Roaring Forties Information, March 2006

Gary: Denile is not just a river in Egypt! /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/blush.gif

Ron: What a kick in the nuts...this is not something I would wish on anyone, ....well maybe a certain Mr. Lubinsky, but certainly not you, who has gone above and beyond to provide a needed service to the GT40 community.

The sad reality is that as I have said before, this is not a group of savvy businesspeople who build these cars, it is a group of rabid enthusiasts who may or may not have good business sense. Not to mention any one of the hundreds of unseen circumstances that can appear and turn the already maginal cashflow into a river of red that the local bank manager will not like one small bit! /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/bash.gif

In retrospect, good business sense would require the deposit to be held in escrow. The real world is that said deposit funds the manufacturers daily expenses and development. The bank will not lend funds against the escrowed deposits as there is no history of performance to use as a rating. Classic catch 22 in action. Both the builder and the customer are at risk, and both will feel the pain of insolvency, BK, CVA or whatever form it takes.

I know the other legit manufacturers (and not to imply that RF is not legit) take no joy in this as it paints all small volume manufacturers with the same brush. I know from first hand experience...I was involved in a small volume automotive start-up in the early 80's. When DeLorean went tits for ass, and John Z. was caught moving significant weight, all the money sources dried up as they thought all start ups would go the same way and if John Z. a former GM guy couldn't do it, how could we?

Sad....... /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/soapbox.gif


Howard Jones

Damn! Damn! RF's are a really good car! I really hope all this somehow get resolved. In the mean time lets all wait until we have real facts before we start throwing rocks.

I am sorry to hear all of this has happened.
I am posting with great sadness, I truly hope that all involved. customers, agents and owners have success in woking things out and that RF does not cease to exist.

When I purchased my car a large part of my decision to go with RF was due to it's involvement and support on this board.I have spoken with both Hershal, Roger and Jerry and consider them both standup guys and friends. With that said I did have a concern from the beginning that the industry is litterd with the bodies of companies that went under for whatever reason and this was not unique to RF. At the time of my purchase I could not afford to purchase a complete kit, so I purchased a rolling chassie and as many other components as would fit in the budget. Over the next year or so I purchased every other component that was unique to the RF and could not be easly sourced locally. My goal was to be able to complete the project if RF sould experiance any problems, regreatably I may have been correct in doing what I did.

Those that were waiting on complete cars or deluxe kits need to be sent cars or reimbursed if possable. I say if possable because we all know what the possable outcome could be. I also have a real concern for those that have kits in progress but do not have all the items unique to RF. I have no idea how many cars are in this group but would be interisted in seeing what the number is. It may never be needed but I will offer to help out any builder in this situation with information, pictures or whatever help may be needed in duplicating or sourcing a missing part.


Ron Earp

Damn! Damn! RF's are a really good car! I really hope all this somehow get resolved. In the mean time lets all wait until we have real facts before we start throwing rocks.

I am sorry to hear all of this has happened.

[/ QUOTE ]

Howard et al,

I agree with most of what has been written. The car was good, I think Robert had good intentions, but something dire happened here. I don't want to throw rocks either, but I in good conscience could not sit with information that I felt people had a right and needed to know, hence the post.

In the end, for the folks that have lost a lot of money, I'm not sure they are interested in the story though. I can say I'm interested in learning how we as a collective whole can recover our losses.

I've not heard any proposals from Roaring Forties on how this might happen, thus, I am operating completely under the assumption that there is no capacity, drive, will, want, or way to reimburse the customers in whole.

It is a sad situation, not just personally but sad with respect to the industry.
I'm with Howard on this (Bet you didn't see that coming mate /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif ).
The AF statement did read like a bit of an ad' at RF's expense to me but I think Gary's statement seems to have some merit. I was a newbie when the CAV problem was discussed so I don't claim to have any real grasp of that situation.
As far as I can see most of this is conjecture although it seems there are some, perhaps better informed, involved. I wait hoping that this isn't as bad as it appears to some.
Assuming there's some fire behind all this smoke, here's hoping that RF Australia is truly relatively unaffected and that somehow any shortfall can be made up here with delay the only problem for awaiting owners.

RF played straight with me and built a great car. Support has been great also.

As discussions are apparently underway I think it understandable that info' is scarce but I hope that it becomes possible to set things straight sooner rather than later.

post in this thread for me is as to run in a mine field..
Just to have an is maybe possible to know what have been the reasons of the RF financial problem?(do not dare to call this...collaps..).
The cars are wonderful...the orders are a lot too (26 cars in progress...a LOT of enthusiast customers waiting the dream come true,clear and nice explaining post and after market service for already sold cars....)what happened here?

