Restoration Products and Trends

SEMA News—August 2013

RESTORATION MARKETPLACE NEW PRODUCTS
By Steve Campbell 

Restoration Products and Trends

Classics and Currents for Today’s Marketplace

The restoration market is still embracing the class of vehicles commonly called “restomods.” It’s not a new phenomenon, but it has captured an ever-increasing share of the marketplace, melding stone-stock appearance with modern powertrain and convenience features.

Full restoration also continues to thrive, of course. There is perennial demand for 100% original classic vehicles, and both ends of the spectrum seem to have gained momentum once more as the economy has picked up.

On these pages, you’ll find a complete selection of the restoration products that were displayed in the New Products Showcase at the 2012 SEMA Show held last November.

And again this year, we’ve interspersed commentaries from some industry insiders among the products to provide a little context about where the marketplace is headed. So whether your company is on the resto or the mod side of the aisle, we hope you’ll find something to add to your repertoire.

View more than 100 Restoration Products and expert testimonials debuted at the 2012 SEMA Show.

 

New Products Showcase at the 2012 SEMA Show held last NovemberEasy Performance Products
Classic Car Sequential Taillights
616-214-7880
www.easyperformance.com
PN: CST-10

Sequential LED taillights for classic vehicles. Multiple selectable patterns along with standard on/off. Plug-n-play installation. Upgradable with new patterns. Lifetime warranty.

 

 

New Products Showcase at the 2012 SEMA Show held last NovemberDel City
Cool Seal
Butt Connectors
800-654-4757
www.delcity.net
PN: 952005

Del City says that its cool-sealed butt connectors are the most innovative and cost-effective sealed electrical connectors to hit the market. The terminal is a heatless, solderless, sealed connector that utilizes revolutionary anaerobic sealant technology. Cool-sealed butt connectors install in a fraction of the time of comparable heat-sealed connectors.

     

New Products Showcase at the 2012 SEMA Show held last NovemberDel City
Mobile Website
800-654-4757
www.delcity.net

Del City says that its mobile website provides a best-in-class experience for customers on the go. Its intuitive design allows customers to quickly obtain product information and place orders. The easy navigation and fast load times eliminate the trouble of navigating the website through a mobile device.

 

New Products Showcase at the 2012 SEMA Show held last November

Eastwood Co.
MIG Stud Welding Kit
800-343-9353
www.eastwood.com
PN: 13928

The Eastwood MIG stud welding kit transforms a MIG welder into a stud welder that can be used to repair and remove dents from sheetmetal. The nozzle included in the kit was designed to work with Tweco-style nozzles and may or may not work with other styles of MIG torches.

     

New Products Showcase at the 2012 SEMA Show held last November

Eastwood Co.
Contour Premium Body Filler
800-343-9353
www.eastwood.com
PN: 13520ZP

Contour one-step premium body filler inhibits rust and self-etches. Save time in your shop with this all-in-one-step, custom-blended 
premium body filler. It contains rust inhibitors to prevent corrosion long after painting, and its unique self-etching properties bite into the surface for maximum adhesion.

 

 

New Products Showcase at the 2012 SEMA Show held last November

Eastwood Co.
No-Weld Hole Repair Kit
800-343-9353
www.eastwood.com
PN: 13661

The Eastwood no-weld hole repair kit provides a quick, weld-free solution to plugging 2-in.-diameter or less holes in steel, aluminum, fiberglass and plastic body panels while minimizing sanding damage and the amount of required surface preparation.

     

New Products Showcase at the 2012 SEMA Show held last NovemberEastwood Co.
Rubber and Vinyl Restore
800-343-9353
www.eastwood.com
PN: 13655Z

Eastwood’s rubber, plastic and vinyl restore revitalizes and reconditions old rubber, plastic and vinyl. Avoid costly replacement. Eastwood says it’s a unique, deep-penetrating formula that actually rejuvenates and restores dried-out rubber, plastic and vinyl to bring back lost elasticity and give it new life.

