Graham Man

Pre War parts are drying up...

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20 years ago when I started looking for Graham parts they were rare...but now they don't seem to exist, my best source is other Graham collectors but they are now starting to hoard the spares they have.  Anybody else notice the same problem?

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Seems like just the opposite with my 1931 Dodge Brothers parts. 20 years ago I had so much trouble finding stuff. Now, with Ebay and other sources, the parts seem to be coming out of the woodwork. I guess if you can't identify the part, you just call it a 1931 Dodge part and put it on Ebay. NOT so many are actually for a 1931 Dodge, but it HAS become slightly easier to find parts for me.

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I have noticed the lack of knowledge is a problem.  I was a local swap meet, I was going thru a box of pre war headlight bulbs, the guy asked me if I knew what they were for, I said yes, he said great you can have them, you are the only person to look at them all day.

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It's my observation that pre-war stuff is now coming out of storage and long term collections.  This past Hershey I saw more good stuff that had not seen light of day in a long time.  One vendor I purchased a lot from had brought his fathers Hershey stuff out for the first time in more than 20 years.  Still had old price tags on them and took big cuts off of those just to move it along. 
There are a lot of factors involved - old timers not wanting to pack and unload parts at the swap meets anymore seems to be a big one.  I know I've long ago stopped setting up at small swap meets and now only take stuff to Hershey and our own local club event (coming up in March).  Believe it or not, there are also a lot of older folks who are not computer savy and don't, can't or won't sell on evilbay or other on-line resources.

I wouldn't take the leap to "pre-war parts are drying up" just because you can't find specific items for your Graham. 

Terry

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I agree with Keiser31, going back a bit further I grew up in the "its not for sale, I'm gonna restore it some day" era, 60's and 70's.

Most of those cars have since rusted into the ground, friend called to offer me a 15 Ford in pieces said he had waited to long did I want it?

I see people who have been hoarding for a long time and now reality has finally hit, trouble is no one wants project cars apart these days and

we are loosing that part of our hobby willing to take something apart to see how it works.

There are some really great project cars and lots of parts coming out of the old shed because the kids don't want it, yes I'm a bottom feeder

and dumpster diver.

John

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I’ve said they are drying up and was told otherwise yet I sold two parts though this form that thee buyers said the big MoPar parts guys were unable to supply.  I’m working down through three document boxes of parts that might be of service to others.  If I have the only stash of something, that does not give me warm and fuzzy feelings for future needs.

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Try looking for Reo Royale parts.

Best bet is finding a Reo Member with a parts car and hope he has the part.

I agree with JAK a lot of people are finally realizing they will never do anything with their project cars.

The people who want the old cars are getting too old to do anything with them.

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I agree with K31, using ebay, kijiji, AACA forums and other internet options makes the search much easier, especially for rare stuff.

 

Couple of examples: I've been looking for a correct speedometer, interior door pulls and stop/tail light for my '31 Chrysler CD8 Roadster since fall of 2014 when I pulled it from a barn missing all it's gauges and brightwork. A 1 year only car, about 1600 produced, maybe 30 survivors, so parts are naturally going to be scarce.

 

3 years ago I found an ad on Ebay offering a "1930's era Buick speedometer"!. "Buy it Now" price was $100, of course it is a correct one for my Chrysler so I bought it. Haven't seen one listed since. This week I bought these even rarer interior CD8 Roadster door pulls from a member on here,  scarce as hen's teeth, but he had listed them on AACA forum. Otherwise I would still be looking for next 10 years likely, have never seen any offered anywhere. (pic of door is off internet). 

 

Finally I continue to look for a decent CD8 Tail/Stop light and stanchion, am told there are some around at high prices, will have to wait and see if something reasonable shows up (this one is left side mounted, originals were right side only).

CD8 Detail 1.jpg

CD8 Detail2.jpg

IMG_6100.JPG

IMG_6088.JPG

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Parts for my Rickenbacker have always been almost nonexistent and it has gotten a little worse in the past 10 years.

Yes, some things do occasionally pop up on eBay, like a pair of logo'd headlight lenses that were scooped up about 7 years ago, but all in all there just aren't any parts left out there.

With fewer than 40 known survivors from all production years, and with '26 and '27 being different in almost every way from '22 to '25, it is tough to locate parts.

 

And I have seen the lack of knowledge mentioned above.

At a swap meet and walked up to a guy with all sorts of rusty parts spread out, asked him if he anything for a Rickenbacker.

His response? 'Is that American or foreign?'

 

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I have to be honest, I've been a car nut my entire life and I don't think I could ID a Rickenbacker. I'd probably be able to ID Eddie Rickenbacker but not the car.

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I think the problem (and the largest threat to the continuing maintenance of old cars) is that collectors amass stashes of parts "just in case." Then they die. Their families not only have no idea what the parts are, but they don't even have a clue what to do with the stuff or where to turn to get rid of it. Then Mom sells the house and all that "junk" needs to go so they throw it in the dumpster in order to vacate the house. And then it's all gone forever. I see it happen over and over and over. I am guilty of gathering unneeded parts myself and while my wife is far more learned and experienced in the hobby than most spouses, I guarantee she will just dumpster all of it, too. It's just too much work to deal with on top of everything else that comes with a dead person.

 

If you're old, sell your stash NOW while someone can still use it. It's not only selfish to force your family to deal with your junk but it's irresponsible towards the hobby to just assume someone will show up to help. Nobody cares, nobody will help, and the only guys who show up are going to be vultures who will make your widow's life a living hell--do you really want that? She honestly hasn't been paying attention all these years when you've been explaining the difference between a model 32-035263 and a 32-0356248 horn button. It's just junk and she (and likely your kids) don't know, don't have any way to find out, and don't care enough to do anything but dump it for whatever scrap value is. And then it's all gone forever.

