The center link is the cornerstone of your classic full-size Mopar’s steering system. Over the years and miles of use, the center link’s ball sockets will wear from the back and forth motion. With wear comes a looseness or wandering feeling while driving and the tendency of these big C bodies are to amplify this feeling. Kanter Auto Product now offers a solution that has not been seen for close to 30 years. NEW Production center links for the Dodge, Chrysler, Plymouth and Desoto full-size cars of the late 1950’s and early 60’s. Kanter’s new center links are made to fit and perform like original but are made using modern day materials and technology. The days of sending your original center link out to be rebuilt are over. No more down time, exchange only or core charges. Bolt in a New Production center link from Kanter and be back on the road with confidence ensuring many miles of problem free driving. WWW.KANTER.COM or call at 1-800-526-1096
Our Very Own Cars at Kanter!
Passion for Packards
One Packard in particular stands out in Fred and Dan’s collection. The car is a 1930 734 Speedster.
This car first made its way into the Kanter brothers’ lives back in the early 60’s when Fred was attending Lehigh University in Pennsylvania. Fred recalled that it was a warm spring afternoon and the urge to skip philosophy class was too great. While out and about on the streets of Bethlehem Fred stopped at a local news stand and picked up the latest issue of Car Life, as he had done many times before. The issue featured William Harrah’s Packard model 734 Speedster. Fred quickly made his way back to the dorm to read about this rare beauty. Even though Fred was a Packard fanatic at the time this was his first glimpse into the Speedster Series. With the article completed…
Fred set out to make use of the remaining spring day. This afternoon he strayed from his normal route and made a fateful turn down one street. Sitting modestly out in the open in a awful shade of green that was brush painted no less, was a Packard 734 Speedster. Fred could not believe his eyes. Just a few hours earlier he was reading an article about this very model of car. The Speedster was parked outside the junior high school and the owner of the car was the school administrator who, on this beautiful day, had decided to drive one of his collector cars to work.
Fred and Dan stayed in contact with the owner of the speedster and became friendly over the years. They tried persuading him for over a decade to sell the Speedster. In 1973, when Fred and Dan finally had the money to reach his asking price, a deal was struck and the car was theirs. Over the next decade and a half the car was driven sparingly to shows and various swap meets. The car yearned to be released of its brushed paint job and Fred and Dan knew it deserved better.
In 1988, the Kanters committed to a full blown restoration of the car. Even though they had made their living buying and selling parts for these types of classic cars, they knew a person with specialized skill would need to do the restoration. The car was sent to Jim Cox, who was put in charge of the momentous task.
Surprisingly for a 58 year old automobile the Speedster was in good shape. In 1955 it became a victim of hurricane Diane in Pennsylvania that required the engine to be disassembled and dried out. Also, at some point during its long history the car was in an extensive accident as described by Fred. “I was underneath the car once and there was some white paint on the left frame rail, I took some kerosene and wiped it. It said ‘Packard Motor Car Company, 11th Avenue and 55th Street, New York, New York.’ And the left frame rail was a different color from the rest of the frame. Obviously, the left frame rail was replaced. Another time, I was under the cowl and noticed that the right-hand side of the cowl from the middle of the ventilator all the way down to the bottom was made of galvanized metal and the other half was made of plain metal. So, that car was in one hell of an accident to need a frame rail and one half of a cowl.”
The original owner of the Speedster was a gentleman by the name of Tommy Hitchcock Jr. He was a well known polo player of the time and played an even more prominent role in World War II as a fighter pilot who aided in the development of the P-51 Mustang that; not so coincidentally sported the Packard built; Rolls Royce designed V-12 Merlin engine. Tommy was instrumental in getting the original Allison engine replaced by the Packard built engines. The Speedster originally sported a rather colorful paint scheme. It had a turquoise body, dark green fenders and body reveal moldings in a cream-color.”
Fred and Dan opted for something different influenced by the one-of-a-kind Gurney Nutting Duesenberg SJ Speedster. They tracked down the restorer of that iconic car and learned that a Mack truck orange color was used–and so Mack truck orange it was to be for the Speedster.
(Side note: The employees around Kanter Auto Products affectionately know it as the “Pac-O-Lantern” because of its bright orange and black paint scheme.)
Since the completion of the restoration, the Kanter brothers have enjoyed many happy miles with the Speedster. It has graced many car shows, local cruise nights, and even a few concours. Just to think, it all began with a magazine, a love of Packards and deciding to take a different route one day.
“Oh, The Building with The Car on the Roof”
Ask anyone where Packard Industries is and they might not be able to immediately recall. Ask them if they have ever seen the building with the car ion the roof and they’ll know!!
