we have been trying to purchase some body panels to carry out some bodywork repairs on a 1927 coupe through Howell's.
Unfortunately we have not had much success in getting responses from them since the order was placed,being on the other side of the world doesn't help but we have tried calls and emails but so far we have not been getting responses.
Is there a reliable way of getting in touch with them that anyone can suggest?
That is the was that guy operates There has been several people in the sane boat as u. I ordered a set of cans for the running board from him yrs. ago, sent the money and took months to get them. I would avoid him if possible.
He used to be at Chickasha each yr. when I was going. Don't know if he still sets up there.
He is often the only game in town for certain items. He could care less about his approachability, and he is making money hand over fist. I ordered a sheetmetal part years ago, same story, took months, but received it in the end and it fit pretty well.
I called them at around 8-8:30 AM my time during the week. (Texas)
I had called them a few times about an order. I found that if I called early in the morning I had better luck getting someone to answer the phone.
I'm speaking from experience due to multiple (some very frustrating and some very pleasant) orders from Howell's. As said above, that is how they operate. Since you have placed the order this advice won't help but may help others. When you call and get a hold of them to place an order you have to ask a couple of questions. First ask if the part or parts are made and on the shelf. If he says yes, ask him to go look and he typically will. Then, if he has it, ask when it will ship. If he doesn't have it made, ask when he is planning on running the part next. Tell him to be honest on his time frame because you don't want to be sitting around wondering when it will arrive at your door step. If you don't, you'll get a date that sounds good but isn't anywhere near realistic. I think that you will find that he produces a lot of parts in the month or two leading up to Chickasha. In the mean time, you'll sit and wait.
This guy is usually a poor performer.
I am told, the best way to get parts quickly is to order them thru a Store who is his agent.
Which has worked for me, however I have experienced him sending wrong year parts which then frustrates the agent as well.
The quality of parts some time is not special and if you do think you may have other options consider them first.
Sadly, he could be doing so much better and with the huge range of parts that he does offer it is a crying shame that he does not try harder.
The other option is to purchase parts from directly at an event such as a swap meet, however since you are in NZ that would be a problem.
I had a real bad below trunk lid panel and my panel guy said it will take too many hours to fix, so just purchase a Howell's item and I will repair that to make it fit, less hours involved.
That is not a reputation that they should be wanting to have.
I bought 27 coupe quarter patches and cowl patches and it took a few weeks to get them but they eventually arrived. I emailed but never got a answer.
Always buy your parts off his ebay sales if you can. There he has to ship them when it say's you'll get it. Ebay & paypal won't let him not do it. I have bought from his on-line, and his ebay, last spring & summer, and got my stuff right away. Both of my friends got their parts right away also.
He has never answered any of my e-mails, asking about his parts I needed. from his on-line or ebay.
Pat, what is his ebay user name so that folks can look for it?
I'm with Pat on this, always got my stuff quick from e bay. KGB
Glen, which body panels for a 26-27 coupe are you needing? The advice others, above, have given about buying through a dealer or off of Ebay, may be your best bet. He is a one or two man operation and that is why he can't keep up with orders. I have an advantage, in that I live about 100 miles directly west of Beaumont. Last year, when I needed a coupe trunk floor pan and other parts, I just drove over to his shop and picked them up. Luckily, he had some made.
I ordered side panels and a front seat back for a Canadian 15 touring about 10 years ago and never received them. I sent $750.00 plus $150 for UPS charges and got an empty crushed cardboard box. I phoned at least 10 times and got as many promises, but no parts. A friend of mine met him at Hershey and he assured my friend the parts had been reshipped, however the statement was false. I found a rusty restorable part for the passenger side at Lau's. It needs quite a bit of work but I still need a Canadian driver's side.
thank you for the feedback, we wondered if it was a one man band. Just thought I would ask to see if others have had the same experiences.
we will wait it out and see what happens
David, Although I have no connection with Howell's, I'm sorry to hear of your problem. Because you received a CRUSHED empty cardboard box, and not an empty box in uncrushed condition, I would suspect that the shipper is who crushed the box and lost the part. In an unrelated situation, once I bought a 27 used short block from Little Dearborn Ford Parts. The bare block was shipped in one box and all other parts were in a second box. When UPS stopped to deliver it, the driver took one look at the box the block was in and said he would have to send it back. Not only did the box show abuse, but the box and block had been dropped o hard that it cracked the block and broke off almost the entire pan rail on one side. That kind of abuse almost had to b intentional.
Glen: Wish you had posted a few days ago. I just saw them at the Moultrie Ga swap meet Friday. Had a big booth set up with all kinds of new sheet metal. Dan
That's probably why no one that tried recently has been able to reach them. They're on the road. As I said, he runs a small operation and if he ever closes, I don't know of another source.