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One '57 Ranchero, Two VINS

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by OahuEli, Feb 26, 2011.

  1. OahuEli
    Joined: Dec 27, 2008
    Posts: 5,095

    OahuEli
    Member
    from Hawaii

    I went to buy a '57 Ranchero project car today after chomping at the bit all week. However, comparing the VIN on the title to the VIN on the car they were totally different, not even close. The Ranchero had been bought by a Hawaii resident from an Arizona seller and shipped to Hawaii in 2009 but the new owner never compared the two VINs when it arrived. So now I'm a bit miffed and he may be screwed. (He never tried to register it)
    I tried to do a VIN search on the Arizona MVD website but that requires an Arizona drivers license number which I don't have.
    To complicate matters, the shipping documents have the correct VIN for the car on them, so we have to do a search for the real title. I've checked other posts and none seem to apply to this situation. I know I can call Arizona MVD Monday but does anyone have any suggestions in the meantime? I really want this car but won't touch it without the correct paperwork.
     
  2. abe lugo
    Joined: Nov 8, 2002
    Posts: 2,505

    abe lugo
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    your best be is to see if you can get the previous owner from Arizona to sign a bill of sale for the state of Arizona to you, then apply for the title or lost title by mail.
     
  3. BadassBadger
    Joined: Oct 24, 2010
    Posts: 461

    BadassBadger
    Member
    from wisconsin

    just apply for new title. and give your dmv the excuse '' i lost the paperwork '' then all they do i would imagine is just check vin to make sure it not stollen then your on your way!
     
  4. MEDDLER1
    Joined: Jun 1, 2006
    Posts: 1,590

    MEDDLER1
    Member

    Check the engine number against the title. That may be what they used for a vin. If it still has the engine. You can call the police department and have the vin checked that is on the car. If its clear then you will have to call Arizona MVD and ask what you need to obtain a title. Nobody here will know for certain but them. At least the pd can tell you if its clear or stolen.
     

  5. IIRC the tag is on the door on these cars, why Ford did something so boneheaded is beyond me, but someone probably changed out the door at some point over the years and didn't keep the original tag (well, you did check in the glovebox right?) ... maybe you can pop the door panel off and see if the door is a different color inside and that would confirm a swap.
     
  6. OahuEli
    Joined: Dec 27, 2008
    Posts: 5,095

    OahuEli
    Member
    from Hawaii

    The tag that has the VIN on it is on the body pillar support by the driver kick panel, not the door. As for the engine, the original was a 292 but it now has a '68 390. DMV is pretty tough over here, They record all cars shipped here for road tax purposes. I've already had to deal with them over another vehicle. If the paperwork is not 100% yer s.o.l.
    From what I was told it came out of a junkyard, possibly near Mesa. The incorrect title is also from Mesa.
    I appreciate all the suggestions, hopefully we can get this squared away so I can snag this bad old girl. It runs but not too well and other than floors and rockers its not too far from paint.
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2011
  7. It sounds like it would of been registered, if they could of figured a way to get it done. Get a bill of sale, and have the vin verified, so you can start a lien sale on it. Thirty days later you should have a pink in the mail to you.
     
  8. So, #1. You don't want to buy it with screwed up paperwork, and #2. You don't want to go to jail, seems like the best thing to do would be to tell the seller that you will buy it when it has a clear title with a good VIN. It would be easier for him to straighten it out than you. I feel your pain, 'cause a '57 Ranchero is soooo bitchin'!
     
  9. That's interesting because a lot of Fords did have the VIN tag on the door, including the '57 Lincoln we had and a '58 Ford 2dr ht I should have bought, plus some later trucks I have or have had.
     
  10. maniac
    Joined: Jul 11, 2005
    Posts: 539

    maniac
    Member

    Maybe an Arizona HAMBER could run the number for you......
     
  11. Man I wish I could give you some advice anything I could suggest would be from my bad old days and may get you a 6'6 finace named Bubba.

    Maybe your best bet is to get a hold of Metalshapes in AZ and see if there is some way to get it sorted out in his end. He should be up on the Arizona end of things and may even be willing to give you a hand.

    I'm kind of going through the same thing with my Willys here. I have a clear Kansas title and it almost matches the Vin tag. But my title has a zero where there is a space in my numbers. I can get it worked out through the DMV here but things are no doubt different in Hawaii.
     
  12. partsdawg
    Joined: Feb 12, 2006
    Posts: 3,022

    partsdawg
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Minnesota

    This should be a warning to all the guys on here that say"just buy a title for some other car" when titling their ride.Hard to sell a car when a sharp guy starts checking things out.
     
  13. OahuEli
    Joined: Dec 27, 2008
    Posts: 5,095

    OahuEli
    Member
    from Hawaii

    JimSig you're right, it is his responsibility but if I can help him out I will. I've wanted one of these for nearly 30 years and don't want to give this one up.

    Rusty, I know what you're saying, my dd is a '78 F250 and the tag is on the door. I do remember thought that my '56 F100 had the tag in the same place as the 57 Ranchero, just below the top door hinge on the pillar. Maybe different plants installed the differently?
     
