Searching for Parts

The Great Internet Parts Search

The winter months were spent searching the Internet for bits and pieces, primarily a rear valance, a dash cap and the 440 hood badges.

This proved to be easier said than done, I didn't know where to look or what a reasonable price would be if I found something to buy. A bigger problem, I didn't have any real idea exactly what "my" parts looked like. Even thought I've own the car for 30 years I hadn't "really" looked at it for nearly twenty years and now that it was at the body shop I couldn't just go over and look at things. Acquisition of a Parts List manual became my first priority. For those unfamiliar with this publication, it's a 1,600 page book which lists in great detail, every part in the car along with diagrams showing assembly and the Mopar part number. The book for 1970 is actually for both 1970 and 1971 so it has the added benefit of showing parts common to both years.
Don't confuse a Parts List with a Service Manual, A service (shop) manual tells you how to perform repairs but it doesn't have any part numbers.

Searching the Internet produced many Mopar sites, but very few with C-body content. I discovered, 1970 isn't old enough to interest reproduction part makers, yet is too old for off the shelf replacement parts. Unfortunately, C-bodies are not as popular as the other Mopar body styles. This could be an advantage, if demand was low then prices should be low. It could also be a disadvantage, if few people are handling C-body parts the prices could be high due to limited supply.

So, how to link up with C-body owners and how to learn the fair market price for C-body parts.

Internet Sites of Interest

Web Rings, link web sites according to interest or theme. I visited hundreds of Mopar sites looking at the links pages to followed any that looked interesting. I started book marking. This site is linked to The Mopar Web Ring

I also found a few super C-body sites,

These are but a few of the interesting sites I found, I will periodically check these links, but the internet is very dynamic so links come and go. Your best approach is use Google to find sites and then bookmark them.

E-Bay

To get a handle on used part prices I started to watch E-Bay and quickly learned that P.T. Barnum was correct when he said "There's a sucker born everyday!". The first time I looked at E-Bay, I saw a featured item, a 1995 Ferrari with an opening bid of $750,000. This totally blew my mind, I simply couldn't believe anyone would pay that kind of money, sight unseen for anything over the Internet. Well little did I know, the auction closed with a winning bid of $10,000,000 USD - wow this was unbelievable. What kind of person spends that kind of money on a car! Deals of this size mean this auction is big and very serious so I'd better be very careful with my bids, typing errors could be very expensive!

Signed up, ready to bid, but more than a little intimidated, I spent the first couple of weeks sitting in the grass watching the action. Auctions are an amazing source of information. I started to track items being sold by entering the closing time in my Outlook calendar and then checking to see what the final price was and how the bidding progressed. In most items, the bulk of the bidding seemed to happen during the last minute with the winning bid arriving within seconds of the closing bell. I also noted many sellers offer the same product over and over with batches selling in some cases for drastically different prices. Many sellers are dealers with web sites listing their standard prices - which in many cases are lower than those achieved on E-Bay. Then there are the scam artists which offer things they don't have, etc. - all I can say is, do your research and buyer beware.

So with great confidence I became a bidder and bought a console plate for $10.50 and a pair of 440 hood badges for $31.52. Doug took one look at the picture of the hood badges and said congratulations, you've bought a couple of RT hood scoop badges. I took a good look at my console and discovered the Fury console plate I'd bought wasn't the same - that's when I discovered mine was really for a Chrysler Hurst. This experience moved the acquisition of a Parts List Book to the top of my want list.

Valance Found!

I came across a parts for sale listing on the C-body Board from a fellow by the name of Michael Fedele in Danville New Hampshire and after e-mailing back and forth he sold me:

  • pair of horns,
  • pair of 383 hood emblems,
  • pair of sill plates,
  • rear valance,
  • all his seat belts
  • the driver side taillightlens
Everything togther was only $85 which with exchange to convert CD$ to US$, plus brokerage and shipping grew to $143.07.

Unfortunately the taillight lens didn't survive the trip, but the most important part, the valance was in great shape. Michael had just finished parting out a '70 Fury 383 convertible and the parts I bought were from a Fury II Gran Coupe. Michael is a true Fury man, in his own words, "I have a lot of good parts still on the car and would prefer to sell them to someone who needs them". Thank you, Michael, with out your help I'd probably still be looking for a valance.

