FED­ER­A­TION TAKES AC­TION AS PARTS SHORT­AGE NEARS CRI­SIS

FBHVC to pour re­sources into sup­ply and re­man­u­fac­ture re­search

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - News -

Bri­tain’s clas­sic car clubs are hav­ing to find new ways of find­ing spares to keep their cars on the road – be­cause pro­duc­ing new parts is no longer cost-ef­fec­tive for many tra­di­tional sup­pli­ers in the sec­tor.

Pooled re­sources to in­vest in 3D print­ing, as well as over­seas man­u­fac­tur­ing, have been mooted as paths to af­ford­able sup­plies – and spares sourc­ing is now placed high on clubs’ agen­das. This fol­lows a sur­vey by the Fed­er­a­tion of Bri­tish His­toric Ve­hi­cle Clubs, af­ter the is­sue was high­lighted at the or­gan­i­sa­tion’s an­nual meet­ing.

The re­port found that at least 60% of clubs are al­ready in­volved in ei­ther sourc­ing or re­man­u­fac­tur­ing re­place­ment parts, and an­other 30% said they ex­pected to be in­volved with mak­ing or sourc­ing spares. The most dif­fi­cult items to find are body pan­els and bright­work.

The full find­ings of the sur­vey are due to be pub­lished in the next few weeks. ‘When we spoke to our af­fil­i­ated clubs three quar­ters of them said their mem­bers had en­coun­tered prob­lems get­ting parts fro their clas­sics. That shows just how sig­nif­i­cant an is­sue this is for clas­sic clubs,’ says com­mu­ni­ca­tions di­rec­tor Ge­off Lan­caster. ‘It has strength­ened our re­solve to help clas­sic own­ers, not by get­ting in­volved in parts re­man­u­fac­tur­ing our­selves but to do more re­search, to build up data­bases of parts sup­pli­ers who can help clas­sic own­ers, and also to build re­la­tion­ships with sup­pli­ers and re­man­u­fac­tur­ers.’

Among or­gan­i­sa­tions that have had prob­lems get­ting parts is the 6/80 and MO Club. ‘We should be push­ing for 3D print­ing as one of the so­lu­tions,’ says club spokesman Colin Poland. ‘We’ve writ­ten to the FBHVC and sug­gested that mem­ber clubs pool to­gether to get a 3D prin­ter, which could be used for re­man­u­fac­tur­ing.’

The Stan­dard Mo­tor Club says it has be­come in­volved with parts re­man­u­fac­tur­ing to sup­ply spares for its mem­bers – and is one of the few to get parts li­a­bil­ity in­sur­ance in or­der to sell parts to US clas­sic own­ers.

‘All too of­ten the prob­lem is find­ing sup­pli­ers who can re­pro­duce fairly small quan­ti­ties of parts at rea­son­able prices. We have some­thing like 200 dif­fer­ent mod­els catered for by our club and there’s not a lot of parts com­mon­al­ity, which means the num­bers of parts needed is usu­ally fairly low,’ says vice chair­man Phil Homer. ‘We’ve in­ves­ti­gated 3D print­ing but we haven’t been able to make it eco­nom­i­cal. For us, the cost of sup­pli­ers tool­ing up for things like rubber items is pro­hib­i­tive.’

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