TMCP #522: Ask Rick – Evaluating ROI on Creating vs Sourcing Restoration Parts, NASCAR’s Broken Finance Model, and Best Thanksgiving Pies!



Rick Schmidt – Ask Rick:

Happy November and Happy Thanksgiving! With the end of daylight savings upon us it was time to have Rick back for another edition of insight.


Rick’s Take on Developing New Parts vs Souring them:

NPD does source and spec out thousands products, but at the same time there are scenarios in which spending the time, engineering, and money to create their own has made sense. Specifically, Rick looks at three specific factors to decide on pulling the trigger on creating something: 1) having to buy from a competitor, 2) having to buy something of poor quality, and 3) having to buy something with lousy supply/fulfillment.

As a specific example, because of these items Rick went into the “Firebird dash pad business” for NPD specifically. Unfortunately creating your own vs just sourcing an existing one isn’t exactly easier (in fact, it’s harder), but he was unwilling to allow NPD to sell a poor quality item that customers wanted and needed. The process to tool up off of NOS items is timely, prototypes are timely, and even producing/receiving the final approved parts are (you guessed it), timely!

In the end though, being able to provide a quality item for NPD customers was worth the hair loss and frustration it took to get there. Listen in for the full details.

Talladega Nights

Rick’s Take on NASCAR Sponsorship

A recent news article highlighted how NASCAR’s financial model functions at the team level. Specifically, Jeff Gordon reported that Hendrick Motorsports hadn’t turned a profit in years. Dale Earnhardt Jr was previously interested in a NASCAR team charter, but was getting cold feet when really looking at the numbers. Other teams reported that the bulk of the TV revenue share were not beings shared equitably with the chartered teams in the sport, but were primarily going back to NASCAR overall. In the end, the major sponsorships that car owners had enjoyed for years were changing and fading. Even Kyle Busch, arguably one of the still top talents in the sport, lost a long time sponsor and left a long time team.

Rick was happy to give his two cents on where he thought the failure in the business model was….and guessed that many sponsors in the “board room smoking cigars” were to blame! This was a fun one.

1973 Detomaso Pantera

Rick’s Take on “Off the Beaten Path” EBay cars

I sent Rick three cars that were not the normal muscle car fare and were “off the beaten path” of our normal offerings.

The first example was a basic 1979 Jeep Cherokee S, four speed stick from Paraguay. Rick thought this was a cool looking truck and there should be a bidding frenzy at the end of the auction.

Second up was a 1973 Pontiac Grand Am. Rick said this was a great example of the change in these bodies from the “A” platform to the longer “G” platform. He figured if you had one you would be the only one at the car show. It was noted there are not many parts out there because there are not many of these left.

The last vehicle was a 1973 De Tomaso Pantera which Rick instantly noted as something he wish he had bought years ago. He especially preferred the 1971 version as it was the hot rod of the whole series, looked great, and didn’t have the ugly large 5mph bumpers that were in place by 1973.

As far as being off the beaten path, Rick thought the Jeep was the most different and would be his pick for this segment.

You can find out more about NPD at the website National Parts Depot, or on social media via or on

Thanks Rick

-Rob Kibbe

This interview sponsored by our pals at National Parts Depot – your premier source for muscle car restoration parts!


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