You’ve finally bought that classic BMW of your dreams but there is a hitch as Bavarian engineering could withstand the years of abuse heaped on it by the previous owner. As such, your dream classic car is more of a project than something which is ready to win first place at your local car show.
This brings up a challenge. How can you find the parts you need to restore your Beemer to factory condition? Well, here are some suggestions on the best ways to get parts for your classic BMW.
You Can’t Walk into the Dealer
Well, in some cases you might be able to but odds are that any dealer specializing in parts for classic BMWs is going to be insanely expensive. While this might seem like the easiest option, you probably don’t want to go broke restoring your dream car. After all, you already need to hide the bills from your wife.
Another reason you can’t walk into the dealer is that they probably won’t have the parts you need anyways. This is because manufacturers tend to stop manufacturing parts for most models about four to six years after it is discontinued.
While there are exceptions, this tends to be the rule. In addition, most after-market parts manufacturers don’t focus on obscure parts as there is no money in setting up the tooling and production for something which rarely sells.
Auction sites are some of the best options to get the parts you need for your classic BMW. In fact, if you know how to search sites like eBay, then you might be able to find almost everything you will need.
One plus is that eBay has sellers from all over the world and this means that you can tap into a large pool of sellers in Europe, many of whom might have the one BMW part you can’t even find in the U.S.
Just remember that when it comes to eBay, you need to factor in the cost of shipping the parts that you want. As such, it is best used to source small, lightweight parts which won’t cost an arm and a leg to ship.
If you are into classic cars, then you know that it is an obsession. This means that there are not only shows with people showing off their pride and joy but there is also swap meets where collectors sell or trade parts.
As such, this makes going to your local swap meet a great way to source parts for your classic BMW. The trick is knowing which swap meets in your area are more likely to have parts for finely-engineered German vehicles as you don’t want to spend hours sorting through stray Honda and Datsun parts.
Another thing to keep in mind with swap meets is that some parts can be mislabeled. As such, you better know everything there is to know about the parts you are looking for. This will make sure that you don’t get home and find out that you bought the wrong part.
Ok, so some classic BMWs are very rare in the U.S. but this doesn’t mean that you can’t get the part you need. In fact, one place to search is your local junkyard. I know what you might be thinking – junkyards are dirty and disorganized. But the reality is something different as many are well organized and have computerized their inventory of cars and parts.
As such, you should be thinking where are the scrap yards near me. While they might not have the parts, you need they might have connections to another yard which does and this will save you time and money when it comes to restoring your classic BMW.
Owning a classic BMW will set you apart from the rest of the classic car crowd – many of whom favor American muscle over precision German engineering. However, this doesn’t mean you can’t find a club of like-minded people.
In fact, there are several BMW car clubs out there and tapping into this network is a great way to find people who understand the exact position you find yourself today. Another great part about joining a club is that many members like to share their experiences with you and this will make it even easier to get the parts you need.
What are you waiting for? Join a classic car club, make new friends and tap into an entire network of parts suppliers and traders.