Poll

Would you buy a set of perfect glass Murci replacement lenses at $900 USD a set?

Yes - But I would not provide a deposit
0 (0%)
Yes - And I would consider a $300 deposit to a trusted person
2 (25%)
No - I don't have a Murcie or a need for them
1 (12.5%)
No - I have a Murcie but I don't need them
0 (0%)
No - I would stick with plexi lenses at that price
3 (37.5%)
No - The cost is too high
1 (12.5%)
I would pay $700 for "less than perfect" glass lenses
1 (12.5%)
Other - Please Specify
0 (0%)

Total Members Voted: 8

Voting closed: September 12, 2015, 03:24:08 PM

Author Topic: Would you buy perfect glass Murci replacement lenses at $900 a set?  (Read 3263 times)

No Bull

  • Administrator
  • Trade Count: (+25)
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1108
  • Member Rating Points: +20/-0
  • Replication is the sincerest form of flattery
Re: Would you buy perfect glass Murci replacement lenses at $900 a set?
« Reply #15 on: July 17, 2015, 08:32:23 PM »
Chris, will the lenses be pressed or injection molded? Will the manufacturer use molds made by another company?

I haven't seen the process up close but it appears to be a two part mold that they squeeze the hot glass between and then trim / finish by hand while it's still hot.  Whether they drop the glass into the mold or they inject it somehow is something I need to learn more about.  I'm also assuming that they would need some sort of ejector pin system to eject the part once it's cooled enough.  I'm also not sure if the mold has additional cooling that keeps the mold at a consistent temp. or if they do this manually.  The molds that I bought for my other project are like small machines within themselves and they have internal cooling and injector pins but are also for plastic injection.

Thanks for asking

Chris
« Last Edit: July 17, 2015, 08:36:08 PM by No Bull »

SchulzeA

  • Global Moderator
  • Trade Count: (+15)
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 573
  • Member Rating Points: +32/-1
  • Lambo Mafia
Re: Would you buy perfect glass Murci replacement lenses at $900 a set?
« Reply #14 on: July 17, 2015, 07:17:07 PM »
Chris, will the lenses be pressed or injection molded? Will the manufacturer use molds made by another company?

No Bull

  • Administrator
  • Trade Count: (+25)
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1108
  • Member Rating Points: +20/-0
  • Replication is the sincerest form of flattery
Re: Would you buy perfect glass Murci replacement lenses at $900 a set?
« Reply #13 on: July 17, 2015, 12:15:32 PM »
chris, why cant aluminum molds be machined, and using resin casting + finish polishing to clear the surface of the lens work?

I need to trust the professionals on this one but from what I'm told they can make molds from cast iron, aluminum, steel, stainless steel etc.  They suggested stainless because it would stand up best to the constant heat from the glass while it's being press molded, holds and allows for better control of the heat and has has the best tendency to hold a precise shape which ensures quality parts with minimal flaws. 

A stainless steel mold would allow for a thousand pulls without requiring rework.  I doubt very much that more than 250 sets of these lenses would ever be sold given that a little more than 4,000 Murcie's were built.  You need to factor in the manufacturing scrap costs which might justify a stainless mold even if a mold capable of a thousand pulls is more expensive up front but saves money down the road by producing a better part and with less scrap.  This is really a case of economics and quality for me and even if I can make a little profit on the project, I won't do it unless the parts are perfect because my name will be associated with each one.

Great question and I had asked them the same thing.   8)

Chris 

INSPIREcomposite (BANNED)

  • Trade Count: (+3)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 140
  • Member Rating Points: +3/-0
Re: Would you buy perfect glass Murci replacement lenses at $900 a set?
« Reply #12 on: July 17, 2015, 11:48:11 AM »
chris, why cant aluminum molds be machined, and using resin casting + finish polishing to clear the surface of the lens work?

01Lambiero

  • Trade Count: (+1)
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 908
  • Member Rating Points: +19/-3
  • "Using the skills that God gave me"
Re: Would you buy perfect glass Murci replacement lenses at $900 a set?
« Reply #11 on: July 17, 2015, 10:47:39 AM »
Glass lenses would make the build move to the elite division as far as finishing touches goes.  But with the declining market for Murcie parts, I don't think that it would make good business sense to start making them now.  Aventador seems to be the market now until the giant returns and steps on it.  If I owned an OEM, I'm sure that my insurance company would replace my broken lenses with oem replacements, I hope.  Glass can be polished with rubbing compound so may not need replacing for road wear.  Just don't follow a gravel hauler or dump truck.  Put adhesive stone shield over the glass lenses.
« Last Edit: July 17, 2015, 10:56:24 AM by 01Lambiero »
20 yr. GM Niase certified Auto Mechanic (Tune-Up, Brakes, & Heavy Repair)
24 yr. GM Automated/Robotic Welding Systems
Retired

