Any tips on researching my carís particular history? Iíd like to know as much of its heritage as possible. What info is out there using its serial number?
For $20, I'll make something up. $40 and it will include a period celebrity !
John, serial numbers may help if you know where it was first registered and they kept the records.I bought a 24 coupe 40+ years ago that had been abandoned without a title but had at one time was painted blue and had grey primer on it and the top was falling apart. Never knew it's origin but a few years ago I acquired another 1924 model T that had also been blue at one time and also had the top falling apart. There were papers in the car and other evidence of it being from IL so I had a lead. Two years ago I met a lady who was 100 years old and her dad had a company car from Shell Oil Co. in Roxana, IL. His car was a Chevrolet but it was blue. My 24 TUDOR had a fuel Gauge from Shell Oil in Roxana, IL. The vehicle was purchased 75 miles North of Roxana so I am getting close to the history of the car. Keep digging for clues.
Burger, that's pretty funny!
Just trying to help, Duane !
Seriously, though .... it used to be easy to run a car's numbers with
DOL to get a thorough history for as long as the car has been in that
state. When the car jumps around, things get more complicated. But
with all the ID theft problems of the last 10 years, states have shut that
history giveaway down and most that I am aware of delete all records
over 10 years old. Much harder to do these days.
Do Ford Motor Co. records exist that tell what dealers received cars carrying certain serial numbers ?
Sometimes they do. Ford's shipping records end December 31, 1914. If you own a T made after that date the records are gone.
Thanks, Royce, how do I find out where my '13 was sent ?
If you go to the Benson Ford and peruse the Accounts Receivables ledgers there is a 15% chance you might find the shipping record for your car. It is free, but you have to go there in person.
Again, thanks Royce. I will probably never get there, alas. Sounds like a slim chance of finding out something that would be a difficult lead any road. I can imagine why Ford gave up, the bookkeeping would have been staggering !
With all the realities these cars have been through, the likelihood of having the full history of a usual type automobile from the first three decades of the last past century is pretty small, and fairly rare. The odds are much better for custom built cars for which records may have been kept.
In the first place, most states did not keep many records that far back. Many states did not even require registration until after the "model T" era. The problems of the "great depression" soon after the model T era, immediately followed by the demands of WWII, meant that for fifteen long years, years in which cars of the model T's era were at best just "old cars", or at worst, barely just junk, most people had far more important things to worry about than the history of their daily driver.
It took nearly twenty years of the old car hobby before many people really began to care about the history of an individual everyday type car. By then, many of the cars had been bought and sold a few times. Most of the cars I have had over the years, I have asked about its history. Nearly every one of my cars, nothing was known beyond a few owners, all since the 1950s. My '24 coupe had been through at least one estate sale, before the friend I bought it from had it. All he could tell me was that he "had been told it was restored in the early '70s by a fellow that lived just South of San Francisco." And that someone thought that the car "had been from San Francisco".
I sometimes get a little envious of people, on this forum and other places, that know the history of their car back to new, and especially those that have cars from their own families or family friends. But then, I have to remind myself that the Paige my father bought when I was fifteen, we got from the original owner, and I think his name is in the paperwork I have filed downstairs. Besides, I have a lot of other things from my family.
Drive carefully, and enjoy, W2
Thanks to the data plate on the firewall, I've always known what dealer sold my 1939 Packard, and the date. But who bought that car from Earle C. Anthony, and how many owners did it have before I bought it 39 years later? That will forever remain a mystery because California, like most states, doesn't keep records back more than a few years. A prewar car with a known and documented history is a mighty rare critter.
For a small fee the NC DMV would, prior to 2000,provide a registered owner with copies of all
previous titles in NC for a particular vehicle. That ended Jan 1, 2000 when a new privacy protection law started. Now the DMV here is said to be the least "user friendly" in the USA.
Some needs are almost impossible to get met.
Local (county) tax records might be accessible to find the names of previous owners.
Anyone know if tax records would work in whatever county Morristown TN is in? My car came to NC from there.
Well Burger it looks like ure up!!
Morristown,Tn is in Hamblen County.
If you don't know -- Burger is your best opportunity.
If you don't know -- Burger is your best opportunity.
Up here, I did a duckduckgo.com search on one of the previous owners, a name said by the latest owner and dog gone it, I think I have it nailed right down! Just within the last couple days. Now to conjure a letter and send it with a copy of a pic I have from "the envelope" of my '18 Runabout. Thanks heavens for the envelope.
I hope you also get the info you're looking for John. I'm very lucky as I had some license cards in my envelope.
I'm the second owner of my Model A, but the original owner died when I was a year old. So I know who had it and I know where it was from about 1949 or so when Ma Green started renting her "Koffee Kup" from my folks. Also, from about 1954 on, it sat in one place, across the driveway from my house.
I have owned a 28 A special coupe for 45 years. I guess I am the second owner of it as it currently is. I don't know where the body came from. The chassis was originally under a 28 town sedan or so I was told. The engine was one I had waiting for a home.
Sometimes trying to search the history of a car might be fruitless as the car may not have existed in its current form in the distant past.