Hoarder Or Seller: What Do You Do With Your Spare Parts?

Next day delivery is wonderful. And if ‘overnight parts from Japan’ wasn’t just a film cliché, that would be delightful too.

But they’ve got nothing on the joy that results in already having the exact replacement part you need. That feeling when you don’t need to make a call, search online or take a trip into town, and all you have to do is pluck the necessary item from your own shelves is unmatched.


Identifying an issue with your car, finding a broken or missing item is horrible. But knowing that, in your parts stash somewhere, you have the exact thing you need to fix the issue is a surefire way to change your mood from dejected to jubilant.

With the knowledge that you have the all-important item, you swagger to your stores with the bravado and energy of someone who has completed life. Like it was some sort of fiendishly complex video game and you’ve just defeated the ultimate five-headed boss purely by brandishing a pair of tie-rod ends.


The very first time I didn’t need to trudge to a shop to get what I needed, or wait at least a day for a replacement part in the post, I was so pleased. I felt a greater sense of accomplishment that day than I did after all the life events I am supposed to be proud of. Being accepted into university, graduating with a first-class degree, seeing my words in print for the first time, they don’t compare to needing that steering coupling and already having one to hand.


The result of this wave of euphoria, this feeling of rapture when I don’t have to spend extra on next-day delivery costs because I have the replacement in my possession, is that I hoard parts. Tons of parts. I have gearboxes, differentials, engine blocks, cylinder heads and full engines all tucked away in storage. Some of these are for cars I do not even own any more.

But, what if I need them? What if, one day, they’ll be useful? That’s what I tell myself. They’re the words that went through my head as I broke through the ceiling of cobwebs that act like an annoying lo-fi laser security system for the rafters of my garage. Those same words continued churning around in my brain as I hauled up a not-perfect-but-in-surprisingly-good-condition-for-its-age BMW 2002 door. And then a boot. And three sets of aluminium grilles. And then, when I got to the big, clamshell bonnet I thought, ‘what the hell am I doing?’


I might keep them safe, dry and in good condition, but I actually never want to use any of these things. I hope that my car stays in such a condition that these spare parts will never be called into action. What’s more, I could exchange them for something more useful, something I could use. Maybe even money. And that way someone else might find them useful, rather than just the spiders in the roof.


I admire the people who fill the market with second-hand parts, who keep their eBay account ticking over with endless auctions of unwanted wheels, unused brakes and suspension components that didn’t quite suit them. Imagine all the space and money they must have. Imagine how little they get nagged, too. Have they ever heard the words ‘will you please just get rid of that bloody thing’? Probably not, it’ll be on Facebook Marketplace before anyone has even had a chance to stub their toes on it.


Selling stuff, even for extortionate amounts of money, is the more generous option to take with your spare parts. I know that notion seems crazy, especially when that seldom-seen limited-slip differential or rare direct-top gearbox appears for sale at a price greater than the one you paid for your entire car. But my way, keeping everything tucked away ‘just in case’, looks pretty selfish by comparison.

I can see that, and I am sorry. But then I remember the sense of power that floods through me when I am already in possession of the element I need. And if that part is a large, expensive and difficult-to-find, not even retrieving a lost 10mm socket from a tinny nook could exceed the feeling.

Will Beaumont
Instagram: will_beaumont88

Photography by Mark Riccioni
Instagram: mark_scenemedia
Twitter: markriccioni



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I want to visit all these places. Spares are great if only I could find them. I would always/maybe give or sell a spare if it would help someone. I have a spare fresh rebuilt knuckle that Im looking at right now that I would give away but Im not sure what Honda/Acura also only one side but nice shiny black paint and clean hub oh yah what splines and 4x100 and short studs. Oh well guess Im in the hoarder camp.


Nothing beats that feeling of finding the part you need 'in stock', spend an hour fitting it only to then discover it doesn't work too!


Thats why I switched to making custom parts a long time ago. Heck, I cant even find the normal parts anymore most of the time. I could actually start a catalogue with parts I've developed, but I'm most likely the only nutter who would be interested in them....


Nailed it.


I don't know man, finding that dropped 10mm socket is one of the most satisfying things a person could ever do.


Hoarders: I loathe them. Simply fact in my eyes is that with all those parts, al lot of people could finish projects or keep driving. But at the end of the day, people don't know where the parts are because they aren't for sale.

I actually have a rule I live by: When I don't use it for stuff for 2 years and it's still lying around somewhere, I sell it if it's worth selling, or just throw junk out. And thats coming from a guy who drives a car without parts availabilty for years.

I am hoarding one thing though: Wheels, Currently have 3 sets. 1 set I'm currently using of magnesium, although I'm not sure which brand? One set that I'm planning on using in the Future (BBS RS), and the same wheels in a different offset (BBS RS). 1 of the BBS sets actually doesn't fit, so I'll machine some new holes into them.


Kevski-Style, I'm lovin' your way of doing it. That 2 year rule is great. I can't help but agree with you about not liking hoarders. However, if a person is hoarding parts and pieces that are specific to their car, I think it's different. Like say if you had an old Ferrari Dino, for instance. You'd most certainly want to keep any parts compatible with it, because parts for a car like that are rare and extremely expensive. Even with a car like an '80s BMW it would be a good idea to keep parts for, because of their prices. I think in instances like those it justifies keeping a bunch of parts. Unless you have duplicates.


I understand where you are coming from, but where do you draw the line? If the line is drawn at having duplicates of spare parts. I agree. But what good is it to anybody to have a shit-tonne of parts, and not doing anything with them?

Thats not only dumb from a perspective of the person who has the parts and doesn't do anything with them, but also robbing other people of the chance to do something with the parts.