The story of the car on the roof is an interesting one or better said: “There are interesting ones.”
It all started back in 1977 when a contractor was hired to remove an outdated smoke tower from the area around the shop.
One story states that the process of removing the chimney when faster than expected and the crane was rented by the hour. The crew didn’t know what to do next and for laughs, lifted the 1937 yellow Packard 115c to the roof as a temporary fixture. The joke turned into a work of art and has been there ever since.
Another story states that the car was intending on making the roof its permanent home as part of an advertising stunt and received a brand new paint job in preparation for its debut. The arts and interior of the car were sold leaving only the exterior shell intact. It was then carefully hoisted on top of our building where it would greed passersby and help customers find the building easier.
You may be wondering why a 1937 Packard was chosen and to relieve your suspense read on. The 1937 Packard 115e is similar to the one Dan and Fred first purchased as young men. It was this purchase that turned their hobby and love of cars into the world’s largest supplier of antique and classic parts.
Now getting back to the rumored stories of the yellow Packard on top of the building.
If you are not quite content with the stories you read above you can ask around; you may hear a more convincing story. Maybe you’ll hear about the alien who visited us in his 1937 yellow Packard way back when…or about the disoriented motorist who deposited his Packard on our roof when making a wrong turn!!
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Enjoy this peek behind the scenes at Kanter Auto Parts Warehouse and Kanter’s Restoration in New Jersey.[shareprints gallery_id=”4335″ gallery_type=”squares” gallery_position=”pos_center” gallery_width=”width_60″ image_size=”medium” image_padding=”4″ theme=”dark” image_hover=”false” lightbox_type=”slide” titles=”true” captions=”true” descriptions=”true” comments=”true” sharing=”true”]
Kanter Auto Restoration for All Your Classic Car Needs
- From minor tune-ups to Concours-quality, frame-off restorations, you can trust Kanter for all of your Classic Auto Restoration and Service needs. No job is too big or small for our experienced professionals.
- We have decades of experience in the automotive industry and extensive knowledge across many years and makes, from Chevy to Packard and everything in between.
- And you can always trust the Kanter name to stand behind our work and deliver a finished job that exceeds your expectations.
- Our skilled staff will gladly provide you with a free, no-obligation quote — call for an appointment today and let us help you get back on the road.
Kanter Auto Restoration is a full service restoration and repair shop.
Published: September 22, 2010 By JAMES EMOLO SPECIAL TO NEIGHBOR NEWS Neighbor News (Boonton Edition) Print
You’ve seen it.
Fred and Dan Kanter outside their Monroe Street facility in Boonton with a 1955 Packard Caribbean.
Visible to northbound traffic along Route 287, the vintage yellow convertible perched atop an old brick mill in Boonton has earned a reputation of being one of North Jersey’s most familiar roadside oddities. But the weathered 1937 Packard is much more than a curiosity; it’s a landmark. Since 1977, the relic of the American automobile industry’s heyday has marked the location of Kanter Auto Products — worldwide supplier of parts and products for antique and classic American cars.
Owned by Dan Kanter of Morris Plains and Fred Kanter of Mountain Lakes, the business was started by the brothers in 1960 in the basement of their parents’ home in Morris Plains. But the seed for the business was planted a few years prior to that.
“When we were in high school (Morristown), we rebuilt the engine of our dad’s 1953 Packard in the driveway,” said Dan, the senior of the two Kanters. “Then we bought a 1937 Packard that had no engine and no transmission, and got it running.”
“We bought the parts from a junkyard in Kearny,” added Fred, Dan’s junior by three years. “But we had a lot left over, so we decided to sell them.”
And … they’ve been selling them ever since, as 2010 marks the 50th anniversary of the company. Packard remains Dan’s and Fred’s sentimental brand, having bought out the parts inventories of closing Packard dealerships in the early years to build their business. Today, however, Packard parts and products account for only 6 percent of Kanter’s business. But Dan is still 100-percent Packard. “It’s my passion,” he said of the marque that represented 50 percent of the American luxury automobile market in the 1930s, and is now faithfully represented in the brothers’ personal collection of cars and vehicles.
“My favorite ‘driver’ is a 1955 Packard Caribbean. It’s white and black with a red stripe through the middle. I’ve driven it to Des Moines and South Bend … it gets a lot of looks and smiles,” said Dan about the vintage convertible that he cruised in recently at the Lead East car show in Parsippany.
