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Old 05-26-2019, 07:31 PM   #1
Wello
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Default Odd VIN

A buddy is buying a 28 Coupe from a dealer here in California. He discovered his dealer paperwork does not match the car engine number. He has not seen the title yet. There is no evidence of a state issued VIN. The VIN is SCDHPTxxxxxx (xxxxxx are numbers). Does anyone recognize the prefix letters in this VIN? This really needs to be straightened out before finalizing the deal.

Thanks,

Dan
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Last edited by Wello; 05-26-2019 at 07:33 PM. Reason: Posted twice, big thumbs.
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Old 05-26-2019, 08:41 PM   #2
Joe K
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Default Re: Odd VIN

Numbers were FREQUENTLY ground off and re-stamped - this looks like one of these.

Of course the frame number SHOULD be the same as the engine number - but given the oddity of this one, agreement is unlikely.

As to straightening it out - why? The engine number is most visible (you DON'T want to lift the body and read a potentially unreadable frame number) and engine number is USUALLY taken as THE NUMBER - whatever it may be. You may need to apply separately for a title showing this number - but like me perhaps they'll send out a pretty blue uniformed officer to read and verify your unusual number - and after that it won't matter?

I'm not that familiar with California Title Law - if its like California Voting Qualification it's probably pretty loose?

Sorry. Funny world.

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Old 05-26-2019, 08:55 PM   #3
Charlie Stephens
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Default Re: Odd VIN

If the title matches the number on the engine the problem goes away. If the title doesn't match the engine then you have a worthless document and a vehicle without a title. You might want to check what the California DMV thinks of a dealer selling a vehicle without a valid title. It might be good to have the answer in your hip pocket. If there is a problem it is the dealers responsibility to straighten it out before the car is transferred.

California goes by the frame number. If everything was clean (matched) California would probably take the engine number as proof of ownership and then assign their own number which they would apply to the door jam by riveting on a tag (look for empty rivet holes on the door jam). They also place this same number a couple of other places on the vehicle. If everything wasn't clean they would probably make you lift the body to see the number on the frame. This is based on what they used to do in California and may have changed.

Once you see the title and there is still a problem you might want to also post on HAMB.

By the way, do you know the number that is stamped into the engine and does it look original (photo time)?

Charlie Stephens

Last edited by Charlie Stephens; 05-26-2019 at 10:08 PM.
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Old 05-26-2019, 09:01 PM   #4
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Default Re: Odd VIN

If the title number does not match a readily identifiable number on the car it is best to pass. If your buddy is hard over he should check with DMV on the title rules before the purchase. The non-standard VIN number already suggests that the engine is not original nor did an engine rebuilder stamp the original number on the replacement engine. Caution is clearly warranted.
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Old 05-26-2019, 09:21 PM   #5
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Default Re: Odd VIN

I would want this straightened out before I completed the sale.


California DMV wants the VIN inspected if the car has an out of state title.


Within the state, there is only a transfer of title and no inspection.


I have been told that OKLAHOMA wants to see a frame number and I think this is also true for other states.


Obviously, the number you are dealing with is not a Ford issued VIN.


If it is an up to date California title, no inspection is required to transfer within California however, I would want to see the frame number and want the paperwork to reflect that number because there may be a problem if the car is later sold out of state and I would not want to have to deal with that.


It is the sellers responsibility to get the paperwork in order.


My opinion,


Chris W.
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Old 05-26-2019, 10:06 PM   #6
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Default Re: Odd VIN

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Originally Posted by CWPASADENA View Post
I would want this straightened out before I completed the sale.


California DMV wants the VIN inspected if the car has an out of state title.


Within the state, there is only a transfer of title and no inspection.


I have been told that OKLAHOMA wants to see a frame number and I think this is also true for other states.


Obviously, the number you are dealing with is not a Ford issued VIN.


If it is an up to date California title, no inspection is required to transfer within California however, I would want to see the frame number and want the paperwork to reflect that number because there may be a problem if the car is later sold out of state and I would not want to have to deal with that.


It is the sellers responsibility to get the paperwork in order.


My opinion,


Chris W.
The next problem you would have with not being able to tie the title/registration to a number on the car would be if you were in an accident. The police might impound the car since you couldn't show it was yours. Then the insurance company would deny your claim since you couldn't prove the mangled wreck was the one they insured.

Charlie Stephens
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Old 05-26-2019, 10:23 PM   #7
Charlie Stephens
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Default Re: Odd VIN

From our friends at GOOGLE, "South Carolina Department of Highways and Public Transportation (SCDHPT)". I never would have guessed it.

You might call them and ask where they attach the VIN number to a vehicle when they assign one.

You also might ask (but will probably not get an answer) if that number was assigned to a 1928 Coupe.

