible. There is no advantage to delaying payment. That just causes further delays.
Once the parts are made, I drive the 250 miles to the factory and pick up the parts and drive back. The factory ships nothing. Picking up the parts is a 12 hour day. At least.
Once packed in my garage, I drive 90 miles to FedEx if the shipment is bound for a US destination. And back. That’s a shorter distance but the hassles at the border suck up a lot of time usually.
Shipments including stripe kits are wrapped in plastic vapour barrier and sealed with vapour barrier tape. So far all shipments have arrived in good condition, no claims needed to be made.
In winter, weather is a huge factor affecting turnaround times. I only travel when it’s absolutely safe to do so both ways.
I do make more parts than are shown on the price list. Sometimes a customer will have damage in an unusual spot.
As I said the parts are expensive. Not my fault. That is entirely due to the US steel tariff. It increased prices by more than 30% at the mill. That in turn meant that steel gets taxed at the increased price. There is no escape from taxes.
Before you call me, email me or text me go through the price list and figure out what you need. Add it all up. Then check your bank account and make sure you have the money to complete the transaction.
90% of the people who call to order parts don’t have the money.
I generally don’t find that out until after I’ve sent the first invoice and no payment arrives. No one ever admits they don’t have the money. They just don’t call back.
Don’t let that be you. I have lots of things I can be doing rather than sending invoices to people who will never place an order.
What I do find is that people spend their money buying mechanical parts and trim parts thinking they may never see those parts again.
Resist that temptation.
Buy the body parts first and restore the shell. Without the correct rust free body, you have nothing but a collection of parts and a rusted out shell. A parts car in other words.
Once the shell is repaired properly, it’s worth a lot of money. Then and only then do you start looking for parts.
Don’t forget, everyone involved in making the panels is long past retirement age. They are available from no one else but me and once any one of the shop technicians retires that’s it. Game over. No one else has the skills you need at prices you can afford. Yes there are fabrication shops that can make parts for you - at three or four times what I charge if not more. So if you can’t afford my prices, you certainly can’t afford those of a restoration shop that will charge you north of $150 per hour for the labour to make the part plus the part itself, plus installation.
I will go to great lengths to help you finish your project but I can only do so much.
So do us both a favour, make sure you have the money before you call.