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Want a late model performance Buick?

Barney Eaton

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I have a friend here in Fort Worth that purchased a one of a kind GM GTO  concept car with an LS2, front wheel drive etc. very similar in concept to the Rainer.  These cars apparently don't have a VIN and without a title or VIN they can be registered because they were never certified as meeting Federal Safety criteria.  Someone else on the Forum probably knows a lot more about this than I do.  I attended the Sam Pack auction earlier this year and he had at least 4 to 6 Ford Concept cars he had purchased from Ford over time and they were not to be registered or street driven.  Most had complete running gear but If I recall a couple did not.  


To me it is a shame these one off cars cannot be registered and driven on the street, If I purchased one I would try everything I could to make it legal to drive.



Edited by chuckfmtexas (see edit history)
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It's possible that emissions compliance could happen, possibly with some OEM-spec catalytic converters and maybe a little computer programming. The "stickler" would be the safety regulations, I suspect.

OR . . . they might be registered as a "replica", where the DMV/DOT rep inspects the vehicle and they then assign "a number" for use in registration purposes, just as they would with a street rod-type of vehicle or similar, which would require "documentation" from the seller.

There might be some way around the regulations, but at what cost. Of course, outside of the North American region, their not being compliant, they can be sold to "out of the country" entrepreneurs.

Using the "No VIN, No compliances", they might be better suited for a private collection, but it also "saves" the seller (and GM) massive amounts of money in potential litigation as the vehicle(s) are scheduled to be sold.

Whether the vehicle might be titled as Home Built, Replica, or whatever, there might also be some issues of the engine having to have "appropriate emissions" for the year of manufacture of the engine. Just thinking of the similarities between street rods and these production-based concept vehicles.


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I have two Buick Show (or concept or prototype...pick your name) that ARE registerd, can be(and are) driven, licensed, insured, etc.  It's all in who you know.  One is in the photo below and the other is my GNX, used for photo and promotional purposes and purchased by a Buick Engineer (Byron Scott) upon his retirement.  It can and has been done.  Both have VIN's, which I'm sure helps.  None are titled as replica, home built, etc.

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