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What is the most difficult to find part for your project so far?

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30 minutes ago, Sniper said:


Have you talked to this guy?



No, didn't know about him, thanks! The bit in question is pot metal, though. All the stainless stuff is solid and very saveable, but DeSoto really cheaped out on the mirrors, grille and the fender trim. 

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Hardest thing for me has been measurements and dimensions of certain parts. I get that you could just order a new part, but I like to have the dimension info so I can make my own if need be. Probably why the info isn't readily available from a manufacturers standpoint...


Also if anyone has rear fenders for a '49 coronet 4 door and wants to trade one for one for a nice set of '49 2 door fenders I'd love to do business...

Edited by maddmaxx1949
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In England parts can be pretty difficult to get hold of unless you’re willing to part with wads of cash in shipping and duty charges. Having said that I’ve done alright from people shipping vehicles to our shores with a plan to rip out the running gear to go sbc 350/350 etc. When that happens I’ve always made myself available to relieve people of unwanted parts and stopped a lot going to the scrap yard. 

Something I did ship over that took years of watching and waiting and failing with bids in eBay was a period correct radiator cap for my 30 Chrysler Coupe. Consistently beaten as I wouldn’t go over $225, eventually after about 7 years or so I got lucky. 



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There are several hard to find items on the old Mopar convertibles......mine is a 1947 P15 Plymouth.  I think what happened

to all my original stainless trim was -- it was removed because they were going to repaint the car and was not stored in the

car.   So, when the car eventually wound up in a salvage yard after spending time in a body shop, the original trim was not

with it.  I had to go to various salvage yards in my area in the 1970s and remove trim pieces.  Fortunately there were numerous

old Mopars and the price was very reasonable back then.   One hard to find item on a convertible is a stainless plate made to

trim the rear end of the window opening of the door.  They look like this - and I have seen various home made versions.



There was an older fellow making these, who I met at Hershey about 5 years ago and I bought the last pair on his display.

Don't know if he is still making these or not.  If anyone needs this item, I can trace it on paper to get dimensions.    Another rare 

item is this upper wing window pivot....which can be made by a competent machinist.  There is a threaded rod on the back side

which goes into a hole on the window frame and held in place with a nut within the frame.



And.....the chrome plated windshield wiper bases which can become pitted....which my left one is.  I think the last one of these I found

on eBay sometime back sold for $150 or $200.  The seller did say that with some modification, the base could be used on either side.  And

converts use a very short wiper blade plus a slightly smaller wiper motor than coupes and sedans. 


The converts have a steam bent wood bow above the rear window.....which, unless you are a talented woodworker,

can cost six or seven hundred dollars to have one reproduced by a professional steam bent wood guy.  Mine was

damaged by flying debris during our huge tornado of May 2011 and I could not locate anyone locally to make such a

bow.  So I sent it off to a fellow in (I think) Pennsylvania.....who quoted me a price for "a bow", so I sent him my bow

for an example.  Then, when he said he was done with it--all I needed to do was finish it up....I told him I had no way to

work on it and had thought he was doing a complete job.  Then he said he could finish it up for two or three hundred

dollars more.  So the job ended up 6 or 7 hundred some dollars total.  Good news was insurance paid it.  So I still have

the original bow, taped together, in case anyone ever needs measurements. 





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  • 3 weeks later...

Hey, I think this thread has magical powers! 2 weeks after whining that I couldn't find the right side fender trim for my '48 DeSoto anywhere, the ebay gods smiled upon me...


Now I have to replace the left side, this one's so nice, it makes the left side trim look sad...

Edited by ratbailey
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5 hours ago, Another-project-car said:

So far the god forsaken trunk latch/handle missing off my 1950 DeSoto has been impossible to find for a reasonable price, they’re going for like 350 on eBay, and that’s a good portion of what I paid for the car 

You don't have to respond if you already tried this, but I managed to find the whole grill for my '48 on the Nat'l Desoto Club group on Facebook. 

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Fender spears were hard to find in decent shape to restore and polish, and the rocker stainless trim was difficult. The trunk latch was another pain since these really can't be rechromed with the lock mechanism trapped inside, you are relegated to finding a good used or NOS piece. Other frustrating things were the trim clips for the belt line moldings particularly the rears. I ended up using and adapting a variety of different clips, small freeze plugs and rubber bumpers drilled through etc to make that work.

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Not really the "stock" gas cap for my 1936 DeSoto nor necessary - however the price was right on this early 30's DeSoto vented gas cap that looks more cool than the one it replaced...😊


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On 4/20/2021 at 2:17 AM, Another-project-car said:

So far the god forsaken trunk latch/handle missing off my 1950 DeSoto has been impossible to find for a reasonable price, they’re going for like 350 on eBay, and that’s a good portion of what I paid for the car 

I might have one lying in the woods, I'll check tomorrow


Edit:  This is what I found... I don't think its the right year or what you are looking for. Been at this place 26 years and Just stumbled on this in the woods a few months ago. Couldn't believe I hadn't seen it before.






Edited by maddmaxx1949
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  • 2 weeks later...

The guts for my 42 DeSoto 5th Avenue cigarette dispensing steering wheel. You can see from the photo there is spring that pushes the cig into the dispensing slot and then the spring, push rod and knob that push the cig out so the driver can grasp it.361494869_5thavedispenser.jpg.041ec896ef99762430e61bcc48ac1b2c.jpg

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Wow, what a stash place for cars in states that have not yet legalized Mary Jane.


I Am not a supporter of smoking it period, let alone driving with it!  🤪. Yes I live in Ca.. Cannot afford to move.  😏



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