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Old 09-09-2020, 08:11 AM   #1
BRENT in 10-uh-C
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Default Title goes with Frame or Engine?

I fielded an interesting question on a topic that has been around for years but maybe modern laws change the obvious answer.

Scenario;

An incomplete Model-A chassis is being dismantled by a hobbyist. One buyer buys the engine and transmission, ...and a different buyer purchases the chassis and what is left of the body. Both buyers want the title. Which buyer does the title legally go to?
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Old 09-09-2020, 08:24 AM   #2
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Default Re: Title goes with Frame or Engine?

Quote:
Originally Posted by BRENT in 10-uh-C View Post
I fielded an interesting question on a topic that has been around for years but maybe modern laws change the obvious answer.

Scenario;

An incomplete Model-A chassis is being dismantled by a hobbyist. One buyer buys the engine and transmission, ...and a different buyer purchases the chassis and what is left of the body. Both buyers want the title. Which buyer does the title legally go to?
Both buyers bought a pile of parts which I don't believe either pile will have a title, at the end of the day piles of parts aren't titled. MHO

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Old 09-09-2020, 08:27 AM   #3
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Default Re: Title goes with Frame or Engine?

I would think that because the engines are very interchangeable that the title would logically attach to the chassis / body.
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Old 09-09-2020, 08:29 AM   #4
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Default Re: Title goes with Frame or Engine?

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I would think that because the engines are very interchangeable that the title would logically attach to the chassis / body.
But a frame is replaceable, so now where is the title?

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Old 09-09-2020, 08:31 AM   #5
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Default Re: Title goes with Frame or Engine?

Interesting hypothetical question.

I think legally it could go to either, but I think an argument could be made that it goes with the chassis. The chassis mark would correspond to the dash VIN on modern cars. It was easier to read the SN on the engine than the frame. The counter argument could be that it is the motor because in Model T days, the number was on the motor only and later put on the frame.

Does the title mention body style? If it does, then the frame/body is the answer, but I think this is an unanswerable question.
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Old 09-09-2020, 08:34 AM   #6
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Default Re: Title goes with Frame or Engine?

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Possibly sell title to higher bidder, but rightfully should be retired. As aermotor says, they're both parts, which are untitled.
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Old 09-09-2020, 08:41 AM   #7
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Default Re: Title goes with Frame or Engine?

What if you had your old original engine replaced with a newly rebuilt one. The old original block had been done a couple of times and the newly rebuilt one was in much better overall condition.

Would you give your cars title to the person who bought your old engine or the engine rebuilder who wanted the core?

Am I missing something here?

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Old 09-09-2020, 08:43 AM   #8
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Default Re: Title goes with Frame or Engine?

In Tennessee (Brent and I), the title goes with the engine. If you buy a basket case you can assemble the car and go get a title with the original title. However, you can change engine numbers with a bill of sale with the replacement engine.
It gets more complicated if you have NO title. With that you have to give an affidavit of construction and prove you paid sales tax where applicable on the items for reconstruction. If you have a title, a county will still charge sales tax on the FMV unless you can prove exempt(very few). the If you can’t prove such, they will impute sales tax and charge you!!!
However, the THP has to inspect the build for highway worthiness!
They put a plate on the firewall
Not easy. In TN best to go to smaller county if possible (supposed to be where your domiciled) as the larger ones like to make problems for you it seems

Badpuppy....in TN it’s illegal to sell a title
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Old 09-09-2020, 08:53 AM   #9
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Default Re: Title goes with Frame or Engine?

You can have VIN numbers assigned here in the peoples republic.just put your pile together and some bureaucrat will bless it with legality.
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Old 09-09-2020, 08:56 AM   #10
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Default Re: Title goes with Frame or Engine?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Oldbluoval View Post
Badpuppy....in TN it’s illegal to sell a title
I suspect it is most places. So - rightfully the title should be retired. It shouldn't go with either bag of parts.
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Old 09-09-2020, 08:56 AM   #11
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Default Re: Title goes with Frame or Engine?

Quote:
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Possibly sell title to higher bidder, but rightfully should be retired. As aermotor says, they're both parts, which are untitled.
Legally, the title (-and the number listed) is the documentation that proves rightful ownership of one of those two items. Each state typically recognizes an assembled group of parts as a manufactured vehicle when it displays a number that the Department of Transportation has authorized them to use.
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Old 09-09-2020, 09:08 AM   #12
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Default Re: Title goes with Frame or Engine?

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I suspect it is most places. So - rightfully the title should be retired.
Interesting perspective. The name on the title shows who is the legal owner of item possessing that VIN. No reason to 'retire' a legal document since the item it is representing is still a tangible item.
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Old 09-09-2020, 09:09 AM   #13
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Default Re: Title goes with Frame or Engine?

