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JimNap

Rubber mat reproduction?

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I have been hoping to find a nice set of original Ford/Mercury rubber floor mats for my 61 Mercury Comet, but alas all that seems available are either Falcon emblem rubber mats or aftermarket carpet mats.

 

Recently, I did come across and retrieve an original mat from a junked 63 Comet largely intact.  Some of the edges frayed, a few tears, and a worn helmeted-Mercury emblem on the driver side - but the Passenger side was excellent as was the middle (hump) emblem.

 

Does anyone know of a company who can take this old mat and use it to make a new mold, using the passenger logo for the driver side, etc.????

 

I've reached out to a few Mercury part specialist retailers hoping they'd be interested in taking up the project too, but have heard nothing back.

Jim

1961 Mercury Comet

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Surely some company can, whether they're known

to old-car hobbyists or not.

 

For projects such as that, there will undoubtedly

be a set-up charge, so it will behoove you to have

many sets of mats made and then sell them to

others.  Then your price per mat won't be,

for instance, $1000 for 2 mats;  it may be only $50

for 50 mats.

 

Whether the set-up charge is large or 

small depends on how well the company is 

configured for smaller orders.

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I'm going through this now, working on having mats made for early 30's Pierce Arrow.  

 

I can tell you that the only way the price comes way down is to find someone who'll make a mold, and then if you can sell hundreds of them (such as Model A, Mustang, and the like) then you can get price way down.

 

For the run I'm looking at, even doing 20 mats is going to be  $800 or $900 a mat, depending on some options available.  I've had quotes around $5000 to make a mold.  I talked to Steele about mold making, and they said that some of their molds were between $10K and $20K to make, and there were very few "new" applications which warrant such an investment (i.e. demand for that one product).

 

 

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A lot of people don't realize how expensive it is to set up to reproduce some items.  Looked into having one-piece front floor mats made used on some models of 20's Franklins. As David found out, just the mold would run in the many thousands, then there's set up and making a run costs on top of that.  Plus, there was not much demand to divide up those costs per mat to have a reasonable chance of selling them. Most of the cars that would have originally had  the rubber front  mat have had carpets made by now.   

 

Another project I was involved with.  Just to make an extrusion die for fairly simple windshield weather seal was $1200.00 for the die, and then the cost of a minimum run of 500 feet, with Karr Rubber about 15 years ago. Luckily there was enough demand that the Club for that make auto had a fund for such projects and sold so many seals that the Club fund made money, which helped fund more parts reproduction projects.   However, if the demand is not there many projects just don't happen.  

 

Paul

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those are low end but realistic tooling costs.  Extrusion tooling is much cheaper than injection molds, even with more tooling material options because few parts are needed.

Compression molding is another possibility for mats.

 

As far as materials, I had a call where I worked asking for material to make color-matched moldings for a 1970 Pontiac.  We made these kind of things everyday for new cars, but one box held 1300 lbs.  As a hobby support favor we ran a very small run of 700 lbs, but it was $10/lb.

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Another option might be 3D printing. Of course there would be CAD/CAM costs and then to find a printer big enough to handle the printing and selecting the right materials to use and the right colors. It might have to be printed in 3 sections and glued together. Anyway it might be worth looking into.

Regards,

Lew Bachman

1957 T-Bird Colonial White

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