Right now i read also teh AF thread in all GT section...all this situation scares me a lot and again seems incredible.

Thank u all

Facts are thin and I have no information unavailable to anyone else here but my reading of the situation is that they have been let down by suppliers.

I've not heard any proposals from Roaring Forties on how this might happen, thus, I am operating completely under the assumption that there is no capacity, drive, will, want, or way to reimburse the customers in whole.

[/ QUOTE ]

Ron, Slow down Mate, /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/banghead.gif Take a few deep breaths and wait till you know exactly what is happening.
I know it is easy for me to say as I am waiting for a DRB, But I still feel for you guys and
if there is anything I can do to help, Just let me know. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/frown.gif

Ron Earp


I hope that didn't come across as completely negative, but do notice there are a lot of options in what I wrote. And, I am making a calculated assumption based on what information is available to me at the moment - it doesn't imply ill-will, slander, or damage any party. If I hear otherwise, from Roaring Forties Australia, I will certainly pass along that information unless I am bound in some way not to.

Please bear in mind, while I am personally affected for sure and it is an enormous personal problem for me, I am still open-minded and interesting in knowing the details.

Maybe the information provided to me is incorrect. The RF agents confirmed it, as reported for Robert. Maybe it'll turn out to be okay after all, I'll keep fingers crossed.

Knowing few particulars, we shouldn't speculate...but being human I think it's forgiveable under the circumstances.

I'd assume negotiations are under way among RF, their creditors, and potential 3rd parties (AF). Likely scenarios

1. RF restructures it's debt
2. RF does deal with 3rd party in some form
3. RF liquidates

Obviously options 1 or 2 are the ones we all hope to see.
Best hopes for all.


Pete K.

GT40s Supporter
Oh drat!

Best of luck to everyone involved, but from personal experience from being on the wrong end of a bankruptcy, there is usually no good thing to come from being an unsecured creditor. I lost $25k when the company that I bought my Cobra from went bankrupt. It took me nearly 10 years to recover - but I did recover and I did build my Cobra.

Don't ever give up on a dream Ron.

Jim Rosenthal

I feel quite badly for all of you who had cars on order with RF. I am surprised- I thought of all the folks involved in the GT40 replica market that RF was on a good footing and would stay in the game. And their cars were good. It is a shame. I hope that all is not lost- these cars were not cheap and it is not pretty to think about the losses some will have.

Howard Jones

Ron, I think your 1st post on this subject is EXACTLY the correct use of this forum. You posted information that could not have been pleasant for you and you did it in a manner that illustrates the adult, professional nature you have managed this forum that has been such a HUGE resource for all of us. I am not so sure I would have been as adult about it. I salute you for it.

I feel like a good friend(s) has been hurt and as in all such cases the first reaction is always disbelief. I still hold on to the possibility that at least most of your(all of you) money can be recovered.

Again. You have done the correct thing in posting what information you have without any unnecessary venom.

My hope is that we will all take a breath and wait until legal proceeding begin if it comes to that. Only when court dates have been set will the real situation become clear. The international nature of this matter will surely complicate it but at the end of the day we can hope that a reorganization of the company will result in saving a very good car and from what I know of the people involved some very good peoples dream. Offen the threat of bankruptcy makes the creditors a bit more flexible and with some desire to resolve matters things work out and a recovery results. The rumors prior to official announcement's of reorganization always come in the darkest hour. This sill may work it self out

Please don't give up on a GT40 Ron. Sometimes dreams are hard to achieve but then that's what makes them worth dreaming about. The 2001 market downturn nearly put mine on hold but I just had to use my head instead of my heart, dig in, get back at it and begin again. In the end realigning my goal to a more modest one and taking a couple of more years got it done.

I wish you all well.

Your friend

Howard Jones
The replica car business is not easy due to severe competition from low cost, low wages and companies with goverment help. The investment that a company must make to build a product in relative low volume is difficult to recover and make a profit. I hope that RF recovers so you and others can fullfill your dreams and for owners of RF that who are also lousing their dream.

Ron Earp

Thanks Howard. I've received a couple of responses that my posting is negative and shouldn't be here without all the facts, but, I could wait years for "all" the facts as I see it. It is a very heart wrenching story for all involved and it is difficult to remain logical, levelheaded, and business-like throughout the experience. But some are more heavily affected than I and my heart goes out to them.

