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Unsolicited Testimomial: Fairborn Studebaker

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  • #31
    Originally posted by StudebakerGene View Post
    They don't get any better than Phil, I ordered some ported heads and clutch parts from him and he had already sent the parts before he ran my credit card, since the items were almost $1800, my bank kicked it back. It only took a minute for a phone call to the bank to make it right, point is--- he had already mailed the parts--- Talk about trust! If you are bad-mouthing Phil, you might want to look in the Mirror, the problem could be yourself!
    Interesting point Gene. I have dealt with Dan Booth and that's the only way he works, AFAIK. He sends the parts with an invoice and I send him a check for that amount.

    I bought a Nu-Relic power window setup from Bob Ziff a few weeks back and he was just going to send them to me until I reminded him he hadn't asked for payment. He said either way, credit card or check sent to him.

    Apparently this is a lot more common in our world than good websites. I'll bet Phil is like Dan and Bob, in that, they will spend time on the phone talking you through the installation. Dan called me back after 8:00 PM one day to talk me through the front and rear glass installation on my 74 Avanti. Gave me several tips that he learned over the years that made the installation go quite easily with the help of two friends.

    Lucky to have the folks. Bob


    • #32
      And here, good friends, is a pretty sizeable part of why A) younger people are not attracted to the hobby in the numbers some would like, and B) I dropped out and became a lurker. All I wanted was to enjoy neat cars but almost all I got was snarky arguments from folks who KNOW for DAMN sure THEIR way is the ONLY way. How anyone can make a living catering to cats in a bag is beyond me. Gratitude goes a long way, guys, as do humility and patience. Just sayin'. Thanks, Jeff, for your outstanding example.


      • #33
        I too have nothing but good things to say about Phil, but I would also like to see him have a quality website. How about it Skybolt, call Phil and work out a deal.


        • #34
          We are very lucky to have such great Studebaker vendors
          Last edited by unclemiltie; 06-27-2018, 04:12 AM.

          1947 Champion (owned since 1967)
          1961 Hawk 4-speed
          1967 Avanti
          1961 Lark 2 door
          1988 Avanti Convertible

          Member of SDC since 1973


          • #35
            Wow, two different perspectives.., and they both have good points.

            Maybe Skybolt didn't say it appropriately (and I think he has acknowledged that) but I don't think he can be faulted for being disappointed that many Studebaker parts vendors don't have a proper website. To spin the table 180 degrees some people (buyers) work 12 hr's, 7 days a week and don't have time to call, chat etc. They can only grab 5 minutes here..., 10 minutes there..., and when the on line shopping cart has been filled at 2AM in the morning they make an online payment.

            A man has a right to run his business as he sees fit but he is then vulnerable to critique and lost sales if he is not keeping up with the modern business world. A Studebaker owner needs to be grateful that someone IS there for them regardless of the antiquated methods (by modern standards) of doing business. Hopefully there can be a happy medium between the two. But as I've found here on the SDC Forum (more than any other car site I frequent) there sure can be a lot of polerization on subjects. So, maybe not.
            '64 Lark Type, powered by '85 Corvette L-98 (carburetor), 700R4, - CASO to the Max.


            • #36
              What has been said and implied here so many times; Phil Harris is one helluva nice guy and not to be "dissed."

              Too many people don't realize that our vendors aren't Often, they are retired and little more than one-man shows, as is Phil. They've got lives to lead and projects of their own they'd like to finish some day. Phil is one of the gentlest, most accommodating people/vendors in the club, as has been cited in several posts to this thread.

              Printing catalogs and developing websites are luxuries they often can't afford from a time standpoint, much less the financial investment(s) involved.

              Maybe five years ago, I had some assorted used Studebaker parts I knew I'd never use and also knew were of little value, IMHO. I needed a fuel pump for my 1964 Daytona sedan and wanted to get one of the modified MoPar V-8 pumps Phil sells, to help cure its vapor-locking propensity.

              I took those parts to Phil at the South Bend swap meet that May and asked how much he'd allow me for them against the price of a new, modified MoPar pump. He said, "'Tell you what, I've got a pump a guy returned to me and said it was bad, but I don't think it is. I can't very well resell it to anyone since it was returned as bad, but if you want to take a chance on it, I'll trade you even up."

              I was tickled pink, since those pumps were over $100 apiece, so I took him up on it. That pump has been on my sedan's engine at least five years and works perfectly. I re-routed the gas line outside the power steering pump while I was at it and the car has never vapor-locked since installing that "bad" pump, even though it formerly vapor locked with predictable regularity....seemingly like any time it was warm enough to melt ice. (OK; that might be a stretch....)

