I have bought a number of parts from you over the years and always found your prices to be very fair. The market for these vintage parts has naturally changed as time has passed and the prices have increased. Parting out as many cars as you have, you know the market as well as anybody.
Out of curiosity, which particular part or parts have seen the biggest increase in demand and/or value.
I would guess that timing covers would have to be in the discussion.
There are items I use to have like 6, 8 or even 10 on the shelf but now I get one in and it is gone the next day where supply is about equal to demand, and then there are those items on my Wait List (600 customers strong, many with multiple items) and where there is a growing back log where demand is much greater than supply ... at least what I can supply.
There is also the issue of finding parts cars. Finding a parts car in 1998 is a lot different than finding parts cars in 2018. It was really easy for me to bring in 4 to 5 a year back then with some being literally dropped off at the house. Now I do good to bring in 2, maybe 3 a year and have to look much more aggressively. What hasn't changed is that I tend to look for cars that I can pull in during a day trip (like the one to Chesapeake VA today), but have made exception and went to Alabama, Florida, and West Virginia.
The issue here is that it was more common in 1998 to find a 34 year old car parked out back, unlicensed, perhaps parked a few years ago when it was on it's final leg, than it is in 2018 with a 54 year old car! So the supply of parts cars, at least for me within reasonable travel distance is drying up a bit.
I would say 3 out of my last 5 parts cars, including the one from today, were found from Craig's List Filters I for anything within say 300 miles of my area. In 1998 I didn't have the luxury of Google and Craigslist, and Ebay and it was more word of mouth and looking in print ads but there were just more old cars out there.
Since retiring I have made 4, 5, maybe road trips to physically go by the homes and locations of the many, many owner contacts I have made over the years. For instance I went to Winston Salem, camped out at a hotel, checked out about a dozen contacts, and one resulted in a parts car ... the Sedan de Ville with the Eldo horn... as the older gentleman had died some years back and the daughter was ready to sell the car.
OK. So I will get to the question but thought I would just share some of the back story to convey the parts cars are getting harder to find.
Items that are in big demand are any convertible specific parts (e.g. the window trim, rear belt trim, top parts, etc), Fleetwood and Eldo specific parts, and the usual suspects such as front engine cover, neutral safety switches, exhaust manifolds, intake manifolds, nice tight rear driveshaft sections, front lower bumper ends (either year), rear center bumper end (either year), dash pads (either year), and such. Then there are items that are becoming harder to find because of their uniqueness such as the THM engine to transmission adaptor ring, THM Starter, THM flexplate and other basic items that are just getting hard to find. And, finally there are the upgrade items that people have seen and just want, like the bucket seats, power vent windows, tilt steering, controlled (posi) rear end, am/fm radio.
And I guess a lot of it has to do with what is being reproduced and what is not. The RH door mirror is a good case in point. In 1998 you could order one new from USA Parts for about $129. But within a few years everyone stopped selling them. By the time OPGI had someone reproduced them... back in like 2015, I had 18 people on my Wait List for one! They were like hens teeth with gold caps! When OPGI finally produced the goods I ordered like 20 at a discounted priced, got my customers on the Wait List a good deal (about $89 as I recall) and shipped 18 out within one week! Now that OPGI is reproducing them the demand for a good used one (which are rare) is almost non-existent. The THM starters and original style Delco-Morraine and Bendix master cylinder/boosters are two other good case in points. for 15 years you could get nice rebuild replacements at AutoZone or just about any auto parts store you walked into. Then, what 3 or 4 years ago they started drying up and demand quickly outstripped supply and I had none on the shelf. Recently there are a few sources reproducing the starter again, I picked up a few and quickly sold out.
Finally there is pricing. I like to price my items fair and stay away from price gouging, but you come to a couple of conclusions over the years. First, these are 54/55 year old parts and many are not being reproduced. Without someone like me, dismantling and putting the parts up in dry storage and making available, a lot of these cars, including my own Coupe de Ville would not be on the road. Second, I like to turn the table and think about what I would feel is a fair price if I had to buy the part. For example finding an really nice exhaust manifold for me would easily be worth say $150. I have seen so many with cracks, and/or deep pitting, I know they are not that easy to find crack free with nice smooth surface that is going to clean up nicely and look good on a restored car. However, I know there are people that might charge (and get) $500 for something like that, but to me that is gouging. Yes, I might pay crazy money like that for something where I had no other source and it was the only option to get my car running, but it would leave a bad taste in my mouth and be less prone to do business with that person again. I know I have made mistakes, pissed people off, but that happens when you have dealt with almost 2000 people as I have over 22 years! I also know I have many repeat customers, contacts, and friends that I have been dealing with for almost 2 decades now. That is a good feeling.
OK.. you asked. That's my story and I'm sticking to it! Jason.
I asked and you definitely replied. I did want to hear your insights based on your extensive experience. Thanks for that.
I bought my convertible in 1989. It was a definite project but it was not missing any major parts and it was solid despite having spent the last 18 years in a Colorado impound yard. The chrome was not great, especially on the pot metal parts. Chrome plating was not cheap then, although nothing like it is today so I knew a donor car made a lot of sense. It didn't take long to find a very solid CDV with a blown engine close by and I snapped it up. The chrome on it was outstanding and I swapped out most of it, interior and exterior. I think I paid $900 for that car. It paid for itself big time. Even though I got what I needed out of it, there were a bunch of parts in great condition that were different than those in my convertible so what would be considered a parts car today was donated to a junkyard because I didn't want to be bothered with salvaging those other parts. A lot of good parts were still on that car including some that I didn't even know existed such as the neutral safety switch. Oh well, it served its purpose...
I do look at a lot of parts on eBay and it is amazing what some sellers think they have, especially when it comes to convertible parts. One seller has been trying to get $500 for a completely rusted out pair of rear quarter widows for quite a while and the only decent element is the glass. Good luck with that.
Personally, Jason has been outstanding to deal with. His prices have always been fair and reasonable. He ships super fast and is very accommodating.
Seriously, if it wasn’t for guys like Jason and Russ, this hobby of ours just wouldn’t be the same. So I salute the both of you for helping so many 63/64 Cadillackers in times of need and simply being there to help. Although yes, I am sure many parts have become scarce over the years, Jason nor Russ has ever made me feel like I overpaid for a part.
You 2 dudes are awesome!
I second that Chris! Before I knew of these two fellows, I was dealing with one of the vendors listed on this site who shall not be mentioned. This vendor sells great products, I use them often but in the way of "good used" parts I found out that I spent hundreds more buying from them than from Jason or Russ.
The used car parts biz is tricky and you have to know your market but also know you cannot scalp your consumer or they will never return. Jason and Russ do not rely solely on their car parts business for their income so they can be extremely competitive. They have been instrumental for guys like me that still use their old cars for daily transportation.
A Texas sized "yippy kai yeah" to these two hombres!!
Jason and Russ are passionate and very extremely knowlegeable about the subject of our cars having been dealing with these cars for decades on every imaginable level possible
I have been interacting with them since 2006 on a number of sights
There expertice will get you the right part for your needs at a better price than many other vendors ( kind of the Amazon of the 63-64 Cadillac parts bus --LOL )
These boys --are as good as it gets and will prevent you from aquiring the wrong parts
They help a lot of people restore there cars correctly with spot on parts and advice at the right prices
You have come to the right place when restoring a 63-64 Cadillac
Join us in being ------Classic Antique Cadillac --Crazy-- because that who we are !