How Do You Get a Title For a Block With NO Serial Number?

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Model T Ford Forum: Forum 2016: How Do You Get a Title For a Block With NO Serial Number?
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Rick J. Gunter -- Sparta, Missouri, USA on Thursday, March 10, 2016 - 09:19 am:

I have seen early Model T blocks offered for sale on eBay (and elsewhere) that have NO serial number. Usually the number has been ground off, or it has been messed up with a chisel or a center-punch. There are also some NOS blocks out there that have never had a number. My question is: How can someone get a title for one of these? I suppose you could simply choose any number you want it to be. But there are problems with that.

In my state, Missouri, you can go to the license bureau and have them look up a serial number. They can tell you if that number is titled, or not. The problem is that they have NO means of searching serial numbers nationwide. There could possibly be a Model T Ford somewhere, in another state or country, with that number.

As far as I know, there is NO complete database or registry of existing Model T serial numbers. Has anyone on this forum ever titled a car with such a block? How did you choose your serial number? I am thinking that the answer is simply that one should just try to get a clear title and not worry if another car has the same serial number, somewhere.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By G.R.Cheshire on Thursday, March 10, 2016 - 09:33 am:

If it were 26 or 27 just copy the number off your frame, if your car has a body number you may be able to find out which motor went into it, but there are always exceptions... Sometimes (especially with the DMV) it is easier to play dumb:-)


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Robert Brough on Thursday, March 10, 2016 - 09:51 am:

You didn't hear this from me. In my State, you need a police officer to complete a form verifying a number, ie., VIN or serial number. When they show up, they ask you to pint them to the number and they sign the form. They cannot be an expert in every vehicle type and identification.
We have had members with military vehicles obtain a blank data plate, stamp it with whatever dates and numbers they want and screw it to the vehicle. The officer copies the data from the plate and completes the form.

I am restocreating a WWI Light Patrol Vehicle on a 1915 frame, fenders, hood, brass radiator and wooden express body. For all outward appearances, it will be a 1915 but with a 26/27 engine in it and that is the only part that has a number on it and it identifies it as a Nov 25 casting date or a 26 Model T.

I may just create a data plate for this vehicle, stamp in the casting number but enter my own DOD dates and let the officer complete his form and register my T as a 1915. In GA, however, there is no title for a vehicle this old, so this is for insurance, registration and license plates only.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Ronald L Babb - Tacoma, WA on Thursday, March 10, 2016 - 10:07 am:

As Robert says, that's how my T is titled. The VIN is stamped on a VIN plate and screwed to the fire wall. I am going to remove the screws and replace them with rivets to have it be more permanent. The number itself is a standard block number that is one digit short. The state and the police have no problems with it.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By john kuehn on Thursday, March 10, 2016 - 10:17 am:

There are enough junk blocks around that you could use the number off of for a unnumbered block. Don't know about the open valve though.
There might be enough T folks in your area that has a cracked block in there parts pile or stash.

IF you aquire a block use that number for yours. Simply grind off the number of the old block and use it on yours.
I don't know about your state but in Texas the DMV has to do a search to see if the car your trying to get a replacement title for has been stolen or if there is any other record. If they don't find one your ok. In Texas after 25 years all car records are deleted. That was the info I was given anyway.
All the DMV is interested in is to see if your car was stolen and not the 'exact' year your car is. In the case of a Model T that's all they are interested in. The detailed records are long gone.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By john kuehn on Thursday, March 10, 2016 - 10:33 am:

As far as getting a title, once you have a serial number for your car you have to prove you bought it or have some type of bill of sale.
To save yourself a lot of hassle and time and headaches use a old or classic car bonded title service.
Each state may have a different way to go about getting a title so use one in your state that knows their laws.
It may cost anywhere from 100 to 300 dollars depending on your situation.

They know all the correct paperwork and procedures you will need to do.

If you go through your local DMV be prepared for a lot of questions and puzzled looks. You may be lucky and get somebody that knows exactly what to do BUT don't bet on it. Good luck!


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Kurt Baltrusch on Thursday, March 10, 2016 - 11:05 am:

Every state is different and I suspect that some are easier than others. Montana does not use engine numbers and when you apply for a title you have to buy a bond, have the car inspected by a policeman, and then they issue a stick-on ID number to be attached to the left front door sill ( good luck on a pre-26 open car!). Sometimes they will accept the frame number on later cars (hence, some earlier cars show up with frame numbers), and while I have had very good luck with our DMV, it depends all on the clerk.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Derek Kiefer - Mantorville, MN on Thursday, March 10, 2016 - 11:29 am:

Buy a title, stamp the numbers, don't tell anybody. :-)


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Matthew Atchinson on Thursday, March 10, 2016 - 03:03 pm:

Agreed with above. My grandfather actually has an original set of Ford factory stamping bits in a little wood box (absolutely no idea how or where he got them). They used to use them all the time when someone's motor needed "correcting." I'd suggest stamping the car yourself and registering it.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Robert Brough on Thursday, March 10, 2016 - 08:29 pm:

As has been stated, every state has it's own rules and regulations. In GA, there is no title for this old vehicle, couldn't get one if you wanted to, so it's just what you need to do to get insurance and registration and license plates.

In some states in the northeast, they make you put seat belts and turn signals on cars that never had them and then take them off the day after you get your paperwork.

What a racket . . . What's next? Emissions?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By John C Codman on Thursday, March 10, 2016 - 10:45 pm:

I agree with John Kuehn. I have a friend that built a Chevy-poweret T-bucket. It is titled as a 1923 Ford Model T - tube frame, fiberglass body, GM driveline and all. The only 1923 T parts in it are the steering wheel and the carriage lamps - and the lamps are modified. The Massachusetts title is kosher and approved by the registry of motor vehicles.


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