Bartman

  • Trade Count: (+2)
  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 34
  • Member Rating Points: +0/-0
Re: Would you buy perfect glass Murci replacement lenses at $900 a set?
« Reply #10 on: July 17, 2015, 07:47:50 AM »
You are doing the right thing.  Evaluate.  You are more likely to be able to sell to OE owners than kit car folks.  Lambo will not make these headlights forever.  That segment will need to repair and likely double your asking price at 900 ea.   Question is, as you know, how long to recoup your investment.  Probably a good while.  How many murcies were produced and what is the rate of needing a headlight lense?  Maybe 1-2%?  I don't know...

No Bull

  • Administrator
  • Trade Count: (+25)
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1108
  • Member Rating Points: +20/-0
  • Replication is the sincerest form of flattery
Re: Would you buy perfect glass Murci replacement lenses at $900 a set?
« Reply #9 on: July 17, 2015, 06:10:51 AM »
Honestly I've wanted glass lenses for a long time and would do most anything to acquire them! But $900 is not gonna happen ever! I've looked into having several different companies make these, and have received the same answer as you, 15-20k for molds. If I had that cash around it would be a no brainer at that cost, as that means at $900 you only need to sell about 20 or so sets, sense the per piece cost is so minimal, it's almost not even worth accounting for. My goal was to keep it around the $400 mark which can be done but puts you in a position to possibly be stuck with product so the reward may never be there. Just my .02ΒΆ  ::beers

I do believe that selling them at $400 - $500 a set might be profitable over time however the question is how much time would it take to break even and make money on them vs. if that money was invested into something else.  At $500 a set, my calculations would place the break even mark around 60 sets of lenses and this doesn't account for my time and other expenses like packaging materials.  Any taxes, shipping costs and insurance would be additional cost for the buyer and this could turn a $500 set of lenses into a $600 - $650 set of lenses once out the door.

Prior to the recession I invested in a similar project for a different model of car and the break even point was supposed to be 18 months for that project.  After five years of pushing parts up hill, I finally broke even and that project is now netting a small profit. 

I might still be willing to take this project on and try to reach the $500 mark, but with this comes the risk of saturating the market with lenses and running out of buyers before I reach a profit mark.  Also whenever you begin selling something for $500, you are expected to always sell it for $500 and anyone with a real Lambo would expect these for the same price as what the replica guys are buying them for.  One option is to take deposits for pre-sales and lock in orders at that price and set a higher price for after the pre-sale.  The pre-sale deposits can offset the out of pocket investment for the molds but does involve a risk if the project goes off the rails and money has to be refunded.  Pre-sales also dilutes the buyer market and can kill any future margins.

The other option is to raise the price of the parts and moving it from $500 to $600 reduces the risk from 60 sets to break even down to around 50 sets.

One of the intentions of this thread is to figure out what an acceptable price point is and use that as a basis to determine the feasibility of taking it to the next step.  I really want to make this project happen but I'll only do it if the parts are of equal to better quality than the originals and I make profit for my time and investment.

Keep the feedback coming guys!   8)

Thanks,

Chris
« Last Edit: July 17, 2015, 06:26:30 AM by No Bull »

Purple LP670 SV

  • Lambo Mafia
  • Global Moderator
  • Trade Count: (+11)
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 634
  • Member Rating Points: +17/-0
  • Big Gulps, huh? All right! Well, see ya later.
Re: Would you buy perfect glass Murci replacement lenses at $900 a set?
« Reply #8 on: July 17, 2015, 05:30:27 AM »
Honestly I've wanted glass lenses for a long time and would do most anything to acquire them! But $900 is not gonna happen ever! I've looked into having several different companies make these, and have received the same answer as you, 15-20k for molds. If I had that cash around it would be a no brainer at that cost, as that means at $900 you only need to sell about 20 or so sets, sense the per piece cost is so minimal, it's almost not even worth accounting for. My goal was to keep it around the $400 mark which can be done but puts you in a position to possibly be stuck with product so the reward may never be there. Just my .02ΒΆ  ::beers
« Last Edit: July 17, 2015, 05:34:52 AM by Purple LP670 SV »
I met a man with a dollar, we exchanged dollars and we still had a dollar. I met a man with an idea, we exchanged ideas and now we both have two ideas!!!

76mx

  • Trade Count: (+2)
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 616
  • Member Rating Points: +11/-0
Re: Would you buy perfect glass Murci replacement lenses at $900 a set?
« Reply #7 on: July 16, 2015, 09:36:34 PM »
I totally respect your risk vs. reward and ROI evaluation effort.