 

New Products Showcase at the 2012 SEMA Show held last November

Eastwood Co.
Plasma Cutting Guide
800-343-9353
www.eastwood.com
PN: 13689

The Eastwood plasma-cutting guide allows for easy cutting of straight lines, curves, radii and circles with minimal finishing. The versatile center mount allows the user to center the 
cutting guide for circles and radii using either a punch or drilling a hole. The circle attachment can cut up to a 17-in. diameter and down to a 33/4-in. diameter. This cutting guide was specifically designed to fit the Eastwood Versa Cut plasma cutter. This cutting guide will also work on other torches with a 0.95 nozzle.

     

New Products Showcase at the 2012 SEMA Show held last November

Eastwood Co.
Rubberized Rust Encapsulator
800-343-9353
www.eastwood.com
PN: 13651Z

Unlike off-the-shelf undercoatings, Rubberized Rust Encapsulator can be applied directly 
over rust without the bubbling that creates 
air pockets that trap rust. Since it’s engineered with high-tech flex agents, its pliable finish protects surfaces from abrasions and road 
hazards, and it deadens sound.

 

New Products Showcase at the 2012 SEMA Show held last November

Eastwood Co.
Versa Bend Sheet Metal Brake
800-343-9353

www.eastwood.com
PN: 14042

The Eastwood Versa Bend 20-in. offset sheetmetal brake is a precision-engineered metal-working tool designed to produce both standard variable-length bends and accurate 1/2-in. offset bends up to 90 degrees in 20-gauge sheet steel and 18-gauge aluminum in widths up to 20 in. It is able to create bends in 18-gauge steel in widths less than 12 in.

    Runner-Up—Best New Tools & Equipment Product
 

New Products Showcase at the 2012 SEMA Show held last NovemberQuiet Ride Solutions
Under Hood Cover
888-777-3410
www.quietride.com

Underhood covers are pre-cut and ready to install for Ford, General Motors and Chrysler/Mopar cars and trucks from the ’60s–present. Kits include heat shield insulation and mounting pins. Covers are available with vehicle logo embossed or plain. Easy to install.

 

New Products Showcase at the 2012 SEMA Show held last November

Mustang Project
’06–’12 Challenger
LED Sequential Kit
512-828-6417
www.mustangproject.com
PN: MP-8002-RD-L

The bullet mirror LED kit is a solid chrome bullet plug-and-play LED turn-signal lighting mirror kit. It includes all parts for both sides of the car with super-easy installation. Lifetime warranty. No wires to cut; no control boxes to place; no complicated instructions.

     

New Products Showcase at the 2012 SEMA Show held last November

LLoyd Mats
Classic Loop Custom-Fit
Floor and Cargo Mats
800-729-6001
www.lloydmats.com

Lloyd Mats classic loop custom-fit floor and cargo mats start at $59.90 for two front mats. Lloyd says its trademark quality and durability make these an excellent value and attractive replacement mats. Customers can choose from hundreds of licensed automotive trademark logos, personalized or lifestyle designs.

 

New Products Showcase at the 2012 SEMA Show held last November

Del City
Brake Line Wrench Kits
800-645-4757
www.delcity.net
PN: 9909832

Del City’s metric and SAE brake-line wrench kits are available in eight sizes and are conveniently packaged in a carrying pouch to keep tools organized. Each wrench features a patented, double-ended ratcheting system to allow for fast movement and easy removal, and the 180° flex heads are ideal for accessing hard-to-reach areas.

     

New Products Showcase at the 2012 SEMA Show held last NovemberLLoyd Mats
Corvette 60th-Anniversary
Floor and Cargo Mats
800-729-6001
www.lloydmats.com

The Great American Sports Car turns 60 this model year, and Lloyd Mats has created two new licensed Cross Flags designs to commemorate the milestone. The new 60-year design can be paired with the Corvette word as a double logo. These 60th-anniversary designs can be ordered on floor and cargo mats.

 

 

New Products Showcase at the 2012 SEMA Show held last November

Old Air Products Inc.
Blower Motor With Threaded Shaft
817-531-2665
www.oldairproducts.com
PN: 20-3608

Old Air Products is providing a new 12-volt reversible blower motor for ’55–’63 GM 
models with threaded shaft.

