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Pre War parts are drying up...


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On 2/13/2020 at 10:32 AM, Matt Harwood said:

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.

I couldn't agree more.  I plan on doing the same thing.  My wife and kids are not into it like I am.  I hope to get most of the cars roadworthy, and sell off the rest of the stuff over the next 20 years.

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On 2/13/2020 at 9:18 AM, Graham Man said:

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?

I am having a very hard time finding parts for my 1937 and 1938 Plymouth trucks.  I hope to find what I need someday soon.  

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7 hours ago, 1912Staver said:

I hope to have a good look at a 1914 ,15,16 big series Buick some day. A Buick model 55 box could be a winner.

Contact me if you want info on a 1914 B55 or M55 Buick. 

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On 2/13/2020 at 10:54 PM, Frank DuVal said:

 

American Vintage Parts bought the parts from the family that ran the parts store. I bought lots of Graham Sharknose parts from them (American Vintage) when they first started selling their purchases.👍

 

https://www.ebay.com/str/americanvintageparts

 

GOCI* bought the drawings from the family, paid a dear price for them.

 

*Graham Owners Club International

 

 

As far as hording parts for cars I have, I've tried making tape, stickers, Sharpies, wired on tags, etc. All have issues.....  But I am trying to organize and sell excess stuff now.

There are still ACD (at least the A and the C or ACD) parts available via Doug Prey in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma - the shiny stuff is mostly gone and so is the well marked stuff, but if you know what you are doing there is something for everyone A and C. 

Edited by John_Mereness (see edit history)
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6 hours ago, John_Mereness said:

There are still ACD (at least the A and the C or ACD) parts available via Doug Prey in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma - the shiny stuff is mostly gone and so is the well marked stuff, but if you know what you are doing there is something for everyone A and C. 


The pickle factory is well worth the visit.   Doug is always buying more parts to replenish the inventory,  so he is a good source.  But the (edit: useful) parts that were part of the original factory move from Auburn are long gone.

Edited by alsancle (see edit history)
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On 2/13/2020 at 8:57 PM, Mark Wetherbee said:

 

Pre war parts drying up????       Yup, since the mid seventies. I still find the impossible stuff..........it just takes more work. In some ways, I think it’s getting easier with electronic and social media.

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18 minutes ago, edinmass said:

, I think it’s getting easier with electronic and social media.

 

I'm not too popular with a couple of local swap meet vendors when I tell them that I haven't been to a swap meet in years. Local swap meets feature almost entirely "modern" stuff and even Asian guys selling tee shirts and jewellery . Admittedly,I haven't tackled a major restoration in some time either. I do most of my parts and even car hunting electronically. Wish I had the technology when I was restoring my '21 Chevy back in the '70's. I think I wore out three driver cars going from one swap meet to the next.

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Not to throw a debate topic on the fire, but periodically someone will want to raise an Auburn or an X from the dead of as the dead can come and I am one of the first people to say "part it out" - the reason why is that the parts supply is already so taxed that not only will the person trying to resurrect face near insurmountable odds, but it is one less whatever part for all the rest of us too.   Is it regrettable, yes, but then again that one car that gets parted out gets another 10 plus done.  

 

The reality is that probably 50 plus "closed/sedan" Auburn's 1928-1936 have bit the dust so the World may see Boattail speedsters at shows and ....

 

As a sidenote:  when a part is missing on a 30's car i generally do a math calculation of say 300 to 1000 PLUS to fabricate something pretty simple - now lets say you car is missing 20 parts you cannot find ? 

And, then there are the things like 20K plus gasket and plus shipping RR PI cylindrical heads and ....

And, I have bought 10K fenders

1K wheels

5k grill shells

and ....

