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Author Topic: Best source for resto parts  (Read 8929 times)
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« Reply #15 on: December 26, 2006, 10:38:55 AM »

It's been my experience after many years in the Corvette restoration world that the best source of information and advice for which supplier may or may not have the best NOS/used/rebuilt/restored/reproduction parts is other enthusiasts, especially with the instant communication provided by internet discussion boards like this one, the Team Camaro forum at, etc. Many suppliers carry the same parts, some are better than others in terms of NOS parts, accuracy of reproduction parts, condition of used parts, accuracy of description of parts, etc. People have different experiences with different suppliers, some suppliers have good days and bad days, and no one single transaction conveys a consistent overall evaluation of a given supplier.

I've kept my own notes over the years on suppliers, and update them regularly based on what I hear from others, factoring in the individual circumstances of each good/bad experience and the skill level and expectations of others; someone new to the hobby with limited skills and tools might consider a given used part a POS, while another more experienced restorer might consider the same part an excellent candidate for restoration. There can be a significant difference in perception between those who consider "restoration" as buying a part and installing it out of a box and those who will actually "restore" a part before installing it.

That's the primary reason that neither the NCRS nor Bloomington Gold, in the Corvette world, endorse, certify, or recommend any supplier or parts manufacturer, or maintain any "list" of "approved" parts or suppliers. All that matters is what the part appears to be on the judging field after restoration, and to what degree it appears to meet or deviate from the published judging standard - there are lots of different ways to meet that standard, depending on the skills and resources of the restorer.

"Restored" means different things to different people, and that definition is completely different for "show-n-shine" judging vs. originality judging; the goals are different, and so are the paths to follow to get there.  Smiley
« Last Edit: December 26, 2006, 10:40:50 AM by JohnZ » Logged

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« Reply #16 on: December 26, 2006, 04:29:08 PM »

"Restored" means different things to different people, and that definition is completely different for "show-n-shine" judging vs. originality judging; the goals are different, and so are the paths to follow to get there.  Smiley

Once again, John brings us to an "ultimate point"...

Dave has a good point that seems to be "truer" with each passing year --as it gets harder and harder to find original parts.  it would be great to know where to go to find the best reproduction part.  But that's not how restoration started.  It started by finding (hunting, scavenging, and begging --not ordering and installing) an orginal part and restoring it. I'm not sure who will decide, but someday reproduction may be the only option beyond a handful of truly original cars...

In the meantime, there are different judging standards (I love the "show-n-shine" comment, John!).  Again, it would be great if someone would set a concise and clear standard for Camaros --especially in terms of originality, but who would follow it and who would not?

I was looking at an "original"  WWI era Chevy the other day that has won a whole room full of trophies.  The owner winked at me and said, "It's the wong exterior color... Just like the Ford, it only came in black!"  Everything else is original (and thus, he wins originality awards), but it's his car and he painted it the way he wanted it...

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« Reply #17 on: December 26, 2006, 10:37:58 PM »

All very good input.  In the mean time, if I need to find a good "NOS" or restoration service....I'll stay posted on CRG!
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« Reply #18 on: December 27, 2006, 11:30:51 PM »

Very well said, JohnZ.

As one who runs a restoration shop, I deal with new/used/repo parts regularly.  There are a lot of good repo parts out there, but there are also many that leave a lot to be desired, while some is flat junk.  And of course, a lot depends on how "factory" you want the car to be.  Some (few) of the better repo parts are much nicer than what came out of the factory, i.e the "show quality" emblems and trim from trim parts.  Many times there are two options for a particular part, one your basic repo, the other being a higher quality part.  I always opt for the better quality.

That being said, I try to use as much as the original GM parts as I can.  We all have our peeves on things that have to be absolutely correct, and nothing else will do.  For the "bolted on" sheetmetal, I will always go with a good used original rather than a repop.  Isnt as easy with the welded on parts like quarters and trunk pans.

The repo seat covers do look "cheap".  The Z we're finishing right now, we paid quite a price for a set of NOS covers.  But it does make a difference.

firstgen:  You are correct about Ames.  The parts in their catalog will have a disclaimer if its a good part or not.  Similar to Rick's, I stay loyal to Ames until I am given a reason to not do business with them.

"Build them how the designers and engineers envisioned them to be"
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