Parts Pirates

“Yo ho ho and a bottle of ‘automotive snake oil’ ”???

Parts in a Warehouse

It seems in today’s “buy it now” world of eBay and Paypal, we can now have useless junk sent directly to our front door without so much as picking it up and saying, “$50 for that?!”

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, in most cases today’s manufacturers of automotive junk should simply set up a dumpster at the end of the assembly line and save us the trouble of throwing away that widget that isn’t even close to “fit for service.” Just type in what you are looking for to get your “2002 Smokesabit coupe” back on the road, and you’ll be treated to scores of “parts pirates” ads bent on getting you to use their search engine because “you can find it here”– only to go in circles typing all your info simply to discover, “No you can’t find it here!” (Tip: if it doesn’t come up as a direct link when you google a part, it will not come up through a parts search engine).

So, before you allow Blackbeard to swing a sword through your bank account, listen up!  Know what you are looking for. If you type in “water pump,” you will get millions of results! So, (fingers off the keyboard!– it’s just an example) be very, very specific! For instance, “1999 Jaguar XJ8 water pump aluminum impeller for sale.” Then be sure to read the WHOLE ad. That part might be made in and coming from the other side of the world. You want the one made in a country known for quality and preferably to have it at your door in a couple days — not a couple weeks. Now read at least 5 more ads for the same part and compare manufacturers and prices. I’m tell’n ya, it’s crazy out there!

British car parts

And check locally, too, and here’s why. I had a job recently that needed a fairly common part. There are three parts stores near me, two that advertise as being “bargain type stores” and one regular parts store….

The first one I tried (regular type store) had the part for $65 and could have it to me in an hour. The first “bargain store” could get it to me in two days for almost $300! And, the last store could not get it at all. Online, an average was $45 for admitted “very distant” origin reproduction (and I should mention the dealer had them for $150, yes 1/2 that of the bargain store!)

The car’s owner opted for the cheap-and-here version as most would… point being that the internet is not always the way to go!

So “Avast Mateys!”– not shopping around can have the parts pirates pillaging your pocket!

Note: Please note that an earlier version of this post used a photo that was not ours to use and may have caused some confusion. It also may have implied some negative connotations to a well-respected member of the community. For this, we sincerely apologize. It was not our intention, nor the author’s, to do this.
Robert Morey
With over 40 years in the business, Robert Morey restores and maintains British cars. His restorations have won many awards and are in collections across the U.S., England, Japan and the Bahamas. Robert is compiling a book on owning British cars as both a business and a hobby. Robert and his wife Michele live in Charleston, South Carolina.


  1. Buy local when available! Usually the local guy is friend and knows how to correct mistakes! Also, speaks our language!

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