Karl Baumann, whose coverage of the 2019 SEMA show for Classic American featured in the January 2020 issue (which went on sale on Thursday, December 19), owns a 1970 Charger and he’s been trying to purchase a new grille for the car for a long time.
This much-sought-after part has been on back order with Classic Industries since he first looked in November 2016, but after stumbling across the OER display he managed to get some background on the delay and more. “I did all of the basic testing and scrutinising,” says Craig Maiorana of OER (pictured below), “so basically what I did was, as my vendor sends it back to me, I address the points that need to be changed and fixed…I had a car up on two jack stands at our shop for well over two years because it was a constant in and out process.
“Usually we start the process with a good, viable, manufacturer’s sample. We bought a lot of grilles that were just falling apart. It took six of them to get one viable sample. Realistically, when we make a product we need three viable samples. One for the manufacturer to reverse engineer, one for a visual reference and one for my personal reference that stays locked up, the control. It’s the ideal the samples get tested against.”
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Craig went on to tell Karl that this process has taken three years altogether and the grilles are being manufactured now for delivery in early January to OER vendors like Summit and Classic Industries. It’s a real Hallelujah moment for all those ’70 Charger owners out there desperate for a new front grille.