Interesting question. It was fear of mine with my '31 fordor. I knew the motor had been changed and was afraid that, when I went to register it that somebody may be using the motor/reg already. Don't know what became of the original motor and the car hadn't been registered in many years. Turned out to be no problem but still. On another, only vaguely related, I had bought an '04 short box quad cab 3500 Dodge, cummins that the body was smashed but not reported to insurance so not written off. Then bought an '04 Dodge 1500 quad cab short box that had the motor blown and put the 1500 body on the 3500 chassis. It had to be registered as the 2004 1500 but changed the fuel to diesel. So now i have a Dodge 1500 with diesel, 6spd 4X4 that started life as a gas, auto, 2WD. I stamped the vin from the 3500 on a piece of aluminum and riveted it to the rad support so I have it for ordering parts for the lower parts of the truck. Bottom line, VIN stays with the body with newer vehicles. Of course, there is no vin on the body of Model A's so........
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Old 09-09-2020, 09:15 AM   #14
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Default Re: Title goes with Frame or Engine?

Bought my first Model A in 1983. Since I was doing a Rootlieb Speedster, I bought a frame and running gear. The owner kept the CA pink slip and stamped a phony chassis number on my frame, as I did a bonded title in CO. However, he rebuilt the engine and returned it to me with the number ground off. I reported him to the DMV and he ended up with a hefty fine. Boyd Coddington was building six figure hot rods with Model A paperwork to avoid sales tax.


Most if not all states have some sort of bonded title procedures to register an A built out of parts. My hot rod A has a bonded title and it was probably easier to get than trying to find an original title from a previous owner. Sometimes, Model A owners over think things.


PS....most state DMV offices are on to the Broadway Title scam. Don't waste your money buying a title.
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Old 09-09-2020, 09:21 AM   #15
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Default Re: Title goes with Frame or Engine?

Quote:
Originally Posted by denis4x4 View Post
Bought my first Model A in 1983. Since I was doing a Rootlieb Speedster, I bought a frame and running gear. The owner kept the CA pink slip and stamped a phony chassis number on my frame, as I did a bonded title in CO. However, he rebuilt the engine and returned it to me with the number ground off. I reported him to the DMV and he ended up with a hefty fine. Boyd Coddington was building six figure hot rods with Model A paperwork to avoid sales tax.


Most if not all states have some sort of bonded title procedures to register an A built out of parts. My hot rod A has a bonded title and it was probably easier to get than trying to find an original title from a previous owner. Sometimes, Model A owners over think things.


PS....most state DMV offices are on to the Broadway Title scam. Don't waste your money buying a title.
We're getting off of topic here. Denis, please give me your opinion of the original question.
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Old 09-09-2020, 09:43 AM   #16
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Default Re: Title goes with Frame or Engine?

Title should go with the chassis/body remnants.

Think of it this way: your punk neighbor swaps out the mill in his '64 Impala for one of those initial motors, and you bought the 327. Would you expect him to sign the title for the Chevy over to you?
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Old 09-09-2020, 09:50 AM   #17
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Default Re: Title goes with Frame or Engine?

In California, a VIN verification (CHP) only applies to the chassis number. Therefore, I'd say the title belongs to the chassis (at least in CA). Engine numbers are inconsequential unless we're talking smog laws, etc.

Theoretically speaking, a Model A with no paperwork would go to the CHP for a VIN assignment, which would be applied to the body via special tag (and possible stamped in the chassis as well).

Have a friend who bought a pickup from out of state. Went to the CHP for VIN verification to get CA paperwork. Frame number didn't match the title, but it did match the tag on the door frame. "No dice", says the CHP. Turns out the truck that the chassis belonged to was reported stolen out of state many years ago. After a few stressful weeks, the CHP finally released the truck with a new VIN number and paperwork. They couldn't care less that the engine was a new crate engine from GM, it was all about the frame number.
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Old 09-09-2020, 09:57 AM   #18
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Default Re: Title goes with Frame or Engine?

title goes with chassis- end of story.
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Old 09-09-2020, 10:07 AM   #19
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Default Re: Title goes with Frame or Engine?

Some very interesting comments & opinions. Ironically the correct answer is listed in the Ford Model-A Instruction Book. The legal keyword is 'grandfathering' in determining the correct answer.
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Old 09-09-2020, 10:07 AM   #20
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Default Re: Title goes with Frame or Engine?

Why would you report someone and mention that a 'hefty fine' was paid?
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Old 09-09-2020, 10:37 AM   #21
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Default Re: Title goes with Frame or Engine?

Seems to me that the title should stay with the chassis/body. Otherwise every time an engine is swapped out you would need to retitle the vehicle.
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Old 09-09-2020, 10:39 AM   #22
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Default Re: Title goes with Frame or Engine?

This discussion could go on forever. Hopefully the two folks involved will come to an amicable agreement. This should serve as a reminder for others not to blunder into a similar fiasco. Rules need to be established up front. One would think this situation is a rare occurrence but then maybe it isn't.
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Old 09-09-2020, 11:09 AM   #23
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Default Re: Title goes with Frame or Engine?

sell the title to the highest bidder.............
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Old 09-09-2020, 11:11 AM   #24
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Default Re: Title goes with Frame or Engine?

Why would you report someone and mention that a 'hefty fine' was paid?

agreed. it takes all kinds..........
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Old 09-09-2020, 11:22 AM   #25
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Default Re: Title goes with Frame or Engine?

