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Have you ever been contacted about an old car you once owned?


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5 hours ago, Owls head said:

Hi supercargirl,

I'm interrested in what you said because I just posted a topic yesterday about my research of the history of my car, a 67 convertible Mustang sold in Woodbridge NJ in Dec 66 and "rediscovered" in France in the 90's rusting in a barn. Inbetween I know nothink. Do you think you could advice me or do a research for me about the "american history" of my car ? Here attached postcards of the Ford dealership where the car was first sold. That's my starting point for know ! 

card00557_fr.jpg

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I did a quick search on Google Maps of the location on the post card and it appears that Woodbridge Ford does not exist.  I would suggest a few things.  As I mentioned to TAKerry start with known owners and work backwards if possible.  A Mustang in a French town would certainly attract attention.  What were the circumstances of the purchase?  Is there a name on any document at all to get you started?  How do you know the car came from this dealership?  

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In 2003, I sold our 1977 GMC Eleganza II motor home at the Zephyhills FL Swap Meet after 14 tears of ownership.

It had been a joy to own and repair/restore over the years.   I sold it for cash to a dealer from South Florida.

15 years later I had a call from a guy trying to buy it from that dealer.   I confirmed the rebuilt engine, final drive,

new interior, windshields, etc., etc.   The he asked if I thought it was a good deal at $5,000 more than I sold it for?

I told him that depended on what had been done to it since 2003.   The reply was the dealer told him he never used it.

Any vehicle that sits for 15 years needs tires, belts, hoses (including both gas tanks and connectors) sewer and macerator connections, batteries, fuel pump and seals for starters.   It was a great coach when I sold it, but I couldn't vouch for it now.   

I hope it's still alive and being enjoyed as much as we enjoyed it.

1911226879_GMCRightSideAwning.thumb.jpg.e7d229e37152479c1f1872aacf64b3f5.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

i sold

Edited by Paul Dobbin
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4 minutes ago, Paul Dobbin said:

In 2003, I sold our 1977 GMC Eleganza II motor home at the Zephyhills FL Swap Meet after 14 tears of ownership.

It had been a joy to own and repair/restore over the years.   I sold it for cash to a dealer from South Florida.

15 years later I had a call from a guy trying to buy it from that dealer.   I confirmed the rebuilt engine, final drive,

new interior, windshields, etc., etc.   The he asked if I thought it was a good deal at $5,000 more than I sold it for?

I told him that depended on what had been done to it since 2003.   The reply was the dealer told him he never used it.

Any vehicle that sits for 15 years needs tires, belts, hoses (including both gas tanks and connectors) sewer and macerator connections, batteries, fuel pump and seals for starters.   It was a great coach when I sold it, but I couldn't vouch for it now.   

I hope it's still alive and being enjoyed as much as we enjoyed it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

i sold

15 years later and the dealer was only asking for $5,000.00 more?  Getting it up to snuff again would take half that so heck yeah.  That's a good deal!

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13 minutes ago, 8E45E said:

Oh my Lord! That will make you cry. 

That story is exactly like the one I wrote about in this thread.  The son searched for the VIN one last time on his mother's request and the car popped up for sale - on this site as a matter of fact.

How awesome to see the look on his face.  Thank God he really didn't have a coronary because he looked pretty close to it.  And how about after all those years he still remembered what the muffler sounded like.  "Oh they changed the muffler."  LOL

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8 hours ago, supercargirl said:

I did a quick search on Google Maps of the location on the post card and it appears that Woodbridge Ford does not exist.  I would suggest a few things.  As I mentioned to TAKerry start with known owners and work backwards if possible.  A Mustang in a French town would certainly attract attention.  What were the circumstances of the purchase?  Is there a name on any document at all to get you started?  How do you know the car came from this dealership?  

