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Learning how to build Lotus Seven replicas...together!
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PostPosted: December 8, 2008, 7:31 pm 
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all iam saying is i have a sand rail with the vin number stamped on my frame from the donor car, i don't know how it was done but it was. next i personally know several people that the original vin and title and call their sand rails at the insurance company as a "buggy"

also i did buy my sand rail from a texas ranger... and he knew about this!

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PostPosted: December 8, 2008, 10:18 pm 
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olrowdy_01 wrote:
With a little convincing I could tell ya'll the tale of how I ripped the back part of a fender and the bumper off of the town detectives car with the buggy. AND IT WAS HIS FAULT! :twisted:


Well, I think if you DON'T tell your tale, I'm going to change your username to BumperLover or something.

-dave "how's that for convincing?" hempy

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PostPosted: December 8, 2008, 11:37 pm 
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dhempy wrote:
olrowdy_01 wrote:
With a little convincing I could tell ya'll the tale of how I ripped the back part of a fender and the bumper off of the town detectives car with the buggy. AND IT WAS HIS FAULT! :twisted:


Well, I think if you DON'T tell your tale, I'm going to change your username to BumperLover or something.

-dave "how's that for convincing?" hempy
OUCH! Ouch, please stop twisting my arm..................... :P

OK, here goes.........

But first, I have to explain where I got the info on how to do this. I used to visit a cam grinder named John Schooler at Jacksonville, Fla who would tell me war stories about when he was racing sprint cars, motorcycles on board tracks etc. He explained (among other feats of daring do) how you could tear the fender off someones car by following his instructions. Well of course I never intended to do that but.................

One time he said that he was driving his regular car (back then the bumpers were not right up against the body of the car). and he got cut off by a guy in a fairly new Cadillac. So he proceeded to rip his fender off. Somewhere in the ensuing "conversation" the Cadillac driver said, "You ruined a mighty nice car here." John, thinking back to the Offenhauser race cars that he had ripped up, replied, "I've ruined better ones."

Anyway, keeping the instructions I got in mind ...........

I was driving my V-8 Ford dune buggy on a 4 lane street (two lanes in each direction) and I was in the inside lane. The car slightly in front of me in the lane to my right started coming over into my lane. He probably didn't see me because the buggy was so short.

I blew my horn and he kept coming over. I couldn't move to the left any more because of the oncoming traffic and all of a sudden I subconsciously remembered what Schooler had told me ~10 years before.

(Without meaning to of course) I hooked the right side of my front bumper into his rear fender opening behind the tire, slammed on the brakes and steered slightly towards his car.

I not only got the rear half of his fender, but I ripped his bumper off too! :shock:

Well................ it turned out he was a city detective and he wasn't all that happy about the parts I had removed from his car. But it was his fault and he was still 1/2 way in my lane when the cops came.

Please note that behind the normal looking front bumper I had a 4" high by 1/2" thick piece of road scraper blade for reinforcement since I sometimes had to knock over small trees and stuff where I drove the buggy. The back bumper was also some scraper blade.

Please realize that the statute of limitations has run it's course on this one and it is hearsay knowledge anyway. Besides they don't make cars the way they used to. Now days you'd probably rip the whole front end of YOUR car off.

Schooler (where ever he is now) wouldn't be too happy 'bout that. He ground some really nice cams too. They had a peculiar idle and you could tell when a car had one of his milder cams by the way they sounded. He explained to me that (at that time) the European grinders had a different rise time (probably slower) than what was popular in America. He combined the two styles and got a cam that would idle pretty good and delivered good high end power too.


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Last edited by olrowdy_01 on December 9, 2008, 11:06 am, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: December 9, 2008, 12:21 am 
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Remind me to never cut BumperLover off! That dude's scary!

-dave ;-)

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PostPosted: December 9, 2008, 1:05 am 
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dhempy wrote:
Remind me to never cut BumperLover off! That dude's scary!

-dave ;-)
It was better than having him push me into the oncoming traffic. Sort of a strange sound when a bumper gets ripped off a car. Kind of a twangy ripping sound. And then it spins around in the street for awhile.

Strange facts about very short cars..............
That buggy was so short that I could make a U turn on a small three lane street and go right into a parking spot.
With dual rear emergency brake levers on my turbo-Corvair powered VW buggy I could U turn about either stationary rear tire on sand.
They don't handle worth squat if you don't (and we didn't) correct the Ackermann.
They are fun to drive.
They can climb hills that you can barely walk up (so steep in some cases that you have to have the tailpipe mounted high or it will dig into the ground and you get stuck when backing down a hill).

For example.
They were demolishing a house in town that had a 2 car garage below ground level. The top of the garage was open to the sky and they had piled sand/clay near the foundation and it spilled into 1/2 of the garage. I positioned the buggy crosswise in the garage and was able to roar up the pile of dirt and land at the normal ground level. That was a 8 foot vertical climb in 1/2 the width of a two car garage!

And we won't mention the time my college room mate started his Harley with no muffler, at 2 AM in the 2nd floor dorm room! He was rebuilding it and got carried away and kept bringing parts into the room and .............. well it sure woke ME up! :shock:

And we think kids are unruly now days. :oops:

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PostPosted: December 9, 2008, 2:38 am 
Shades of "American Graffiti"? :lol:


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PostPosted: February 23, 2011, 1:26 am 
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Sorry for resurrecting this old thread, but it got me thinking, where is the line crossed where it can still be considered the original donor car or a new build? With most (if not all) of these FWD donors being a unibody design without a frame it seems like the line is more blurry. How much new construction must there be to warrant a new title?


