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Gray market 930 problems / issues ?

Hi,

I am gathering information before taking the plunge in purchasing an 82 930 Porsche. I am wondering what forms of paperwork would I look for to indicate that this car was properly converted to US spec? At this point I am not worried that it passes emissions since I plan on registering it as a Classic car ( exempt from smog check ) but am wondering what else to look for?

More details on the car:

The car has a clear PA title. It has 29K miles, but the title says 'NOT ORIGINAL MILEAGE' The paperwork that comes with the car shows that in 1983 the car had 2,000 and on up to the present day 29,000 miles, so I tend to think even though the mileage is accurate, the KPH to MPH conversion prompted the State of PA to consider the new speedometer as not actual miles. There is a LOT of paperwork with this car including a Official Certification Document from Porsche .... never heard of it, but it's there.

The car has a new clutch, new Bilsteins, K27 turbo and an aftermarket exhaust. The interior is still like new except for some slight wear on the drivers side seat bead. Price is 30K firm.

This is a hard car to gauge price on since the only comparisons are usually on line and out of physical. The car runs and drives excellent... I don't think it has any issues. Does it seem that the price is in the ballpark? or would I be better off with a US spec car?
Old 06-13-2007, 03:22 AM
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Check with your insurance company. Some have issues with insuring non-US cars. Also ask how they value the vehicle in case of loss. Finally, if you're purchasing with a loan, the lender may care if it's a ROW model. Can't help you with your DMV questions, though. Price seems like it's in the ballpark, as long as the PPI checks out.
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Old 06-13-2007, 06:24 AM
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Thanks.

My loan is going to be a line of credit and they don't care what you buy. It is way cheaper than getting a used car loan.

I called Leland West and they didn't seem to mind that it was a Euro car converted to US spec. They are picky about mods. I don't know if the aftermarket exhaust or K27 turbo is an issue, but didn't mention it yet
Old 06-13-2007, 08:18 AM
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I have a grey market '83 930, it came with a Washington title & Washington State Patrol sticker repositioned onto the A piller. My county does not require emission checks. Paper work sailed thru with NO problems. The car was originally brought in thru Texas, then went to New Jersey, then to Washington. Didn't seem to have any problems in any of those states. So good luck.
As for insurance, I would HIGHLY recommend Hagerty Collector car insurance. They have no restrictions, only price changes for whatn it is and whatn it has! And they are cheap! I pay $490.00 per year for full coverage with flatbed towing and all the beels and whistles.
Old 06-13-2007, 01:31 PM
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Talk to the DMV. Is the CAR ROW or just grey market because of something registered on the title? Do talk to your insurance. Your probably ok, if DMV didnt like the car, they would have been all over it when it was brought in ( assumming it came from another country - ROW ). If its a salvage title issue, you may have lots of issues. Which can be as complicated as locating pictures of the salvage issue, documents ( pictures ) showing the repair, invoices for parts going into the repair, special inspections, etc. Spend the time, talk to DMV and insurance, trust me
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Old 06-13-2007, 01:34 PM
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Sorry for the typing errors, I was writing too fast for my own good.
Old 06-13-2007, 01:34 PM
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First off, any car can be legally imported without federaliztion after 25 years. This won't necessarily directly aply to your situation, as it sounds from your description that the car has been in the US most of its life, but it should lessen your fears of it being legal. I'd wager that finding a car like this is pretty low on the enforcement priority list, if it wasn't converted correctly.

There are many cars out there that were not converted or partially converted (ie. DOT but not EPA,) either because they flew under the radar, or one of the previous owners took advantage of some of the loopholes that have existed in the laws from time to time. Having said that, once they are registered in a state, there doesn't seem to be much of a way to track the car subsequently. I don't feel that there is a great deal of scrutiny applied to these cars now. Read into that what you will.

As for compliance, the DOT was mainly concerned about a few things. They were:

door impact beams
lighting
bumpers
labeling
imperial instruments

The door impact beams were typically added as two pieces of tubing, one end bolted to each door jamb (front and rear) and then welded in the center. They don't exactly replicate what the factory did and are typically poorly done or missing altogether.