Thanks a lot for your reply ! Actually I have identified the 5 previous owners back to the 90's (and talked to them) when the car was found rusting in a barn with a ... Mazda engine on it ! Fortunately the V8 was stored with the car and reassembled during a full restoration of the car, wich was almost rebuild. The problem is nobody remembers the name of the guy who put the Mazda engine and who was already old at the time. I lost trace at that point. That's the reason why I restarted from the other side of the story (and of the atlantic ocean) with the Marty report that leads me to woodbridge motors.  You can perhaps help me with a point : the "order type" in the factory was "FLEET". Do you know what it means ? Was the car ordered by a rental car compagny ? And you are right : a Mustang on the french roads attracts attention ... especially when its colour is yellow !  😀

IMG_7804.JPG

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10 hours ago, supercargirl said:

I did a quick search on Google Maps of the location on the post card and it appears that Woodbridge Ford does not exist.  I would suggest a few things.  As I mentioned to TAKerry start with known owners and work backwards if possible.  A Mustang in a French town would certainly attract attention.  What were the circumstances of the purchase?  Is there a name on any document at all to get you started?  How do you know the car came from this dealership?  

Also, I know it's a very long shot but I'm looking every 67 mustang "owner guide" on sell on e bay on casse I would find "mine", because I don't have it. An other question : do you know if there is a way to have informations from the registration service of the state of nj for such an old car ? All searches with VIN number aborted...

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Thanks, I will start with the google thing. I bought the car from at least the 3rd maybe 4th owner. He had it for a few years in a total state of disrepair. I doubt it had ever made a show in its lifetime. The good news is that its from my state, albeit a couple hrs away.  My thought process was that if the guy was in his early 30's when he bought it he may still be alive.

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5 hours ago, Owls head said:

That's the reason why I restarted from the other side of the story (and of the atlantic ocean) with the Marty report that leads me to woodbridge motors.  You can perhaps help me with a point : the "order type" in the factory was "FLEET". Do you know what it means ? Was the car ordered by a rental car compagny ?  

IMG_7804.JPG

Interesting car, being painted a Ford 'Fleet' color.  

 

Here is a 1969 Cougar that was also factory painted (along with 97 others) a Ford 'Fleet' color.  More here on Ford's Fleet colors:  Why purple and documentation (telus.net)

 

In the case of the Cougar, it was a major corporation who used these special colored cars as an incentive for their salesman, not unlike Mary Kay cosmetics.

 

It is difficult to determine a reason your car would be painted yellow, although someone may have wanted a bright color, being a muscle car.  Keep in mind, Ford introduced bright yellow starting in 1968.

 

Craig

 

 

69_Cougar_1.jpg

69_Cougar_3.jpg

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I traded a 58 olds in at a Chrysler Plymouth Dealer a few weeks and my wife got a letter from the Chicago Police department they had impounded the car and if she did not recover it they would sell it at auction. She was the last titled owner new owner never titled the car called the PD told them to sell the car and just keep the money.  Never heard from the Chrysler Dealer if he had gotten all of him money or not for the car. 

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To everyone looking for information about their car's history - what Craig found on "Fleets" for Owl Head is exactly what you should be doing.  Post on every forum that has something to do with your car.  Find out who the Registrars and Historians for that make and model are and reach out to them.  This site has been an invaluable tool for research for me because people that contribute are car nuts and they are invaluable resources.  You have to keep getting the word out there.  As far as the Woodbridge Dealership is concerned I am certain if Owls Head posted on Ford forums someone will remember something - an uncle worked for them and is still alive.  Their parents bought their first car from them.  

 

Owls Head between the information on Fleets that Craig provided and the fact that the car was yellow try to research what companies had their cars painted yellow by Ford for promotional purposes in the 60's.   From there you can try to find people that were part of that company and that promotion (now you are moving from actual car research).  If Ford did not introduce the bright yellow until 68 and your car is a 66 then odds are it was part of a promotional event by Ford.  By the way, do not discount contacting Ford itself as they do keep records and might be able to help.  But my advice is Google Ford forums.  I know that there is even one in French - just keep getting the word out there.  Keep going down the path until it either veers to another lead or comes up dead. 

 

I have to admit I have to stop myself from looking into your car.  Research is an addiction.  Too many Nancy Drew books when I was a kid I guess.

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I haven't been contacted by a previous owner in all the years of buying and selling but I have contacted the second prior owner of the 30 panel in New Hampshire.

