Not looking for specifics, as it is different in every State, I know. But if anyone has had an experience like my concern, it would be appreciated to pass on how it was resolved. In Georgia, no title, so I'm not concerned in that aspect.
But, I purchased a speedster and have a bill of sale indicating it was a 1926. The engine clock number is the only number on the vehicle and is for a 11/4/25 casting date which would be consistant for a 26 model year. However, the frame was a 1915 frame and I put all the metal work back as a 1915 with a express type wooden body. So, again, the only number I have on my vehicle is the 26 engine number and a bill of sale for a 26 speedster, which no longer exists.
The police will come out to the house and complete a form with the engine number on it and will put down year and body style for whatever I tell them it is. And, the insurance will be for whatever vehicle I tell them it is and the year. But, I envision massive trouble trying to go to the DMV and registering a vehicle as a 1915 Express when the Bill of Sale is for a 1926 Speedster. And, what would be the issue if the motor blows in a year or two and I replce it with another block from another year. Since the engine number assumes the role of a VIN, everything changes.
Has anyone had a dealing with the engine number being used as the VIN and it changes during ownership or during registration?
I have a blacnk data plate and can stamp whaever date and numbers into I want and mount it on the dash, but my primary concern is with the Bill of Sale. The previous owner is a national vendor and will not change the BOS to meet my needs.
Comments? Suggestions? Prayers?
Why must it say 1915 express on the title?
It's always a good rule of thumb to give the bureaucrats in power what they want - and no more than that, without confusing them too much. It's likely that the police don't know anything about what different years of Model T's looks like, so if you tell them this is the 1926 Speedster you've rebuilt from the project you bought from the vendor, then it's likely they'll accept. Then as soon it's street legal, you can tell others that are more interested than the police or DMV whatever you like about the year and model
The easiest thing to do is to register it as it is. Police and DMV people won't know what it is anyway unless they are collectors of old cars.
I have a 26 Touring and California registration says it is 4 door. I don't think they even know what a touring is, but it has 4 doors and the numbers match.
Another thing that you might do, if available in your area, is go to a service which registers cars (not the Dept. of Motor Vehicles) and have them verify the engine number and tell them what year and body style you would like to call it. Very many Model T's on the road have different year blocks in them and many use the number stamped on the block for the vin number even though it is a different year engine.
Whatever you do, don't volunteer any information. Just answer the questions they ask and I think you will be fine.
Many years ago I had a Model A fordor sedan and I took off the body and installed a Phaeton body. I got the DMV to change the body type to Phaeton. They didn't give me any problems.
I'm in the rowboat business. Don't rock the boat.
Roger has it right don't volunteer any info that you don't have to. It is easier on 26 / 27 because you can point them to the number stamped on the frame then the motor number thing is moot. Unless you can obtain a 1915 block with a bill of sale..... but that gets complicated even in Ga.
OK, this all makes perfect sense. So what I'm hearing is that the hobby excepts the sale and transfer of Model T's that may or may not have the accurate title or registration for the vehicle that is being represented. Which if fine, I'm not passing judgement, just making an observation.
So if I purchase a 1915 Roadster off eBay, it may or may not come with a title or bill of sale for a 1915 Roadster. It may come with a bill of sale or registration or title for the year of the motor that is in it and no one knows or cares.
I am waiting for the State DMV to call me back, I am 21 in the que, but it looks like I will probably not even talk to them and just plod along and register this as a 1926 Speedster and represent it to others as a 1915 Express, and who cares. Maybe I'll get a break on the insurance as it is 11 years newer!
Prayers would be needed for sure if you lived in NC.
Robert, is it true that you are building a replica of this company'[s first vehicle? if so, tell the authorities???
The reason I used a bonded title service is to avoid the hassle of what about this and what about that.
With old cars that have been altered in some way whether its a replacement engine with a different no. or using the term 2 dr. instead of 4 dr, no title or whatever will drive you crazy and the DMV person will add to the confusion.
I avoided all this with my 1919 Roadster and 21 Touring by using a Bonded title service.
Robert - I was not writing "in the name of the hobby", I was giving practical advice from what you have and what you have done with it. What's in the highest regard in the hobby is of course a correct restoration with correct year parts and a correct title, but given what you started with and have done with it, it may not be practical to get there with your project. Then you'll probably have best chances for the minimum troubles and maximum fun by getting it registered as what you have the bill of sale for.
The police's mission is to make sure you haven't stolen the car of parts thereof, and also perhaps make sure you're not trying to register a modern hot rod as something old just to get economical benefits old cars have. Since your chassis is obviously old, then there won't be any problem with the hot rod part, but don't tell them you've put it together from parts - then they might want to have bills of sale from all major parts, and whoever has kept - or even got bills of sale for all swap meet finds?
And the DMV doesn't have any boxes with the model name "Express" or "speedster", so you'll have to apply for what's closest among their choices. Just make it clear it's a Ford somewhere between 1909-27, so they don't try to impose modern car rules on it.
When someone that isn't really into old cars asks what year my primitive pickup is, then I just say "1926", since that's what it's registered as - and when someone more interested is asking, then I take the time explain it's a mix of parts and most of them were from 1925-27, so it's reasonable to call it a '26 as an average
Robert, First you are assuming they have a clue where the engine number is, and secondly where to find out what year it was made. If your bill of sale says 1926, then that's what it is. My experience with DMV here in WI is that most antique cars don't fit their definition of a vehicle anyways They don't have a clue what the difference is between a Ford Model T and Stanley steam car unless you tell them. Plus, they couldn't tell the differences between a 1915 engine and a 1925 engine if their jobs depended upon it. Just go with 1926 and don't sweat it. What is more important is that you're happy driving it.