     

New Products Showcase at the 2012 SEMA Show held last November

We specialize in convertibles, and some of the newer cars have gone to electric systems that are harder to troubleshoot when problems arise. With the complex systems that are out there now, do-it-yourself is not as practical. New technology has created a need for qualified mechanical experts to work 
on vehicles.

We see many ’71–’76 fullsize GM convertibles being restored. They have been growing in popularity over the last several years, and ’79–’93 Fox-body Mustangs have also been hot for a couple years. I believe their popularity is because they are still readily available at a reasonable cost.
Consumers are watching their pennies, but they do not want to sacrifice quality. We must educate consumers on how to find qualified restoration shops. Some shops are taking on work but aren’t doing it well, so consumers are then going to a second shop to get the work fixed. This is actually a big problem, and it’s out of our control. Awareness is the best defense.

Manufacturers and dealers of restoration products must also be diversified, expanding into new product lines. There are many great parts available, so there is no reason to limit yourself.

Erika Woody
Owner
Hydro-E-Lectric Inc.

 

New Products Showcase at the 2012 SEMA Show held last November

As the economy recovers, retailers should remain cautious about having only one primary supplier.

If something happens to that vendor, their problem can quickly become your problem, which is recipe for an operational and logistical nightmare that can’t be 
corrected overnight.

When deciding whether or not to carry a certain line or product, do research to see if it’s feasible to even enter that market. Be selective.

Don’t tie your funds down with one supplier, and be fluid with the ever-changing restoration market. Try to find something to supply that gives you an edge on the market—something that makes the customer have to come back to you.

To successfully run and operate a retail storefront, one must be computer and Internet literate. Generation X is, but some businesspeople simply aren’t. That is the biggest hurdle I see facing our industry. Will Generation X care about our classics? We must find out what restoration passion future generations have and adapt accordingly!

—Mark Price
Operations Manager
Golden Star Classic Auto Parts

     

New Products Showcase at the 2012 SEMA Show held last November

Show Cars Automotive Inc.
Adapter Sleeve for SBC Distributor to Fit 
a 348 or 409
507-233-1958
www.show-cars.com
PN: 7719

With this 348/409 Chevrolet distributor adapter sleeve, a user can install any GM or aftermarket small- or big-block distributor in a ’58–’65 348/409 engine.

 

New Products Showcase at the 2012 SEMA Show held last November

Show Cars Automotive Inc.
Chrome Valve Covers for ’58–’65 Chevrolet 348/409
507-233-1958
www.show-cars.com
PN: 6755

Chrome valve covers for ’58–’65 Chevrolet 348/409 engines.

     

New Products Showcase at the 2012 SEMA Show held last NovemberSRP (Standard Rubber Products)
Tirebib
331-472-0711
www.tirebibs.com

Tirebib is a custom rubber mat with a practical design that revolutionizes the way users prep tires in a garage, driveway or showroom. For cars, trucks and trailers.

 

New Products Showcase at the 2012 SEMA Show held last November

International Aero Products
Shield Two-Part Paint Protection
800-337-WASH
www.internationalaeroproducts.com
PN: 5886

Shield is a catalyzed co-polymer that chemically binds to painted surfaces to create a deep shine while also protecting painted surfaces for up to two years. The easy-to-apply protectant has been a detailing staple of sister company, International Aero Services, which has been cleaning multi-million-dollar private aircraft for years.

     

New Products Showcase at the 2012 SEMA Show held last November

LLoyd Mats
Licensed Mopar Logo Floor 
and Cargo Mats
800-729-6001
www.lloydmats.com

Lloyd Mats introduces new, licensed logo designs for Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep 
custom-fit floor and cargo mats. Lloyd Mats continues to expand its available licensed trademark logos for all Mopar brands. Lloyd offers more than 150 logo designs for current and vintage Chrysler, Dodge, RAM, Jeep and Plymouth vehicles.

