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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Who are your 'go to' suppliers for '69 Camaro parts. I know different companies specialize in certain areas and would like to work with as few suppliers as possible. I'm cleaning up some electrical and mechanical issues and will need to source new dash and engine side wiring harnesses, blower motor/fan, heater/ac resistor, high-speed ac fan relay, heater core, ac vaccum vent actuators and vaccum hoses, etc.. Thanks for any tips..
 

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AAW for the wiring.ebay for the resisters and relay. You can still get delco ones on eBay. Heater core is a crap shoot. People will tell you to take yours to a radiator shop. If one is local to you, than yes do that. I liked 4 seasons heater cores, but it's been a while since I looked for one. The actuators I will let someone else answer as I went with vintage air.
 
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I like NPD because of availability, here in Charlotte and great customer service. I have done business with Rick's as well, mostly when Rick had the business and I was a dealer. You can check with your local parts store like Advance, Autozone as they can order just about any mechanical part you need with warranty. Like I order moog suspension parts from them as well as other name parts. Price job for your stuff will save money usually.
 

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I was interested in this thread also, but with no consensus, I guess they are all getting better than they used to be. 😁 😁 😁
 

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To me the brand supplied is more important than the vendor. No single vendor has the best of everything. I like working with Speedway Motors, MCB, Camaro Central, NPD, & Rockauto to name a few. I stay away from HBC, Rick's and Classic as much as possible. I had bad dealings with them.
 

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Heart Beat City is owned and run by same people that own Inline Tube. Inline Tube has many mistreated customers. In my experience the worst vendor in the industry. Never bought from Heart Beat City because they are owned by Inline Tube.
 

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Ricks has decent sheet metal, the SS hood i got from them was spot on. but other parts i always seem to get on back order.,,..
 

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For me it's mainly jegs, summit and HBC. The thing with HBC is I will receive the stuff I order within the week (I also will try and wait until they have a sale); plus, HBC will tell me if it is US-made which means a lot to me.

Classic is too slow and Rick's is too high for shipping.
Have used SS396 for some stuff and shipping wasn't bad.
Haven't used DR & NPD since the 90's.

Then there is always ebay which I will use for some items.
 

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Most all the sheet metal is made by 2 companies in Taiwan under a half a dozen brand names, Goodmark, AMD, Golden Lion, Real Deal Steel, Dynacorn, OER and a few more. I like NPD, same day or next day shipping for $9.99 on non oversized parts and a return policy with no strings attached with great service and still owned by the founding family in Florida.
 

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Most all the sheet metal is made by 2 companies in Taiwan under a half a dozen brand names, Goodmark, AMD, Golden Lion, Real Deal Steel, Dynacorn, OER and a few more. I like NPD, same day or next day shipping for $9.99 on non oversized parts and a return policy with no strings attached with great service and still owned by the founding family in Florida.
I haven't been on here in a while, so I apologize in advance for digging a 10-day-old thread out of the grave..

First off, thank you for those nice comments!! My father indeed founded NPD (in our basement in 1976), and I've been running it since 1995. Hard to believe it's 2021, and the hobby is still so incredibly strong.

But please allow me to amend your description of the sheet metal market, because it's far more complicated than "2 companies".

All of those brand-names you listed above, they're all just importers. None of them are manufacturers, none of them have their name hanging over the door of a factory in Taiwan. Some of them have a handful of exclusive products for which they control the tooling, and those specific products can legitimately be attributed directly to them (because it's the only place you can buy it). But the vast majority is open-market, it's just a matter of having the contacts/relationships in Taiwan to buy your own containers, direct from the manufacturers. That's what we (NPD) do, with our top-priority being to source each individual product and/or panel and/or piece to the factory/tooling that is the best currently available.

