Re: IML: Old Cars, Old Clubs, Old Parts, Old Time
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Re: IML: Old Cars, Old Clubs, Old Parts, Old Time

The first car that I actually bought and owned was my '56 back in 1971. I spent every Saturday morning scouring the many salvage yards collecting parts. I managed to find most of what I needed to get things done and keep the car on the road for many years. Later, I became more sophisticated and began to attend swap meets. I made friends in car clubs that had access to parts inventories. Then I got busy with my life and the cars sat in the garage for nearly 20 years.

In 2003, the decision to get them back on the road brought me to the IML and the Internet. What used to take years of looking for parts only took months on the web. Here in Washington, swap meets often happen in the rain. Slogging around in mud with an umbrella looking through tables of dirty old parts no longer is appealing to me.

I think the hobby has come a long way. I hope that younger folks can keep it going after I have moved on. When that time comes for me, there are 8 good original running Imperials ranging from 1955 through 1968 in my garage waiting for their next care taker.

Paul W.

-----Original Message-----
From: YBSHORE@xxxxxxx
To: mailing-list-owner@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx; mailing-list@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Sent: Fri, 7 Mar 2008 7:18 pm
Subject: IML: Old Cars, Old Clubs, Old Parts, Old Time

Fellow Imperialist's:


    The reminiscing about the origination of the club has brought a few queries to mind concerning our Old Car Game.  Back before the Internet and all its inherent resources [talking in the 1970's getting my license], I had a car of early sixties vintage which I used as a daily driver and its resultant personality kept me in touch with most of the salvage yards in the area here north of Boston, from which there were plenty to choose.


    Enter the EPA and clean-ups, etc., then soon there were few left, making it harder to chase parts down.  A lot harder.  I would spend hour upon hour trying referenced phone number after phone number from kind boneyard owner's, who if they did not have what I needed, would pass along another number.  Then there was the matter of shipping:  somewhat restrictive as vendor's were not so kind as today, and frankly there were no choices but Uncle Sam in essence.  These were factors in me selling the car, and thusly for a long time I did not have to deal with 'the chase'.  Upon purchase of my 1956 Imperial that changed and this club's list of phenomenal vendor's coupled with the proliferation of the before mentioned Internet, in conjunction with booming aftermarket parts availability, and all of a sudden, at least it seemed to me the plumber, parts were hardly difficult to find, and even the alleged tough items were found to be available generally--of course for a price. 


    This all makes for satisfied antique car owner's and many profitable businesses.  Being a young 45 {LOL} my question is directed to those who did business in the junking/saving car game pre-Internet and specifically to those whose yards and to those parts collector's who were dedicated to a particular brand (think Lowell Howe):  1) did word of mouth or car clubs provide enough exposure for good business?, 2) what was the preferred method of advertisement?, 3)  has this Internet made salvage businesses more successful than word of mouth ever did? 


    I know every time I think this Internet is an end all for it all, a guy like Lowell, or a similarly genuine formerly unknown car mechanic or the like reveals to me old fashioned early rising and fine service still proves advertising and exposure isn't always necessary ...... thanks for any insight.




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