Tag Archives: history of Kanter

About Kanter Auto

Kanter Auto Parts Catalog


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.

flea market kanter auto's humble beginnings


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.

1940 Packard Ad-01

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.

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Packard building 662 005

The Kanter Packard Parts Building in Boonton, New Jersey

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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.