For those of you just tuning in, I've been working to arrange a group buy for the Extreme Composites hood, pictured below. We have 9 definite orders right now, which means that, at the minimum, we'll be receiving a $150 discount on both the vented and unvented versions of their hood. This brings the price down from $750 / $900 for the unvented / vented models to a much more reasonable $600 / $750.
Anyway: I talked to the owner of Extreme Composites on Thursday afternoon.
To be more precise, I grilled him for about 30 minutes on the pricing of this hood relative to their other hoods, the lack of details on his website, their manufacturing capabilities, installation procedures, product quality, and shipping costs.
He seems like a very honest, down to Earth guy. Apparently, Extreme Composities does most of its business within the aviation industry, which makes the automotive hood business a side project of sorts. Their maximum production rate for hoods varies based on the aviation workload that they have at the time, but generally speaking, they can turn out one CTS-V hood every 1-2 days. Therefore, if we get 10 people to buy in simultaneously, it might take 20 days for them to finish the last guy's hood. There is no formal warranty other than a promise to make things right if anything ever goes wrong on one of their products.
While I was on the phone with him, he weighed one of the CTS-V hoods with vents that he was finishing up for another customer. 26 lbs and a few ounces. Based on my research online, I believe that the CTS-V hood weighs 20.2 lbs bare. Speaking of bare, the hood comes pre-tapped (standard M6) for mounting in the car and also includes the taps for mounting the hydraulics on both sides. The places for the holes to mount the upper chrome trim piece are not marked and must be drilled by the user. Edit: I talked to Jim, and he agreed to drill the holes. Please disregard the previous statement.
The reason why this hood costs several hundred dollars more than their other hoods, he claims, is that this is a much higher quality product and is not a Cadillac tax. Apparently, they use better materials and take far more time putting these hoods together than they do with their standard hoods. Based on my research online, I've been able to find very old (2006-2007ish) LS1Tech and Cadillac Forum posts that indicate that this hood used to have fit and finish issues, but that EC revised their design and the new hood is better.
Other miscellaneous questions / responses: when asked about making a carbon fiber variant, he said that they're actually getting into carbon fiber, but that the mold/process for this hood is not compatible with it. When asked about a bigger discount if we get even more people (12+), he said that he might be able to knock off another $25-50, but that he'd have to talk to his wife, Mona. No, they won't prep or prime the hood any more than it already is.
Their ordering process is relatively informal: you call them to set up the order. They build the hood and charge your credit card either the day before or the day that it ships. Shipping is straightforward for them, but not so much for us. They have a Fedex account and always ship via Fedex Ground with the Collect on Delivery option. I asked him to estimate shipping costs to Washington, Wisconsin, and Connecticut to give us an idea of what our shipping costs will be. He hasn't gotten back to me yet, so I'm in the midst of writing an email to Mona to ask for shipping estimates and more pictures (if more pictures are available). After talking to him for a while about group buy arrangements, here's what we settled on:
We (you, me, and everyone else on LS1Tech and Cadillac Forums) set a deadline. The discount that we receive will depend on the number of orders received up to that date. Personally, I want to get the ball rolling on this, so I'm going to vote that we set the deadline to Friday, April 19th. Once that date is passed, the discount will be locked in, but other people can still order and receive the discount for a couple of weeks (I'll have to get that time nailed down more exactly)--however, those orders will not be able to increase the discount. The reason behind this strange arrangement is that on the day after the deadline passes, he has to order certain supplies for the hoods. Until all of those supplies come in, he apparently has some flexibility to modify/increase some of his parts orders and prep for additional work. Once all of the parts come in, the discount opportunity is gone and they'll pipeline the hood manufacturing process to get them out the door ASAP, which also reduces their production costs. Questions for you:
1. Are you okay with Friday, April 19th, or would you like to set another date? We don't have to order on that day, but we all have to order BEFORE the end of whatever day we choose. After that, give or take a couple of weeks, he'll begin pushing out hoods.
2. Are the unknowns regarding the total cost or difficulty in getting this hood installed preventing you from wanting to buy it?
3. If you're definitely interested, please specify which hood you're interested in in order to establish an appropriate headcount. Right now, based on a massive slew of PMs and emails, this is what I've got (if you see your name here and want to change your status, chime in!): From the LS1Tech Forums
FuzzyLog1c - Definite VENTS
kl2onik - Definite VENTS
NeverSatisfied02 - Definite NO VENTS
JayBirdWs6 - Definite NO VENTS
branland - Definite VENTS
DenaliXTC - Definite VENTS
psychobillycaddy - Definite NO VENTS
veee8 - Possible - in the midst of a Whipple installation and needs to check fitment.
nfl2008 - Possible
punishmentcycle - Possible
wcryan - Possible
06blackonblackctsv - Possible
big_reg - Possible
94LT1TA6spd - Possible
lollygagger8 - Possible
AAIIIC - Possible
jcollege - OUT.
54inches - OUT. Spending money on HP+ mods.
itsslow98 - OUT. Sold his CTS-V 2 months ago.
SSmokd_U - OUT. Is at his budget for mods right now.
toomanytoyz - OUT. Had to choose between the Forgestar F14 deal and this one.
9t8z28 - OUT. Thinks that the EC hood is too risky, considering the lack of real-world feedback. From the Cadillac Forums
Tackelbarry - Definite VENTS
jweymar - Definite VENTS
NY's Caddy - Possible
Tweeter81 - Possible
06BlackV - Possible
Pho_Phizzat - Possible
dac675 - Possible
thebigjimsho - Possible
Edit: Please note that the hood does not include the chrome trim piece (technically called the "front molding"). You'll have to use the one from your existing hood, or order a new one. I've got a spare one right here...part number 88892947. $60 from GMPartsDirect. Comes with the bolts and nuts you need.