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PostPosted: April 7, 2011, 8:38 am 
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damarble wrote:
Sorry for resurrecting this old thread, but it got me thinking, where is the line crossed where it can still be considered the original donor car or a new build?


Like someone said earlier, the street rod guys seem to cross that line often. I know one guy who started with a real 1932 Ford, replaced the chassis with a kit chassis, then decided the body was rougher than he wanted to deal with, replaced that with a reproduction one... and of course he'd already replaced the engine, transmission, suspension, rear end, steering column... I don't think there are any 1932 Ford parts left, but he's convinced it's still the same car he started with.

"It's George Washington's ax - the head has been changed four times and the handle nine, but it's still the same ax!"

Up at the more expensive end of the scale, there are a number of Ferraris and a few Cobras and GT40s out there sharing the same chassis numbers. When "full restoration" means "weld up a new chassis" and "have some guy make a new body on the English wheel" you wind up with a lot of parts left over, and sometimes they get assembled into another car. The joke is, "if you crash a Ferrari hard enough, you get TWO Ferraris back!"


My state has some special licensing procedures for "replica automobiles" that I need to re-check the details of, but I'm trying to figure out a legal way to re-use the donor vehicle title, which would make it much simpler to insure.


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PostPosted: April 7, 2011, 10:50 am 
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There was quite a flap in the vintage race car collectors world a few years ago when an "original" Ford GT-40 showed up for sale. Some research showed that the VIN attached to it was that of an original GT-40 that had burned to the ground at a race. (Spa, I think...) The auction company that was supposed to sell the car pulled it off the list, there was much discussion of its "authenticity" including some pictures of welds on the rear bulkhead that were obviously totally different. (Wonder if the bulkhead wasn't totally different as well?) Never heard the outcome, sorry for the incomplete report. I imagine somebody got sued.

Then there was the vintage event where all eight of the original six McLarens showed up... :shock:

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PostPosted: April 7, 2011, 11:45 am 
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Most states seem to have regs that cover "rebuilt" automobiles; in some states a new VIN may issued. The SEMA site with pointer to that information has been linked before but I think adding into this thread is also probably a good idea: http://www.semasan.com/main/main.aspx?id=62843

In my state the "Reconstructed Vehicle" issue only looks to comes up if you either don't have the original documentation (and/or title) for the car or you need to detach the VIN plate (which seems to be a federal rule). Other than that, there are special rules for Classic Car, Collector Cars, Hot Rods and Specialty Vehicles. All pretty typical stuff.

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PostPosted: April 7, 2011, 12:07 pm 
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If your state has enacted the "SEMA model legislation", then a car built as a replica can be titled and registered as bearing the same model year designation as the production vehicle they most closely resemble. Of course, any requirements of the original production vehicle would have to be met. ie. If the original car came with seat belts, then the reproduction would have to have seat belts. For Locosts, I see no issues, as real cars from the early Lotus 7 era had very little or no mandated requirements besides brakes (I'd imagine you'd need 4 wheel brakes). And other obvious stuff, such as tires with tread, if you intend to drive on the street. The sticky part comes when your state requires a different emissions program even if the SEMA model legislation has been enacted. Then there are misconceptions, even cars from the 60s had a small amount of emissions requirements, usually an A.I.R. pump and a PCV valve. Alot depends on your state. May states have enacted the SEMA model legislation as written, some have modified it. I'm about 99% certain Florida has adopted the SEMA model legislation as written.

Exo guys beware, you may have to comply with Ar-i-el At-om requirements. Now wouldn't that be a bummer?


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PostPosted: April 7, 2011, 12:30 pm 
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I forget whether it was provincial or federal (but I'm inclined to federal), but a couple of years ago a piece of Canadian legislation made it illegal to remove VIN tags or reuse VINs, as a means of controlling chop shops and reselling of write-offs. I remember it, because it was after I'd stripped the VIN tags from my donor, with the thought that I might reuse them. :oops:

It must have been federal, because I think it was a criminal offense (in Canada, all criminal legislation is federal).

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PostPosted: April 7, 2011, 8:30 pm 
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Location: BC, Canada. eh?
You're right - in Canada, removal of a VIN plate leads to the presumption that any vehicle it's mounted on after that is stolen - and proving otherwise is tough (proving a negative, that is...). And yes, it was enacted to help stop chop shop operation. A friend of mine got caught up in that - he bought a truck out of Alberta, had the BC Provincial authorities check to ensure it wasn't stolen, had a clean title, no liens, etc. before he was even allowed to bring it into BC. It came out clean. Four years later, he was arrested because it turned out the VIN (which had been inspected and approved when the vehicle was brought into BC) had been removed from a written-off truck of the same make and model.

Because he had exercised due diligence, he wasn't charged in the end...but he lost the truck (which he'd spent an additional $15,000 on - it was REALLY nice), and it went back to the original owner of the VIN, who had totalled the original while drunk. :BH:

At least in Canada, when it comes to VIN's, BE VERY, VERY CAREFUL!!! If you do remove a VIN, bear in mind that you need ALL of them from the vehicle - and on modern vehicles, there are 15-20 of them, most of which you'll never find (they're well hidden, for a reason). If someone ever resurrects a part of the original vehicle that bears a VIN that's the same as on your car, your car is now officially a stolen vehicle. :shock:

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