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nick8086

This has happened before..

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Who owns the car?

 

If you have the frame with the correct numbers.

 

The  other guy has the tags. and the body..

 

Who has the car?

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I think there are two or three pairs of Ford GT40s that share chassis numbers. One was wrecked and later rebuilt, with a second car later being created from leftover parts once the cars became valuable enough to justify creating one from scratch. I seem to recall that in these cases, both cars are considered legitimate although they don't carry the same pedigree or value of a car with no asterisks on it. Nevertheless, they're seven-figure cars. I don't know how titling and VINs are handled by the authorities in these cases, but now that all the DMV computers are talking to each other, I worry that the owners of these cars are going to run into some problems.

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GT40s didn't have frames. They had composite tubs with metal suspension pieces bolted on. One guy had the tub, another guy had the suspension. Both built cars. I don't know if experts consider one car more "real" than the other. 

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More information is needed. Among my first question would be what do you mean by "tags and the body" It may also depend on the dates on the vehicle titles that both owners would have to attempt to prove ownership. I am assuming by Who "has" the car, you are asking who owns the car with that frame serial number.

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Quote

 

If you are talking about Vintage Race Cars the Frame is needed to get an AACA Race Car Certification. Bob

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In Minnesota the frame stamp is the legal VIN for a vehicle. So buying a car that has been "rebodied" or with a VIN tag not original to the body/car could get you in a legal jam.

Regarding the GT40's, how could either of the cars Matt mentions be legitimate? Sounds like the plastic 34 Fords titled as such. Further, if both cars are considered legitimate, then haven't the numbers of GT40's increased from the original numbers produced, & if so, then theoretically, an owner could take his or her car, use some parts from it for 1 car & the rest for the second, & now he owns 2 of them.

I don't dispute what Matt is saying, just think both cars in the example are bogus. If I was in the market for a GT40, I would RUN, not walk away from both of them.

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9 hours ago, nick8086 said:

Who owns the car?

 

If you have the frame with the correct numbers.

 

The  other guy has the tags. and the body..

 

Who has the car?

 

What car?  Without a corresponding title, what you have described are just parts.

 

Is there a title?  If there is, who has the title?

 

Depending on the authority having jurisdiction, that body of sages could be petitioned to grant a title for a "home-built" car.  Without a paper trail of titling/registration, I doubt that a title could be issued for a specific make/model of car ( e.g., a 19XX "Superfire Deluxe XXXX").  Of course there are those folks (none of whom are members of this forum) who could find a way around any "stinkin'" automobile titling/registration laws.

 

In Florida, for example, the body number (VIN) is what is listed on the title (the title follows the body).  I understand that some older vehicles were registered/titled based on a frame number, or even just an engine number, but I've had no experience with that.

 

As to nick8086's final question above, what's that old saying about "possession being 9/10 of the law"?

 

Cheers,

Grog

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As stated above this happens with race cars a lot. There are more Lotus XIs now than were built at the factory. A car is damaged in a race and it was faster to replace the body than to repair. The body sits until someone decides to repair it and build a new chassis for it. Now you have two cars with the same serial, the original chassis with new body work so it could keep racing and the repaired body with original tags and a new chassis.

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From a legal title perspective, as you might conclude from the comments thus far, this is a matter that will be subject to interpretation given the applicable state jurisdiction.  Given that "the DMV computers are talking to each other", one would think that he who owns the title owns the car.  If neither has a title on the database, then the first one that can convince a state to issue a title based upon the evidence he/she has (tag, frame, whatever), will likely own the VIN, and the second to the table will have to get a title as a scratchbuilt car.

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The person who has their vehicle licensed, titled, and insured would be my choice in a contest,

 

In the US the state department of motor vehicles collects tax and provided proof of ownership for licensed vehicles. There are a LOT of collector cars out there without proper ownership transfer. If your paperwork is in the name of some previous owner, I would not call it legally yours. And I surely wouldn't be spending money on it's restoration or even storage, if you've owned the thing for 40 years.

 

For the past, something like, 15 years, I have paid tax, insured, licensed, and received title to all the cars I have purchased, even if the intent was just to resell.

 

"I thought" are the two most dangerous words in the English language. Anyone owning a car that has a vehicle that has not been transferred, legally, to them is one step away from saying "I thought, it was OK." My Grandfather called that flirting with a rattlesnake. No buts, if you can't go to the DMV and take care of it you have a problem.

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so one has the original set of numbers and the spare may be preceeded by the letter A or 1 or whatever. they both end up having titles and not the biggest deal in the world, unless you are trying to resell for big money.............

 

documentation and history also can be very important in this instance.

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I am sure many will disagree agree with me, some purely philosophically and some because they can afford to take the high ground. But I would not have a aversion to a car with less than pure origins if it put a car within my reach that otherwise I lacked the resources to own.  It might be a race car with a large percentage of after the fact fabrication parts and history, or it could be a later re-body of a sedan in to a open body, or a brass touring built as a speedster ,providing a original body is unobtanium.

 As long as the car is built purely as a lower cost way of having a nearly the same ownership and use experience  , why not? That does not mean I endorse cars that are constructed purely to defraud a buyer. 

 If partial remains were not "fleshed out" in to complete cars there would be a lot fewer vintage race cars and Brass Era cars out there.

 

Greg in Canada

Edited by 1912Staver (see edit history)

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15 hours ago, nick8086 said:

Who owns the car?

 

If you have the frame with the correct numbers.

 

The  other guy has the tags. and the body..

 

Who has the car?

 

I think whoever has the title wins.

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So are we talking about an actual situation or another hypothetical? It's kind of academic arguing the vagaries of the situation as presented. Is there a problem here on which someone needs advice or is this another hook tossed into the water by a noted fisherman?

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59 minutes ago, Matt Harwood said:

So are we talking about an actual situation or another hypothetical? It's kind of academic arguing the vagaries of the situation as presented. Is there a problem here on which someone needs advice or is this another hook tossed into the water by a noted fisherman?

FISH ON!

PLAY 'IM - DON'T HORSE 'IM

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Looks like a short, minimal description title.

 

Nothing a touch of harmless larceny can't cure.

 

I have a hard time with incomplete sentences, but...

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Use to be here in NY state that to register something like a Model A or T Ford you needed a tracing of the engine number and that was the serial number for the vehicle. I often wondered about those numbers when an engine is changed for one that has been rebuilt? In the case of my 1925 White model 15 Truck there never were serial numbers stamped in the block like many other makes. The Numbers on that are both on the frame and on the brass plate on the dash. Lucky me. They match. Dandy Dave!     

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 I think it depends on the vehicle.  For example, Model A Fords had two "serial" numbers. One was stamped on the frame just under the front left cowl. The second number was stamped on the engine. Over the years engines were changed, but rarely was the frame replaced. In that case I would use the frame number. I would think most companies would tend to stamp the chassis. Cars are re-bodies often and the chassis number is used. Body tags can be removed easily and in some cases the body number was different than the chassis number. I'm not a lawyer, but in a court of law, I would give the owner of the chassis with the correct numbers the nod.

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I recall reading in an old Floyd Clymer book that Ford made just over 300,000 model T's in 1915, and only twice that many are still registered.

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Look at teens McLaughlin Buicks. The Frame has a number on a small brass tag on one of the front dumb irons. The crankcase has a large stamped number , and the toe board has a McLaughlin Carriage Co. tag with yet a third number. All three numbers are different from the factory. And potentially any of the three might be the number recorded by authorities for registration {title} purposes. I believe the equivalent U.S. model Buick only has the frame and engine numbers.

 

Greg in Canada

Edited by 1912Staver (see edit history)

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