And don't get me wrong: I'm not talking about cars where parts are still available. Lets face it: You could just order a BMW/VW/Honda/etc. part from a catalogue. It might not be cheap, but at least you could get it if you save up the money.

But its another story when you cant pick up a part's catalogue, or search the internet for that matter, because the production has halted long ago. The above sets of rims have taken me roughly 8 years to collect. Net because of price, but because of unavailability. And I really don't want to be a part of that problem. Thats why my 2 years rule exist.

Even the wheels will eventually go. I'm waiting for the tires to get bald. From there on out I'll use what I have, and sell of the rest. The magnesiums will go, and 1 full set of the BBS RS or 2 half sets of the BBS RS will go as well. That way somebody else can enjoy the rims and cars can still be driven.


If I had more space I'd have more stuff.


I like that some people just don't throw away parts for and older cars, it's good for the cars and trucks that need them, also for reference if needed. The flip side is the cars and trucks sitting out slowly rotting away in some field becoming less and less useful all because somebody hoards them, doesn't protect them for future use. Then when it comes to selling, if it ever happens, they tend to charge more because they think it's more valuable than it actually is. Thanks to the owners who opened up their places for us to see what they have.


I think that when the parts don't fit anything currently (or don't have the desire to buy) in the garage, it is time to pass them on to someone else. I only have a couple square meters to store my parts so i guess i think a bit differently as i can see quite easily how much space they take up.


I fall somewhere in the middle. I definitely have a tenancy to hoard parts, but not always on purpose. Rather, I tend to replace/upgrade things without sell/throwing away the old if still in good condition.
-Old junk is easy to throw away.
-Usable and cheap, may as well keep. The issue is I tend not to go through and clear this stuff out once the said vehicle is gone. It doesn't seem worth the effort to sell, but how can I throw away 3 new sets of Gen1 DSM front pads that I bought on RockAuto closeout for $4/each?!
-The old expensive is where I get real hung up. I want to sell it, but I'm to busy (lazy) to deal with it. I've got a rare Galant VR4 body kit, but unlikely to find anyone local and seems like a lot of work to pack and ship. I've got a set of Ford racing cams I've 'sold' multiple times and had sellers back out. I'm not motivated enough to do it again.
One of these days I'll clean house, but it probably won't be until I need the room.


Keeping parts and spares is a luxury of both space and funds. Once I'm done with it, to ebay it goes! Unless it's a rare spare that would be difficult to find again


I hate needing something I just sold. This is the devastating yin to your hoarding yang.


Does that engine say “RB 90”?


Oh 30 duh


This is so true! I've got so many car parts 'just in case' whole cars too. And even parts that aren't fully worn out. Then there's the shed building material stash ad well...


I guess hoarding is acceptable if the parts will be useful one day, sometime, some way for someone who needs it. Barter stuffs among motorheads are fine too.

Just hate it when people hoard stuffs and sell them purely for good heap of profit.




I gave away a part last week, just don’t know why I did it, was a worn leather leather gearnob for an e46 M3 (the one everyone replaces), guy kinda needed it but I still feel guilty I did it, I bet they’ll be rare and worth loads when I want to restore to stock one day

Still thinking about it.. should’ve kept it


I have a bunch of spare parts (and full parts vehicles) for the one car I own. I keep most mechanical spares because it's cheaper to make space for it than it is to replace it. Also, I don't really have a fellow enthusiast of the chassis anywhere near by. I really do need to get the car body gone for scrap metal soon tho...


Oh yes. I know this feeling. And so does my girlfriend... the “when are you going to sell some of that crap?” question pops up from time to time and, to keep a happy life, I sell one or two bits and hope she forgets about the rest. It works, at least for a few months...

But one day I might need the bnib JZA80 brakes - they might fit something else with a little work. The s14a driveshafts I probably will never use again but I just might. Or a mate might need them. Then I can help a friend out! Origin kit? Nope - that’s decoration for the wall of my garage. So much better than a Lamborghini poster (but I have one or two of those as well...) Multiple wheel sets likewise. I like looking at them even though one set don’t fit any car I own. Keep hoarding, Mark, you never know when you or a mate will need that specific part!


I can only dream that one day I'll have a big barn full of, "Oh, I forgot I had those TE37s!"


I am neither. If you plan your project accordingly, you will not need to hoard parts nor sell them. Too many folks buy something 'because it was a good deal', I'm guilty of that myself. But if you want to succeed in doing a project for the minimal outlay of cash, buy what you need, when you need it. The lone exception to this are spare parts that it makes sense to have on hand (i.e., consumables).

And take a look at some of the high-end builds here on SH...how many of them are completed using a bunch of junkyard parts from your personal junkyard? Very few, today compared to 20-years ago, thanks to the power of the internet.

Also, a little ingenuity goes a long way. Rebuilding the front suspension on my '63 Sunbeam Alpine could be a very expensive and search intensive proposition. I have to find and rebuild a set of original control arms. Or...I can open up my browser to Coleman Racing's website and order a set of custom cross-shafts to fit a pair of off-the-shelf control-arms from any number of companies to my original cross-member...and spend the same money (or less) for a set of tubular, tig-welded, control-arms made to modern specifications...Too often we over-complicate things.

But if course, the biggest challenge is defining your goals. What are your goals for a project and life - those goals should arch over your project at all turns and make it so that you're focusing your time, effort, and finances as smartly as possible. Far too many 'project cars' begin with ephemeral goals and end sitting derelict, you can ask me how I know, but I have the t-shirt for that one too. Breaking the cycle of these things helps you be more effective in achieving your goals.

Melvin Narciso

AE86 parts are getting harder and harder to find this days so keeping hard to find parts like rear axels, non power side mirrors, tail lights & manual transmission are are needed if you like to keep them running. I stop selling my parts long time ago.