In the art of restoration there are many processes. In order to do restorations there are a variety of skills like body work, welding, casting, painting , graphic design, woodworking, prepping and many more. The one skill many people forget to mention is research and finding parts.
For many years finding information on older machinery was unthinkable. With the internet and people uploading old books and PDF’s finding information on some of the machinery that has been forgotten with time is becoming more feasible. While information may be showing up slowly finding parts still remains an issue. I am sure about now there are allot of you in disagreement. No I am not saying that the internet has not helped because it has. Sites like eBay, engine ads and many other web sites have begun to bridge the gap between the end user. But finding parts has always been and will continue to be an issue.
If you don’t thing finding parts is one of the hardest parts of a restoration then I ask you how many restoration places have one guy designated to fining parts. While there are now tons of sites the websites that sell parts are hit and miss. Often times when people are selling parts it is not the time you are looking for them but the second you need them you can’t find them anywhere. You have to constantly be checking every site all the time for a large list of parts hoping one shows up in the near future.
Trivago was a revolutionary web site. They realized it is impossible to be another booking web site since the entire niche was filled. But they realized that they could be the bridge between the people and the booking sites finding the best deal in less time.
Searching for parts is slightly different then searching for hotels since hotel searches are one and done but searching for parts can take years. For one of my engines I searched eBay for three years to find the part I needed. On eBay you can follow searches and eBay will email you with relevant search results.
The way I would improve the process of part searching is to create a site like Trivago that searches all of the part sites and forums. The system would have a wish list where you could but in part names and key words. From there the site like eBay would constantly check internet for the part an notify you when something comes up for sale.
Another issue is that often the people who have the parts have them in the back of a cabinet and don’t know what it is or what it is worth. They just leave it in the corner or even worse get rid of it during a spring cleaning. To try to cope with this issue we will have a quick link to representatives on the web site that will bring up a representative to work with these individuals and identify what they have and how to correctly notate it in a listing.
I believe that this web site would be beneficial for both sellers and buyers. I have spent many nights checking several sites for a part just to make sure I am not missing anything. By having a site that does the searching for you restoration hobbyist would save many hours a week they could devote to other things