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 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.
Last edited by 69bossnine; 03-22-2019 at 10:16 AM.