Roadster Salon to Discontinue “Originale” for 2022

Roadster Salon has announced that their entry level “Originale” model is being discontinued in its present form and price structure for 2022, according to Director of Operations Rob Baird. “The Originale restoration was intended to be a way for entry level customers to become part of the Roadster Salon family. We created a category for these customers to select a chassis or provide their own—where we could restore the cars by priorities set in advance. Unfortunately, we found this to be impractical in the real-world applications. Cars provided by customers often needed far too much work to fit into this budget sub-$20K category. Further, tight supplies have forced Roadster to exclude our own vetted chassis from being eligible for these entry level projects.”
The far bigger concern has been meeting typical customer expectations. Many see the quality of our more comprehensive work on-line, and make assumptions. They expect similar levels of quality for half, or one-third the price of our Avanzato and Lusso S2 models. “The truth of the matter is this is a reputation- based business. Roadster Salon loses literally thousands of dollars on every “Originale” project we build”, Baird said. “Our craftsman will not do things half way. Since the budget is simply not there to attend to all concerns, compromises become necessary. In many cases, the compromises are just not acceptable to us. Consequently, we end up doing a significant amount of work at no charge to the customer.”

1979 Fiat Spider 2000 “Originale” headed to California with 2.0 FI upgrade and Lusso S2 bumpers. Just lovely.

Roadster Salon will continue to do a-la-carte restorations for customers who supply their own cars, with the clear understanding of their expectations in advance. “The math is really simple on these projects. To inspect and mechanically refurbish a spider from end to end, plan on a minimum of $10-$15,000 in labor– depending on condition and previously performed maintenance. That estimate is with no contemporary upgrades or re-engineering,” Baird said. “We warranty all our work, so the approach must be comprehensive and include all wear items. It’s not a question of priority—it’s one of safety.”
Cosmetics are a wild card. Many customer submissions have significant rust concerns that need to be addressed prior to paint. It is not unusual to spend upwards of $10,000 on metal repair and body work alone. “Interior restoration is a bit easier to ballpark, but there are still variables there too. What type of materials are being used? How is the tub being prepared? Other issues like sound deadening, door supports and seat frames should also be addressed.”

Pictured below: 1979 2.0 FI upgrade, replacing carburetor for better performance and improved reliability

Watch this space for further updates in Roadster Salon’s 2022 model line-up. Rob Baird said, “Ray has some exciting things planned for next year as we hopefully put the pandemic in our rear-view mirrors for good. We are doing our best to address the enormous back-log of orders currently in our “Q”, and are committed to make our production facility/build process more efficient without sacrificing quality.
We are up to the challenge!”