 

 Although it didn't lead to any answers, he was very encouraged to know someone was as interested in it as he was (at one point in his life) and more than willing to discuss things but he didn't remember or keep any of the details I was looking for. I was trying to trace any other previous owners back to it's Pittsfield MA  roots but ran into a dead end with him. Very nice guy to talk with after he got over the initial shock of a stranger calling out of the blue like that for such a request. Wish I would have met him 40 years ago cause he probably could have remembered more details about when he purchased it. 

 

The history of an antique vehicle is a fascinating thing to me and I'll continue to search for any clues or leads,  but some answers are only left to chance and I've accepted that.  If I find answers it was meant to be, if not, then so be it. In the meantime I'll continue to do the best I can to care for the ole girl for whoever is next in the branch of this ownership tree.

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Unfortunately for my Haynes, I’ve reached out to anyone and everyone I can find. I’ve been in contact with the Haynes Museum and the experts on the brand have sadly passed. 
 

I’ve posted about information here on the forum regularly since last October regarding Haynes information. I’ve not had a single reply from another Haynes owner. I was able to obtain the shipping information from Haynes archives that had my car’s engine/ chassis number shipped to DC where it was sold new and first registered. I’ve gotten a new title for the car since all previous owners have passed and there was no title. 
 

Since I’m now the official owner of the vehicle, would the dmv be able to give me information on previous owners? Would the DMV still have that information on a car this old? 
I would truly like to learn who purchased it new. 
 

Any insight into the best way to find this type of information would be appreciated. 

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36 minutes ago, BobinVirginia said:

Unfortunately for my Haynes, I’ve reached out to anyone and everyone I can find. I’ve been in contact with the Haynes Museum and the experts on the brand have sadly passed. 
 

I’ve posted about information here on the forum regularly since last October regarding Haynes information. I’ve not had a single reply from another Haynes owner. I was able to obtain the shipping information from Haynes archives that had my car’s engine/ chassis number shipped to DC where it was sold new and first registered. I’ve gotten a new title for the car since all previous owners have passed and there was no title. 
 

Since I’m now the official owner of the vehicle, would the dmv be able to give me information on previous owners? Would the DMV still have that information on a car this old? 
I would truly like to learn who purchased it new. 
 

Any insight into the best way to find this type of information would be appreciated. 

Hi I saw your PM and was just about to respond to you to ask about the shipping information.  The DMV will not have records from 1921.  Did the car come to a dealership in DC? 

By the way the car is beautiful.   The owner's may have passed on but all family members have not. You would be surprised at the amount of information tucked away in boxes in attics.  

What clues do you have so far? 

Edited by supercargirl (see edit history)
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5 hours ago, 8E45E said:

Interesting car, being painted a Ford 'Fleet' color.  

 

Here is a 1969 Cougar that was also factory painted (along with 97 others) a Ford 'Fleet' color.  More here on Ford's Fleet colors:  Why purple and documentation (telus.net)

 

In the case of the Cougar, it was a major corporation who used these special colored cars as an incentive for their salesman, not unlike Mary Kay cosmetics.

 

It is difficult to determine a reason your car would be painted yellow, although someone may have wanted a bright color, being a muscle car.  Keep in mind, Ford introduced bright yellow starting in 1968.

 

Craig

 

 

69_Cougar_1.jpg

69_Cougar_3.jpg

Thanks a lot Craig for your reply !

This cougar is beautiful. You are right about the bright yellow. I didn't mention it but the car was originaly red and painted in yellow when it was fully restored in France during the 90's. But what you said about fleet cars is interresting to me. I didn't realise before that the car was probably ordered as a compagny car by some business in the woodbridge area. I will try a search in that direction. Next I will have to find out  why a former compagny car was send to Europe ? My guest is that the car was in France for a long time, maybe since the 70's

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18 minutes ago, Owls head said:

Thanks a lot Craig for your reply !

This cougar is beautiful. You are right about the bright yellow. I didn't mention it but the car was originaly red and painted in yellow when it was fully restored in France during the 90's. But what you said about fleet cars is interresting to me. I didn't realise before that the car was probably ordered as a compagny car by some business in the woodbridge area. I will try a search in that direction. Next I will have to find out  why a former compagny car was send to Europe ? My guest is that the car was in France for a long time, maybe since the 70's

I have put out a message to a client that has a 350GT in France to see if he knows about Ford connections that might be helpful.  Have you tried contacting classic car dealers in France to see if any of them recognize the car? I would even expand that to dealers in Belgium and the Netherlands, etc. that specialize in muscle cars or American cars overall.  Do you know how long the car was in storage?  Do you have the name of the person who's shed it was in?  And why is the VIN a dead end?

