11/15/99 Ordering parts
I decided that new gaskets should be ordered for the rear taillight assemblies because the old ones would really look crappy with the new paint. “Parts Source” www.Partsourcenet.com in Maine comes up in conversation whenever vintage Ferrari parts are mentioned and I decided to give them a call. Jeff of Parts Source asked me if I had the original gaskets, and whether I could “photo-copy” them and fax them to him so he could be sure that he had the right gaskets.
I took the best gasket of the two, and faxed the photo-copy. He confirmed he had them and that they were original (NOS?), and said he would mail two of them to me that day. I asked if he had a price, but he said that he had to look them up. He assured me that they were cheap, “around $100 bucks.” $100 dollars!?! Still recovering from the initial shock, I didn’t even have the nerve to ask if that price was for both gaskets! I decided that I had no choice in the matter, and gave him my credit card information. Besides, the first set of gaskets lasted 36 years! How’s that for justification?
When I first got into restoring old cars, I worked on Mustangs, parts were plentiful, and usually cheap. They made hundreds of thousands of them, so parts, new and old, were everywhere. I then moved onto British cars with a Sunbeam Alpine. Parts weren’t as readily available, but only slightly more expensive than American parts, but when I got into Porsches, prices went even higher! Now I think I’m at the height of rare and expensive with this Ferrari, but I’m determined to try and keep costs down without sacrificing quality. $100 bucks for rubber gaskets seems like a ton of money, but they’re highly visible gaskets, and may not be available in the future. I’ll spend the money here, but other places, I may not.
Chrome is an area that can eat your wallet alive in car restoration. Luckily, many parts were already re-chromed, but there are still pieces that need attention. Some pieces, I decided, will have to wait for re-chroming simply because the cost is prohibitive. Both tail light housings are pitted, with one slightly worse than the other, but these will have to wait until after I get the car on the road. My reasoning for this is to get the imperative restoration elements done like the engine, and interior, and see how much money I have left to re-chrome the tail light housings. I am going to try an experiment on a couple of pieces that need chroming. These pieces are steel pieces, not pot metal like the tail lights. I will try to sand and buff the metal to a shine, and send it to a local plater that will simply plate the parts “as is.” I’ll let you know how they turn out.
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