This transaction, however, taught me a lesson, avoid UPS type shippers, use US Postal Service whenever possible. US Post doesn't charge brokerage and many times packges come right to your door without and customs or sales tax. However, US Post can be a problem if there is hidden damage. A year or so later I bought a rear bumper which the seller wrapped in card board and sengt it US Post. Unfortunately it arrived with a few extra bents where it appeared someone tried to drive a fork lift over it. I took pictures and sent them to the seller so that he could fil a damaged shipment claim with US Post. US Post said the seller couldn't file a claim only the receiver. But, to do so I must physically bring the shipment back to the shipping offce for valuation. To do that would require more shipping plus having to deal with the border again. So I ended up with nothing. The moral, don't spend more than you can afford to lose.

The Internet - a Great Marketplace

Gradually I started to get familiar with E-Bay and the various web site buy/sell pages. I bought (in US$),

Most of my purchases were made between October 1999 and April 2000 after which everything changed, the number of items for my car dried up generally prices went through the roof. For example a pair of NOS taillight lenses sold in November for $45, in April another set sold for $180. The warmer weather must bring out the crazies.

Reproduction Parts

While having fun on the Internet, I was also busy finding reproduction parts, especially a roof, rugs and hopefully a dash pad. A couple of the big guys are Legendary Auto Interiors and Year One , neither of which have much for 1970 C-bodies. Never the less I sent away for a YearOne Mopar catalogue and found a veritable gold mine of neat parts, unfortunately in many cases their prices are a little on the rich side. However, I found a super source in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, RPM (Reproduction Parts Marketing) 1 306 652-6668. All the items were purchased in Canadian dollars.

  • Rug set, front and rear - $159.95>
  • NOS Carb rebuild kit - $23.50 - hopefully the right one!
  • Black roof with correct grain - $304.95
  • Glass rear window - $259.95
  • Roof well liner - $157.50
  • Trunk mat - $64.95
  • Roof pads - $29.95
  • Roof weather-strip - $299.00
  • Door weather-strip - $174.95
  • Line kit (hydraulic lines from roof lift pump to lift cylinders - $159.95

Most of the stuff was reasonably priced, although I admit I was flabbergasted by the price of the weather stripping. RPM is a Canadian Dealer for Legendary Auto Interiors and as far as I can tell their prices are pretty fair when compared to purchasing direct from Legendary in US$.

Upholstery

Now that I had found a roof , I needed to find someone to install it. I searched the Calgary area and eventually connected with Alex Lefebvre the owner of Alpine Upholstery Plus. Terry had decided to let Alex do the upholstery on his '68 Chrysler 300 for the World of Wheels show, so I decided to check him out. We looked at my interior parts and decided the driver seat had to be completely redone and for the sake of colour and pattern matching we would also need to do the passenger side. The door panels and back seat looked pretty good so we decided to leave them for the time being, after all if they looked bad along side the front seats we could always do them later. After much discussion, Alex agreed to do the two front buckets for $300 each and to install the top and well liner for $400. The work would have to wait, however, until Doug could get the Beast out of my garage and over to his shop and put the roof lift mechanism back in. I also hoped to find a dash cap before the windshield was installed so I wasn't pushing anyone very hard.

Dash Cap Found!

On August 11 I checked my e-mail and found a message from Jack Shultz in Dillsburg PA:

    Bill I have one that is already out of the car. It has holes where I think trim goes on the face.
    I do not have the trim. Must be from a Sport Fury.
    Also has a small dimple on the top like something was setting on top of it.
    "I'll take $15.00 for it plus shipping. Write me back if you are interested.

Needless to say, I was more than interested, I wanted it sight unseen! A little dimple would be a big improvement over the rock hard and cracked up pad I already had.

With Jack living 2,500 miles away in Dillsburg PA., the question was how to ship a six foot long fairly fragile dash pad without it being trashed. Jack went to UPS, bought a couple rolls of bubble wrap and cocooned the pad, then custom made a cardboard outer cover to protect the bubble wrap. I should have taken a photo when it arrived, it was a regular work of art! I peeled it open layer by layer and found a near mint dash pad. Jack added up the costs and said. "If the Dash pad is to your liking, just send $40.00. If it isn't good enough, just send what I've got tied up in shipping." Well I sent him $50.

Time to get the show on the road

Now that the dash pad problem was taken care of, I decided it was time to start pushing the project along a little faster.

Happy Drunk

Just about out of beer - time to get this show on the road!


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