I think it is funny that everyone asks what retailer has the best sheet metal…it is not like Mustang’s Unlimited or California Mustang make the sheet metal. They all source it from overseas brokers that buy it from a factory. How many factories around the world do you really think have completely tooled up to build 40 year old Mustang fenders? When that kind of tool costs about $1 million dollars? From my time in the Mustang industry my guess is that there is really only one or perhaps two factories making the major body panels, and everyone be it Dynacorn, Golden Legion, Jesse Li, or one of the other companies claiming to manufacture all the sheet metal just put it in their box. It is the same with GM, Classic British Cars, and other cars I have restored.
So when you get a dented piece of sheet metal from one of the Mustang retailers please just remember, they did not build the part. They just provide you with the service to buy it. That fender or hood was built in the 3rd world, shipped on a container ship all the way to a port, off loaded, then reloaded on a truck, off loaded at your dealer, then packed and shipped to you. By the time you got it, it may have as a many miles on it as your 40 year old car. Also just because you ordered from one dealer, does not mean that they got all their sheet metal from one source, it does not mean that their supplier even got it all from one source. Many times the broker in Asia will source what is available at the time of the factories production cycle. You could order a fender and get one made by X manufacture and the door you order could come from Y factory, but they both come in a Dynacorn box. A good friend of mine works in the Chevy side of the restoration market, according to him there is one factory per part and very little crossover between factories. What happens in the Chevy world is that Goodmark get the best quality of the run, Dynacorn gets the 2nds, and so on down the line until you get the swap meet budget fenders.
Bottom line even NOS and factory sheet metal was not that good, today restorers build cars to today's standards not 1965 standards and people expect perfect fit and finish that the factory never offered. It seems like the people that complain about a $170 reproduction hood not being 100% perfect and requiring some minor bodywork are the same people that won’t spend $1,200 from Perogie to get an NOS one. Really you guys should be happy that you can in some cases buy a complete replacement body for your car, or at least every part to build one. As someone that has restored some very rare classic cars where there is nothing to order…except flat sheets of steel or aluminum. It can be frustrating and costly to repair a car when you have to have everything made on an English wheel.
Here is a good example of getting what you pay for: (I pulled these prices from regular Mustang websites today)
1967 Mustang Hood
Ford Tooling $429.00
So there is a choice….body work….or writing checks…