Jump to content

Finding history of our car...


Recommended Posts

We just bought a 1955 Super 88 built at the South Gate, California plant. The car has a clear Ohio title and a search of the Ohio DMV site shows the title transferring to the guy we bought it from and nothing before that. The car has been sitting for many, many years and is way too clean underneath to be ever driven in Ohio as in things actually unbolt from under the car with minimal fuss. The exhaust even unbolted. I believe it spent all of it's driven life in California or somewhere out west. Is there some way to track the car's journey thru the years? I'm not really looking for owner's names I'm just looking to see where it came from and where it spent most of it's years. Any ideas?

Thanks,

Kevin

Edited by Ray C's xon (see edit history)
Link to post
Share on other sites

You will get into two things. First, privacy laws make it difficult for anyone but law enforcement or insurance companies to run VIN and ownership histories.

Second, many states did not title cars back in those days, and even now some do not issue titles on vehicles older than say 20 years. The car may have never shown up in such a state's DMV system, or may only show up by owner and license plate numbers.

Link to post
Share on other sites

That's what I figured. I did a little research and it looks like the California DMV allows you to check registration history on a car you own. I may call them to see if that's possible, however if they're anything like the Ohio DMV they won't be much help, especially with a car this old. We have a good title for the car so it's not like we need to deal with that, it's just that both my son and I are history buffs and would just like to know.

Thanks for the reply, I appreciate it,

Kevin

Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm in CA too and I don't think you will have much luck with DMV but it's worth a try. A friendly law enforcement officer might be able to help you get access to records you can't get as a citizen, but that's just a thought. What I'm really writing to suggest is that you look for any scraps of paper in the car, service stickers on the door posts, and be sure you have pumped the previous owner for any information he can offer. Sometimes you can go from one contact name to another using basic information like online reference sources, newspaper morgues or microfiche (through interlibrary loans) and such. Just keep at it until you think you have exhausted all the possibilities. Joe

Link to post
Share on other sites

The car's been pretty well cleaned out of any clues. Even the old service station stickers are faded to white. The only clue left is it has a ragged KNAC "Pure Rock" 105.5 bumper sticker on it. That radio station used that sticker in the early/mid '80's in LA and may even be a knock off, who knows. I'll keep at it as time allows, should be fun.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...

Is the car dark green and white by any chance? I owned a '55 Super 88 2 door ht in the early 80's that was from CA, when I lived near Cleveland. It ran great, was unmolested, needed restored. Unfortunately I sold it to a guy in his 20's who loved the car, then decided to drag race it. He actually won a bunch of trophies with it. He had to go faster so he installed NOX on it. After about 2 months of racing abuse, he melted a piston or 2 and parked it at his home near Cleveland. Just wondering if this is the car. One of Buddy Lolly's first cars in TX was the twin to the car.

Joe Varley

Scottsdale, AZ

Link to post
Share on other sites
Is the car dark green and white by any chance? I owned a '55 Super 88 2 door ht in the early 80's that was from CA, when I lived near Cleveland. It ran great, was unmolested, needed restored. Unfortunately I sold it to a guy in his 20's who loved the car, then decided to drag race it. He actually won a bunch of trophies with it. He had to go faster so he installed NOX on it. After about 2 months of racing abuse, he melted a piston or 2 and parked it at his home near Cleveland. Just wondering if this is the car. One of Buddy Lolly's first cars in TX was the twin to the car.

Joe Varley

Scottsdale, AZ

No, it's an all black car with a red and white interior. One black repaint, done poorly, and the interior is shot. Thanks.

Kevin

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 1 month later...

Good luck, Kevin... I feel your pain. I'd really love to know the history on mine. It's kind of like an "orphan car"!

I have absolutely no history on it from new ('64) to around 2010; it was a "what you see is what you get" kind of deal.

The seller was a broker (he called himself a "collector," but I know better) in N.Y. who had bought it from his supposed buddy. He would adamantly repeat how no history was available on the car, but he really didn't WANT to know anything about it or help me when I pursued it with him.

One day I'm going to post the entire acquisition experience on the Web; but suffice it to say we're not on the best of terms to this day (understatement!).

Link to post
Share on other sites

Kevin.

I am with you on wanting to know the history of my car, a 1941 Buick which has had only three owners since new counting two family members as one. The seller I bought from only knew my car had been a gift from the prior owners grandmother who bought it new. I would love to know where. I think it has always been a Minnesota car.

Wayne

Fresno, Ca.

post-78086-143138989995_thumb.jpg

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...