              Yep, Phil Harris is a class act and I'm glad to count him among my closer Studebaker friends of years. BP
              We've got to quit saying, "How stupid can you be?" Too many people are taking it as a challenge.

              G. K. Chesterton: This triangle of truisms, of father, mother, and child, cannot be destroyed; it can only destroy those civilizations which disregard it.


              • #37
                Any small business has to make decisions about what they will spend their time and money on to provide the best service and produce the maximum return on their investment. Over the past decade or so, I have been employed by both large govt contractors and tiny, 25-person companies. The big companies outsourced all their time-keeping, payroll, etc support to a company that specialized in providing those services. Everything was done on-line, and daily submissions were required. (This was a pain to a part-timer like me, because it meant I had to log on just to file a zero on days I didn't work.)

                The little company used downloaded time sheets, which I had to fax in every two weeks. Yes, fax. When I asked about the use of such obsolescent technology, I was told that the company was small enough that a single competent in-house person was able to handle all admin functions: payroll, timekeeping, security, facilities, travel, bill-paying, etc. Every other Friday afternoon, she spent 4 hours coding up the timekeeping and payroll data. Doing it by fax (instead of direct submission by employees) allowed her to check the data for errors. This was much cheaper than doing it any other way. Economies of scale work in both directions.

                I suspect Phil would rather spend his time working to reproduce needed parts and fulfilling orders.
                Last edited by Skip Lackie; 06-25-2018, 02:00 PM.
                Skip Lackie


                • #38
                  My box of goodies arrived today. Right on time and all in one (big) box which saved me on freight. Phil has always been fair and I hope I am not out of line but has in the past even sponsored our Bonneville Avanti. I have never visited his web site as I prefer to email or call him to verify the availability and cost. I figure if it is Studebaker and available Phil will have it or get it for me. Just like the R3 manifolds I ordered when they were on back order. They were in the box today. Nothing but good thins to say about Fairborn Studebaker.

                  Shipment also included a new set of rocker panels for the race car.


                  • #39
                    This may be the worst Hijack/Rant I have ever seen.
                    Originally posted by Skybolt View Post
                    Probably not going to happen. Unless I can't find what I want somewhere else I'm not going to call to find out stuff. I'd rather get it somewhere else.

                    Reasons are as follows

                    I understand "Under Construction" as I have built websites for companies before, but that is a woeful excuse. I have visited that site many times, like other Studebaker vendors, before, and I find it hard to believe they can drag out such construction. It was up before and it was lacking in many areas but build the new one before taking down the old one.

                    In this day and age websites generate income and to call someone is not usually the first on the list of how to purchase a product. If I have to call what is the use of a website? Going to a website to find products, specifications, materials, etc... is what is done. Calling is a last resort. As I mentioned I have bought products from Phil before but I have consistently gone to the website when someone mentions it and have been disappointed at it's content. Defend it all you want but it doesnt change the facts.

                    As long as we are on this subject of websites the new owners of Studebaker International better get their stuff together as when I visit their site on my phone to search for products its a pain in the ass as it kicks me back to the start of searching. Some vendors of older products, like our Studebakers, think it's ok for technology to be quirky or not responsive and use that as an excuse for them not getting it together. I will not call someone just because they don't have their website working. It just lets me know they either don't care, they are not competent , or that they should have stuck to print advertising. Go ahead and defend them and it will all pass away with time.

                    I just don't get it, the Fairborn site has been useless for years. They have many products, but try to find any, even when I bought stuff it was a pain to find anything and the majority of what was available was not listed. It's not rocket science. This is not a reflection on Phil's cooperation or pleasantness as a vendor but the site is not what I would send a link for people to go to. Just give them a phone number. It might be better to just have a page with instruction to send a postage paid self addressed envelope for a printed list of products. At least I would know what is available. Even Silvertone has a list and prices, crude but at least it get one in the door. I have contacted Don and although it was not exactly the way I wanted to find out about what he could do it was a start.

                    Basically cold calling and saying what do you have for sale, or do you have this or that, is not my idea of finding parts for my car. Not enough time for that. I would like to know what one has and the price and go from there.

                    It would be nice to go back in time to a simpler day and age but it aint gonna happen. Doing business over the internet is here and one has to get with the program.

                    I hope all goes well with Phil, he get it up and running and makes money while supplying us with quality products. This was just my personal opinion of the website and how some vendors think they are doing business.

                    As far as the new SI website experience on cell phones it was working when Ed was owner but some people want to reinvent the wheel.

