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Hagerty Employee

12 parts you wish were still available for your car

Odds are, every Hagerty reader either owns an older car or dreams of owning a vehicle that has clearly survived past the manufacturer's intended expiration date. Many times these cars neither have a fully comprehensive aftermarket support system, nor do they have factory support on par with a late model vehicle's overabundant supply of spare parts.
175 REPLIES 175
Intermediate Driver

Brand new, not rebuilt brake calipers for any Miata! The dealer parts counter only offers "remanufactured" parts, not brand new units! The rear caliper's parking brake assembly have a nasty habit of seizing up. When they do, they drag the pads on the rotor, destroying both in short order. Brand new, factory fresh units on the car at birth last about five (5) years before corrosion sets in, but "remanufactured" units only seem to last between twelve (12) and eighteen (18) months before the calipers die, killing the rear brakes in the process! I've been through this with my 1993 Miata, and my 2004 Mazdaspeed Miata. I replaced all four calipers on my 2013 MX-5 Miata Grand Touring PRHT with Power Spec parts from Rock Auto at 60k miles, we'll see how long they last.
Intermediate Driver

For several years I have been seeking drivers side seat cloth for a 2005 Canyon.
No luck.

Bought a parts car for spare switches, trim, front drums and a windshield. Got all sorts of great little extras, plus a spare engine, trans, etc. Car had 3.58 gears which was super rare for a Dynaflow car.

Weather stripping and trim for just about anything with some age on it.New weather stripping for many older convertibles is generally unique and unobtainable.
Intermediate Driver

That's why serious restorers would always buy a parts car.
New Driver

NAS (North American Spec) Defender parts… rest of world Defender parts are cheap and plentiful thanks to MOD use, but anything NAS specific is insanely expensive, if you can even find them.

New Driver

@BillyD....I have front/rear seats for Monzas....Surprised to see someone in need
Pit Crew

Need someone to reproduce complete Hurst Lightning Rod shifter kits for early 80s Oldsmobile Hurst/Olds cars. These could also be used in ALL Gbody cars - but especially a good mod to replace the lousy shifter in 1984-87 Grand Nationals to insure positive manual shifts.
Pit Crew

Another car which parts are hard to find is the 1973 to 1977 Gm intermediate cars, Monte carlo, Malibu, Cutlass, Regal, and Gran prix.
Advanced Driver

If they still have the drawings and tooling, I think GM could make money producing hard-to-find parts for their popular 67-87 pickups and 55-57 Chevy cars. Sure, there are lots of imported aftermarket parts available. However, many, if not most, leave much to be desired in the way of fit and finish. And quite a lot are no longer produced by any vendor. For example, steering column parts.
Intermediate Driver

And speaking of the Monzas and other H-bodies (Sunbird, Skyhawk, Starfire), new fuel tanks are greatly needed - if we can get repro tanks for '60s Imperials, why not these?
New Driver

1969 Pontiac Grand Prix correct comfort weave vinyl seat fabric… as apparently all that is available from PUI and Legendary is a stamped vinyl fabric replacement that is not close to OEM. Also, one year only door panels for the ‘69 GP, all combinations, manual crank and power windows, Front and rear pop metal corners for valance to fender, and rear quarters. Rear license plate housing.
Pit Crew

Parts for our 87 300zx can be a pain to find, especially body parts.
Pit Crew

Who even cares about most of those cars?

Some of the people that own them?

New Driver

I'm looking for Audi B5 Avant (wagon) cargo area interior side trim that hasn't broken where the sunshade hooks near the tailgate.
Pit Crew

NAPA is my go to for car parts. They no longer carry air filters for my 1988 Tbird Turbo Coupe. I found them on Rock Auto and bought a half dozen.. Also, the electric adjustable shock absorbers for this car are now pieces of unobtainium.

I tinker with old VW Beetles, so the aftermarket is awash with parts for them, but there are some exceptions, especially with restoration quality parts.

The bigger issue is that there are so many that it's worth it for companies to build large numbers of parts that are cheap junk and flood the market with them. I'm always trying to figure out what is good, what is bad, and what is flat-out dangerous to use!

