By: Curt White
As I was tinkering in my garage it occurred to me that I was starting to develop quite a pile of leftover parts. I’m sure everyone who starts down the road of restoration or even basic repair is bound to end up with at least a small collection of parts that you want to hang on to “just in case”.
In the recent newsletter there was a great article titled “Pre-Restoration Checklist” which was full of great tidbits, including the sage advice “Never Ever throw anything away!” and “take lots of pictures”. I have followed this advice from the beginning and because of it two things have happened.
First, I have lots of reference photos and parts to compare new ones with to make sure I get it right.
Second, I am almost out of room! I have squirreled so many parts away that I now need a map of my garage to find them all. I think my wife suspects me of hiding parts in our closets too (only the cool rare parts like the neat blaupunkt picnic radio I picked up at a second hand store).
So, what does a hobbyist do when he’s about out of room? (Yes, I would have said build another garage too, but my wife won’t let me) My answer is to turn a few of the leftover parts into something useful. Just for fun, I took a couple of my old 36hp pistons and cylinders and a leftover clock from a Ghia and made a pen/pencil holder. As a bonus I hooked the clock up to a 6V adapter and it works great on my desk. It even holds business cards and sticky notes. I also plan to add a VVWCA sticker to the front to dress it up a bit.
I have also used old parts to help me work on the new ones. Take fenders for example. I saved the old fenders to use as patterns for the correct placement of the turn signal brackets (mine are the small bullet turn signals mounted low on the fenders). I saved all of the original interior upholstery, carpets and sound proofing tar boards to use as patterns as well (or just to check new parts to make sure they really fit).
When you start looking at your old parts as tools they take on a new role (and makes it even easier to justify to your partner why you have a garage full of them).
My real problem will come on that mythical day when the car is “done” and I don’t need all the patterns anymore. I suppose that’s what swap meets are for, to help clean out the closets.
What I will keep is a notebook full of great pictures and tech articles that I have collected. Who knows, maybe what I need to make next is some bookends to hold the notebook, or I suppose I could use the old push rod tubes to help me sort my collection of welding rods……..
The possibilities are endless.