The jewel of the Kanter brothers’ car collection, however, is a Packard 734 Speedster. Originally owned by legendary polo player Tommy Hitchcock, Jr., the Speedster is one of 117 built in 1930 — the only year of production. Today, just 14 are known to exist. Dan and Fred had the Speedster restored and repainted (Mack Truck orange and black), then received an invitation to show the car at the exclusive Pebble Beach (CA) Concours d’Elegance — the premier rare automobile show in the country.
But despite their love of everything Packard, by far the largest part of the Kanters’ business is parts and products for all American cars from 1930 to 1990. The main building for the business contains 50,000 square feet of inventory space, and an even larger warehouse, located minutes away, contains 125,000 square feet of inventory space.
“We have hundreds of thousands of parts,” said Dan, “and customers around the world.”
The worldwide demand for antique and classic American automobile parts has created an international business for Kanter, which contracts with foreign vendors to create out-of-production parts from originals and sells to customers as far away as Europe, the Middle East and Japan.
“The king of Norway is one of our customers and we’re restoring a 1935 Buick for a customer in Dubai,” said Fred, who launched Kanter’s restoration shop two years ago. Celebrities, too, are among Kanter’s customers. “Tonight Show” host Jay Leno, actor Jack Palance, tenor Sergio Franchi, comedian/actor Dan Aykroyd, and actor/singer Barry Bostwick have all purchased parts for their cars. In fact, Bostwick did so over the counter at the Boonton business.
But most of Kanter’s sales are through catalog, telephone and website purchases. “I like the parts more than the cars,” said Dan. “It’s kind of like the individual parts are greater than the sum of the parts for me.”
Although, it hasn’t been all fuel pumps and front-end kits for the Columbia (Dan) and Lehigh (Fred) engineering school graduates. The fun-loving pair routinely dons costumes to liven up the covers of their products catalogs, which are published three times a year. “It’s fun,” said Dan. “If you enjoy your job, you never have to work a day in your life.”
Kanter Auto Products is located at 76 Monroe St. in Boonton. For more information, call 973-334-9575 or 800-526-1096. To visit the website, go online to www.kanter.com. – See more at: http://www.northjersey.com/news/kanter-auto-products-parceling-out-classic-car-parts-for-50-years-1.224278#sthash.zsfv7kkR.dpuf
The Exception is the Rule
Kanter Auto Products is known for its humorous catalog covers that reach the mailboxes of tens of thousands of devoted car enthusiasts three times a year. But behind the comical covers of this catalog are two owners and a company that are devoted to keeping cars of yester years on the road today for future enthusiast to enjoy. Fred and Dan have been supplying hard to find and obsolete auto parts for over 52 years. Despite the light hearted catalog they and the other 60 Kanter staff are dead serious about what they do. That is where our trademark slogan “Do It Once Do It Right” comes from.
The passion for antique auto parts runs deep between the two bothers. It all started back in the early sixties with an interest sparked by the purchase of a 1937 Packard. In the back of the car were additional parts. Once the car was up and running the only thing that was left was to sell the left over parts, so from one large trunk by today’s standards started Kanter Auto Products.
By the early 70’s the brothers had left their day jobs as engineers to give full attention to their passion. In 1977 they purchased the 50,000 sq ft building that we are currently reside and in 1982 added an additional 120,000 sq ft building. The two brother’s passion was mainly based in Packards but they knew that Packard was just a niche in the market of collector cars.
So they transitioned into other makes and models by buying out any type of mechanical NOS and OEM parts from closing auto parts stores and dealerships. As the NOS and OEM parts have became harder and harder to find over the years Kanter Auto Products took the initiative and began reproducing many of the once plentiful parts that were now considered by many to be obsolete like water pumps, pistons, and engine bearings.
The Kanter Packard Parts Building in Boonton, New Jersey
Reproductions and Short Run Parts
We like to think the exception is the rule here at Kanter Auto Products. I do not know if you have ever experienced seeing an ad, (for example) for brake drums for 1957-59 Fords ALL for X dollars. So you call up and try to place an order for two drums for your 57 Retractable and the company states those are the exception because those models use a wider drum and do not apply to the ad. Having everything, including the exception is the rule at Kanter, in addition to popular items. We have reproduced many one year or short run parts for many makes and models. Below are just a few of the ones that we now produce.
Examples of our Short Run Parts
- 1937 Packard Super 8 kingpins – One year only
- Front wheel bearings for the 1966-68 FWD Cadillac Eldorado and Oldsmobile Tornado
- Ford V8 60HP main and rod bearings 1937-39
- Ford flat head V8 Teflon coated pistons
- Spring loaded cam for early 1949 V8 Cadillacs
- Packard master cylinders 1935-50
Kanter is a family run operation that is run by a group of classic car enthusiasts; in fact many of our employees own antique cars themselves. I believe that we thrive as a company because of our employees and what they bring to the table in knowledge and experience in this industry.
