Although Year One is best known for its replacement sheetmetal and trim parts, it has expanded into the performance market due to customer demand. "The hobby sort of transformed a few years ago from a car show mindset to a driving-and-having-fun mindset," explains Kevin. "When most people building a musclecar wanted originality above everything else, that's what we wanted to supply them. Now that a lot of enthusiasts want to drive their cars more and are looking at suspension, brake, and drivetrain upgrades, we've had to include those types of components in our product mix. We're still very much musclecar oriented, but now you can get the things you need to improve the dynamics of the car at the same place you get your restoration parts."
Overlooked Trouble Spots
Most people already know to check out areas like the floorpans and rocker panels when looking at a potential project car to purchase, but Kevin says several problem areas are often overlooked. The first thing to do is find out what parts are available for the model you're interested in. For example, if you can't find doors easily, but fenders are readily available, eyeball the doors very closely. "Floorpans and the like are commonly available for most popular cars, but things like toe boards and bracing aren't always available, so look those areas over pretty well," Kevin advises. "Rocker panels are a prime area for corrosion, and not just the skin covering the outside, but the structural area beneath, so look carefully there as well. Take your time, and don't be afraid to ask the seller to take the car somewhere so it can be put on a lift. You're spending your hard-earned money on this car, and usually you can learn more by looking under the car than by looking at the shiny paint on the outside."
Buying cars sight-unseen through online sites such as eBay and Craigslist is becoming more popular. Unfortunately, one of the downsides of increased muscle car values has been a corresponding increase in cases of fraud and outright thievery, but Kevin has some tips on how to shop wisely. "If you're looking at a car that's advertised as an original, do your research so you know how to spot the things that make a certain model unique, and then make sure the seller can show them to you through photos or video," Kevin advises. "If you simply can't make it out to look at a car yourself, contact someone in the area such as a local restorer or car club member to have them check out the car for you. Expect to pay them for the service, but it's going to be crucial to get a third-party opinion if you can't look at it yourself. If that's not possible, then we would have to recommend not paying a premium for a particular car."