Quote:
Originally Posted by goodcar View Post
This discussion could go on forever. Hopefully the two folks involved will come to an amicable agreement. This should serve as a reminder for others not to blunder into a similar fiasco. Rules need to be established up front. One would think this situation is a rare occurrence but then maybe it isn't.

Actually, the rules have not really changed. It's just that many people are unaware of the laws. Just like what many people posted above, what seems logical is not always lawful.

When the Model-A was being produced, Ford stated the engine number was to be considered the automobile's serial number. This is plainly printed in the Model-A instruction booklet. When a new vehicle was sold & registered, the 'DMV' did not lift the body for verification. It used the number that was listed where the manufacturer stated it was located. Later in the early 1950s, the US government mandated that all auto manufacturers come up with a uniform location and numbering system. Prior to that time, it was the manufacturer's discretion where the serial number was to be affixed.

The key to this entire answer is stated in the Instruction Booklet under Specifications & License Data. This Ford-authorized booklet states, -"The engine number is also the serial number of the car." Therefore the vehicle's title number must match the engine number, ...and the engine and the vehicle title are to remain together.

As for DMV making hobbyists lifting a body for VIN verification, ...again, the law for a vehicle owner to obtain a valid vehicle title was to use the engine number. THAT was the manufacturer's location for the VIN (-not the frame). Even though the laws changed in 1954 regarding a uniform VIN mounting location on the body, that law did not nullify or repeal the location used on previously manufactured automobiles as they were 'grandfathered' (-i.e.: exempted) from the new law. Therefore the correct location for the VIN on a Model-A is on the engine.


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File Type: jpg Engine VIN02.jpg (58.7 KB, 32 views)
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Old 09-09-2020, 12:07 PM   #26
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Default Re: Title goes with Frame or Engine?

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For me the engine is legally the vin of the car based on Ford's statements.

BUT

What do the states think because they are the ones to decide to prosecute when they find an violation of the law. So the answer is likely to vary by state. When in doubt carefully and anonymously call up your state's title people for the official answer.

How about this idea.....

So the guy selling gets a duplicate title.
He can give each one a title. So long as the people are in different states could they each get a title for the same number?

I see it as likely since the odds are very high that there are duplicate numbers out there. Some are likely factory errors and others just from engine swaps.
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Old 09-09-2020, 12:13 PM   #27
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Default Re: Title goes with Frame or Engine?

The key to this entire answer is stated in the Instruction Booklet under Specifications & License Data. This Ford-authorized booklet states, -"The engine number is also the serial number of the car." Therefore the vehicle's title number must match the engine number, ...and the engine and the vehicle title are to remain together.

Brent, the Instruction Booklet would say this because when the car was new the engine number= the chassis number = the vehicle's title number.

The 'engine and title are to remain together' is wishful thinking, if that. And as I said before, that we mean that we have to retitle the vehicle every time an engine is swapped out. That isn't going to happen.
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Old 09-09-2020, 12:52 PM   #28
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Default Re: Title goes with Frame or Engine?

My 1931 Coupe was purchased as a lot of parts collected from many people ,and put together over a 6 year period back in the early 1980's . The vin number as registered here in British Columbia is the number on the sub frame , IF3594 .The engine is a 1929 block ,not a problem for Dmv here.
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Old 09-09-2020, 01:04 PM   #29
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Default Re: Title goes with Frame or Engine?

GM used a number on the engine for many years. They didn't stamp numbers on the frame till much later. States in the US vary on this policy and so do other countries. The number had to be visible to most folk's way of thinking no matter where it was. Ford finally started stamping the frame forward of the body in 1932 and stayed that way for a long time. They also changed the engine trans number to the transmission location and they kept that up until 1948. Ford only put the VIN on V8 or 6-cylinder engines if it was required in a specific state and that was done by the dealers as far as I know.

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Old 09-09-2020, 01:12 PM   #30
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Default Re: Title goes with Frame or Engine?

A fun problem to study.

I would expect the title to follow the frame because the engine can be easily re-stamped to match the title of the car it is put into.

But if this is a bare frame, it can also be re-stamped easily.

Here's where it might get squirrely: Say the two components come from a non-title state into a title state, and both purchasers have a bill of sale they want to convert into a title for their "built-from-parts" Model A. Likely the first one to apply will get a new title and the second person will be told by DMV that the serial number is already titled.

Oh, what a tangled web.....

Brent is this an actual situation you have had to resolve? Or are you just tossing it out as an academic exercise to see which rabbit hole we go down in search of a solution.....
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Old 09-09-2020, 01:31 PM   #31
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Default Re: Title goes with Frame or Engine?

My opinion is it goes with the chassis.
Hot rodder buys a restored car,sells the chassis,keeps the title so he can register when he puts his new frame/running gear under it.
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Old 09-09-2020, 01:44 PM   #32
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Default Re: Title goes with Frame or Engine?

Quote:
Originally Posted by dean from bozeman View Post

Brent, the Instruction Booklet would say this because when the car was new the engine number= the chassis number = the vehicle's title number.

The 'engine and title are to remain together' is wishful thinking, if that. And as I said before, that we mean that we have to retitle the vehicle every time an engine is swapped out. That isn't going to happen.

