11 December 2012

Sandy's Aftermath: The classic car parts market

So you've called all of your friends in the Northeast who live anywhere near Sandy's wake. Some got away with their prized collector cars intact while others endured total losses. You, however, are in the middle of a restoration and the continued availability of parts is your main concern, whether they be NOS, used, or repro. What effect will this hurricane have on the parts market as well as the parts themselves going forward? How will it affect you as an end-user?

While some believe that the market may see a proliferation of flood-damaged parts as cars get written off and parted out in the coming months, other experts see a different scenario that would mean declining parts availability for several reasons.

The sudden spike in the number of totaled collector cars may not increase the supply of used parts after all. Jeff Brenner of Octagon Auto states that interior, mechanical, and especially electrical parts will be ruined and beyond salvage while sheet metal, chrome and glass will still be useable. The market however, may not ever see any of these parts. "In my experience, once a car gets totaled and receives a salvage title from flood damage, it frequently gets bought from the insurance company and then gets resold to a collector in Europe or South America who has no idea of the car's history," Brenner says.

Another factor may be an increased demand for what parts are available. The folks at Ragtops and Roadsters in Perkasie, Pa., report that they have already received their first flood-damaged car for repair and the phone is starting to ring from more owners looking to line up their wounded classics for restoration. James From, Marketing Supervisor for Kanter Auto Products, states that while he hasn't seen a lot of inquiries for parts and restorations yet, he expects that demand for both will increase with the usual post-holiday rise in sales and restoration work. In addition, he believes this seasonal rise could be further boosted as the owners of hurricane-damaged settle claims and book times for repairs in preparation for the driving season.

Mr. From notes that current parts availability is being hindered by the hurricane's effect on shipping and infrastructure. "We've encountered a two-week backlog in just getting parts out," he says. Although Kanter's New Jersey warehouse wasn't damaged, electrical service was interrupted at parts facilities that they work with which in turn creates a ripple effect with shippers.

It’s difficult to make accurate predictions about parts availability so soon after Sandy's, but prudent collectors will do well to have their baking soda solutions or other oxidization reversers close at hand, look diligently at all available parts sources now and, most importantly, order needed parts sooner rather than later. The combination of salvage cars being bought and resold, increased restoration work for hurricane-damaged cars, and logjams in the supply chain could all conspire to overextend the existing parts supply in coming months.

10 Reader Comments

  • 1
    John Kensinger New Paris, Pennsylvania March 31, 2014 at 23:41
    I'm looking for a rubber door seal from Ford. It is for a 2001 Ford Focus ZX3. The part number is YS4Z6151823AA. The part has been discontinued from Ford, and is unavailable from aftermarket parts dealers. I haven't been able to find it in salvage yards here in PA. Thank you
  • 2
    wayne hamlet United States June 1, 2014 at 11:06
    I'am looking foe a ring and penion for a 1949 gmc 3/4 ton truck, the only numbers on the 3ed member are gg 713, the truck is a longwheel base, it has abump bed.
  • 3
    Altha Hoyle Leicester NC 28748 August 17, 2014 at 19:53
    would like to change brakes and add power stearing to my 1963 ford galaxie 2 door. what parts is available for these changes? What do you suggest about the change?
  • 4
    Altha Hoyle Leicester, NC 28748 September 5, 2014 at 19:53
    I would like to change brakes and add power steering to my 1963 Galaxie 2 door ford hardtop. any suggestions would be helpful. {where to find parts, who to do work in this area] Thank you..
  • 5
    Bill Quarryville, Pa. October 2, 2014 at 10:31
    I've been involved with old Fords and Mercurys since the 50's!
  • 6
    Wyatt idaho city ID November 16, 2014 at 11:39
    im looking for a 1969 Dodge Dart gas tank and drum brakes
  • 7
    john nevada March 13, 2015 at 16:44
    I am looking for a hood and front bumper for a '91 corvette
  • 8
    Roger Garfield Wash December 8, 2015 at 21:35
    Looking for a window winder crank that threads on to the shaft that is about 1/2 '" and fine thread. donot know what make, it is for a custom made body in1930. Thanks Roger
  • 9
    bryan holmes kearns utah March 3, 2016 at 21:03
    I'm looking for a flywheel and somes crom pices for a 1962 Studebaker lark with a manual transmission with a v8 289
  • 10
    merlon rogers massena ny November 20, 2016 at 14:38
    53 chevy sedan delivery belt moldings

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