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Go Back   Madabout Kitcars Forum > Mad Build Area > Tribute Automotive Builds

Tribute Automotive Builds Discuss your Tribute kit build

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  #1  
Old 18th December 2015, 17:09
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Default DNA Automotive 2fifty Cal

This looks interesting based on a Z3. Due to be on show at Stoneleigh apparently.



http://www.dnaautomotive.com/2fifty.html


It's good to see the market for Z3 conversions opening up with more options. I do like the look of the Tribute 250SWB Cal, and this is an especially fine example (sorry, don't know the builder to credit him/her)


Last edited by y cymro; 19th December 2015 at 12:44..
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  #2  
Old 18th December 2015, 19:32
Danny_HUFC Danny_HUFC is offline
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There is a thread on it in the italian replica part of this forum. Have a look. The price is more than double what tribute charge for theirs. But knowing dna there will be an interior option.
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  #3  
Old 19th December 2015, 01:16
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Thanks for the reference, it's an interesting read. It seems that the modern Ferrari replica I saw at Stoneleigh earlier this year was a DNA and that was finished to a high standard. I didn't notice the manufacturer's name at the time but do remember thinking it was hugely expensive for a conversion. Perhaps you get what you pay for and the new model will be worth the price - though I think it's too expensive.
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  #4  
Old 19th December 2015, 09:54
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To me it appears that two different approaches to the kit car market have been taken by Tribute and DNA.

At the beginning of kit-car history, the rebody special was a way for motorsport enthusiasts with limited budgets but strong mechanical engineering skills to take a cheap old mainstream car and turn it into the car of their dreams. The fibreglass bodies were basic but very cheap and a great deal of skill and effort was necessary to get the finished car built to a high standard.

That concept pretty much disappeared by the mid to late sixties, with the notable exceptions of the beach buggy and mini moke. In the early eighties there was a bit of a revival, but the industry had changed, with kit manufacturers focussing more on high quality mouldings that needed less preparation before paint, bespoke chassis and drivetrain packages and tailored interior packages. This meant that there were lots of high quality Cobra/Daytona/356 Speedster replicas available, but the kit prices either went through the roof or the manufacturer went bust as they made no money.

There were a couple of manufacturers who tried to buck that trend in the 90's and provide budget kits that needed more skill to finish- Pilgrim with their Sumo springs to mind - but an awful lot of attendees at kit car shows had no mechanical skills but relatively deep pockets so the high end kit producers ticked over while the little guys went under.

Then in about 2010, along came Gary Janes. Creator of the Sammio Spyder Herald/Vitesse based 50's style special. All hail the saviour of the budget kit car movement! The Sammio was incredibly cheap, it was quite possible to put a car on the road to a really good standard for under 3k, and looked like a multi million dollar car once finished, but required a lot of skill and vision to get it to that standard due to the very basic nature of the mouldings. Now, I'm not sure of the details, but I believe Chris from Tribute worked quite close to Gary J's workshop, in fact they might even have worked together on one or two projects (that's a guess), and Tribute either took inspiration from Gary J or vice-versa, but it's that end of the market that they now serve - very well priced body conversions that need some skill to complete to a good standard but leave the builder free to personalise their car to a greater extent than the kits at the more expensive end of the market.

So, fast forward to the end of 2015 and you can, with vision, time and effort, build yourself a stunning roadworthy Tribute 250GT or Spyder for about the same price as you pay for the bodyshell alone from DNA. I've no doubt that the DNA bodyshell is likely to be the higher quality moulding and would require less work to get to a good standard, so it really depends how deep your pockets are and how confident you are that you can fit, prep and paint the Tribute panels to your Z3 donor.

You pays your money, you takes your choice...
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  #5  
Old 19th December 2015, 10:19
WorldClassAccident WorldClassAccident is online now
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Well written MrTowed.

A foot note I would like to add from my perspective of dealing with both Gary and Tribute.

I bought a G46 from Gary and there was a long delay between deposit taking and anything happening. After some chasing I got a G46 shell from Gary's molds but laid up by Chris and Dan. The first thing they did was appologise for the uneven body and lack of alignment as this was caused by the molds and not by them. They showed me some of their work as a comparison and the difference was vast. The G46 needed masses of body filler to get the panels vaguely level and quite a few cuts to get the wings the same height.

When I wanted my own bespoke car made which became the Z300S I went to Chris at Tribute. The body I got was vastly superior and had a skim of body filler when blocking back instead of the 2-3 tubs used previously.

I am not criticising Gary's design but want people who have seen his bodywork to realise that Tribute is in a much higher league despite their budget prices.
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  #6  
Old 19th December 2015, 12:39
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Yep, appreciate that WCA, I know Gary let a few people down towards the end of his ownership of the business. The next owners also got themselves a bit of a reputation for being a bit pimpernel when customers had complaints. Gary's resurrection of the 'special' did allow me to build a car I never thought I could afford though.

As for the difference in quality between Sammio and Tribute, again, totally agree with that, but is it a case of double the price, double the quality?

My Spyder 'kit' comprising bodyshell, supporting frame, windscreen and dash came in at just over 1,100. The 250 California kit is going to cost me about three times that, so I'd expect the quality to match the price, and from what I've seen of the demonstrators and customer cars, it does.

There's still a market for the more expensive kits for people avec plus d'argent que de bons sens though, just go to any kit car show and look at all the 35k+ Cobras, some of which are even quite tastefully finished. No, really, I did see one once...