 

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On 2/13/2020 at 11:46 AM, Bloo said:

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

This is very true, but in my case I found something I needed after someone else has purchased it.  And sometimes I get the same part/car/truck offered to me from that new purchaser for up to 3+ times if what they paid for it, after the initial seller has told them about me.  It's seems to be the only way that I find anything for my vehicles.  Sadly my 1938 Plymouth truck is going to be close to 70K in parts.  I wish that I can find and buy a complete truck first.  Lesson learned...  But I am two deep and only a hood, tailgate, and a grill away from completion.  I will have a ton of extra parts from Dodge Trucks when I am done, so I can easily restore about 3 of those parts vehicles when the Plymouth is done. Does anyone else end up hoarding from the same circumstances?

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Wonder how many parts are bought from hoarders, and put away as extras/spares, only to be sold later to some guy that thinks the second guy was a hoarder? Maybe some parts are destined for shelf storage, decoration forever. Bob 

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4 hours ago, 1937hd45 said:

Wonder how many parts are bought from hoarders, and put away as extras/spares, only to be sold later to some guy that thinks the second guy was a hoarder? Maybe some parts are destined for shelf storage, decoration forever. Bob 


I have a lot of decorations of that nature. My house wouldn’t feel like home without a du4 on the mantel and I know for a fact I can’t sleep without a westchester tail light on the shelf in the bedroom. I suppose if it got replaced by a Maxwell script tail light I might get some rest. I swear I am not a hoarder though.  

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One persons idea of hoarding is another’s idea of collecting. In my view there’s as many different ways to describe the hobby as opinions... 

 

I am  a hoarder, just ask anyone who doesn’t understand why I won’t sell an emblem out of my displays to help them with a restoration! I tend to field four or five questions about selling one each year, I cannot believe there are that many Dusenberg’s, Pierce Arrows, or Chalmer-Detroit Car’s being in need of an emblem... 

 

Well, there’s my opinion, and as the  old saying goes, opinions are like Bungholes, everyone has one and nobody wants to hear yours.

 

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I guess I am also a hoarder having put away spare parts for my 30 Cadillac over the past 35  years. From good transmissions to nos thermostats seeing my car is a driver. But in the past 10 years I have never had to switch a exhaust manifold or a starter or anything else for that matter. When I go my boys will just sell it all off as scrap metal I think them having no interest at all. 

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Bob, it’s been around 45 years since I bought my first one, and when I turned 13 I got a part time job. THAT is when it got serious... My high school buddy’s were smoking dope and I was hooked on cars, not a bad thing!

 

Nowadays, I might find one or two emblems or mascots a year that I would like, and the prices are frightening at times which keeps me in check. What I think is really funny is some of the really common emblems NOT in the collection. Mid 30’s Plymouth is one that I laugh about not having, but there were always better ones to buy at one point and that Plymouth would cost more now than a V12 Packard did in the day. 

 

Not overly relevant to the original conversation, but it is another place where pre-war automobillia is drying up... all because of hoarding it.

Edited by TheMoneyPit (see edit history)
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On 2/13/2020 at 1:32 PM, Matt Harwood said:

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.

  This is very true. A few years ago I helped clean out a stash of old Buick parts. The family wanted rid of the stuff but wanted reasonable prices. We bought the parts we needed at a fair price which we could use or possibly sell. But the problem is few want to pay anything reasonable to "hoard" spare parts anymore. In less they need the part they want the parts for 1960's prices if then. I hated to see it but in the end a 40 yarder was filled with body and mechanical parts from the 30's to the 60's. 

 

 Sell the parts?  Sell them to who? The friend who was with me goes to Hershey every year and brings back many of the parts. His prices are fair and he does sell enough to make a little but not enough that most of us would waste our time and storage space to hoard these parts. He's older and does it because he enjoys it. I'm afraid when something happens to him the same will happen to his hoard.

 

 I've tried selling some parts and I've actually had a restorer pay me more than I was asking because my price was to low. I've also tried to deal with hobbyists who are a pain in the ***  who are now on a blacklist. When I downsize I may well hope scrap price is higher and do the same as it's not worth dealing with some of the present so called hobbyists and much of my "hoard" obviously isn't worth the time or effort to bother moving it. Not really bitter, realistic.

