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Old Dealership Parts Dept Treasures

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by raceron1120, Feb 27, 2010.

  1. Looking at the Old Ford dealerships thread kinda got inspired to start a "what did YOU find?" thread. I worked several old Ford garages years ago, and found many obsolete parts. Some stuff I found:
    • Exterior sunvisors (2) - stuffed in the floor joists. Still in the shipping cartons
    • Woody moldings - NEW, along with scads of stainless moldings and vent window assemblies. Hanging on racks, shoved way back in the attic corner
    • A complete Model A windshield assembly - I think it was an "A". One section was a flip or roll out vent, and the frame was a pissy green color. Brand new, with years of dust from sitting in the attic.
    • A lower seat assembly, mohair covered, still in the shipping box and tied with twine. Still had the shipping label on it from the early 50s
    • Boxes of tail- and parking-lite lenses. All new, and many still in their boxes (they were GM, don't know how they got in a Ford garage)
    • Numerous old Ford signs, some used but some were new.
    • '61 Ford hood - being used as a shelf to hold other obsolete parts
    • '57 Ford fender, '62 Falcon fender, '66 Galaxy fastback 1/4 panel, '49/'50 shoebox 1/4 panel and decklid
    • A wood shipping crate. I opened it to find 12 pistons, ring sets, gaskets, seals, etc. Assumed it was a Lincoln V12 engine overhaul kit
    • Boxes of accessory floor mats still rolled and in boxes
    • Mirrors
    • Antennas
    • Radios
    • Bumpers
    • Boxes of small parts, can't remember exactly what they were.
    Sadly, all or most of those old parts ended up in dumpsters because the bosses determined they weren't worth keeping and me just being a kid, had no foresight and no place to store them if I'd taken 'em.

    Anybody else have Parts Department horror stories to share?
  2. About 15 years ago I went to an auction when two dealerships merged. There was a huge area of sheetmetal and trim from the 60's - 90's. The auction wasn't well attended, I asked if the bidding was by the piece or by the lot. He said the lot, and in about 2 minutes of bidding I had won 5 pickup loads of stuff for $150. Next day the dealership called wanting to buy it all back. Apparently the lackeys moving stuff around had grabbed a bunch of parts and boxes that were not supposed to be auctioned. They offered me $300..., I politely said no, and over two years I sold the hell out of that stuff.
  3. Bosco1956
    Joined: Sep 21, 2008
    Posts: 545

    from Jokelahoma

    I went to a closed dealership in Wagoner Ok and got several new wiindshields one fit my 62 Belair. A Chevy clock that hangs in my office a near perfect Pepsi bottle machine and a few other nick nacks All for little to nothing
  4. Found a NOS steering sector for '32-'34 Ford in the attic of the building that formerly housed Drake Motor Co., Ford dealer here 1928-1956.
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  5. BHfanGB
    Joined: Jun 22, 2009
    Posts: 243


    I worked at a Chrysler Plymouth dealership that had changed hands about 2 years before I started there. One day, I wandered out to the parts department and talked to the manager who had worked there under the prior ownership (that had opened it in the late forties). I asked him about any NOS stuff that might have been lying around and was informed that three truck loads of old parts had been taken to the dump when the new owner took over! Yikes!!!!! Before I left, though, he suggested that I talk to the former owner who remained on staff as a salesman to see if there was anything else left anywhere. I went to him and was told that there might be a couple "old fenders" in one of the storage buildings and I was welcome to them if I wanted them. I ended up with an NOS rear quarter for a '69 Fury III convertible and an NOS front fender for a '70 Coronet, which also happens to fit the '70 Superbird! Yes, I did end up making a couple buck off them!
  6. I worked for a C-P dealership in the late '70s. When they made the move from downtown to the outskirts of town in the early '70s, they packed up everything and moved. So, there were quite a few '50s parts still in active inventory.

