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  #1  
Old 21st July 2005, 16:14
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Default Interesting . . .

I will start this by saying that I really do not want this subject to deteriorate as I have seen happen on other forums.
I am not posting this for a b*tchin'

I just picked up a WK? mag. The first time for 3 months, because of the b*tchin' between 'em.

Low and behold the page opens up on an article on a Python article. It is a reply to Kit Car's comments!

Why?????????????????

A quick read reveals that WK? are helping to finance the Python.

Surely this is at the least unethical, not only to the readers but also to other manufacturers? I would go as far as saying it is downright unprofessional and must put other manufacturers in the position of knowing the mag will be bias towards their own product.

I know this is contraversial, but I would like some constructive input to this topic.

To the average reader, are they bothered about this?
Are other manufacturers affected?

John, please don't lock this.
And no, I haven't spoken to anyone before posting this
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  #2  
Old 22nd July 2005, 09:14
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No reason to lock the thread..........yet

I havn't seen WK this month so can't comment on what's been said but personally I have no problem with a magazine being involved in the manufacture of a kit car......as long,

As the involvment and interest is openly stated,
Can be subject to independant reviews,
Reports, advertisments are factually correct (theres always some element of artistic license in adverts of course)

If the product is up to scratch and open to scrutiny then it shouldn't be a problem.

It's too early for me to think any more indepth at the moment but if the above points are not met then I think the involvement could be seen as unethical.

John

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  #3  
Old 23rd July 2005, 14:49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JG
I have no problem with a magazine being involved in the manufacture of a kit car as long..As Reports, advertisments are factually correct
Thing is John as I see it.....

The adverts weren't factually correct as the car was described as if it could be driven when it hadn't even been built.

Successive Python apologists condemned KC magazine for badmouthing the cars engineering almost as a smokescreen when they had only criticised the advert wording.

As time has gone on and the car HAS been driven, WKC? mag has disingeously argued retrospectively about it's performance as if this justifies the original adverts.

Den Tanner, in my opinion, has been diverted from his original fully justifiable crusade into a poorly judged slanging match not of his making.

To Precis:
WKC? will now, surely, argue with barrowloads of hindsight how good the car is to paint Tanner as the bad guy. Hence their latest offer for his magazine to drive the car. What they have achieved is to maintain BIG magazine coverage for a product that didn't even exist in it's current form when it was being feted in WKC?, that, surely, is grossly unfair on a multitude of conventional manufacturers and, in my opinion, unethical.......
  #4  
Old 23rd July 2005, 15:19
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Absolutely Ferg, I'm not defending what's gone on and I agree with you entirely, was just saying that I don't see it as a problem as long as the above criteria is met, if not then it is unethical imho.

TBH I can't see the Python getting any sort of foothold in this country. It is generally said that any publicity is good publicity but I think in this case it's not. People may be discussing the Python but it's generally with no sort of positivity.

I've seen the car myself and can't say there is anything about it that would prompt me to buy one over the likes of DAX, GD, AK or Pilgrim. I thought the fibreglass work was not up to standards expected on a Cobra nowadays and generally held no redeaming features that would make me want to buy it over anything else regardless of it's handling capabilities and question marks over the backup one might receive, but that's just me and what I would be looking for in a Cobra.

I think overall it's a shame. In other circumstances then the Python could have stood side by side with the cheaper Cobra replicas, use of BMW components is a bold move but with no proper prescence over hear as far as I can tell and with a kit price that doesn't seem to reflect the 'cheap' Cobra that was promised I can't see why anyone would buy one.

John

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  #5  
Old 24th July 2005, 22:25
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Why dosn't this really come as a suprise, given all the denials that have been posted on other forums in the past Apart from other issues of design, which are best left dormant . I have to agree with John in that having seen the car several times, There has been no effort to PRESENT it at shows. And IF I were a potential buyer, It would come a long way down my shortlist.
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Old 30th July 2005, 11:27
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If I were an manufacturer of a 'budget' Cobra, I would be very concerned about the comments in WK?.

For some time now the mag has made comments about the Python being a real alternative. I'm not saying that this is not the case, it might well be. As a manufacturer, I would be concerned that WK? were 'selling' their car at every opportunity, thus forgoing the benefits of 'my' car.

