Fixing up a classic or vintage vehicle is one of life’s great joys. But whether you are repairing a junker from scratch or are looking to fix up a car you already own, you need to know how to source restoration auto parts. These sleek automotive vehicles are no longer new products. Whether an old Buick or Camaro, a sweet Ford Mustang, or an ancient Charger, getting things like sheet metal, grilles, steering wheels, and even taillights will require sourcing parts.
Fortunately, there are many ways to get the restoration auto parts you need fast. In detail, let’s look at where to get restoration auto parts and how to match them to your vehicle’s previous parts.
How To Source Restoration Auto Parts
- Direct From the Manufacturer
- Scrap Merchants/Junkyards
Direct From the Manufacturer
There are three primary ways to source restoration or performance parts, be they door panels, radiator parts, fenders, gaskets, bushings, bumpers, or weatherstripping. Firstly, you can contact the vehicle’s original manufacturer, presuming they are still in business.
Sourcing restoration auto parts direct from the manufacturer is the best way to do it if possible. The manufacturer will have the exact part you need, ensuring that it’ll fit your vintage or to-be-restored car perfectly. This cuts down on the guesswork you must do and the research you must perform before buying your restoration auto parts. Fortunately, manufacturers like Ford, Chevrolet, Pontiac, Chevy, Dodge, Chrysler, and more maintain stores of old parts for classic car models like:
- El Camino
- Bel Air
- Monte Carlo
However, you can also use the Internet to source restoration parts. You can use many different sites and resources to find vintage or replacement auto components, paint colors, and more. Some of the best resources include:
- eBay, though remember you’ll have to vet the seller and make sure the part you purchase is genuine
- Hemmings, a classic car and auto part shop
- Andy Bernbaum, one of the largest suppliers of auto parts worldwide
- Jegs is a good resource for aftermarket and high-performance components
Lastly, you can check out local scrap merchants or junkyards in your area. These places might have some restoration auto parts for vintage vehicles. The people who work at these businesses have an excellent working knowledge of vintage or classic car parts and might sell parts they find over time. If they have a part you need, they may be willing to sell it to you for a reasonable price.
How To Match Paint, Parts, Oil, and Tires You’ve Sourced
One of the trickiest elements of sourcing restoration auto parts is matching the right parts to your vehicle. For example, say you have a vintage car with an original red paint job. The problem: there are lots of different shades of red paint. How can you accurately match color, parts, oil, tires, and other parts you’ve sourced? It depends on the component you are looking to find. For example, you can likely find the original color code for the first paint on your vehicle by:
- Locating the manufacturer name as well as the car’s model number and year
- Looking at the vehicle manufacturer's website
- Locating the color code for your car on the identification plate
Tires are similar — in many cases, you’ll find the original size or model for the tire on the component itself. But for most parts, look at the manufacturer’s website and try to find a detailed breakdown of all the original parts, oils, and paints. You can further investigate hobbyist resources like blogging sites if push comes to shove. Many vintage car restoration hobbyists have collected tons of information over the Internet — one of those sites might have the information you need.
Shipping Restoration Auto Parts
Sourcing and purchasing your restoration auto parts is just the start. You must also ship them to your garage or home to fit them onto your vehicle. When you want to ship quality restoration auto parts, safety is critical. You must ensure that you keep auto parts in reasonable condition — the less they’re touched, the better. Since many restoration auto parts for old vehicles can be picky or sensitive, it may be wise to hire a car shipping company with enclosed shipping services. Enclosed shipping services place your restoration auto parts or other components in an enclosed compartment. This protects them from inclement weather, dirt and debris from the road, and any potential hazards while in transit. This is arguably the best way to ship heavy or oversized auto parts from place to place. The last thing you want is to rely on a traditional carrier like UPS to take care of your vintage or rare auto parts.
Why Using Restoration Auto Parts Is a Smart Idea
You should always use restoration auto parts when restoring or revitalizing a classic or vintage vehicle. Why? Restoration auto parts help restore the vehicle to its original condition or appearance; after all, it’s in the name. By restoring your car to its original glory, you’ll:
- Help to maintain its overall value on the street and in the marketplace should you ever decide to sell it
- Be able to enjoy your vintage vehicle for its authentic look and function
- Not have to worry about one or other parts not working or fitting with your vehicle perfectly — if you’ve sourced the right restoration auto parts, they should fit your vintage vehicle perfectly
Sourcing restoration auto parts will take a bit of research and time on your part. But once you find the perfect components for your needs, you can get them shipped to your door or your garage with a reliable service like Carvaygo.
With Carvaygo, you can get your new restoration auto parts shipped quickly and safely, ensuring they’ll be in perfect condition when they finally arrive. Contact us today to ask more about enclosed shipping and our other services.
Paint Codes | Touch Up Paint | AutomotiveTouchup
Classic Car Valuation: What's My Classic Worth? | Progressive
How to Find Reliable Sellers on eBay: 10 Steps (with Pictures) | Wikihow