I am convinced that when CAV went under a couple of years ago there were plenty of people that knew something about that far before it happened. The same with John Hester, John Donnely, GTD, and GT40 entities that have succumbed because of bad business plans, poor management, greedy owners, market pressure, or bad luck/timing. However, I believe that folks make their own luck in these cases and in all of these situations could have been avoided. In any event, I know that people knew these things were happening but didn't reveal what they knew.

Therefore, as soon as I could obtain information about this situation I wished to open it up on the public forum. Sure, it is "my opinion" since I have little hard factual information, but it is backed up by enough empirical data that I feel it is close to the truth.

Right now what the US industry needs is a lot of transparency and disclosure. It will need strong, stable, and very honest volume manufacturer(s) in stable regions to meet the needs of the mid-range GT40 cars the US market wishes to have. I'm not giving up on the dream of having a GT40. It is going to take longer now, and be much harder, but I'll make it happen.
Ron, I feel desperately sorry for you and anyone else who looks like losing money... I have always admired Robert and his posts on this forum - he seemed a very open guy and I hope the full story will eventually be told.
Ron, do hope that you will eventually be a GT40 owner - it would be such a shame that all the effort you have put it into this web site didn't culminate in ownership.
Maybe there is another way - I was on the road with a GT40 replica for less than some of the deposits others have paid....It ain't brilliant - but I love it dearly and am improving it all the time. So maybe some of you will have to tighten your belts and start with lower ambitions.. the GT40 experience is definitely worth it.
It's always a horrible experience losing money through no fault of your own - I lost a shed load during the eighties stock market crash while working in the Middle East.... but hey! Keep smiling. Take that Miata out for a good thrash and then think just how much more fun a GT40 would be.
Ron has shown the proper decorum with his post on this subject. As one of the customers on the RF backlog, I can attest that nothing he has shown here demonstrates any propensity to jump to a hasty conclusion. Any forum members that think Ron was 'negative' probably aren't involved directly and they're trying to encourage patience on everyone's part perhaps with some deference to Robert Logan's and RF's reputation. However, to those of us directly involved it is pretty clear the worst has probably happened. Here's an exerpt from direct email contact from an RF agent:

"...He [Robert] has told me that there will be no cars manufactured in South Africa and sent to the RF customers. All of the deposits given to Roaring Forties have been lost... "

This is pretty clear language. Sadly, if we look back over the last year, there do appear to be red-flags, but sometimes it's hard to imagine the worst when you're dreaming of driving your new 'toy'. Ask yourself, why was there so little progress evident in SA? I'm not just talking about public posts on this forum - I believe few if any customers received any tangible proof of any progress to support the fact that numerous cars were 'in work.' I believe we'll find this includes some folks that had to pay for milestone payments (i.e. cust pays 40% when chassis is in build).

I believe this will simply be another example of 'fine product' but 'failed business model'. Sadly, I have to agree in spirit with an earlier comment by Charlie Murphy. I'm afraid this has soured me to any future thoughts of buying (i.e. "ordering") a GT40 replica from any manufacturer. I may consider buying a car that I can see/touch/sit-in. Cash-and-carry certainly has some benefits in this respect.

Mitch D
Why do people still say Robert is a stand up guy? If he was a stand up guy he would have made the cars in Australia ,if he couldn't make them in South Africa.Somewhere I read it's a great deal there because of the dollar exchange,so is there any excuse except for greed? It seems weird that "Oliver" figured Robert out, but none of the rest of us could, maybe the GT40 dreams clouded our judgment.I am so upset that if I don't get anything out of this, I'll probably give the GT40 dream up and build another type kit car,made in the states,as I won't trust any offshore company again.I've built 2 Factory Five Cobras and presantly own a ERA Cobra and have had no major problems with American companies.This will hurt ALL kit car companies for a long time.Hope I didn't hurt any good guys on this forums feelings,just seems like everybody is scared to say any thing negitive about the sacred "Robert".
I think you hit the nail on the head, Paul. When you only build 2-3 cars per month tops at peak demand, why the heck do you have a second manufacturing site in another country no less?!?

I was thinking the same thing about OLIVER. I won't say he was tactful or polite in any sense of the word, but he sure seemed to smell something that was bad. From my vantage point he's sitting prettier than the rest of us "RF customers" at this point - he has a carin his possession and presumably his deposit was returned too.