Where To Get Those Classic Car Parts
The Doctor was taking his usual stroll the other day, and as he passed Dabney's place, Dabney was unloading luggage from his car, obviously just returning from a trip. "Where ya' been, Dabney?" asked the Doctor.
"Just got back from Maine. What a waste of time. I was trying to find a voltage regulator for '49 Jag."
"You mean that silver MK V?", asked Doc.
"No, No, I mean the XK 110. The rare one with the original, aluminum body. You know, the dark blue one."
"Oh, yeah," Doc said, suddenly feeling annoyed for no apparent reason.
"Anyway," Dabney continued, "This guy up there said he had one. The one I had was totally shot. But I took it with me to make sure he had the right part. Unfortunately, they didn't look anything alike. This has got to be the most frustrating parts about restoring these cars."
"Can be, Dab old boy," replied the Doctor. "Did you try the Hollander Interchange Manual?"
"The what?" Dabney looked puzzled as he continued to pull suitcases out of his trunk.
"Leapin' lifters!" cried the Doctor, "You mean you've never heard of the Hollander Interchange Manual?"
"No, Doc, I really don't know what the Holland Interchange Manual is. It sounds like a road map to get you into the tunnel going into New York City."
"Not Holland....Hollander!...The Hollander Interchange Manual." The Doctor was beginning to understand why he was feeling annoyed.
The Doctor took a deep breath, and said, "Let me tell you how it started..."
Dabney could see that the Doctor was getting in gear, so he put the suitcases down.
The Doctor continued:
"During the Great Depression, Roy and Hildur Hollander were cabaret singers in the Twin Cities area. Most clubs had closed down due to the economy, so they put their show business careers on hold and opened a garage. Roy had worked as a car salesman at the start of the Depression, when he offered a customer about $75 in trade credit for a truck that was mostly disassembled and missing parts. He eventually sold the truck to a junkyard, where he was told by the owner that the remaining parts would generate a profit.
While working at the garage a few years later, Roy and his wife Hildur began to keep track of which parts from which vehicles were interchangeable. They found that many, many parts were, so they decided to collect the data and sell it to auto wreckers, mechanics, garages and anybody else who was interested. They discovered that auto manufacturers consistently used off-the-shelf parts in their vehicles, but were reluctant to admit it to the outside world. The information was there, but it would be hard to obtain.
The Hollanders persisted, however, and by 1934 they had published the first volume of the Hollander Interchange Manual. The next thing you know, garages all over the country started relying on the manuals to obtain parts easily, and often less expensively, than they could get by going to the specific manufacturer.
Today it's considered the world's most complete and accurate index on auto parts. And that means all cars...modern, classic or restored...even yours." concluded the Doctor.
"You mean I could have looked up the Jag's voltage regulator in one of those manuals and found what other cars it was on?"
"Yup!" replied the ever-so-smug Doctor. "I've got one over at the Second Chance Garage that might cover foreign cars of 1949. Let's go look."
Dabney set his suitcases in his garage and closed the door. "I'll get to these later." The prospect of finding his voltage regulator suddenly altered his priorities.
The Second Chance Garage was just a short walk away, so they were there in minutes. And sure enough, they found that the same voltage regulator was used in a rather large number of British vehicles, over a period of about 8 years.
Dabney was beginning to get excited. "Can I use your phone, Doc?"
"Sure, just leave a quarter on the counter....just kidding," he said
Dabney called his favorite MG supplier, and they had the proper, matching regulator. And it was only about three miles away.
"Wow, that was easy! I wish I had known about the Hollander Interchange Manuals before," Dabney said as he was looking through the Manuals. "Did I ever tell you about the trip I made to Alaska looking for a horn relay for my '54 Austin-Healey 100-4, BN-1? Well I talked to this guy over the phone and he said...."
Dabney looked up and the Doctor had gone.
How do we get a copy?
Check out their website at http://www.hollander-auto-parts.com/