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Old 03-05-2009, 11:48 AM   #21
53 Blue Flame Brett
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Originally Posted by 56 Texas View Post
I have a '55 Chevy that was acid dipped 20 years ago, the VIN tag came off in the tank and never was recovered .. I could certainly benefit from this method ...
IF someone can provide ownership, ChevyCraft ,in Ft Worth, TX will do the service, legally. There's probably still legal arguments around it from state to state though.
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Old 03-05-2009, 06:17 PM   #22
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I did not put a different serial (VIN) number on the car. I put the correct VIN number BACK on the car. This was a duplicate of the original.
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Old 03-06-2009, 07:55 AM   #23
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I did not put a different serial (VIN) number on the car. I put the correct VIN number BACK on the car. This was a duplicate of the original.
OK, now I am confused. Are you saying that you got a VIN plate for another car out of a junkyard, sanded / removed the VIN numbers from that VIN tag, then added the correct VIN numbers for your car?
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Old 03-06-2009, 08:02 AM   #24
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Regarding the VIN tags themselves, from 1953 through 1959, the word Chevrolet was embossed (raised from the rear) and the VIN number was stamped from the front on the VIN tag. Tag was aluminum, except for 1953 cars (I think, don't know much about them).

Starting in 1960, the VIN number was also embossed. Early 1960 cars still used an aluminum VIN tag (like most previous years) that was attached to the door post. Sometime during the 1960 year, the VIN tag was made out of stainless steel, and spot welded to the steering column.
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Old 03-06-2009, 09:46 AM   #25
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OK, now I am confused. Are you saying that you got a VIN plate for another car out of a junkyard, sanded / removed the VIN numbers from that VIN tag, then added the correct VIN numbers for your car?
Correct. Why, it would be illegal to do anything else.

Last edited by B. Nicely; 03-06-2009 at 11:18 AM. Reason: Further explanation
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Old 03-06-2009, 01:17 PM   #26
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www.datatags.com from colorado did an excellant job on a VIN tag for me that was damaged during a previous restoration. After I proved ownership and sent a picture of the frame VIN of course.
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Old 03-06-2009, 04:43 PM   #27
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Correct. Why, it would be illegal to do anything else.
I am not a lawyer, and not trying to represent myself as one. I am, however, trying to figure out exactly how many laws were broken here.

1. Removing the numbers from an existing VIN tag - I suspect so.
2. Putting numbers on a VIN tag that weren't originally there - I suspect so.
3. Applying an altered VIN tag to a vehicle - not sure about this one.

The law you quoted is the federal law that covers this area: 18 USC 511. One of the key parts of that law is "in accordance with state law".

Do you know for sure what the law in your state says about your "process"?
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Old 03-06-2009, 06:48 PM   #28
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This is all I could find in the Iowa Code.I believe the key words are FRAUDULENT INTENT. It does appear that replacement tags are allowed but does seem that the procedure should involve the DOT. I could not find the procedure to go about doing this. Its really pretty vague and I suspect that this allows substantial lattitude to the officials in regards to the FRAUDULENT INTENT reference.


321.92 ALTERING OR CHANGING NUMBERS.
1. Fraudulent intent. No person shall with fraudulent
intent, deface, destroy, or alter the vehicle identification number
or component part number or other distinguishing number or
identification mark of a vehicle or component part, including a
rebuilt identification, nor shall a person place or stamp a serial,
engine, or other number or mark upon a vehicle or component part,
except one assigned thereto by the department. A violation of this
provision is a felony punishable as provided in section 321.483.
This subsection does not prohibit the restoration of an original
vehicle identification number, component part number, or other number
or mark when the restoration is made by the department, nor prevent a
manufacturer from placing, in the ordinary course of business,
numbers or marks upon vehicles or component parts.
2. Vehicles without identification numbers. A person who
knowingly buys, receives, disposes of, sells, offers for sale, or has
in the person's possession a vehicle, or a component part of a
vehicle, from which the vehicle identification number, rebuilt
identification, or component part number has been removed, defaced,
covered, altered, or destroyed for the purpose of concealing or
misrepresenting the identity of the vehicle or component part is
guilty of a simple misdemeanor.

Also seems to me that if I wanted to go collect and remove VIN tags from junkyard cars to cover the walls in my garage, that it would be permissible.

I think the situation here is, do not put yourself in the position to **** anyone off(by committing fraud) so that a complaint is filed and you will be Okay.

Last edited by 61 vert; 03-06-2009 at 06:53 PM.
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Old 03-07-2009, 09:56 AM   #29
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Back in the 70's guys were selling VIN plates and titles only (no car) for the C-1's. I often wonder how many cars are out there with titles/VIN's that aren't original.
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Old 03-07-2009, 06:37 PM   #30
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"Hypothetically speaking, what if I a person was to start collecting used original gm fiberglass. One day they finally had enough to put together a complete body for a resto mod. They put the body together and get a clean title for whatever year vette they're building and have a reproduction tag done. They throw the body on a SRIII chassis and make everything modern/custom. They make the fact know that they put the car together out of miscellaneous gm parts."

If that was me I would go the reconstruction route, have the DOT inspect and never have to worry about what the next owner says when he sells the car.Especially since you are using an aftermarket frame. Its a restomod so original VIN or assigned VIN really wouldn't make much difference in the value, and that way there's no way that fraud could be incinuated.
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Old 03-08-2009, 12:27 PM   #31
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I beg to disagree.
The VIN tag was never aluminum,always stainless.
No the VIN tags on both of my 56s are aluminum. I can't speak to 53 tags, but I'm pretty sure that 54 to early 1960 tags are aluminum. Changed to stainless steel when the tag was moved to the steering column during the 1960 model year.
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Old 03-09-2009, 01:11 AM   #32
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Here in Texas some big time restoration outfit in Dallas got a world of hurt put on them by the state AG for restoring Mustangs.

