Vintage and classic cars’ styling isn’t the only thing that can make them more appealing than modern vehicles. Their simpler designs typically make for more straightforward maintenance. Provided, of course, you can get classic car parts. Luckily, thanks to the Internet, new technology, loyal fanbases, and rising auction values, finding these parts has gotten significantly easier.
Classic car parts from OEMs
In many cases, it’s possible to get classic car parts directly from their original manufacturers. For example, Mercedes-Benz and BMW both supply parts for their vintage models, including, for BMW, its classic motorcycles. And these car parts come with a factory warranty.
Given how popular classic 911s are, Porsche also has factory support for vintage model owners. This extends beyond the 911, though, Road & Track reports. The company 3D prints parts for the 911, 356, and even the 959 supercar.
It’s not just German automakers that produce classic car parts, though. Since the beginning of 2020, Toyota’s Gazoo Racing has been producing new parts for the Mark III and Mark IV Supras, The Drive reports. The GR Heritage Division is even expanding to offer a limited quantity of 2000GT parts, Hagerty reports. Which is incredible, given that only 351 were ever made.
In addition, Nissan’s Nismo division has been producing Skyline GT-R parts for a few years now. And famed Honda tuner and aftermarket supporter Spoon Sports has collaborated with the shop Built By Legends to design and produce 5th-gen (EG) Civic parts, Automobile reports.
Even American OEMs are getting involved in classic car parts. For instance, FCA Heritage currently offers brand-new Lancia Delta Integrale bumpers. This production is thanks to FCA discovering the original bumper tooling, Autoweek explains.
Although getting vintage car parts through an OEM may be the easiest method, it can get expensive. For example, when Jay Leno was restoring his 1971 Mercedes 300SEL 6.3, he was quoted $450 for an A/C knob. So instead, he 3D-printed a replacement.
Reproducing parts like that isn’t uncommon, even on high-end cars. In fact, sometimes non-factory suppliers are the only way to get parts for old cars. Pur Sang’s replica Bugatti parts aren’t just made like the originals, The Drive explains. They’re actually interchangeable with the originals—so much so, that many vintage Bugattis run with Pur Sang parts.
But even outside of 3D printers and restoration shops, there are plenty of online resources for classic car parts, Autoweek reports. Some sites, such as CJ Pony Parts, even supply sheet metal for vintage models. And when the Internet fails, there are usually parts dealers to be found at your local car event. Or at large swap meets, such as the one in Hershey, Pennsylvania, Car and Driver reports.
Getting rid of old car parts
After you install your new classic car parts, though, you still have to get rid of the old ones. If they’re still in reasonable shape, ItStillRuns reports, you can sell them to scrap dealers. Or, if you got said parts at a swap meet, you can try swapping or selling them.
But even if the old parts are truly worn or degraded, they can still be recycled or sold to scrapyards, The Zebra reports. Especially when it comes to the catalytic converters, which contain precious metals.
However, for fluids or old batteries and alternators, it’s a slightly different story, Popular Mechanics reports. Many auto parts stores dispose of old oil and coolant for free. Otherwise, because these fluids are hazardous waste, they need to be taken to an appropriate disposal facility, YourMechanic explains. And for batteries and alternators, they have a ‘core charge’ which you get when you bring them to the store.
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