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  #21  
Old November 30th, 2015, 06:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jymmiejamz View Post
I would like to see you three go to a US based shop and do a comparison of the work. I'm pretty confident that the end product of one built here will be much better since customs wouldn't be a concern. That way the vehicle won't end up with a carburetted V8 or Ribbed roof.
I would like to resume my normal life outside of defenders and this forum...but having said that I have been to both Safari Hp and ECR
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  #22  
Old November 30th, 2015, 06:18 PM
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Here's the thing...how many restoration shops (not just service, but full resto) can you name on BOTH sides of the pond? I bet you can barely fill up one-hand, that's the exercise I went through so we're talking limited options here regardless. Sure there are a lot of shops that will turn a wrench on a Rover/Defender...but there's not many folks out there doing a full tear-down & resto.
There are 27 in Orlando alone.
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  #23  
Old November 30th, 2015, 06:30 PM
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Originally Posted by phoenix37 View Post
Frank I have a simple philosophy to my rovers... They might look like crap but they go like hell and most rovers would have a hard time keeping up with me on or offroad...

Thats kind of the opposite of the trucks they build.. That said if i was in the market for a shiny tricked out defender i wouldnt hesitate to order one from them... I know first and foremost that when i send my money Ill receive a legal truck in the time frame I'm given and that it seems has been more than half the battle with alot of the shops we've seen crash and burn recently.
Gotcha...
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  #24  
Old November 30th, 2015, 06:36 PM
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I'm going to sound like a dick (well I always do) but I'm not going to thank you guys for your trip to England to check out this shop. I'm glad you guys had a good time and the shop was nice but did you really expect anything different?

I think Andy is a smart guy. He spent some cash on having you guys over and got exactly what he hoped for.

Free press from the in crowd on this board. It still means nothing. He needs to get real customers to leave reviews.

All I see is a bunch of disgruntled customers and people like Shayne who flip/flop about the builds.


I know there aren't a lot of restoration shops doing rovers and to be honest I wish there was even less based on the threads I have seen.

Last I checked, no one had to do a tour of ECR to figure out their quality.
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  #25  
Old November 30th, 2015, 06:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phoenix37 View Post
I would like to resume my normal life outside of defenders and this forum...but having said that I have been to both Safari Hp and ECR
???
Did I give you a tour? Due to insurance reasons I rarely let anyone on the shop floor.
Maybe I did, sorry if I am not recalling it.
I'm still not sure why I always get dragged into all these conversations, but if you wanna see my shop it is here:

ECR's new shop

If you are a serious customer and want to speak with past customers who had the same work done I will put you in contact with some.

Otherwise leave me out of it.
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  #26  
Old November 30th, 2015, 07:09 PM
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I for one am just glad you guys made it back from Willy Wonka's Rover Factory without getting sucked down a river of chocolate or butt raped by bunch of greasy, drunk Oompa Loompas. Well done and thank you!
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  #27  
Old November 30th, 2015, 07:13 PM
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OHhhhhh man....they had oompah loompahs and anal sex... Now I know why .....edit... Some people are pissed he didn't get an invite...
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  #28  
Old November 30th, 2015, 07:14 PM
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At least three people have benefitted from this entire adventure. I'd call that a win!

------ Follow up post added November 30th, 2015 07:15 PM ------

Quote:
Originally Posted by the rover shop View Post
Some people are pissed he didn't get an invite...
Yeh, over here!
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  #29  
Old November 30th, 2015, 07:17 PM
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Gents, while it's been implied I would like to ask this to be very clear, did Andy/Arkonik pay for your airfare, lodging, and food? I am not saying you are biased, far from it as I respect your opinions, but these are the kinds of things that are explicitly mentioned on Amazon reviews for $10 iPhone cases. I just want to make sure full disclosure has happened.

I have no dog in this fight, I have a Tdi 90 that I love that didn't come from Akonik. But if this was an "all expenses paid" kind of deal, that agreement should be clearly laid out.
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  #30  
Old November 30th, 2015, 07:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ECR View Post
???
Did I give you a tour? Due to insurance reasons I rarely let anyone on the shop floor.
Maybe I did, sorry if I am not recalling it.
I'm still not sure why I always get dragged into all these conversations, but if you wanna see my shop it is here:

ECR's new shop

If you are a serious customer and want to speak with past customers who had the same work done I will put you in contact with some.