 

New Products Showcase at the 2012 SEMA Show held last November

Show Cars Automotive Inc.
Fan Shroud for ’59–’63 With 348 
or 409 Engines
507-233-1958
www.show-cars.com
PN: 7784

Fan shroud for ’59–’63 Chevrolets with a 348 or 409 engine. Fits with original and aftermarket radiators. Show Cars Automotive has this item in both steel and aluminum.

     

New Products Showcase at the 2012 SEMA Show held last NovemberAmerican Autowire
’53–’62 Corvette Classic 
Update Wiring System
800-482-9473
www.americanautowire.com
PN: 510267

This new kit is a complete wiring system 
specifically for modified/Pro-Touring Corvettes. It will handle upgrades, such 
as electric fans, aftermarket A/C, gauges, 
powertrain combos, etc. Like many of American Autowire’s other classic update 
kits, this one includes new ignition/lighting/dimmer switches as well as new taillamp 
sockets and headlight bucket harnesses.

 

New Products Showcase at the 2012 SEMA Show held last November

American Autowire
Highway 22 Wiring System
800-482-9473
www.americanautowire.com
PN: 500695

American Autowire says that its 22-circuit, modular, universal wiring system is capable of handling the highest power demands on the street today. Being modular (not pre-wired), the fuse panel can be mounted almost anywhere. Included are 175-amp Mega Fuse, six-gauge buss bar, 40-amp fan relay built on the panel, headlight/ignition/dimmer switches, extra-long wire lengths and more.

     

New Products Showcase at the 2012 SEMA Show held last November

TMI Products Inc.
’70 Chevelle Sport R Foam and 
Seat Upholstery
951-272-1996
www.tmiproducts.com

TMI Products’ new ’70 Chevelle Sport R series.

 

New Products Showcase at the 2012 SEMA Show held last November

Show Cars Automotive Inc.
Chevrolet 348 or 409 Timing Cover
507-233-1958
www.show-cars.com
PN: 7723

This timing cover will fit all Chevrolet 348 and 409 engines from ’58–’65. Show Cars Automotive also has a two-piece cover and a paintable cover.

     

New Products Showcase at the 2012 SEMA Show held last November

American Autowire
’69 Camaro Factory-Fit OEM 
Reproduction Wiring
800-482-9473
www.americanautowire.com
PN: CA97664

American Autowire’s factory-fit products are GM OEM reproduction wiring harnesses built from the original GM tooling using GM drawings and blueprints. American Autowire produces exactly what was in the vehicle when it rolled off the assembly line for almost all GM year/make/model combos from ’47–’82. The display is a ’69 Camaro dash harness.

 

New Products Showcase at the 2012 SEMA Show held last November

American Autowire
’73–’79 Ford Truck and ’78–’79 Ford Bronco Classic Update Wiring System
800-482-9473
www.americanautowire.com
PN: 510342

This new kit is designed specifically for modified/off-road ’73–’79 Ford trucks or ’78–’79 Ford Broncos. It will handle upgrades such as electric fans, aftermarket A/C, gauges, powertrain combos, etc. Like many of American Autowire’s other classic update kits, this one includes new lighting and dimmer switches as well as a new windshield-wiper switch.

     

New Products Showcase at the 2012 SEMA Show held last November

TMI Products Inc.
’65–’66 Mustang Sport Door Panel
951-272-1996
www.tmiproducts.com

Complete door panel cover for a restomod look.

 

New Products Showcase at the 2012 SEMA Show held last November

Legendary Auto Interiors Ltd.
’69 Firebird Pre-Assembled Door Panel
800-363-8804

PN: DO69GFS0010-PA
www.legendaryautointeriors.com

Continuing Legendary’s commitment to 
quality, the company is pleased to introduce pre-assembled door panels for the ’69 
Pontiac Firebird.

     

New Products Showcase at the 2012 SEMA Show held last November

Legendary Auto Interiors Ltd.
Custom Rallye Seat With Headrest
800-363-8804
www.legendaryautointeriors.com

Said to be the finest collection in sport 
seating systems.