Dean, you are approaching this from a logical standpoint however not a lawful standpoint. The manufacturer stated the VIN for the vehicle would be the engine number. Ford had a protocol when engines were replaced where the mechanic was required to stamp the replacement engine with correct VIN. A Ford Agency was authorized to do this, -and they even warned in the Service Bulletins about outside individuals doing this re-stamping.

So the bottom-line in this is, the Title VIN does not get changed every time an engine is replaced, ...the replacement engine number does. Just because someone failed to correctly re-stamp an engine during replacement does not mean the law should provide an exemption for them. The engine number IS the correct VIN.


Yes Chris, this is a valid question coming from someone who called me asking what the correct info.
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Old 09-09-2020, 02:08 PM   #33
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Default Re: Title goes with Frame or Engine?

The title belongs to the person who's name is on the title. If said person sells pieces of the car, body, engine, frame, lug nuts, battery, hardware , etc to different people, the title is still owned by the person with his/her name on it until he signs it over to the next person
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Old 09-09-2020, 03:30 PM   #34
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Default Re: Title goes with Frame or Engine?

I think the answer differs from state to state. I know in CA, an engine number won't get you squat. The VIN is on the frame, whether it's stamped there by the factory or the CHP assigns one and stamps it on there for you. Either way, you aren't going to get past the initial VIN inspection without a matching frame number and title.

It's also illegal to sell a title in most states. If it were me and I had the frame and the owner wouldn't hand over the title, I'd be pushing it through for a lien. I've done that before, it's not too hard.

It'd be interesting to hear what the DMV/Highway Patrol/whatever govt agency in your state has jurisdiction over this to see what the legal answer is...
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Old 09-09-2020, 04:08 PM   #35
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Default Re: Title goes with Frame or Engine?

Kevin,
title can not legally be used in more then one state- it will pop up as in use.

we have computers today.......... lol!
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Old 09-09-2020, 04:42 PM   #36
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Default Re: Title goes with Frame or Engine?

I had a 1931 A that had a 1929 engine. Sometime over the years the title had 1931 and the '29 engine number. When I bought the A I also got a copy of the original title with the 1931 engine number which was stamped on the frame. Trying to get things straightened out I had the title corrected. I restored the A for fine point. About a year later I get nerve-racking call from the Secretary of State enforcement division saying they have a problem with my A. The officer says that 1931 number was previously registered. Thought maybe it's far away and took a year to connect. While the A was from southern Indiana, turns out the registered number was only thirty miles away! He wants to check the A so he says I have two choices, a manufactured title for the current year and an orange sticker on the firewall or door jamb, or find an engine with a 1931 number and install that! Now my engine is rebuilt, detailed correctly, etc. so I plead with him while trying to make him my next best friend. Tells me I have 24 hours to make my decision. There is a God, as the next day he said I could keep the number. Of course I never knew "the rest of the story" with the guy who had my original engine.

So by virtue of all of this, the engine determines the title here. As an aside the officer wanted to know who stamped the rebuilt engine (was out of state). Had it been in-state he was going to pursue them. He wanted to know if all the parts were original to the car. Seeing where he was headed, of course they are. All stemming from the chop-shop laws.

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Old 09-09-2020, 05:27 PM   #37
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Default Re: Title goes with Frame or Engine?

Cars here in Australia don't have titles but this thread is still of great interest to me. I have brought 2 Model As here from the US over the years and at one time, wanted to bring a running chassis. The title issue reared its ugly head. Before a car can be exported, it must have a title. That is fair enough and not a bad way to prevent stolen high end cars being sent out of the US for resale. I couldn't get the OK to export the chassis because it didn't have a title - that rightly or wrongly had had stayed with the body which was to become a hotrod.
When I pressed the matter, I found I was in a very grey area. A bare chassis, I was told did not need a title but if it had axles under it, it was considered a car so it did. Clearly, the axles alone didn't need a title and neither did a bare chassis so I asked "At what stage does a pile of parts become a car requiring a title?" Chassis and axles." was the answer and that would apply even it the chassis and axles were not together. Even anywhere in the same shipment. The seller wasn't prepared to send the parts separately so the deal fell over and I still don't have a speedster.
It seems to me that I could get any car out so long as I drip fed the axles and chassis into different shipments. Someone ought to make a TV show about this $#!T
All I can say is, thank goodness we don't have to worry about this stuff here.
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Old 09-09-2020, 05:54 PM   #38
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Default Re: Title goes with Frame or Engine?

the title should go with the chassis. the title says what the body is on that chassis. here i bought a 31 A with a 29 motor in it. years ago in this state if you change the motor you would go to the DMV and they would change the number on the title to match the motor number, I lifted the body and took the car to the DMV and had them change the vin number on the title back to the chassis number. I had installed a diamond block with no number on it.
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Old 09-09-2020, 06:16 PM   #39
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Default Re: Title goes with Frame or Engine?

My old 29 Sport Coupe has a Texas title the had 2DR as a discription. That was all that Texas cared about was that it had 2 doors. Since I purchased it from a fellow that lived here in the state, there was no VIN confirmation necessary. The new title came back with the same discription 2DR.

