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Thread: Ultras 180"

  1. #1
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    What is the true meaning of the CERTIFIED 180" by Ultra. I've always wanted to purchase the longer stretches but I haven't due to the fact that they are not QVM or CMC. I know recently that there has been a lot of heat on the subject through the trade magazines but I'm curious as to what the certified statement means. Is there a warranty still? Does Ford finally approve of such vehicles? Also what is the opinion of streches longer than 120". I have seen a lot of them inside and out and they seem to be just as solidly built as the rest. I am also aware that Ultra has performed crash tests on these vehicles which proves there safety. Also I've seen some adds state that if its not a QVM or CMC then it is eligible to be towed since it is a non-certified vehicle.
    What is your take?

  2. #2
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by nkokas:
    What is the true meaning of the CERTIFIED 180" by Ultra. I've always wanted to purchase the longer stretches but I haven't due to the fact that they are not QVM or CMC. I know recently that there has been a lot of heat on the subject through the trade magazines but I'm curious as to what the certified statement means. Is there a warranty still? Does Ford finally approve of such vehicles? Also what is the opinion of streches longer than 120". I have seen a lot of them inside and out and they seem to be just as solidly built as the rest. I am also aware that Ultra has performed crash tests on these vehicles which proves there safety. Also I've seen some adds state that if its not a QVM or CMC then it is eligible to be towed since it is a non-certified vehicle.
    What is your take?
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    I would be weary of a so called certification for a crash test on a non-QVM vehicle. What lab performed the test? What was tested during the crash, side, top, post, front? It is true that Ford Motor Company will not warrenty a vehicle that has not been converted by a QVM builder. Also some insurance companies will not insure a vehicle that is not QVM. Quality Vehicle Modifier or QVM is not a marketing brand, it is a certification bestowed to a manufactuer who adheres to Federal safety guide lines and to specific engineering practices outlined by Ford Motor Company. I am sure that there are some non-QVM companies that have safety as a top priority. However regulations must be implemented as in any industry, so that the safety and well being of the public is the number one goal. Research the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards and contact Ford, with the information that you obtain from those sources, you will have a clear understanding in regard to QVM and non-QVM.

    Sincerely;
    Robert Lee Slaughter


    [This message has been edited by RobertLSlaughter (edited 05-19-2000).]

  3. #3
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    Respectfully Robert,

    Ford and GM still will not give a solid basis to their refusal to expand the QVM and CMC repectively to include STANDARD LENGTH, the Ford Expedition/Lincoln Navigator and Ford Excursion; and the Cadillac Escalade, and Chevrolet Suburban - all which are well represented in today's limousine industry. In many respects, that in itself for many operators dilutes the value of a QVM/CMC program.

    Karl

  4. #4
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    With respect to Ultra Coachbuilders, Inc located in Pomona, California I have personally been there and own two of Vinnie's many nightmare productions. I own a Hummer and 175" both built by Ultra. The finish work is horrible. The frames are tacked randomly and the interior, no matter how pretty it looks will fall apart in months. The warranty on these vehicles is limited by whether or not the dealer decides to do the work without notifying the manufacturer that the vehicle has been altered. The warranty offered by Ultra is only as good as your promise to buy more vehicles from Vinnie in the future. If you buy from a more qualified builder such as either Hersch or Mike who have left Vinnie and gone on their own, Vinnie will void your warranty. If you think this is not true, ask many owners of Ultra products.

  5. #5
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    WOW!! I am very suprised to hear such negative comments from an owner of one of these vehicles. Reason being is that one of the trade magazines made it out that this coachbuilder is great and innovative. Other than the fact that he is not QVM this is the first negative story I have heard. I also noticed that the post came from a non registered person so I wonder if it is from someone who has something personally against the builder.

  6. #6
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    There are many builders of the larger limos.
    Ultra is one company. In the July 1999 issue of the Limo and Livery Trader, page 24 that mentions three coachbuilders. Ultra, Craftsmen and Legendary. It is an interesting article about larger limos being safe. There are other companies that build fine coaches both QVM and non-QVM. We have both types in our fleet. As for warranties, ask the coachbuilder what he/she covers. Many provide warranties when the FORD and GM warranties are voided. As always, GET IT IN WRITING. As for vehicular safety, when you buy a limo, ask questions about the cut, the frame, the experience of the builders staff, what they cover under warranty of the frame and stretch and for how long. A reputable builder will stand behind their product. I called about a stretch Navigator and the coachbuilder would only cover the conversion for 90 days. Spend that much money on a limo and for no warranty, you might as well play russian roulette. There is another factor in safety that cannot be overlooked and that is perhaps the most important, the driver. A good driver is worth his weight in gold. I have several, all with CDL's and with 2-3 years experience. We check MVR's, police records, do training and pre-employment drug screens as well as on-going random screens. MVR's are checked yearly and we do not hire anyone that has even 1 ticket in 3 years. Too picky? We have a 16 year perfect safety record. My insurance company can vouch for that. It is a record few limousines companies can claim. But it tells the public alot about the owner\operator of the service. As for the person who signed in and complained, are you really a large car owner that is stupid enough to plunk out that kind of money for a vehicle and lead us to believe that the coachbuilder won't stand behind his product and that you didn't get the warranty in writing? There is an old saying, you get what you pay for. Also, let the buyer beware. But in the limo business, I have seen companies come and go. Some hang for 2 - 5 years, others less. The ones who run down other companies tend to last the least amount of time. As for the future in this industry, look at the past. Had it not been for creative individuals willing to take risk, we would not have cars that are stretched over 54". I remember when the industry did not have QVM and CMC programs and when 85" and 120" inch cars pushed the limit. Buy your big car from a good builder and learn what the rest of us in the big car market have, "give John Q. Public what he wants and laugh all the way to the bank." As long as there are big cars on the road there will always be some way to insure them. They can insure a star's legs for millions, what's a limo that makes money for the insured and insurer both worth? Happy trails!