  14. MeanGene427
    Joined: Dec 15, 2010
    Posts: 1,943

    MeanGene427
    Member
    from Napa

    Yep, that's where it is on my '62 Galaxies, and makes more sense than the door, as doors get changed. There should be hidden numbers somewhere, I'm not sure where they'd be on a '57, but someone will know
     
  15. NMCarNut
    Joined: Nov 28, 2009
    Posts: 632

    NMCarNut
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    For what it is worth, the "true" serial number is stamped on the frame, not the Patent Plate. In 57 the serial number is located on the top of the right frame rail about straight down from the forward portion of the firewall. While a lot of places use the number on the plate it is not clear Ford ever intended for the Patent Plate to be used for titling purposes.
    Ford did start stamping the serial number on the Patent Plate somewhere in the 49 -51 time frame and from that point through 62 the plate is located on the left front body pillar. Starting in 63 Ford changed the name to Warrantee Plate and while the serial number was stamped on the plate Ford changed the label to "Warantee Number" and started to include "Not for Title or Registration Purposes" below the number. Also in 63 the location was changed from the pillar to the door. The only location exception I am aware of is Falcon and mid-size Fairlane, all are located on the door. The disclamer is that this applies to US built cars only, there are differences in Canadian built cars.
    So the bottom line is check your frame as that is the number that really matters.
     
  16. OahuEli
    Joined: Dec 27, 2008
    Posts: 5,095

    OahuEli
    Member
    from Hawaii

    Thanks for the tip. I'll go down there today. I'd be a happy old fart if the frame VIN matched the title.
     
  17. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 30,030

    Mr48chev
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Privacy laws don't allow individuals to "run a number" even if they live in the state. From experience dealing with an Arizona title in the past I can truthfully say that you can't get any info out of the State of Arizona unless you have legal authority to do so.
    I was just trying to verify the vin number on an Arizona title for a car I bought and finally had to have the guy who runs the license office I deal with do it. That title was clear but had been damaged because the previous owner carried it around folded up in his wallet for a period of time and the vin was right on the fold.

    Can't tell you what to do Eli but in this case a bill of sale and no title may be better than a title that doesn't match the vehicle unless you can find the vin on the frame.
    Someone from Arizona might be able to tell you more about what info the state used for vin numbers at the time the truck was titled though and that might help.
     
  18. NMCarNut
    Joined: Nov 28, 2009
    Posts: 632

    NMCarNut
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Yea, and since this sounds like it is a junk yard special it would be good to know what frame you actually have as the wagon/Courier/Ranchero frame is different. The serial number will tell you the Assembly plant, year model, and body style it started out as. And if you care, while all wagons Couriers and Rancheros came with 9'' rears, most of the other 57 Fords did not, possibly only the ones originally with 312s.
     
  19. OahuEli
    Joined: Dec 27, 2008
    Posts: 5,095

    OahuEli
    Member
    from Hawaii

    Thanks for the tip. I'm going to verify the frame VIN and contact Hawaii DMV. If anyone has the clout to run the VIN they will. Crossing my fingers...
     
  20. Every 57 I've seen has VIN tag on left cowl post not the door. The number is also stamped on top of frame rail on passenger side, just in front of first body mount. Sometimes frame number is obscured by rust, undercoating or repair.
     
  21. mj40's
    Joined: Dec 11, 2008
    Posts: 3,302

    mj40's
    Member

    You should be able to go to your local DMV and they can do a nation wide search on your VIN numbers. That will at least tell you if the VIN numbers have any out standing issues with this car. They may have a small fee for doing that for you. The Arizona title will have the name and address of the last owner registered to that title. Do a person search and see if you can come up with a contact number to get hold of them. If it was sold under good standings they should be able to supply you with a bill of sale. You may have to have the currant owner do a title transfer in his name before he can sell it to you. If the numbers don't match that is up to him and the previous owner to get corrected.
     
  22. OahuEli
    Joined: Dec 27, 2008
    Posts: 5,095

    OahuEli
    Member
    from Hawaii

    The tag with the VIN is near the upper door hinge and it does match the number on the frame. No progress yet from the current owners attempt at getting the issue resolved. I'm going to look at something else this morning, may be a better find.
     
  23. iamflashman
    Joined: May 11, 2007
    Posts: 146

    iamflashman
    Member

    I feel your pain. My brother just bought a 57 Ford sedan delivery with the same issues.

    FWIW, there really is no national database on these older vins. There are online search tools that cost about $15 that do a pretty decent job but that is no guarantee.

    Do they have bonded titles in AZ? In TX, we have to get a bonded title in a situation like this. Those titles cost a little bit because you have to buy a bond on the value of the value of the vehicle.

    They give the potential "owner" out there 3 years to make a claim. After that, you are golden forever.

    The problem with that is the 3 years of having that hang over your head. Imagine restoring a car just to give it to some jerk who did not even think about the car for 3 years!
     
  24. iamflashman
    Joined: May 11, 2007
    Posts: 146

    iamflashman
    Member

    A mechanics lien is another option, right?
     
  25. OahuEli
    Joined: Dec 27, 2008
    Posts: 5,095

    OahuEli
    Member
    from Hawaii

    I hope your brother can get the title issue straightened out. This stuff is a pain, especially when I'm chomping at the bit to buy it and get started on bringing it back to life. Oh well, shit happens.
    I don't know about the bonded title but I'll check. I'd be pretty apprehensive about doing much work with that hanging over my head that's for sure. We did talk about a mechanics lien and that may be the best choice. I'll talk to the guys again about it.
     
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2011
  26. NMCarNut
    Joined: Nov 28, 2009
    Posts: 632

    NMCarNut
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Assuming he can get one, being it is a legal document I would not worry about the previous owner getting the car back once the bonded title is issued. The purpose of the bond is to have the funds available to make the previous title owner "whole" in the instance that they would actually show up and make a claim. The key is to get the bond for the actual value of the car at the time the bonded title is issued and have some sort of documentation that the value is accurate. Here they make you get a bond for twice the value of the vehicle just to be sure it is covered. Bonds are not hard to get, I get mine through my insurance agent. And they are not that expensive, the last bond I got was for a 58 Cadillac convertible which cost $100.
     

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