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Featured Projects Took the plunge- 1931 Roadster

Discussion in 'Traditional Hot Rods' started by So Cal Brian B, Jun 15, 2017.

  1. So Cal Brian B
    Joined: Apr 3, 2017
    Posts: 11

    So Cal Brian B

    Thank you all for the additional welcomes and for the information. I am in Altadena, CA. I need to figure out the quote feature and I apologize in advance for not responding to each of your replies. I will figure it out shortly.

    I may run into issues with the DMV process, but didn't want this thread to turn into a DMV discussion. Some background on the car and the "Title" that I have and the process. The PO never registered the car in CA, but did provide me with a NY title signed by the previous owner. The NY title has the body number listed as the VIN. It is a Murray body with the tag screwed to the firewall. I am attempting to keep the body tag as the VIN so that I don't have to pull the body to see the VIN stamped on the frame. I imagine every time any of us are stopped and the officer wanted to look at the vin, it would certainly be easier to look at the body tag on the firewall.

    1930 vs. 1931. The NY title shows a 1930 date and I know the radiator shroud and the aprons appear to be 1930. The body has the indented firewall with the fuel shutoff on the engine side of the firewall which I believe is a 1931 feature.

    The DMV is requesting additional information from the seller here in CA so I need to circle back with him to get a statement of facts. This could be a painful and slow process. I may have a very expensive "roadster couch" in my driveway if I can't get this transfer and title taken care of. I knew it might be a problem when I purchased the car, but it was the car that I had been looking for. Anyone have their car titled here in CA by the body tag? The frame VIN is never visible, so it is almost useless to have it titled by the frame VIN. I know my old Mustang is titled by the body tag, but then it's a unibody car. Will the DMV require me to register the car using the frame VIN?

    Thanks for any advice.

    Brian
     
  2. 51504bat
    Joined: May 22, 2010
    Posts: 366

    51504bat
    Member

    Model A's were originally registered by engine number and they had a corresponding number on the frame under the body on the driver's side near the front. From what I've been told you have to have 2 vins verified if the car is out of the DMV system. If that's the case you'll need to lift the body and hopefully the engine will still be original to the car so the engine number will match the frame number.
     
  3. 55chevr
    Joined: Jul 12, 2008
    Posts: 898

    55chevr
    Member

    NY State didn't issue titles until model year 1973. Prior to that they had transferable registrations.

    Joe
     
  4. lbcd
    Joined: Oct 28, 2009
    Posts: 560

    lbcd
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Welcome and congrats on your new :) car...I used AAA to register my 41 and it was smooth. I hate the DMV!!! Good luck!
     
  5. So Cal Brian B
    Joined: Apr 3, 2017
    Posts: 11

    So Cal Brian B

    Figured out the quote feature, I think? Thanks for the information. Lifting that body up could be quite a feat. When I swap out the 4 banger to the flathead V8, then there would go my visible VIN number. I am hopeful they will allow me to use the body tag. You know what it is like here. It is never easy, but I will jump through any hoops need to get this car in my name as soon as possible.

    Joe, Thanks for that information. I just looked at the NY paper and it is indeed a registration document that has transfer information on the back of the small registration piece of paper.
     
  6. I have heard of cars being titled with the body number by DMV's that didn't have their act together. My guess about what they will do is have you lift the body and then check the number on the frame to see if the car is listed as stolen. If there a number on the engine, they will probably check that also. If it passes these tests they might use the body number to help prove that the car they see is what is on the title. Once they are happy they will probably attach an identification number to the door jam like I showed in Post #30. You may end up needing to get a bonded title. You go through someone like a bank or you car insurance company and they will put up a bond protecting the DMV against the possibility that the car might turn up stolen in the future. Probably after 3 years the bond will no longer be required and will be cancelled. Years ago in California I used a CD issued by my Credit Union showing the DMV co owner to assure the car was not stolen. After 3 years I had the DMV sign off on the CD and cashed it. Of course the interest that had accumulated was mine to keep. This was the lowest cost approach at the time, I don't know if they would accept it today.

