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Old 08-20-2016, 10:27 AM   #1
Ron Pilger
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Default Parts prices are killing our hobby

There has been much speculation about what are old, restored Fords are going to be worth (or not) in the coming years. I'm talking about the T's, A's and early v-8's. I'm in the camp of not much, actually, yet I continue to hang on to a pretty fair collection of 34 through 38 coupes and cabriolets. I'm probably real stupid for doing so - if preserving wealth is the end goal. We old farts love our vintage and all-original Fords and catch ourselves wondering why anyone would dream of butchering a firewall or taint our flattie-powered cars with the swap of a SBC beneath the hood. Yet, I often think we are our worst enemies for asking (and getting) absurd prices for the parts we collectively flog. Supply and demand can be a wonderful thing if you're a seller! As I do every morning, actually several times every day if the truth were to be known, I just checked-out all aspects of Fordbarn. Forum first then swap meet - just in case! Today, I see a real decent original 34 speedometer for $375. An original, but rechromed 34 windshield frame for $1600, a pair of flathead intakes for $225 each and a box of 10 spark plugs for $115. Don't get me wrong -this isn't a complaint - just an observation. I've sold my own excess parts for amazing prices, too. And we wonder out loud, or in print, why a restoration costs $50,000 or $75,000 or $100,000? And dare question why the car has a market value of $40,000 - and no one young is interested in it! I recently bought my first "new old car" a 1966 Mustang convertible. In the few months that I have had it I have been shocked at how comparatively inexpensive replacement parts are for this vintage. Just yesterday I bought a brand new convertible top for a mere $175. As I head out to the garage to work on a 1934 3 Window coupe, I'm going to be repeatedly asking myself - how stupid am I?
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Old 08-20-2016, 10:48 AM   #2
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Default Re: Parts prices are killing our hobby

You're not stupid at all. lf it gives you satisfaction and good feelings it's worth it all.
Yes, the price of our old cars will probably go down a lot (just like Model T's and A's) as the old timers pass on and there are fewer buyers. As for the absurd prices, folks are willing to pay for something they really need and they know is hard to find. They know it's not the 50's anymore so they pay. However, depending on your age, it makes sense to sell off some cars that are bringing high prices now rather than wait another 20 years
(or sooner) when the market dips. Plus, think of all the hoarders and folks who have huge collections of parts and (someday) cars right now. It will get to the point when it's too expensive to restore these old cars. What then?
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Old 08-20-2016, 11:46 AM   #3
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Default Re: Parts prices are killing our hobby

Fordy,I agree. It seems our hobby is beginning to flatten out also. I saw a recent article in Hemmings I believe that said our pre-1960 cars are falling in value. This is because the "younger" generation wants cars from the 60's, 70's and 80's because of more modern electronics among other things. They can plug their Boisenberry's or whatever in or can have more modern music etc. I know the price of my '41 has fallen considerably in the last 18 years since I had it originally appraised.
I know this is a bit off topic. Yes, prices for our parts have stayed considerably high these last few years,especially original items. Replacement Chinc parts are less but we have quality and fit problems.
An old Ford guy I knew years ago in the '60's said. "There's always someone with more money than brains...that's the guy to look for." Also, as you said, folks are willing to pay absurd prices for something they need.
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Old 08-20-2016, 12:04 PM   #4
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Default Re: Parts prices are killing our hobby

I'm 32 and my friends and I talk about this a lot. We believe a 32 is always going to be a '32. But at the same time, if the prices do fall, or at least flat line, maybe there will be more of a younger demand.