 

New Products Showcase at the 2012 SEMA Show held last November

S.R. Beadings Ltd.
Co-Extrusion Door Seals/Wind-Shields With Corner Joints
+91-9810134774
www.srbeadings.com

EPDM windshield rubber gasket/door seals with metal insert and corner molds.

     

New Products Showcase at the 2012 SEMA Show held last November

Clean Seal Inc.
Automotive Hose
800-366-3682
www.cleanseal.com

CARB-level-approved automotive hose for any auto/diesel/truck/bus/marine vehicle.

 

New Products Showcase at the 2012 SEMA Show held last November

Clean Seal Inc.
Clean-Shield
800-366-3682
www.cleanseal.com

EMI and RFI shielding products.

     

New Products Showcase at the 2012 SEMA Show held last November

The trend is still cars of the ’60s and ’70s, mostly A-body GM, though we have been getting more requests for station wagons of the ’60s and vans of the ’70s. Hard tops and convertibles have gotten pricey, but four-door sedans and wagons are within reach for many.

Technology has helped us replicate later-model parts. The use of CAD/CAM, CNC machining, photo digitizers, computer-controlled cutters and 3D printing have all helped us to make complex parts correctly and efficiently, and the use of ERP/MRP (enterprise software) and advanced web shopping carts have helped us service our customers and manage costs. Builders are also using emerging technologies to give cars modern luxuries with nostalgic looks.

The market is constantly changing. As cars become popular, there are eventually fewer of them to restore. We are now seeing a trend of finding cars that have already been restored and modifying them with modern equipment.
The challenges we face now are to tap into the OE/dealer parts-usage network and deal with governments that would like to legislate or tax our cars off 
the road.

—Matt Agosta
President
Steele Rubber Products Inc.

 

New Products Showcase at the 2012 SEMA Show held last November

Technology has provided the ability for companies like Dynacorn to reproduce parts from scratch, so having to find an original part is no longer a must in some cases.

In addition, people are restoring cars now that they never would’ve thought about previously, such as station wagons and four-door sedans. They are a lot less expensive, so things are opening up to more models.

You’re even going to start to see the market move toward imports. That is something we talk about quite often at ARMO: Where is the next group of restoration people going to come from? We are starting to see imports a little bit, so manufacturers are going to begin building more parts for those types of cars.

The biggest hurdle for the industry is getting young people involved. We at Wyotech are having the same problem as the rest of the industry. It may be that electronic complexity has scared away a lot of the do-it-yourselfers, but the scarcity is not from a lack of jobs. Our fear is that we won’t be able to supply the industry with people who can do the work.

—Harry Weimann
Director of Education
Wyotech in Blairsville, Pennsylvania

     

New Products Showcase at the 2012 SEMA Show held last November

Real Deal Steel LLC
’55–’57 Chevy Wider Trunk 
Wheelwell Tubs
855-567-1957
www.realdealsteel.com
PN: WWT-567

Widens the stock tubs by 25/8 in. per side, allowing the use of 13-in.-wide tires along with the spring pocket kit. Can be installed on all non-wagon body styles.

 

New Products Showcase at the 2012 SEMA Show held last November

TrimParts Inc.
’80–’82 Corvette Taillight and Back-Up Light Set
513-934-0815
www.trimparts.com
PN: A5827

Taillight and backup light assemblies for ’80–’82 Corvettes. TrimParts says that these are beautiful reproductions with all the correct markings and perfect fit. Lens and rear housings are molded in the correct colors. Licensed by GM and manufactured with TrimParts quality. Suggested retail price $320.50 per set.

     

New Products Showcase at the 2012 SEMA Show held last November

Billet Badges
Ford Raptor Black Oval With Raptor Charcoal-Gray Paint Fill
760-744-0663
www.billetbadges.com
PN: FOBKCG-09

Ford Raptor Ford oval that is CNC-machined 6061 billet aluminum. Black powdercoated with Raptor charcoal-gray paint-filled script and pinstripe. Available in 9- and 7-in.-oval sizes.