So, you mean I shouldn't mention the machine gun?
As Roger says, don't volunteer any information about what you've done to the car. All you know is that it's a 1926 Model T Ford. Beyond that, you're Sergeant Schultz.
My two cents - register the car for the year that coincides with the engine number. If somebody tells you that your car doesn't look like a year xxxx, tell them that it did at one time, but you have changed it to match your personal vision.
If the current engine grenades at some point, store the block so that you'll have it to point to in case anyone gives you grief down the road when the number on the replacement engine doesn't match the title and registration (see officer, here is the original engine, but it grenaded and I had to install a replacement).
Yeah, I'd stay away from a discussion about he machine gun.
The above advice is good. If the engine number and paperwork say it's a 1926, then it is. Leave well enough alone. Also,, when I registered my TT after it had been "off the books" for about 60 years I brought my copy of Bruce McCalley's book, Model T Ford. My truck is an '18 but has a '23 engine. They were giving me crap about what year it is, so I showed them the page with my engine number, proving its a '23. They were duly impressed, made a copy of the page, highlighted the entry and register my truck. I don't care what year they think it is.
Robert, Before the police come to your place to due the vehicle inspection of your 26 Model T you should remove the machine gun.
If they ask what the mount in the back is for say its for a look out scope, oh, and loose the Enfield for the inspection.
At least that is what I would have to due in crazy California even for fake props. Your T will be the hit of the next veterans day parade.
Yes, when I had the police come to the house to verify the 42 GPW VIN, I had a .50 cal mounted on the jeep. I asked the officer if I was going to have issues in the future and he suggested that I dismount the gun until my event or display and then mount the gun. If he gets called, he has to stop me, and everyone has a cell phone with camera.
So I mount the replica guns for photos and displays and events and dismount them for travel. Every ride is a parade and every stop is a car show as it is, don't need every Vietnam veteran in the city teling me how he fired one of these during basic training, even though the guns were out of existence for 50 years prior to his service.
I listen respectfully. They've earned it.
Robert, If that is a 1917 water cooled Browning, I had an opportunity to fire one of them in 1967 in Vietnam. Many of them were given to the south Vietnam army in the early sixties along with many Thompson light machine guns. I was north near the DMZ ,and during a lull in the action I traded my GI flashlight and 2 pocket knives to a very polite montagnard tribesman helping the green berets for a chance to shoot both the 50 cal and a 45cal Thompson. I have always been a gun nut and it was cool. Also the air cooled version known as the M2 is still in limited use in the military. Harv.
Another thing to watch out for is some places register and tax trucks differently, regardless of capacity or non-commercial ownership. As such, I made sure to have my cut-off touring registered as a convertible and if I had a proper roadster pickup I would lean more towards calling it a roadster than a pickup, at least at the licensing office.
Getting in trouble with guns mounted reminded me of when we were moving the theatre organ from Sacramento to Oroville. We had a number of metal flute pipes that didn't fit in the enclosed truck, so one member stacked them in the back of his pickup with a camper shell. Now they were longer than the pickup, so he had these two rolls of round metal tubes with pointed ends sticking out the back of his truck. To the average "Joe" on the street, it looked much like a small rocket launcher. He said he had more people looking and pointing at him on the trip home. Thought for sure he'd get pulled over, but nothing happened.
Personally I would mount the gun and drive around. Its not against the law. People need to get over freeking out over seeing a gun. I know we are taught now that they are horrible,but they really arent. Besides most cops like to look at guns. No need to take the focal point from a great vehicle. The only thing I would worry about is thieves. We had a WWI machine gun stolen from a public display that had been there since the 50's. It was disabled! They cought the people responsible. Ever try to sell a machine gun???
Lock and load drive safe and often.
Massachusetts has my '27 touring car as a sedan with an automatic transmission. That is definitely not what I told them.
It is possible to get a federal permit for a machine gun on an appropriate vehicle. There is a guy from Holliston, MA who has an operable WW2 tank with it's original machine gun. He showed me the permit for the gun. There is also at least one privately owned P-51 Mustang that has six (count 'em) OPERABLE Brownings that are legally permitted. The restriction is that they may not be discharged in flight. If you pursue something in a reasonable way, the government is not always unreasonable.
Yesterday I went to the CHP and and finally got a vin number. My car has NO engine number so they riveted a number plate to the frame. I'm calling the car a 1924 so I will have a 23, 24, and a 25. I think the frame is a 26 so there may be a number on it somewhere, but there's no way to see that number unless I dismantle the car. Now I have a 3rd appointment (on the 27th) with DMV to hopefully get it registered.
I'm familiar with the "go along/get along" policy when it comes to State and Federal bureaucrats. When the police officer came to house to verify the VIN on my 42 GPW, we had the paperwork already filled out and the insurance policy in place. He looked at the frame stamping and wrote down 6PW instead of GPW and we did not notice it until we got to the tag office. Our options were to get the police out againa dn do a whole new form, or call the insurance agent and have them change their paperwork and fax over a rider. 10 minutes later we walked out with registration and plates for our 1942 Ford 6PW .
Oh, well . . . no one knows but us.