JC Whitney’s growing line of parts includes turn signal lights for Chevrolet, GMC, and Toyota trucks. We sure oogled over the catalogs, though – but not as funny as Honest Charlie’s catalogs – those were a blast!
I can remember their catalogs were even for sale at many book stores. All customers get FREE Shipping on orders over $25 shipped by Amazon. It’s a wonder I never caught hanta v*rus from those mouse filled Desert vehicles.
Arrived on time and at a Great Price. I must say I never bought anything from JC Whitney, I always read the ads with interest and thought “how good can that possibly be?”. Never heard from them again!
I don’t know if it’s a deal or not since the build quality of that engine would be…well, suspect. Lot’s of bits and pieces for VW’s were not so easy to get locally (and cheaply) back in those times. I have been changing my own tire’s since I was 16 y/o. -Nate. I always felt like an active participant in the integration, and not just watching from the sidelines. We were shrinking towards being a $100 million business, but we still had the cost structure of a $250 million business. Sears at the time was trying to fashion itself into an eCommerce portal similar to Amazon, so we entered into a co-marketing agreement where we would create and maintain the auto parts portal on sears.com, and we would handle the fulfillment. Every time she would throw a curled up pages catalog away; a new one would appear a few days later.
JC Whitney’s Rich Heritage. The site has been updated in the background.
It put a real dent into the affordability of the order. No one admits it, but we all buy at HF too! Backed by long-standing pioneers in the automotive industry—and by a team that contributes their expertise as lifelong enthusiasts to this legacy every day—each JC Whitney product reflects our continued passion and the knowledge we’ve gained over the past century.
With all these efforts spent towards growing and expanding the business, the core business was withering away due to inattention faster than the new business opportunities were growing. Does anybody else remember this catalogue? They were extremely thin aluminum so I treated them gingerly, but the high polish finish looked really great. As a kid in the 70s I used to while away my time with the JC Whitney catalog building Baja Bugs and custom vans. We set up a network of installation shops (similar to what Tire Rack does), where the customer could pay for installation along with the product, and we would ship the parts directly to the installer. Thanks for this, Tom. Amazon.com: Jc Whitney Auto Parts.
This was a great, compelling read.
From generation to generation, the power to embrace change as an opportunity for innovation has helped JC Whitney grow into a nationwide distributor, and that energy will continue to fuel us into the next era as we launch our first line of accessories.
Learn how your comment data is processed. I still have the ten meter transceiver I bought from there 20 years ago.
Great article and cautionary tale. Although JC Whitney was more widely known, there was also the identical Warshawsky & Co. catalog. Lawn Mower Parts In-Stock - Start Your Spring Mower Tune-Up Today: We know the frustration of a broken down lawn mower.
He bought a 4bbl intake and headers from Whitney for the car. If you were her in 1972, you’d not say ‘ plenty ‘ . The MICE! No use putting gas in it when it may be setting long, New Line of JC Whitney Truck Parts and Accessories.
The road of life changes…. As a bored 9th grader in cowtown Connecticut, I would fantasy-garage my fantasy new car (’71 Plymouth Valiant 2 door in olive green with a 225 and 3 speed..hey I was pragmatic even back then…) with JCW parts (hood ornament, wheel covers, etc). In 1915, JC Whitney’s story began with a passionate founder who had an American dream of starting a family business, which he achieved by recognizing the opportunity to serve an emerging market—getting broken Ford Model T’s back on the road.
By the time I left in 93, it was obvious the wheels were coming off (sharp decline in product quality, cutting pay of store staff, slow-paying vendors, abandoning product categories), but only now, it it’s second bankruptcy, has all the momentum dissipated and the company appears to be laying down for a dirtnap.
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