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Old 21-05-09, 02:20 AM
MYTA21 MYTA21 is offline
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Ardrossan South Australia
Posts: 94
Default Parts Prices

It is appropriate that these prices have been given at a time when I might
be about to do some work on the newly acquired 409.

However, Perhaps I may give some background and a few points?

We have two Alvis cars, post war models, plus a Mercedes Benz 450 SL
The Alvis is well catered for as regards parts. Some Alvis items do appear
expensive, but given the relative ease in getting most parts for 45 and 50
year old cars, I think that the independent Red Triangle company do a great

As for the Bristol, the few parts I have bought so far do appear on a par
with some of the Alvis cars. Neither cars were cheap when new, so it goes
with the territory, I suppose. Again, the level of availablity seems good.
However, living in Australia, carriage is so often the crippling factor, but
at least no VAT!

Having worked for many years in the parts world for freelance and a captive
auto and marine supplier, I am familiar with the arguments put forward by
the manufacturers when confronted with a customer's complaint. This was
particularly true when I worked for Volvo Penta and faced with these
complaints at the London or Southampton Boat Shows.

For many manufacturers, the problem is that the customer cherry picks what
he buys from the original supplier and the open market. Plugs, points,
filters etc are so often bought from a motor factor or local source, such as
a Bosch dealer.
That leaves the car supplier being expected to hold in stock the slow moving
items and as a result, those prices are marked up.

The positive side is that on both the Alvis and the Bristol, people are
amazed that the parts are still available. We don't have to hunt around at
swap meets, even if the invoices make up flinch at times. Also, we are able
to buy items of a quality that is that of the original car. Having bought a
lot of parts for an MGB, I can say that many of the items made as pattern
parts do not match the quality of the original items in some cases.

Finally, as regards parts prices, some of the big horrors I have had are
with the 450SL, particularly with trim items. A chrome strip across the boot
lid on one model is $A950 - a star badge on the grille, US$180. The plus
side is that the Merc appears good mechanically, but should it need any of
the electronic gismos, I shudder to think. It is this fear that has lead me
to think about getting rid of the car before that happens.

What I personally like about the 407+ V8 on series, and why I chose a 409,
was that it had the traditional quality interior and coachwork, but the
basic power train and mechanics are not beyond the comprehension of a local
garage. The other big bonus I have found in a short time is that the Forum
is full of people who know how to fix things. The Mercedes Benz people seem
to be more focused on a lifestyle and have someone fix the car for them.

No I'm off to add up the bits I need!
Mike O
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