The only time I've had to have a confirmation was when a vehicle came in from out of state. That's when they require a VIN confirmation but it can be done by a person that is certified to perform state safety inspections and they don't get too worried about it. A pencil rubbing of the frame number is all I need by Texas statute.
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Old 09-09-2020, 06:18 PM   #40
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Originally Posted by BRENT in 10-uh-C View Post
. .......... One buyer buys the engine and transmission, ...and a different buyer purchases the chassis and what is left of the body. Both buyers want the title. Which buyer does the title legally go to?

I suppose the first guy to get to the DMV and have the title registered in his name with that VIN.

Then when the second guy tries to register that same VIN, he will be busted

AND THEN the guy with the frame VIN will be asked by the PoPo to verify HIS VIN and they will declare him the weiner.
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Old 09-09-2020, 10:05 PM   #41
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Dean, you are approaching this from a logical standpoint however not a lawful standpoint. The manufacturer stated the VIN for the vehicle would be the engine number. Ford had a protocol when engines were replaced where the mechanic was required to stamp the replacement engine with correct VIN. A Ford Agency was authorized to do this, -and they even warned in the Service Bulletins about outside individuals doing this re-stamping.

So the bottom-line in this is, the Title VIN does not get changed every time an engine is replaced, ...the replacement engine number does. Just because someone failed to correctly re-stamp an engine during replacement does not mean the law should provide an exemption for them. The engine number IS the correct VIN.


Yes Chris, this is a valid question coming from someone who called me asking what the correct info.
By that description, it is the frame number that is the VIN, the engine VIN pad is just the visible LOCATION for the actual VIN of the car. If you change the engine and RESTAMP the VIN ( that is on the old (original) engine and therefore on the frame) on the replacement engine, then the VIN did NOT stay with the engine. It stayed with the car.
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Old 09-10-2020, 07:47 AM   #42
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Default Re: Title goes with Frame or Engine?

A partner and I used to run a small company where we would purchase run down cars and part them out. That's back when you could find cars sitting in lots or fields for $50 or $100. When we would strip the car, the title always stayed with the chassis.
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Old 09-10-2020, 08:37 AM   #43
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the title should go with the chassis. the title says what the body is on that chassis. here i bought a 31 A with a 29 motor in it. years ago in this state if you change the motor you would go to the DMV and they would change the number on the title to match the motor number, I lifted the body and took the car to the DMV and had them change the vin number on the title back to the chassis number. I had installed a diamond block with no number on it.
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By that description, it is the frame number that is the VIN, the engine VIN pad is just the visible LOCATION for the actual VIN of the car. If you change the engine and RESTAMP the VIN ( that is on the old (original) engine and therefore on the frame) on the replacement engine, then the VIN did NOT stay with the engine. It stayed with the car.
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A partner and I used to run a small company where we would purchase run down cars and part them out. That's back when you could find cars sitting in lots or fields for $50 or $100. When we would strip the car, the title always stayed with the chassis.

This is probably the last time I am going to discuss this until I hear back from how the lawsuit comes out. I may be called as an expert witness, which is another reason why I am going to stop for now.

I will say that based on the determination of legal counsel, the engine number is the prevailing location. The question was asked to me were all frames stamped during assembly? My response was they were supposed to be however I have encountered original vehicles where there was not any evidence of a stamping. The same question was asked about the engine number, -and my answer was I feel very certain that every engine installed on the assembly line had a stamped number. The next question was, which was stamped first? The correct answer is the engine. I think the argument that is made is the frame stamping is an alternate identification area, and the engine is the primary identification area. This is confirmed by what is printed in the Instruction Book.

I know some are suggesting it is up to the state's laws. This topic came up in our discussion. A title is a legal document affirming ownership of an object. In our discussion, it was mentioned that a modern vehicle has a VIN displayed on the cowl, -and typically another VIN located on the driver's door. The manufacturer's primary VIN location is on the cowl at the bottom of the windshield, and the driver's door was an alternate location. Their opinion is the Model-A engine was the primary location for the VIN and the frame was an alternate location. Therefore their contention is the title remains with the engine which was the primary location established by Ford. I honestly see no rationale for why some state's DMV feels compelled to use the frame number as a primary source of identification. I think this boils down more to the vehicle owner was ignorant of the law, and so if the DMV told them the title goes with the frame, they just complied. Had their instruction been challenged in a court of law, likely the DMV's instructions would have been overruled.
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Old 09-10-2020, 10:18 AM   #44
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I worked for Pete and Jake's building chassis for years and can tell you its an issue here, back in the 90's there was a lot of bills passed to help through SEMA. Missouri title stays with chassis. I had an issue with a '34 where the out of state DMV kept it with the body. At that time the two department officials couldn't agree and Missouri - instead of issuing a new 551 (Drpt of Rev. new ID number) had me file for replacement title. needless to say there are two '34 ford 3 windows using the same vin in the USA.

My '55 Chevy came from Texas, Missouri thats a title/engine year, Texas is reversed, the car had a replacement motor, both again disagreed and we let them settle it out.

