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Old 09-17-2021, 03:29 PM   #1
Billybob57
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Default Model A serial number verification

I inherited a model A which I'm in the process of restoring. The title says it's a 1930 model, but I really have no history of it. The engine serial number indicates it was built in February of 1931. But the radiator and front fenders appear to show it was made in 1930. I'm wondering if this is normal or if maybe a 1931 engine was added later. I've checked for the body serial number but it's either vanished or was never there. Is there a data base somewhere that can look up the information of your car build by serial number? Has anyone else ran into this situation?
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Old 09-17-2021, 04:24 PM   #2
Ivan in southeast va.
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Default Re: Model A serial number verification

You most likely have a 30 with a 31 engine installed later. 1930 and 1931 were generally the same. What is your body style? Pickups were notorious for mismatched parts.
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Old 09-17-2021, 06:35 PM   #3
Keith True
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Default Re: Model A serial number verification

Model A guys run into this constantly.The engine number was the serial number.No coding,nothing like modern car ID numbers.They were stamped,1,2,3,4,up to over 5 million.When the engine was dropped in the frame they were supposed to stamp the frame with the engine number.There are dozens of people on here that can show you frames that were never stamped.Your engine has just been changed at some time in the past.
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Old 09-17-2021, 06:40 PM   #4
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Default Re: Model A serial number verification

as far as i know there is no serial number on the body. you may be lucky and find the serial number on the top of the left frame rail behind the steering box but if it is there its probably under the body. if the body is off check that area.

ou
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Old 09-17-2021, 07:23 PM   #5
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Default Re: Model A serial number verification

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Originally Posted by old ugly View Post
as far as i know there is no serial number on the body. you may be lucky and find the serial number on the top of the left frame rail behind the steering box but if it is there its probably under the body. if the body is off check that area.

ou
I am told the US cars had the number stamped on the chassis as you describe but it wasn't done on Canadian assembled cars. It causes some head scratching when we come to register them.
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Old 09-17-2021, 07:31 PM   #6
Billybob57
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Default Re: Model A serial number verification

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Old 09-17-2021, 08:12 PM   #7
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Default Re: Model A serial number verification

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I am told the US cars had the number stamped on the chassis as you describe but it wasn't done on Canadian assembled cars. It causes some head scratching when we come to register them.
i agree, i thought so too, but weird thing that shutterbuggy in my avatar had a "ca" serial number on the block and a stamped number on the top of the frame rail. now the number was rusty and hard to read and i don't know if it matched the engine number.

ou
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Old 09-17-2021, 08:28 PM   #8
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Default Re: Model A serial number verification

Question: Is the serial number on the title and the engine the same? If it was me I'd be sure they match.
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Old 09-17-2021, 08:49 PM   #9
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Default Re: Model A serial number verification

Frame number, engine number or whatever. To be able to sell, register, title, license, transfer or whatever you want to do you must have a VIN number in order to be do any of the above to have national inclusion. A VIN number must be generated by the requirements of your state - get a VIN number and you are go to go nationwide. SC had two options for this, homebuilt or reconstructed. My speedster was not a homebuilt (kit car) so that only left reconstructed as an option, which is pretty much undefined. Seems that as little as replacing radiator braces with something other than original would do the trick. (change them back later for the purist). A VIN number will be assigned and you must affix this number to your vehicle where it can be seen, a trophy shop number pop riveted to he fire wall did the trick for me. That is all my VIN inspector looked at, no lights, horn or turning signal were considered. My next of kin, neighbor, car flipper or even the police will never have an ownership problem. VIN number trumps all other numbers. I don't know how the high points people will take this but it is what is - in SC anyway. All that being said I now have a valid license plate.

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Last edited by aermotor; 09-17-2021 at 08:58 PM.
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Old 09-17-2021, 09:51 PM   #10
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Default Re: Model A serial number verification

Just a heads up. Sellinng a Model A in which the title number and engine number is not the same can be a major issue - especially if the buyer is from out of state since the gaining state DMV often conducts a visual verification of the title and vehicle numbers. In some states resolution is practically undoable. Might investigate what your state's rules are. Ideally it is best to find a way to make the numbers agree at the earliest. This issue has put many a Model Aer in title hell. Good Luck.
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Old 09-18-2021, 02:01 AM   #11
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Default Re: Model A serial number verification

Deleted, John

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Old 09-18-2021, 02:14 AM   #12
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Default Re: Model A serial number verification

See my above post #9. Get your own VIN number, it will always be a one and only number that stays with the car and has nothing to do with engine numbers, trade engines any way or swap as many times as you want and the VIN will not change. Even if the car is scrapped that particular VIN number will be retired and can never be used again. The procedure for generating a VIN number may be different from state to state but when you get it and affix it to your car it will be honored in all states. My number is SCDMV000000######. Serial numbers have nothing to do with a VIN number, which is the only number that counts. S/N's have more to do with part identification. BTW, when you reconstruct a car and get a VIN number in SC you can have it any year or make vehicle you want. Tax issues are between you and the taxing agency. Generally the older the vehicle the less the appraised value, ie, less taxes.

