SL-C Sold

Status
Not open for further replies.

Fran Hall RCR

GT40s Sponsor
Dave
Thank you for your metered post
You were also a very early customer and you along with many other early adopters supplied with many parts free of charge to update the kits to the same spec as later ones

I have left this post up and active to prove that there is yin and yang in everything

As I said I will leave it open unless it become uninformative or just noise
 
Dave,

I appreciate your approach to the discussion. I to don't want to denigrate Jim for his opinions. By and large, the preponderance of experiences expressed on the forum are positive ones by the majority. Often, what problems arise can be resolved via the forum members even before having to contact Fran. Jim got a long way on his project despite his loss of conviction for his project for reasons that are his. For me, time (or lack thereof) is my frustration. As Dave said "Expectations" differ. Since time is my Nemesis (I have 11 counties and over 200 cases per day to review), I will be having Mr. Martin do the finishing touches so I can enjoy the car before I'm 70!! Nonetheless, the journey so far has be rewarding for me.
 
I bought a complete car a GTD because I don't have the skill or the ability to wait for things to get done. I have some good guys that work on my cars. We do the projects in the winter and keep them driving in the summer. I read the post in here and see that some of you guys have lots of skills. I feel bad for the guys who think a kit car is just a puzzle or furniture that just goes together. Just my two cents worth.
 

Michael Fling

Supporter
I have to comment. My delivery was delayed but it was exactly at the time that RCR was moving to the new shop. I have learned that when building something like this, that being patient is indeed a virtue. While I have and my frustrations I have never questioned Fran's intent. My biggest problem and frustration with the build is understanding what to do… and that is the only reason I am posting now. I am always afraid I am doing something wrong. If there are other builders who have very little experience as myself, I feel they need to go into the build knowing that patience really does matter. I just do not have a background that makes this a smooth process. I see forum members post, "there are no dumb questions, just unanswered ones". The fact is that some of us do feel dumb… so I get nervous about asking. But- that is my problem. I am very glad I made the purchase and I am slowly getting it done. The difference between expectations and reality results in frustration. It is important to have realistic expectations. The fact is that if it ever gets so that the journey affects my health, then I would sell it too. So the lesson I would give any potential buyer: Have realistic expectations before you begin and feel good about the quality of the product. I am excited about completing a car that I can pass along to my son someday. That is my expectation that keeps me going.
 
Here is my 2 ½ cents, from my dealing with parts suppliers and production:
I am absolutely amazed Fran has any hair left at the end of the day. Being a small production shop you are at the bottom of the food chain guaranteed nothing. When part XYZ from a production run is made first dibs goes to production seconds goes to a warehouse for spares for warrantees. Then next is a warehouse for preferred customers that have a contract that gives them product availability (Factory dealerships). And next, third party vendors, then RCR place an order for a 100 XYZ parts for the yearly estimated production. The vendor then ships 20 XYZ parts (All they had in stock) with the promise that more to come from their warehouse by the end of the week. And then follows up every week and a month later to find out the next production run is in 8 months from now, please wait. Thank you.
I point out to say that Fran may have a cool job, but the headaches of keeping the parts supply chain continuous isn’t a job I wouldn’t want. He has done an awesome job and is always has been a fair person to talk to. And for the expectations of the Type “A” personality consumers, Go out and find a better deal and service for 44k, let me know when you find it…. Just my opinion
 
This whole situation, sad to say it, makes the OEM purchase experience that much more desirable. All the points like re-sale value, timely service, and abundant replacement parts are taken for granted. It's a bummer to hear stories like these and I hope the best for all people that went through similar experiences.
 
Having been in this business a long time ago, I say without hesitation that the biggest headache are the small parts vendors. Late shipments, wrong parts, etc.
Although we had a few disgruntled customers, we always managed to get it done.

From fabricating components usually supplied by our vendors (for time delays) to eating hundreds of hours of labor we always respected our customers. Had a great time during this period, lost a lot of hair. Made some friends, and figured out what not to do (turn key cars). It continues to amaze me that Fran has been able to hold his very fair pricing for the past ten years. Fortunately, he has the ability to manufacture many critical components in-house which solves about 70% of the issues. It's the remaining 30% that kills you!
 
I was pleased with my experience with Fran, yes its not a perfect every nut an bolt documented, and I think I was one of the few who just got pieces parts. I am pleased with the overall result, anything I needed and didn't get I received. Any parts I needed to buy he had or was told were to get it from.

Yes there was some extra expense for parts
Yes there was fustration about things not explained, but ask Fran or the forums and many many responded and problems were solved.

I would buy another one if I wanted another from Fran.

I have talked to Aaron who bought his car, I'm sure he will tackle the task of finishing it.

From picking mine up in pieces to driving it down the road, tho not completed interior, 4 months, worked on it every day for at least a hour if not more. This winter I will finish the interior this winter after I get all the quirks out of the car, mainly the drive train.

I too am in business, sell a end product, and instead of seeing a SHRINK, this is my therapy, which is probably cheaper. Now I am enjoying driving it, tuning it, and where ever I take it, someone has questions about it.
 
