When it comes to restoring your Mopar, there are several distinctly different ways to get the job done. If you have more money than time, having the car completely refurbished by a professional restoration shop is a nice way to go. You simply drop the car off with a deposit, then the shop does all the work for you, and you pick the car up when it's finished (which usually involves writing a big check). At the other extreme, if you have the skills, knowledge, and tools you can perform all of the work yourself, replacing or rebuilding each part of the car until it's perfect, and saving money in the process. If you're like most of our readers, however, you fall between those two extremes, performing much of the work yourself, but farming out certain items like perhaps the engine, transmission, or bodywork and paint. But whether you do the job yourself or pay to have it done, and whether your car is being restored to stock specifications or highly modified, you'll need to know where to obtain quality parts to do the job properly.

Having the right restoration parts for your Mopar really can make or break your project. No matter how much you spend on your car's paint job, it just won't look its best if the trim, chrome, emblems, and mirrors are worn, or pitted originals. Additionally, items like original marker lenses and taillights might look ok before your paint job, but can look faded and discolored when next to new paint. Seals, hood bumpers, window felts, and numerous interior items also need to be replaced during a restoration, and if your car is a specialty car like an A12 Road Runner or a convertible, there are many parts that may be specific only to your car, making them even harder to find. While we used to enjoy scrounging around the scrap yards and swap meets, or finding a donor car to obtain parts from, the fact is these original parts are just as old as the ones on our car, and they're getting harder to find. Luckily, there are more parts being reproduced for our Mopars now than ever before, so it's a great time to restore your car to new or even better-than-new condition.

Back before muscle cars were considered classics, our choices were limited when it came to finding parts. We either had to clean up the original items on our cars and make the best of them, or try to find used items in better condition than the parts on our car. Alternatively, we could search the dealer networks for NOS pieces, but most of those have long since been purchased by savvy resellers, making NOS stuff expensive and hard to find. These days, Mopar enthusiasts have a different problem, as restoration parts are readily available from numerous sources, making it hard to decide where to get the parts we need, and whose parts are best for our project. This month, we'll discuss the pros and cons of purchasing restoration parts from a high-volume warehouse distributor, your local restoration shop, or straight from the manufacturer to help you decide which source is right for you.

The Big Guys
As the automotive restoration hobby has grown over the past couple of decades, so has aftermarket support for those of us refurbishing our cars. Companies like YearOne, and The Paddock were quick to realize the scope of the muscle car restoration craze, opening up early-on to provide both NOS and aftermarket parts for our cars. Since then, these companies have grown dramatically and now nearly every available restoration part can be obtained through either of these sources.