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T confiscated because of engine number?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Noah*, Aug 16, 2013.

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  1. evintho
    Joined: May 28, 2007
    Posts: 1,803


    Good move! I'm not familiar with Texas law but there were some informative posts in this thread. BTW, those aren't rust pits, those are peen marks. Someone tried to obliverate something. Your best bet is to relieve yourself of the burden of that motor. They obviously have you for the number alteration (even if you didn't do it) and I'm sure the penalty will just be a slap on the wrist. As stated, SBC's are a dime a dozen.

    And, for those advocating that you 'lawyer up'.......forget it! It won't be cost effective. Unfortunately, I've had extensive experience with both criminal and civil attorneys. They're out for one thing...........your money! Nothing but a bunch of blood sucking leeches!!

    Pull the motor, dump it in the closest mud puddle, grab your coupe and go!
  2. tfeverfred
    Joined: Nov 11, 2006
    Posts: 15,792

    Member Emeritus

    I stopped reading, when stuff started to be repeated, but here's my take on what the OP has stated so far. If they are giving you a chance to take the car without the engine do it and do it quickly. Here's why. Storage fees in a lot are high. Just an overnight tow can kick your ass. All this legal shit is going to take time. The storage fees will be adding up that whole time. Remembering how slow the legal system is, this crap taking a month or more wouldn't surprise me. After just one month, it would put a fairly good size bite in your wallet.

    Get the car out of there. Do you REALLY expect them to cover your old car? I've seen them leave brand new cars with the windows down. Why should they give a damn about an old car?

    After that, get ALL your papers and lawyer up. By the way, it's not your fault, but that hammer pinged number pad does look suspicious. The law can do a lot of shit, when things become suspicious. It may not be a VIN number, I'm almost sure it isn't, but in crap like this, YOU have to prove what it isn't. As long as they have the engine, they are right.

    Get the car ASAPy and prepare for the fight. Also, all the "they can't do that" doesn't mean shit. They did it. Now, you have to prove they were wrong. In essence, they've already said you're guilty. Your cars in prison and you'll need some VERY good evidence to reverse the verdict.

    I wish you well. It took over a YEAR for my lawyer to win my case and the city admitted they were at fault! Lawyer up.
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2013
  3. Fenders
    Joined: Sep 8, 2007
    Posts: 3,922


    That's the way you obliterate a SN on a hot firearm, only whoever did it, did a piss poor job. He forgot to grind off the numbers before punching.
  4. 3onthetree
    Joined: Feb 25, 2008
    Posts: 161


    This is exactly what I was thinking. How do they handle a block that has been decked/machined to make the head gasket mating surface flat which, in most cases shaves off that stamping? Technically speaking it can be considered tampering/defacing also. I guess all rebuilt sbc/bbc motors will be labeled as stolen too??? wtf
  5. Noah*
    Joined: Nov 11, 2006
    Posts: 334


    Thanks very informative, going to take your advice.
  6. dcs13
    Joined: Sep 28, 2010
    Posts: 109


    Noah, If you set it for a property hearing, make sure you keep any receipts for parts you bought. If you have any receipts for any internals or other bolt on parts, I would show them to the judge and you should be able to get that stuff back.
    It's up to you to decide if you want to give some of your hard earned money to a lawyer to help you. I bet you could handle it yourself. A property hearing is usually informal and in front of a Justice of the Peace or a local municipal judge if its court of record.
    Good luck.
  7. A Rodder
    Joined: Jul 13, 2008
    Posts: 2,477

    A Rodder

    I can't add much, other than that just sucks.....
  8. blowby
    Joined: Dec 27, 2012
    Posts: 7,873

    from Nicasio Ca

    Probably the same way they handle mattress tag offenders. If I didn't see it, it didn't happen.
  9. Black Panther
    Joined: Jan 6, 2010
    Posts: 1,773

    Black Panther
    from SoCal

    Did that piece of crap, too much time on his hands, dickhead of a cop realize that the engine was 1955 or 1956 issue? There is nothing on that pad other than when/where the engine was assembled and its original horsepower and what trans was used. Are we also to assume then that decking an engine in the course of a rebuild is also illegal in Texas? Good Lord....

