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Buying without the car's paperwork, thoughts?

I'm in an interesting dilemma. I've found a realy nice 930, mechanically in very good shape, has had some "typical" mods (intercooler, exhaust, turbo) but no sign of abuse at all. Good car overall. PPI will be done soon, unless I change my mind.

The car was purchased by the dealer from an estate of it's long-time owner/collector , and the widower did not have the paperwork when she sold them the car. I'm sure the owner had a book or folder somewhere in the house with all the paperwork, but seriously doubt that it can be recovered anytime soon, if at all.
Beside the point of the car being good, what are your thoughts on buying a car without all the paperwork? It's an 84 (legally imported and sold through a US dealer, so no "federalization concerns on my part).

Old 04-25-2012, 06:06 AM
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if it has a clear title I wouldn't worry about it.
Old 04-25-2012, 06:32 AM
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Just make sure the PPI is very thorough.
Old 04-25-2012, 06:36 AM
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You cannot transfer ownership without a title. It is not legally their car without a transfer of title. Last registered owner has to request duplicate title. I believe in your state you walk in and out the same day with the dupe title? Unlike some states where it takes months.
Old 04-25-2012, 06:36 AM
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Sorry, I should have been more clear. The title is clear, and legal. The paperwork missing is the receipts of the work done on the car from the day it was purchased originally. I know a lot of the older air cooled have gaps in the paperwork, but usually the second or third owner have been thorough and kept some documentation.

This one has nothing, it is just like buying a typical used car.
Old 04-25-2012, 06:44 AM
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If it looks good and the story was legit, I wouldn't have an issue if you are mechanically inclined.

But, I've been known to take huge risks with cars that others might shy from.....
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Old 04-25-2012, 06:53 AM
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The original state it was titled in required the EPA DOT release paperwork. The first titled owner in the state it was previously titled in ( if not Texas ) should be noted on the current title for the car. Irregardless if it has a current title and had license plates issued and was insured to drive on the street it would indicate it has had the release paperwork in order when originally titled, otherwise it legally could not have been licensed and insured by the previous owner. As Tt surgeon previously responded not to be worried about it. Just do as you like to verify the condition you expect it to be in for the price you are willing to pay.

So much for asking about what time it is and get my response of how to build a clock.
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Last edited by voitureltd; 04-25-2012 at 08:52 AM..
Old 04-25-2012, 08:39 AM
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Paperwork...I have major gaps in the paper that came with my car, most likely because it had several owners before landing in my hands. Consequently, the largest contributor to the paper-trail is ME. And, since I do all of my own work, the "paper" is simply a spreadsheet that documents all the work I have done over the years and all associated receipts for purchases. That will just have to be enough to satisfy the next owner when I'm dead and gone.
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Old 04-25-2012, 08:46 AM
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Depending on where the car is located, no title is NOT an issue. In NH and a lot of other states, all you need is a bill of sale for cars older than 15 years. They do a VIN verification to make sure the numbers match the bill of sale and you are good.

Again, depending on where YOU are located and the DEALER selling it is located. Although, that being said, it is much easier for a dealer to get the VIN verified and apply for a title than you would be able to. I would have a few concerns about that.

You can check the VIN here or other places to see if any red flags come up.

Used Car Automobile History Report- VIN number check - Car History
Old 04-25-2012, 09:48 AM
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thank you all for all your responses. It is no longer an issue.

After leading me on for about a week, the dealer just sold the car under my nose.
Old 04-25-2012, 10:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JMGaston View Post
thank you all for all your responses. It is no longer an issue.

After leading me on for about a week, the dealer just sold the car under my nose.
Be aware there is lots of interest in the early 930 ( before 1980 ) cars. I have several dealers/collectors from Germany and elsewhere that check in regularly to see if I have any to sell. I sold 4 cars last year to one collector when he visited my collection in 2 hours time and later one more thru ebay to the same guy as he was the high bidder knowing that I have exceptional cars. He is over here often and has a big check book and knows these cars very well and does not take him long to make up his mind. He would buy more of mine at big prices if I wanted to sell him the ones he wants. I am still a collector/dealer so I only sell the ones I either have lost interest in or put in inventory ones I buy but do not plan to keep for awhile.
So bottom line is you need to act quickly when you find one that meets your condition and price requirements when the 930 is offered for sale on the open market. The sharks are circling.
Better luck on your next find.
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Old 04-25-2012, 11:04 AM
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Thanks Tony. I was moving as fast as the dealer would let me on this one. I had two mechanics ready for the PPI last week, but the dealer kept telling me on a daily basis he would send me the photos I wanted of the underside. I didn't get the photos until last night, and he sold the car this morning. I'm gutted.
Old 04-25-2012, 11:12 AM
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Good for you, I believe he saves you a tremendous headache with a car with no papers. I did it once, and never again. M2C
Old 04-25-2012, 11:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JMGaston View Post
Thanks Tony. I was moving as fast as the dealer would let me on this one. I had two mechanics ready for the PPI last week, but the dealer kept telling me on a daily basis he would send me the photos I wanted of the underside. I didn't get the photos until last night, and he sold the car this morning. I'm gutted.
JM, Could be the dealer was unsure ( if a 930 was not is specialty and no records ) if it would pass PPI if you told him you would pay his price subject to that, and was dragging his feet or found a buyer that was an easier sale for him, for that or an other reason. Best in the future to send (or in person ) a deposit with a contract subject to your agreeaable conditions. That way he will know it is sold and not be tempted to sell it to others and spend his time on his next deal. Over the years I've been there which is why i offer you this advice. We are all in competetion ( dealers/collectors/ or people like you just want one to keep ) for the nice ones, so welcome to the crowd.
Seriously I do hope you get the one that is right for you.
Maybe someone on this forum is looking for a good home for their 930 that needs a new owner?
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Last edited by voitureltd; 04-25-2012 at 11:33 AM..
Old 04-25-2012, 11:30 AM
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thank you, very sound advice.
Old 04-25-2012, 12:11 PM
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Never EVER buy a car without papers....period.
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Old 04-25-2012, 02:52 PM
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I believe the car in question had a clear title, just no receipts for service work. That's not a car "without papers "in my book.
Old 04-25-2012, 03:24 PM
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TT Surgeon is 100% correct. All that was missing were the service/mods records.
Old 04-25-2012, 03:47 PM
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as long as you have a title and the car checks out you are good to go..
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Old 04-25-2012, 06:16 PM
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Any 930 from 1980-85 are going to be grey market cars. I don't think it was possible for a dealer to import without federalization. It's a moot point because anything over 25 years old only needs a safety inspection in texas.

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Old 04-25-2012, 08:02 PM
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