Free advice befor buying an MDA

First off, let me say that I've got one of the first Series 1 MDA GT40's out there. I don't see any glaring quality issues with the car, seems to be built well, as well as most out there. I'm sure there are some better, and some worse, but for the most part, a solid car. Something to consider when purchasing an MDA though, is the customer service you would like to have after the purchase. My situation may be different than most, as I'm located in the States, so I have to deal with the overseas issue. However, for my situation, I've had the car for over 3 1/2 years and I only have the aluminum paneling completed. The next 5-7 steps in the build process are all missing 1 or 2 bits to complete. If I skip over a few of them, then the ones that are skipped will be much more difficult, or near impossible to complete (I'm sure you guys know what I mean). After I took delivery, we knew there were some parts short, but it took a year to get them. Then as I proceeded, I began to discover through more detailed inventory checking, that small detailed bits of subgroups were not shipped. For example, major items in a group, i.e. brakes, had the major items, but then I find that mounting bolts for master cylinders are missing, and reservoirs, spacers for front anti roll bar, bolts too short, then to top it off, anti roll bar is wrong. I'm currently waiting on parts that were identified over 9 months ago, when I do get a response from the factory, it's usually that "we're gathering up the parts", and "we just about have everything now, just need to check on a few more details". I also get the "your parts should be going out next month" that one usually is like an NFL football minute, where one month equals 6-8 months. I've been so polite and understanding for the last 3 years that most of you would want to barf, but in my experience, it's not worth getting crazy over thing I have no control of. Two things have since chaged my stance a little. One, I'm actually fed up. I've lost almost all motivation to build the car from the continuing of delays, and two, I don't want anyone who's considering a purchase to be blind sided by a situation that could be avoided. I'd rather not see anyone have to deal with the disappointment that I have, so buyer beware.
Again, I want to reiterate, the car is a good car, the MDA builders forum is GREAT as are the guys on the forum, they will help you to the nth degree, but MDA's customer service is the worst I've ever seen. Now, back to your regularly scheduled program.
Jim Downard
Sorry to hear about your parts problem Jim. No one should have to wait 3 years to get parts that have already been paid for. have you talked to Chris Martino?

Good luck. I hope you get these problems resolved to your satidfaction.

Bill D
Yea Bill, Chris and I frequently chat back and forth. He's sort of in the same boat as I am. I don't think he's got as many outstanding items that I do. At least Chris' car looks like a car. There's tons of motivation in that alone. I was going to switch gears this last winter and start on my body since I couldn't move on with the chassis, but while fitting the spyder, I found out that I didn't have the sealing rubbers that close off the rear aluminum bulkhead to spyder section. Makes it difficult to get the spyder fitted just right if I need to make adjustments later. Such is my life lately.
Sorry Jim - my only MDA North American brother. I will comment next - P.S. love your motto: "Your sh*t's our bread and butter" - Yummy

Got to find some sense of humor here (as hard as it is to swallow)...
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Thanks to everyone who has supported my descision to make this announcement. Makes me feel better that I've done the right thing. Also, thanks to those who have offered assistance. It means a ton to me.


I tried to raise this type of concern a while back included within my Emerging Forum Trends thread although not naming specific manufacturers as I think all manufacturers have a degree of guilt on this to one level or another. However in their defence it is also a nature of the beast when it comes to very low production numbers. Hardly any manufacturer can afford to keep all products in large quantities on the shelf for immediate dispatch and also with small staff numbers prioritisation is important for work efficiency and profitability. But back to the consumers side, no manufacturer should BS customers with false delivery dates or promises as it does lead to bad customer satisfaction.
My thoughts exactly Malcolm. I'd rather be told that the parts simply aren't going to go out for several months, even a year god forbid, for whatever reason, instead of being told that something would be happening soon time and time again. Also, while I'm fully aware of the "nature of the beast" the timeframe that has transpired is simply way out of the norm. Question: How many cars have been build and sold? If say, 15, then how many anti roll bars do you make, how many brake and clutch master cylinders do you order. Most of my problem was a packing situation during original delivery. Some younger kids were packing most of the bits, and never completed the full complement of needed parts for each sub-assembly. So, theoretically, all the parts should be there, as they were never put into the box in the first place. Where are the parts, where has my money gone that went to pay for them. Is there going to be any gasoline left when I get it built. Kind of makes my head spin.

