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Need more input on 348 Challenge Grill

Discussion in '348/355' started by Husker, Apr 5, 2008.

  1. Husker

    Husker F1 Veteran
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    Guys...I will be meeting with a manufacturer early next week to talk about the 348 challenge grill. Many of you indicated you were interested. But I need your input so I don't waste a bunch of time and expense on this and miss the mark. What specifics/suggestions do you have that make this challenge grill desirable?

    One thing I have heard is "no cutting". I don't know if that is possible if the lamps are going to be at a 45 degree angle to the ground, which is proper. HOWEVER, the "cuts" are very minor, and they are to the INTERIOR light bracket, and they could easily be re-soldered later without any issue whatsoever. They would have no material effect on the car's originality as no one would ever even know to look for them. In fact, you'd have to take the rectangular lights off (again) to even notice any soldering. Would this be a deal-killer for you all?

    What is the price point where you are no longer interested in this? The reason I ask this is, if I am going to have a "press" set up to make these out of metal, the initial cost is going to be substantial, and doing just a short run it's going to run higher per piece. A new 355 challenge grill is running around $1600 or $1700, so I am guessing we could all live with somewhat less than that.

    Any other ideas you all want to throw out there before I embark on this journey?
     
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  3. sspooner

    sspooner Karting

    Jan 14, 2007
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    I think if the metal cutting was well defined and there were instructions I'd be OK with it, provided it was fairly minor (which it sounds like it is).

    I think it would be great if there was a kit that included everything you needed to get the job done. There's nothing worse than getting it all apart only to find you are missing something critical.

    As for price point, I'm not really sure. $1800 for a 355 grill is a bit steep, plus the cost of the lights, but I think for a nice kit with instructions etc I'd be willing to pay over the odds for quality and documented install procedure.

    I'm definitely interested in doing a round light conversion, I love the 355 rear lights ! For me it mainly comes down to quality and ease of install. I'm less worried about reversibility although that is a plus.

    It seems like you are very serious about getting tooled up for this. I think if you get the fabricator to come up with some price point costs (10 off, 20 off etc) then get folks to sign up based on a ball-park estimate you'd be in good stead.
     
  4. TheOnlyest

    TheOnlyest Formula 3

    Sep 25, 2007
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    If you're talking $1600 for the entire kit (panel, lights, brackets, etc) then yea... i'm SO in.
    There are 355 Challenge grills available online in the $1300-$1400 range... but lets not forget, that price includes the usual 3000-12,000% Ferrari markup, and the 20-50% markup from the dealer/retailer.

    The actual material cost for this piece would be chump change, a few bucks for labor and powdercoating, a chunk (spread over 30-40 units) to cover the tooling, and a 10% profit markup across the board... should land the end cost in the area of 35-40% of what the 355 grill costs.
     
  5. Husker

    Husker F1 Veteran
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    It is true Ferrari's mark-up is stupid, but I'm guessing a short run of these ain't going to be cheap. I don't have the wherewithall to order these things by the thousands as Ferrari does. And I doubt there is a way you could do a whole set-up for $1500 - the taillights alone are $700-$800. I will let you guys know what I come up with. Me personally, if I could get my hands on a good quality challenge grill for $1500 I'd do it in a heart beat.

    HOWEVER...if I can get these done for half or less of an actual 355 grill, I sure will.
     
  6. TomPDX

    TomPDX Formula Junior

    Mar 28, 2008
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    I put his on another post, the one requesting pictures, but I am potentially interested too, depending on price. I agree, if I could do lights and a grill for 1500, I'd paypal you today! (I realize that may be wishful thinking...) Thanks, Tom
     
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  8. TheOnlyest

    TheOnlyest Formula 3

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    Husker, any anything on this?
     
  9. pdebe

    pdebe Guest

    Apr 15, 2008
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    What exactly does the 348 challenge grill look like? Im not sure :S
     
  10. TomPDX

    TomPDX Formula Junior

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    Any news Husker?
     
  11. CRAIGF355

    CRAIGF355 Formula 3

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    I would make the holes alittle bigger then the the f355 challenge grilles for better cooling not to big that you see the engine but bigger then the f355.
     