 

 My point is don't blame it all on the hoarders who have stored the parts for 40 or 50 years.

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I made a pit stop on vacation one year and salvage a pile of Graham parts from a hot rod project, they sat in my shed for a few years.  A gentleman called me looking for parts for a 1934 Graham Coupe he was restoring, I offered up the parts I had saved, for a paltry sum, basically to cover my gas to get the parts.  He picked up the parts and gave me a lot more than what I wanted for the parts.  I was just glad they made it back to a Graham.  I sold him the front bumper assembly and the steering wheel/column, thought it turned out nice.  The car came out of a barn in TX that was being torn down.

 

Image result for 1934 Graham

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I used to follow up on local parts ads that led me to believe more parts might be available. It worked well. A lot of times I would ask "How much for everything in the garage? It will be cleared out by Saturday." I remember three times when I sold the contents of buildings I stored the non-sale items in a lump. Those were the parts I couldn't sell.

It has been a few years since I bought out a hoarder. Mainly, it costs too much to sell and space has become more valuable to me.

2019 was probably the year I have thrown out the most stuff ever. Twenty to forty pounds every Tuesday makes for an appreciable amount of free space in the garage. And I have been reading periodicals and throwing them out after reading, that's a big one.

 

I still sell some items, but I get weary of the buyer who imagines my parts are in a colorful tent beside a camel caravan route and needs to haggle over every nickel. They even use the same words their TV hero uses. They cry, plead poverty, demean themselves in all manners, and then brag to their friends about the deal they got. Seen it too many times. Tell them they are cheap and they get offended, pulling a roll of cash out of their pocket, wave it around, and ask "Who you calling cheap?". Then stick the roll back in their pocket without peeling off a dollar. (If you are smiling you know him. Three guesses and I bet I get his name).

 

Weary. The buyers have made me weary. And that's how my parts dried up.

I still say there are a lot of people in the old car hobby who pick their car like they would a costume.

 

Bernie

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40 minutes ago, 60FlatTop said:

I have been reading periodicals and throwing them out after reading

 Instead of recycling the magazines I offer them up free to car friends. When they are done picking through them I give them to people in the hospital or nursing home. Sometimes forgetting one at the doctor's or dentist's office. My next step will be to offer them up at cruise ins. I hate to throw them out.

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3 hours ago, 60FlatTop said:

I used to follow up on local parts ads that led me to believe more parts might be available. It worked well. A lot of times I would ask "How much for everything in the garage? It will be cleared out by Saturday." I remember three times when I sold the contents of buildings I stored the non-sale items in a lump. Those were the parts I couldn't sell.

It has been a few years since I bought out a hoarder. Mainly, it costs too much to sell and space has become more valuable to me.

2019 was probably the year I have thrown out the most stuff ever. Twenty to forty pounds every Tuesday makes for an appreciable amount of free space in the garage. And I have been reading periodicals and throwing them out after reading, that's a big one.

 

I still sell some items, but I get weary of the buyer who imagines my parts are in a colorful tent beside a camel caravan route and needs to haggle over every nickel. They even use the same words their TV hero uses. They cry, plead poverty, demean themselves in all manners, and then brag to their friends about the deal they got. Seen it too many times. Tell them they are cheap and they get offended, pulling a roll of cash out of their pocket, wave it around, and ask "Who you calling cheap?". Then stick the roll back in their pocket without peeling off a dollar. (If you are smiling you know him. Three guesses and I bet I get his name).

 

Weary. The buyers have made me weary. And that's how my parts dried up.

I still say there are a lot of people in the old car hobby who pick their car like they would a costume.

 

Bernie

I had a fellow send his good looking wife/girlfriend  over to my vending spot trying to get a better deal. He came running over after he realized it was the wrong part stopping her from buying it.    

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The problem of loose parts and clutter are why I always try to keep the whole car right up to the end.  It's a better method than what most people do as long as you have space and don't run come to the attention of local authority's.

