Kustom Metal Werks and Exhausts

Ron Earp


I suppose the final chapter in the GT40 exhaust situation is in.

I've called Kustom Metal Werks, aka George Cochran, at his two numbers I know of:




And both are out of service. Not a good sign.

As a lot of you also know, I've been very patient with George and one of the supporters of his work. However, I fail to see why many, many, many other folks that ordered pipes and systems after me received their goods the quickest. I suppose the squeaky wheel does get the grease after all.

To those of you that got your pipes, be very happy. I've still at 14 months and no pipes and it appears I'm out $1600 as well.

George, as some of you know, is/was the chassis manufacturer for GT Supercars, a budding company getting started with John Hester in the lead. I hope John has a better experience than I did.

Anyone have any info on George? I am in need of further contact information to provide the lawyer for legal proceedings. Last published address would be useful.

I hate to use a Forum that I started to warn people of my bad experiences and of possible problems with a supplier. But, I did not create this situation, someone else did and I will not cease posting on the topic until it has reached a conclusion.

Thanks much,


[ June 04, 2002: Message edited by: R. Earp ]

Ron Earp

Ask and you shall receive, a wise man said.

Lo, and 30 minutes after this post George called indicating that the pipes would be out in a couple of weeks.

I indicated that I do not need them tomorrow, or next week, but would like to have them ASAP as I will be putting the motor in the car around September. Basically, I just want closure on the situation.

Oh, and the phone - George said the phone company and he are having some difficulties thus no phone or web use.

We will wait and see. In the meantime, I will prepare my materials for further action.


[ June 03, 2002: Message edited by: R. Earp ]
If I do not hear from George this week I was planning on sending an expeditor in to see him to either get the pipes or my money back. Perhaps we should find out how many of us are waiting for George to deliver and how long each of us has been waiting. I need my pipes now as I cant run my engine. We could find out who lives nearest to George and if that person is willing to expedite all the orders pay that persons expenses to make a trip to see what the score is with George.
This coming week I am planning to contact an expediting company in Houston to see if they have an expeditor in or near Boise. (about an hours drive from George). Will keep you advised.
I work for an engineering company and part of my responsibility is to arrange for expediting of late deliveries world wide. We need to find out the real reason for his late delivery, and see what can be done to make things happen. At present it is a guessing game. I would appreciate comments from all who are waiting for pipes. (see also my comments under FOR SALE & WANTED(Bundle of snakes). I am new to this forum. I only found it last week. Great site Ron. I hope I can contribute in other areas of interest to us all.

Ron Earp

Hi Mike,

As you know I am still waiting.

I'm told that John Hester is at George's place working on a chassis, but do not know if this is true or not. John is the fellow coming out with a GT40 in the near future. He has tried to help with the situation to no avail.

I'm in Germany for the week but would be interested to help out in any way possible. You may want to check on the Cobra forums to find other folks that are in the same boat. Are expeditors just fellows with big sticks?


Jim Rosenthal

It is difficult for me to imagine what George could have done for John Hester that would induce John to get anything made by George, let alone go into business with George supplying the chassis, on the basis of what I have read here. Lie down with dogs, John, and sooner or later you'll get up with fleas. Remember that when you're itching.
Anyone who has seen George's work knows why
John Hester is involved with him. The man does great work at very reasonable cost.
That is not easy to find these days.

I've spoken to John about the delivery and communication issues we have had with KMW,
of which John is accutely aware. John is determined to make his business work,
including meeting his delivery promises,
so it will be interesting to see what develops.

Maybe I'm stoned but the only work I've seen from George has been far from Good.
I'm talking about 2 sets of GT40 pipes. One the tips had to be cut off and reattached because they where welded upside down, bending up not down and mine are straight. It should interesting to see if they fit.
This is just what I've seen.
From what I've seen, most people have had
no quality issues with KMW...mostly delivery
and communication problems.

That said, George did send me the wrong cannister, for which he admitted and apologized. Unfortunately I'm still waiting for a replacement.

George also gave me the impression he intended to get out of the exhaust business, to concentrate on the chassis work
(see the photos on prior Post).
Hopefully I'll get my replacement before
he gets behind in the chassis work!


Peter Delaney

GT40s Supporter
It sounds like George is a top-flight tradesman, but a completely hopeless businessman. I have a similar problem here with a resto on my '71 'Vette - the guy is a genius when it comes to knowledge & perfection in his craft, but simply can't say NO to every new bloke who drives in with a "minor" problem (my project goes back a week each time !). The 'Vette has been off the road for 4 years now - my major worry is that a 3/4 finished car will be part of my estate ! I am too far in with this one to change now (assuming that I could find someone else who knows 'Vettes here in Oz) - I'll just have to keep hassling. This experience has been one of the drivers in terms of building the '40 - "I'll bloody well show you", "If you want something done right, do it yourself" are phrases that have come to mind ! I got my headers from Peter Ransom at www.gt40australia.com - they look good, fit well, & arrived in less that 2 weeks - might be worth a look if you can get you money back from George.