    I agree with others...pick your battles wisely...all the time your are fighting this you are racking up storage fees which will be way more than the worth of a sbc...get your car back and file a complaint on the cop for not having common sense...believe me...he wont like that..
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2013
  10. arkiehotrods
    Joined: Mar 9, 2006
    Posts: 6,504


    Actually, one could get a 265 in a '57 Nomad. 265 engines could still be had in '57, though in '57, they were painted chartreuse (yellow) for the first few months of '57 production, after which they were painted orange like the 283s. I saw one at a Kruse auction about 25 years ago in an all original, unrestored '57 Nomad.

    There's more info here about the '57 265 engines.

    as well as here
  11. 56sedandelivery
    Joined: Nov 21, 2006
    Posts: 6,695

    Member Emeritus

    Absolutely true! The "standard or base line" V-8 engine with a MANUAL trans and 2 barrel carburetor was the 265 in 57. 283's were standard equipment in all AUTOMATIC cars/trucks. All the OPTIONAL V-8's were 283 based. They say they will sell the engine for scrap, buy it back for better than scrap, and have them assign a new number. I can't see why any LEO or agency would go this far on on something obviously very old. Like has already been mentioned, decking the block would also remove the ID numbers. How would they handle that situation? It does look like someone used a punch to obliterate the number, and the engine may very well have been stolen at one time, but what's the big deal now? I just don't get it. Tell them you obliterated the number because someone else had added something offensive to the pad. Butch/56sedandelivery.

    No matter how this turns out, print out a full copy of this thread, and give it to the "cop", just to make his day.
  12. 325w
    Joined: Feb 18, 2008
    Posts: 5,629


    I've known several Auto Theft Task Force Officers. They were not dumb bastards as implied here. They work all hours of the day and,night trying to get our stolen stuff back. They are very well versed in Texas law when it comes to titles and vin numbers and trailer numbers. If given a chance I think they will explain all the ins and outs to you. I'd get my car and do like they suggest. I don't know one at this time are I'd call for you. Been out too long. Hope this all works out for you.
  13. Hnstray
    Joined: Aug 23, 2009
    Posts: 12,089

    from Quincy, IL

    Looking closely at the pic, I see two things worth noting, though I am not sure of the significance of either.

    The numbers appear to me to have been stamped AFTER the "dinging" to obliterate the original number.....

    and secondly, the numbers are at a right angle to the original orientation, so they are later additions........not "factory"

    So, is the cop saying these numbers are the numbers of a reported stolen engine


    is he saying because there has been obvious obliteration of the original numbers, that is prima facie evidence that it must be stolen?
  14. falcongeorge
    Joined: Aug 26, 2010
    Posts: 18,341

    from BC

    This. call a lawyer, this asshole doesn't have a hope in hell if you stand up to him. Then sue the pd for the damages incurred while your car is in impound.
  15. Larry T
    Joined: Nov 24, 2004
    Posts: 7,669

    Larry T

    Bottom line, it's illegal to have an engine with bad numbers (post 57, if you missed it). Look at the numbers in the original post and tell me they're good.
  16. I have read all 6 pages and see a lot of opinions.

    After looking at the first picture, how could you possibly think these numbers would pass an inspection???
  17. EnglishBob
    Joined: Jan 19, 2008
    Posts: 1,029


    ^^this,talk to the cop involved without threatening to sue or telling him he's a nazi or communist or an asshole and see if there is a way out if not pull the motor and run as fast as you can.
    Seems obvious from several posts that the engine is illegal so why blame the cop or imagine its a government conspiracy to eliminate all hot orders.
  18. willys1
    Joined: Oct 31, 2012
    Posts: 1,021

    from South Ga

    In Ga: It is illegal to possess ANY property or item with an altered or removed serial or id number. It would also have to be a fairly recent theft to still be in NCIC. 3 to 5 years most states purge info, however it can be re entered as stolen again. If the COP received a "hit" on NCIC" he has no choice but to seize the property. That is also the law, not optional. Seek legal guidance
  19. If that was true then every time a machine shop decks a block they could be arrested. I've heard of some pretty fuckin stupid shit but this is near the top of the list. Yeah it looks like someone tried to hide something a long time ago but I would think the cops need to pull up the old numbers and prove it's a stolen motor to be legally able to keep it. Anything else is just guessing.
  20. tfeverfred
    Joined: Nov 11, 2006
    Posts: 15,792