Stripping a car and storing parts ensures that eventually most of those same parts some day end in scrap , and you probably store, trip over and move them for a decade or more thinking they are of value. If you keep a parts car reasonably intact a potential buyer can see right away if you have the part and what condition it is in. 

Every once and a while someone might even want to buy the whole thing. 

Sell parts off it for 1, 2, 3 years or whatever is your preference than scrap what's left. It's worked for me for years.

 

Greg in Canada

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Have been looking for a bracket that holds the 1909 to 12 E&J carbide tank to the running board with no luck. So I borrowed a real nice one and made an assembly fixture for the part and made one. So today I started making a few more to put on the shelf for future use or if someone wants one. I do not call it hoarding but keeping busy.  

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Yes for the 12 T and already have to make one for a friend. The fixture is crude but it worked out good as all three points are spot on. Spent most of the time on the mill cutting the strips down to 1 3/16 wide. If you ever need one Bob let me know.

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Edited by Joe in Canada (see edit history)
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Nice bracket! This is the Stuart Baumann generator for my 1911 Hupmobile, still wrapped in 1981 newspaper and in the box be shipped it in. Can someone tell me if it was his design or a copy of an old original? Bob 

DSCF5507.JPG

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Hope everyone is keeping an eye on the thread started by PKHAMMER - "Museum Parts Collection mostly pre-war goodies" under the Parts For Sale category. 

Looking at the responses there seems to be a natural filtration system in place - he bought a load, as has already been pointed out, much is unsorted or unidentified, so he is probably going to move it out in lots and make a reasonable amount on a big pile rather than waiting for someone with the right car to find that single illusive part he can retire on. 

I see it happening that way a lot. Judging from the responses he is getting, it is working as he will have the chance to sell stuff in categories.  The carbs will go to specialist who can identify and move the stuff along to the right buyer.  Headlamps have created interest among several people already.  I know of the hoard and it's a lot of stuff.  I'm just patiently waiting for a few good old spark plugs to surface.  Hope he will remember me. 

But - back to the original statement that "prewar parts are drying up" my response in - NO.  Looking into the bottom of my scotch bottle I see the future - more and more old loads/hoards will be on the market as the old timers die off or downsize.  It's happening now.  Within the past couple of weeks I've purchased some great items off ebay, and in talking with the sellers, they are doing just that - downsizing and thinning out. 

Judging from what I'm seeing with PKHAMMER's load of stuff, the demand is there and it'll all get redistributed-some in wholesale lots-but it does find a new home, and even if it only gets moved along to another seller, it's still available. 

Now, back to American Pickers.

Terry

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I am glad I sold off parts for vehicles I no longer owned to finance a project and my family knows the parts I have are for the vehicles I own,there are probably some parts still here that I forgotten about but all the stuff worth money has found new homes.

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20 hours ago, Terry Bond said:

Hope everyone is keeping an eye on the thread started by PKHAMMER - "Museum Parts Collection mostly pre-war goodies" under the Parts For Sale category. 

Looking at the responses there seems to be a natural filtration system in place - he bought a load, as has already been pointed out, much is unsorted or unidentified, so he is probably going to move it out in lots and make a reasonable amount on a big pile rather than waiting for someone with the right car to find that single illusive part he can retire on. 

I see it happening that way a lot. Judging from the responses he is getting, it is working as he will have the chance to sell stuff in categories.  The carbs will go to specialist who can identify and move the stuff along to the right buyer.  Headlamps have created interest among several people already.  I know of the hoard and it's a lot of stuff.  I'm just patiently waiting for a few good old spark plugs to surface.  Hope he will remember me. 

But - back to the original statement that "prewar parts are drying up" my response in - NO.  Looking into the bottom of my scotch bottle I see the future - more and more old loads/hoards will be on the market as the old timers die off or downsize.  It's happening now.  Within the past couple of weeks I've purchased some great items off ebay, and in talking with the sellers, they are doing just that - downsizing and thinning out. 

