Pease Wire & Cable makes braided and lacquered harnesses for
Lincoln Zephers, Buick Roadmasters and Hudson Freight Eights. Antique
and classic car restoration is a big, expensive hobby which makes
one demand on its suppliers: It has to be authentic.
One thing certain in the present economy is that companies making
automotive wiring harnesses have plenty of empty time on their hands.
At least it's wrong for Pease Cable & Harness Co., Inc., of
Rhode island and its retail arm, Narragansett Reproductions Co.
Ed and Miki Pease, the husband and wife owners, haven't had trouble
seeing at night. They've had trouble finding the time. What other
automotive harness makers were doing wrong, they find, is trying
to make the things for new cars. Pease specializes in braided and
lacquered wiring harnesses for classics and antiques. It's biggest
seller fits the Ford Model A, which was made from 1928 through 1931,
some fifty years ago, "You'd think all of the Ford Model A's
would have been restored by now," says Ed Pease. "Yet
we're making them on runs of 500 and can't keep up with demand.
Evidently what they are doing is re-restoring. It's an inexpensive
harness so they can take it out after a couple of years, when it
begins to look tacky, and put another one in."
If the antique and classic car business isn't big enough to make
waves in the national economy, as Detroit can, it is solid enough
to withstand those waves. The Antique Automobile club of America
has some 60,000 members; the Ford V-8 Club has about 30,000 and
the Lincoln Continental Owner's Club has about 2,500, to name just
three out of scores. Generally the members are people who have money-or
did have money before they got into this expensive hobby. A classic
care restoration can cost $10,000-20,000 for parts and $20,000-$40,000
for labor, not counting the original cost of the unrestored flivver
or classic. Completed restorations sell for $60,000 on up. Generally
the owners are restorers of these cars keep buying parts whether
the economy rains of shines.
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