    Member Emeritus

    It's actually too late to talk to the cop. He won't see him again, until his court date. The cop did his job. He spotted an odd looking situation and did as he was trained to do.

    Now, it's time for the OP to gather his documents and deal with the system. It sucks, but that's the bottom line at this point. All this crap about suing is just crap. What's the basis of the suit? If the OP gets ugly, he'll find himself looking for a new car.
  21. greybeard360
    Joined: Feb 28, 2008
    Posts: 1,769


    Ran into a problem with a 40 Chevy I built for a customer. He had the title to the car, but the portion of the floor that the VIN tag mounted to was rusted away. I knew this would be a problem for him so I got him to contact DMV and ask for an inspection before the major work on the car started. An officer from the Tarrant County auto theft task force came out and inspected the car, we showed him where a long block had been purchased from a rebuilder... along with paying for the core. It took about 6 months and a couple of trips to see the JP but they came out and stamped a Texas issued VIN on the frame, engine block and affixed a VIN tag to the door jamb. Then they issued a bonded title on the car.
    Joined: Nov 17, 2007
    Posts: 381


    I had a buddy that had his dune buggy seized for the same reason,he bought the block at the junkyard and built it turned out it was a engine from a stolen car,it took him a few months to get it all cleared up and get the buggy back...

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  23. redlinetoys
    Joined: May 18, 2004
    Posts: 4,301

    from Midwest

    Yes, I would go get the car immediately. Yes, the block looks suspicious. Interested to hear how this one turns out.

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  24. murfman
    Joined: Nov 6, 2006
    Posts: 539


    Thank God its only a 265 SBC, what if it were a freshly rebuilt Flatty or Hemi? SBCs are a dime a dozen, what if you had 10K in a fresh built motor?
  25. blowby
    Joined: Dec 27, 2012
    Posts: 7,873

    from Nicasio Ca

    Giving the benefit of the doubt by not knowing all the circumstances...

    Maybe I'm the curious type but I typically take at least a cursory look at the number pad prior to purchasing/being given/installing an engine, let alone taking anything to the cops. Hell, I check out the pad on engines I don't even have any interest in. :)
  26. Clevername
    Joined: Feb 18, 2011
    Posts: 318



    I think the cop may have been a bit "Barney Fife" on this, but I would not "lawyer up". I think you are on the right track to get your car back, minus the mill.

    Work with "the man" on getting the engine back. It sucks but lawyers can't do much versus the state. I know because I am married to on of these "blood sucking leaches":0

  27. Don's Hot Rods
    Joined: Oct 7, 2005
    Posts: 8,319

    Don's Hot Rods
    from florida

    When I started reading this I fully expected you lived in California, but Texas !!!!! :eek: California is known to be very tough on things like this but I guess it is starting to spread elsewhere. That VIN is definitely altered in that picture, someone has messed around with it.

    Anyway, DO NOT MESS AROUND, pull the engine and get your car safely home. You are lucky they are allowing you to do that and if you leave the car there it will be destroyed by the time you get it out. Go immediately.

    Buy a crate motor so you have some documentation on the new one and get the car back on the road. If you snooze you are going to lose on this one.

  28. ask for the report.
  29. 41GASSER
    Joined: Aug 2, 2009
    Posts: 188


    In WA state an oblliterated serial number or VIN is enough to seize a article or vehicle. Normally a acid solution is used on metal in an attempt to raise the original numbers. If the circumstances leaned towards the property in question being stolen the owner would need a court order to get the item back so depending on the circumstances you may or may not get your stuff back.
  30. And you could get a Nomad with a 265, or a 235 for that matter as well.
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