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  13. TomPDX

    TomPDX Formula Junior

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    What he said ... +1
     
  14. gothspeed

    gothspeed F1 World Champ

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    +1 the 355 CG holes are far too small for monster ventilation... :eek:
     
  15. Husker

    Husker F1 Veteran
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    UPDATE: I have found a manufacturer for this project. I am moving forward, although I am investing slightly over $35K to get the dyes, tools, etc. made. But...I think if I can get a good enough product out there that looks factory AND solves the ventilation problem that you all speak about, and at a reasonable price, hopefully I can sell enough to get the investment back. I will likely have a couple of "mule" prototypes by the first week of June.
     
  16. TheOnlyest

    TheOnlyest Formula 3

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    Wow Husker, thats pretty huge of you... thats a ton a dough, but I think its a great investment for you! It seems like alot invested, but say you sold 100 of these for $500 each, you'd be whole (including materials). Something to realize is, if you actually DID sell them for $500 each, you'd sell 100 of them in no time!!
    In other words, I can promise you that you'd sell 100 of them for $500 each WAY WAY faster than you'd sell 50 of them for $1000 each.
    After that, you would make CRAZY profit for years to come!!

    PS. making the grill holes bigger is a bad idea... bigger holes allows more visible inner structure (see GothGrill), I wouldn't want that. If the challenge grill holes are good enough to cool a challenge race car, its good enough for me. It will be a significant venting improvement over the stock 348 setup.
     
  17. Husker

    Husker F1 Veteran
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    These likely won't come in at $500 - as easy as it may seem it is simply not possible as I have found out. You add in everything that needs to be done - molds, stamping, sanding, painting, clear coat, packaging, etc., etc., and it starts to add up. Now, if you could produce 50,000 of these, I guess you could get the cost way down because you could produce them in more of a mass way and tool up even more. As I have discovered, the problem with a specialty product such as this is that the production quantity is going to be so small - even if every single 348 owner bought them - you can't get anyone interested in getting ramped up to make it.

    BUT...I intend to have these available in a design and quality that I think 348 owners can be proud of - and likely will cost somewhat less than a 355 or 360 grill. It WILL NOT be a clone of the 355 grill - there will be some design and appearance differences - but it will look plenty good in its own right. Of course, no single design will suit everyone's taste, so I am taking quite a risk with this deal and hoping for the best.

    BTW, if I wanted to make money off of a $35K investment, I could have picked something with a lot better potential than a 348 challenge grill!
     
  18. TheOnlyest

    TheOnlyest Formula 3

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    Point taken, in my head I pictured receiving a raw stamping... which may not be a bad idea as an option. You never know if some people would want to have it painted body color. Either way, I have no doubt that you will produce an excellent product, and i'd be willing to help with "beta testing" if needed! ;)
     
  19. TomPDX

    TomPDX Formula Junior

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    Sounds great. I am still very interested. Thanks for taking this on, Husker. I'm looking forward to June. Maybe if a couple of us take pictures of and write up the installation of the grill and lights, more brothers will "need" them.
     
  20. Husker

    Husker F1 Veteran
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    I can't promise everyone is going to like the design, but I am going through an exhaustive process to ensure that the piece looks, and fits, correctly. If this thing doesn't look factory, I have failed.
     
  21. TheOnlyest

    TheOnlyest Formula 3

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    Husker dude, any chance we can be "in the loop" during the developmental stages? Like can we see some of the design sketches and such?
    Oh, and dont put so much pressure on yourself, whoever you have making the part is just as accountable for the quality of the product! ;)
     
  22. Husker

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    As I move farther along, I am definitely going to try to post some a few photos of the developmental stage. I did forward a couple of very simple concept sketches to two F-chatters/348 owners for their input, and I can tell you that the initial feedback was overall positive. What's funny is, there's a lot of preparatory work - drawings, measurements, etc. that goes into one of these deals and you have absolutely nothing to show for it in terms of anything "3-D",, but apparently once we are ready to go, things will happen fairly quickly. I am teaming up with an aerospace manufacturer near Chicago on this project. I will be making a trip up there in approx. 4 weeks to get everything - the design that is - talked over and finalized.
     
  23. Juan-Manuel Fantango

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    #20 Juan-Manuel Fantango, Apr 21, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2017
    Are you talking about the egg crate grill behind the horse? you will have to zoom in to see it, but I was told some time ago that this was different, but have never bothered to look at another 348 rear grill.
    Image Unavailable, Please Login
     
  24. Husker

    Husker F1 Veteran
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    The 348 challenge grill that I am working on will have round tail lights, similar to other Ferraris.
     
  25. TheOnlyest

    TheOnlyest Formula 3

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    Wow, cool! sounds very exciting and interesting... i'm very anxious to hear how things are progressing!
     

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