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fender covers

From:		Dan Zebell
Sent:		January 3, 1998
Subject:	Molded Plastic Fender Covers

Hi, to everyone!

I am looking for feedback on a product that does not exist...yet!
You've all seen molded, plastic truck bed liners... Have you seen
a protective fender cover, made the same way as a truck bed liner?
As a "tooler" for a plastics manufacturer, I make molds from the
fenders of "next-year's" cars. From these molds, we make fender covers
that protect new cars rolling down the assembly line. These fender
covers fit like a glove, have rubber cushion strips on the underside,
don't slip off and they look slick and professional.
Over the course of 10 years in my Alfa repair shop, I used a lot
of different fender covers... These "molded" fender covers are the best
protection I've seen... "body armor" for the cars they're designed to protect.
So, here are my questions... Would you, as a collectible car owner,
be interested in specially-designed and molded plastic fender covers
for your car?... And, would you be willing to pay $125.00 per set for them?
If your answer, is an enthusiastic "YES," then there are only a few 
small challenges to overcome... Unfortunately, the tooling cost alone for
the fender mold runs about 10K.
Right now, I can't think of any Italian after-market parts dealer who
would want to handle this. However, I think we could do this from a
"car club" level -- nationally, and/or worldwide.
Collectively, car clubs could facilitate pooling orders and money
from their members, for each body style. The clubs could then forward
their "collective" purchase orders to the manufacturer on a set date. By
treating each club as a "buyer," the middle-person is eliminated and we
can all have professional fender covers for our "non-disposable" cars.
It takes a "total" order of 500+ sets, at $125.00 per set, for the
manufacturer to absorb tooling costs. Manufacturers aren't keen on
small orders like this, but they will do it, with the hope of additional
orders in the future.
One more crucial element of the puzzle is... a near-perfect set
of fenders is required to make a mold.
Do you think there is enough organization, between clubs and 
club members, to do this?... Can this fly?
For the clubs that are interested, I can send more complete
information and promotional materials to help support this effort.

Thanks for your time and your thoughts,

Dan Zebell        zakzebell@domain.elided

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