Affected RF GT40 Customers

I am in even though I am leaving the GT40 community. (selling my car) It is the least I can do for the knowledge this forum has provided.
This is a tragic situation for all involved, however, it would seem rather unfair to convict and sentence Robert before anyone has all the facts. Having met Robert and seen the fantastic RF operation in Australia, the passion that drives him, the level of support that his customers received, and arguably one of the best GT40 kits in the world, I bet he is doing everything in his power to fix the situation at the moment. Obviously, if there are lawyers involved, he will not be able to make a statement yet, so yes, lets put some serious thought to a rescue plan, but don't hang the guy before the trial. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/bash.gif

Pete McCluskey.

Lifetime Supporter
Well said Greg, I to sympathise with all involved and would gladly help out if that is required. But as Greg said it may be premature to write off Roaring Forties just yet. Robert has one great asset and that is the car he builds. As most will know I own a DRB so have no axe to grind.
Where big bucks and emotion are involved in is easy for the red mist to come down over the eyes and to fire from the hip. I suggest it would be prudent to step back a little and see what happens. Even though Robert is probably restricted in what he can say it would be good if he could contact the stakeholders and let then know what the current state of play is. Has anyone tried to contact him? (Stupid question I suppose)
P.S. Welcome back Oliver.
I am in Sydney Aust
I tryed contacting RF today with no luck, I will try tomorrow again.
The answering machine is on & I would gather they are filtering calls.

I have sent an email to RF in relation to other bussiness & I hope I get a return.
It would be a gut wrenching situation to be in having placed an order then having to sit on your hands
& wait.
I will donate to the fund without hesitation.

A respose from RF would be a good start.


Oliver I love reading your threads.



I have also tried to contact RF today, again for other business but I was later told that it was a public holiday in Melbourne today. I will also try again tomorrow.
I doubt that the Australian staff will be able to shed much light on the situation and I would assume that there will have to be a statement of some sort from RF management shortly ??.
My thoughts go out to all those effected by this amazing course of events. Hopefully all is not lost and that the apparent efforts to resurrect the situation has a positive outcome sooner rather than later.

Greg and Pete,
Wise words. I couldn't agree more.
Count me for a donation guys. I think Pete said it all, it is premature to assume the worst just remember CAV. I expect the water will become less murky shortly.

Howard Jones

As I am many of you are aware once a company begins a restructuring the owners of the company are usually forbidden from speaking on the matter. Whether it be a full scale liquidation of assets by the court or a temporary freezing of assets so that creditors and stakeholders can't disassemble the company and prevent a restructured emergence from the situation nothing will come from the parties until the court begins the process of establishing the list of creditors and stakeholders.

Often they are gagged by the court as a condition of participation in the settlement. This is done to prevent damage to the company in the event that it emerges from the courts control and continues operations either under the previous owners or new ones from the result of a sale of the company. It also prevents a reduction in value of the remaining assets in the event of a full liquidation.

Some of the information we have makes me think that there may be some light at the end of the tunnel, at least for the continuing operation of the AU arm of the company. It seams that there are still employees and a operating in service phone. Offen the first thing to happen is the employees are locked off the property and all services to the company are cut off by the court to preserve capital. If this hasn't happened then it is a good sign. Things(bad) do happen to good people and good companies. Sometimes they recover to be better for it. Should that happen then the GT40 community will be better for it also.

If someone that lives down under wanted to drive by the RF building and report on the conditions there we might have some real first hand information. Otherwise I don't believe much will be coming from the parties involved in the near future. That's just the way it works.

In any case I agree we should not hang anyone or write off a very nicely constructed car and until now a good company until we receive official information. To do so will only hurt the people who are already in pain over this.


As I'm not financially interested in the RF thing, I expect to be told to sod off and mind my own business. Why? Because it happened a couple of months ago again over RF when I foolishly offered a comment re: RF deliveries. So, at the risk of being told to sod off again I would comment to Howard that the very essence of this problem (and other scenarios like it) is that RF Australia is every bit likely to survive but that RF South Africa is probably not given the statements that have been made, and this is going to be the bitterest pill to swallow for those who may lose product/money through a likely premature closing of the SA RF operation. They are obviously different companies, as when Robert set it up initially, it was a joint venture/new start-up with SA partners that would not have been linked in anything other than name with the Australian company. This is the likely and most obvious scenario. I hope I'm wrong and all customers will eventually get their money/cars after a minor administrative hitch. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/twocents.gif

Denis Bedford

Denis Bedford
I also think that they may be different companies and if SA is closed and Aus in still in business then customers may still be able to eventually be suplied with products. I would think that most of the orders that have not been supplied would have been placed with the Aus company in the first place,the fact that RF decided to manufacture those orders in another country should not affect the original contract to supply, I would hope that if Aus RF is still in business that they would be endevouring to satisfy their customers,lets hope that is the case,don't give up hope yet.

John B

Temp Selling Pass
Just a note for thought!

Regardles if they were two companies or not. The perspective buyer of the GT40 are very savy and will more than likely do the reaserch and find there way to this forum and start asking questions just like many prospective buyers in the past. Once the prospect does the reserch, do you really think they would give a company a large deposit to a company that just burned 26 people. Highley unlikely. Regardles of the outcome, It would take a big money to take a bankrupt company turn it around and make it profitable. And it would take a new owner and mangagment. I don't see it happening with robert but possibly another idividual that has the skills to run a company with integrity and not snake oil.