The glass typically already had DOT labeling and this fact was documented.

The lights were changed to US spec lights.

Sometimes the bumpers had their crush tubes changed to the US spec "shock" type. Most didn't.

The various labels were installed. The US had different requirements for many labels. For example, the euro cars relied on international symbols for things like the headlight switch while the US liked to see a word LIGHTS. The US also wanted serial number/production labels on the A pillar and left door jamb. None of this was particularily difficult. The speedometers (and sometimes other gauges) were changed out to get rid of the metric labels and convert them to usage where we measure speed in mph. This also presented a nice opportunity to eliminate any mileage that the cars accumulated while in Europe. A typical deal was for a car to be driven for a few years, then sold. The new owner would then convert the car and ship it across the pond. Lots of miles were lost here. A turbo is somewhat less likely to have suffered this abuse than an SC, as more of those cars were imported as new cars. This is one area that you really have to watch.

As for the EPA, you had to pass an emissions test. This was a little harder, but not impossible. The main difference was the fact that US cars had a catalytic converter and O2 sensor feedback to the fuel system for keeping the mixture where the cat liked it. You could change out all of the parts necessary to make one engine mostly like another but I suspect this was seldom done. They might have stuffed a cat onto the car and tweaked the mixture and hoped for the best. Short term, this was do-able. A great many cars were imported at a time when there was a one time exemption from meeting the EPA rules, so they just complied with those and skipped the EPA stuff. Later Carreras were available in Europe with an O2 sensor and cat and those are easy to convert.

The cars are also easy to "un-convert" so I suspect that was the fate of a lot of them. Many were legalized using photos and documentation from other cars.

At this point, many years down the line, the subsequent use of the car would be more important to me, at least for a car that has been here for twenty years or more. If a car spent 20 years in Europe and was recently imported, I'd wouldn't likely look at it. They can get used hard over there and put away wet.

If a car is said to be converted, get the paperwork that went with it. It usually fillls a three ring binder. You can also check with the government to see if they have the serial number on file showing a particular car was legally imported. Do a Google search and you can find phone numbers for both the EPA and DOT. If you have access to detailed photos of the car, I can usually tell you what has been done to it.

You need to get a thorough PPI. Most inspections I have done on a prospective purchase take a whole day. If you have any detailed questions, feel free to email me. I've been down this road many times. I also have a lot of cars insured with Leland West, so I can answer those questions too.

JR
Old 06-13-2007, 02:18 PM
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I would not pay $30k for a grey market 930 unless it was museum quality.
There are some good grey market cars for about $25K. I recommend that you keep looking.
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Old 06-13-2007, 06:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by full quack
I have a grey market '83 930, it came with a Washington title & Washington State Patrol sticker repositioned onto the A piller. My county does not require emission checks. Paper work sailed thru with NO problems. The car was originally brought in thru Texas, then went to New Jersey, then to Washington. Didn't seem to have any problems in any of those states. So good luck.
As for insurance, I would HIGHLY recommend Hagerty Collector car insurance. They have no restrictions, only price changes for whatn it is and whatn it has! And they are cheap! I pay $490.00 per year for full coverage with flatbed towing and all the beels and whistles.
Thanks.

I may check out Haggarty. I was going to go with Leland West, but they are picky about mods and mileage.
Old 06-13-2007, 06:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by javadog
First off, any car can be legally imported without federaliztion after 25 years. ....

JR

Thanks JR. That is some excellent information. I am going to look at the car again Friday and then if I decide I want it, will arrange for a PPI.

I am set up with Leland West right now, but may check out the competition as well. I am concerned about the K27 turbo and the upgraded exhaust may be frowned on, or I will be sur charged for it.

I will update later.

