Sunday, October 2, 2011

Get friendly with a restorer!

One of the hurdles involved in building a hot rod is finding parts! If you are building a "catalog hot rod", it's easy, just order everything from Speedway and bolt it together. But when you do that, it looks like what it is, a generic car using off shore made parts from a catalog. Yuk.

Since I only build vintage cars, I like to use as many vintage parts as I can. I was lucky enough to be introduced to a Ford flathead restorer named Ivan who has been collecting parts since the 70's. He has a huge stash of just about everything you can think of. This stash of his came in handy when I wanted to use some nice rust free vintage Ford parts for the '32.

Ivan has had this stuff stored in his dry attic for years so most of his stuff is pristine. This is a good thing to have! Getting the best pieces you can will save you a lot of time because nice parts don't require that much work to get smoothed out & into shape for paint or chrome plating.

Guys that have big stashes of parts also might have some rare parts that are hard to find and that add value to your car as opposed to run of the mill stuff. For instance, if I wanted to spend the money, I could have had Ivan set up a complete Columbia 2 speed rear end. He has all the parts including the speedometer changer that changes the gear ratio so that the speedometer maintains the correct speed when the 2nd speed on the rear end kicks in. But, since I was trying to build on a low budget, I didn't opt for the Columbia.

I did get a few pieces that I needed including a nice '40 Ford truck steering wheel, a '38 Ford truck column drop with the mast jacket attached, a '48 Ford steering shaft and a 2 bolt front cover & distributor for the flathead engine. It might have taken me months to pull all that together using ebay, Craigslist or Forbarn.com but Ivan had it all in his attic and all his parts are categorized, kind of like a Costco for vintage Ford parts! As you can see he has doubles and triples of everything and then some!

So if you ever meet someone at a show or cruise night who starts talking about cars he's restored in the past, keep asking questions and see what parts he might have lying around, you might just hit the mother load at the right time and find what you need to keep your project on track.


  1. Hi, My name is Brian and I'd like to speak with you about your blog, please email me at your earliest convenience.

  2. Facts, Fiction and Smittybilt Winches Review Of the many cars and truck parts available on the market, a winch should top the list of essential upgrades. pickup-world.com has more information on the Butterfly Style - More Storage Solutions For Your F-150 | Pickup World.