Welcome to For E Bodies Only !
We are a community of Plymouth Cuda and Dodge Challenger owners. Join now! Its Free!
The funny/sad part is that the majority of NOS fenders were assembly line rejects.
They had no shame?
Last year I actually bought an NOS part from a different overpriced source. I was moving some things around in my shop and I accidentally broke the driver side cornering light lens on my 67 imperial. I almost felt like I was going to throw up because I knew how rare it was to find these things anymore. I hadn’t even seen one in a couple of years. I went right over to ebay to see if I could find a replacement and sure enough I found one right away for $385 and I hit by it now without a second thought. Next call I made was to Hagerty and not three days later I had a $385 check in the mailbox.
I used to buy new Challenger fenders at the dealer in the early to late 1970's for $139.00 garage net when I was buying and fixing Challengers early on. I used to buy them just to have a set or two available.
Never had any problems with quality or damage.
The two NOS fenders I have now I bought in the early 80's when Chrysler was starting to NS1 parts for our cars. Each were in the back room of two Dodge dealerships in my area and I grabbed them. One is perfect and one has a small amount of damage on the top front. My parts guy "Barney" told me it had fallen while in storage at the dealership, causing the damage. I grabbed what was available and I kept both all these years. 624 and 625. There is still nothing like the fit of an original fender when compared to the re-stampings made today, even from AMD.
I wish the Budd Company would go back in business!
I should mention that a couple of months ago I ended up with about a dozen of these lenses in various conditions including NOS and I paid next to nothing for all of them...
That goes to show, you never have enough nos parts,lol. specially lenses!
Glad you were able to pick the lens' up. So hard to get NOS or decent parts.
I've heard the "Assembly line rejects" for years from multiple sources. I wonder how that one got started? Yes, I'm guilty of rehashing it for 30 years.
I think there may be some truth to it, all it takes is a small amount of dirt to land on the panel stamping die to cause an imperfection and it is easier for someone involved in the collision repair industry to deal with that then a time conscious assembly line worker. A number of panels would be stamped before the problem is found so they probably sent them to spare parts rather then put them on cars. A good panel guy would just tap it out with a hammer and dolly and move on and consider it part of the prep work.
Looks to be to me. I just can't pay $2K USD for one (That is about $2800 CAD for me)
I've also heard of 'lunch box' parts that are unique assembly line parts that made there way out of the plant. There considered more desirable than OEM replacement parts...
Steve Juliano used these assembly line parts on his cars I remember reading about the small differences between the parts the cars were built with and the parts they supplied at the dealership parts counter even the same year the cars were built there were differences between the parts.
The lunchbox parts will occasionally show up on Craigslist and garage sales in the neighborhoods in proximity to the plants. I actually wish I could make time for garage sales.
A couple of years ago I bought some parts from a guy who had been at an estate sale in the Detroit area.The husband of the estate had died and the wife was having a sale. Turns out the husband had worked at the Hamtramck plant and had been carrying lunch box parts home for quite some time. Needless to say, the guy bought out the entire stash of parts.
I SO NEED THOSE! Hahaha!
I think that like all stories, they start with a certain amount of truth, and grow from there. While I have never heard of the assembly line rejects, or lunchbox parts, I'm sure that there is a lot of truth to it. I worked with a gentleman that was a UAW rep in the early 70's. He said that while all the plants had various issues, the Chrysler plants by far had more problems, such as employees being drunk, leaving the job in the middle of a shift, and of course, theft. I have lost track of him years ago, but I would love to hear his take on all this.
Steve is correct about the "assembly line rejects" statement. This really pertained to when those cars were in production. For example body panels would be pitched into a bin or placed on skids to be sent to the main parts depo when any serious defect was found(such as a mis-aligned stamping/die cut-out) dent or kink from possibly being dropped and the like. From there, those along with a percentage of over runs would be shipped as the NOS replacement parts to dealerships as needed. This happened with everything to some extent, grills,lenses,assemblies, etc. I had back in the early 80's a pair of NOS 70 Cuda quarters where the side marker cutouts were off-set as compared to the recessed area for where the side marker light bezel would sit. It was definitely left for "the body man" to have to contend with, it could never have gone on a car the way it was.
We can even take the NOS conversation to bare metal NOS parts, compared to the factory primed parts...early grey primer to black and then red-oxide primers used over the years.
As for the lunchbox parts, Chrysler had a lot of smaller suppliers they would buy certain items from, they couldn't possible make everything for the cars and it was not economical to try. That being said, one or two suppliers could be making washers, nuts,bolts and the like one year, and another supplier with a lower bid could have the business the next year. Though they would have to keep with in the tolerances set by Chrysler, some operations to get the end result may have been altered slightly, finishes (if approved), markings, all if approved, but changes from the assembly line for previous builds.
All this is especially true due to the smaller size of Mopar compared to that of Ford and Chevy, where production costs were always more closely watched.
There really is no hard and fast rule for anything with Dodge,Chrysler,Plymouth which makes this hobby so interesting .
Separate names with a comma.