John

Last edited by aermotor; 09-18-2021 at 05:55 AM.
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Old 09-18-2021, 06:25 AM   #13
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Default Re: Model A serial number verification

I went back through my paper work and I was incorrect about using the words VIN number. During the application process the number was referred as to a serial number but the final approval was done by a VIN inspector, results were the same, a valid serial number or VIN number what ever term your state uses.

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Old 09-18-2021, 09:43 PM   #14
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Default Re: Model A serial number verification

VIN stands for Vehicle Identification Number, that is what the serial number is. While the numbers used later did have more information in them, they amount to the same thing and go in the same box on the paperwork.
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Old 09-18-2021, 10:58 PM   #15
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Default Re: Model A serial number verification

In the original post, it is clear he already has a title.
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Old 09-19-2021, 02:12 AM   #16
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Default Re: Model A serial number verification

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Originally Posted by eagle View Post
In the original post, it is clear he already has a title.
That is correct, however, the information to get this title transfer to another individual may not be valid in all states. Even thought the OP didn't ask I thought that maybe he would be interested to know that his title may not be valid in all states ( Fl. does not recognize the engine number as a VIN or S/N) and a means to rectify the problem, if it becomes one. See your post number #8. With a regenerated s/n or Vin number and displayed permanently on the vehicle all these other numbers (refer to the OP) are meaningless and not necessary. In ans. to the OP I am not aware of such a data base.

Thanks, John

Last edited by aermotor; 09-19-2021 at 05:12 AM.
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Old 09-19-2021, 09:29 AM   #17
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Default Re: Model A serial number verification

When I went to register my car, I had a 1972 title from South Dakota with the VIN number shown as the engine number. (When taking apart the car and restoring it, the frame number matched.)

The inspector refused to accept the engine number as a VIN, and said I'd have to show him the frame number. I told him that would require disassembling the car, and he wasn't swayed. Luckily his supervisor rolled his eyes and accepted the number.
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Old 09-19-2021, 11:14 AM   #18
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Default Re: Model A serial number verification

So here are the facts.

The Engine number and the frame number should match the title number.

If they do not match it would not be unusual as all sorts of things could have happened over the years.

While you are not allowed to change numbers, there are ways to change the numbers so they match the title.

Just for perspective your car could be on its second or third restoration. It also could have be built from parts laying around in 1946. The frame looked good from a tudor, the engine ran good from the A400 and body Bob had on the worn out frame looked good.
Then in 1955 it was in an accident and the fenders all got changed from another car. In 1960 the engine got changed....
Well you get the picture. You need to make what you got work.
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Old 09-19-2021, 11:24 AM   #19
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Default Re: Model A serial number verification

I had my frame off, both matched and knowing the problems I had a VIN inspector verify and write a letter to that affect. According to him if I change engines (numbers) the letter can allow an engine change using his letter to verify the frame number and the new engine number to confirm the frame number.

John
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Old 09-19-2021, 11:36 AM   #20
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Default Re: Model A serial number verification

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin in NJ View Post
So here are the facts.

The Engine number and the frame number should match the title number.

If they do not match it would not be unusual as all sorts of things could have happened over the years.

While you are not allowed to change numbers, there are ways to change the numbers so they match the title.

Just for perspective your car could be on its second or third restoration. It also could have be built from parts laying around in 1946. The frame looked good from a tudor, the engine ran good from the A400 and body Bob had on the worn out frame looked good.
Then in 1955 it was in an accident and the fenders all got changed from another car. In 1960 the engine got changed....
Well you get the picture. You need to make what you got work.
This is why I described what I did to get a regenerated VIN number which is permanently attached to the firewall - body & frame numbers are no longer an issue. The firewall number trumps all other numbers and future frame or engine numbers. I attempted to show a possible solution to the frame, engine and title problems. Ponder this: what if you replace the frame with one that has a different stamped number? See my posts 9,12,13,16,19. BTW my generated s/n or VIN number was for a collection of parts to build a speedster. My frame to engine s/n verification by a VIN inspector was for a stock Tudor.

John

Last edited by aermotor; 09-19-2021 at 11:57 AM.
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