I would like to see Kit Car and Totalkitcar both test the Python together. Ideally by testing 3 different makes of Cobra and commenting on the merits and pitfalls of each. I realise that testing kitcars in this way is not always practical, but I rekon you would not have too much problem finding comparable cars in terms of engine and power.
  #7  
Old 30th July 2005, 15:13
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I would have thought the ideal place to conduct such a test would be at Total Kit Car Live at Brands Hatch September 17th at least there the whole industry would be there to witness the event. But the Python is not as yet shown in attendance.
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Old 31st July 2005, 15:23
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Sounds like an ideal time
  #9  
Old 31st July 2005, 18:03
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Don’t worry Big Cheese,
I’m not about to throw mud in your nice clean forum .

Reading the above, I reckon that everybody here can see what the issues were. That said, I think things have moved on. There are now new issues. It’s makes no difference to me whether the car drives well or not. My two concerns are whether it’s safe and whether it’s commercially secure.

The factory owner in Sri Lanka tells me that he’s in the process of evicting Vince and his Python. It took Vince 3 years to set up that factory; so it’s likely to be out of production for another 3 years once the eviction is finally achieved.

The other concern is of safety. The front upper wishbone ball-joint is being used for a purpose for which it wasn’t designed. Nothing new there in that many kit car parts are used to do jobs for which they weren’t designed. However, this is a particularly crucial safety component and there is significant controversy concerning its suitability. Before I instructed any journalist of mine to take it around a track; I’d want a report from STATUS assuring me that all my engineering instincts are wrong .

Incidentally, I was in court with Vince concerning his advertising debt the other day. He was ordered to pay me £803.82. ************************ Too personal Den and not necessary on this forum so this bit removed - JG ************************

Den
  #10  
Old 31st July 2005, 18:31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kitcarman
My two concerns are whether it’s safe and whether it’s commercially secure.
This can be said of pretty much any kit car manufacturer though, they go in and out of business quicker than I can keep up with changing the details on this site.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kitcarman
The factory owner in Sri Lanka tells me that he’s in the process of evicting Vince and his Python. It took Vince 3 years to set up that factory; so it’s likely to be out of production for another 3 years once the eviction is finally achieved.
Typically a factory unit is a factory unit, doesn't take 3 years to find another.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kitcarman
The other concern is of safety. The front upper wishbone ball-joint is being used for a purpose for which it wasn’t designed. Nothing new there in that many kit car parts are used to do jobs for which they weren’t designed. However, this is a particularly crucial safety component and there is significant controversy concerning its suitability. Before I instructed any journalist of mine to take it around a track; I’d want a report from STATUS assuring me that all my engineering instincts are wrong .
I'm not qualified in this area so can't comment on the safety aspect but I would hope that this sort of scrutiny is performed on any kit car that is tested by Kit Car magazine and any safety concerns are treated the same regardless of manufacturer.


I think you know my position on the whole Python saga Den but I hope you understand that a balanced view must be protrayed.

John

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  #11  
Old 31st July 2005, 21:53
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Hi Big Cheese,
I do know, and respect, your position.

As you well know, there’s a lot of history and emotion in the Monty Python tale. Whilst I think my views are accurate and informed; I accept Ferg’s observation that I’ve “been diverted from [my] original fully justifiable crusade into a poorly judged slanging match not of [my] making.” The result is that I now find it very difficult to draw balanced conclusions.

Your observations represent another view of the same facts. One of our writings represents what the Sun might have said; the other the Times. I’d simply observe that I’ve been proved right in every previously published detail .

We’ll see what comes out of my more recent concerns. I think the lack of response speaks volumes. I’ve a nose for sound engineering and sound business and both smell fishy to me. Don’t forget, either, that I’m in contact with more facts than those I publish. I’m simply trying to ensure that my readers are well informed and advised. That’s my job ! They have been in the past and I believe they are now. Time, as they say, shall tell.

Remember that Vince didn’t owe money, didn’t have a partner and did have a perfect product. We’re all wiser now… please remember who imparted that wisdom and when .

I will quibble with some of your balancing observations though:-

There are dodgy kit car firms, but few actually demonstrate their dodgyness by ‘bumping’ the press (not very wise at the best of times – but that’s yet another story). Will I now get my £803.82 or will he hide behind is geographical location? Let’s not forget that what he does with me he can do with anybody .

In respect to the factory… Finding a building won’t be too hard, but all the staff that were trained have long-since disappeared. There shall be more to moving than simply calling a removals firm.

