Restoring an older vehicle is a lot of work, and sometimes the toughest part can be finding the right parts for the year of truck that you have. If you are working on a restoration project, you may have to dig deep for some of the parts to complete it. Knowing where to find the parts is the first step.
One of the things that is hard when restoring a car or truck is finding the right parts to do the job, and it can be even harder to find them in a condition that makes them worth buying. New parts may not be available to you if you truck is very old, so it's important to get these parts as soon as you find them if you can find them new. If you get lucky and find a new 1981-87 GMC truck dash pad for your old Chevy truck project, for instance, you may want to grab it so you have it when you are ready for it. Passing over parts in new condition just because of their price may mean that you never find those same parts ever again.
New Old Stock
There are some parts out there that are referred to as new old stock (NOS). These are new parts that are sitting on a shelf somewhere and have never been installed on a vehicle. They may be dealer stock that never sold but came from the manufacturer and are still in new condition. NOS parts are hard to find and are a bit of a unicorn in the restoration world: if you find them, it is like discovering a mythical creature that no one sure existed, so make sure to get them as soon as you can.
One of the most common sources of parts for an older vehicle is your local salvage yard. The problem with used parts is that they are not always in great shape, but if you need a part and it can be restored before installing it on your truck, it might be the best option. Talk to the operator of the salvage yard if there is something specific you need because they may know where to look in the yard for that special part that no one knows is out there.
Reproduction parts are usually the last options in the parts world, and most restorers do not want to use them on their truck. Some people feel it lowers the value of the final product to use reproductions, and often reproduction parts are not one-hundred percent perfect for the vehicle. However, in the case of that allusive dash pad for your Chevy, a reproduction model may be fine and could offer you the best chance at getting one that is not cracked or sun-faded.