The dictionary defines the word “deluxe” as “notably luxurious, elegant, or expensive.” Naturally, when you think of Lowrider “Deluxe,” you automatically envision luxury accessories, priceless customizations, rare and hard-to-find parts. After decades of restorations, and frame-off car building, “deluxe” finally applies to our sport, as our automotive relics have suddenly gone from rusted buckets to metal treasures.
Have you ever thought about how many garages out there probably have a classic car stored or parked in them? Just sitting there, full of hard-to-find parts laying around a work bench or perhaps hanging from hooks up on top? If you have ever built a car, you know that sometimes you’ll need to have 2-3 different sets of chrome trim handy, so you can make the best set for yourself. Once you get your ride done, these extra accessories usually become forgotten, or in some cases, even thrown out. The same goes for accessories, as people start buying them for their car and don’t get the chance to put them on because they become too busy trying to streamline their ride, or shave the handles, emblems, and chrome strips.
What about all those things you bought that you didn’t need from eBay or from auto antique swap meets you frequented while building your car? Where are they now? The saying “one man’s trash becomes another man’s treasure” couldn’t be more true than in the world of automobile restoration. Back in the day, the automobiles that were 30 or 40 years old were considered Bombs. Today, a ’69 Caprice is about 40 years old now, while the early year Fleetlines are almost 70 years old at this point! The point of it all is that Lowrider Bombs and Traditionals take time to build because it is nearly impossible to find some of the vintage parts necessary to finish them. The older these cars get, the less likely it will be for builders to find the parts they need for them. Those precious parts, like visors, skirts, grills, and moldings, especially in the NOS category, have become priceless! The following Items in this new series called Deluxe will make you appreciate what you have, and shed some light on some rare and amazing pieces, not commonly seen these days. When you roll down the streets, people will not only recognize how smooth and cherry your car appears to be, but how detailed and complete it is, thanks to the rare parts, accessories, and jewelry you have used in your build.
Late ’50s GM hand spot light. How do you put a price tag on an item that we’ve only heard about or have only seen 5 of in 15 years? These factory option hand held lights were available for you to power through your cigarette lighter. There were several of these 12 volt lights made in that era, now it’s up to you to help find them at your local automotive swapmeet and garage sales.
Here is an umbrella holder for your 1940s bomb. This NOS umbrella holder is one of the most sought after options from the ’40s. If you can find one, don’t be surprised when the price tag reads in the price range of $400-600, depending on the condition that you find it in.
When you think of Kohler, you think of kitchen and bathroom valves, but the truth of the matter is that this company was contracted by the military to produce parts when the country asked for help. Once the war was over, they went back to producing what we recognize them for today. We are looking at Kohler #6 faucet slowdown valves, which can still be found today at aircraft surplus stores.
Record Players are starting off at $750 and go up in price to $1000. If you wanted to be cool back in the day and not have to listen to the radio, you could add a record player like this ARC 2500. These were great for cruising but would sometimes skip depending on the road conditions. Just imagine what your record collection would be worth if you hadn’t thrown it out.
63-64 Emergency Flasher $500-600. At one point, you would be able to add this option to your car for under $20, but now it has become just another option that’s price is further than the availability. This one was purchased in a garage sale for next to nothing, showing us that you can still find great deals out there.
Here we have a 1958-64 Impala GM Compass. You won’t ever lose your direction as this $2,000 Denmark compass will help you navigate through the boulevard. These compasses have been purchased as low as $800 and priced upwards of $4,000, depending on the condition and availability at the time.
We picked up these NOS rear bumper guards for a 1970 Caprice on eBay for $150. These guards were usually offered as a factory option or an upgrade for your vehicle. Nobody can really pinpoint when the bumper guards were originally created, as they can be seen as early as the late ’30s. They were originally designed to protect your car’s bumper and grills from damage. The guards were still in use until the mid ’90s on some luxury vehicles, including the Cadillac Brougham.
1959 Impala. Chevrolet Paint Dividers were used on 1959 Two-Tone paint combinations. These Chevrolet paint dividers were found at a local automotive swapmeet for $550 for the pair, a fair price compared to the reproduction parts that recently surfaced. These NOS pieces will work superbly for your restoration, giving your car those final details.
59-60 Cruise Control- if you can find one in this condition, you will be paying anywhere from $3,500-5,000. Just like modern cruise control, this was an option to keep your car running at the speed that you desired when driving on the highway. This kit was purchased over five years ago and is now ready to be installed into a restoration job.
The hood ornament was a touch of class that could be found on vehicles dating back to the ’30s. There have been several flying ladies, winged ladies, naked ladies, and chrome flying goddesses, to name a few of the designs available that gave your car or truck that stylish look. Sometime in the 1950s came this flying eagle. These hard to find emblems have become a rare find especially, in a NOS condition. This example is well worth $300.
Some people just can’t have enough steering wheels. These steering wheels from the ’30s through early ’50s have vastly different pricing. They can start off at $800.00 and can go all the way up to $2,500.00, depending on the condition. Don’t worry, there are some in this picture that I wouldn’t pay more than $100 for, it’s all about the demand. If you need it right now, you might have to pay for it, but if you’re not in a hurry, you might pick up a deal like this guy did.
US Pioneer fog lights were superior in quality and were the choice of most car enthusiasts in the ’40s and ’50s. These fog lights have been the choice of many of the Bomb builders, and at one time, could still be purchased for $10 as new-old stock. Other items that you can see in this garage picture include a box of GM molding clips, once again proving that one man’s junk is another man’s treasure.