So0o0o0o00o after what seems like forever – The pallets finally arrived. Here is a breakdown of what we got. It’s a little weird sharing this stuff just because it’s kind of against how I usually treat situations like this personally; but I feel this was such a community driven move for us that being transparent is key. We’re not hiding anything and want everyone to be on the same page with us because of rumors and misinformation that might arise somewhere else!
- Molds for the regular targa top (fiberglass inside)
- Molds for the transtop (fiberglass inside)
- A mold for the plexiglass (the outside top)
- 4 fiberglass (regular) inside finished pieces
- 4 fiberglass (transtop) inside finished pieces
- 2 finished plexiglass parts
- 2 unfinished raw plexiglass sheets
- 1 OEM targa top (aluminum shell only)
- 8 sets of inside rails
- 1 fiberglass targa top shell (its like the shape and contour of the targa top)
- 1 plexiglass piece with the moonroof cut out (not sure what this is for) It has top and bottom written on it.
- 4 finished complete Ameripol tops – 3 blue and 1 amber (not in perfect shape). The blue tops you can tell are the newest tops. The build quality is a lot better than the bronze.
Thats what we got. This is what we are working with and what we have to move forward with production. Good thing is it’s everything we need to make a new one. We have a complete tops, we have all the separate pieces. This way we can show a manufacturer what a finished one looks like and the product de-constructed.
Next time we will dive into where we have been to chat with local companies in Omaha, Nebraska about getting these made.
After alllll of this set up – it was time to get the products to Omaha. Melrose had begun to scour their warehouse to make sure they didn’t miss anything and sure enough they did. For some reason they had two additional complete ameripol tops laying around that needed to get added to pallets. I really have no idea without actually going there myself but trusting is the best you can do in a situation like this I guess.
We had never set up a freight shipment before – none-the-less knew what it was going to cost haha (a little oversight). The bad part is Melrose was unwilling to help arrange for any sort of pick up. Further cementing their lack of interest in the Honda Del Sol; they wouldn’t even help get it out of their facility.
Luckily I have some family members/friends who are in the freight industry who were able to help me out and get this lined up. Called about 4 different shippers and decided on the best quote and scheduled the pick up ….. so I thought. A few days go by and I hadn’t heard anything nor had the product/molds arrive yet. I got on the phone with Melrose to ask if the shipment went out and turns out that the freight company showed up without any paperwork. So the freight company left and melrose decided not to notify me – because why not? (dumb).
Got back on the phone with the freight company and worked to sort out all the info and paperwork. Finally the pallets were on the road headed to Omaha.
Got a call a few days later from Melrose “Hey Brad – when you get the pallet can you look through and make sure there isn’t any Corvette stuff in there” uhhhhhhhh haha what?!? Jesus! they must have just assumed what they sent was infact the Del Sol stuff. Now I sit and wait for the over-the-road slow boat to bring my prize to me.
Alright folks – lets continue this story ….
During the course of the discussions between Kent and I and Melrose Corvette we came to find out that the previous shop person who I had talked too didn’t really have a clue as to what was going on. Turns out that when Melrose bought Ameripol they had no interest in the Honda market. They wanted the Corvette molds and products from Ameripol.
They LITERALLY put the del sol goodies on two pallets and put them up on a rack in the warehouse. Never even touched them. They have been wrapped up on that rack ever since. CRAZY!
Needless to say this was when we were like OH SNAP! weeeeee gotta get these bad boys or they are literally going to sit there. They had no records from Ameripol, no schematics, no drawings, no instructions – no nothing and they didn’t wanna mess with it.
Short update but there will be another one tomorrow!
Well … we did it folks. The original Ameripol plexiglass targa top is coming back. This time better than ever.
Let’s head into the time machine about a year and a half to a time where I wanted an ameripol top and LITERALLY couldn’t find one anywhere. None on eBay, nothing on amazon, no one was selling one. I then stumbled across a shady company called CariD (https://www.carid.com). They had listed on their website the Ameripol targa for sale for $740.00 – brand new mind you as well. I quickly jumped the gun and put my order in. I was so excited. This excitement didn’t last long.
2 weeks go by and I have heard nothing from CariD. Finally took it upon myself to reach out and call. Needless to say it was a huge waste of my time – no representative there had any idea what I was talking about. No clue about the product. All that was said was the order has been place and I should receive shipping info soon. Another two week go by and nothing. This time I call back and start raising hell. Finally got far enough up the chain that someone at CariD knew what I was talking about and said these are out of stock currently. Lame.
This wasn’t good enough for me – I literally called them everyday for a solid week until someone told me who was manufacturing these tops. Come to find out Ameripol had been sold to a Corvette Top Manufacturer here in the US – Melrose Corvette (http://www.melrosecorvette.com). I then called melrose and spoke to the receptionist and explained the entire situation – she had no clue what I was talking about. She connected me with one of their sales guys who promptly said we’re not making these tops and have no plans too. Come to find out this guy had no idea what he was talking about either. He went on to tell me the molds were busted and they couldn’t get a top to fit correctly on a del sol they purchased.
By this point at least I had got actual answers from someone. I was able to get Melrose to contact CariD and have the product removed from their website and eBay listings. About a week later the owner of the company sent me an email thanking me for letting Melrose know of the situation . This is when I planted the bug that the Del Sol community is REALLY wanting this product.
Time to hop out of the Time Machine and come back to June of 2019.
Out of nowhere I get a message on Reddit from someone (who will not be named but they know who they are) saying “Dude we need to make this happen”. We chatted for a few days about the situation before contacting Melrose Corvette again about purchasing the company and BAM! just like that all the sudden Melrose was ready to sell the Honda Del Sol portion of Ameripol. Business jargon and negotiations ensued and we arrived where we are today. Melrose no longer owns Ameripol and OldSols is in the Targa Top manufacturing game.
Next time – we will dive into the juicy details of what we received from Melrose Corvette and the condition and state of Ameripol as we purchased it.