Someone stop me LOL.  

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@supercargirl

 

Thanks for the compliment on the car.
Yes, it went to a Haynes dealer in DC of which is long gone. The car was in a property that was neglected and abandoned. The last owner passed in 1972 and the car sat in what was his mother’s garage. The belongings in the house had long since been dispatched amongst a few family members that have apparently passed. My father purchased the property as an estate sale when the last owner passed and the owner who inherited it just wanted it gone. 
 

I do know the mans name that passed but apparently there was family dispute with his widow who wouldn’t speak with me. This was about 15 years ago. If she’s still alive, she’s over 100 now and lives about three hours from me. 
 

I do know that he had purchased it in DC in the early fifties. I found a tag from 1952 from DC under the front seat and the car was still wearing a Tennessee tag from 1972 and it sat until we moved it in around 2004 and the building was packed with generational junk from the family with a roof falling in on all of it. Quite a mess and the car was buried and forgotten. 

 
The man had no children and no living relatives I’ve found. His widow was no help. The few older people we talked to that remember him said they remember the car but that’s about it. Tim Rivers, former Haynes Museum curator has been a wealth of information regarding Elwood Haynes and detailed information into the company. I tried to get in contact with a man named Bob Gollner who was the expert on the vehicles there in Kokomo, Indiana. Sadly he has passed and there’s no real club for these. 

My research into the car just got started last year as I told my Dad I was gonna make it run when it turns 100 so finally I’m getting around to trying to make it a reality. 
 

I’ve had many other old cars but nothing this old. Sounds like I need to try finding more about distant relatives, cousins, nephew, nieces etc. and see what they know. 
 

Edited by BobinVirginia (see edit history)
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27 minutes ago, BobinVirginia said:

@supercargirl

 

Thanks for the compliment on the car.
Yes, it went to a Haynes dealer in DC of which is long gone. The car was in a property that was neglected and abandoned. The last owner passed in 1972 and the car sat in what was his mother’s garage. The belongings in the house had long since been dispatched amongst a few family members that have apparently passed. My father purchased the property as an estate sale when the last owner passed and the owner who inherited it just wanted it gone. 
 

I do know the mans name that passed but apparently there was family dispute with his widow who wouldn’t speak with me. This was about 15 years ago. If she’s still alive, she’s over 100 now and lives about three hours from me. 
 

I do know that he had purchased it in DC in the early fifties. I found a tag from 1952 from DC under the front seat and the car was still wearing a Tennessee tag from 1972 and it sat until we moved it in around 2004 and the building was packed with generational junk from the family with a roof falling in on all of it. Quite a mess and the car was buried and forgotten. 

 
The man had no children and no living relatives I’ve found. His widow was no help. The few older people we talked to that remember him said they remember the car but that’s about it. Tim Rivers, former Haynes Museum curator has been a wealth of information regarding Elwood Haynes and detailed information into the company. I tried to get in contact with a man named Bob Gollner who was the expert on the vehicles there in Kokomo, Indiana. Sadly he has passed and there’s no real club for these. 

My research into the car just got started last year as I told my Dad I was gonna make it run when it turns 100 so finally I’m getting around to trying to make it a reality. 
 

I’ve had many other old cars but nothing this old. Sounds like I need to try finding more about distant relatives, cousins, nephew, nieces etc. and see what they know. 
 

Have you contacted the Rev's Institute to see if they can help?  They have a treasure trove of pictures and in the case of the research I was doing on a Maserati they had all of the hand written notes from an author that wrote a book about the car that they were able to supply those notes to me.  I gleaned a lot of clues from notes written in the margins but never used in the book.

