Ford Tooling sheet metal - Bad news - Vintage Mustang Forums
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post #1 of 70 (permalink) Old 03-22-2019, 10:12 AM Thread Starter
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Ford Tooling sheet metal - Bad news

This is a PSA of sorts...

Many on this forum may be aware that the supply and availability of the Original Ford Tooling sheet metal components has been pretty sketchy for years. Artiflex, which is the stamping plant that runs the tooling under Ford License, has long struggled to find the time/capacity to produce the classic stuff. Their main business, what really pays their bills, is producing panels for new car/truck production. They stamp panels for Ford and BMW (and others I'm sure), and that demand is so overwhelming that they have had a tough time over the past several years fitting the relatively low-volume and "pesky" classic stuff in.

Anyhow, July of last year, Artiflex let us know that they were getting out of the classic parts deal, and offered to sell us their remaining inventories. They informed Ford of this, and to date, I do not believe that Ford has been able to find an alternate/willing stamping plant to send the tooling to. Emphasis on "willing", because none of the plants with the equipment large enough to run this stuff wants to fool around with such piddly/small/niche volume. So the FATE of this classic tooling remains to be seen, but it doesn't look good..

Just like trying to get our purchase-orders filled with Artiflex over the past few years has been like pulling teeth, the process of negotiating the buy-out of their remaining inventories likewise took forever and a day.

But THANKFULLY we finally got it done, and got approval. So from this day forward, NPD will be the repository for the last remaining quantities of Original Ford Tooling sheet metal. And when it's gone... It'll be gone.... Unless something miraculous happens.

We just picked-up and received into inventory a full 52' semi trailer of hoods, both 64 1/2 and 65-66. We return in 2 weeks with our semi to pick up another full load, and then four weeks following that we return for another full load. Hopefully we fit it all in, or it'll require one last trip.

Here's a list of what we managed to save:

64 1/2 hoods
65-66 hoods
69-70 hoods
65-66 LH fenders (no RH's)
65-66 stone deflectors
67-68 stone deflectors
65-66 front valances
67-68 front valances
65-66 taillight panels

And that's it. If what you need isn't on that above list, and you can find it out there (either still in our inventory, or elsewhere, or eBay, etc..), you'd better jump on it.

We bumped some of the retails accordingly, because some of the quantities we purchased will take years to sell-thru. So prices in print catalogs may not match online. But nothing major, I made a conscious decision not to exploit the situation, but to just adjust according to the up-front investment in long-term inventory.

That's the story!! If somehow, some way, Ford manages to find another willing plant to take over (which I seriously doubt will happen), I would predict that the expenses in moving the tooling, potentially refurbishing certain toolings, getting everything dialed in (fixtures, processes, etc.), and getting going, that the prices of the panels would see a dramatic increase. But that's me just pie-in-sky thinking, because I don't believe that the tooling will ever get run again.

Rick
NPD

Last edited by 69bossnine; 03-22-2019 at 10:16 AM.
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post #2 of 70 (permalink) Old 03-22-2019, 10:25 AM
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On a side note here is a vendor taking the time to explain the future while others keep their customers in the dark

Tom

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post #3 of 70 (permalink) Old 03-22-2019, 10:31 AM
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Rick, What about the Carpenter family buying out the tooling? Believe that they have some of the huge Stamping machines and equipment to actually do the job.

Any hope or chance on that?

)

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post #4 of 70 (permalink) Old 03-22-2019, 10:34 AM
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Sounds like we need to protect our old bodies even more now.
Thanks Rick for the heads up.

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post #5 of 70 (permalink) Old 03-22-2019, 10:41 AM
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Thank you for the insight Rick, fingers crossed I wont need any of it.

I dont understand how that business works, or what the value of the tooling is, but wouldn't it make sense for someone to buy at least the tooling and save it? That way, down the road, there would be an opportunity to use it again.

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post #6 of 70 (permalink) Old 03-22-2019, 10:45 AM Thread Starter
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Tony,

No, the Carpenters do not have stamping machinery capable of handling these toolings. They outsource stampings as large as these. Daniel is aware of the situation, and I believe that he is likewise "flummoxed" regarding what can be done.

Ken,

Yep, drive carefully!! And I'm certain that there will be many folks who simply "stash away" some spares as insurance. It's not a bad idea, because as years go by, the value of those spares sitting on shelves in garages or stashed in closets or attics will likely increase.
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post #7 of 70 (permalink) Old 03-22-2019, 10:54 AM
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That is a fabulous demonstration of some truly useful transparency. Thanks for laying it down, Rick.
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post #8 of 70 (permalink) Old 03-22-2019, 10:58 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by IndyFive-O View Post
Thank you for the insight Rick, fingers crossed I wont need any of it.

I dont understand how that business works, or what the value of the tooling is, but wouldn't it make sense for someone to buy at least the tooling and save it? That way, down the road, there would be an opportunity to use it again.
It is impossible to "buy" Ford tooling. Original Ford Tooling, wherever it exists, whatever manufacturer or entity that has possession of it, has that possession by the permission of Ford, and it is purely "on loan, under license".

Even all of the Original Ford Tooling that Carpenter has, that's all under license, all still under the technical ownership of Ford.

