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OldSols SouthEast Recap

Hi everyone! WHAT AN EVENT IT WAS!

We believe our final total was 31 one del sols! I just have to say this was wayyyyyy more than we ever thought was going to attend! But none-the-less you folks never seem to amaze us! The del sol community is alive and well folks! Don’t let anyone tell you differently!

We to give a huge shout out to Jason and Laura who helped put this on for us! A lot of work went into the event and they did a bang up job! @frenchtoastyall and @accord_chick from IG shot photos and some video which you can see in our youtube video below!

We are hoping in 2020 to have more meet up and events so keep your eye out for that and thanks again everyone!

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SunTop: Part 5

Now that we all are familiar with the backstory ….

Ive been working my tail off trying to find a Fiberglass manufacturer in Omaha. I honestly didn’t think it was going to this hard. It’s REALLY strange when you reach out to a company and they turn down jobs.

The first company I contacted was a plastics company here in Omaha. Smaller operation and really nice people. They said they could help me with the plexiglass part and assembly but not the fiberglass. After some conversations with them about everything they gave me the name of a larger company in Omaha and said these guys will be able to help you.

The following week I contacted the larger manufacturer and after chatting with one person they handed me off to another guy. Turns out this guy has an NSX and is familiar with the del sol and the targa top system. I thought to my “oh snap! this is perfect!” he had a conversation and he told me to email him and we can set up a time to meet to look at everything that I have. That night I sat down and wrote a hella long email and included all the photos I had taken of everything. Gave him the whole deal – who oldsols is and what were about … Introduced Kent (@vtecofthesun) – like the whole nine yards.

Well after about a week from the initial email I sent I hadn’t heard back. So I called him back up and said “hey man – just checking in I hadn’t heard from you”. Immediately the conversation got off to a bad start and went south super fast. The guy said “OH i didn’t respond because you didn’t include your address” uhhhhhhhh what? In my head I was like dude just email me back and say you needed my address.

Here’s how the conversation went:

NSX guy: yeahhhhh so we do a bit a fiberglass in house here but I don’t want to get into making you parts for a del sol.

Me: okay? why not?

NSX guy: Why don’t you start a kickstarter campaign to get this made and get some backers.

Me: well we are not going in that direction which is why I was told to reach out to your company

NSX guy: Well we could probably do it and we’re the only place in Omaha that can but I don’t think were interested in the product.

Me: well that isn’t very optimistic – Omaha is a pretty big down (close to 800,000 people) and it’s sounds like you just don’t care to help me out with this

NSX guy: why haven’t I seen you at cars and coffee?

Me: Sorry – what does cars and coffee have to do with your company producing a product for me?

NSX guy: I think its funny how involved you say OldSols is in the community yet locally I’ve never heard of you or seen a del sol at cars and coffee

Me: well im rebuilding my del sol now and its not ready to come to shows yet

NSX guy: I don’t know what to tell you – were not interested at all

Me: You have wasted my time with your lack of communication and overall poor attitude, saying that I won’t find anyone in Omaha is a really weird thing to say to someone. You’re basically telling me that you don’t believe in me or my vision. I think were done here.

NSX: while laughing (good luck) hangs up the phone.

I just sat in my car and was like WTF was that? Like I didn’t know what to say or even what to do haha I was like crushed at something I thought was so optimistic that I just couldn’t believe how that conversation went.

Next time in part 6: We’ll dive into some initial tests with the plexiglass mold!

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Ameripol becomes SunTop: Part 4 “The Goods”

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.

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Ameripol becomes SunTop: Part 3: Pain in the Butt

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.

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Ameripol becomes Sun Top: Part 2 Collecting Dust

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!

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Ameripol becomes SunTop: How it happened!

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.