There is an supervising inspector (recently retired) who says there is no such thing as a chassis without a title in Missouri or vin parts for sale at swap meets, told me a titleless chassis should be surrendered to DMV. later when building a titled vintage Willys with an updated Jeep chassis (both titled) you must surrender the VIN tag to the state inspector for your new form and ID.

Recently I restored a vintage wood kit boat, had to retrack the owner after two years because he wrote the bill of sale for the outboard, and boat on one piece of paper, my state says must be to be separate papers, the neighboring state doesnt even need a title. You also need a engine title, that was not available until the 70's so more paperwork, three trips to the inspector to get it done, then they come out with my new metal tag and two 1/4 rivets. I say "hey I brought stainless wood screws". Sorry, the book says metal tag must be pop riveted to the hull, there is no provision for wood boats so thats how it has to be done. They drilled and butchered my African Mahogany and scratched the area, of course it wouldn't work so they taped it on and said to fix it off the property - sorry for the rant - still pissed.

I'm a tax paying law abiding supporting citizen but they sure make it difficult for the honest guy.
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Old 09-10-2020, 10:41 AM   #45
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A fun problem to study.

I would expect the title to follow the frame because the engine can be easily re-stamped to match the title of the car it is put into.

But if this is a bare frame, it can also be re-stamped easily.

Here's where it might get squirrely: Say the two components come from a non-title state into a title state, and both purchasers have a bill of sale they want to convert into a title for their "built-from-parts" Model A. Likely the first one to apply will get a new title and the second person will be told by DMV that the serial number is already titled.

Oh, what a tangled web.....

Brent is this an actual situation you have had to resolve? Or are you just tossing it out as an academic exercise to see which rabbit hole we go down in search of a solution.....
You should check the law about re-stamping the frame.

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Old 09-10-2020, 11:41 AM   #46
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With many statutes, laws, and bylaws, there is no room for good old fashioned common sense. What is amazing is how often folks in the position of authority will choose on the side that makes no sense. Like comedian Ron White jokes, "You can't fix stupid".

A motor vehicle does not exist until it has both a motor and at least a frame, hull, or fuselage to have something that can be defined as a motor vehicle. Both the frame and the motor are essential components. In other words, Ford stamped them both and the mating of the engine to the chassis is what constituted a motor vehicle in the first place. They can argue it till the cows come home but you still can't drive a motor without a chassis. Ford did it that way so that the engines could be shipped to all the different assembly plants as separate components. Mating always happened on the assembly line and that's where they both became the same numbered assembly.

I wonder what they would say about a 1932 Ford with the numbers on the frame and the transmission but no number on the engine.

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Old 09-10-2020, 06:15 PM   #47
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Default Re: Title goes with Frame or Engine?

In post # 37, I posted "All I can say is, thank goodness we don't have to worry about this stuff here."
The above two posts have reinforced that which leaves me wondering why, if the system is so problematic, do you guys not change it?
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Old 09-10-2020, 06:30 PM   #48
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Default Re: Title goes with Frame or Engine?

title shoud go with the frame.
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Old 09-10-2020, 07:27 PM   #49
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Default Re: Title goes with Frame or Engine?

In a lot of (most) cases the frame number and title number won't be a match...then what???
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Old 09-10-2020, 07:45 PM   #50
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Default Re: Title goes with Frame or Engine?

I wouldn't want to put this dispute in front of a judge. It's hard to predict how she would view it.

Might say there's no "vehicle" by statute, and titles only apply to vehicles. Or, if there is one, it is being parted out (junked?) and the title should be surrendered to the state.

Don't know what these guys are paying their attorneys ... $350/hour? ...

Hopefully there's more to this story that explains why they both want the title so badly. ( ... car once belonged to Elvis?)
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Old 09-10-2020, 07:49 PM   #51
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Default Re: Title goes with Frame or Engine?

In 1993, CA CHP did not accept my declaration that Ford considered the engine number Was the proper serial number. He insisted that the body be pulled to check the frame even though I told him the motor was original and the cabriolet had been in my family since 1929, and I was changing title from my deceased father to me, same name. When I rebuilt the car I verified the numbers matched, but by then I had a state assigned number riveted on a sheet metal, stamped B pillar cover held in place by a few nails on the wooden B pillar.

In 2010 I purchased a 29 coupe and the number matched the 1930 engine. I went to register it and take it off nonop status at the DMV office. The office registered the car without blinking an eye. The frame was a 1929 number, but not the motor. They did not care and did not ask for a verification and the car is registered under the newer motor’s number, and that motor is in my cabriolet.

So it can go either way
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Old 09-10-2020, 08:13 PM   #52
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Don't know what these guys are paying their attorneys ... $350/hour? ...
Kind of off topic but, several years ago in a court deal I got pulled into, I asked the lawyer 'what is your rate?' at the beginning of it all and he said 'Two twenty five and hour'.

I told him 'That's less than minimum wage you need to raise your rates" He just laughed and said NO 225 DOLLARS an hour'!!
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Old 09-10-2020, 09:52 PM   #53
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Default Re: Title goes with Frame or Engine?

