Every year since 1986, the Hot August Nights Car Show has gathered thousands of vintage car owners and enthusiasts to Reno and Sparks in Nevada. Auctions, drag races and concerts recall and preserve the storied past of America’s automobiles and the unique culture they birthed.
The very first cars were experimental contraptions powered by steam. In 1886, German engineer Karl Benz came up with the first automobile with a petrol combustion engine. In the United States, designers competed to come up with newer and faster designs to replace horse-drawn wagons. The automobile truly became a part of Americana with the Model-T, the first car produced for the mass market.
Come August in the Reno-Sparks area, Model-T’s rub shoulders with giants like the Mustang, the Sting Ray and the Cobra. Thousands of car owners register in advance for a place in the sprawling event, which takes the cars to most every corner of the twin cities.
Original cars command the most awe and reverence, and also the highest prices at auctions. They are the exceptionally rare cars that have survived the decades without a single part being lost or replaced.
Restored cars differ from originals by having had missing or damaged parts replaced. Some cars restored this way use parts different from the ones they came with out of the factory. Called resto-mods, they tell the stories of their modders as much as their own.
Some enthusiasts don’t reckon with modding and try very hard to restore their vehicles as authentically as possible, but finding original parts for older vehicles can be a challenge.
Most parts have long ago been discontinued and have to be scavenged off other cars. Some damages are just too extensive to fully repair: weakened frames and a compromised body consign some unfortunate vehicles to the static display area, as they are too dangerous to take to the road.
Roadworthy vehicles can still require a lot of restoration to knock them back into shape: replacement panels for the roof, the sides and exterior, radios, engine parts, tires and other parts. Some of these restorers will find themselves, while others will come from specialized OEM dealers.
OEM stands for Original Equipment Manufacturer, and OEM parts dealers search locally and internationally for parts that might interest a collector or restorer.
Meyers Auto Parts are as interesting for its staff’s dedicated knowledge and expertise, as much as the parts they sell. Events like the Hot August Nights Car Show will make sure they and the past they preserve will never truly go away either.
The team at Meyers Auto Parts are sharing with you.