SFBay: 1974 3.0 CS Project - $OBO?

autokunst

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Everyone has a different comfort level when buying (or selling) cars. What works for some, doesn't work at all for others. That's OK. No one should do a deal they are uncomfortable with.
Great summary, Dick. I bought an E36 M3 from a shady used car dealer, and drove the daylights out of it for 70k blissful miles before selling it for 40% more than I paid for it. And my E9 purchase was as sketchy as they come - but it brings me great pleasure planning my restoration (and will be followed by years of discovery and work that I will share here). I am comfortable on the periphery.
 

2002turbo

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When the real owner shows up with the cops and retrieves his car, that you just spent $50K restoring, you won't feel so smart.
 

Ohmess

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Negotiable title means the person who signs off on the title has the same name as the person whose name is on the title, or the last assignment on the back. John Smith cannot assign a title that is not his to assign. The check thing has nothing to do with DMV, but you are a fool if you pay someone for a car that does not belong to them.
Back in the late 16th Century, I had a friend who used to buy cars that needed modest amounts of work, fix and then sell them. He did not title them so as to avoid the fees and to avoid being tagged as a dealer. (And probably, so there would be no governmental record of his profit on the transaction.)

He would have the seller sign the title without filling out his name on the assignment portion of the back of the title. When he sold a car, the buyer would put their name in the assignment portion of the title and title the car in their name. I guess the risk to the buyer might be that the signature on the title was not authentic, but in general I would think it is not easy for a car thief to obtain the title for a car they have stolen.
 

2002turbo

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It's rather easy to get a title for a vintage car in many states, with just a bill of sale which is easy to fake. And it is also not unheard of for people to leave the title in the glove box ..
 

dang

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All that matters in CA is who's listed as the owner on the DMV system. You have to have a paper trail back to that person, so a title in their name is the most straightforward. I buy cars without titles all the time but the owner just lost it and they're listed as the owner on the system. I've come across sellers trying to sell with a title but it was an old one in a previous owners name. We run DMV reports on all suspect transactions.
 

dang

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Sometimes you can use the online DMV fee calculator to get an idea of fees due. Doesn't always work with old VINs. My son and I put an offer on an E30 last week and then retracted our offer after finding there was over $1000 if back registration fees. The buyer may get surprised if they don't check first.

 

Dick Steinkamp

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Sometimes you can use the online DMV fee calculator to get an idea of fees due. Doesn't always work with old VINs. My son and I put an offer on an E30 last week and then retracted our offer after finding there was over $1000 if back registration fees. The buyer may get surprised if they don't check first.

dang,
Would those back fees apply if the car is sold to an out of state buyer? I can't figure out a way that California could get involved in that case to collect the back fees, but I've been wrong before. ;)
 

dang

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dang,
Would those back fees apply if the car is sold to an out of state buyer? I can't figure out a way that California could get involved in that case to collect the back fees, but I've been wrong before. ;)
I'm not familiar with other states processes but I doubt they can require back fees. I know some states are very particular about titles and documentation though.
 

Dick Steinkamp

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I'm not familiar with other states processes but I doubt they can require back fees. I know some states are very particular about titles and documentation though.
The DOL (Department of Licensing) is pretty car friendly here. I've titled about 20 out of state collector cars in the past 15 years here in Washington, mostly from California, Oregon, and BC. There is no inspection of the VIN or any other inspection required. I show up with a signed title from another state or province, pay sales tax and licensing fees and get a new Washington title. Although there are State operated DOL stations, most are privately owned. The privately owned ones have an interest in making a transaction in order to get paid and have always figured out a way to make it happen for me.
 

2002turbo

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Texas is strict on titles, cars and boats. You have to have a strong paper trail back to whomever's name is on the title. If you don't have the title you have to post a bond.
 

Bmachine

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Super interesting discussion. About a year ago I backed out of a deal for an e46 touring after running the vin through carfax and discovering the seller / current owner had not registered it after he bought it more than a year earlier. I smelled a rat and pulled out.
 
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