I believe their problems all revolved around some of what we have been talking about in this thread.

I believe they siezed about 60 cars.

It was last year or the year before. Anyone remember?
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Old 03-09-2009, 09:21 AM   #33
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Googled it and it was what I thought. A guy started a company building Eleanor mustangs and even had unqualified prison inmates working on 100 to 150 thousand dollar cars using mucho bondo and overseas fiberglas parts etc. Didn't keep track of VINs when replaced for bodywork, and my guess would be that alot of rebodying went on, then didn't deliver on sales agreements. Several customers lost many thousands of dollars and filed complaints. Hardly compares to the hobbyist/collecter that wants to replace a damaged or lost VIN from restoration procedures on his own car, which is what the bulk of this thread is about. But thanks for bringing it to the forums attention. It is a sad situation indeed.
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Old 03-09-2009, 10:01 AM   #34
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Hardly compares to the hobbyist/collecter that wants to replace a damaged or lost VIN from restoration procedures on his own car, which is what the bulk of this thread is about.
Don't make the mistake of interpreting legal liability from cases like the one you looked into as only applying to large scale operations; if conduct was identified as being illegal, and a lone "hobbyist" engages in the same conduct, the same liability rules will apply.

It would be relevant, however, if an important element of the conduct that was found to be illegal was "for gain"
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Old 03-09-2009, 10:14 AM   #35
61 vert
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Again, I believe there is some latitude written into the law to allow for discretion by the enforcing body.
"Treat others the way you wish to be treated" will usually keep you on the right track.
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Old 03-09-2009, 02:26 PM   #36
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No the VIN tags on both of my 56s are aluminum. I can't speak to 53 tags, but I'm pretty sure that 54 to early 1960 tags are aluminum. Changed to stainless steel when the tag was moved to the steering column during the 1960 model year.
Boy, am I red-faced. You are absolutely correct. I always assumed that the standard Chevrolet stainless VIN tag used on the full sized cars was also used on the Corvette. I just checked my 58 and it is aluminum! What I don't know is why aluminum on Corvette and stainless on steel cars.....maybe cost savings? An aluminum VIN wouldn't work on a steel body since it couldn't be spotwelded and attaching with screws wouldn't be acceptable for theft purposes, but a stainless tag could be screwed to the Corvette body so why aluminum? Must have been cheaper, or just because they hadn't figured out yet where to attach a stainless tag by spotwelding like they finally did in 60.
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Old 03-09-2009, 09:37 PM   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by B. Nicely View Post
A wrecking yard is the best place to get a VIN tag. I got mine off the door post of a 1962 Chevy pickup. It's funny to see rusted and oxidized heaps with a very shiney stainless VIN tag. You can very carefully peen the original number down, sand and polish as boxweed explains. (http://www.boxweed.addr.com/collecto...lateserial.htm ) According to lots of lawyers (and reading the laws) this is quite legal as long as you are not trying to defraud.
so (and I am not judging you B. Nicely) it seems that there is a well-known "recipe" for creating [recreating] VIN tags for early C1s. How do you C1 fellas know whether a car is "made up" or not - is there a well-known directory of sorts for the really early cars, like the 53s, 54s and 55s? (I'd assume it would be pretty easy with the 53s, and the known cars are, well, known by now).

Just rying to get my C1 knowledge improved.
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Old 03-10-2009, 12:03 AM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by B. Nicely View Post
Reply to Blue Flame;
My motivation was to replace the VIN tag that fell off with as close to original as possible and not go through the hassle of getting a replacement VIN number.
Here is a copy of the law:

Pretty clear it's not illegal to remove the VIN plate and restore it if you are the owner, or the restorer and it's reasonably neccessary.
Wow first removing a VIN tag from a junker, restamping it, then mounting it on another car. Being from Detroit this sounds familiar but criminal.

What did you DMV or state police inspectors say? Did you first apply for the replacement showing proof of ownership?

Believe you can do similar, but by legal means, as this has been done before.
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Old 03-10-2009, 07:33 AM   #39
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Another issue is the aluminum vs. stainless steel tag. 1954 to early 1960 Corvettes has aluminum VIN tags. You aren't going to find an aluminum tag on a junker. So, this process of removing, sanding and polishing really only applies to the stainless steel tags used on late (relative term) 1960 to 1962 Corvettes.

I am not sure you could do this operation on an aluminum tag, at least not one with stamped numbers. The stamped numbers are made of fine lines, not the borad lines that embossing presents. I'm sure that with enough work it could be done, just not sure it is worth the effort.

In any event, if I were doing this, I would certainly stop talking about it.
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Old 03-10-2009, 08:46 AM   #40
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speaking of VIN tag [re]creation efforts, perhaps 1954corvair can give us some background on how to spot such things, given his upcoming "book" and his knowledge: the book on faking 53s

I see from this post that he owns E53F001259 . . . he has also advised of his ownership of "an early" 53, which I assume is the first 50 or so . . . maybe Roger can shed some more light on this whole matter of recreating VIN tags for early C1s (appropriately, of course) . . . .
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Old 03-10-2009, 08:46 AM
 
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