-Joel
Old 06-13-2007, 06:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by 911nut
I would not pay $30k for a grey market 930 unless it was museum quality.
There are some good grey market cars for about $25K. I recommend that you keep looking.
It won't hurt to look carefully at this one if for nothing else, as a ruler for comparison. I am driving over to PA on Friday to take some time and look at all the paperwork and check the car out carefully once again. The seller doen't have it advertised and is ultra low pressure which makes it easier on me.
Old 06-14-2007, 03:13 AM
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I think it's hard to find a 930 worth buying for less than $30k. I disagree that $25k will buy you a good one. I've never seen one that I would buy. Personally, I think 930 prices are rising, with excellent cars closer to $35k.

I also have to say that an '80-'85 car shouldn't be devalued simply because it is a Euro "grey market" import. I own both euro and US spec cars and I have to say the Euro ones drive better. Parts aren't an issue and I've never seen a poorly converted one. In short, none of the "problems" attributed to grey market cars are worth repeating. At this point, they just aren't issues.

Leland West is cheaper than Hagerty, and they don't have problems insuring any of my modified cars, many of which are much more modified than the one you are looking at. If you can live with the mileage limitaions, I'd use them.

JR

Last edited by javadog; 06-14-2007 at 01:21 PM..
Old 06-14-2007, 04:05 AM
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I purchased my ROW 85 from the original owner who had it imported. I received all the federalization papers and a clear FL title upon purchase. Absolutely no issues when changing the title over to my name - to be honest, I think the DOT is oblivious to it's ROW status. They never asked for any proof of federalization. They inspected the VIN and away I went.

I second the Hagerty endorsement. Fewer restrictions for roughly the same money. I pay $450 / yr.
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Old 06-14-2007, 01:15 PM
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Thumbs up

Ok, I looked the car over in great detail yesterday and holy CRAP! ... this is a seriously nice car !!

...now for the bad news, The car I believe must have had unknown KPH (mileage) on it before the Speedo was put in. I thought I earlier saw a receipt from 83 with the mileage at 2,900 miles, but it was actually 86. From 86 and on is where the records are complete. This car was untouched, never Federalized, but somehow it got a PA title. The story goes that the original owner was a Doctor and he imported 2 of these new. One was federalized and they botched it up. Somehow the second one wasn't touched ( the one I'm looking at ). Looking at the little wear and tear on the seats, carpets and pedals leads me to believe the car doesn't have a ton of miles.... still, it's one of those cars that you really don't know how many miles it has?

....... back to the good news...

The owner is a Porsche fanatic and has worked on Porsches all his life. He bought this car for $25,500 and said it was a good find in amazingly good shape, and that's why he bought it. He's owned it since 2002. He completely stripped the car down and did a total rebuild. The car got new black urethane paint, nothing was masked, all new front, back and side window seals, new door seals, a nice aluminum Turbo kick plates, new windshield, sunroof seal, hood, trunk seals, upgraded H4 headlights, new bumper rubber, new fog lights, front spoilers, new door handles, a new 930s steering wheel, new floormats imported from Germany ....lots and lots of very expensive details. The interior is original as is the radio, (sport seats)! whaletail, headliner are original as well. The wheels are upgraded, were polished and are 8" and 9" ... the lugs were made at a machine shop for the guy.

New rear wheel bearings were pressed in, new sway bar bushings and plates, new bilsteins, new rotors and pads. The motor was out, heads pulled, new valve guides, seals and head gaskets. New flywheel and clutch ( less than 1,000 miles on much of this stuff ) Under the front and rear bonnet reveals the car has never been hit, nor has the doors been tampered with ... all the stamped VIN #s match. The doors are the un modified European doors, never been hit. There is a nice blue anodized torque bar between the front shock towers. The turbo is a K28 ( I can't remember what other word he attached to that K28 spider or K28 something or other. Exhaust is a B&B. All new injectors. Oil lines are stainless braided. Timing chain tensioner oiling upgrade. Underneath the car is showroom clean! No oil leaks! The cases haven't ever been apart, so that is the only unknown... how much wear and tear? There is a bunch of other stuff that has been replaced that I am forgetting.

