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.
So we asked you, the Hagerty Community, what part you would consider a dream come true were you to find it for sale, and the answers were diverse and enlightening. Haven’t joined the Hagerty Community yet? You should consider registering, and getting in on the fun next time around! No matter, let’s see what part you wish was still available for your car.
Anything Zeta, everything Zeta
Perhaps this is low hanging fruit, as a large amount of parts for the GM Zeta platform were thin on the ground even when the Pontiac G8 (and Chevrolet Caprice) were new vehicles. I recall Caprice cop cars were parked waiting for parts to arrive from Australia even during the warranty period, and Hagerty Community user tabboo wishes everything GM discontinued for his 2009 Pontiac G8 GT would come back into local warehouses. While many parts are available if you can stomach the wait for international shipping, this is a very valid concern for all G8 owners.
Window “tape” for the Italian Cadillac
Hagerty Community user TG has a specific request for his Cadillac Allanté, looking for “the plastic ‘tape’ used by the power window mechanism.” As he states, the part used on a run-of-the-mill GM product is “about half an inch thinner.” Since the Allanté was about as bespoke a vehicle can be in the modern era, we wish TG all the luck in the world. That part will likely have to be rebuilt using the original part as a core for someone to conjur a workable replacement.
Speaking of rare Cadillacs…
Let’s stick with Cadillacs and discuss Hagerty Community member RobHarris’ concern. Rob needs a horn ring for a 1959 Cadillac, preferably one that is “much stronger than original.” Rob is also looking for cruise control-related parts that are priced for “an average consumer like me” which he knows is a big ask—parts with less than 1957 Chevrolet appeal will be expensive to scale, and have a limited audience. Or as he put it, “owning an expensive to restore car is not for average people.”
I have a feeling this need is common for any European car owner from the 1970s-1990s, as American bumpers never looked as good as what was available in the home market. More to the point, Hagerty Community member Monstrodamus is looking for “stainless euro bumpers” for his Alfa Romeo Alfetta, as they clearly look better than the 5-mph friendly battering rams we got in America!
Pulling a thread on retired fabric designs
This one is more of a general grievance, as Hagerty Community member bblhed lamented that he’s had a hard time getting replacement cloth material for his seats. Or as he put it, “I have no idea what the deal is with the fabric (or patterned vinyl), but this has been a problem with just about every car I have ever owned.” I am sure there are plenty more folks out there that will agree; matching fabric can be almost impossible to find, even for late model vehicles (outside of a junkyard).
The grilles of classics past
This one might be too close to the aforementioned 1959 Cadillac horn ring, but it’s still worth mentioning. Hagerty Community user hunternicholas longs for the opportunity to “buy a new grille and other exterior trim” for his 1948 Chrysler Windsor Sedan. The problem is well known, as his car “is an example of not being a very popular car like a Mustang or Tri-Five Chevy.” This is the issue with cars that were never terribly popular, and it takes me back to my regular searches for automotive unobtainum. More to the point, it reminds me in need to be on top of things when the right part surfaces either online or at a junkyard: get it while you can, before your car gets as old as hunternicholas’ Chrysler Windsor.
The aftermarket home run
Here’s something I didn’t expect: a very cool, extremely unique, totally aftermarket part added to our list! Hagerty Community user Bubbat would just “love to find a PowerLite power rear window for the 73-87 Chevy C-10s.” Made by C.R. Laurence in the 1980s, it predated the power rear window of the Toyota Tundra, and looks like a wonderful addition to any GM Squarebody. This part needs to be reproduced for this increasingly large community, and with great haste!
Mixed (and matched) signals?
Rare parts for equally rare vehicles also get a special mention, as Hagerty Community user Studebacher is looking for a turn signal/high beam dimmer switch for a Porsche 356. While I have seen conversions using more commonly available VW parts, I suspect the right switch for the right year is beyond important for owners/collectors of these rare Porsches. It could be the last part to ensure a perfect restoration!
More love for the Fox-body, please
Back to something more conventional, as its still not completely mindless to procure all the parts needed to restore a Fox Body Mustang. Hagerty Community member 85SVO is looking for the door skins to restore a rusty Fox Mustang back to its former glory. Apparently the Fox Mustang aftermarket sells “every other panel except the doors.” Considering how many Fox Bodies made a name for themselves across the country, and especially in the Big Three’s home turf of the Rust Belt, we agree when 85SVO says that it “seems pretty insane to me considering the amount of people who are working on restoring these cars.”
Vanlife needs OEM blessings?
The VW Vanagon has a loyal following, but apparently some unexpected parts are thin on the ground. Often you can take a risk on a used part, but not when it comes to the internal bits of a gearbox. And that’s where Hagerty Community member Bleyseng comes into our tale, as he is motivated to ask VW to make “Vanagon Syncro transmission parts” so he can get a factory-fresh rebuild.
2002 problems, including a delayed relay
Hagerty Community member skyking96w has a wish that’s not too far from the Porsche 356—or is it? The 1971 BMW-Alpina 2002 in his possession needs a wiper delay relay, and they are proving tough to come by. While skyking96w says this part was made by the world-famous Hella brand, it has long since gone out of production. Perhaps someone is willing to make a new part using a well-documented template? How many people would mind a new, far superior part if it’s impossible to spot by the casual observer?
H-body interior guts
Let’s wrap this up where we began: GM products that are very hard to source, only because they aren’t the famous ones everyone remembers and/or wants. Hagerty Community user BillyD owns a 1979 Chevy Monza, a vehicle that acquiring “anything for them is pretty difficult to come by.” His biggest concerns right now are interior parts. The Monza had no peer in GM’s lineup, though as he says, “some things interchange with Corvette or Camaro, but not all.” We hope BillyD remains vigilant in his hunt in the future, as “a lot of scrounging on FB groups or eBay sometimes will reveal some NOS items.” Perhaps one day he will get everything needed for that Monza. We’re pulling for you, BillyD!
Any other parts you dream of coming across? Do you have some stock in your collection that could help one of our beloved readers above? Be sure to let us know in the comments below!