Oliver /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/soapbox.gif
Well I doubt the people that have ordered cars signed a document or was given it in writing that they were solely dealing with RF of SA , RF is RF as far as sales is concerned. I would think RF Australia would still be liable. Robert and Hersh and all have one phone, one email, and one business address.(no SA cars or AU cars) Just my /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/twocents.gif In a way you can say then RF subed it to RF of SA. Thats if things are being done on the level anyway. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/beat.gif Also interesting is I see RF was on our forum , a half hour before I posted this. Too bad no post from them.

John B

Temp Selling Pass
Thats right..I forgot!!! both on the hook...Also You can bet your bottom dollar Robert is reading all of this but what he can't read is the Pm's going back and Forth.

I visited the RF factory in Dromana (Australia) last Thursday and all seemed in order and no mention of any pending issues. Either the staff there were unaware of any issues, or were obviously being quiet. For the record I was there in the capacity of a potential customer and not as someone who has placed an order and was checking to see how it was going and the staff were very friendly and co-operative, and there was work being carried out on a number of cars in various stages. I sincerely hope that all those affected by whatever the issue is can get some satisfaction



Howard Jones

So... Jack was at the AU facility on the 9th. That would be the same day that Ron posted his bombshell. The fact that there were cars being worked on and public admittance to the property is good news no matter how you look at it considering that Jack could have found a big padlock on the gate.

I really, really, hope this comes out OK.
Ron posted (and we customers heard from RF agents) on Thursday morning US time. That means Jack's visit was one day before since Australia is one day ahead. Damn spherical earth!!

Sorry to reek of pessimism, but until I have my deposit $ returned to me in full, I'm from the glass is half empty camp.

Mitch D
I visited the factory in the morning on the 9th and when I got back home that night I logged on and was about to write a thank you email to the staff at Dromana for their time when I saw Ron's post. So chronologically speaking, my visit was before the prvoerbial you know what hit the fan.



Bill Hara

Old Hand
GT40s Supporter
I think GregF and others have said this already, but it bears saying again:
It is very likely that Robert hasn't said anything publically because he can't - legally.

It is also true that RF Australia are still operating and if the staff are friendly it is probably because -
1. They are always friendly,
2. They are as unaware of the situation as the rest of us.
As far as the jibe of snake oil is concerned, the fact that myself and so many others on this forum are so shocked with this news is because Robert is a stand-up guy and has always gone out of his way to help people, many times to his detriment.

The level of passion he has demonstrated over the years has been evident to many people, certainly to myself and I can only imagine how devastated he must be with the collapse(?) of the South African venture, no disrespect to the affected people with paid deposits.

I stress again that I have no affiliation to/with RF whatsoever, other than being in the final stages of building my car.
I haven't spoken to Robert for a while (6-7 weeks), but have been in contact with the factory in Melbourne regarding parts that I am waiting on. They cannot comment to me regarding what is going on due to legal reasons but they are still operating at some level, don't know what the extent of that is with respect to ordered cars and deposits.

I am happy to also contribute to the trust fund, knowing what my dream means to me - this makes me want to help those people achieve their dreams too, and so far there hasn't been a better suggestion. Another way to help the situation at RF is for those customers (if any) that have received goods from RF but have yet to pay for them, it may make all the difference if money owed to RF can make its way back to those customers that had deposits down - including myself as I still have to pay for some parts.

I am not privy (and wouldn't expect to be) with any of the negotiations or dealings going on behind the scenes, but I do recall Robert mentioning on the forum that he was spending 2 out of every 4 weeks in SA trying to set right some issues with production over there. I believe the details of the company structure in SA and some difficulties experienced were discussed here. It is interesting to note that the manufacturing was not under Robert's control, so is there anything forethcoming from the other parties involved? I haven't dealt with those parties in SA so I don't know what their integrity is like, maybe someone on the forum can shed some light on the other players....
My apologies in advance if my ramblings have offended anyone, just trying to put some perspective on a horrible situation.


Ross Nicol

GT40s Supporter
I have news from this morning.There is no management lockout at RF's Australian operation in Dromana.
I personally know the owner of Roberts leased factory and as he occupies the adjacent factory described a lot of closed door meetings at RF although he wasn't able to speak to Robert today.The facts are RF has been on stop credit with some suppliers and he owes rent in the thousands of dollars range.Sorry if this dampens enthusiasm for a return of monies but I don't think you guys should be too hopeful.I think those that say Robert is a stand up guy is fine, but it doesn't mean he's a good businessman that can be trusted with customers money.
I'm not trying to dig the knife in I just don't care if I recieve flak for stating the truth.


Ditto Keith.

Obviously a personal axe to grind here.
Regardless of persuasion, I am sure that there are not many of us here that would condone such an unprofessional and unproductive ‘cheap shot’ especially when we will probably never hear the second version of the story and we all now that even before the post was written, there will not be a response nor does it deserve one.
Yea, yea I know, get up on the high ground and hide behind transparency, truth and ethics. Well there are only two left because ethics just went out the window.
If this came from a member who may be in a position to lose a substantial amount of money we would all gasp and then sympathise with them. Instead it seems that those directly involved are the most level headed and the ridiculous contributions are coming from those who have nothing to lose and know the they will continue to get away with this type of crap while the witch hunt is in full swing.
Is there not any guidelines on a public forum??