Wow, I am rambling here, but just trying to remember all the details. The car comes with a nice lockable cover and a bra, tool kit, first aid kit and original owners manual ..... and tons of dated records with the VIN # and mileage for all this work that I just mentioned above. There is a document that Porsche certified the VIN on this car and confirmed it was an actual 930 turbo car with the options that it came with.

This car is fast !! FAST !! Unbelievably fast. I had no idea these older 930s could be this quick. I have a buddy with a Twin Turbo Supra and this Porsche feels as fast as his car when it was at 400 RWHP. The transmission is great! Smooth syncros and the ratios are perfect. This car has so much torque even off boost, there is no need for more than 4 speeds ... in fact, more gears would be a hassle because this thing pulls so hard over such a wide rpm range, what's the point of adding more gears? He said there was some kind of special transmission grease in there that was like $30 a quart... I forget what the name was.

The car feels like a NEW car on the road. No rattles or squeaks.... it is tight and very comfortable to drive. Steering is tight and neutral but higher effort than I normally like. The brakes are great! Tires are cheapos, but that's an easy fix.

ok, so sorry this is so much to read, but here's the deal. The way I am looking at this car is; The car has been almost totally restored. There are a LOT of nice details, both major and minor and the receipts tell a story of a LOT of money spent on the car.

I could wait and try to find a really clean USA spec car for around $30K and hope it's the color I want with original wheels, a sunroof and doesn't have too many hard miles. This would in the long run be better as far as the car appreciating in value, but I am betting I would dump more money in a car like that off setting any return when time comes to sell.

I could buy THIS car and drive it basically as a new car .... I mean, the things been rebuilt for the most part and it is exactly the car I dreamed of....black on black with original wheels and a sunroof. The bonus here is the K28 turbo and B&B exhaust..... I think the car is worth $30K pretty easy. Oh, I talked to the guy who painted it and the verified that the car was straight. He too said that anything (the owner) brings to him is straight and he does excellent work and doesn't mess with junk. He's owned 30 Porsches. The only thing left would be a PPI basically to confirm what I already think I know minus leak down test results.

I spent about 4 hours checking this car out yesterday. The owner loves these cars and owns several. He's very friendly and down to earth, very well off, his wife is a high school principle and I am confident he is a straight shooter. I can usually read people pretty well and after cross checking many things, I believe this guy simply loves these cars and is a perfectionist. He put a lot of time and money into the car, that's for sure.
















Last edited by Maxx1; 06-16-2007 at 04:11 AM..
Old 06-16-2007, 03:20 AM
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That's a really nice car. Hopefully the ppi checks out and you'll be the owner of one very clean 930.
Good luck, hope all goes well
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Old 06-16-2007, 04:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by aftermath
Talk to the DMV. Is the CAR ROW or just grey market because of something registered on the title? Do talk to your insurance. Your probably ok, if DMV didnt like the car, they would have been all over it when it was brought in ( assumming it came from another country - ROW ). If its a salvage title issue, you may have lots of issues. Which can be as complicated as locating pictures of the salvage issue, documents ( pictures ) showing the repair, invoices for parts going into the repair, special inspections, etc. Spend the time, talk to DMV and insurance, trust me

Hi,
I have a '85 930. Bought in Louisiana. Had it titled there for 8 years before moving to Alabama. To title it in Alabama, they wanted all the paperwork to show it had been correctly federalized for Import. My wife tracked down the paperwork and does not remember exactly what she did.

The point I am making here is that this "run around" happened 15 years after being imported, and after it had been titled in 2 states prior to Alabama. You need to make sure you have all the DOT federalization paperwork before you buy the car IMHO.

I guess this wouldn't matter if:
1) You know you can title and register in your state w/o EPA and DOT records
2) You don't plan to move to another state and take a chance you'll never be able to drive the car there. You would never be able to drive that car in Ala-Freakin-BAMA.
3) You don't mind taking the chance that if you ever try and sell it, someone or everyone interested may want the papers. I was told mine was federalized, and let it go at that untill I ran into the Alabama DMV and then the fun began to find the documents.

