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An Opel GT on all 3 covers ! ! ! This makes me wonder if I might have a J C Whitney catalogue stashed away somewhere.
 

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Back in the day, JCW did a huge mail order business in what amounted to pre-packaged trash, although one of my college roommates did quite well by them once. He had an MGA, perhaps 1960 vintage that had an OEM electric fuel pump mounted on the fuel tank up inside the right-rear wheel well where it suffered the slings and arrows of dirt, water, snow and salted slush. This caused periodic problems and, following a New Year's Eve session in the parking lot of a diner, his GF in the diner, he bought a unit from Whitney that he found well worth the price, as it was entirely waterproof.

Pep Boys, a chain that began life in my hometown area of Philadelphia, had in the 1960s a similar reputation for products that were breath-takingly low in quality.
 

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I remember going to the Archer Avenue address many times to pick up "Will Call" parts. The place was the largest auto parts shop I have ever been in. The sign outside the store did not say J.C. Witney, however, it said Walshawski's. The spelling may be wrong. I purchased many VW and Opel parts and tools there in the 1970s and 80s. I wonder if they are still in business?
 

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Google "Warshawsky Company" it is kind of interesting and of course, I did spell it wrong. But my memory was correct.
 

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It was fun looking through their catalogs. I bought a few cosmetic doodads from them but don't recall any parts.
 

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Around 1982 or so, I picked up a cat-back dual exhaust system for my 2.3 liter 1980 Mustang from the Whitney catalog. Perfect bolt-on with no problems in fitment at all. I recall the tips themselves being what looked like the crackle black/chrome plated tips from Ansa. Sounded great, especially when I shortly picked up their "Catalytic Converter Test Pipe", which opened up the breathing substantially. That was a long term test, that one, like, for the rest of my ownership with that car! There was something sweet and innocent and forever lost in those times; spotting an item in the Whitney catalog, going to the post office to mail off your money order and parts form and about 2 weeks later, here comes your parts delivery all the way from Chicago. Sigh....

Whitney was famous for those last ditch shade tree mechanical fixes like "Engine Rebuild Tablets" that when added to the engine oil, helped "rebuild lost compression and halt oil burning". And when that failed, they had those spark plugs that the testified could fire even in oil! :rolleyes: Whitney had it all....
 

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Detritus Maximus
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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
To be fair, Whitney's did carry some useful stuff. I have a roll of Kevlar or fiberglass braided hose cover that I used for fuel line and wiring in places where rubbing or abrasion might occur. I did buy a pair of locking hood pins I used on a GT that had the hood lock hooks and lock bar removed. I used the Manta type hood hook catch brackets (those brackets under the hood along the fenders that prevent the hood from coming thru the windshield when you hit something) to mount the pin latches. Worked great and looked better than the hood pins with the cables.

These things:

Green Office ruler Ruler Wood Grass
 

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Just remembered, I bought a genuine asbestos hose insulation wrap from them to help the fuel boiling problem in Phoenix summers.
 

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Just Some Dude in Jersey
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I bought stereos and the silver/blue carpet I installed in my long time yellow GT.

I went to Pep Boys for the neon dayglo green/yellow/pink double windshield wipers and matching steering wheel.
Just kidding. I didn't buy the double windshield wipers, I bought the single neon dayglo wipers. But I WANTED to buy the double ones.
 

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Opeler
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I never had an issue with anything I bought from them. Dont know what Michael A Smith is talking about. I bought tie rods, nerf bars and other parts for my Jeep CJ7.

Not 1 issue.

Karl
 

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I bought stereos and the silver/blue carpet I installed in my long time yellow GT.

I went to Pep Boys for the neon dayglo green/yellow/pink double windshield wipers and matching steering wheel.
Just kidding. I didn't buy the double windshield wipers, I bought the single neon dayglo wipers. But I WANTED to buy the double ones.
LMAO surprisingly I could see that
 

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Opeler
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My brother rebuilt numerous Ford engines back in the day for his toys (model A, 55 Bird, Cobra, etc) and he said he always bought rings and bearings from JC Whitney. He said that they were usually half of the price of locally available parts then. And, although Whitney didn't normally specify a brand in the catalog, when the order arrived, the parts were nearly always Federal-Mogul, McQuay- Norris, Hastings or other name-brand parts.
 

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I remember hearing that what they sold were substandard parts. I’m still driving around with a perfectly fine head pipe I purchased on their clearance sale along with the rest of the complete GT exhaust to replace the original crumbling exhaust 30 years ago. They recently hung my 2” exhaust using it saying that the head pipe was in still good shape. Admittedly the muffler & resinator had rusted through and fallen apart 5 years ago.

Back in the early 90’s I had a subscription for the catalog. I’ll never forget the great clearance sales on the GT parts. Once they liquidated everything I gradually stopped my subscription sometime in the late 90’s. I did love the layout with the great cartoon drawings. My favorite was the horn you could buy that made your car sound like an ocean liner freight carrier with the great drawing LOL
 

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Vendor
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I never had an issue with anything I bought from them. Dont know what Michael A Smith is talking about. I bought tie rods, nerf bars and other parts for my Jeep CJ7.

Not 1 issue.

Karl
As a wrench in a Texaco station in the late 1960s in southern NJ, we used to see any number of cars come in that required work after the owners installed parts acquired from JCW, Pep Boys, and Sears (Sears did have a great reputation for both tires and batteries, but other parts, well, the line was always "Buy at Sears and be in tears").

Replacement carburetors and fuel pumps were often problematic. But as I mentioned, my college roommate found an excellent workable substitute pump for his MGA. As for non-running parts, decorative items, the boxes were often labeled "Made in Japan" which, back then, was not exactly a sign of high quality.

One point to be made is that, in the Texaco station on occasion we would have a disappointment with an item that came from our jobber, but the advantage was that a telephone call had a replacement in our shop in fifteen minutes.

The market works. If one continues to sell trash, the vender will eventually fail. Japan and JCW clearly recognized this fact.
 
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