Your classic car is surely a source of joy for many reasons. But it can also create challenges that modern car owners don’t face. One of the most difficult ongoing obstacles is finding the right parts to keep things running smoothly while still honoring the vehicle’s past. How can you do both? Here are a few ways to get what you need without breaking the bank.
1. Auto Wreckers
Auto salvage can be a treasure trove to those with the patience and skill to know what they’re looking for. Auto wrecking yards take in a huge variety of older cars that are no longer roadworthy. This provides a large stock of used parts of all sizes and styles that have little or no functional problems.
Look for an auto-wrecking yard with online inventory listings to help you avoid wasting time. And if you have ongoing restoration projects or goals, develop a relationship with a local wrecker so you can stay abreast of new arrivals that might benefit your collection.
2. Car Associations
Make friends within the classic car community that specializes in your make or models — particularly those with similar show goals. Other collectors are a great source for finding out where you can get vintage or reproduction parts — as well as getting recommendations for where to shop locally and where to avoid. Other collectors may also be, themselves, a source of the parts as they add, remove, and replace various parts in their own inventory.
3. Online Sales
The internet has its uses, and finding hard-to-source parts is one of them. Online, you can connect with parts sellers or manufacturers well outside your local geographical area as well as those who specialize in certain makes. This expands your options by magnitudes, offering new opportunities and allowing you to shop around for better deals.
The danger with online sales platforms, of course, is that you can’t see the material in person. One good way meet this challenge is to shop online but within a driving distance so you can inspect parts before purchase.
4. Parts Cars
One way to gain the parts you need to restore a particular car is by using parts from another similar car. This isn’t the most ideal option for those sentimental about their favorite cars, but consider buying a parts car to use as a source for another car.
Parts cars are those in bad shape — perhaps at an auto wrecker — that have little possibility of being brought up to snuff. You could use its parts to restore a car with better chances of surviving and thriving.
When shopping for and buying a parts car, know the approximate costs of various parts when bought individually. Added to the inherent value of original parts, this will help you decide if buying them together is cost-effective for an original vehicle.
5. Reproduction Manufacturers
You want original parts as much as possible, but this isn’t always an option. When original materials simply aren’t available, reproductions can fill the void. Talk with local car enthusiasts to determine reproduction manufacturers who deliver quality recreations.
You can determine what reproductions you choose by your plans for the car. If you want to show it more informally, you’re likely free to use a number of reproductions. If showing it in advanced settings, you’ll need to avoid most reproductions and stick with what originals you can find.
Sourcing your classic car parts takes time and diligence, but it can be done. At City Auto Wreckers, we provide a constantly changing inventory of parts for all types and ages of cars. Check out our inventory today to learn more.