Then again, we went to the antique show at Macungie and the crowd and cars were thin this year. The guys interested in restored cars over hot rods is just dying off. The demand for stock T's and A's is really going to plunge I think. At least a stock early V8 is still a streetable car.
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Old 08-20-2016, 12:05 PM   #5
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Default Re: Parts prices are killing our hobby

I think the advent of the internet has changed the hobby, and may other things.
Asking those prices and getting them are two different things. I have to admit that parts prices ,especially out West seem to be out of control.
On the other hand, I just gave away 2 trailer loads of 38-39-40 sheet metal and parts because I did not want to deal with it anymore. There were about 70 fenders hanging in the shop rafters that I was not going to do anything with at this point. Craigslist is infested with scammers, EBAY charges exorbitant prices for shipping and selling, and selling locally takes a lot of time. It was better to donate the parts to a worthy cause.
I recently needed a speedometer for one of my '34's. It was cheaper and quicker to buy a nice one on the internet than sending mine in for repair. I have built dozens of cars over the years for the enjoyment. Those days are gone. Anyone building a car these days does so for a specific reason. The economics don't justify the build these days.
The hobby is changing, times are changing.
It probably won't be too long before the government legislates the hobby out of existence through carbon taxes,excessive registration fees, and or mileage restrictions.
Change is inevitable. Let's hope it is for the better.
Enjoy the hobby for what it is for you, that is what it is supposed to be about.
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Old 08-20-2016, 12:25 PM   #6
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I'm going to look at the other side of the coin on this topic. Sure, it's our hobby but you know, it's also our responsibility. If nobody gave a crap about these old cars, they'd all be in the scrap yard. We are responsible for preserving a rolling museum and it takes time and money. For that time and money, we get the enjoyment of restoring, maintaining and driving these old cars. If we didn't have these cars, we'd be sitting on our thumbs watching I love Lucy reruns. My car has been in the family since 42, mom and dad raised 4 kids in that car. I don't care what the car is worth, I care about preserving a piece of automotive history and a piece of family history. I took on that responsibility and gladly pay the price to do so.
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Old 08-20-2016, 12:29 PM   #7
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Default Re: Parts prices are killing our hobby

Capt. Kirk, Nice flip. Heads up. These are all good point and it is the reason we do what we do.
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Old 08-20-2016, 12:51 PM   #8
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Default Re: Parts prices are killing our hobby

Very good read. I have also thought about this a lot as I have recently purchased some parts, and paid a fair amount for them. I am 48 years old. My son is 19. In restoring our '34, my son came to enjoy the mechanical nature of things as opposed to working on his Honda CRV via a computer cable and charts. I have the same passion. There is no substitute for what I call 'critical thinking'. Of course, you can do this on a '65 Mustang or '69 Camaro as well. And while those are good looking cars, so are most of the early V8's. T models and A Models, not so much so (IMHO).

But at the end of the day, it is not a business for me. I do it because I like making things new again and seeing them work as intended. Making money is not the object.

Ron
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Old 08-20-2016, 12:56 PM   #9
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Default Re: Parts prices are killing our hobby

I have a 1930 A Coupe that I have owned since about 1957, it will be passed on to my 13 year old G/Son and my 46 coupe to my son.
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Old 08-20-2016, 01:06 PM   #10
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Default Re: Parts prices are killing our hobby

My dream car is a 32 coupe and I can't afford one. I'm not sure I could even afford to build one.

I just want a vintage hot rod to ACTUALLY DRIVE. Not an original restoration but, not a SBC powered one either. Gotta be a flatty and manual shift. No air bags, no power anything, not even a stereo. No custom paint, upholstery, chrome plated billet anything.

A/C......maybe? I'm in AZ. and getting too old for the heat. Just want a solid driver I could enjoy REGULARLY. I'll be gone before the prices drop enough for me.

At least I was able to find an affordable truck. My 52 F3. Love it!