In respect to the engineering… I’m qualified academically to degree level and have made about 5,000 kit cars . I think I know a significant problem when I see one!

Add to the above the ethical problems that my ‘crusade’ started opposing; and it adds up to my feeling justified in adopting my hard line stance. Let’s not forget that this thread is about that ongoing ethical problem.

Den
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Old 31st July 2005, 22:55
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kitcarman
Add to the above the ethical problems that my ‘crusade’ started opposing; and it adds up to my feeling justified in adopting my hard line stance. Let’s not forget that this thread is about that ongoing ethical problem.

Den
Agree with this bit entirely and think Ferg's post above sums up the situation extremely well.

Since this thread started I have read the WKC piece and I must say it is underhand and entirely unethical but at the same time quite clever and people not aware of the goings on will be supportive of WKC.

John

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  #13  
Old 1st August 2005, 13:27
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Hi Big Cheese,
I’m quite certain that most people have already heard my side. They’ll therefore come to the same sad conclusion.

The writing in that magazine is subtle in all but quantity and very sly IMO in what it omits. However, I’ve finally obtained a reaction after 27 months – that’s a result . All other reactions have concerned pride, pixels, pictures and pages; but nothing specifically on Python.

The Python’s sold a miserly 8 incomplete kits as a result of an advertising campaign that started in December 2001. And look at the size of that campaign ! Editorial news every month, the Python in third-party adverts and show reports. A reader’s letter nearly every month and up to eight ‘regular’ advertisements every month.

Ironically, I reckon a more honest and balanced approach (in advertising what was actually available at the time and precisely who was selling it) would have surely resulted in sales of more than 8 kits so far. Furthermore, that would have negated all the accusations and recriminations that have characterised the Python’s illegitimate birth (or still-birth?).

Moreover, I think Mark was right to ask if readers should be concerned because I believe those 8 Pythons have cost the industry 100’s of sales. I wonder what profit was made out of them ?

Den
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Old 2nd August 2005, 15:05
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Is it true that WK? and RV Dynamics have offered Kit Car the opportunity to test the Python?

If this is the case and Totalkitcar also have the opportunity, I cannot see why we cannot have a head to head test against other Cobra's on independant grounds (eg. Totalkitcar Live!).

I believe this would give Den and Kit Car enough time to have the engineering checked with STATUS.

John
It is nice to see your opinions of the article that started this thread.
BTW John, is it possible to start a poll half way through a thread? I would like to see how many people reading this would like to see an independant test of the Python, as talked about here.

Den
I know a lot about the things that have gone on within this love (hate) triangle in the past, but I would like to know your thoughts on (or if you have information on) how the rest of the Cobra manufacturers feel about the diclosure within the article.

I do realise many Cobra manufacturers do not consider the Python a threat and/or competitor to their particular car.
  #15  
Old 2nd August 2005, 19:59
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Hi Mark,
To answer your specific questions:-

No – I haven’t been offered an opportunity to test the car save for the ‘open’ invitation in the article in question; which I very much suspect is an insincere smoke screen anyway.

Why would I want to test drive it ? Nothing said by Ian Stent in respect to Python is disputed by me. He said that Mr Filby, Sally Mitchell and Vince Wright brought it between them in 2001. Vindicating my main concern that Mr Filby was reporting as game-keeper; when in fact he’d turned poacher (but forgot to say so). He said that the handling wasn’t right; that improvements are required to its suspension set-up. Proving that the early claims, that it handles better than an original Python, were false. I believe he confirmed that a BMW V8 had never been fitted, rendering the ‘BMW V8 fits perfectly too’ misleading. He said that he couldn’t find a comfortable driving position because the seat is too high and too far forward and the steering wheel is in’yer chest. Thus conceding that claims that it’s the tall guys Cobra weren’t true either. So, in fact, I’ve already written Ian Stent’s article as a part-work.

Anyway; what would be the point in Kit Car (or ToTalkItCar for that matter) reiterating such findings? Another test drive wouldn’t resolve the thorny technical and commercial issues. On that subject; I’d point to Stent’s one crass comment. He said words to the effect that he’d read my allegations about the problems in Sri Lanka so he thought he’d check for himself – by driving the car ???? So, it would follow that if I alleged that someone was a thief: Ian Stent would be able to establish the efficacy of my allegation – by driving the person’s car!!!! Damned clever guys at WKC I’d say. As I’ve said, it’s what they don’t say, and the slyness in the way they duck the real issues, that are most revealing to me.

