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Monday, June 20, 2011

The First Cut is the Deepest

Saturday morning after Kim and I dropped off the older boys at a Boston College football camp, we headed to Jupiter Florida to attend John P.'s beheading party for his Jetta.  Jupiter is a beautiful city on the east coast of Florida just north of Lauderdale and this time of year it is hot...

Had a nice dinner, crashed hard, then woke up and off to the early morning saws all event.  This is a day of note since John is the first guy other than me to actually cut his own jetta tdi in half for the smyth diesel kit car project.  When you cut a running car up you are officially committed(there is a great play on words there that definitely applies to both John and I) to the new life the jetta will lead as a sports car.  At over 250k miles on the clock, John's car is the perfect candidate for a reboot.  I have talked before about the core strategy that drives Smyth Performance...we create a product that allows people to justify rebuilding these old "end of life" cars.  Cars that would normally be winding down and headed for the scrapyard(who spends 7 grand rebuilding a 300,000 mile car?) are given a kit makeover and are worth it to rebuild since the new transformed car has enough panache to justify the rebuild. 

The basic environmental and fun factor in these transformations are not lost on my customers.  An incredible statement from gearhead straight to the so called greenies thinking they saving the world with production of new products....rebuild the old diesel, run it on biodiesel maybe, get 60 miles per gallon...and most importantly have a bloody ball building and driving a rippin fast sports car.  A magical story that is just now real since John cut his car...Kim and I wouldnt miss it.

The car is cut,  I didnt pick up a saw, and the learnings I took away were perfect...I was too close to the project and had to see a smart guy like John do the cuts on his own.  As all firsts go there are surprises.  I thought the front where the windshield was would be was not...plenty of stamped holes and guide points for the laser/scribe lines to follow.  I thought the rear would be was not...I am home as I write working on more detailed drawings for the rear cut under the car.  All around education for the win.  John has put a bunch of pics up from the event here

So a quick mod of the rear directions and a few more sections typed in the build manual and we are good for Clint to do his car in Ohio.  John has plenty of clean up and prep to do as I make his frame out here out of the first production batch of laser cut steel.  I have plenty to do finalizing the new tube steel cutting station in the new building here...and we all will be building our cars together in july as Kim wants to be driving hers in short order...hey its summer after all.  Good times around here indeed.


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