Charlie Stephens

Last edited by Charlie Stephens; 05-26-2019 at 10:41 PM.
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Old 05-27-2019, 02:16 AM   #8
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Default Re: Odd VIN

Your title system for cars mystifies me. It seems each state is different. I thought it was the "United" States of America. Why doesn't the Federal Government make things consistent? It is here right across the country so we don;t have any such problems.
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Old 05-27-2019, 08:43 AM   #9
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Default Re: Odd VIN

Synchro, you just don't understand Americans. Neither do I, and I've lived here all my life.
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Old 05-27-2019, 08:54 AM   #10
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Default Re: Odd VIN

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Your title system for cars mystifies me. It seems each state is different. I thought it was the "United" States of America. Why doesn't the Federal Government make things consistent? It is here right across the country so we don;t have any such problems.

States Rights.


The feds are supposed to only get involved in certain things like defense and interstate trade (but they are way too involved in the interworking's of each state).

Individual states are supposed to be able to control commerce within their state.

It is better today but years ago, how states issued titles was not uniform at all. Some determined the year of the car as the year it was first sold, some the year it was manufactured and others the model year.

Most states issued a title but a few went by Bill of Sale and did not use titles.

Some states were satisfied with the engine number while most wanted to see the frame number.

At least in 1932, Ford finally put the frame number where it can be seen without lifting the body.

What a mess.

Chris W.

Last edited by CWPASADENA; 05-27-2019 at 08:55 AM. Reason: TYPO
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Old 05-27-2019, 09:13 AM   #11
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Default Re: Odd VIN

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Originally Posted by Charlie Stephens View Post
...Then the insurance company would deny your claim since you couldn't prove the mangled wreck was the one they insured.

Charlie Stephens
You may not be able to get insurance in the first place without proper paperwork..
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Old 05-27-2019, 10:06 AM   #12
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Default Re: Odd VIN

California DMV is actually getting better, or, better at publishing the rules before playing.



Fortunately there are some State Certified Verifiers, not state employees that understand the VIN identification archeology and old cars.



Trust me, it is the best money spent paying for this service. In most cases, they will do the inspection on your property, this is especially helpful if the vehicle is not currently running or if disassembly is required.


And yes, agree, must have title and registration before on road insurance is attained.
More than likely Collector insurance will be the only policy available.


John
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Old 05-27-2019, 10:12 AM   #13
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Default Re: Odd VIN

Hey All,

When I bought my early 31 (March) Tudor it came with a notebook with ton's of pictures of the body rebuild and paperwork up the wazzo. One set of paper was very helpful to me (eventually) in getting my car registered in California.
The car had a Nevada Old Timer plate registered in Nevada 9 years prior and nothing since. The CHP wanted to see the VIN so a hunting I went. I moved the body over and found nothing and my heart was sinking fast. The first thing that went through my mind was, Crap, did I just buy a Wonky car?

Anyhow when looking more thoroughly through the paperwork, I found this little gem. It showed me all the places to look for the Model A, particularly for my year bracket of 30-31. I don't have all the pages, but if one wanted to track this down, there might be other places for 28-29.

Hope this help's someone other than myself.

Regards
Bill





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Old 05-27-2019, 01:21 PM   #14
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Default Re: Odd VIN

In this case, it seems to me that it is the dealer's responsibility to straighten out the title.

That is one of the reasons I wanted to buy a car with a clear California title and a current California Registration. I had the owner fill out the transfer of ownership on the back of the Title (Pink Siip) and took it to DMV.

Even with that, the clerk said I need to fill out another form and get the Previous Owner (PO) to sign it. Fortunately, the PO only lived 60 miles away. I got it signed and took it back. The second clerk at DMV said it was the wrong form and I needed to fill out another form and also get it signed by the PO. I got the Supervisor involved and asked if the could just staple the two forms together. Luckily he agreed.

The DMV had enough problems getting vehicles registered and Driver's Licenses issued. The State Legislature then required them to issue ID Cards to non-drivers so they can prove their identity for financial transactions and Voter Registration. Then they required them to issue ID cards for proof of Citizenship at Airports. It seems to me that the Registrar of Voters in each County is in a better position to issue ID cards to vote and for financial transactions.

David Serrano
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Old 05-27-2019, 02:09 PM   #15
1931 flamingo
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Default Re: Odd VIN

60 miles away ! I would have had someone in the front seat with a pen...............
Paul in CT


My A (under deposit) is going to Italy in a few weeks, CT does NOT issue a title for a 20-25 yr old car. Buyer is happy with Bill of Sale and copy of my present reg and that it matches the engine #. FWIW
Paul in CT
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Old 05-27-2019, 04:05 PM   #16
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Default Re: Odd VIN

I agree with your first line Paul!


On your second paragraph, shippers can have a heck of a time exporting a car wo a title and only a registration. I have shipped a few cars overseas and customs can be a headache to the buyer.
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Old 05-28-2019, 09:20 AM   #17
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Default Re: Odd VIN

Quote:
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I agree with your first line Paul!

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Quote:
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60 miles away ! I would have had someone in the front seat with a pen...............
Paul in CT
I might agree with you guys but that trip from my house to Lake Forest requires traveling on Highway 91 which is congested 24/7, a real bumper-to-bumper nightmare!

Even with a Transponder for the Toll Road and my wife in the car for the carpool lane it still an hour or more.

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