 

If it's valuable to you, sell it now while it has value to someone and can be correctly identified and marketed, because I guarantee your family doesn't want to deal with it no matter how much you think it's worth.

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There used to be a Hupp Graham parts depot in Auburn Indiana, a little south of the museum, before the RR tracks, a remnant of the A-C-D Auto museum's former life.

I was in the place a few times in the last 30 years.  I believe it was about 10 years ago that the business finally closed up.  Would like to think those parts (they still had a building full) ended up somewhere.  Perhaps others in the Graham ranks will know something.  Good luck.

Edited by Mike Dube
clarity (see edit history)

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To add to Matt's point above.

If you have parts you have stashed away, or dare I say, hoarded, make sure they are clearly identified.

Buy some of those tags with wire and clearly indicate what car they belong to and even what the part is if it is not really obvious like a generator or starter.

At least that way if an estate sale happens the parts can have hope of getting into the hands of someone that needs them.

Edited by zepher (see edit history)
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there are hoards of parts owned by people who  perhaps saw their father buy and hoard stuff ( it will be just so valuable some day - worth its weight in gold) perhaps for a car ( or cars) he had ( which never did see the road) and they are doing the same. One particular make of pre war car has at least two people who seek, buy and  hoard.. One collection is known as being in 'the black hole in West Virginia". How many existing cars really need just a few parts to get them on the road and can not , due to the hoarders! Sad commentary on some peoples "right to own" what they do. Over the decades I have given away things or sold them for what I had in them or perhaps a bit more just to see a car go back on the road.

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Hoarding is a tough call.  I have a pal who has owned his 68 mustang since age 14, almost 45 years ago.  He worked at a Ford dealership in the 80s, and used his discount to buy a ton of parts for it.  This past November, car and parts were shipped off to a resto shop.  Labor will be $$, but at least he is providing his own stash of nos parts.  A rare case of "I am going to restore it someday" coming true.

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1 hour ago, Graham Man said:

I have noticed the lack of knowledge is a problem....

Here ⬆️, you just named the problem... and it’s going to get worse.

Like other’s have said: I’ve learned to label everything I stash away - mostly because I forget, but you should’ve seen the stuff I saw piled in a dumpster at the estate I bought my last car out of. Family simply had no way of knowing what any of it was. Fortunately, a buddy of the deceased was able to identify a lot of parts for my ‘18 — but that was only because it was 20 years older than any other car in the collection.

Label everything guys. Don’t make it overwhelming. Roll of masking tape, a sharpie - just label _one_ small thing every time you’re out in the garage. I know for a fact: When I’m gone everything unlabeled will go straight into a rented dumpster.

Gone forever. Knowledge already mostly is.

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The trouble is you have to buy parts when they are available, not when you want them.

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2 hours ago, zepher said:

To add to Matt's point above.

If you have parts you have stashed away, or dare I say, hoarded, make sure they are clearly identified.

Buy some of those tags with wire and clearly indicate what car they belong to and even what the part is if it is not really obvious like a generator or starter.

At least that way if an estate sale happens the parts can have hope of getting into the hands of someone that needs them.

To add to the above. Put the smaller parts in boxes by vehicle with a label on the outside indicating what parts are inside the box. Walk the wife around or a few family members showing them what you did. Also tell them what is more valuable and ballpark the price if you have some rare stuff. Just went through this with the wife last month and told her not to throw parts out or let some of it go for nothing. Donate it to the vehicles marque club if necessary.  

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10 minutes ago, Ron Green said:

Donate it to the vehicles marque club if necessary.

 

This is a fantastic idea, right here.

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3 hours ago, Billy Kingsley said:

I have to be honest, I've been a car nut my entire life and I don't think I could ID a Rickenbacker. I'd probably be able to ID Eddie Rickenbacker but not the car.

 

This is my '26 Rickenbacker E6 Brougham.

 

1926Rickenbacker.JPG.301d3066bae6227419b2238324757242.JPG

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When I sold my 1937 Dodge pickup I threw in all the parts stash I had for it.  They nearly filled the bed of the truck.  Sometimes you don’t realize how many spare parts you have amassed until you go digging and find you have more than you remember.  

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Just to throw this out here.  I found NOS pistons for my 37 Olds 8 cyl.  from Mobile parts. His name is Craig. 516-485-1935. Great guy to deal with. Also got rings from him.

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I have two friends that are getting up in age (they're older than me). One has been a swap meet vendor for decades but his health is slipping. He has scrapped a lot of stuff because it's just too heavy to truck around ,He hates the internet and won't use it.

The other fellow has been a one marque collector for years and has tons of parts for them. He does sell stuff to those who need it. The problem is that no-one but him knows what the parts fit. His family doesn't share his enthusiasm and i fear someday the whole lot will end up scrapped.

I'm as guilty as anyone snapping up rare parts when they surface,whether I have a need for them or not. I made room for all the drive train components of a low mileage '29 Buick Master a couple of years ago,because parts for it just aren't around any more.My son (and future executor) is already asking me to start downsizing.I know it will be a race between the undertaker and the auctioneer when I pass !

Edited by J.H.Boland (see edit history)
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Gary, I know the Craig you had dealings with, his family( going back generations)  had one of the oldest parts houses here on long island, were always great to deal with and really knowledgeable as to what fit what.

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