 

Also if it has a Tennessee tag from 1972 there might still be info at the DMV.  Each state has different requirements for how long they keep records (not as long as 1921).  Might help to contact the AACA Library and Research Center in Hershey.  Do the original factory records still exist?  Were the cars sold from the factory or through dealerships or a combination of the two?  Sometimes they keep the first owners in the factory records.  Hence my ongoing search for Max Hoffman's factory records that will tell so many Jaguar owners who owned their car first here in the US.  Information even the Jaguar Heritage Center does not have unless the new Jaguar owner took a warranty on the car which would have had to have been issued from England. Thus allowing them to know the first owner.

 

Also try to track down classic car clubs  in both Tennessee and DC.  In the old days people communicated by letters and the newsletters were mimeographed and sent to the members.  If you could find information on the clubs you may be able to track down the car from there.  I am currently working on two databases - one for the Arnolt-Bristols and the other for the Lotus 15.  I just received a mind boggling amount of information written by an enthusiast in 1965 that details first owners, technical information, articles of the period - all gathered by one man for the rest of the Lotus 15 club members.  I have been given all of the notes from every registrar and historian for the Arnolt-Bristols.  Material is out there you just have to keep putting the word out where someone might - just might see it.

 

Local historical societies are also wonderful resources.  With a car like this the owner's most likely wanted to share it with others.  They did not buy it to tuck it away as an investment.

 

You sound like you have done amazingly thorough research so far.  

Edited by supercargirl (see edit history)
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7 minutes ago, supercargirl said:

 Hence my ongoing search for Max Hoffman's factory records that will tell so many Jaguar owners who owned their car first here in the US.

Up until a few years ago, the Jaguar and Daimler Production Orders one can purchase from Jaguar Heritage Trust even supplied the original owner's name and address.  The recently enacted privacy laws have forbidden Jaguar to provide this information as shown on them.  Jaguar Daimler Heritage Trust (jaguarheritage.com)

 

Heritage Certificates for your Classic Car (britishmotormuseum.co.uk)

 

Craig

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8 minutes ago, supercargirl said:

Have you contacted the Rev's Institute to see if they can help?  They have a treasure trove of pictures and in the case of the research I was doing on a Maserati they had all of the hand written notes from an author that wrote a book about the car that they were able to supply those notes to me.  I gleaned a lot of clues from notes written in the margins but never used in the book.

Also if it has a Tennessee tag from 1972 there might still be info at the DMV.  Each state has different requirements for how long they keep records (not as long as 1921).  Might help to contact the AACA Library and Research Center in Hershey.  Do the original factory records still exist?  Where the cars sold from the factory or through dealerships or a combination of the two?  Sometimes they keep the first owners in the factory records.  Hence my ongoing search for Max Hoffman's factory records that will tell so many Jaguar owners who owned their car first here in the US.

 

You sound like you have done amazingly thorough research so far.  

I’ve never heard of the Rev’s Institute and I’ve not tried the AACA Library either. Thanks for two options I was unaware of for research! 
 

The factory production numbers and shipping information are about all that exist from the factory I’ve been able to get my hands on. The company was defunct by 1925 when Elwood Haynes passed away. My friend Tim is searching for more on production when he can. Thanks to covid and health concerns many ways of accessing some information have been off limits except for digitized records. 
 

Thank you for sharing those tips and asking the questions you did. That has given me a couple ideas about pursuing information. It’s really been a cold case in ways. I’ve really grown fond of the old car and as far as we can tell it’s the last 1921 Type T Model 50 left. Not a particularly valuable car but just a neat car that I want to save. Tracking this stuff down and learning the history is truly an addictive thing. 
 

Thanks, 

 

Bob

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1 minute ago, 8E45E said:

Up until a few years ago, the Jaguar and Daimler Production Orders one can purchase from Jaguar Heritage Trust even supplied the original owner's name and address.  The recently enacted privacy laws have forbidden Jaguar to provide this information as shown on them.  Jaguar Daimler Heritage Trust (jaguarheritage.com)

 

Heritage Certificates for your Classic Car (britishmotormuseum.co.uk)

 

Craig

Craig the new privacy laws aside Jaguar in England only had a record of the first US owner if that owner took out a warranty on the car.  The dealership where the car was sold in the US had the owner's name but a  lot of these records were tossed when dealerships closed.  Sometimes family members took the records home and stored them in attics.  Dealership records are very sought after these days.  So a Jaguar Heritage Certificate can tell you where your car came from in the US but 9 times out of 10 they can not tell you the first owner.

