This Is Where You Go For Hard-To-Find Car Parts – Jalopnik

When the pickings get slim, you all seem to get straight to picking. We asked for your best sources for rare car parts, and boy did you deliver. Here are ten of the best sources you brought up.
2 / 12
I have had the best luck with eBay. You can save a search and get notifications when a hard to find part is listed, if you can’t find it immediately. We also have some large wrecking yards in our area, so if I can find it there, it is typically cheaper. I have also used Rock Auto for stuff that I did not want to buy used, but they don’t seem to be as good for really weird parts.
While it may not help as much when your daily driver suddenly needs an alternator, setting alerts for new listings can be incredibly helpful on longer-term projects — or when planning for future work.
Submitted by: Farty McSprinkles
3 / 12
For 90s cars full of shitty, brittle plastic parts just waiting to break, I keep one of these around.
3D printing has the chance to be one of the coolest ways to maintain an aging car. Cars like the FD Mazda RX-7 or the late ‘90s Acura Integra may have a wealth of aftermarket support for the drivetrain, but what about all those little interior trim pieces? That’s where a 3D printer comes in handy.
Submitted by: Dan
4 / 12
Well, this isn’t very helpful I suppose, but it’s the answer to your question… Japan has the hardest to find stuff for JDM cars.
I’ve got a friend in Japan that goes looking for the random parts I need for my 240s, MR2s, and the Cappuccino I had for a while. Other than that it’s OEM suppliers and RockAuto/ebay.
As it turns out, spare parts are plentiful in a car’s country of origin. Sites like Croooober, that sell used parts internationally, can be a godsend for those tricky-to-find parts — or just for finding cheap used wheels.
Submitted by: Killing Time
5 / 12
For my wife’s car that was sold by a brand that has left the US market and never really did well here to begin with, but is still alive and kicking in the rest of the world and selling cars by the millions… RockAuto.
When the Chinese aftermarket parts suppliers are making stuff to sell to the rest of Asia and Europe you bet it’s on RockAuto.
RockAuto may be the most comprehensive listing of parts on the internet, with multiple options for seemingly any part imaginable. As long as your car is on their list of makes and models, they’ll very probably have what you need.
Submitted by: As Du Volant
6 / 12
As a dealership parts guy by trade, I always start with an OEM part number. has VIN-specific, complete parts catalogs for many manufacturers.
From there, Genuine Parts Source ( Manufacturer + “partsdeal”, “partsnow”, or “”. Toyotapartsdeal, Hondapartsnow, etc. Good prices, and will actually tell you if a part is manufacturer discontinued), eBay, Google (you might be surprised what good information you find just googling a part number), for junkyards, Facebook Marketplace (terrible terrible listing/search engine, but that’s where the traffic is), Facebook enthusiasts groups (where most of the Forum traffic is these days), Forums and Craigslist.
An OEM part number can be the best place to start if the part you’re looking for is still in production. Not only can it get you the factory part, you can often use it to find compatible aftermarket replacements.
Submitted by: Numbchux
7 / 12
When I was into Mustang IIs, Phil’s Mustang II Specialty Shop on Phenix City, AL was the go-to place if I got tired of waiting for one to appear at a local salvage yard. I drove out to see him one time when I was in the area (well, 4 hours away at least), and he basically had a couple of storage units filled to the ceiling of used and OEM parts he had been buying over the years. I remember I bought a pair of OEM side louvers on that trip.
As far as I know, he’s still going strong 20 years later.
With my Fury, we had an amazing Mopar-focused salvage yard in SW Missouri called R&R. They had everything categorized by body type and you could wander the rows with dreams filling your head about rebuilding them. When someone pulled out in front of my Fury and I needed a new bumper, fender, etc the only other place that had rust-free stuff was in Arizona and shipping was going to be ridiculous. Half a day spent wrenching at R&R got me everything I needed for half the cost. It was a shame when the owner died as his wife had no interest in the business and basically sold it all off.
Some cool pictures from an old forum thread:
Having all these non-traditional cars basically cured me of the old-car addiction. I sold the Fury and bought a 71 Satellite Sebring Plus (383, 727) but with more kids on the way I ended up selling it a year later and bought a station wagon (Hemi Magnum)
Enough kind words cannot be said about the people who have, in their years, collected thousands of parts for a single model. Knowing the local Mustang Guy, Honda Guy, or Miata Guy can make any other parts source irrelevant — just call them up and see what they’ve got.