We know and love cars, and know and love parts. Recently we had a very proud day where we had all the parts that both a Tucker owner and a three wheeled 1948 Davis owner needed. We always give our best, no exceptions.
Upcoming Car Shows for AACA – Antique Auto Club of America
31-Aug. 2 – AACA Central Fall Meet • Olympia Resort, Wisconsin. • hosted by Wisconsin Region
6 – McAdoo, PA – Anthorcite Region AACA 29th Annual Car Show – Tri-County Little League Baseball Field (Exit 138 off I-81). Contact: Dave Bielen, 9 SOuth St., Tamaque, PA 18252; Joe Forish: 570-929-2017
13 – Arkporty, NY – Chemung Valley Region’s 58th Anniversary Car Show/Summerfest – Jim Claire 607-324-4348; Randy Guild 607-295-7327
3 – W. Friendship, MD – Chesapeake AACA’s Anuual Antique Car & Truck Show – show held on Sunday of the opening weekend of the Howard County Maryland Fair. Location: Howard County Fairgrounds, 2210 Fairgrounds Road, W. Friendship, MD 21794 Near routes I-70 and MD-32. Contact: Gary at 410-239-2412; information: www.chesapeakeaaca.org
14-16 – AACA Central Tour • Texas Panhandle. • hosted by Amarillo Region Brochure & Applicaton
8-12 – AACA Sentimental Tour (1928-1958) • Maine, New Hampshire, Mass. • hosted by Granite Region
18-20 – AACA Western Fall Meet • Big Sky, Montana
20 – Manassas, VA – 39th Edgar Memorial Car Meet, hosted by Bull Run Region AACA – car show and flea market, eleven antique car trohy classes plus other awards. Contact: Bill Sessler, 703-268-2367; http://www.bullrunaaca.org/downloads/Rohr%20flyer%20website.pdf
21-26 – AAA Revival Glidden Tour (Pre-1943 vehicles) • Defiance, Ohio • hosted by VMCCA
8-11 – AACA Eastern Fall Meet • Hershey, Pennsylvania • hosted by Hershey Region
12-13 – Hershey, PA – Hershey Hangover III hosted by the AACA Snapper’s Brass & Gas Touring Region and HCCA Susguehanna Valley Region – 2 day PA Dutch Country Tour More Information
19 – Adrian, MI AACA Irish HIlls 50th Annual Swap & Sell Meet. Lenawee County Fair & Events Grounds, 602 N. Dean St, Adrian, MI 49221. Contact: Beth McGowen 419-822-9625 (evengings); email@example.com
20-24 – AACA Founders Tour (post 1931 vehicles) • New Jersey • hosted by Buzzard’s Breath Region
12-14 – AACA Annual Meeting • Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
6-8 – AACA Winter Meet • San Juan, Puerto Rico • hosted by Puerto Rico Region
18-21 – AACA Western Spring Meet and Grand National • Tucson, Arizona • hosted by Tucson Region
9-12 – AACA Southeastern Spring Meet • Charlotte, NC • hosted by Hornets Nest Region
4-6 – AACA Southeastern Divisional Tour • Knoxville, Tennessee • hosted by East Tennessee Region
7 -9 – AACA Centrl Spring Meet • Auburn, Indiana
14 -16 – AACA Eastern Spring Meet • Virginia Beach, Virginia • hosted by Tidewater Region
4-6 – AACA Central Spring Meet • Independence, Missouri • hosted by Kansas City Region
16-18 – AACA Southeastern Fall Meet • Louisville, Kentucky • hosted by Kyana Region
27-31 – AACA Vintage Tour • Lancaster, PA • hosted by Buzzards Breath Touring Region
25-27 – AACA Western Divisional Tour • Northern California • hosted by Redwood Empire Region
Aug 30 – Sept 4 – AAA Glidden Tour • Chickasha, Oklahoma • hosted by Okie Region
Aug 30 – Sept 4 – AAA Glidden Tour • Chickasha, Oklahoma • hosted by Okie Region
14-18 – AACA Founders Tour (Post 1931 vehicles) • Northeast Ohio • hosted by Canton & Meander Chapters of the Ohio Region
7-10 – AACA Eastern Fall Meet • Hershey, Pennsylvania • hosted by Hershey Region
5-7 – AACA Central Fall Meet • Houma, Louisiana • hosted by Lagniappe Chapter of Louisiana Region
11-13 – AACA Annual Meeting • Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Resource: AACA – Antique Auto Club of America. Retrieved July 23, 2014 from http://www.aaca.org/Meets/aaca_calendar.html