As to your final question regarding what other Cobra manufacturers are saying about the ‘disclosure’. What ‘disclosure ’? The ‘disclosure’ was made years ago. The recent ‘admission’ merely confirmed what was already known.

Den
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Old 4th August 2005, 13:05
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Default Original Python

As a builder and owner of an original Python that I bought from Unique Autocraft in 1991 and spent 3 years building, I find it somewhat depressing that the attempt to resurrect what IMHO was a good quality kit in its original form has so far been far from successful.

I don't know even 10 pct of the facts that have been debated here and other places and have never seen the demo car. Suffice to say however that from the outset I wished the new owners good luck, and even success but to date this has eluded them, at least in the UK.

My car is now with me in Japan where it gets great exercise regularly and continues to give me huge enjoyment.
  #17  
Old 9th August 2005, 18:54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JG
Quote:
Originally Posted by kitcarman
Add to the above the ethical problems that my ‘crusade’ started opposing; and it adds up to my feeling justified in adopting my hard line stance. Let’s not forget that this thread is about that ongoing ethical problem.
Den
Agree with this bit entirely and think Ferg's post above sums up the situation extremely well.
Nice to have a couple of good reviews from two guys who's opinion I value!!!!! I was pleased I managed to make an accurate view of what I consider to be the REAL issue that started this whole thing off. What is sad though is that over on the other side of the fence stands a superbly knowledgeable kitcar historian and enthusiast.........
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Old 15th August 2005, 01:41
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Hi Folks,
I’ve just returned from the Harrogate show. It was brilliant!

I was on my own all weekend , but in terms of takings it was one of my most lucrative . The most popular product line was a set of the first 8 Cobra magazines for just £20 a set (which is what I normally get after paying the postman – some issues are quite heavy).

I enjoyed loads of customer conversations – many about you know what!!!! The first was with a couple who purchased the latest Kit Car and Cobra magazines (for Mr Filby I presume) then announced they were happy Python builders. They then ripped into me alleging I was unfair on ‘poor ole Vince ’. As it happened, the very next couple in the queue were the couple I reported upon in the July 2003 issue (they said they paid a £634 deposit to Vince but didn’t get their goods). They spent the next 20 minutes telling me to ignore the previous protest and went on to say how pleased they were that I had the courage (and the balls) to keep warning people off.

About an hour later, another disgruntled couple told me their tale of Python woe; then proceeded to ask me specific questions regarding what I knew concerning certain details relevant to the Sri Lankan side of their ‘problem’. Whilst I was answering; a chap interrupted and complained that I was speaking a load of bollocks and that he was another very happy Python bunny. He hadn’t heard the start of the conversation and was bemused at the fact that his ‘testimony’ hadn’t moved the couple one iota. Interestingly he scampered off after finally saying (please read carefully) that he’d received everything and was delighted BUT that he was to receive the rest of his parts in a shipment due in October. I would liked to have finished speaking to the bloke but he was in ‘rant mode’ (he could speak but not listen – one way only).

Some while later, Sally Mitchell approached me to ask if I’d lay off knocking ‘poor ole Vince ’. We spent quite a while discussing Vince’s virtues (and associations and history) until Sally’s eyes welled with tears . She went scampering back to the Which Twit stand after she realised that I’m not affected by crocodile tears. She’s a past master at it!

As I said; it was a fabulous show – well attended and by-and-large was damned good for the industry . The aforementioned conversations were, for me, the icing on the cake. I sold literally all the stock I’d taken to the show bar just a few magazines that were thinly covering my display stand at the end. I’ve never come so close to actually running out of things to sell.

I’ve never been recipient of so much praise and encouragement either. Shows like that make being a publisher worth while .

Den.
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Old 18th August 2005, 18:51
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Hi Mark (and others),
I thought you’d like to know that the Python has now had that independent review that you’ve been wanting to see .

It’s in the September issue of BMW Car magazine. Written by its assistant editor, Dominic Holtam . The photography, by Max Earey, is brilliant. The repro and layout, by artist unknown, is truly excellent!

Den .
  #20  
Old 18th August 2005, 23:11
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Sounds like you've had an eventful few days Den, whats the jist of the article in BMW magazine - can't be arsed to take a look myself

John

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