I had no Problems with my SL-C , no Delay , very good Packaging , getting a detailed Packing-List with every Part photagraphed on a Stick incl. Name Table in each Pic to verify that its no random Pic .
Every single Question was answered by Fran or Dean , Communication is good .
Some small Parts were missing in the Lift-Kit (comes from another Company - it was their fault), RCR send it via Express .
My Gel-Coat is very nice - only sand the Seams , polish it and you be fine - the Problems the TS speaking of are minor ones in my Eyes - sometimes i think the People are searching for Reasons to whine instead of building the Car - i thougt thats a typical German Problem... ;)
Building a Kit-Car is always a Task for People who are interested in fabricating , a bit improvising and who can think unconventional - otherwise you should think about the Decision and buy a Car which is already completed .
 
It's pretty simple for me. If I had issues with the SL-C, RCR, parts or Fran I would not be building them. I am currently finishing my 8th SL-C with many other builds including an airplane in the past. Every issue that has ever arisen with all 8 SL-C's have been professionally resolved.

I do have the choice to build other cars but simply don't because the build process and final product are far superior to anything else that can be built.

BTW I am a "shrink" and building these cars is my therapy.
 
I ordered my kit and took delivery of it last year, the week before it arrived I went out and bought all the tools that I thought might be required because all I had to my name was a hammer and a set of screwdrivers (I live in New York City, so I don't even have a garage - I'm using my friends in New Jersey). I've never really built much of anything, and certainly not a car, but I've spent hours and hours reading up on this forum and other places and asking stupid questions and I'm getting close to starting it up for the first time (I think), hopefully next month. Everybody I've contacted has been great about helping me out - Fran and the rest of the RCR crew included.

Even if you don't know anything about building a car, you can build this, you just have to realize going in that you don't know anything, be excited about learning and intellectually curious and not afraid to embarrass yourself by asking experienced builders really stupid questions.
 
As I am finally reaching the end of my build, I guess what bothered me was not the car. It's a good product. I ordered my car June 27, 2008, so that would put delivery around October 17, 2008. I called at the end of October and was told it was ready to ship. Mid November I called and was told the shipper had picked it up. End of November I was told it was almost ready to ship. Mid December it was going to ship next week. Early January at the shipper. Car arrived end of first week of February. The front coil overs were missing with square tubing in their place among a long list of missing parts that were not delivered for nearly 3 years. All the parts went through the same call ritual. It's shipped, I'm going to check the vendor, I'm going to pick it up at the vendor, etc,ect. The stress of being told it's on the way and checking to see if UPS delivered was ridiculous. Had Fran told me from the get go that "we are really busy and the vendors can't keep up and builds are going slower than anticipated so your car will realistically be shipped in February 2009" sure I would have been upset, but by the time February rolled around after weeks of mental highs and lows, I was quite pissed to say the least, and a "Al it's going to be February" would have taken care of it. Way too much stress when the truth would have made it go away. That's all I've got to say.
 
Last edited:
After 35yrs of building custom, high end furniture and occasionally a home or two, I can tell you that there are lots of people (suppliers) out there who can make a liar out of you in your customers' eyes. This is a fact and will remain so. If you are an optimist, like myself (and I think Fran), you tend to embrace the positive and this very fact exacerbates the situation. I start every job by telling my customer that in my 35yrs of experience, I have never completed a perfect job and that theirs will not be the first. If you do not resolve from the start to enjoy the process and embrace the positive that comes from the experience of creating something special, then become just another consumer and live with that set of headaches, but if you hang in there and accept the process, you will find a level of enjoyment that is absolutely unmatched.
 
First off I want to give credit where credit is due and commend Fran for keeping this thread up.


For the most part I have found most of the posts to be very honest and constructive! With the exception of a few pleasant surprises the responses have been generally what I expected going into this! I think that the discussion would be more meaningful if it were a little more balanced; however, I understand and totally respect why the many builders that have sent me Private Messages sharing their negative RCR experiences are reluctant to go public!


IMO, Dave Lindemann nailed the root of my problems with RCR in one word.... ”expectations”! If Fran would have allowed a thread such as this to exist prior to me placing my order; one of two things would have occurred: A) I never would have done business with RCR <OR> B) I would have entered into the project better informed with realistic “expectations”; knowing full well that I would have to add $10,000-$12,000 to my budget for body work and paint. I would have known that I should “trust but verify” Fran's claims. I would have known that the Graziano tranaxel was not going to save me money but actually cost me much more! I would have known that the completed SL-C I budgeted $80-$90K for would ultimately end up costing me well north of a $100,000 if I saw the SL-C to completion! I would have known that the project required much more expensive fabrication then I was lead to believe. Without listing my numerous problems with RCR, suffice it to say that I and others would have been better informed.


As a former small business owner I find it absolutely astonishing that there seems to be a long lasting theme of complaints about missing parts and wrong parts. If this were occurring in my business, I would have recognized that there is a systemic problem by the 3rd. complaint and implemented immediate procedures to resolve the problem, rather then allow this situation to persist for over a half a decade!