    Several of my family members worked for the Mopar Parts depot in Denver during the '60s and '70s. Around 1974, during the first contrived gas "shortage", Chrysler was literally dumping thousands of musclecar parts in the trash! Lots of Six-Pac intakes, carbs, 440 blocks, Hemi heads, rallye wheels - all went to the trash. Any employee that wanted to try to grab some for themselves, was threatened with firing. Sad, indeed.
  7. RABs32
    Joined: Nov 14, 2009
    Posts: 810

    from new jersey

    I worked in the parts department at a local chevy dealership in the late seventies, and found these booklets on top of a set of shelves while setting up a prank on one of the other parts guy on april fools day. the only parts I found were a power disc brake conversion for the Z/28 that I had at the time and 57 chevy grille center bar they were'nt in the inventory so I disposed of them properly to the trunk of the Z. these are only things I still have, wish i still had the Z...

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  8. Hotrod1959
    Joined: Nov 3, 2007
    Posts: 676


    I worked at both Ford and Chevrolet parts departments in the late 70s. You would cringe (I sometimes wonder what could have been) at all the NOS crap we tossed in the dumpster. I was only 20 and didn't have much of a clue of what the stuff would be worth in the future. We did find a DZ302 Z28 short block complete in the crate from the factory. It was stored with a bunch of other unknown blocks that went to the scrapper. A guy there made a deal with the manager and ended up getting it.
  9. mr.chevrolet
    Joined: Jul 19, 2006
    Posts: 6,432


    i once attended an auction at a heating company that was housed in a former Chrysler body shop. near the end of the sale . one of the workers climbed up into a loft and brought down a bunch of 40-50's fenders, i bought them all for $1 each. afraid to tell you what was thrown into the dumpster when Yenko Chevrolet moved. no, i didnt get any of it either.
  10. tommy
    Joined: Mar 3, 2001
    Posts: 14,758

    Member Emeritus

    A buddy of mine had a 50 Woodie wagon. When Palmer Ford moved to their new building in the late 60s he found NOS door and 1/4 panel wood up in the rafters. He had Waikiki Run painted on the front fenders with palm trees.:D
  11. 49ratfink
    Joined: Feb 8, 2004
    Posts: 17,495

    from California

    I met a guy who had come across what must have been 100 plus 1949 - 1950 Chevrolet radio delete plates. he had more plates dating all the way into the late 60's. Radios were dealer installed back then, so the cars all came with the delete plate. I guess when they installed the radios they just put all the plates in a box.

    he was selling them in lots of 10 on ebay. I bought 7 lots for anywhere from 15 - 30 bucks each, and sold them individually for $16.99 up to $60.00 each.

    "Central Chevrolet" here in Fremont closed down last year... they had been in business since 1937, but moved some time in the 60's to there current location... wonder how much good junk they have/had in thier warehouse?? the building is still there as they still run the body shop.
  12. olcurmdgeon
    Joined: Dec 15, 2007
    Posts: 1,945


    In the early 60s T & T Ford in my home town, upstate NY, had a garage across the street. If you knew Vivian, the sales manager, you could get the key and go across to scavenge in the attic. What a treasure trove. Boxes of new '40 Ford tailights, bundles of headlight bars for early 30s Fords, engine parts, sheet metal, you name it all dusty and in heaps. When you got what you wanted, Vivian would look up the cost in an ancient Ford parts book, probably pre-'49 vintage and whatever it said there, is what you paid. Great place for a kid building a '34 pickup. I went in Navy in '65 and someone told me an 18 wheeler with CA tags on it showed up and loaded everything in that garage later on in the 60s.
    My son has a best friend who worked Ford garage part's department in seacoast NH. Roger would make good money on weekends going to NE Ford dealers, the long established ones, and inventorying their parts stash. Stuff that was obsolete went out as junk! Geez try as I might I couldn't get him to bring anything home. At one dealership there were '55-'57 new T bird bumpers, the body T bird chrome and all sorts of valuable stuff but it all went out as junk.
    Similar situation to a tour I took in the 80s of a major NH parts chain headquartered in Dover, NH. There were pallets of 3/4 camshafts for all sorts of 50s cars, being sent back to Detroit I believe to be scrapped, brands like Wolverine, Mellings, etc. They even had factory rebuilt 8BA flatheads, painted that copper color, on pallets then. Not any more for sure.
    Sad stories.

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