    As far as the year goes I would take documentation about when the indented firewall came out and tell the DMV that the radiator shell and fender aprons were probably replaced. Or you might go the other way and tell them it is really a '30 and the body was replaced. I don't think there is much of a difference in value between the '30 and '31. I bet they will want to use the serial number on the frame to determine the year. Just hope the frame isn't from a '28-'29. Don't let them try and stick you with several years of unpaid registrations as there is an exemption for older vehicles somewhere and if needed someone can find it.

    This my guess about what will happen. Remember every DMV is different and they don't deal with cars this old every day.

    Charlie Stephens
     
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2017
    brEad likes this.
  7. So Cal Brian B
    Joined: Apr 3, 2017
    Posts: 11

    So Cal Brian B

    Charlie,

    Thank you very much for the additional information. Any idea if a VIN verification service came to the house, would they use the body number or dig into the frame and engine?

    Thanks,

    Brian
     
  8. No idea, you are going to have to start calling around. I think if they get caught taking short cuts they will lose their license (or whatever you call it) to do VIN verification. I bet they will want to see the number on the frame but that is just a guess. Try calling your local DMV and see if they can recommend someone.

    Charlie Stephens
     
  9. 51504bat
    Joined: May 22, 2010
    Posts: 366

    51504bat
    Member

    I was given this info not too long ago for a title service in the Pasadena by either a HAMBER or a Ford Barner but don't know anything more.

    Dannya 626-255-7589
     
  10. Flathead Dave
    Joined: Mar 21, 2014
    Posts: 1,246

    Flathead Dave
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from So. Cal.

  11. I am posting this without comment. Not my car but from one at LARS a couple of years ago.

    Charlie Stephens IMG_3382.jpg
     
    kidcampbell71, BradinNC and waxhead like this.
  12. So Cal Brian B
    Joined: Apr 3, 2017
    Posts: 11

    So Cal Brian B

    Charlie,

    Thanks for the information and for the picture.

    51504bat,

    Thanks for the contact information for the vin verifier.

    Flathead Dave,

    I believe we were at the rest area near Tejon Ranch just prior to going up the grapevine on the 5 freeway.
     
  13. 51504bat
    Joined: May 22, 2010
    Posts: 366

    51504bat
    Member

     
  14. mike bowling
    Joined: Jan 1, 2013
    Posts: 2,675

    mike bowling
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Welcome to the HAMB-
    Your new "A" is a BEAUTY! I love the color.
    You've started out way ahead of what I bought a few years ago! 12-29-11 100.jpg
     
    kidcampbell71 likes this.
  15. pumpman
    Joined: Dec 6, 2010
    Posts: 2,181

    pumpman
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I'm impressed with your eyes open going into the DMV thing out there. I'm an old fart so I like the A grill and banger. You did the right thing to buy a nice, real nice piece to build your hot rod. That will all come back to you in time. Good luck with your adventure. Look forward to see your progress.
     
  16. So Cal Brian B
    Joined: Apr 3, 2017
    Posts: 11

    So Cal Brian B

    Wow Mike, that was a quite a challenge that you took on!! Thanks for the positive comments on the car. I love the color as well. It's an old restoration and I like the patina that it's in now.

    Pumpman,
    Thanks for the kind words. The DMV is a world of its own here and I have to stay positive or I would never have half the projects that I've had. I hope to save time and money by starting with a good base. I vow to keep the thread updated with progress once I get it titled and plated.
     
    mike bowling likes this.
  17. plan9
    Joined: Jun 3, 2003
    Posts: 3,842

    plan9
    Member

    i just went through the vin verification process with an out of state car, next step is getting a registration service to finish it off... the cost is minimal saves the time I'd waste dicking with DMV. my recommendation is to go with a licensed vin verifier and stay away from DMV and CHP. run a google search "vin verification los angeles"... the place I used sent a licensed verifier to my house. Also, search "CA title/registration" on the HAMB for more recent info....

    you will need two locations on the car with VIN #..... DMV started enforcing this rule last year.

    Good luck.
     
  18. So Cal Brian B
    Joined: Apr 3, 2017
    Posts: 11

    So Cal Brian B

    plan9,

    Thanks for the insight and for sharing your experience. I hope I can get through this without too much pain. Let's see what happens.