Otherwise leave me out of it.
Im hurt you don't remember a local guy pulling up in NAS 110 #421 asking about a restoration. I distinctly remember my wife turning to me after surveying your lot and saying " i thought you told me this thing was rare!"

You get dragged into them because you are the standard by which all others are judged...sorry just the way it is....Kind of like the A list actress wondering why she can't be left alone when she goes in public. its a by product of being the best at what you do... which you do a pretty good job of reminding us of on your website...
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  #31  
Old November 30th, 2015, 07:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phoenix37 View Post
Im hurt you don't remember a local guy pulling up in NAS 110 #421 asking about a restoration. I distinctly remember my wife turning to me after surveying your lot and saying " i thought you told me this thing was rare!"

You get dragged into them because you are the standard by which all others are judged...sorry just the way it is....Kind of like the A list actress wondering why she can't be left alone when she goes in public.
Pulling in the lot with your jeep fender flares is hardly a tour.

So was the trip all inclusive?

Better deal than club med?
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  #32  
Old November 30th, 2015, 07:27 PM
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You're thinking of my 90...the 110 was bone stock.
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  #33  
Old November 30th, 2015, 07:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phoenix37 View Post
You're thinking of my 90...the 110 was bone stock.
Your definition of bone stock (auto with power windows in console) and mine are different.

So who paid for the trip?
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  #34  
Old November 30th, 2015, 07:33 PM
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shayne young
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Quote:
Originally Posted by navydevildoc View Post
Gents, while it's been implied I would like to ask this to be very clear, did Andy/Arkonik pay for your airfare, lodging, and food? I am not saying you are biased, far from it as I respect your opinions, but these are the kinds of things that are explicitly mentioned on Amazon reviews for $10 iPhone cases. I just want to make sure full disclosure has happened.

I have no dog in this fight, I have a Tdi 90 that I love that didn't come from Akonik. But if this was an "all expenses paid" kind of deal, that agreement should be clearly laid out.
I think that regardless of who paid for it ..these 3 guys have been a staple in this community and I'll bet my last dollar that their opinions and thoughts on arkonic can't be bought or biased..
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  #35  
Old November 30th, 2015, 07:33 PM
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oh yeah...forgot about that..

Sorry thought the terms of the trip were common knowledge by now.

Flight and a few nights hotel were paid for by Arkonik...i paid most of my expenses and hotel for the remainder of the week. All told i spent close to 2k for the week i was over there. Not all expenses paid and certainly not my idea of a vacation. For a guy that commutes coast to coast for work free ticket and few nights hotel don't mean shit to me.. Trust me i was ready to get over there and go all John Quinones on the guy but the truth is its a legit business building blingy trucks that have no personal appeal to me but apparently there are plenty of people over here that like that kind of thing.
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  #36  
Old November 30th, 2015, 07:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bjf View Post
I'm going to sound like a dick (well I always do) but I'm not going to thank you guys for your trip to England to check out this shop. I'm glad you guys had a good time and the shop was nice but did you really expect anything different?

I think Andy is a smart guy. He spent some cash on having you guys over and got exactly what he hoped for.

Free press from the in crowd on this board. It still means nothing. He needs to get real customers to leave reviews.

All I see is a bunch of disgruntled customers and people like Shayne who flip/flop about the builds.


I know there aren't a lot of restoration shops doing rovers and to be honest I wish there was even less based on the threads I have seen.

Last I checked, no one had to do a tour of ECR to figure out their quality.
Actually to be honest, I did not expect to find an operation on the level of what we saw. I was expecting to see maybe a little bit more of a primative facility, outsourcing of motor work & paintwork, and not nearly the organization or infrastructure that we witnessed. Not that there would be anything really wrong with the aforementioned, as some of the best mom & pop shops churn out great work.

With any business, it's generally the rule of thumb that you don't hear a word from the folks/customers that are overly thrilled...but you do certainly hear from the folks that have issues. And it was made abundantly clear from our end that the #1 priority should be making sure that any customers - past or present - that have any issues are addressed head-on and reconciled 100%.