Howard Jones

Jim, How about a refund for the cost of the missing parts. Maybe you can move on with parts sourced here in the US. Roll bars can be bent up from some 4130 tubing. Brakes can surely be bought here. I did my GTD over completely with home sourced parts and a little local welding and machine work. Call them up and see if you can have them send you a check. All that would require is an agreement on amount and a postage stamp.

With the decline in the dollar and payment in pounds you might find yourself ahead if not on time.

Don't loose your love for our cars. We can all help you with parts from right here in the US. Get your money and get on with it.
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I"ve thought of that already. After building my Cobra I'd decided not to go down the route of finding all the detail parts I would need to build the car. That's the reason for the purchase of the deluxe kit. No more chasing down parts. Some of the items are MDA specific, some are generic. Supposedly most all of the parts are there except one or two according to Linda. Let's hope they just get them shipped out. If they don't then I'll probably have to go the route of refund and outsource/fabricate the rest.
I"ve thought of that already. After building my Cobra I'd decided not to go down the route of finding all the detail parts I would need to build the car. That's the reason for the purchase of the deluxe kit. No more chasing down parts. Some of the items are MDA specific, some are generic. Supposedly most all of the parts are there except one or two according to Linda. Let's hope they just get them shipped out. If they don't then I'll probably have to go the route of refund and outsource/fabricate the rest.


A sad tale have the patience of a Saint! I had a similar experince many years ago with a kit manufacturer - very frustrating indeed. I had hoped that these type of stories had disappeared as they were the reason the kit car industry had such a crappy reputation in the past.

I know the point has been made about low volume production etc, but there is really no excuse for waiting years for a part. These cars really ain't that complicated, especially for modern day manufacturing techinques - and even at low volume. I spoke with Andy of Tornado at a recent kit car show....he has dispatched over 900 kits over his many years in business.

Thanks you for sharing your story though......I guess this is the true power of the internet. Thanks to you we can all be better informed.........
Well, time for an update. It actually got to the point where I emaild MDA and threatened legal action. That got some attention, pissed them off actually, then I had a heart to heart with Mark and we both understood the situation (not that it makes it all right). Anyway, I was assured that the parts would be going out very soon. Nope, two weeks and no email responses. Turns out the box was packed, but waiting for Mark to get back from France. He mailed me on a Friday that he had checked the box and it was missing one part, but he'd ship it on Monday anyway and email me a tracking number. Well, over another week and no response. Tried calling the phone number on the website and either I did something wrong on an overseas call, or it's been disconnected. So, the wait continues still. I'm really beginning to freakin' flip out.
O.K. got most of my parts yesterday. I'm still waiting on front anti-roll bar and lower steering column bearing and support, but I believe I can move forward on the car now. Seems with the world economy and tightening of money, replica manufacturers may be moving in a slower motion. That and the imbalance of the dollar to euro exchange rate. I'd guess things should stablize a little by mid Spring. However, it's anybody's guess.
Looks like most of my parts are good to go. Like everyone else, MDAs trudging through a bad economy, and I'll intend to work with them to resolve my issues. Better we can all get through this with communication than see businesses go under and cars be stuck in the middle of a build. I've been getting contacts back from them in short time, and cooperation is working well. I'm happy again to be moving forward on the build. I'll keep updating as things continue.
Great to hear Jim (St. Downard) - I'm determined to complete my build regardless of circumstance and embrace any supplier who can fill the void to see completion.

I ordered a Lola T70 coupe which was delivered the same time as your GT40. In my case, I've been trying to get the rear brake calipers, spacers and pads plus some newer rear suspension parts for the past 4 years. I've been given excuse after excuse about the need to resource the parts which were supposed to be 'in the box' and ready to be delivered. It now seems at least the sales e-mail address at MDA is no longer working. In the meantimne, I have found sources to replace those brake
parts I am missing, now at added expense. I wish you good luck in your endeavors.
Ken Blakeslee


Sadly (or not, depending on your point of view!) MDA is no longer trading. If you see me, ask me to tell you an interesting story!