Les
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---Les Garten---85 930, Andial IC, GHL Headers, Fabspeed Dual, K-27 HF2, 3.4 JE Full Finned 7.5:1 CR, 964 CAM'd, Carerra 3.2 Manifold Cut/Flipped, Tec3r, Siemans 55#, GSF Fuel Rails, Clewett Crank Trigger, Clewett Cam Trigger,Dual Plugged, ARP Head Studs/Rod Bolts, Clewett Wires.Tial 46mm WG, Tial 50mm BOV, WEVO Shifter,934 Boost Gauge, Wideband EGO Sensor/Gauge, C2T Head Gaskets, '88 MB 300TE,BMW R100RT

Last edited by les_garten; 06-16-2007 at 12:30 PM..
Old 06-16-2007, 09:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by javadog
First off, any car can be legally imported without federaliztion after 25 years. This won't necessarily directly aply to your situation, as it sounds from your description that the car has been in the US most of its life, but it should lessen your fears of it being legal. I'd wager that finding a car like this is pretty low on the enforcement priority list, if it wasn't converted correctly.

There are many cars out there that were not converted or partially converted (ie. DOT but not EPA,) either because they flew under the radar, or one of the previous owners took advantage of some of the loopholes that have existed in the laws from time to time. Having said that, once they are registered in a state, there doesn't seem to be much of a way to track the car subsequently. I don't feel that there is a great deal of scrutiny applied to these cars now. Read into that what you will.

As for compliance, the DOT was mainly concerned about a few things. They were:

door impact beams
lighting
bumpers
labeling
imperial instruments

The door impact beams were typically added as two pieces of tubing, one end bolted to each door jamb (front and rear) and then welded in the center. They don't exactly replicate what the factory did and are typically poorly done or missing altogether.

The glass typically already had DOT labeling and this fact was documented.

The lights were changed to US spec lights.

Sometimes the bumpers had their crush tubes changed to the US spec "shock" type. Most didn't.

The various labels were installed. The US had different requirements for many labels. For example, the euro cars relied on international symbols for things like the headlight switch while the US liked to see a word LIGHTS. The US also wanted serial number/production labels on the A pillar and left door jamb. None of this was particularily difficult. The speedometers (and sometimes other gauges) were changed out to get rid of the metric labels and convert them to usage where we measure speed in mph. This also presented a nice opportunity to eliminate any mileage that the cars accumulated while in Europe. A typical deal was for a car to be driven for a few years, then sold. The new owner would then convert the car and ship it across the pond. Lots of miles were lost here. A turbo is somewhat less likely to have suffered this abuse than an SC, as more of those cars were imported as new cars. This is one area that you really have to watch.

As for the EPA, you had to pass an emissions test. This was a little harder, but not impossible. The main difference was the fact that US cars had a catalytic converter and O2 sensor feedback to the fuel system for keeping the mixture where the cat liked it. You could change out all of the parts necessary to make one engine mostly like another but I suspect this was seldom done. They might have stuffed a cat onto the car and tweaked the mixture and hoped for the best. Short term, this was do-able. A great many cars were imported at a time when there was a one time exemption from meeting the EPA rules, so they just complied with those and skipped the EPA stuff. Later Carreras were available in Europe with an O2 sensor and cat and those are easy to convert.

The cars are also easy to "un-convert" so I suspect that was the fate of a lot of them. Many were legalized using photos and documentation from other cars.

At this point, many years down the line, the subsequent use of the car would be more important to me, at least for a car that has been here for twenty years or more. If a car spent 20 years in Europe and was recently imported, I'd wouldn't likely look at it. They can get used hard over there and put away wet.

If a car is said to be converted, get the paperwork that went with it. It usually fillls a three ring binder. You can also check with the government to see if they have the serial number on file showing a particular car was legally imported. Do a Google search and you can find phone numbers for both the EPA and DOT. If you have access to detailed photos of the car, I can usually tell you what has been done to it.

You need to get a thorough PPI. Most inspections I have done on a prospective purchase take a whole day. If you have any detailed questions, feel free to email me. I've been down this road many times. I also have a lot of cars insured with Leland West, so I can answer those questions too.

