It’s no secret that we do take in the odd American Classic to work on that is not a Mustang. We tend to do it only for good customers though, this week is one of those occasions when we picked up this little lady.
What we have here is a very solid 1955 Studebaker Commander.
The owner of the car has left her standing for a year after it failed to run right when she was last driven. What we have now is double trouble; 1) What was the original issue? 2) Why won’t it start now?
This car’s electrics are some mysterious wizardry that made sense at the time to the designers. This car runs from six volts and with a positive earth. When working this way round you have to keep telling yourself, ‘it’s positive, positive earth’. As it’s only 6v, it can’t kill us, can it? The wiring looks a little dated and the problem could be just about anything with the positive earth making the whole car essentially live. Some of these connections are not original and look a bit fragile.
The first thing was to get the old fuel out of the tank which was a little stagnant and a bit funky smelling. At least with fresh fuel we have eliminated the usual cause of some problems straight away. We were told on pick up that the fuel pump wasn’t working and could we check it out. We took out the pump as requested and it works just fine. As we have only just started on this diagnosis, we will clean everything out that we can on the carb and make sure all is working correctly when we put the pump back in ready to spin her over.
One of the main reason we don’t take on non Mustang based cars, is quite simply the parts availability. Lets say we need a new solenoid to start her up, we would have to order the parts from our equivalent suppliers and that takes research time and occupies space in the garages and yard in the mean time.
On the positive side (pun intended), the underside of the car is remarkably solid for a car of this age.
Looking at the steering, there are multiple links to get the steering where it needs to go.
But, that’s how the cars were in those days, so it wasn’t horrendous by any standards.
We promised more pictures of the car, and we have started working on transferring the parts over. First up is look over the ‘Brittany Blue’ paint job inside and out. Adam is checking out the paint job up close to make sure it’s up to our rigorous Mustang Maniac standards. The engine bay in satin black finish and the underside for her underseal.
Adam is unwrapping the other parts of the car which had been painted to check the quality.
Outside is gloss clear coat and the inside has been done the same colour with a satin finish.
The work has started at the rear of the car, the rear quarter trims, just because they were to hand. But we will complete the paint first of the engine bay and underseal.
This car is going to be driven and the now donor car is shedding parts quickly, including any of the parts that have imperfections which we arrowed above. Normally we would replace these for that fully restored look. In this build we won’t be doing that, unless the owner wants it or the part is too badly damaged of course.
Good Guy vs Pratt Man.
We have had two customers this week both with very different outcomes.
First there is context to understand; on the front pages of our WebShop there is a note to say that for next day delivery to work there needs to be a cut off point. That cut off is 11.30am. Here is a cut and paste of that section:
“Opening Hours and Shipping
Having a web shop means we are ‘open’ 24hours a day, 7days a week, 365days a year, saying this, our shipping days are Mon-Fri, with orders completed before 11:30am being sent out the same day, not bad for a ‘small parts distributor’ from the UK. You will have a choice of shipping with either ParcelForce or UPS, for the same price, the reason we let you pick, you know their routes in your area/how close you are to their depot, should you not be in for delivery.”
The customers are two opposing points of view.
A good customer of ours orders before 11.30am and he gets his parts the next day. The customer sends us a nice email after he got his parts. He didn’t need to and there was no drama with his order. We’re sure he wont mind us repeating what he said.
I have had a few orders from you now with many more to come and I would just like to say what a fantastic service you provide shipped on day of purchase received next day on every order 1st class the best
If only the Americans could take a leaf out of your book
Thank you very much Greig for your email it’s always nice to get some good feedback. We look forward to helping you out where we can with your parts, if you’re not sure what you need, please drop us an email.
Everybody is happy!
Pratt is not this ex-customer’s real name, but we will use it for now.
Pratt orders parts at 14.15 on Thursday afternoon and wants next day delivery. The cut off is there for a reason as Parcel Force collects at 14.00 in the afternoon. We need time (hence the cut off point) to allow us to process the customer’s order and package it ready for that collection slot.
As Pratt missed the cut off point, the order was then collected on Friday 14.00 in the afternoon. As Parcel Force don’t deliver on weekends the part won’t be there till Monday. This customer has sent us an email which we won’t post (to save his embarrassment). The email basically goes on to say it should be made clear about cut of points etc. (Which it does say, see above extract.) Adam responded and explained to the customer about the cut off point and address our ‘service’ issue as he had ‘a mechanic waiting to fit the parts Friday or Saturday at the latest’. The customer didn’t want to pay for special next day delivery either. Have we mentioned about the ‘Cut Off Point’ enough yet?
Pratt sent a further follow up email which didn’t get another response from Adam upon which he hit the dreaded “C” (cancelled) button and this customer will now not be able to order from Mustang Maniac in the future.
This Pratt has caused all sorts of dramas and excitement through no fault of our own.
The moral of the story here is very simple; be a “Good Guy” and don’t be a “Pratt Man”. Being a Good Guy gets your parts when you want them along with other benefits of being a good customer like our time to help you out and our much sort after advice.
Brilliant writing and pics as ever guys!!!!! Thanks!!
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So funny to read about that Pratt, it makes you wonder what this world is coming too. Great pics and nice to see an old Studebaker about in the uk. That ‘Pear’ has had a paint job to do it justices, I’m looking forward to that build with you guys.