We at Restoration Design stamp out most of the panels we sell, although we buy some panels in. To produce everything ourselves would not be economical at this time due to sales volume of some of the parts. We bring in panels from Germany, Denmark, Holland and the USA. Making new dies is a costly proposition. We are making some new dies based on projected sales, and hopefully we are correct on the projected sales. We stamp all of our own parts from 18 gauge galvaneal. Galvaneal has a galvanized coating which is put on the metal electrolytically during the metal production. It is superior in rust protection, and welds as metal without it. if using painted or coated metal the coating has to be removed before welding, this is an extra process. No extra preparation is required if using galvaneal.
Bearing in mind that there are a lot of sellers selling sheet metal, there are only a few that actually make the parts. All the producers have different processes, so that may account for some differences in the parts, also some parts are made completely by hand processing which would also account for differences. I am sure that most of the producers are making the best quality that they can with in their capabilities or limitations. When Porsche built these cars they did not have the expectations of the number of sales that occurred and I am sure that towards the end of the runs of some of the parts there were differences in the parts due to the dies or the welding fixtures being worn or out of adjustment, hence the amount of lead in our cars. Today, in the auto parts industry and the auto industry we have much more technology and better materials than in the '50s and '60's. Today we can expect runs of more than 10,000 hits on some dies. I am sure that when these cars were produced that the dies were not capable of that many hits, hence the differences in parts from the beginning to the end of the production runs. When replacing rusted out parts with new ones, one has to recognize that the cars we are working on are 50 years old or plus. There will be some variations due to rust, accident damage or build variation. You may think that your vehicle has not had accident damage, but I have seen vehicles that were in accidents and the repairs were so good, it was not noticeable. Unless you have had the vehicle from day one, it would be wrong to assume that the vehicle was accident free. There were also variances from the factory in build. We all know that changing doors from one car to another requires a lot of work, so why not also on other parts. Parts produced by any one other than the factory, will not fall on the car, they will need to be adjusted. The producers of all the aftermarket parts cannot afford the types of equipment that the factory used to produce the parts, the volume is not there.
With all that said, do your research and buy the best parts you can afford, but most of all have fun while working on your car, and don't let frustration get the best of you.
Restoration Design Inc.
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