THE SOURCE

Hot Rod Deluxe - - The Source -

We’ve lost count of how many car sto­ries we’ve printed that have men­tioned the Early Ford Store as the source for some hard-to-find part or an­other. Once you’ve been to the store, you’ll see why, as it is lit­er­ally stacked floor to ceil­ing with a re­mark­able as­sort­ment of orig­i­nal, N.O.S., and re­pro­duc­tion Ford parts. The car-part in­ven­tory spans model years from 1928 to 1959; truck parts run all the way up to 1972.

“We have ev­ery­thing but up­hol­stery,” Mike says. He es­ti­mates there are 8,500 re­pro­duc­tion parts listed on the com­pany’s web­site (ear­ly­ford­store.com) and some 10,000 stocked in the store. Those num­bers don’t in­clude the vin­tage parts. “We have stor­ages full of used parts all over.”

The build­ing that houses the store couldn’t be more apt: Built in 1910, the San Di­mas Garage be­came the town’s first Ford agency in the 1920s. It was later home to two Ford deal­er­ships, Bill Knapp Ford and Lib­erty Ford, be­fore the Mc­graths moved in nearly 20 years ago.

The busi­ness caters to re­stor­ers and hot rod­ders alike. Not far away from stock fend­ers, grilles, and win­dow frames hung in the rafters is a cab­i­net topped with a row of very rare Thick­stun in­take man­i­folds, capped at one end by an Italmec­ca­nica flat­head su­per­charger. The blower dates to the time be­fore the Su­per­charger Com­pany of Turin bought the tool­ing and put its S.CO.T. name on it.

“We are al­ways buy­ing and sell­ing hard-to-find 1928-1959 orig­i­nal parts,” Mike says. “And we buy beat-up ’32 road­sters, too.”

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