Fran, may I respectfully suggest that you clear your plate of all of the other clutter (“concentrate on who brung you to the dance”), hire some supervisors to oversee the day-to-day operations, designate a quality control inspector, delegate some authority to your subordinates and most importantly, be up-front rather than making excuses, use this thread as a learning opportunity; in other words...turn lemons into lemonade!


My customers taught me how to improve my business and prosper for 35 years....yours will too....but you have to listen to them!
Jim
 
In 20 years of building custom homes (you are bonded at the hip for 6 to 9 months with the customer on a daily basis) I found that the greater percentage of people are understanding. I made it a practice to always communicate and tell the truth no matter what. If one sub contractor was late with his finish all the other contractors had to reschedule and the entire time schedule was thrown off, sometimes by weeks. It's not like I was the only job the subs had. But communicating to the customer, no matter how difficult, was better in the long run, and a lot less stressful.
 

Fran Hall RCR

GT40s Sponsor
Nobody has seen me make a single excuse or even argue with any points that have been raised....although I can tell you that I do disagree with a lot of the mud thrown but I am not going to comment ...

Should any of the unsatisfied customers want to call me and talk directly to me about their problems explicitly , I will be glad and happy to listen....

Having taken RCR from home my garage , where I did all of the fabrication to where we are now in under 10 years , through the worst financial crisis in many decades with suppliers closing the doors and leaving many of us in the industry left empty handed, I am obviously fairly capable of listening to the market and my customers, developing new product and keeping the ship moving forwards...so anyone that wants to actually call and talk would certainly be welcome,

I have an open door policy at the factory and everyone is extended the same courtesy of being able to come in and spend time looking over all of our products during the build.
I have shelves full of parts to assemble our kits and they are there for all to see.

I welcome anyone and everyone to come and do their homework and make their decision upon seeing for themselves. We also supply our purchase contracts and paperwork to anyone that wants to read through them and thoroughly understand them prior to making a purchase.
 
Last edited:
Jim can you go more into detail on the expensive fabrication you weren't expecting? I'm not a fabricator! That's the part of the build that scares me...
 
It's pretty simple for me. If I had issues with the SL-C, RCR, parts or Fran I would not be building them. I am currently finishing my 8th SL-C with many other builds including an airplane in the past. Every issue that has ever arisen with all 8 SL-C's have been professionally resolved.

I do have the choice to build other cars but simply don't because the build process and final product are far superior to anything else that can be built.

The above post speaks volumes...

JR
 
For what it's worth - I bought my SLC already completed (Rapier) from Fran. By the time it got to me (late 2013) it was a bit of a mess.

The support and assistance I received from Fran was exemplary.
He even connected me with someone local to resolve the issues.

To echo the above posts, it's all about expectations.
I knew what I was getting when I bought it and could not be happier.

I have no qualms about recommending RCR and/or Fran to potential custoimers.



Nobody has seen me make a single excuse or even argue with any points that have been raised....although I can tell you that I do disagree with a lot of the mud thrown but I am not going to comment ...
 
Nobody has seen me make a single excuse or even argue with any points that have been raised....although I can tell you that I do disagree with a lot of the mud thrown but I am not going to comment ...

Should any of the unsatisfied customers want to call me and talk directly to me about their problems explicitly , I will be glad and happy to listen....

Having taken RCR from home my garage , where I did all of the fabrication to where we are now in under 10 years , through the worst financial crisis in many decades with suppliers closing the doors and leaving many of us in the industry left empty handed, I am obviously fairly capable of listening to the market and my customers, developing new product and keeping the ship moving forwards...so anyone that wants to actually call and talk would certainly be welcome,

I have an open door policy at the factory and everyone is extended the same courtesy of being able to come in and spend time looking over all of our products during the build.
I have shelves full of parts to assemble our kits and they are there for all to see.

I welcome anyone and everyone to come and do their homework and make their decision upon seeing for themselves. We also supply our purchase contracts and paperwork to anyone that wants to read through them and thoroughly understand them prior to making a purchase.

No, you haven't made an excuse, but at the same time you haven't said that you would not use the truth lightly when saying when something would be shipped or delivered in the future.
 
So Al when a supplier tells Fran a ship date what do you expect him to do? He could just say it will be there when it gets there or he could tell his customers the date his suppliers give him. When he gives a date that his suppliers give him he is not taking the truth lightly he is simply giving the date that he was given. Not everyone lives in a world where everything goes their way in their business dealings every time. Sometimes things happen that are not necessarily anyone's fault. Pardon me but, SHIT HAPPENS. I have not yet arrived at the point where I can order a car just yet but when I do it will be a SLC. Having worked in the supply chain for the automotive parts supply industry for quite some time in my life I must say that Fran catches a lot of crap from a few that do not evidently understand the supply and demand effects on cost and making shipments on time, especially when you are not the largest manufacturer out there. We have been forced to put some jobs off because our bread and butter client needed something "right now". If a supplier puts his number one client off when they are in a bind, what do you think would become of their or my case our business. Life is what it is and that doesn't mean that you will always get what you want when you want it.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Back
Top