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Just now, BobinVirginia said:

I’ve never heard of the Rev’s Institute and I’ve not tried the AACA Library either. Thanks for two options I was unaware of for research! 
 

The factory production numbers and shipping information are about all that exist from the factory I’ve been able to get my hands on. The company was defunct by 1925 when Elwood Haynes passed away. My friend Tim is searching for more on production when he can. Thanks to covid and health concerns many ways of accessing some information have been off limits except for digitized records. 
 

Thank you for sharing those tips and asking the questions you did. That has given me a couple ideas about pursuing information. It’s really been a cold case in ways. I’ve really grown fond of the old car and as far as we can tell it’s the last 1921 Type T Model 50 left. Not a particularly valuable car but just a neat car that I want to save. Tracking this stuff down and learning the history is truly an addictive thing. 
 

Thanks, 

 

Bob

It is so addictive that I have just spent my entire beautiful Sunday afternoon on the site much to the dismay of a very unhappy un-walked dog that keeps giving me the sad eyes.  Good luck with your search.  Keep us posted.  I have sent a PM with my Rev's Institute contact.

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44 minutes ago, supercargirl said:

I have put out a message to a client that has a 350GT in France to see if he knows about Ford connections that might be helpful.  Have you tried contacting classic car dealers in France to see if any of them recognize the car? I would even expand that to dealers in Belgium and the Netherlands, etc. that specialize in muscle cars or American cars overall.  Do you know how long the car was in storage?  Do you have the name of the person who's shed it was in?  And why is the VIN a dead end?

Someone stop me LOL.  

Thank you supercargirl ! This gives me a new energy for the search 😁

I'm going to Google the ford forums in new Jersey. I tried the city of woodbridge and mustang fanclubs but nobody heard about the ford dealership or the car. But I didn't try the forums and I see there is a lot. 

 

The VIN is a dead end because it looks like the car is too old. But I didn't try the "official" research form from the state of nj.

 

Actually I found out the previous owners in France but the last one, the one who stored the garage closed years ago. 

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17 minutes ago, Owls head said:

Thank you supercargirl ! This gives me a new energy for the search 😁

I'm going to Google the ford forums in new Jersey. I tried the city of woodbridge and mustang fanclubs but nobody heard about the ford dealership or the car. But I didn't try the forums and I see there is a lot. 

 

The VIN is a dead end because it looks like the car is too old. But I didn't try the "official" research form from the state of nj.

 

Actually I found out the previous owners in France but the last one, the one who stored the garage closed years ago. 

Please PM the VIN to me.  Thanks.

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Chasing down a cars history is always fun......and often difficult. My recent purchase.....the 1917 White Body by Rubay was interesting. I went from nothing to the cars entire history in less than 90 days......not to shabby for a 103 year old car at the time that was virtually unknown to anyone but three people on the planet. Trick is finding the right three people. Give them an opportunity to drive the car.......and they deliver written histories in you hand. Worked great! The best chance of getting history is actually having a rare car...........if they built more than ten of any one particular model...........your chances diminish quickly. 

Edited by edinmass (see edit history)
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3 minutes ago, edinmass said:

Chasing down a cars history is always fun......and often difficult. My recent purchase.....the 1917 White Body by Rubay was interesting. I went from nothing to the cars entire history in less than 90 days......not to shabby for a 103 year old car at the time that was virtually unknown to anyone but three people on the planet. Trick is finding the right three people. Give them an opportunity to drive the car.......and they deliver written histories in you hand. Worked great! The best chance of getting history is actually having a rare car...........if they built more than ten of any one particular model...........your chances diminish quickly. 

May I be so bold as to disagree.  The details are with the masses.  You were lucky to have a good experience - but records get lost, people die, and if your one off car was not so important to somebody it could have very well disappeared forever.  Those very people were obviously not very far from your car in terms of connection.