ECR, well they have quite honestly set the benchmark for quality, integrity, and one hell of a finished product. I referenced them more times that I care to admit during the trip, and their builds are sort of a "universal language" when it comes to what every shop should strive for. Now, Mike's been at it since the 80s I believe, so there isn't much substitute for that kind of resume....only time, passion, and top-notch product can fill up a reputation like that.

All that said, yes the real litmus test for Arkonik in the long run as you pointed out will be ultimately are their customers pleased with their company, products, and service. That was more of my focus for this trip, both to ensure that the customers here in the U.S. were dealing with a legitimate organization, and to offer up my feedback and constructive critique on what adjustments we thought needed to be made in order to ensure a final product of the utmost quality.
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  #37  
Old November 30th, 2015, 07:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by navydevildoc View Post
Gents, while it's been implied I would like to ask this to be very clear, did Andy/Arkonik pay for your airfare, lodging, and food? I am not saying you are biased, far from it as I respect your opinions, but these are the kinds of things that are explicitly mentioned on Amazon reviews for $10 iPhone cases. I just want to make sure full disclosure has happened.

I have no dog in this fight, I have a Tdi 90 that I love that didn't come from Akonik. But if this was an "all expenses paid" kind of deal, that agreement should be clearly laid out.
I didn't think it was any big secret that the flights & room were covered to get us out there, I'm pretty sure that was explicit when this all came to be (in the other thread). Trust me, as John stated this was certainly no "vacation"...in fact it's the 2nd longest trip that I've been away from the wife & kids ever (and for me, that's not really a good thing as I happen to dig my wife & kids : ).

It was also essentially all day long at the shop, followed by a dinner & a pint to decompress for the day and digest/discuss what we saw and our impressions amongst each other, followed by (for me personally) getting caught up on the "day job" until 2-3am almost every night since the rest of my work world was on Eastern Standard Time...and then doing it all over the following day. Also for me, the timing couldn't have been worse as the week before Thanksgiving is absolutely bananas for work always....but I limped through it, and thank God it was a short week when I got back as between the long days & jet lag it caught up with me on the tail end!
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  #38  
Old November 30th, 2015, 07:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phoenix37 View Post
Im hurt you don't remember a local guy pulling up in NAS 110 #421 asking about a restoration. I distinctly remember my wife turning to me after surveying your lot and saying " i thought you told me this thing was rare!"

You get dragged into them because you are the standard by which all others are judged...sorry just the way it is....Kind of like the A list actress wondering why she can't be left alone when she goes in public. its a by product of being the best at what you do... which you do a pretty good job of reminding us of on your website...
Sorry about that.

I do recall our conversations about a roll cage though if that helps.

I thank you for the flattery about our trucks. I don't see a comparison though.
We have to start with a $50K or more donor and then build from there (so yes, they are more costly than UK trucks). Everything is galvanized (something else I don't see the UK doing) and no matter what argument this will start our hard top trucks do not leak water. You are welcome to come try and make one leak with our pressure washer if you want (I do before it leaves).
We only restore NAS Defenders and I do my best to avoid ROW trucks. In the past they have just turned into nightmare projects that never seem to end, but then again why would I see a good one. They only land here when they need major help.

We will be seeing one built in the UK on Wednesday though. It is coming through a place in VT. I am not sure who did the UK "restoration". It will be on our Facebook page.

Web site: I haven't updated anything on the web page in years (other than the for sale page). I just use the Facebook page (its too easy). My dad taught me one good lesson: "It doesn't take any longer to do it right." And yes, if you do a shit job and charge for it. I'm gonna call you out on it. E V E R Y goddamn time.
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  #39  
Old November 30th, 2015, 07:56 PM
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Not only was it clearly implied to me that they paid for the trip, but the fact that they would pay for an international trip for 3 senior forum members says everything to me about their investment in their brand. They want to get in the US market clearly, before the flood gates are fully open, and set themselves apart.

The risk was all theirs to spend that money and leave it to opinions. They must have a lot of confidence in their operation.
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  #40  
Old November 30th, 2015, 07:56 PM
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So since y'all dragged me into this…I'll ask my question.

Where are all the photos of the shop and all?
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