01Lambiero

  • Trade Count: (+1)
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 908
  • Member Rating Points: +19/-3
  • "Using the skills that God gave me"
Re: Would you buy perfect glass Murci replacement lenses at $900 a set?
« Reply #6 on: July 16, 2015, 09:28:18 PM »
No dog in the ring either as I'm still trying to complete my Diablo.  Looking at the options if I were building a Murcie, Choice #1 would be to find a windshield with the proper curvature and cut out the lens.  Choice #2 would be to mold 3/16"-1/4" plexi to fit.
20 yr. GM Niase certified Auto Mechanic (Tune-Up, Brakes, & Heavy Repair)
24 yr. GM Automated/Robotic Welding Systems
Retired

No Bull

  • Administrator
  • Trade Count: (+25)
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1108
  • Member Rating Points: +20/-0
  • Replication is the sincerest form of flattery
Re: Would you buy perfect glass Murci replacement lenses at $900 a set?
« Reply #5 on: July 16, 2015, 09:09:39 PM »
Hate to say it No Bull but I think Bartman nailed it. I do not have a dog in the lenses fight but from someone who sells parts, and in particular bodies, he is right. I would put the lenses in the transaxle category. If you are going to build a $50,000 car, you cannot spend $15,000-$20,000 on a transaxle.

Nothing wrong with honest feedback and that is exactly what I was looking for.  The reality of the matter is that the molds would be a $20,000 + investment plus the cost of materials and labor to produce a quality part.  I'm asking these questions as part of a fit and feasibility study to better understand the demand.  I know that five or more original sets were sold to replica builders at $700 a set and there have been requests for more.  The big question is if everyone that was going to buy lenses, has bought them or decided to go with a inexpensive solution like plexi.  To do this as a project aimed only at the replica guys would be insane and I plan on asking the same question to the guys that own real Murcie's.  I'm assuming that paying $900 for a replacement set of glass lenses would be more acceptable to guys shelling out a hundred thousand plus for an original car, especially when their options are extremely limited as their lenses become damaged by road blast or involved in accidents.  A set of new headlights will run close to $14,000 and those supplies are limited.  This all comes down to risk vs. reward and what the ROI figures out to be.  I don't have an issue investing the money and taking the risk if the payout is within 24 months but anything over that and this project doesn't become as attractive.     

Thanks for the honest and constructive feedback guys.   ::thumbup

Chris

76mx

  • Trade Count: (+2)
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 616
  • Member Rating Points: +11/-0
Re: Would you buy perfect glass Murci replacement lenses at $900 a set?
« Reply #4 on: July 16, 2015, 08:21:09 PM »
Hate to say it No Bull but I think Bartman nailed it. I do not have a dog in the lenses fight but from someone who sells parts, and in particular bodies, he is right. I would put the lenses in the transaxle category. If you are going to build a $50,000 car, you cannot spend $15,000-$20,000 on a transaxle. 

Bartman

  • Trade Count: (+2)
  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 34
  • Member Rating Points: +0/-0
Re: Would you buy perfect glass Murci replacement lenses at $900 a set?
« Reply #3 on: July 16, 2015, 03:57:16 PM »
I voted that I would stay with plexi.  Here's the scenario, all of these cars will be garage kept so UV is not generally a problem.  Three other issues: Cost, cost and cost.  If you are going to replicate a $300k for 20 cents on the dollar, you can't spend $900 for headlight lenses.  I'm not in the "business" anymore but just my 0.02 for what it is worth.  Hell, you can't get most of these guys to buy a good body for 8-10K, they'd rather buy Jackie junk for 4500 and spend a 1000 hours trying to get it to where the 8-10k body is to start.  I don't think they are going to buy 900 buck lenses.

No Bull

  • Administrator
  • Trade Count: (+25)
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1108
  • Member Rating Points: +20/-0
  • Replication is the sincerest form of flattery
Re: Would you buy perfect glass Murci replacement lenses at $900 a set?
« Reply #2 on: July 16, 2015, 11:41:18 AM »
75 views and only two votes.

I'm assuming that these glass lenses are not of an interest to anyone anymore?  ::scratch

Chris

No Bull

  • Administrator
  • Trade Count: (+25)
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1108
  • Member Rating Points: +20/-0
  • Replication is the sincerest form of flattery
Would you buy perfect glass Murci replacement lenses at $900 a set?
« Reply #1 on: July 14, 2015, 03:24:08 PM »
Would you buy perfect glass Murci replacement lenses at $900 a set?  I've found a set of original lenses to ensure exact replacement specifications.  I've been told that to reach the level of quality that I'm expecting, the molds would need to be machined from stainless steel and each lens would need to be cast and pressed by hand.  Because the cost of the molds and finished product is so high, I'm testing the waters for demand before putting any money down on the project.

Chris