And this stuff is huge, and heavy... Just transporting it is a major and expensive deal.

There's an unfortunately likelihood that Ford, upon considering the remaining lifespan of the tooling, the fact that Artiflex won't want it taking up space in their storage yard, the fact that no other plants are raising their hands for it, that all things considered, it could be recycled for its steel. That's what happened to all the 55-57 T-bird fender and 1/4 tooling last year.
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post #9 of 70 (permalink) Old 03-22-2019, 11:02 AM Thread Starter
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On a side note here is a vendor taking the time to explain the future while others keep their customers in the dark
I've gained 5 pounds from all of the popcorn I've consumed on this forum over the past week or two..
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post #10 of 70 (permalink) Old 03-22-2019, 11:11 AM
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Originally Posted by 69bossnine View Post
It is impossible to "buy" Ford tooling. Original Ford Tooling, wherever it exists, whatever manufacturer or entity that has possession of it, has that possession by the permission of Ford, and it is purely "on loan, under license".

Even all of the Original Ford Tooling that Carpenter has, that's all under license, all still under the technical ownership of Ford.

And this stuff is huge, and heavy... Just transporting it is a major and expensive deal.

There's an unfortunately likelihood that Ford, upon considering the remaining lifespan of the tooling, the fact that Artiflex won't want it taking up space in their storage yard, the fact that no other plants are raising their hands for it, that all things considered, it could be recycled for its steel. That's what happened to all the 55-57 T-bird fender and 1/4 tooling last year.
I find it crazy that there may be no value to the tooling beyond scrap. I would think one of the re-pop guys like Dynacorn or someone already stamping poor repops would be interested in taking posession of the dies.

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post #11 of 70 (permalink) Old 03-22-2019, 11:15 AM Thread Starter
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I find it crazy that there may be no value to the tooling beyond scrap. I would think one of the re-pop guys like Dynacorn or someone already stamping poor repops would be interested in taking posession of the dies.
Dynacorn would be stuck in the same dilemma Ford is... Finding a U.S. stamper to run them. Because you cannot import/export tooling.
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post #12 of 70 (permalink) Old 03-22-2019, 11:16 AM
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I've gained 5 pounds from all of the popcorn I've consumed on this forum over the past week or two..
Letís just say I bought a set of headers that were poorly packed. When I looked at them they were for a Mustang alright but a Fox body. So I call up and they insist I had the right ones. They didnít want to hear anything else. So I ask why then do they have O2 bungs. Their response was that 66 Mustangs came with O2 sensors! I kid you not Rick.

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post #13 of 70 (permalink) Old 03-22-2019, 11:22 AM
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I find it crazy that there may be no value to the tooling beyond scrap. I would think one of the re-pop guys like Dynacorn or someone already stamping poor repops would be interested in taking posession of the dies.
I don't think Dynacorn stamps anything. Don't they also buy the stampings from Asian companies?

Wow, that bit of news about the Thunderbird tooling is very disconcerting. On the plus side, my Mustang has a lot of reproduced sheet metal which is not Ford Tooling, but it is pretty good. My reproduction doors actually fit better than my rusted factory doors; I think they're Golden Legion (got them from NPD). Some of the bolt holes were a little off, but otherwise, very nice product.

So, while it sucks to see the Ford Tooling stuff go away, there are reasonable alternatives. At least for now, anyway.

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post #14 of 70 (permalink) Old 03-22-2019, 11:54 AM Thread Starter
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I don't think Dynacorn stamps anything. Don't they also buy the stampings from Asian companies?

Wow, that bit of news about the Thunderbird tooling is very disconcerting. On the plus side, my Mustang has a lot of reproduced sheet metal which is not Ford Tooling, but it is pretty good. My reproduction doors actually fit better than my rusted factory doors; I think they're Golden Legion (got them from NPD). Some of the bolt holes were a little off, but otherwise, very nice product.

So, while it sucks to see the Ford Tooling stuff go away, there are reasonable alternatives. At least for now, anyway.
Yes, everything Dynacorn sells is stamped (by various different factories, depending upon the item) in Taiwan. And Taiwan is protectionist with tooling, they won't allow any outside tooling through customs. I believe that most countries are that way, even us (the U.S.).

And you make a good point about the general/slow evolution of Taiwanese reproduction panels. The advent of new technologies that assist with creating toolings has improved the Taiwanese manufacturers' ability to provide more-slickly-done reproductions. Every time they decide to bite the bullet and do an "improved version" of an older not-so-hot tooling, they step-up that much closer to NOS Ford, even with the metal thickness lately. So as the Original Ford Tooling stuff is riding off into the sunset, the new Taiwanese stuff that's approaching over the other horizon is light-years-better than it used to be.

And yep!! Those Golden Legion doors are pretty darned good. Especially considering that they're less expensive than the "new-improved-stronger" doors we're importing from MGT (same doors that Dynacorn also sells).
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post #15 of 70 (permalink) Old 03-22-2019, 12:01 PM
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May be it's time for AMD to step up. I know they are mainly GM and Mopar, but they do have a Ford license and sell some things under the Ford logo, unless they get their sheet metal off shore.

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