Kind Regards,

Peter D.

Ron Earp


As far as headers I can get them from Roaring Forties as well and I know they'll fit. It is just that I wanted to save as much cash as I could up front and went the "find your own route". Big mistake.

Dan, for an update we need to talk along with a fellow in Canada and another in the states. I think we may have to pool our resources for legal action.

If I could get my money back I'd just get them from Robert and I'm sure I'd have them in a couple of weeks, just like above.

There is a big difference in dealing with reputable companies like Roaring Forties, GT40 New Zealand, ERA, DRB, etc, and operations that are not quite operations yet. One way you get what you need, the other way you just don't get.

I don't know if Kustom Metal Werks was a budding operation or not, or if is still functional for GT40 parts etc. But I do know I'd be wary - very wary of anything that you are promised from KMW.

[ July 15, 2002: Message edited by: R. Earp ]

Robert Logan

Defunct Manufactuer - Old RF Company
I had a phone call from Mike Cootes over the last week end and he told me that he still has not got his exhausts.


I have not got my complete system but I hold very little hope that this will be finalised but I must admit that Mikes phone call was a suprise to me.

I realy did think that George had completed ALL of his exhausts.

Please confirm who is still out in the dark with this one.

Hi Ron.
I think we should get together and take legal action against George. I am out $1550. and I have a car I can run as a result of his failure to supply my pipes.
He said he shipped to me two months ago, also a week ago by air but I have not received anything.It has been a year since I placed my order with George.

I actually did get my pipes. They are not coated! The canisters are but not the pipes. They have no O2 bung either. The icing on the cake is that the coated part will have to be recoated because in addition to having no O2 sensor bung the tips are straight and not bent down towards the ground the way they should be inorder to clear the body. The other thing, and I can only speak from what I've seen is that the pipes are too high, meaning they come too close to the rear clip and actually burn though the body's heat shield and bubble the paint. Nice work and another quality job. Anyone want to buy a "nice" set of partially coated pipes. I'll have to cut them up to move them further to the rear and down so they will work.
Goodluck guys. Just another satisfied customer.

Ron Earp


Well, I finally received some pipes from George today. Not coated and not with collectors. Definitely not meeting the contractual agreements that we had for sure.

The package was sent 8/03/02, dated with a UPS label and tracking number. How in the hell something can be sent via UPS and take 25 days in completely beyond me.

Now we'll wait and see if a collector shows up.

I received my pipes from George last week, and received the muffler/collectors and tail pipe assembly (all one unit) yesterday. Both packages were shipped by air post on August 20 but were received a week apart. I agreed to take them unplated as I needed them to run my engine. I think that is a better way to go, as if I do have to make any adjustments I will not be damaging a costly plating job. The pipes were bolted on the engine without any problems.
Well, what's the verdict on George?
Is everyone happy now?
Would you use George again?
How is George doing with the New Monocoque chassis?


Ron Earp

Absolutely not!!!!!! No way in hell!!!!! In fact, it is this issue with George that makes me want to shut down the whole GD Forum, sell the damn car, and forget about the entire thing! And that still might happen. Yes I am that ill about it.

After I learned about Geroge from Lynn Larsen (who got a nice set of pipes without too much trouble) I spread the word and basically generated George a lot of business (which I regret since so many got screwed). But, I got nothing in return.

All I have from George, after $1600 and 1 year and 9 months are a set of pipes. Uncoated and with no collectors or mufflers. the orginal written agreement was for a complete set, coated, with collectors and mufflers.

I have no number to contact him with and am basically still short of a operating exhaust system.

Do not do business with George - if in doubt check here and over on the Club Cobra Forum under their consumer watch. You'll find lots of unhappy customers with George.

Anyone have a number for George? Anyone have a number for John Hester, I think he may have a line to George. I had John's but my computer blew up and I'm basically out a lot of information.


[ November 17, 2002: Message edited by: Ron Earp ]

[ November 17, 2002: Message edited by: Ron Earp ]
Hi Ron

I'm sorry to hear that the "George" problem goes on and on, I had to ask as I know a guy that was about to do some business with him and wanted to hear some independent comments. I hope my friend reads your post and saves himself a lot of potential trouble.



[ November 17, 2002: Message edited by: Chris Melia ]