SPECIALIST: HERITAGE PARTS CENTRE
Vwoutfit in Porsche parts move
As we pulled up at the warehouse it was clear that this was a large and professional operation, which is set upto ship parts worldwide from the Shoreham HQ. However, this doesn’t mean that it’s a faceless corporation – far from it! Heritage Parts Centre is filled with proper petrolheads and car enthusiasts (more than 80 at present), from the sales team right through to the warehouse crew. The business was established in 1986 and the ethos remains the same today as it did back then, i.e. that it is run by enthusiasts, for enthusiasts. This means that every item that Heritage Parts Centre sells has been quality checked and inspected to ensure that only the very best replacement parts for your vehicle are supplied rather than the cheapest or inferior-quality items that a less scrupulous supplier might send out. These parts are sourced from specialists around the globe and the expert team is continually seeking out previously unavailable replacement parts and helping to develop new items with suppliers to ensure the product range continues to grow.
The Porsche side of the business was launched last year and there’s already a good selection of parts for most Porsche
models listed on the website (with more than 3000 items on the shelf/ready to ship). As the VW side of the business had a welldeveloped infrastructure, the same next-day delivery and excellent customer service that Heritage Parts Centre prides itself on applies to the Porsche parts, too. That infrastructure means that parts are picked, packed and shipped as soon as your order arrives via the clever, computerised ordering and stock system.
As we walked through the sales office and chatted to some of the staff, it soon became clear that the dedicated Porsche sales team were very knowledgeable. Answering queries and helping customers to find the right parts is all part of the job, and these guys will go out of their way to help track down the parts you need if it’s not already in stock or listed online.
It was interesting to learn how efficient the ordering service is as, once your order is entered into the system, the computer plots the most efficient route to collect the parts, which is transferred to a handheld PDA. The picker then collects your parts, scanning each piece as it leaves the shelves, thereby keeping stock levels in order by alerting the purchasing team to reorder when stock is low (and also keeping the online ordering system up to date).
The parts are then packed and shipped – typically for next day delivery. Incidentally, it was good to learn that you don’t have to wait at home for your parts to arrive as you can have them shipped directly to your preferred mechanic or garage etc. This is great news if your car is off the road and/or taking up space in a busy workshop as it might just get you back on the road a little quicker and save you storage costs, too.
There are thousands of Porsche parts on the shelves at the warehouse, and the stock list is always expanding. Brakes, suspension, engine and servicing parts for most models are all listed on the website (for most models) and the prices certainly seemed keen to us. It’s not all about prices though – Heritage Parts Centre knows that it’s as much about the quality of the goods and the service/delivery, too.
The 45,000 square-foot warehouse also includes a walk-in sales desk for customers that prefer to talk face-to-face (or need parts immediately) and there’s plenty to look at while you wait for your order to be picked, too. Admittedly, it’s largely VWbased parts on display but there are magazines, catalogues and brochures plus an impressive wheel display. Accessories are also a large part of the business, and we spotted uprated suspension kits, interior and exterior styling
goodies and a good range of genuine and aftermarket wheels for most Porsche models. The earlier, air-cooled models are very well catered for, and it’s clear that Heritage Parts has been actively working to incorporate more and more parts for the water-cooled and later models, too.
As the team are all enthusiasts, there’s a great camaraderie at Heritage Parts Centre. In fact, they often attend events and even organise a regular meet (traditionally VW- based, but Porsche owners have also begun to join in this year). Information regarding the ‘Heretics’ meets can be found either via the Heritage Parts Centre blog page or you can find it on Facebook.
While we were discussing events, Barney Dines invited us to join them at Brands Hatch on the 16th June where Heritage Parts Centre hosted a ‘take-over’ day. This wasn’t the first time these guys had held an event at Brands Hatch – in fact, we’d attended a couple of previous events, hence we knew it would be worth the trip! You can read more about it opposite, but to cut a long story short, there were track sessions available for budding racers or you could simply hang out, look at some cars and watch others push their Porsches (and VWS etc) out on the circuit.
In closing we must mention the website, which is easy to use/navigate and is constantly expanding to include more parts and also to cover additional Porsche models, too. And remember, if you can’t find what you’re looking for, be sure to call the Porsche sales hotline where a trained advisor will be more than happy to help find you the parts you require to restore, repair, modify or simply maintain/service your pride and joy. PW
Heritage has been working to include more water-cooled parts
Parts are all good quality, as you would expect, witha mix of O/E or O/E equivalent
Warehouse and ordering system is fully computerised for a quick turnaround
Short of an air-cooled Porsche, this pretty much sums up the Heritage Parts Centre ethos: Parts for classic and modern Porsches and VWS