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Dave's Garage

Dave Sander [ January 2016 ]

The Parts Car

Several years ago the price of scrap steel went up. Way up. As a result of this rise in scrap prices, many salvage yards crushed and scrapped much of their inventory. This was not a good thing for those of us with older cars.

Recently, scrap prices have dropped, dramatically. This is good news for consumers of used parts for older vehicles. Salvage yards are less inclined to scrap inventory, and older cars taken off the road are less desirable for scrappers. A recent search on Craigslist led to the discovery of many available parts cars, all at reasonable prices.
For older cars, Gates Salvage in Hardwick has piles and miles of cars. For more recent cars, local pick-n-pull yards or Craigslist probably have the car you are looking for.

Purchasing parts cars can be quite valuable during restorations, and for maintaining an older daily driver. I recently purchased several Saab 900 parts cars. Parts for Saabs are becoming hard to get. It is very handy to have whole parts cars available when parts are needed. Often a whole parts car can be had for the cost of one replacement part.

I have had many parts cars over the years. I usually end up selling parts I don't need to other enthusiasts, often recouping the initial cost of the car. Once the car has been picked of useful parts, it goes to the scrap yard.

The only down side to having parts cars is storage. It is hard to justify valuable garage space for a junk car. A lack of adequate storage could be a problem. Ideally a parts car should be located in a garage, barn shed or in an outside area where the vehicle is not visible. Your parts car is an eyesore for your neighbors. Many municipalities have ordinances prohibiting possession of unregistered vehicles on the property. With a few tarps, a parts car looks the same as a woodpile.

Please email all inquiries to: Dave
or snail mail
32 Turkey Hill Road
Richmond VT 05477

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