Rubber the Right Way
Forgive the goofy pun, but there is a right way to buy classic car parts – especially gaskets, weather stripping , seals and rubber items that are always first to wear out. Fortunately, people who are passionate about restorations often fabricate their own versions of hard-to-find parts for themselves, and then discover a latent market for those parts. By design, they usually include improvements that exceed the quality of the originals. They can be top quality and still be produced for less than the cost of a rare original item. That may not be important to the auto show purist, for whom concourse integrity is the goal and money is not an object. But it’s good for the rest of us, who can’t afford OEM parts. Besides, why replace a bad part with an exact copy of its original flawed self?
I was very happy to discover an online store called 914Rubber.com, devoted to producing replacement weatherstripping and seals specifically for my car, using modern materials. It was like finding a really awesome and reasonably priced dentist. This parts order is another big project milestone. As clean as the body is, most of the rubber is shot.
Hopefully, the parts I put into this car will keep it driving another 36 years and beyond. Since I’m giving it a new life as an EV, I see it remaining viable into the future, when cars no longer burn petroleum, and batteries have evolved into ultracapacitors. In an electric economy, people will be scrambling to own cool little electrified classics like this one. I hope to add a few more to my collection, but this first one will be a pivotal piece of my legacy.