Hello. Introduce yourself What’s your name, how old are you and were are you from tell how have you got into RC. How does it start?
Hi to ya all, iam Ralph, owner and inventor of P!PES and i live in Holland.
I got into RC in 2010, its started with some 2nd hand cars from Tamiya like the Grasshopper, Lunchbox and a TA03F for on the street. Mainly i started to do something together with my kids, but they got more interests in video games at the moment 😛
How did the idea of creating mufflers appear?
The idea from creating exhausts started in 2011, i started a body shell painting service with my mate Reinier Tan, its called Rarelabs, and i wanted to do something special and i put at every sold body a selfmade exhaust. And that become a hit at the Rarelabs customers and people who sees them. And the advantage is that iam an allround metalworker with 20 years of experiences, so i got a lot of knowledge to make cool creations with all kind of materials.
What is the range of your product at the moment?
hmm.. the range of exhausts is very large. I got exhausts for almost every kind of builds. I got a standard range of ‘normal’ exhausts, like an 8, 10 or 12mm in diameter. I got also an Armytrix style range, mainly for the R35 GTR body from Tetsujin or Yokomo. There is also an range of Bozosoku exhausts. And of course a line of the famous BackFire Units which is a really besteller around the world… So i got a lot of lines and more will come in future.
What are your future plans?
I got a lot of future plans, coming soon with a range of VIP style exhausts, and iam preparing a range of exhaust with a new kind of mufflers which could be used in different ways, ‘multi- looking-functional’ is the right word i think. 😛 Maybe i will come later this year with a smoke machine but this has to be tested a long time so that it is ‘hufter proof’ when it hits the market.
A new range of light kits will come next month.. and iam also building a new website for my other project ‘Rarelabs. And i am planning some new cool items with Anton of EasyMade.
So plenty of plans for this year and there will be more to come!
Your products are known all over the world. Did you ride yourself?
Yes, when i have time in the weekend i will go to the track or some event. But with P!PES its hard to combine at the moment.. unfortunately.
If yes, what is your chassis?
I drive at the moment with a modified Hotbodies TC-D. Iam hooked at the products of HPI Hotbodies, i own the whole chassis range of them, Pro4, Cyclones, TC-FD, TC-D and the rare Pro-d ,the first worldwide drift spec chassis from HPI.
How long have you been going into rc and how long have you been doing your own production?
I have been doing RC from 2010 and started with P!PES end of 2011.
You have excellent works, so why don’t you try to enter Russian market?I know it was a test installment through Easymade, so why there wasn’t other deliveries?
Thanks! Thats really a good question, the first batch of exhausts for EasyMade was not really for re-sale on the Russian market. It was more for their own builds to show or for their customers. I got good contact with Anton of EasyMade and we talked about the Russian market a while ago but its hard to sell in Russia, also their own customers work is hard to sell overthere.
So maybe we must discus some more how to approach the Russian market.
How much time does it takes to make 1 muffler?
That really depends on the difficulty of the model and how many parts are used in the model. I got models from 2 parts and the downpipes consists of 5 parts. Thats the hardest one to make and weld and takes about 40 minutes from start to end.
Do you make it by yourself or use factory’s service?
I make all exhaust by myself in my own workshop. Some things i will outsource to others like the laser engravings, i don’t have that expensive machine in my workshop, unfortunately.
Your hobby is more for the soul or you use it for earning money?
I do this for the love of RC drifting and off course for the love of working with metal. I do earn a bit of money to it but i invest also a lot to materials, machines i use. And i invest a lot to the tax authorities. 😛
Why did you choose nick “pipes”?
I dont know, its ages ago. It was on a daily chat session with Rarelabs homie Reinier, we chitchat about a name and Reinier come up on the word pipes and i turned it into P!PES. Its short and sounds cool imo.
The most interesting question for me: do you work alone or you have a team?
Thats also a good question yes, i work mainly alone.
I do all kind of stuff around P!PES, making the exhausts, webstore, marketing, making stickers, searching and purchasing of (new) materials, products for my store or for the production of the exhausts. And more things to run the business properly.….. but i work also together with some people. First of all Reinier from Rarelabs, he tests products for me like new electronics and exhausts. For the electronics i got someone else, he is really an electronic wizard and fix almost everything of my ideas… also my cousin ‘Holes21’ makes all P!PES logos in Photoshop when he get a rough sketch from me. So their are some people involved at P!PES to do things which i don’t have time for, or their skills, for example with Photoshop is a lot more then i have.
To showcase my products i like to worked with other people like Russel of Re-Xtreme, a while ago i launched the new ‘BigAss CF Muffler’ serie with Jeff underwood. And many more people in the past. I like to work with dedicated builders around the world. Its a win-win situation for both, they get more exposure with their builds and a free nice exhaust and i got some good show pictures for advertising.