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Who makes the best exterior and interior parts?


Ken.M
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Hi,

I have a 1968 GTO that I am starting to restore and would like to know who makes the best restoration parts. I need exterior and interior parts. I have looked on Ebay and have found most of the parts I need. The reason that I haven't bought them is because I don't know if they are reputable companies. I would be grateful for any advice. Most important is fit and quality of materials used then cost. Thank you.

Ken

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Ken.M,

Welcome to the AACA Discussion Forum. There are a lot of companies that make restoration parts. Many of them tend to specialize in specific makes and models of cars. I have no idea who is the best supplier for your Pontiac parts, but I trust that someone with a similar car will chime in here sometime soon. Check out the many different forums here and do some reading and you will find a lot of good information. You might also try the search feature and you may find some previous discussions about GTO restoration.

Again, Welcome, I am sure you will find a lot of good information here.

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I have a one owner 68 GTO restoration in my shop now nearing the paint stage. For this car and other GTOs I've done I have probebly relied on Ames Performance for parts more than any other supplier. The are Pontiac only. They are reputable and have been around a long time. My biggest complaint about restoration parts is with sheet metal parts, fenders, quarters, etc made off shore no matter who sells them. I installed new aftermarket quarters on this GTO and I knew from previous experience what to expect. The initial fit was poor at best and they required several hours work to correct the contours and fit issues. It seems to me that a little time correcting the stamping dies would cut a substantial amount of time off the install time and result in lower labor costs to the car owner. I have more comments but I've got to get to work. John

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Try Legendary Interiors for the repro interior stuff.

X2 on that recommendation. As for the repro sheetmetal, nearly all of it is Chinesium stamped in the same one or two factories in China. Good used southwestern sheetmetal is a better choice if you can find it. The money you'll save in labor costs will far outweigh the differences in purchase price.

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Hi Ken, welcome to the forum. I have been into old Pontiacs for years and my choice is also Ames Performance Engineering, Classic GTO Parts, Firebird Parts, and Full Size Pontiac restoration parts. , they will send you a free catalog on request. National Parts Depot and Year One are my other choices, Google them for web sites. Original Parts Group is probably good too but I do not think I have ever dealt with them personally.

As with any old car the first thing to do is buy the factory service manual(s) and they are available from these sources at reasonable prices. There are a few GTO books and restoration guides that are also good to have, the more documentation and references the better. Check the catalogs, participate in the forum and good luck, Todd C

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There is a company in Lebanon, Ohio called TrimParts who make a variety of items for the GTO and other cars. Check out their catalog web page at trimparts.com. You can go to their plant or have the parts shipped. They are just off I-71 about 15 miles north of Cincinnati.

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Be sure to inspect EVERY piece throughly as soon as you recieve them no matter who you buy from. The set of 5 new wide ovals I ordered for the GTO were unacceptable due to surface flaws. Each one appeared to be made in a differant mold. I had to send photos of the flaws before they would exchange them. When it was time to buy a windshield I asked the supplier 3 times to SEND ME A GOOD PIECE OF GLASS. Sure enough there were easy to see unacceptable flaws in the glass when it arrived. John

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In that class of vehicle (a 60s muscle car) you will find that there is pretty much just one of each replacement part being made, although several retailers (Year one, etc) will carry it. There isn't enough of a market for two people to invest in tooling and pay the up front costs. So if there is a slight flaw in the repro part, it may well be that way from any of the vendors because it is the same part, coming from the same supplier. There are times when a replica part is "close but no Cigar", especially to a critical "expert" who got all of the NOS parts when the getting was good. This is simple economics. There might be one detail the orginal part had, a stampled ridge or such thing that the replica part just can not have because the cost to have that feature would be the cost of making the whole part again, so the part is made without it, the part functions just fine, but cosmetically not the same. Many replica parts are made because of a weakness or defect in the original-- a door handle that always snapped off or other endemic defect.

The good news is that you have a car to restore where you can buy replica parts. Some of us have cars for which very few replica parts are made, and when they are the cost, part for part when compared to the mass-market Mustang/tri-five Cheby/T-bird/muscle car is higher, and that's that.

Edited by mrpushbutton (see edit history)
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