It's almost funny that certain enthusiast cars don't have parts. The OEM's would be able to make easy money off already existing tooling. That of course assumes it wasn't trashed.
New Driver

As a first-time Mercedes owner ('75 450SL), finding the original aluminum wiper blade holder is a futile and/or expensive issue - most were tossed with the first change of wiper blades, and the replacement black plastic ones look like clown shoes on a chic model. I finally found a pair but, alas, now I can't find the rubber blades that fit the channel. MB made a kajillion of these 107's over an 18 year run, and many remain on the road with a devoted following - it's time for someone to manufacture original style wiper blade holders with the blade.
Intermediate Driver

For the 20002 BMW Alpina see where the intermittent relay is located because many American vehicles with intermittent relays had them on the wiper motor rather than in the switch, especially trucks. You may have to replace some parts to get the intermittent relay to work properly again. Get together with an electronics repair person especially someone that used to repair radios or televisions. They have the expertise to repair this type of relay. If you are a diehard DIY then do a deep dive to find out how they work and build one. Stick it into the place where the original was located.
I have a 50 year old Euro Super Beetle with things the North American versions never got like disc brakes. I had a hell of a time finding the parts to rebuild my calipers. After buying them from a place in the UK I found out I could have gotten them for less at MTManufacturing.
Grill for a Chrysler, try additive manufacturing. What you use or hire someone to do for you is 3-D CAD to create the part on a computer and then to check it you have it printed in plastic. Then you will have to decide whether you want to use subtractive or additive manufacturing to make the grill. You could have it cut from stainless steel and then polish the faces or the plastic could be used to have it cast, etc. and plated. Don't think of it as a solid finished part but think of the individual pieces then put them together.
The bumpers are a similar problem I am having with my Super Beetle. I could use the available bumper with the poor plating but I would like stronger and non-rusting polished bumpers. I looked at the shapes of the bumper if I had to make it from pieces. The top and bottom plates can be cut to the proper shape with a water jet and using stainless steel. The face of the bumper has a low center where a rubber bumper rub strip is located. So the face is made with a plate that then has two narrower strip welded to the face after bending to the shape to match the top and bottom faces. Then the narrow strips are welded to the face and the upper and lower plates respectively. Use stainless for all the pieces and TIG weld it to create nicely shaped top and bottom welded edges. Then the entire bumper is polished. As a welded unit the new bumper will be much stronger and stiffer than if it was formed.
Regarding upholstery. When I was restoring my 1951 Studebaker in the 1970s I was dismayed to discover that the striped upholstery was no longer available. Imagine my surprise when I cannot find the correct 10-wale polyester and nylon blend corduroy to repair the seats in my 1972 VW Super Beetle. I just need the 10-wale corduroy because I can dye it the correct color, but corduroy seems to no longer be popular for clothing or for upholstery.
Interior parts can be made if you can recreate them in a 3-D CAD program. To get you started for less try something like Rhino.
New Driver

I need a front left side window glass for my 1992 Lexus LS 400. It's a RHD model since I'm in the UK. Had it since new and don't want to lose it to the scrapyard just for a window. Any ideas would be appreciated.
Intermediate Driver

Also, rear quarter windows and seals for the Fox body coupe. For some reason you can get Glass an seals for the hatchback but not the coupes...
New Driver

This is probably another reason why restomods are becoming popular: making modern, more available parts fit and work in an older platform. A shame it seems the number of craftsmen and trades are dwindling so the number of folks who could make bespoke pieces is in short supply. There are places like send-cut-send where you send them files of what to cut and make and they do it and send it back either in weldable pieces or welded up for more money. I think this is where the Hagerty community could help one another out since you can't scan what you dont have.

When I had my 84 Mustang GT-the front and rear fascias! The 84 (84.5 technically), had a one year only nose cone with integrated fog lamps.
Pit Crew

If somebody is out there and has the $$ to do it, open up a company just making the parts that people need for their classic cars. You'd make a mint of money!! No it wouldn't be easy but damn,,someone needs to do this. By the way,,looking for an E51 Tranny for my Supercharged '89 Toyota MR2 up here in Canada. I can't afford shipping from the US!! Or at least someone around here in Montreal who can fix the 2nd gear synchro,,,,,(Hey,,you can blame a guy for tryin' LOL).