Used auto body parts are the cheapest way to restore and repair a damaged vehicle or a vintage vehicle. Sometimes the parts are not always easy to find. If you are at a loss for where to look for doors, side panels, bumpers, hoods, and car roofs, as well as truck beds, here are three places you can search which will help you find what you need.
Private Sellers Who Strip Cars for Parts
There are hundreds, possibly even thousands of private automotive sellers out there who have one or two cars that they are stripping for parts and selling the parts off. While tires, brakes and engine components are usually the first to go, the actual body parts of the vehicles remain until they are either sold or sent to the scrap/salvage yard. If you do some digging, you can find the private sellers' listings in local papers. Most of the ads will say "stripping car for parts, but will sell what is left. Whatever want, prices vary," or something to that effect.
Automotive Dealerships on Their Trade-in Lots
Dealerships who take in vehicles of any sort of condition could have your side panels or extra doors for that car or truck you are restoring. If they do not plan on restoring the vehicles you need parts from, you could strike a deal with them just for the parts. Many dealerships have their own auto body shop on site, and their mechanics can safely and carefully strip a car down for parts. They may even have parts in their storage inventories, which they can look up on their computer systems.
Automotive Trade Shows and Car Shows
One of the best places to find used and certified auto body parts for your restoration project is at an automotive trade show or car show. Not only will you run into other car enthusiasts like yourself, but you can ask representatives from the company that originally made your project car if they have (or know anybody who has) the parts you are looking for. Even if you cannot buy the parts directly from those you talk to at the shows, you will make plenty of contacts that you can call, text or email on a regular basis in your search for parts. Additionally, if you meet someone who is also restoring a similar make and model of vehicle, he or she may have the extra side panels, doors, bumpers, etc., that you need. He or she may be willing to sell you the extra parts he/she has on hand.
You can also go to salvage yards and deal with companies such as Woonsocket Auto Salvage to get your parts.