Scott
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Old 08-20-2016, 01:17 PM   #11
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Default Re: Parts prices are killing our hobby

Some what related. Good original parts have become a commodity and there are many guys that just buy and sell parts for a profit. Nothing wrong with that but it does seem to drive up prices for parts and makes it tough on those that want a particular part to actually use. So we go with a reproduction part out of need. To my point. The next time you go to order a part from someone, and some idiot sales guy disrespects you, doesn't know what your talking about, etc. Don't climb on this forum and start bad mouthing the parts company. We need those parts and if a supplier receives enough bad reviews, they're out of business. Rant to your wife or your dog or your mean neighbor instead.
Thank you
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Old 08-20-2016, 01:21 PM   #12
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Default Re: Parts prices are killing our hobby

Quote:
Originally Posted by Capt Kirk View Post
I'm going to look at the other side of the coin on this topic. Sure, it's our hobby but you know, it's also our responsibility. If nobody gave a crap about these old cars, they'd all be in the scrap yard. We are responsible for preserving a rolling museum and it takes time and money. For that time and money, we get the enjoyment of restoring, maintaining and driving these old cars. If we didn't have these cars, we'd be sitting on our thumbs watching I love Lucy reruns. My car has been in the family since 42, mom and dad raised 4 kids in that car. I don't care what the car is worth, I care about preserving a piece of automotive history and a piece of family history. I took on that responsibility and gladly pay the price to do so.
Yep, I agree. I really enjoy having my 35's to work on and drive. None of my cars are family hierlooms, or high point restorations, and I don't really keep a strict account of what I paid for them, or what they may be worth today. I am just happy to have them and be able to enjoy them.

Now having said this.....does anyone happen to have a nice original '35 Ford Roadster they would like me to own and take care of for a few years or maybe more??
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Old 08-20-2016, 01:37 PM   #13
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Default Re: Parts prices are killing our hobby

I don't usually comment much here.
I do sell a lot of parts.
I guarantee I will never get rich with old Fords.
I'm not a kid, I'm 66. Been playing and I emphasize "playing"
with cars since I was about 12. I never restored a car,
only painted one, (never again). I have had a nice bunch
of old cars over the years. Usually, and still mostly, I need
to sell one in order to get another one. I like rescuing cars,
getting them back to the road and functioning, then driving them.
I understand the guys that love to build. I love to drive.
I try to find stashes of parts. Often they are the leftovers
from builds. Often they are older guys stashes. Often there are stories
about the builds, and sometimes even the car that was built!
They tell me it's time to get rid of this stuff, I won't be building
any more cars. Then I sort through the parts, check other ads
and try to find a fair price where I can make a few bucks on the stuf
I can't use myself. The best part of what I do is selling the parts
to someone who needs them and can't find them, or the kids,
and there are many, who are so happy to find what they need
and want to learn about "those great days of the '40s and '50s."
Then I am a history teacher, explaining what I learned myself or learned
from the even older than me old timers that I buy the parts from.
I focus on old Ford parts, both stock and hot rod. There's still is a seat for
everybody. When a young kid is so happy he found a set of '35 wheels,
or a carb that actually works, or can be explained the differances
between a 59A and an 8BA or wants to build a hot Banger!
and still wants to know about how, I am sure this
will always be fun. Just my $.02
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Old 08-20-2016, 01:43 PM   #14
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Default Re: Parts prices are killing our hobby

[QUOTE=Ron Pilger;1341577]There has been much speculation about what are old, restored Fords are going to be worth (or not) in the coming years.

Prices are determined by what buyers are willing to pay. It could then be argued that the hobbyists are both preserving and killing the hobby.
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Old 08-20-2016, 02:52 PM   #15
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Default Re: Parts prices are killing our hobby

[QUOTE=SofaKing;1341659]
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron Pilger View Post
There has been much speculation about what are old, restored Fords are going to be worth (or not) in the coming years.

