Finding automotive parts and accessories
Who would have thought finding automotive parts and accessories in this day and age would be so time consuming, frustrating, informative and adventurous. I have always figured with all the things that are created with 3D printers and online stores, searching for parts would be cut and dry. Until one finally goes on the hunt for something that has not been made for 50 or so years, reality begins to sink in as to where to go or who to talk to. I have heard stories of people traveling cross county trying to find a specific part or car that cannot be found anywhere locally. You might think with all the technology you can snap a picture and your good to go, but in trusting people for what they may be selling…you can score, or end up with something that is entirely different from what is advertised.
I have always found it better to search locally because you can see what you’re buying and make a decision on the spot. On the other hand, since everybody seems to want a classic car, parts and accessories or starting to become rare to find partly due to trends. That is where you may have to decide whether to go original or aftermarket, where each has its pros and cons and applications. When purchasing aftermarket products, sure they are shinny and new but you may find that the part does not fit properly regardless if it was made to specifications. Some parts may need some tweaking in order to fit properly and some parts may fit like a glove, it just depends on what your application needs are. Whereas original, you know for a fact that the part or parts will fit as needed, but you may need to sandblast, paint, degrease or whatever it takes to make as new as possible. I found that ebay seems to have a wide variety of parts new and used, also if you do some research, you can find stores where they offer original parts that are supposedly made to spec, but again do your research on what it is before you buy.
While buying the very thing you’re looking for online, I come to find out there’s nothing worse than buying something twice or even three times. It’s always better to go to car shows and swap meets to talk to those that have already been down the path you’re headed. It saves time and a whole lot of headaches and also save your pocket book. For instance, let’s say you’re buying an airbrush system. The excitement of getting all your paint, spray gun, and compressor is very exciting to the point all you want to do is start painting, but all the while you bought a cheap air compressor. There lies the problem. While you’re there at the store, and it is suggested that you buy 300 dollar compressor because it will handle your needs, but instead, you get a knockoff for half the price. You will soon realize that you should have listened to those who know instead of thinking about the upfront cost, but ultimately you save money in the long run. Although this is an example, you’d be surprised how often this happens.
Sometimes when looking for things, all you really need is to be pointed in the right direction. If you’re a classic Chevy guy, there’s a place called “Chevs of the 40’s” in Orange County CA. This place pretty much has all Chevy parts and accessories ranging from 37-54, but they also have other years to. While this place is a little pricey, they have exactly what you’re looking for. If you a classic ford guy, there’s another place also located in the OC which is called, “CW Moss Ford Parts” where they to specialize in classic Ford parts. Although you may already know about these places, surprisingly there are many people that have no clue where to look when they happen to own such vehicles. It’ strange to me because when finding what you need sometimes seems like a pain, but in all reality, it’s more of a journey because you’ll talk to people and go to places you’d never thought about going before. Similarly, it’s like a unspoken club you get sworn into when you purchase a classic, while coming together, and sharing ideas and different ways of doing things that you never thought of before. This is in my opinion why car clubs are so popular, but sadly many people will never understand this, until they to experience it for themselves.
However, looking online is an excellent source, I’ve come to find out your very best bet is attending automotive swap meets. This is where you can visually see what you’re buying and for the most part haggle the price down to where you both agree. One such swap meet is the Pomona Swap meet located in Pomona CA. This place is located on a fairplex where it is divided into categories, for the most part, where you know the vendors are selling specific to what you looking for. This is where you find the gold because often times somethings that aren’t on your radar will suddenly show up for a deal, “but” you have to buy it then and there because there is no guarantee it’ll be there the next go around. While this swap meet is one of many, people all over the country come to sell their parts and services. So if you never been and looking for parts, I’d suggest going at least once.
Nevertheless, there are many physical places you can go with a quick google search, amazon surprisingly has a wide variety of parts and accessories, but from what I’ve seen, it’s more of newer parts and modifications. Although it may not be what you’re looking for, you can still find things that pertain to any project, like tires, stereo systems, lights, etc. Also if you’re in the market for tools and other such things, one place that has an excellent inventory is Eastwood.com. They pretty much have every tool to completely restore anything that you may be working on ranging from welders, powdercoating systems, paint strippers, and on. They are similar to JEGS.com performance, but it all depends on preference and what you’re trying to accomplish.
Regardless in what you’re trying to do, there are many resources that can be found with a quick search, but many times the best leads are actually talking to people from what I’ve found. While you may be disappointed at times, you should always remember the end goal while enjoying the ride, literally and physically. Just like everything else in life, it’s how bad you’re willing to complete your goals, and once you’ve done that, I almost guarantee you going to want to start another. So with that, keep on keeping on, and if you got any questions, drop a line.