How to Buy Vintage Car Parts on eBay

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How to Buy Vintage Car Parts on eBay

Collecting vintage cars is a hobby among many people. There is something about owning a vehicle that was made in another decade that appeals to many car enthusiasts. Some people enjoy buying project cars that need to be brought back to their former glory, while others prefer buying restored vintage cars that are ready for display or even used for short drives. Whether one engages in any or all of these, vintage car parts are a necessity for this hobby.

While others choose to buy these from speciality car shops, most have found that this is much easier to do on eBay. Instead of wasting valuable time going around shop to shop on foot or by car, eBay allows the buyer to check if item's availability in just a few minutes. For those who wish to use eBay to its full potential, it is important to know the many ways to search for vintage car parts on this site. Additionally, it is crucial to learn how to properly evaluate the sellers offering these parts to ensure a smooth and hassle-free transaction.

Overview of Vintage Cars

Generally, vintage cars, otherwise known as classic cars, are ones that were made between 30 to 60 years ago. However, since there is no formal definition of the term, institutions may differ on what its scope is. Instead of age, some define vintage cars as coming from a particular time in history: such as 1919 to 1929. Among the notable vintage cars are the Austin 7, Lancia Lambda, Bugatti Type 35, Hanomag 2, Ford Model A, and the Cadillac V-16, among others. In Europe, before the age of cars, man rode on animals like horses and donkeys while on land. The first horseless carriage is said to have been built by Richard Trevithick in 1801, which was a carriage powered by steam and named the "Puffing Devil".

Searching for Vintage Car Parts on eBay

While digital natives may find it easy to navigate the eBay website, those who are used to making their purchases from traditional brick-and-mortar stores may initially find it confusing. Unlike shops where everything is on display, eBay allows the seller to find the product they want by typing its name on a search box. This can be marked departure from the standard retail format where everything is on display.

While eBay gives the user the option to browse through all the products of its different categories, many find that there are just too many items being offered. For those who want to look for "vintage car parts&" on eBay, start by typing that to run a search on the eBay database. This can give the user anywhere from a hundred to more than a thousand product listings, which can still be too much for the average person to handle. For those who need to be more specific in their search, below are some of the other ways to search for vintage car parts on eBay.

Vintage Car Parts by Type

Vintage car parts come in a variety of types. This can be in the form of lights and indicators, electrical components, dials, gauges, interior furnishings, ignition, engine parts, air intake, windscreen wipers, suspension, steering, braking, air conditioning, and exhaust parts, among others. Choosing among the many car parts that are being sold on eBay depends on the make and model of the car that the buyer wishes to restore. Most project cars have missing parts like wheels or horns that need to be stripped off other vintage cars with the same make, model, and year.

Vintage Car Parts by Make, Model, and Year

This is another way to search for vintage car parts on eBay. Enter the car part and include the make, model, and year of the vehicle. For example, instead of typing "vintage car parts", enter a search phrase such as "Ford Model A speedometer" to get more specific results. If there are nothing turns up, it is also a great idea to look for Ford cars that may be stripped of their parts.

Vintage Car Parts by Condition

When it comes to condition, eBay allows the user to filter based on newremanufactured, or used parts. For those who are serious about restoring cars for classic car shows, however, it is important to find out if the part is made by the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) or if it is a custom-made part from a third-party manufacturer. Restored vintage cars with OEM parts are more valuable than those that are built using reproductions. Because all of these are lumped in the category "New", it can be confusing for the buyer. While some sellers indicate this in their listing, it is crucial to ask questions if the product description does not reveal this.

To maximise the value of the car, it is also important to make sure that the numbers of the parts match. These numbers typically refer to the engine's major components such as the transmission, engine, and rear-axle. However, for some car makes and models, this can also include carburetor, cylinder heads, distributor, water pump, alternator, and more. For those who cannot locate matching number parts, another option is to use parts within the same year. For people who make a living selling vintage car parts, searching for these on eBay is often a great idea since many people sell what they believe is "junk" on the website.

Vintage Car Parts by Location

Vintage car parts may also be organised by location. Buyers who do not want to be saddled by expensive postage fees on top of the item price should consider filtering out sellers that ship from overseas. eBay allows the user to sort items that are being sold within the United Kingdom, European Union, and abroad. Keep in mind, however, that since classic cars are no longer in production, purchasing it from an overseas location may not be avoidable, especially if the seller is the only one offering it on eBay. Those who are restoring an American muscle car, for example, may find it difficult to find parts for it within the United Kingdom.

Vintage Car Parts by Price

Shoppers may also browse for vintage car parts based on price. Car parts that are beyond a particular price may be filtered out to accommodate the shopper's budget. Generally, the rarer the car part, the more expensive it is. This can be said also for car parts that are in excellent condition. Used car parts or those that are in poor condition are cheaper. When purchasing car parts, it is important to keep an eye out for rust as this can eat away at the vehicle and destroy it.

Shopping for Vintage Car Parts on eBay

When you have found the vintage car part that you need on eBay, the next crucial step is to review the credentials of the seller. Take a quick look at his or her feedback score to assess if his or her customers have been happy with their experience. Top notch sellers often have feedback scores that do not fall below 99 per cent. For those who make it their business to sell vintage car parts on eBay, this is important. However, this does not mean that you should not pay attention to sellers with feedback scores that are less than stellar. Sometimes, sellers may have no feedback score at all because they have just joined eBay to sell the parts. This should be taken into consideration when evaluating the seller. To remedy this, make sure to communicate with the seller constantly throughout the whole buying process. There is an easy function allowing you to "Ask a Question" that should help you.

For those who wish to save on postage and packing, check on eBay for sellers that live in your neighbourhood. eBay allows you to input your postcode and the distance that you are willing to travel. They calculate the radius of this distance around your postcode. Keep in mind though that not all sellers are alright with collection so make sure that the listing expressly states that they allow it. It may also be best to deal with sellers that offer free postage so you do not have to pick up the item.


Depending on the person, car collecting can be a hobby or an investment. And vintage car enthusiasts very well know that using the right car parts is crucial in determining the vehicle's value. Whether one chooses to restore vintage cars for show or for driving, knowing how to search for these parts on eBay can make a world of difference. Vintage car parts may be searched based on part type, make, model, and year, among others. The results may also be narrowed down based on location, price, and condition. Those who do not enjoy going through the phonebook or driving from shop to shop should consider shopping on eBay. With just a few quick clicks, eBay can connect buyers with local and international sellers that offer the much-needed vintage car part. Even better, it can be arranged to be sent to you in just a matter of days.

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