It’s easy to daydream about stumbling upon some rare car, sitting idly and untouched by time in a secluded hideaway — the idea of a barn find is just plain exciting. But some of these treasure troves of automotive archeology don’t come in the form of a car, but instead in a collection of vintage parts. Our friends over at Ausley’s Chevelle Parts just hit the mother lode of new old stock (N.O.S.) caches. Roger Ausley, the company’s owner just purchased what is likely in the tens of thousands of brand-new Chevy parts that have been hidden away for years — many still in their original packaging.
“I knew this guy back in the late ’70s,” said Ausley. “He was an anesthesiologist and he would buy out old Chevrolet dealership’s new old stock inventory. He was doing it back in the day when they would just about give it to you to get rid of it. He went as far as Hawaii and Puerto Rico to get parts.”
When the collector passed away, Ausley was given an opportunity to purchase the vast collection of Bow-Tie booty.
“His wife decided she was just going to liquidate the stuff and I was contacted because they wanted to sell the whole business and the whole collection of everything. At my age, I didn’t want to spend that kind of money and start another business, but I said I would come up and look at it anyway.
What Ausley saw when he arrived would have knocked the wind out of your average car guy. Parts were stacked helter-skelter, floor-to-ceiling all across the massive building.
“The place was an old chicken processing plant so it was probably 25,000 square feet, not to mention there were tractor-trailers sitting outside slammed full of sheetmetal, gas tanks, and just unbelievable amounts of stuff,” said Ausley. “It was like being in a picker’s paradise.” I made the deal to buy all of the Chevelle stuff.”
And so began the daunting task of bringing the mountainous hoard of N.O.S. parts back home.
“In the first load, I got five and a half pairs of ’55 Chevrolet fenders, three pairs of ’57 fenders, and three pairs of ’56s,” said Ausley. “I got 51 fenders total, then I filled my truck up with grilles. I probably brought back 25 N.O.S. grilles with me.”
Another trip filled up a box truck and a trailer. A third trip, again, filled a box truck, trailer, and, this time, an additional 44-foot trailer. Still not done moving parts, it took yet another round with the box truck to finish off the migration of N.O.S. materials.
“It is just unbelievable the amount of stuff I’ve got,” said Ausley. “I ended up with over 500 N.O.S. floor mats and 125 grilles! A lot of these parts have just never been available [in reproduction form]. “I’ve even got a 1969 AM/FM radio and a ’69 Chevelle 396 375hp tachometer new in the box.
Because there was an absolutely astronomical amount of parts, Ausley concentrated on the Chevelle wares, though he did end up with quite a few parts for Novas/Chevy IIs, Corvairs, Monte Carlos, and several other models. The brunt of the Impala parts hoard, which Ausley said was even larger than the Chevelle collection, went to Hubbard’s Impala parts.
As you read this, Ausley and his crew are still sorting through the mountains of parts they brought back to headquarters, trying to make sense of everything they found and determine the best way to disseminate it back into the culture of automotive restorers. The photos provided by Ausley’s team, which we’ve organized into a gallery, show the true vastness of this discovery. What an amazing find and a tremendous windfall for Bow-Tie restorers of all tiers.