                    And if someone designs a website that is not compatible with mobile browsing then they shouldn't be doing it. (I could go on but who cares, really)

                    Your experience may be different.



                    • #40
                      Originally posted by rkapteyn View Post
                      I am a small vendor and do not have a website because in my large inventory I have sometimes only one piece of a certain part number and also have a lot of parts without numbers.
                      I am old and slow I always tell my customers and it may take awhile to locate an item.
                      I have considered publishing a list of items I stock just by part numbers.
                      I try to specialize in prewar parts but have mostly postwar parts.
                      Lately I have been experimenting with text messages to my phone.
                      I tell my steady customers to just text me a part number (one or two at the time)
                      Just only a part number and I will text back the price and availability.
                      I bought 29 Studebaker dealer inventories over the last 50 years mainly to keep these parts from being scrapped.
                      My total overhead on my 38.000 sq/ft warehouse is more than I sell on parts in a year but I enjoy doing it and seeing these beautiful cars restored.
                      At 81 years old it kept my mind going and I enjoy the visits from people that come over to visit and buy parts.
                      My son and daughter set up my inventory program on FileMaker on my Mac.
                      I know nothing about computers else than click on this and this.
                      My friend Paul comes over to help me find and send out parts.
                      Robert Kapteyn
                      815 212 2389 text
                      Just to refresh some memories about Bob's place: http://forum.studebakerdriversclub.c...hlight=kapteyn




                      • #41
                        I know none of the people involved here. And I've never purchased anything from any of them. So, I hope my reading of the post (by Skybolt) is more as an "outsider."

                        First and foremost his point was regarding having a website..., but not having it function to be useful for purchases. The site is more of a "place holder." While I do not want to put words in his mouth (so to speak) I felt he was essentially saying 'it was like having a building to sell from but the door is locked and the windows are all covered up.'

                        Secondly he never spoke derogatorily about anyone. He just voiced his frustration about the method required to purchase that is not in keeping with how much of commerce works today.

                        I'm sure these vendors are all fine gentlemen, perhaps up in years but still providing a service for all things Studebaker. And to that extent there should be gratitude for their service (however they may provide it). Regardless I see nothing wrong with Skybolt presenting the fact that an ineffective website is of no real value and it should be a wake up call to the vendors. If they choose to continue to do business as usual (meaning phone or letter) then I do believe their site should state that up front as a courtesy to following good business practices. Basically they need to say their web site is a "business card" and nothing more. While Skybolt's post could have been slightly tempered it might have also been ignored without some fortitude in his words.

                        Please go back and read Skybolt's post, not with the mindset of what the vendors have done for you in the past..., but what they might be able to do for you in the future. I think you will find his statements are less hostile than perceived and perhaps the comments directed towards Skybolt could have been more considerate.
                        '64 Lark Type, powered by '85 Corvette L-98 (carburetor), 700R4, - CASO to the Max.


                        • #42
                          If I was a moderator I would certainly put this post to bed. It's done.
                          Mike - Assistant Editor, Turning Wheels
                          Fort Worth, TX


                          • #43
                            Agree, you know what they say: "put a Fork in it"!

                            There are 3 or 4 of these Posts going right now and kind of pointless because all good Turning Wheels readers know who to go to and that they all do their very best possible, so whats the point?

                            It is like there was a Post criticizing them or something, and there is NOT.
                            Second Generation Stude Driver,
                            Proud '54 Starliner Owner
                            SDC Member Since 1967


                            • #44
                              I was looking for R-series main bolts with the 5/16 stud on the top for the windage tray in a quantity of 16 to build 4 of my trap door pans, they need 4 each based on my design. Another vendor who will remain un-named had them but refused to sell them to me thinking I was going to resell at a profit on eBay. I talked to Phil and we partnered up to have a run of 100 bolts made and I bought 24 so it was affordable for both. If you need them he should have them. Just another example of Phil going out of his way us to get what we need.



                              • #45
                                Originally posted by jclary View Post
                                Something I did not know. Lately, much of my time has been consumed between my Mom (97) at her nursing home, my wife, (Dr. visits), and chores in my own backyard garden. So, I have not been able to keep up with the "latest" news. So what are the SI plans, where are they moving? I heard that after the SASCO purchase, and the move from the old facilities, that rent for the warehouse space was enormous. Just curious.

                                As for Fairborne...I enjoy my brief fellowship opportunities with Phil and always try to make a point of visiting with him at meets we both attend. In my opinion, a great guy.
                                They are moving the business to Hope, In. Looks to be about 30 miles south of Greenfield. That is going to make a lot of trips from South Bend.