I believe we used to have about 2500 car companies in the US in the early 1900's.  A lot of cars got made.  Some companies only producing a handful of cars that are now extinct.  You lucked out.  The rest of us are still chasing dead leads and gleaning important information from obituaries and angry widows:)  

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Supercargirl is correct about searching other car forums. I found a ton of information about my 1925 dodge brothers Cantrell I found a site that did a story on the Cantrell body works added a picture of the car Two months later I get a call from a very nice gentleman in Montana inquiring about the car sent him some photos and said  I found that car in Colorado in 1969 at a gold mine restored it sold it to a friend in 1974 From there it went to New Jersey witch makes sense it has a 1978-79 parking sticker from the town his friend sold it to.From there it went to Pennsylvania not far from where I live a man up the road from me bought it where it sat fo almost 30 years here in New York. So. It pays to do your research plus it’s a lot of fun    John

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2 hours ago, supercargirl said:

Craig the new privacy laws aside Jaguar in England only had a record of the first US owner if that owner took out a warranty on the car.  The dealership where the car was sold in the US had the owner's name but a  lot of these records were tossed when dealerships closed.  Sometimes family members took the records home and stored them in attics.  Dealership records are very sought after these days.  So a Jaguar Heritage Certificate can tell you where your car came from in the US but 9 times out of 10 they can not tell you the first owner.

Paper trails are also useful. 

 

Perhaps not the original owner, but the second in a string of owners is also an asset to have.  And there are websites devoted to assisting in the search.  A perfect example here: XK Data - S681077 - Jaguar XK120, XK140, XK150 information, articles, photos and register

 

Craig

Edited by 8E45E (see edit history)
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Several years ago I donated a very clean 1981 Buick Skylark four door to Goodwill and later received my $200 donation letter from them.  About 6 months later, I received a certified letter from a towing company about 90 miles away for payment of a $500 storage bill.  I call and told them to contact Goodwill as I signed the title over to them.  A few days later, the towing company called back saying Goodwill said they didn't have anything to do with it because they sent the car to auction and the title is still in my name so I owe the towing and storage bill.  My calls to Goodwill were about as productive as dealing with the DMV, not their problem.  So another call to the towing company, where the owner suggested that since the title was still in my name, to file for a duplicate title and transfer it to him and he would call it even.  I did.  The cost of the duplicate title and notary fee was about the same as the tax value I received for the deduction.  I will scrap a car before I donate one to Goodwill again.

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Over 40 years ago when I was young, fearless, foolish AND dealing with a horrific family tragedy, I bought a souped-up 900 Kawasaki motorcycle, constantly riding it hard and fast. Motorcycle buddies called and warned my young wife that I was definitely gonna die on that bike soon. Then I got a major traffic ticket. My sweet, beautiful little wife swelled up into a raging volcano, and the ONLY way to quell that eruption was to sell the hot rod bike.

 

I put an ad in the paper, soon had a buyer at the door. Three 18-19’ish boys stood there with no shirts, no shoes, wanting to test drive the Kawasaki. NO WAY, so the buyer agreed to ride behind me. I cruised the area, showing him that it would shift all the way up and down without the clutch, so he would know that the transmission was good. He yelled that he didn’t care about that…”How FAST is it?” So I got on a country road and accelerated briskly. But he said again, “Not like that, Man. I wanna REALLY see how bad this thing is!”

 

I told him to hold on and lean forward. Then slowed to 1st gear, revved the engine and dumped the clutch. The engine screamed and the front wheel popped up, staying up all the way through 2nd gear, smoking the rear tire. After hitting 3rd we were going WAY too fast, so I shut it down to the speed limit. He yelled, “G___ D____ it, Man! I LOVE it!”

 

Back at my house he tossed a HUGE tangled wad of cash on the table. He fumbled trying to count it, eventually asking my wife to count it for him. He didn’t even watch, going back outside with his friends to look at the bike. I called him back in when she finished. Only then did he ask, “What’s your best price?” I just said, “Firm!” He said, “Ok, so the rest of that cash is mine then?” My wife shoved the wrinkled excess back to him (he had no idea how much it was, but it was a lot of cash).

 

He asked for keys, but I told him he needed license plates and a helmet to ride it home (that was Ohio law then). He had neither. He asked to borrow mine, but I didn’t want this wild man riding with my tags, and knew I would never get the helmet back. Finally I agreed to lend him the helmet and tags, holding his his title until they were returned. So he put on my helmet and sunglasses, and rode off with one of the boys behind him. My wife and I looked at each other in shock and amazement.