 

New Products Showcase at the 2012 SEMA Show held last November

Classic Tube
’65–’66 Mustang Dual-Exhaust Floorpan Reinforcement Plates
800-882-3711
www.classictube.com
PN: 6511161-L

Reproduction of the original rear floorpan reinforcement. Factory-installed as part of the GT, hi-po and dual-exhaust package, they properly support the muffler hangers so floor does not fatigue.

     

New Products Showcase at the 2012 SEMA Show held last November

Legendary Auto Interiors Ltd.
’69 Camaro Pre-Assembled Door Panel
800-363-8804

PN: DO69GCS0010-PA
www.legendaryautointeriors.com

Continuing Legendary’s commitment to quality, the company is pleased to introduce pre-assembled door panels for the ’69 Chevrolet Camaro.

 

New Products Showcase at the 2012 SEMA Show held last November

Legendary Auto Interiors Ltd.
’70 GTO Convertible Pre-Assembled 
Rear Panel
800-363-8804
www.legendaryautointeriors.com
PN: DO70GG00056-PA

Continuing Legendary’s commitment to 
quality, the company is pleased to introduce pre-assembled rear panels for the ’70 Pontiac GTO convertible.

     

New Products Showcase at the 2012 SEMA Show held last November

Legendary Auto Interiors Ltd.
’79 Firebird 10th-Anniversary Door Panel
800-363-8804

PN: DO79GFD0010-PA
www.legendaryautointeriors.com

Continuing Legendary’s commitment to quality, the company is pleased to introduce pre-assembled door panels for the ’79 Pontiac Firebird 10th-anniversary edition.

 

New Products Showcase at the 2012 SEMA Show held last November

Legendary Auto Interiors Ltd.
’64 Polara Pre-Assembled Door Panel
800-363-8804
www.legendaryautointeriors.com
PN: DO64CP00010-PA

Continuing Legendary’s commitment to quality, the company is pleased to introduce pre-assembled door panels for the ’64 Dodge Polara.

     

New Products Showcase at the 2012 SEMA Show held last November

Disguising modern technology and engineering cleverly beneath classic sheetmetal and styling is the fastest-growing trend. With modern engines, fuel and ignition systems, drivetrain, suspension, braking and interior creature comforts coming into play, today’s restorations run, drive and handle like more modern automobiles.

The market is now seeing electronically controlled A/C and heating, digital instrumentation, multiplexing wiring harnesses, and convenient mass-produced 
kits for items that, a few years ago, would have been up to a master fabricator to create as a one-off at great expense. Technology has also completely revolutionized the way enthusiasts connect with businesses. With the growing influence of the Internet and social media, businesses must be ready to engage customers on the customers’ terms.

Managing blogs, podcasts, video, e-mail blasts, SEO and content marketing can be demanding on the resources of a small business. Owners of these businesses must learn to adapt to the changing environment and find ways to leverage these new technologies while still keeping their focus on the traditional demands of small-business management.

The greatest opportunities lie in the ability of restoration companies to be innovative. Companies must reinvent themselves in the way they conduct business in the new technological marketplace.

—Ray Yager
Merchandising Director
Classic Industries

 

New Products Showcase at the 2012 SEMA Show held last November

People love to drive classic cars but want modern technology. Restomods still require all of the stainless, emblems, decals and so forth, but all the suspension and drivetrain has all been upgraded underneath, so that phenomenon helps both the hot-rod and restoration markets.

On the other hand, some fullsize cars have fallen off. Some parts of the market have reached the point where the value of the car may be less than the cost of the restoration. Even so, with 3D printing and CNC technology, we can now build a reasonable number—say 25 to 50—of some plastic or nonferrous parts and do well with people who need those particular pieces.

We’re also starting to see products come directly to end-users from China, Taiwan and Japan, bypassing our industry, and there is competition from online retailers that have no inventory, have no overhead and can drop-ship for below-normal prices.

We’re working in a mature industry. We need to operate our businesses with increased efficiency, and we also need to provide technical support. Our customers want to be able to talk to a knowledgeable person when they have questions. To do that well, you need to specialize.

—Steve Ames
Owner
Ames Automotive Enterprises

 

View more than 100 Restoration Products and expert testimonials debuted at the 2012 SEMA Show.

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