Raiders of the Lost Parts

November 29, 2021
Recent Quests for Parts for a Ferrari 250 SWB, Maserati 3500GT, Bugatti Type 37, and Porsche 356A

One of the reasons we started this whole thing is because it can be frustrating and time-consuming to search for collector car parts. This is especially true if you need original parts for rare, high-end cars. These quests can be akin to finding rare, lost relics that are hidden away in some secret cave in a faraway place!

That's where we come in. Since Day One, we have offered a service called Part Ping™. Over the past year, we've gotten to know a lot of great suppliers and experts, and have built a database of hundreds that cover most every make and era. Until the day comes when every supplier and every part is listed in the Collector Part Exchange (dare to dream!), Part Ping™ enables us to connect those in need with those who can help.

Recently, we had several exciting and challenging searches for a few very special cars, from a top-drawer Ferrari to a pre-war Bugatti. We were able to get results, sometimes even faster than we could have dreamed! My goal in sharing these is to let you know that about Part Ping™ in case we can help you, but also to enlist your help. First, we welcome your ideas for improvements. After all, this is for you, the car enthusiast. Second, we greatly appreciate recommendations and direct introductions tosuppliers or service providers we may not yet know, but should.

Help! I Need a Marelli. Not Just Any Marelli.  (Set of Original Distributors | 1961 Ferrari 250 GT SWB)

Magneti Marelli S-85-A

An American gentleman who is restoring an SWB, current valuation of $8M, contacted us in need of a set of original, Magneti Marelli S-85-A distributors. We put out the call to key vendors and got three solid alternatives for him:

  1. Set of originals in the U.K. that had just been acquired by this dealer and had not yet been listed. $10,000
  2. A set of newly manufactured versions in the U.S. $5,900
  3. An expert who can refurbish the existing, original set. ~$3,000

All of this happened within 36 hours of receiving the request. We are awaiting the owner’s reply to see which path is the right one for this build, but it was heartening to get timely and helpful responses that expanded the options well beyond the original request.

Get Your Bugatti Starter Motor Runnin’! (Starter Motor | 1926 Bugatti Type 37) 

As you can imagine, a starter motor for a pre-war Bugatti is not at your local Napa. When we were contacted by an owner in the late stages of a restoration, his starter motor had conked out.

Rebuilt Bugatti starter.

Since what he already had was in good shape, except for the “not working” part, we connected him with Jim Simpson at ODD Parts. Within two weeks from the request date, the starter motor had already been returned to the owner and ready to go, and all for a fraction of the cost of a replacement.

Does Your Vintage Maserati Come from a Land Down Under? (Brake Master Cylinder | 1958 Maserati 3500GT)

Rather than share a synopsis, I’m going to hand it over to Bruce Hill-Douglas of Melbourne, Australia, to share the story in his own words (edited for length):

I have had my Maserati 3500 GT in restoration for several years now, over which time I have been buying required replacement parts with total satisfaction from 2 suppliers very well known to Maseratisti but now had the need for a replacement brake master cylinder of an appearance contemporary to my 1958 car, which neither of my usual suppliers offered.

This need caused me to remember CPX, so I went back to the internet to bring it on screen to check out what (to me) was a new service. After first registering, I was able to enter my car and model. Up on screen came a comprehensive parts photo display which I scrolled through and, unbelievably, found exactly what I was searching for, a used BMC which had come from a car similar to my own, as well as another useful parts group and I immediately undertook the purchase procedure, made simple by the very great help provided by Chris and which was delivered to my front door in Melbourne, Australia some 5 days later.

Nose Job for an Early 356A (Noseclip | 1956 Porsche 356A)

This one is still in process, but we got a call from a couple who are restoring a “T1” Porsche 356A from 1956, the first year of production of this iconic sports car. When they acquired the 356, the couple discovered that it was fitted with an incorrect noseclip -- one for a 356B -- so they set out to correct the problem.

We sent out a round of emails to our early 356 specialists, and one got back to me immediately with exactly what the customer is looking for. We’re working to finalize the transaction, so hopefully this mention doesn’t jinx it!

We don’t often talk about our work directly here, but we were proud to play a small part in getting these extraordinary cars back on the road. Hopefully these vignettes inspire others to contact us and see what we can do to help out car people around the globe.

If you have an idea, please email me and share your thoughts, they'd be more than welcome!

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