If you are into restoring and rebuilding old cars, finding the right classic car parts can be almost a full-time job. There are two schools of thought on classical car restoration. Some people believe that authenticity is everything. They will go to junkyards, used car lots, auction houses, and anywhere else they can think of looking for all the classic car parts that can get. Other people think that the purpose is to hot rod your car and make it as powerful as possible. They don’t care about historical authenticity. They will put brand-new engines in 40-year-old cars just to make them run faster.
I sort of fall in the middle between the two. I’m not a fanatic. I don’t have the dedication to finding classic car parts that makes a true antique automobile collector. I know some people who have actually rebuilt cars from the 50s from scratch. They have spent hundreds of hours finding authentic parts to rebuild engines, transmissions, suspensions, and everything else. I know a lot of other people who just like making muscle cars. They take fast, powerful cars from other eras and do what they can to make them faster. For me, however, what matters is preserving the style of the old without spending too much money. I use classic car parts where I can – for the interior, the body, the wheels, etc. For harder to fix things, however, I have no problem with employing new parts.
If you are someone who frequently needs classic car parts, the most important thing is to find a good supplier. Unless you are a classical cars expert, you will have a lot of trouble telling the authentic article from an imitation. There are unscrupulous people out there who will prey on auto restorers who don’t have a lot of knowledge. Either to find a friend who knows more about it than you do, find a supplier who you can trust, or preferably both.
Most cities have classic car clubs that you can talk to. They will point you in the direction of reputable Classic car part dealers. Sometimes, you can also trade parts back and forth. Sometimes, a whole club will chip in to buy a wrecked old car for parts. Everyone will get a few pieces they need, and the club as a whole will be able to save a lot of money for its members. This is a great way to save money on a great hobby.