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Titling old cars

1231 Views 6 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  ccrodshop
Hi all,
I am relatively new to the hotrod building scene. I have restored several musclecars and built one hotrod (a '42 Chevy 2 door sedan).
This winter is my first build on a '29 Ford model A 2 door sedan.
I'm going with a traditional 50's style hotrod theme, chopped, & channeled.
I have a nice shell to start with, but it had no title, which leads me to a couple of questions.
I have located a title from a guy who deals in strictly model A parts.
He is asking $250.00 for a title. Is this a little steep? He told me they are hard to come by (which I can believe). I have no idea what to judge prices on when it comes to these old of cars.
Also, if I should buy the title, is there any problems with transfering it to my body? I know on newer vehicles there are VIN numbers hidden all over.
If I could buy a title and re-title it to my car it would save me much headache to the alternative of applying for one through the DOT.

Thanks for any help!
Cedar Creek Rodshop
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I am not going to go into the legal aspect but just within the last few months a 32 ford title sold on eBay for $1600. Granted more desire for a 32 but I would guess that 29 Fords titles are on the rare side.
I too am not going to go into the legal aspect but Model A's do have a serial number stamped on their subrails (front body crossmember). Here ia a link to a site you may want to go too. You will have to read this page and then use the link to the PDF file for a bit more info. Make sure you read it all.

I think it is obvious that there is very little chance of your title matching this body number but as is stated in the article many of these numbers were lost due to replacement of the crossmember. Some dealerships did restamp the original serial numbers when the crossmember was replaced. There are still replacement crossmembers available from many of the Model A sheetmetal reproduction companies such as Howell's Sheetmetal.

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I got my for $175, for a 28 roadster pickup. That seems to be the going price.

There are a number of threads on this site which address the issue of titles and the Crankshaft Coalition has a wiki devoted to it There is also some good discussion of it over on the H.A.M.B. (once there just enter "titles" or similar search terms to find the discussions).

There are three "legal" ways I can think of to title your rod. One, if you can find an original VIN stamped on your frame you can use that to apply for a lost/replacement title. Second, you can go through your local DMV process for titling a street rod. Or third, you can use on of the "bonded title" services which can be found on the web. Note, however, that bonded titles are not accepted in some states (I don't know about Iowa but the bonding company can tell you immediately if they are acceptable in your state).

You should be aware that using a "dead" title, such as those you by on the internet, is NOT legal and if caught, you can be charged with fraud. That's not to say this option is not used...and used quite a rodders in similar situations to yours. Just be aware that if you want to be on the up and up, it is not the option you want to take.

And regarding your question, you should be able to find a '29 tudor title (sold for "collectors" purpose only) in the neighborhood of $150-$175. While it is true that '32 titles are becoming difficult to find, the years prior and after '32 are still pretty widely available. There are guys on the HAMB (see link above) that can direct you to some additional sources.
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Cboy stated it very well.

You don't even want to know my opinion on trying to push a fraudulent title past the DMV. Not only is it STUPID if caught you could spend a significant amount of time in jail, pay a hefty fine or both. State governments take a dim view of fraud an in most states it's considered a felony.

From what I can see there are only two basic reasons why someone would try to push a fake title past the DMV. One is if they have no integrity, second is they are just too lazy or stupid to take the time to fill out the proper paperwork. Either way it says a lot about an individual who would attempt to illegally title a vehicle, doesn't it.

Every state has their own procedures for titling home built cars and Iowa is no different. Try checking out your Iowa's DMV web site: HERE IS THE BONDED TITLE PAGE All the answers are right there to title your car legally.
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titling old cars

I appreciate the input from everyone (some of you took this to heart). All of the responses were helpful
I was aware of the legal ramifications of screwing with car titles. But, I wasn't sure about the older vehicles. From my conversations with guys at shows and swaps it sounded common place to buy a title and transfer it to cars in the 20's and older as long as it was the same make and model.
Although, not many of them divulged much more information as to how it was done. It left me wondering if in these very early years of cars there was a stipulation to the rules. Now I know.

Thanks again
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