Prices are determined by what buyers are willing to pay. It could then be argued that the hobbyists are both preserving and killing the hobby.
In my opinion the internet is actually helping drive prices down. Earlier this month I was following up on a few leads for an Eddie Meyer high rise manifold. One guy wanted $1750 for a nice one. Another guy who was local to me acted like he was doing me a favor at $2k for one that wasn't as nice because it had a couple of nice Holley's on it. I wound up getting a NOS one that was polished and had Strombergs on it on the auction site for $1400. Then these guys get cranky with me because I tell them their prices were too high. Just because they've been sitting on it for years doesn't make it worth more to anyone else. And even this stuff isn't bringing what it was ten years ago. Even the super rare stuff is only $20 in shipping away from you.
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Old 08-20-2016, 03:27 PM   #16
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Default Re: Parts prices are killing our hobby

"This is because the "younger" generation wants cars from the 60's, 70's and 80's because of more modern electronics among other things. They can plug their Boisenberry's or whatever in or can have more modern music etc."

Joe, we were all the younger generation at one point and looking back, there were times I wasn't thinking with my head screwed on straight. We grow up, learn and get smarter. My dad told me some stories about what he and his buddies, as kids growing up in LA, did to cars of his era. One story I remember (don't know what year) was that a buddy of his had newish car and the rear end blew and seized. I guess payments stopped and the dealer asked for it back. Buddy told the dealer to come get it and they wouldn't. Buddy then asked my dad to help him tow it to the dealer and he was happy to help. One night (and I'm sure beer was involved), a tow strap got hooked to the car and it was drug to the dealer. By the time it got there, he said, the asphalt was just making contact with the bottom of the differential. He aged, got smarter and, as a result I have a 35 Cab that's been in the family since 42
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Old 08-20-2016, 03:46 PM   #17
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Default Re: Parts prices are killing our hobby

I've had some dealings with Tony Martino (above) and have been very happy with the results. Guys like him are great for the hobby; without them, good parts would be lost, scrapped, or even worse. Also, after dealing with him, I know I have another good source for what I need. Parts-wise, I'm pretty well set now (behind on most of my projects), but if I ever need any odd part, he'd probably be the first guy I called.

Last edited by tubman; 08-20-2016 at 08:19 PM. Reason: Couldn't spell "Tony", Sorry Mr. Martino
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Old 08-20-2016, 04:24 PM   #18
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Default Re: Parts prices are killing our hobby

" My car has been in the family since 42, mom and dad raised 4 kids in that car."


In cabriolet ? I hope everyone didn't travel at the same tome LOL.

Sal
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Old 08-20-2016, 04:34 PM   #19
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Default Re: Parts prices are killing our hobby

As I see it, it's like there are 2 economies. One economy for selling cars and the seller gets beat up for every nickel, and the other economy is for buying parts. The parts chasing and buying always seems to go to the top of your budget or completely out of it. I like to sell and buy from people who are actively in our hobby. Just makes me feel better. But nonetheless, with the amount of money being printed everyday seems to affect all of us. My 2 cents, but getting cheaper.
I will buy what I need but I take my time.
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Old 08-20-2016, 04:37 PM   #20
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Default Re: Parts prices are killing our hobby

Prices ,especially 32 stuff, is astronomical....A while ago I was putting a roadster together piecemeal and it got to the stage where all the parts I had amassed had cost nearly as much as a finished car..and I still had a long way to go.Granted, I had to buy the parts in the US,ship them to the overseas shippers and then pay the import duties and delivery over here...one pair of (mint!!!)front fenders cost me about $1750 all in...and they were in need of a lot of work.
Don't even talk about gennie 32 grill shells...even though it seems everyone seems to have at least one hanging on the garage wall in any pictures shown.

I'm looking for a 36 rumble lid cabriolet at the moment but it seems they are in demand as they seem few for sale and the prices high..although this is partly down to the lousy /$ exchange rate at present, so it is a bit distorted.

When I think of the cars I have sold on over the years and the relatively low prices I got by today's prices, I could have been rich lol.

I think TV has had a massive influence on our hobby...people who had no idea about what we did, now see all these shows with the inflated prices or get the idea that that beat up old fixer-upper sat in the yard is a state of the art " patina" barnfind and ask ,and often seem to get a price that a finished car would command.
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