 

We went out for a couple hours, returning home to find a police car in our driveway. Cop just wanted to verify that we really had sold that motorcycle to the kid, who had been jailed for speed in excess of 115 mph by state patrol, while not wearing a helmet or eye protection.

 

Few days later the kid shows up at my door, asking for his title. No problem, where are my tags and helmet? He forgot…but he would bring them back next day (he lived a couple hours away.) No deal, I was firm. He grumbled under his breath, and drove away. Never heard from him again.

 

Fast forward a few years, I get a phone call, “I understand you sold a motorcycle to my son? Well he’s dead now.” (A car accident…not while on the bike). I expressed my condolences.

 

He said, “I just now found out about that motorcycle, and I understand you have the title?” I told him I was STILL waiting return of my license plates and helmet. He suddenly blurted out, “Where the H___ did he get that money? He never worked a day in his life!” I pointed out that it is not a seller’s business where a buyer’s money comes from. (Not that it makes any difference, but I had seen his driver license, and he was over 18).

 

The father eventually called again saying my helmet and (now expired) tags were gone forever. Would I accept $50 in exchange for the title? I did. Tragic story, but true. 

 

Today, as a more mature adult, I wouldn't even have sold him the motorcycle. Not sure how I could have refused, but I would today. 

 

Edited by lump (see edit history)
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Usually I'm using a vin# search tool to know the vehicle history i'm interested in bying. But I'm not always sure if the information on that is completely correct, especially when using FREE vin check. Can anyone suggest me please the most relible sourse for that? Thanks ya'll in advance:)

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On 3/6/2021 at 12:22 PM, Owls head said:

Hi supercargirl,

I'm interrested in what you said because I just posted a topic yesterday about my research of the history of my car, a 67 convertible Mustang sold in Woodbridge NJ in Dec 66 and "rediscovered" in France in the 90's rusting in a barn. Inbetween I know nothink. Do you think you could advice me or do a research for me about the "american history" of my car ? Here attached postcards of the Ford dealership where the car was first sold. That's my starting point for know ! 

card00557_fr.jpg

card00557_bk.jpg

You just gotta love the Cobra on the showroom floor!

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"I will scrap a car before I donate one to Goodwill again." At least in Florida the key to relief of responsibility is a Notice of Sale . I provide one to the buyer and keep a signed copy for every car I sell. It also makes transfer of title very easy. Do other states have something similar ?

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Not a car, but an airplane.  My dad had a beautiful Cessna 310P with many upgrades.  Sold it to a airplane dealer after he bought a 310R.  Couple years later he got a call from the FAA wondering why it was found burned at an airport in South America...  FAA records showed it still in dads name.  (FWIW, one my brothers still owns and regularly flies the 310R.)

Edited by wws944 (see edit history)
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I had a friend that had loaded a couple of semi trailers with tools from his closed cabinet shop. These were all high end european woodworking stuff, large panel saws, shapers, sanders, cnc stuff.  He had no place to store the trailers so he worked out a deal with a local scrap yard (big mistake) to store them there.  He got a call about 9 months later from Lancaster city police (30 miles from the scrap yard) that one of his trailers was involved in an accident. Needless to say he was a bit shocked. Became a long convaluted situation involving interstate theft, travel etc.

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20 hours ago, wws944 said:

Not a car, but an airplane.  My dad had a beautiful Cessna 310P with many upgrades.  Sold it to a airplane dealer after he bought a 310R.  Couple years later he got a call from the FAA wondering why it was found burned at an airport in South America...  FAA records showed it still in dads name.  (FWIW, one my brothers still owns and regularly flies the 310R.)

Wow! 

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On 3/9/2021 at 5:56 AM, jess.w said:

Usually I'm using a vin# search tool to know the vehicle history i'm interested in bying. But I'm not always sure if the information on that is completely correct, especially when using FREE vin check. Can anyone suggest me please the most relible sourse for that? Thanks ya'll in advance:)

Past owners.  It is true.  A car with ownership history and invoices for work done will help you avoid any surprises - and always have it inspected.  Always.

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