I bought a 1930 Model A coupe from Michigan and imported it to Canada. The car had a V8 Flathead installed in the late 50s and was stored away since 1962. The owner still had the original engine which I declined to buy when it was offered. I acted as my own broker and presented all the required paper work when exporting. Both, state authorities and the federal customs in the US were only concerned if there were any liens on the vehicle and it was legally signed over by the owner with their name on the ownership. They did not request to see the chassis number or the engine number. They did contact the previous owner to verify the sale. Once in Canada, the license bureau only needed the number on the ownership. They didn't care about the engine number or the frame number. All 3 numbers did match though and the same number is now on the new Ontario ownership.

All it takes is a few calls to the appropriate authorities to find out what is expected since every state/province may have varying requirements. Any buyer should have the needed info beforehand.
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Old 09-11-2020, 07:53 AM   #54
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Default Re: Title goes with Frame or Engine?

Charlie Stephens-

I did not give the opinion that it is legal to re-stamp a frame, just that it is easy if the body is off. :-)
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Old 09-11-2020, 08:25 AM   #55
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Default Re: Title goes with Frame or Engine?

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We're getting off of topic here. Denis, please give me your opinion of the original question.

My post was made to show how the title process can be abused. My first Model A had a phony number stamped on the frame and it went into the CO system, that car was sold to a Florida resident and went into their system. My roadster has an A engine with the engine number ground off and it has a bonded title in CO. My CCPU was purchased in NM and was registered in CO with the engine number. I've since replaced the engine and not bothered to change the registration. If it is sold to a CO resident, there will be no issues. An out of state buyer may have problems.



There are 50 different ways to register a Model A. The lawsuit you are referring to will only prevail in the state in which it was filed. In other words, it still won't answer the original question .
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Old 09-11-2020, 09:34 AM   #56
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Default Re: Title goes with Frame or Engine?

I'am sticking with, the title belongs to the person who's name appears on the the title........ If that person decides to turn the title over to the person with the engine ( body,frame,wheels, lug nuts) that's his/hers to decide, or keep the piece of paper.

I would love to be on the jury with this case :-)
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Old 09-12-2020, 09:08 AM   #57
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Dean, you are approaching this from a logical standpoint however not a lawful standpoint. The manufacturer stated the VIN for the vehicle would be the engine number. Ford had a protocol when engines were replaced where the mechanic was required to stamp the replacement engine with correct VIN. A Ford Agency was authorized to do this, -and they even warned in the Service Bulletins about outside individuals doing this re-stamping.

So the bottom-line in this is, the Title VIN does not get changed every time an engine is replaced, ...the replacement engine number does. Just because someone failed to correctly re-stamp an engine during replacement does not mean the law should provide an exemption for them. The engine number IS the correct VIN.


Yes Chris, this is a valid question coming from someone who called me asking what the correct info.
So, I've been thinking about this for a couple days now and this IS one of the stupidest things I've ever heard. Not directed at you Brent, directed at FORD. While this may be fine if one is replacing the original motor with a NEW FORD replacement at a FORD dealership where they stamp the pad with the VIN and properly dispose of the original engine, it is absolutely ridiculous when replacing a motor with one from another car. Example. My '31 fordor has an engine from a '29 coupe. If i register it with the VIN on the engine, my car would be registered as a '29 coupe which it clearly is not. SO, according to FORD, the original VIN from the original motor is to be stamped on the replacement engine. However, there is already a number stamped on the pad. Is it to be ground off?. How is this any different than stealing a car and restamping the VIN? So, I restamp the VIN on my engine to the same VIN that was on the original motor as per FORD directive, then someone decides to rebuild the original ,motor and use it. Now we have two cars with the same VIN. If there is a dispute, who will get the title??, the guy with the restamp or the guy with the factory stamp??. Besides, isn't it technically illegal to restamp or in any way tamper with a VIN??.
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Old 09-12-2020, 09:27 AM   #58
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Quote:
Besides, isn't it technically illegal to restamp or in any way tamper with a VIN??.
Remember back in the day it was a serial number not a VIN...no different then the serial number on a TV today...


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Old 09-12-2020, 10:11 AM   #59
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Default Re: Title goes with Frame or Engine?

no matter how it plays out- the opposite can be argued as to being right, so all depends on the day, time and person who rules.

no different then going to your local dmv when they are in the "no" mood.
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Old 09-12-2020, 11:34 AM   #60
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no matter how it plays out- the opposite can be argued as to being right, so all depends on the day, time and person who rules.

no different then going to your local dmv when they are in the "no" mood.

I totally agree. You can have “all your ducks in a row” and just happen to get a grumpy DMV person that will cause you all kinds of grief. Not all DMV people are grumpy, but I tend to get the one that’s having a bad day....


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Old 09-12-2020, 11:59 AM   #61
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The Chicken.
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Old 09-12-2020, 01:16 PM   #62
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Default Re: Title goes with Frame or Engine?