    Brian
     
  19. Okay - here's how you can get a Vermont title in your name that you can transfer to a Cali title in your name. It is a you-tube vid. I got a Cali title with my '56 Anglia I purchased and then the title disappeared.:rolleyes:(going thru divorce at that time) It cost me a few hundred dollars: taxed value of car ('56 Ford) & transfer fees. Since you've already jumped in the fire :p a few hundred more won't hurt.(I hope) Here's the link: http://dmv.vermont.gov/sites/dmv/file - you have to download the form to fill out & send back. The video is entitled: "No papers? How to get a title for a classic car simply" No I don't live in Vermont & that wasn't a problem. I eventually had to call for a few things I didn't understand and they were very helpful. phone # 1-888-998-3766 I hope this helps if needed or other fellow Hambers may find it useful. I got my title in about 5 weeks. Vt is cool!!
     
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2017
  20. So Cal Brian B
    Joined: Apr 3, 2017
    Posts: 11

    So Cal Brian B

    Thanks for the information on the VT process. Let's hope it doesn't get to that point.

    Thanks,

    Brian
     
    craig b blue likes this.
  21. I just literally went throughout the DMV registration process here in Los Angeles for my '29 model a roadster but I've also registered 5 or 6 older cars over the years.
    My roadster came from Texas with current registration and transfer title but of course it was going to need a vin verification here in LA.
    The '29 I bought doesn't have the original engine and it was registered to the number on the frame, which of course, is not visible with the body on. I thought eventually I would put a Flathead so didn't really matter when I bought it.
    The car was fully restored by PO back in the '80s. It is a great looking car as is, so taking the body off was not an option, at least for me it wasn't.

    A vin verifier is the way to go. Do the homework for them, show them where the number is, and if possible, reference the number back to something in writing.
    One piece of advise, do the vin verification before starting the DMV process. Once the verification is done, the DMV will accept it and be done with it.
    If you go directly to the DMV without doing the verification first, then the DMV can request a DMV vin verification or a CHP vin verification and the later one is VERY tuff to pass, for what I've heard. CHP will require the body off.

    In my case, I "found" the vin number stamped in front of the transmission cross member, driver side, just in front of the seat frame. I remove the rubber mat, plywood subfloor and there it was...star and all with the right font on the frame.
    I once bought a set at McMaster Carr....and I found somewhere on the webnet that in some cases some model A's would have the number stamp there. I printed the information and had it available for the vin verifier to read. I even had the top down and the door open for him not to have any trouble getting in and reading the number, flash light on hand and all....I even dusted the numbers with talcum powder and clean off the surface so he could read them. Paper tracing, yeah, had one of them available too, just in case.

    Didn't took but 5 seconds for him to look at it ask for his fee + traveling distance, he signed his verification form, and on his way he was. Verifier barely looked at the paperwork or anything for that matter.
    30 minutes later....I was at the DMV with new plates and registration on hand. I've now put on '29 YOM plates on it, but that's a whole different process.

    Be careful with the DMV you choose to go to. I live walking distance to one but rather drive 20 minutes to the next one just because they know what they are doing...and on Fridays, 15 minutes before closing time, if you pull up to the verification line...they just want to go home, and will let you guide them to what they are supposed to be looking for....so I heard!
    Steer away from trainees or from those that keep going back to their Supervisor to ask about the process. Take your paperwork and go to the next DMV and you will be doing yourself a favor.

    Good luck and feel free to shoot me a PM if you have any questions.
     
  22. So Cal Brian B
    Joined: Apr 3, 2017
    Posts: 11

    So Cal Brian B

    Roll of Dices,

    Thank you for the additional advice and information. I went to the DMV prior to having the VIN verified, so let's see what happens. I need to check the VIN on my frame. The NY title used the body number on the firewall. I should have an update soon on how the process is going.

    Thanks again,

    Brian
     
  23. jazzbum
    Joined: Apr 5, 2005
    Posts: 570

    jazzbum
    Member

    Cool car. Much, much nicer starting material than my 35, which I just pulled out of the wrecking yard in Monrovia. Hey, I'd be surprised if you hadn't heard of it, but there's a regular Saturday morning show at the United Artists theater in La Canada. Usually a good place to scope a few roadsters and boost your morale/resolve in the midst of a project. Looking forward to seeing yours come along.
     

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