CMC

I see CMC cars periodically, but understand they're out of business. Were those cars generally of good quality? I see a number of them out on the market now... but am squeamish about considering a product from a builder who's out of business.

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There are probably more CMC speedsters (including FF, CMC, Auto Restitution, Street Beast) in existence that all other makes.  They produced car kits from 1973-1994.  It the '80 there was a Speedster, TD or Gazelle in 90% of US airports.  Check out their headquarters that was in Miami, FL. They even had a windup window model and a rare 359 model.

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As Robert mentioned, CMC the company did not build any complete cars - all they built were the bodies and sub'd everything else.  I have heard from some people that they had a small assembly area in the Miami plant, but from others that I trust I've heard that they had two local (Miami) shops who put together their "show" cars which went to shows but then often ended up sitting in the lobbies of airports as Marketing promos, eventually to be sold, dust and all, as "new", assembled cars.  Their fiberglass was pretty variable in quality, but it has been 30 years since they built anything so the 'glass should surely have completely cured by now.  They were, as a rule, quite thick and if assembled with their recommended supports and braces were rather problem free, other than a bad habit of a rear clip that drooped ( easily fixed at home ).

As Robert also said, the final build quality went from astoundingly good to atrocious, depending on who built that particular car (and some of those built "at the factory" by those shops were on the shoddy side, too).  I have seen some with blow your socks off vision and build quality, and some that I really have a hard time looking at.

And then there's "George from Texas", but we won't go there right now....

CMC was a remarkably successful Tele-Marketing "Boiler Room" company that just happened to make fiberglass car bodies on the side to "justify their existence".  That, alone, should say volumes.

Oh, BTW........    THIS is a CMC:

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You can make good side curtains in a few hours out of Magard - Lexan and specific rubber moldings.  I've done it a dozen times with 98% rain proof .                                    Roll up windows will not work, the windshield needs to be pulled rearward at the time the car is assembled ( CMC did this on their roll up window cars & IM does this on their speedster.... AL Shapiro has one .) This allows for alignment of the forward side glass to the windshield frame, you would also need a specific windshield frame to side glass rubber. I have looked at doing this a few time  and said pffffst! to that .

When I bought my kit in '89 they asked if I wanted the roll-up $895 window "option".  It was not available purchased separately - you bought as a different kit.  It has a taller "D" windshield so taller top.  It been reported that the window and windup assembly was from a Chevy Chevette.  Over years I've only seen maybe 4-5 CMCs with the option - out of maybe 200.  The kit back then was $7995 (with $300 optional color) so an extra $895 seemed like a lot.

I got the high pressure pitch - FedEx $1k tonight for a special deal!  No internet then (started in 1991) so bought on blind desire.  The $7995 got a finished Blk gel coat classic body with all lights/chrome/trim.  Got extras of "p"wood steering wheel, doors mounts, sub chassis mounted, a $4 cassette radio, vinyl top, vinyl full tonneau.  Included crappy VINTAGE gauges (supposedly $325). The side curtains were 2 rough cut plexi pieces (ha, still in the brown paper).  The seats cut hunks of foam and separate sewn lipstick red vinyl to match lipstick fuzzy carpet and a roll of vinyl for door cards and back seat.  Yeah shipping a rip off!  My brother has company in NJ and he said he'd handle shipping via Pilot.  CMC would not say when they were shipping.  So a PILOT truck showed up demanding $1400 COD shipping - I showed them the $400 shipping invoice from my brother's company and they used that to cover shipping (Miami to VA in one big crate).  I still have the 30 page continuous computer paper print out (off an IBM 1403 printer) parts listing with 20% of items BACK ORDERED!

The new TX/Mexican version is -

Body $8500 - but not finished sanded or painted
Top $1500 - nice folding fabric with tonneau (CMC included basic parts in vinyl)
Interior $2500 - very nice finished appearance (CMC included basic parts in vinyl)
Windshield $1500 - says stainless steel but CMC and all others seem to be polished aluminum (Included in CMC kit)
Chassis w/ Title $2500 (not available from CMC)

Clearly, I should have bought Apple ($2) or Microsoft ($53) stock. A new '89 911 was $55k then.

Yup: Your numbers are right on the button.  I bought mine in ‘83 and still have all the paper work. I paid the 7995.00 for the “complete kit” w/mounted doors, all the trim, gauges and a junky radio. The shipping, Miami to Buffalo was $700, which I arranged. They wanted about 1500 if I remember right.  While waiting the 6 weeks from order to delivery, I rebuilt the engine, BOUGHT the assembly manual so that I could  “simply shorten the pan,”  replaced stuff like brake systems, prepped the gas tank, new fuel and brake lines, wheel cylinders, master cylinder, cables and of course new muffler and heat exchangers.  Those 6 weeks flew by!  When they delivered the kit to my bike shop, I had to get help from all the guys that were sitting at the bar next door to help me get it off the truck... ;-0.  6 of us lifted it into the garage behind my shop and the REAL work began!   

   I had a good experience with CMC, but not everyone did I guess. Kit was complete, customer support was good, accessory purchases like mirrors and such were not a problem.  I still love it!

I bought mine in very late 1993 - probably one of the last that they produced as I remember getting a break on the usual $7,995 price and they threw in a bunch of "extras".  As Wolfgang noted, their product quality of things other than the body was marginal, at best - especially their paper-thin carpeting!  

Mine arrived in a semi-trailer (one of the many in the US run by that amiable Russian company, Peekup Andropoff), so I made a quick call to a mechanic friend (Charlie, of Charlie's Rod Shop, actually) and he showed up with his '48 Ford Cab-Over-Engine car hauler.  Got the beds more-or-less aligned in height and then winched it from one truck to the other.  The Southern Yellow Pine crate was the size of an SUV and later heated my house for several days.  Dropped it off in my Dad's garage (that garage was Yuge!) saying that it would be there "maybe 2 or 3 months til I get the chassis ready".   Almost 18 months and two donors later, I finally moved it to my place down the street, using the same car hauler, then four of us carried it into my shop.

I actually have ALL of the records from the CMC days, tied up in a 3" thick affidavit I used in Federal court to get them to provide the 60% of the kit they short-shipped me. Eventually, "Auto Resolution", yet another shell company that the CMC principles created to shield themselves monetarily (aren't corporate laws wonderful?) shipped me most, but not all, of what they owed me but I decided I could deal with that myself better than waiting for it.

The story is MUCH longer, but that's enough for now.....

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