Last edited by Mister Towed; 19th December 2015 at 12:43..
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  #7  
Old 19th December 2015, 15:22
Danny_HUFC Danny_HUFC is offline
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About 10 years ago i build a 360 replica, i looked at the dna kit and it was VERY expensive so I bought mine from dynamic performance which was half the price. Mine was 1 of the 1st completed and up for sale, because I bought my kit from dynamic performance it didnt have little touches like a fake engine bay, door cards and fake discs and callipers. But I built it on a budget of just over 10k and sold for 20k!

The diference with the dna kit and the tribute kit will be the finishing touches. Garunteed the dna kit will have a dash and door cards etc, but will they make the difference? Not for the price they charge I dont think. I just hope this prompt chris to sort out an interior conversion, i know there is a few dash moulds floating about the workshop.....
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  #8  
Old 19th December 2015, 18:41
WorldClassAccident WorldClassAccident is online now
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I would put the mx250 kit price of 1950 as a better comparison to the Sammio but agreed there is still 800 difference.

I think there are some genuine reasons for price difference such as finishing touches, fixtures, fittings, interiors etc. If you lose these extras from the kit you get hit with them in the build. The difference is you can choose during the build what you fit, when and how much you pay. Cheaper but more time and hassle/fun?

The are other reasons for price differences that are harder to define such as perceived quality, brand associations, reputation etc. This is what VW trades on when pricing Skoda, SEAT, VW and Audi clones.

I think both of these sets of reasons are at play is this case.
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  #9  
Old 19th December 2015, 23:31
Lucky@LeMans Lucky@LeMans is offline
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I built my first Cobra at the age of 20 . It was a "budget" Cobra by Brightwheel. It took me two years and I needed all of my skills from my tool making apprenticeship to complete it. Nothing went together easily but I kept at it until it was complete. The end result was a really nice car built for 5k. I later sold it for 8k to some Germany dealer. I've always liked a challenge and built a Robin Hood 7 , one of the first Sierra based ones and decided to fit a Rover V8. Again a massive challenge and 18 months later another completed project. that was the mid 90's and times have changed for me. The Tribute SWB appeals because of the quick build aspect, the complete untouched Z3 base and the IVA exemption . I'm still on a budget and hope to put one together for around 6k, hardly anymore than my first Cobra 30 years ago. Time will tell and I'm looking forward to building something again !
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  #10  
Old 20th December 2015, 08:00
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Interesting point you raise Lucky, 5k in the 80's was worth about 20k today, which you can easily spend on a kit car these days. Two of my 'attainable' dream cars were the RSK 718 Spyder and the 356 Speedster and I've wanted to build one or t'other for more than thirty years. I even bought a VW Squareback (WEL 9J, where are you now?) as a donor for a Covin Speedster but the company went bust while I was still getting the money together for the kit

Since then I've never been able to justify the budget needed to put a decent Porsche replica on the road. As my forty-ninth birthday loomed I looked at what was available and worked out that I needed a minimum of 15k to do a decent job of a 718 or Speedster, the Martin and Walker bodyshell alone is over five grand. So, I was idly looking for an abandoned or unstarted project on ebay and put the word 'Spyder' in a search, when out popped the Sammio Spyder. Two years and about five grand later I had a car on the road that, not only do I love, but my wife, who doesn't give a toss about classic cars, wouldn't let me sell when I said I might do because she loves it too.

Anyway, I now have just over twelve months until I can afford to buy and build a Tribute kit and I just can't wait.

Last edited by Mister Towed; 20th December 2015 at 08:08..
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  #11  
Old 20th December 2015, 21:26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mister Towed View Post
Now, I'm not sure of the details, but I believe Chris from Tribute worked quite close to Gary J's workshop, in fact they might even have worked together on one or two projects (that's a guess), and Tribute either took inspiration from Gary J or vice-versa.
A bit of history for you. Gary Janes has been a very good friend of mine for 20+ years. We first meet when I was looking to buy a fibreglass 32 Ford Hot Rod bodyshell, which luckily for me Gary was selling. We found out that we had a mutual passion for Art Deco design cars (20+ years on and neither of us has fulfilled the dream of building such a car........yet.). Years later, about the time Gary started developing his Sammio "concept", I was having similar thoughts about a B*ntl*y. Going to Gary's workshop and discussing kits with him was a huge help to me, for which I am very grateful. Borrowing his then laminator, to help with moulding, was another massive help. Gary's downfall at Sammio was being far too busy, for far too little money. Pricing kits is a very tricky thing. Having the funds to continue with development until you reach "perfection" is also very tricky and the more money/time you invest, the more you need to charge per kit to recover your investment. A wise man once said of customers: "there are a lot of people with a small amount of money, but only a small amount of people with a lot of money".
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  #12  
Old 21st December 2015, 06:22
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Thanks for that Chris, I guessed as much (or possibly read it on long forgotten posts on here).

I have nothing but respect for Gary J, his development of the Spyder amounts to creative genius as far as I'm concerned. I don't believe he ever deliberately let anybody down either and I agree he didn't charge enough for the kits, I'd have paid getting on for double what mine cost me at the time, but might have then had a few grumbles about the quality.

Having said that, I think you have got your pricing spot on with the Tribute kits, so I'd rather you didn't double the price of the 250 kit until after I've paid for mine, which will be when I actually do have some money (Jan 2017).

If you happen to see Gary, give him my regards btw and I wish him well in whatever automotive based venture he's currently engaged in.
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