Judging from what I'm seeing with PKHAMMER's load of stuff, the demand is there and it'll all get redistributed-some in wholesale lots-but it does find a new home, and even if it only gets moved along to another seller, it's still available. 

Now, back to American Pickers.

Terry

  Thanks Terry -you are 100% correct in your observations and assumptions. I WANT to move these parts along to the right buyers and hopefully at the end of the day into the hands of the collectors/restorers that will put them to use. We hauled the last of it today, four of us worked our butts off! We had an entire 8' pickup load of nothing but NOS pistons! We moved shelves full of early tube type radios, NOS mufflers, etc, etc. Anybody that has done this knows how much work it is and what it costs in fuel, time, help, and wear and tear on trucks and trailers. of course I want to make a little money at the end of the day but equally important to me is that this stuff that hasn't seen the light of day for many years gets to where it belongs. I'll keep the thread going and post photos as I go through the hoard. Some of the larger items will be challenging to ship but I can deliver parts to Carlisle and Hershey. I can't wait for Hershey..........:)

  I am getting quite a bit of interest and I hope that continues as I open the boxes and discover new items. Yes Terry, I will remember you if I find some great spark plugs! I am keeping a list of everybody's wants/needs that have sent me PMs and will inform people if I find something they might want. Thanks for the interest from everybody!

  As far as parts supply drying up, I agree with Terry to a point. More and more parts collections are becoming available as some of the older collectors/restorers die off. However MY concern is the demand for parts is dying off along with these older collectors. That's what I see in the bottom of my bourbon bottle!

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This thread is about pre - war parts. And the general consensus.... there are masses of pre - war parts out there is really only partially true in my experience. 1939 back to about 1925 and yes , there are literally tons and tons of parts.

But mid 20's back to 1916 ; nickel era stuff , sees a sharp falling off. Then a further plunge once you enter the brass era. 

You would almost expect to see a proportional decline, twice as old - 1/2 the volume but experience tells me this is not true.  Definitely less than 10%  { more like 2% - 5 % } of the volume of 1930 "s parts I see are brass era.  Both the depression and WW2 

must have seen a huge quantity of  Brass era cars and parts scrapped.  NOTE !! I am excluding Model T Ford parts in these generalisations, still lots of 1916 -25 T stuff around.  T's are almost a separate hobby in themselves.

The " Museum Parts Collection " photo's I have seen so far look to be heavily weighted toward 1925 and newer. I think the same will apply to nearly every similar parts treasure trove still to be uncovered.

The really sad thing in my opinion is that when similar troves fall into the hands of non - car family members they will have no idea how rare the early stuff is. After all for the most part old car parts all look about the same. And early stuff is just as likely 

to end up in the scrap bin as 38 Plymouth sedan parts. No offense to those of you who treasure your late 1930's Plymouths.

 

Greg in Canada

 

 

 

Edited by 1912Staver (see edit history)
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On 2/13/2020 at 8:24 PM, alsancle said:

 

The parts were sold off and they are still available from another vendor.  I forget the name.   I've told this story before,  but back in the 50s there was still a lot of ACD stuff mixed in with the Graham and Hupp parts.  My dad got a ton of NOS Auburn/Cord/Duesenberg parts from there.   We just used up our last NOS Duesenberg Master Cylinder that came out of there back in 1957.  My dad bought 12 of them.

Felix said that in the shipping of parts to Broken Arrow, they got a few non-ACD items, and we know from personal experience that the cache in Auburn had a few ACD items in their mix.   Makes perfect sense.

 

 

Edited by Mike Dube
clarity (see edit history)
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17 minutes ago, Mike Dube said:

Felix said that in the shipping of parts to Broken Arrow, they got a few non-ACD items, and we know from personal experience that the cache in Auburn had a few ACD items in their mix.   Makes perfect sense.

 

 

Correct, just as the building across the street and down form ACD museum was largely Graham and Huppmobile, but id have Auburn and Cord parts in it too. 

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