He’s caught in the vintage vehicle “gray zone”

June 1, 2010 | By Richard Prince


I have a 1968 Mercury Montego two door hardtop that I’ve had for over 30 years and I am in the process of putting it back in factory shape. I am, however, having trouble finding parts for this car. I need the weather stripping over the windows and a padded dash. Any help you can provide will be great.


You are one of many, many vintage car enthusiasts caught in the “gray zone” when it comes to buying restoration parts for your collectible car because the original manufacturer long ago abandoned you and the aftermarket has not stepped in to fill the void.

In nearly all cases, the aftermarket has not risen to the occasion because they are not financially motivated to do so. In short, they don’t think there’s sufficient demand to justify the investment of time, money and space needed to manufacture reproduction parts for certain vehicles. This means you have to scour the countryside for good used and new old stock parts, improvise by adapting readily available parts to serve your needs, or have parts fabricated for your car.

Keep in mind that eBay is an excellent resource for used and NOS parts. Marque specific clubs also can be extremely helpful so you should have a look at International Mercury Owners’ Association (mercuryclub.com) and Ford & Mercury Restorers Club of America (fmrcoa.org).