The Studeblogger

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Another reason I love Studebakers.

One comment you always seem to get when people find out you own a Studebaker is "Boy! I bet parts are hard to get!" But reality is exactly the opposite -- Studes have one of the best supplies of NOS and reproduced parts of any American carmaker. Sure, there are soft trim items and model-specific bits that can be hard to come by (I'm still looking for an NOS right backup light lens for Barney, in case you have one!), but by-and-large, it's less hassle getting parts for my Lark than for, say, a '62 Grand Prix, a '64 Falcon or a '66 Ambassador Classic.

Case in point: after my recent re-wiring job, it dawned on me that the only bits of wire in the car that were still original were the headlight and front turn signal leads. So I opened my trusty Studebaker International catalog and found both headlight leads and front indicator assemblies (the entire lamp bucket with attached leads). Popped in my credit card and 7 days later, the mailman delivered, fresh in the factory parts envelopes, NOS parts for everything I'd ordered.

This isn't an isolated occurrence, either - I've ordered and received many NOS parts from Stude vendors in the last three years. Now, I ask you, what other marque has that kind of original parts availability? By contrast, the last OEM part I was able to get for my '67 Pontiac LeMans was the driver's door mirror, which I ordered through my local Pontiac dealer's parts department. And it was crappy - the molds were so old and degraded that I couldn't drive the car over 30 MPH without the mirror flopping over to point at the pavement.

So if questions about parts availability is keeping you from buying a Studebaker - don't worry. Somewhere, what you need is out there, and more than likely still in a factory package.

If you're looking for parts you can't find from one of the vendors at, try the following:
  • Studebaker Swap, a forum-based place to post wants and items for sale.
  • The Studebaker Parts Swap Page, a bulletin-board swap spot that's been up for a long while.
  • The parts swap boards of Sonny's Racing Studebakers! forum, a cool site dedicated to Studebaker performance.
  • If you've got another place you like, let me know and I'll add it here!

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