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Birkin Direct - A visit to Eagle, Colorado


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Croc,

Great article and really explains "Birkin" for some of us not that familiar with this outstanding car and the current status.

However, I would like to point out one thing in the article, as it states:

Birkin kits come as plain ali finish and owners can then choose to leave in its polished shiny state or have painted to their color preference when they purchase. "

As far as I know, and as shown in the pictures accompanying the article, Birkin--or Lotus, or Caterham--did not come "in its polished shiny state."  AND, the "traditional" look for the Seven IS NOT POLISHED as the "club racers" in England in the late '50s, '60s, etc. did NOT waste time on polishing the aluminum.  It did not increase speed, it was very time-consuming, and the effort would be wasted depending on which panels were crumped during the weekend's racing.  Or at least that is what I have been told, and I have come to believe.  I understand that an ali aircraft will benefit from polishing, but as far as the Seven goes, that is something our contemporary owners have added to improve the appearance of their cars, but it is NOT the "traditional" look.

Just my thoughts--I would defer to your much greater knowledge of all things Seven, of course!

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Good point Taber10, tho I read Croc's comment as totally tongue-in-cheek rather than as a statement of actual fact.

 

To me, what is amazing about Tom Carlin's current position as Birkin entrepreneur, par excellence, is that it all started with the desire to assemble a single kit, which he did, AFAIK, and was thence bitten and has not yet recovered.

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Mike - great article, but what piqued my curiosity were your comments about driving cross country, and your 50 year old car leaking on Tom’s driveway.

 

Did I miss a post about this trip? 😊

 

Steve

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3 hours ago, Taber10 said:

 

Birkin kits come as plain ali finish and owners can then choose to leave in its polished shiny state or have painted to their color preference when they purchase. "

As far as I know, and as shown in the pictures accompanying the article, Birkin--or Lotus, or Caterham--did not come "in its polished shiny state."  AND, the "traditional" look for the Seven IS NOT POLISHED as the "club racers" in England in the late '50s, '60s, etc. did NOT waste time on polishing the aluminum. 

 

@Taber10I think you are inferring a lot from my comments that I did not say.

 

Lets break down what I said to clarify:

1) If you look at the photo accompanying it shows bare aluminum chassis, in its natural production end state with parts showing the plastic protective covering on it and the rear end being bare.  Peel that protection film off and the aluminum panels in the as delivered state is shiny, somewhat polished, partially mirror reflective in finish.  Trust me, I was there, the bare aluminum on the kits presents a shiny partially mirror reflective finish illustrative of having been polished.  I believe the photos show that.  

 

2) A purchaser can have it painted or leave the aluminum in that as delivered production state.    

 

3) Aluminum panels left unpainted will oxidize over time.  I don't mention that because I am talking about the time at which a purchaser of a Birkin makes a decision to paint or not.  I would hope a purchaser understand what happens to bare aluminum panels over time.

 

4) I never talk about a traditional look. I never mention the word "traditional" - you do.   I am talking about what a Birkin purchaser might want to do.  No historical observation is mentioned - only the present.  You refer to the historical treatment to leave the aluminum unpolished after delivery back in the 50s and 60s and thats correct but my write up is not touching on that in any way - its irrelevant to the topic of discussing a Birkin Direct visit.    

 

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, bball7754 said:

 

 

Did I miss a post about this trip? 😊

 

Steve

 

No.  Bringatrailer wants the article - installment approach. Its off topic for USA7s.  I'll cross post here when it happens.

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I picked up my kit at Tom's shop back in 2015. It was a great road trip with my wife. We arranged for a 12' enclosed U-Haul trailer in the Vail area for the tow home to LA. Tom was in the smaller shop back then but it was just as busy. As I recall, he had a partially completed customer car in progress at the time. He was very gracious in taking several hours to explain some of the "unique"  aspects of the assembly process. The continuing customer support that Tom provides is remarkable. He has to be the most patient man in our little world.

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I split this thread into two.  If you are looking for the discussion on Birkinson's recent Birkin order, please go here: 

 

 

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