The most cost effective way to get into collecting historic and vintage vehicles has always been to rebuild them yourself, because the labor is where a lot of the value comes from. Keeping a vehicle in near showroom condition is an ongoing labor of love, and it’s not limited to just muscle cars or classic sports cars. Vintage pickup trucks have been gaining popularity recently, leading to a rise in demand for restoration parts. Here are three great places to look if you’re getting started.
1. Legacy OEM Spec Part Support
Believe it or not, most vehicles continue to have OEM part support in one form or another for decades after they cease production. Often, you can even get the parts through a dealership’s parts department, because they’ll order from any manufacturer interested in following the specs outlined in the original vehicle’s design. While these parts aren’t original, they are identical to out of the box replacements available when the vehicle was new, even if they aren’t made by the exact same manufacturers.
2. Used Part Dealers Online
Sometimes, your best bet is to get a used part and refurbish it to suit your purposes. This can be done for practically any body piece if you can locate a used part for it. In some cases, collectors even source empty chassis to begin a rebuild in through these sources, who make it their job to go looking for the parts their customers need while making them available for the right shipping cost. It can be a good way to find a great deal on an entire used truck rear end that’s serviceable enough to be resurfaced and painted to suit.
3. Part Yards, Junkyards, and Salvage Dealers
Local sources for used parts can also be a great resource if your area has enough history with the vehicle you’re working on to make it accessible. This is often not the case unless you’re working with a very popular truck that went virtually unchanged for long spans of years at once, but that does happen. It’s worth at least checking out your local options for deals before going hunting for online dealers or new parts manufacturers.
More Tips for Truck Restoration
In any hobby that requires a broad skill base and a long term labor investment, the best thing you can do is educate yourself. That means going out and getting the repair handbook, owner’s manual, and other documentation for the truck you’re rebuilding. It also means finding yourself community resources like online forums and experts who publish their work for you to study, so you can keep sharpening that skill set as you go.