JR
Hi JDog,
My experience in 2000 runs 180 degrees against your advice above. I had to provide EPA and DOT for the state of Ala-Freakin-BAMA of all places. I am now titled in FL and they weren't interested in any of this.

Les
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---Les Garten---85 930, Andial IC, GHL Headers, Fabspeed Dual, K-27 HF2, 3.4 JE Full Finned 7.5:1 CR, 964 CAM'd, Carerra 3.2 Manifold Cut/Flipped, Tec3r, Siemans 55#, GSF Fuel Rails, Clewett Crank Trigger, Clewett Cam Trigger,Dual Plugged, ARP Head Studs/Rod Bolts, Clewett Wires.Tial 46mm WG, Tial 50mm BOV, WEVO Shifter,934 Boost Gauge, Wideband EGO Sensor/Gauge, C2T Head Gaskets, '88 MB 300TE,BMW R100RT
Old 06-16-2007, 12:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by les_garten
Hi,
I have a '85 930. Bought in Louisiana. Had it titled there for 8 years before moving to Alabama. To title it in Alabama, they wanted all the paperwork to show it had been correctly federalized for Import. My wife tracked down the paperwork and does not remember exactly what she did.

The point I am making here is that this "run around" happened 15 years after being imported, and after it had been titled in 2 states prior to Alabama. You need to make sure you have all the DOT federalization paperwork before you buy the car IMHO.

I guess this wouldn't matter if:
1) You know you can title and register in your state w/o EPA and DOT records
2) You don't plan to move to another state and take a chance you'll never be able to drive the car there. You would never be able to drive that car in Ala-Freakin-BAMA.
3) You don't mind taking the chance that if you ever try and sell it, someone or everyone interested may want the papers. I was told mine was federalized, and let it go at that untill I ran into the Alabama DMV and then the fun began to find the documents.

Les
Wow, this could be a big mess. I will call the DMV and get more information before I finalize the deal. Actually I did call them and told them I was interested in putting a collector car tag on it and they said it wouldn't be a problem since the car this year is 25 years old. I didn't however ask if they had to see all the Fed paperwork. I assumed since it had a USA State of PA title that it was considered proper and case closed.

Thanks for the tip.... I will check further into it.
Old 06-16-2007, 02:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Maxx1
Wow, this could be a big mess. I will call the DMV and get more information before I finalize the deal. Actually I did call them and told them I was interested in putting a collector car tag on it and they said it wouldn't be a problem since the car this year is 25 years old. I didn't however ask if they had to see all the Fed paperwork. I assumed since it had a USA State of PA title that it was considered proper and case closed.

Thanks for the tip.... I will check further into it.
Think now and in the future. If you ever decide to sell, this may become an issue. Knowing what I know now, I wouldn't by an unfederalized Gray car, unless I got a hell of a deal on it.

Les
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Last edited by les_garten; 06-16-2007 at 03:05 PM..
Old 06-16-2007, 03:03 PM
  Pelican Parts Catalog | Tech Articles | Promos & Specials    Reply With Quote #19 (permalink)
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Les,

Actually, this car as tight and nicely restored as it is, seems to be a fairly good deal....maybe not a HELL of a deal, but not bad at all.

Let me ask you this;

Assuming I would have a problem getting the car titled in Oh. What would it take to get it Federalized after all these years? I'm talking expense wise and who would even do the work?

The way I see it, the car is 25 years old and is going to be exempt from smog laws and all that other crap by getting a Historic plate. I do know that the State of Ohio requires an inspection in order to get it titled, but usually that involves a visual match between the car VIN # and whats on the title... that's it.

Concerning selling it in the future. If someone out of State buys it.... they will be responsible for having if Federalized if needed... and that will be part of the deal. They will be told up front they will have to check it out first before they give me their money. I don't really see any big problem, but never the less you brought up a very valid point and I appreciate the information. I'll check more in depth and post the results.
Old 06-16-2007, 03:40 PM
  Pelican Parts Catalog | Tech Articles | Promos & Specials    Reply With Quote #20 (permalink)
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