I won't get into who makes the best of what, because it would take me all day. But suffice it to say, there are many different factories in Taiwan that contribute to what comprises the "restoration parts" category. Many factories. And you cannot point to any single factory and say "everything they do is the best", because that's not the truth. One factory might do the best-fitting and crispest-detail quarter panels (and it ain't who everybody thinks), another factory might make the best fitting decklid, and another might do the best floor panels. You've got Apex, Golden Legion, Yeou Wei, CHL, Musclecar GT (Dynacorn's main squeeze), Tri Plus (AMD's main squeeze), Tong Yang, AP, and I'm just getting warmed-up, because there are plenty of others who are specialists, some in die-cast, others in urethane, others in injection-molding, and plenty more who are just outliers helping with sheet metal stamping. Some of these factories are competitors with others, but some of them are partners with each other. It's a big, tangled, incestuous mess, because no single factory can hope to have tooling for everything. As I said, none of the "brands" mentioned in this thread are actually manufacturers. They do indeed have their own proprietary sourcing, and usually a strong allegiance with a certain "group" of factories, so they are not all the same. But none of them are making any of it. And much of what they offer, we (NPD) are able to purchase direct, side-stepping the importers and "brands". And that allows us to source on a best quality/fit basis to whichever factory we feel is doing the best version of a specific part. Of course, the importers /brands are also trying to do this (to some unknown extent). I just personally feel that we cast a wider net. We have no group-allegiances or direct-ties to single factories.

Last, I feel that some of the newer-tooling thicker-steel (it's just 1-gauge thicker, 20 instead of 21, which is roughly .0032") panels are a mixed-bag. The increase in thickness sometimes comes at the expense of crispness and detail. And it's not always the best fitting either. Again, it's a mixed bag.

That's all I had to say (which was a novel, so I apologize LOL).. The most misunderstood category in the restoration parts market is sheet metal. Which is understandable, because the number of competing toolings and the number of actual manufacturers involved is tough to chart, and totally muddied by all of the brand-names trying to pose as manufacturers.

Rick
NPD
 

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I haven't been on here in a while, so I apologize in advance for digging a 10-day-old thread out of the grave..

First off, thank you for those nice comments!! My father indeed founded NPD (in our basement in 1976), and I've been running it since 1995. Hard to believe it's 2021, and the hobby is still so incredibly strong.

But please allow me to amend your description of the sheet metal market, because it's far more complicated than "2 companies".

All of those brand-names you listed above, they're all just importers. None of them are manufacturers, none of them have their name hanging over the door of a factory in Taiwan. Some of them have a handful of exclusive products for which they control the tooling, and those specific products can legitimately be attributed directly to them (because it's the only place you can buy it). But the vast majority is open-market, it's just a matter of having the contacts/relationships in Taiwan to buy your own containers, direct from the manufacturers. That's what we (NPD) do, with our top-priority being to source each individual product and/or panel and/or piece to the factory/tooling that is the best currently available.

I won't get into who makes the best of what, because it would take me all day. But suffice it to say, there are many different factories in Taiwan that contribute to what comprises the "restoration parts" category. Many factories. And you cannot point to any single factory and say "everything they do is the best", because that's not the truth. One factory might do the best-fitting and crispest-detail quarter panels (and it ain't who everybody thinks), another factory might make the best fitting decklid, and another might do the best floor panels. You've got Apex, Golden Legion, Yeou Wei, CHL, Musclecar GT (Dynacorn's main squeeze), Tri Plus (AMD's main squeeze), Tong Yang, AP, and I'm just getting warmed-up, because there are plenty of others who are specialists, some in die-cast, others in urethane, others in injection-molding, and plenty more who are just outliers helping with sheet metal stamping. Some of these factories are competitors with others, but some of them are partners with each other. It's a big, tangled, incestuous mess, because no single factory can hope to have tooling for everything. As I said, none of the "brands" mentioned in this thread are actually manufacturers. They do indeed have their own proprietary sourcing, and usually a strong allegiance with a certain "group" of factories, so they are not all the same. But none of them are making any of it. And much of what they offer, we (NPD) are able to purchase direct, side-stepping the importers and "brands". And that allows us to source on a best quality/fit basis to whichever factory we feel is doing the best version of a specific part. Of course, the importers /brands are also trying to do this (to some unknown extent). I just personally feel that we cast a wider net. We have no group-allegiances or direct-ties to single factories.

