Classic Car Parts Missoula MT

Local resource for classic car parts in Missoula. Includes detailed information on local businesses that provide access to classic mufflers, classic steering wheels, vintage car parts, classic car paint, and antique auto accessories, as well as advice and content on classic auto product suppliers.

Sparrs Towing and Automotive
(406) 549-6462
2000 W Central Avenue
Missoula, MT
Services
AC and Heating Repair,Electrical Repair,Truck Parts

Carquest Automotive Refinish
(406) 542-3339
1421 W Broadway St
Missoula, MT
Services
Auto Parts

Rec Petes LLC
(406) 549-0188
9555 Us Highway 10 West
Missoula, MT
Services
Truck Parts

Hagan Welding and Repair Shop
(406) 543-4278
9200 Cartage Road
Missoula, MT
Services
Trailer Repair,Truck Parts

Mels Electric Inc
(406) 543-2288
7885 Thornton Drive
Missoula, MT
Services
AC and Heating Repair,Truck Parts

Montana Truck Parts
(406) 258-6221
1250 Tremper Road
Missoula, MT
Services
Truck Parts

Carquest Auto Parts
(406) 549-2318
301 W Broadway St
Missoula, MT
Services
Auto Parts

Steel Smith Tank and Equipment
(406) 721-5405
6725 Us Highway 10 West
Missoula, MT
Services
Trailer Repair,Truck Parts

Carquest Westside Store
(406) 721-2852
2304 W Broadway St
Missoula, MT
Services
Auto Parts

Big Sky Truck and Equipment
(406) 728-3346
6450 Us Highway 10 West
Missoula, MT
Services
Truck Parts

Buying A Collectible Vehicle? Don't Get Taken

By Bill Siuru, PhD, PE   

You want to buy a collectible vehicle. Maybe, it's the Corvette or Mustang couldn't afford when you were younger. Or perhaps, it's a convertible or sports car. Nice vintage vehicles are quite expensive, you want to be sure you get what you are paying for. This is vital if you are buying a collectible not only for fun, but also as an investment.

Before shopping for a particular collectible, do your homework, meaning lots of reading. There is hardly a vehicle that has not had a book written about it. In the case of popular brands like Fords and Ferraris, there are hundreds. Do a Google search on any vehicle and you will turn up more then enough information, often written by owners with lots of experience. Car clubs are great sources of information. Once you belong, it won't be long before you discover members who are the walking encyclopedias of knowledge about the brand and individual models.

For collectibles like Corvettes and muscle cars top value requires that "all the numbers match." This means the key parts, especially the engine and drivetrain, are the ones originally installed, even though restored and rebuilt. Here the important information is on the identification plates found on these cars. Learn how to "translate" the codes into colors, engines, options, and so forth. For some cars it is even possible to obtain copies of the original invoices. Window stickers are another great way to verify originality.

Frauds often include modification of a high-production model into a rare, limited-edition model. Fakes are common with muscle cars. Here a mere change in engine, or even options, can substantially increase the value. For instance, the early Pontiac GTOs and Oldsmobile 442s were simply option packages on the Pontiac LeMans or Oldsmobile F-85s. Thus, it is relatively easy to make a much more valuable GTO or 442 out of an ordinary LeMans or F-85. Back in the 1960s, people replaced the split rear windows with the single piece 1964 rear window in their 1963 Corvette Sting Ray coupes to eliminate the notorious blind spot. With the premium price for "split windows" today, the windows have been replaced along with a few '64s that have received the same treatment.

"The Judge" option can make a Pontiac GTO even more valuable.

There are other changes to increase values with a modest investment in time and money. The addition of a "Pony" interior to a '65 Mustang could result in an increase of an additional thousand dollars or more to the value. This goes likewise for things like a "power pack" on a '55-57 Chevrolet, or a McCulloch supercharger added to a normally aspirated 1957 Ford 312 cid V-8. In the most unfortunate cases, it is done by merely switching or altering the identification plates.

Knowing whom you buy from can decrease the chance of being taken. Probably the best bet is to buy from a hobbyist who spe...

Know what you are buying before you start bidding.

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The Devil is in the Detailing

By Bill Siuru, PhD, PE   

I go to car shows frequently and see lots of nice cars. Unfortunately, sometimes I see a nice restoration marred by a few details. I wonder why owners go to great effort and expense to restore a vehicle, then cut a few corners resulting in less than a prize winning job. "Attention to detail" is key to a award winning restoration.

Wheels, covers and hub caps and tires seem to be a particular problem. This includes the wrong ones for the particular model, year or even make. There were often subtle differences between years. On some models, wheels were painted black when wheel covers were used and only painted the body color when hub caps were installed. Also the top-of-the-line model's wheel covers were seldom used, often not even available, on bottom-of-the-line models. Look at catalogs and factory photos to see what was used "back then."

Narrow white sidewall tires are often seen on models built years before they were "invented." The somewhat narrower whitewalls did not start appearing until the late 1950s and very thin ones not until the mid-1960s. Before World War II and immediately afterwards, whitewalls were rarely used especially on lower priced cars, and never on trucks. Radial tires can help older cars handle significantly better. However, keep the right tires mounted on the right wheels for showtime.

Narrow whitewalls on this 1950's Hudson.
These narrow whitewalls on this 1950's Hudson are wrong.

Be careful when reinstalling bumpers. Overtorquing the bolts can distort their shape and damage the chrome plating. Make sure bumpers, trim, doors, and so forth line up. American cars of the 1960s and 1970s were notorious for their misaligned seams, but not as bad as seen on some very amateur restorations. Use OEM headlights, or at least have the glass patterns on both, four on quad highlight systems, match.

Do not use nuts, bolts and washers from Home Depot or Ace Hardware. Factory installed automotive nuts and bolts usually have different plating as well as quite different head designs. Manufacturers also use different types of lock washers and locking tabs than the common household ones.

Use new old stock (NOS) or accurate reproductions of mechanical parts. For example if you cannot find the original equipment oil filter, at least use the right brand, not one with a Checkers, Pep Boys or K-Mart logo. This also goes for radiator caps, spark plug wires, accessory belts and so forth.

Few prewar Chevrolets originally came with whitewalls.
While they look great, few prewar Chevrolets originally came with whitewalls.

If possible use OEM radiator and heater hoses. If not available find the closest match in a molded hose that you can, even if it means trimming ends to make them fit. Don't use generic flex hose. Also important are OEM-style clamps -- worm gear clam...

Grungy engine compartment
A grungy engine compartment is inconsistent with a nice exterior. Not only clean the engine, but also find the source of oil, fuel, coolant, grease and exhaust leaks .

Click here to read the rest of this article from New Car Buying Guide