Submitted by: Matt
8 / 12
My car’s easy enough: it’s a 2015 WRX and they’re still making parts. It also has a significant enthusiast community and aftermarket support. OEM suppliers, Rallysport Direct, and ebay/craigslist/facebook marketplace for used stock parts are my go-to sources. I’ve done the pick-and-pull game, as well, but the colour of my car was only available for one year, so that’s usually less useful. They also tend to find themselves in wrecking yards because some idiot completely wrecked it.
I also have a recently-acquired 70s BMW ‘airhead’ motorcycle, and that’s a little tougher, but it also has a huge enthusiast community and aftermarket support. They also made this series of motorcycles for about 25 years, so whilst there are incremental changes, much of the fundamentals are there (an aside: this is why when people complain about an ‘old platform’ I laugh, because long-running platforms are often the ones that have the most demand for parts into their golden years). So far, I’ve found the Airhead Beemer Club’s classifieds really useful for finding frame parts, and I’ve used Euro Motoelectric, Boxer 2 Valve, and Bevel Heaven (a vintage Ducati supplier, yes, but I’ve got Dell’orto carbs on the bike instead of Bings) to great effect. There’s also Bob’s BMW in Maryland, which has the best support for old vehicles I’ve ever seen from a dealership.
Uniquity may add value, but it means there are fewer vehicles to pick parts from. TheSchrat will have a much harder time finding panels for that one-year-only WRX color than for the Bimmer, since those continued nearly unchanged for so long. More identical model years (generally) means more parts built.
Submitted by: TheSchrat
9 / 12
I have a 1986 Porsche 944. As such, I’ve got a list and here are some highlights:
1. DCAuto – online salvage yard for Porsches, great for non-essentials.
2. Pelican Parts – the best for new parts.
3. 944Online – lots of harder to find NOS or aftermarket stuff.
4. – parts to rebuilt that in-dash clock.
5. Superbright LED’s – fix that instrument cluster lighting
6. Clark’s Garage – how to fix everything on that car. may not specialize in 944 parts, but the site offers a specific, single product to fix the 944's digital clock. That’s the kind of attention that larger parts suppliers often won’t pay but that can be found through the magic of the internet. The worse-looking the website is, the better. Bonus points if it’s named for someone’s forum handle.
Submitted by: InWayOverMyHead
10 / 12
My Charger is over half a century old, but thanks to 2nd gen’s literal undying popularity, finding parts is incredibly easy:
All the sheet metal, no exceptions, is available from either Year One or AMD. (Men have built ‘69 “Chargers” with a Crown Vic as the chassis and the all-new sheet metal.) The cab floor, trunk floor and other major hidden metal is also available.
All the interior plastic bits are available from Year One.
The interior can be completely redone factory correct by way of Year One, who also carries Legendary seats, door panels, carpet, etc.
Local auto parts stores for generic things like alternators and shocks.
And Ebay for some stuff. I retrograded the aftermarket stereo to an original Charger radio from Ebay (not only mono, but one-speaker mono—the “booming” power of it).
So yeah, it’s too easy keeping a Sixties Mopar on the road—mainly due to Year One but you see it’s a group effort.
Dedicated fanbases will keep their cars running forever. Finding a vehicle with a huge, long-lasting group of disciples means there are bound to be people who can replicate parts that are long since out of production. Getting all that in a single source, like Year One, is the dream.
Submitted by: the 1969 Dodge Charger Guy
11 / 12
Facebook groups for a specific car have been a terrific source of parts. I have RX-8 calipers on the back of my S2000 (common brake upgrade on those) and one of my calipers started leaking earlier this year. I ordered a rebuild seal kit from 4 different shops and every single shop cancelled the order due to being out of stock. Posted in the group and there was a guy who responded 20 minutes later who had sold his car but still had a rebuild kit – bought it off him and it was at my door in a couple days. That has quickly become my first place to go if I can’t find something.
Loathe though I am to admit it, much of the traffic that once went to forums is now making its way to Facebook groups. It’s inconvenient for searching — and for building a record that will outlive any individual poster’s contributions to the site — but it’s great for interactions that happen in real time — namely, buying and selling. A Facebook group for your specific make and model will likely have what you need, or at least know where to get it.
Submitted by: BigRed91
12 / 12


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