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If you own a brand-new vehicle, finding spare parts is as simple as driving to the nearest auto shop and requesting the spares you need. However, this luxury isn’t an option if you currently own a vintage or rare car. Unfortunately, acquiring replacement parts for your ride can be a formidable and time-consuming experience.

Like any other vehicle, classic cars break down and require spare parts to continue running in tip-top condition. Again, as a vintage car owner, you may want to spruce up or completely revamp your vehicle, only to find yourself searching for the right part with no luck. If you manage to find them, retailers often sell them at an exorbitant rate in the interest of supply and demand.

If you’re an antique car owner, you may need some direction in locating the proper hunting grounds for rare or antique parts. Note that these go-to spots will vary in terms of convenience levels and price but should offer a large inventory of various classic car parts.

Salvage yards

If you want to save some cash when purchasing classic car parts, you can find and buy the parts yourself by walking into a junkyard. However, stepping into a junkyard without a plan is akin to finding yourself in a maze without a map. While you may have fun sifting through these vintage car parts and various knick knacks, you’ll probably find yourself lost amidst a metal sea. If you want to save time in a salvage yard, be sure to identify the parts you need beforehand.

If you’re looking for used truck parts or rare car parts, be sure to scavenge your local auto salvage yard with an expert by your side, especially if you don’t have experience looking for used car parts. Remember, a salvage yard isn’t your typical car shop where you’ll find attendants ready to serve you.

Here, you’ll have to get your hands dirty. You may find yourself combing through hundreds of wrecked cars, which can be disheartening. Similarly, there’s a risk of purchasing faulty parts that may not serve you for long. Be sure to tag along with a classic car part expert for a hassle-free (and triumphant) salvage yard experience.


The internet is, perhaps, the most obvious place to look for hard-to-find. Though most vehicle owner’s knee-jerk reaction is to conduct a Google search, online retailers may be an untapped resource in your household.

Nowadays, a simple online search can connect you to tons of online dealers selling rare or classic car parts. During this process, be sure to correctly type the model, year of manufacture, and the name of the part you’re looking for. If it’s available, you can arrange shipment and pay the additional shipping fees. Don’t consider this option if you’re restricted budget-wise. Yes, it offers convenience, but this saved time will come at a hefty price.

If online dealers aren’t your cup of tea, try online auctions like eBay. Prices on this e-commerce site are a bit more reasonable since dealers must compete in the affordability bracket, keeping costs down. For optimal savings, consider making payments through platforms like PayPal, which is timely and eliminates bank transfer costs.

Above all, be cautious about online shopping. Sadly, there are a number of scams that masquerade as credible car parts dealers.  Avoid falling into their trap by doing your due diligence before settling on a seller. To prevent identity theft or potential scams, pay close attention to online comments and ratings before clicking the buy-it-now button.

Enthusiast forums

If you aren’t a part of any car enthusiasts chat room or group, do yourself a favor and join today. These forums are an invaluable resource, especially for mechanic referrals and recommendations for spare parts that aren’t easy to find. Joining a group with like-minded individuals will not only grant you access to rare spare parts but will also hand you priceless information, making your classic car experience a fulfilling one.


Magazines, whether published online or offline, are an excellent place to look for hard-to-find spare parts. Some magazines are available free of cost, while others may require a small monthly subscription fee or a one-time purchase fee. Either way, magazines may be the goldmines that will lead you to that elusive car part.

As a bonus, magazines offer expert car advice and other interesting topics that will keep any vintage car enthusiast entertained for hours on end.

Car shows, clubs, and swap meets

Besides acting as networking opportunities, car shows and car meets are chalked full of rare-car-part extraordinaires.  In such events, you’ll meet fellow owners of collector cars that can point you in the direction of your desired car part.

Ordinarily, swap meet vendors don’t bring along spare parts that are easily traceable online, as they usually specialize in rare parts. If they don’t have these products in stock, they’ll at least know where to find the parts you’re having trouble finding.

Traditional stores

Even with the upsurge of online shopping, brick-and-mortar stores for vintage cars still exist. To make this option a success, call these retailers before making the trip over. On the phone, give details about your vehicle’s make and model and the part you would want to buy. Inquiring about their inventory in advance will save you an unsuccessful trip or two.

When you visit an in-person shop, you’ll have the ability to request advice from experts you wouldn’t otherwise receive from online retailers. Beyond selling you the part, these vintage car experts will offer you tips and tricks for the installation process.

Parting words

Most classic car enthusiasts will tell you that locating classic car parts isn’t a walk in the park. It’s a nail-biting task that can even deter the most optimistic car owners. However, to simplify your hunting ordeal, you should study the ins and outs of finding these vintage car or truck parts.

While the above guide doesn’t necessarily make you a car parts expert, it’ll put you in the right direction of finding these buried treasures.