  7. #7
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Karl:
    Respectfully Robert,

    Ford and GM still will not give a solid basis to their refusal to expand the QVM and CMC repectively to include STANDARD LENGTH, the Ford Expedition/Lincoln Navigator and Ford Excursion; and the Cadillac Escalade, and Chevrolet Suburban - all which are well represented in today's limousine industry. In many respects, that in itself for many operators dilutes the value of a QVM/CMC program.

    Karl
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
    Well said!! I remember 36" stretches. Dean Schuler

  8. #8
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    Thanks, Dean. Nice to see you here.

    I never miss an opportunity to yank the reps' chains at the shows and local association meetings about that (lack of QVM/CMC for the SUV's).

    I also remember the shock the first time I saw a double cut, 54-inch Cadillac by Armbruster or Maloney. Think it was around 1980 or '81 (hey Dick, got any idea?).

    Karl

  9. #9
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    Hey guys stop asking an old man all these dates !!!, I ca'nt remember the year but like my friend Dean Schuhler I remember the first 36 inch cut I saw, blew my mind and its not that long ago. Now look where we are with both size and accessories, and as much pride in our business as ever I am happy to say.
    Dick Hall

  10. #10
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>
    What is your take?[/B]<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>I have an ultra and think they are great

  11. #11
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Kevin:
    With respect to Ultra Coachbuilders, Inc located in Pomona, California I have personally been there and own two of Vinnie's many nightmare productions. I own a Hummer and 175" both built by Ultra. The finish work is horrible. The frames are tacked randomly and the interior, no matter how pretty it looks will fall apart in months. The warranty on these vehicles is limited by whether or not the dealer decides to do the work without notifying the manufacturer that the vehicle has been altered. The warranty offered by Ultra is only as good as your promise to buy more vehicles from Vinnie in the future. If you buy from a more qualified builder such as either Hersch or Mike who have left Vinnie and gone on their own, Vinnie will void your warranty. If you think this is not true, ask many owners of Ultra products.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

  12. #12
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    Dean <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Dick Hall:
    Hey guys stop asking an old man all these dates !!!, I ca'nt remember the year but like my friend Dean Schuhler I remember the first 36 inch cut I saw, blew my mind and its not that long ago. Now look where we are with both size and accessories, and as much pride in our business as ever I am happy to say.
    Dick Hall
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
    Mr. Hall, Remember when the establishment said cars couldn't be stretched over 50 inches? Dean Schuler

  13. #13
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Kevin:
    With respect to Ultra Coachbuilders, Inc located in Pomona, California I have personally been there and own two of Vinnie's many nightmare productions. I own a Hummer and 175" both built by Ultra. The finish work is horrible. The frames are tacked randomly and the interior, no matter how pretty it looks will fall apart in months. The warranty on these vehicles is limited by whether or not the dealer decides to do the work without notifying the manufacturer that the vehicle has been altered. The warranty offered by Ultra is only as good as your promise to buy more vehicles from Vinnie in the future. If you buy from a more qualified builder such as either Hersch or Mike who have left Vinnie and gone on their own, Vinnie will void your warranty. If you think this is not true, ask many owners of Ultra products.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    I know Kevin personally and his issues with Ultra Coachworks as well as many other operators in our area that have similar problems with Ultra products. I currently do not own any non QVM limousines, but am in the market for an SUV and a 180" Town Car, and can firmly state that i will NOT be purchasing from Ultra. The best advice i can offer to the operator interested in these type of vehicles is do plenty of research, ask alot of questions and listen to other operators vent their frustrations, it is in fact the best guide to your decision.

  14. #14
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    Hi Kevin,
    Yes I too have had experience of Ultra and an even worse experience only last year with Legendary who no doubt at this very moment are trying to find other unsuspecting mugs to give them money for a disgusting vehicle, mind you they excelled themselves this time as apart from having to fix TWO brake faults and several missing parts, I also had to replace the illegal tires they left on the vehicle, warranty ? well your limo is warranted right up to the point that it leaves their facility and sets out on the highway. I have had only ONE good non QVM/CMC car built and that was by Craftsmen, the rest are rubbish.
    Alimo <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Kevin:
    With respect to Ultra Coachbuilders, Inc located in Pomona, California I have personally been there and own two of Vinnie's many nightmare productions. I own a Hummer and 175" both built by Ultra. The finish work is horrible. The frames are tacked randomly and the interior, no matter how pretty it looks will fall apart in months. The warranty on these vehicles is limited by whether or not the dealer decides to do the work without notifying the manufacturer that the vehicle has been altered. The warranty offered by Ultra is only as good as your promise to buy more vehicles from Vinnie in the future. If you buy from a more qualified builder such as either Hersch or Mike who have left Vinnie and gone on their own, Vinnie will void your warranty. If you think this is not true, ask many owners of Ultra products.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

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