Last, I feel that some of the newer-tooling thicker-steel (it's just 1-gauge thicker, 20 instead of 21, which is roughly .0032") panels are a mixed-bag. The increase in thickness sometimes comes at the expense of crispness and detail. And it's not always the best fitting either. Again, it's a mixed bag.

That's all I had to say (which was a novel, so I apologize LOL).. The most misunderstood category in the restoration parts market is sheet metal. Which is understandable, because the number of competing toolings and the number of actual manufacturers involved is tough to chart, and totally muddied by all of the brand-names trying to pose as manufacturers.

Rick
NPD
Thanks Rick. Enlightening.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I haven't been on here in a while, so I apologize in advance for digging a 10-day-old thread out of the grave..

First off, thank you for those nice comments!! My father indeed founded NPD (in our basement in 1976), and I've been running it since 1995. Hard to believe it's 2021, and the hobby is still so incredibly strong.

But please allow me to amend your description of the sheet metal market, because it's far more complicated than "2 companies".

All of those brand-names you listed above, they're all just importers. None of them are manufacturers, none of them have their name hanging over the door of a factory in Taiwan. Some of them have a handful of exclusive products for which they control the tooling, and those specific products can legitimately be attributed directly to them (because it's the only place you can buy it). But the vast majority is open-market, it's just a matter of having the contacts/relationships in Taiwan to buy your own containers, direct from the manufacturers. That's what we (NPD) do, with our top-priority being to source each individual product and/or panel and/or piece to the factory/tooling that is the best currently available.

I won't get into who makes the best of what, because it would take me all day. But suffice it to say, there are many different factories in Taiwan that contribute to what comprises the "restoration parts" category. Many factories. And you cannot point to any single factory and say "everything they do is the best", because that's not the truth. One factory might do the best-fitting and crispest-detail quarter panels (and it ain't who everybody thinks), another factory might make the best fitting decklid, and another might do the best floor panels. You've got Apex, Golden Legion, Yeou Wei, CHL, Musclecar GT (Dynacorn's main squeeze), Tri Plus (AMD's main squeeze), Tong Yang, AP, and I'm just getting warmed-up, because there are plenty of others who are specialists, some in die-cast, others in urethane, others in injection-molding, and plenty more who are just outliers helping with sheet metal stamping. Some of these factories are competitors with others, but some of them are partners with each other. It's a big, tangled, incestuous mess, because no single factory can hope to have tooling for everything. As I said, none of the "brands" mentioned in this thread are actually manufacturers. They do indeed have their own proprietary sourcing, and usually a strong allegiance with a certain "group" of factories, so they are not all the same. But none of them are making any of it. And much of what they offer, we (NPD) are able to purchase direct, side-stepping the importers and "brands". And that allows us to source on a best quality/fit basis to whichever factory we feel is doing the best version of a specific part. Of course, the importers /brands are also trying to do this (to some unknown extent). I just personally feel that we cast a wider net. We have no group-allegiances or direct-ties to single factories.

Last, I feel that some of the newer-tooling thicker-steel (it's just 1-gauge thicker, 20 instead of 21, which is roughly .0032") panels are a mixed-bag. The increase in thickness sometimes comes at the expense of crispness and detail. And it's not always the best fitting either. Again, it's a mixed bag.

That's all I had to say (which was a novel, so I apologize LOL).. The most misunderstood category in the restoration parts market is sheet metal. Which is understandable, because the number of competing toolings and the number of actual manufacturers involved is tough to chart, and totally muddied by all of the brand-names trying to pose as manufacturers.

Rick
NPD
Wow, that was just an amazing insight into the aftermarket industry. I suppose NPD should be added to my list of 'go to's'. Thanks and regards!
 

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One vote for National Parts Depot (NPD)...
 

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Heart Beat City is owned and run by same people that own Inline Tube. Inline Tube has many mistreated customers. In my experience the worst vendor in the industry. Never bought from Heart Beat City because they are owned by Inline Tube.
They are right across the street from each other, but are different owners, that’s for sure.
 

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That was interesting. Did the fabricators make their own dies or did they purchase used dies form the original sheet metal suppliers?
 
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