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What Does NOS Mean When In Reference to a Car Part?

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Just what does it mean when car parts are referred to as NOS, and why are these parts more valuable?

New Old Stock (NOS) sometimes called New Obsolete Stock or even New Original Stock are old or classic car parts manufactured for auto dealers to service and maintain their vehicles.  These car parts were not sold at retail.   In other words, it is an unused replacement part that is similar too if not the exact same as the original car part installed when the car was assembled. The term NOS not only refers to car parts but can refer to other industries too. In general, it can represent any merchandise being offered for sale which was manufactured long ago but that has never been used. 

The product is usually not being produced anymore, and the New Old Stock may represent the ONLY SOURCE of original replacement parts available.
In the automotive industry, car manufacturers like Ford, GM, Chrysler etc. either manufactured car parts or licensed the rights to manufacture car parts to subsidiaries so that Just what does it mean when car parts are referred to as NOS, and why are these parts more valuable?

New Old Stock (NOS) sometimes called New Obsolete Stock or even New Original Stock are old or classic car parts manufactured for auto dealers to service and maintain their vehicles.  These car parts were not sold at retail.   In other words, it is an unused replacement part that is similar too if not the exact same as the original car part installed when the car was assembled. The term NOS not only refers to car parts but can refer to other industries too. In general, it can represent any merchandise being offered for sale which was manufactured long ago but that has never been used. 

The product is usually not being produced anymore, and the New Old Stock may represent the ONLY SOURCE of original replacement parts available.

In the automotive industry, car manufacturers like Ford, GM, Chrysleretc. either manufactured car parts or licensed the rights to manufacture car parts to subsidiaries so that there would be a supply of replacement parts available for car dealers to service and maintain the vehicles they were releasing. For example, GM developed a series of "for profit parts Just what does it mean when car parts are referred to as NOS, and why are these parts more valuable?

New Old Stock (NOS) sometimes called New Obsolete Stock or even New Original Stock are old or classic car parts manufactured for auto dealers to service and maintain their vehicles.  These car parts were not sold at retail.   In other words, it is an unused replacement part that is similar too if not the exact same as the original car part installed when the car was assembled. The term NOS not only refers to car parts but can refer to other industries too. In general, it can represent any merchandise being offered for sale which was manufactured long ago but that has never been used. 

The product is usually not being produced anymore, and the New Old Stock may represent the ONLY SOURCE of original replacement parts available.
In the automotive industry, car manufacturers like Ford, GM, Chrysler etc. either manufactured car parts or licensed the rights to manufacture car parts to subsidiaries so that there would be a supply of replacement parts available for car dealers to service and maintain the vehicles they were releasing. For example, GM developed a series of "for profit parts manufacturers" like AC/Delco.  AC/Delco is owned by GM and developed replacements parts to be delivered to GM dealerships. 

Car parts manufacturers often produced replacement car parts for several years beyond original production dates for any given car model.  Yet, you may be wondering how individuals like myself aquired these parts if they weren't released to the public?  When the original manufactured replacement car parts were stocked as inventory at dealerships, but went unused, the dealerships often sold these surplus parts to private buyers to reduce their inventory costs and recoup part inventory costs.

Now that you understand what New Old Stock car parts are, you might be asking yourself, "Why would I use a NOS car part if they make cheaper reproduction parts now?"  Of the several reasons to buy NOS the main two are first off, NOS car parts fit like an original car part. While there may be an additional expense, NOS car parts can be far better than aftermarket reproduction parts in fitting and the time spent installing.  Secondly, and most imprtantly NOS car parts, as they are new original parts just from decades ago, will greatly increase the value of a classic car restoration.

When shopping for NOS car parts, a buyer must educate themselves to notice signs of an actual NOS part, and not a reproduction being falsely advertised as New Old Stock or even a reproduction part the seller believes to be New Old Stock!  First off and a easy way to begin an informed decision on the validity of said New Old Stock, is wether the part has the original packaging. For example, picture #1 and #2 shown above shows the original FoMoCo packaging that many Ford NOS parts would have come in. 99% of the parts we sell include the original box the part came in decades ago!  If not, we always clearly note this in the description as all sellers should!

The next thing to look for, which provides a more solid answer to the validity of the part, is car part identification numbers stamped on the "NOS" car part. Take a look at the original FORD NOS ignition coil pictured above in #2 and #3. While this is not a metal part and therefore is not actually stamped, notice the part numbers which match the originals as well as the FoMoCo logo.  In many instances these will also match to the part # printed on the original box.  Yet, you must be careful when relying on these numbers matching up, as some manufactuers put the car part numers on the box, while stamping application numbers into the actual part.  

When looking for stampings in metal parts look for crisp lines and markings. Sometimes an original mold is used to reproduce new NOS car parts which can fit fine, but over time, the mold can show wear and tear that show in the finished car part. This may impact the fit and installation time for the NOS car part.

To summarize everything we have gone over;

NOS stands for New Old Stock and means the NOS car part was made by OEM manufacturer, a subsidiary or a licensed car part manufacturer. 
The NOS car part was produced to be shipped to car dealerships for repair and maintenance purposes and was very similar if not the exact same part as the original. 
Look for original parts packaging, parts stamping that are crisp and if possible any documentation that included in the original packaging.
Sometimes a NOS car part is actually a NEW NOS part. Meaning a new car part was manufactured to replace discontinued parts. Often these parts are produced under license from the original manufacturer and in these cases is a high quality car part. 
Some New NOS car part manufacturers are not producing under a license and these parts can be of inferior quality and poor fitting which can lead to increased installation time and may reduce the value of a classic car restoration. Unlicensed New NOS parts could be referred to as reproduction parts which some reproduction manufacturers offer quality products, but many do not.


Therefore, your best bet for the future value of your build, as well as easy installation and perfect fit is original NOS Car parts, take a look at the many we have available here! Or if you need more help finding these parts please read on as our next section covers some helpful ways to find original, quality NOS car parts.

If we lack the NOS car part you are searching for, take a look at our other guide, "How to Find NOS Car Parts".

TAGS: NOS, New Old Stock, NORS, Vintage Vehicle Parts, Old Car Parts
 
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