Just my opinion, but I believe it is a question only answerable by the jurisdiction that makes the laws and will surely differ state to state. Ford may have had their system of assigning identification numbers but certainly were not the legal authority after the sale. Federal regulations were firmly in place after the V.I.N. system was instituted but previous to that a lot of wiggle room and discretionary decisions were obviously made by individual states and their employees.
It leads me to believe that, previous to V.I.N.s, the person who had their name on the title was free to sell all or any component (engine, frame, body) along with the title, simply because all parts are replaceable.
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Old 09-12-2020, 09:31 PM   #63
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Or many it was the egg.
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Old 09-13-2020, 06:40 AM   #64
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Licensed to Kill-
Restamping your replacement engine to match your title is a LOT different from stealing a car.
No evil intent and no defrauding of anyone, including a subsequent buyer.
And most of the time the first engine is junked, or if not the number can be removed to prevent any duplicate number problems.
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Old 09-13-2020, 08:25 AM   #65
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Licensed to Kill-
Restamping your replacement engine to match your title is a LOT different from stealing a car.
No evil intent and no defrauding of anyone, including a subsequent buyer.
And most of the time the first engine is junked, or if not the number can be removed to prevent any duplicate number problems.
FINALLY! Some common sense.
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Old 09-13-2020, 09:01 AM   #66
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Quote:
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Licensed to Kill-
Restamping your replacement engine to match your title is a LOT different from stealing a car.
No evil intent and no defrauding of anyone, including a subsequent buyer.
And most of the time the first engine is junked, or if not the number can be removed to prevent any duplicate number problems.
You are missing the point. The point is that, if it's legal to restamp the VIN on a replacement engine, then how do you determine a "legal" restamp from an "illegal" restamp?. Yes, the old engine is often replaced because it is junk, but not always and "junk" to one guy is "rebuildable" to another AND many engines get replaced with OTHER engines (V8's). Then what??. If you put a flathead V8 in your car, where do you stamp the VIN?. There are a LOT of reasons people remove serviceable engines. The point is, if it is LEGAL to restamp the VIN, that leaves the door open for all kinds of abuse and problems.
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Old 09-13-2020, 01:08 PM   #67
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Default Re: Title goes with Frame or Engine?

In the UK the frame is the item which has the title .High end cars mostly before WW 2 were sold as as a rolling driving vehicle with cowl instruments steering etc etc . These were bodied by coachbuilders to the customers requirements . Rolls Royce ,Bentley etc etc .Sometimes these cars were rebodied several times as fashions moved on . They kept their same VIN identity throughout .

John in Suffolk County England .
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Old 09-13-2020, 01:16 PM   #68
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Default Re: Title goes with Frame or Engine?

Same thing her in Ontario. The VIN. is the important number. But not a big deal to get a ownership. A bill of sale, a Affidavid and a appraisal and your all set. The big part is the province getting the sales tax. The rest doesn't matter.
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Old 09-13-2020, 03:42 PM   #69
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Licensed to kill-
And you also missed my point- I did not say it was necessarily LEGAL to re-stamp an engine, just that is was by no means the equivalent of stealing a car as you implied.
Done correctly there will be NO negative consequences for anyone.
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Old 09-13-2020, 05:32 PM   #70
PotvinV8
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Default Re: Title goes with Frame or Engine?

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Originally Posted by BRENT in 10-uh-C View Post
This is probably the last time I am going to discuss this until I hear back from how the lawsuit comes out.
Wow. I couldn't imagine dragging this into court. It's not that difficult to register a car with zero paperwork, I just did two last year. To think that the title is worth a lawsuit, that's some craziness there...
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Old 09-14-2020, 06:49 AM   #71
Chris in WNC
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Default Re: Title goes with Frame or Engine?

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Originally Posted by PotvinV8 View Post
Wow. I couldn't imagine dragging this into court. It's not that difficult to register a car with zero paperwork, I just did two last year. To think that the title is worth a lawsuit, that's some craziness there...

Maybe they are OCD like me and want to actually have the engine number on the title,
rather than a non-Model A state-assigned serial number.
I would not consider litigation worth the cost, but clearly someone does.
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Old 09-14-2020, 09:23 AM   #72
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Default Re: Title goes with Frame or Engine?

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Licensed to kill-
And you also missed my point- I did not say it was necessarily LEGAL to re-stamp an engine, just that is was by no means the equivalent of stealing a car as you implied.
Done correctly there will be NO negative consequences for anyone.
I re-read my previous post and you are correct, I didn't word that right. What I meant to say was how would DMV determine whether a restamp is legit or fraudulent in the case of a stolen car?. Also, if we lived in a world where everyone was honest and everyone ALWAYS did everything "correctly", we not would not need most of the laws and regulations we have.
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Old 09-14-2020, 11:16 AM   #73
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Default Re: Title goes with Frame or Engine?

Lic to kill,

Can one ever legally alter, remove or obliterate a VIN in Canada?

If so, or if not, post a link to the appropriate Criminal Code.
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Old 09-14-2020, 08:14 PM   #74
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Default Re: Title goes with Frame or Engine?

That happened to me. The fella at Bert's put the s/n of my old engine on the new engine. I power sanded the s/n off the old engine and drew a s/n out of the air and stamped it on the engine and it passed the local police VIN background.
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Old 09-14-2020, 09:44 PM   #75
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Default Re: Title goes with Frame or Engine?

My opinion - the title-able vehicle was parted out. The vehicle is just parts now and the vehicle no longer exists. I think you have to draw the line somewhere.
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