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Author Topic: finding original owner  (Read 15273 times)
camz69
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« on: January 09, 2007, 10:21:54 PM »

how do you go about finding original owners. i have owned my 69 z/28 since 1981 . it had everything but original motor. 4 sp power disk brakes correct 12 bolt 4 leaf springs but build date is 11c no x code. before i bought it a friend was looking at it and said he had it checked out and said it was the real deal . any help would be appreciated.
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RamAirDave
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« Reply #1 on: January 10, 2007, 12:05:10 AM »

Youre best bet would be through previous owner history.

Ive been able to find past/original owners on two cars.  One through the stack of paperwork that was with the car, the other by complete blind luck on Team Camaro.
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jdv69z
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« Reply #2 on: January 10, 2007, 12:13:50 PM »

Is the title search with BMV route available anymore, or has this fallen victim to the privacy laws?

Jimmy V.
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Jimmy V.
lakeholme
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« Reply #3 on: January 10, 2007, 01:49:19 PM »

Depends on the state... Sometimes that's more of a matter of the kinds of records the state kept and how they converted them over to computer.  Any of them that will are going to want proof of present ownership and probably a fee.  If you have a friend in the car business or law enforcement, you might want to "quietly" pursue that line of search.
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Phillip
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"Charlotte AutoFair, presented by the Hornets Nest Region, AACA, is the largest and greatest Collector Vehicle Event in the Southeast USA."
Adz28
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« Reply #4 on: January 10, 2007, 04:05:45 PM »

Looks as if you can get title information for vehicles from some database as CarFax and a bunch of other companies tap in somewhere. I think it is only for vehicles from 1980 and up with a 17 digit VIN (http://www.autocheck.com/). Here is an interesting website from an investigation company:
http://www.docusearch.com/dmvb.html

Lakeholme, do you know if anyone has ever had success with the "quiet" method?
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supv26
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« Reply #5 on: January 10, 2007, 05:23:14 PM »

I have tried the "quiet" search on 2 vehicles. The first was a 1968 Triumph Spitfire. I was able to get information from each state by writing a letter to them and requesting the information. I started with the last known state and worked backwards as each state would respond. On the Spitfire I discovered the car had about 18 owners and when I thought I was almost to the first one, the last state would not respond. They indicated to me that the privacy act would not allow them to send the information.

The second was my '69 Camaro. I got all the info on the MO owners, me and the guy I bought it from. It came from Iowa into Missouri and I was unable to get any info out of Iowa. I did discover through NICB that the Camaro was originally sold from Plains Chevrolet on Amarillo Texas in 1969. I called the dealer ship and to my surprise were still in business but that they had changed owners and had moved a couple of times so all the old records were gone.

NICB may or may not have the info. I was just lucky and got in touch with an agent that would give me the information. There may also be information in NICB if there has aver been an insurance claim with the vehicle and the insurance was a participating agent with them. CARFAX will probably not have any info since their data base deals with vehicles with a 17 digit VIN.
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lakeholme
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« Reply #6 on: January 10, 2007, 06:55:55 PM »

Sure... I've seen dealers, etc. have the ability to help the process on a couple of ocassions.  They know the system.

Adz28,
Do you know how Florida DMV responds to inquiries?
« Last Edit: January 10, 2007, 10:23:12 PM by lakeholme » Logged

Phillip
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"Charlotte AutoFair, presented by the Hornets Nest Region, AACA, is the largest and greatest Collector Vehicle Event in the Southeast USA."
Adz28
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« Reply #7 on: January 11, 2007, 10:37:26 AM »

I don't know how Florida DMV responds, but I do know that the car was titled in Arkansas before me. I believe Arkansas is pretty tight on the privacy thing so I'm not sure if I will be able to get info from them.

I have to say that supv26's story is pretty inspiring start the process. When writing these letters to the DMV, what should I be asking for to get the most chance for a positive response? Care to post a sample letter?

Thank you both for the tips!
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Camaro Billy
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« Reply #8 on: January 11, 2007, 04:06:54 PM »

I did a search with Virginia and Kentucky DMV's for my car. About all I got from from VA. was that it was titled previously in Ky.
I sent a form to Ky. and a check for $2.50 and 10 days latter I got a letter from Ky. with 20 pages of info on registrations back to 1980.
I was able to talk to the third owner who had it for twelve years bought it from his brother in law who was the second owner.He aslo told me who the orig. selling dealer was.
Also spoke to the guy who did the restoration back in 2001, he was able to give me a lot of info on the car.
I was just lucky it was in Ky. for so long.From what I understand most states will not give you much info.
Billy
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supv26
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« Reply #9 on: January 11, 2007, 06:22:45 PM »

Basically what I would do was get the address for the DMV and then write a letter explaining what I was needing. I would include all my contact information, the VIN for the car and and a little explanation for why I was wanting the info. I got the info for the '68 Spitfire about 10 years ago so there was not so much of this privacy stuff to worry about. The '69 Camaro was done about 4 years ago so getting info was a bit harder.
I don't know how Florida DMV responds, but I do know that the car was titled in Arkansas before me. I believe Arkansas is pretty tight on the privacy thing so I'm not sure if I will be able to get info from them.

I have to say that supv26's story is pretty inspiring start the process. When writing these letters to the DMV, what should I be asking for to get the most chance for a positive response? Care to post a sample letter?

Thank you both for the tips!
I don't know how Florida DMV responds, but I do know that the car was titled in Arkansas before me. I believe Arkansas is pretty tight on the privacy thing so I'm not sure if I will be able to get info from them.

I have to say that supv26's story is pretty inspiring start the process. When writing these letters to the DMV, what should I be asking for to get the most chance for a positive response? Care to post a sample letter?

Thank you both for the tips!
I don't know how Florida DMV responds, but I do know that the car was titled in Arkansas before me. I believe Arkansas is pretty tight on the privacy thing so I'm not sure if I will be able to get info from them.

I have to say that supv26's story is pretty inspiring start the process. When writing these letters to the DMV, what should I be asking for to get the most chance for a positive response? Care to post a sample letter?

Thank you both for the tips!
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JKZ27
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« Reply #10 on: January 11, 2007, 11:29:33 PM »

Maryland keeps all records until car leaves the state. I'm pretty sure they discard them once the car gets titled in another state.
I was able to get copies of all previous titles and even the certificate of origin for my 69, which led me to the original owner. I also have a friend in law enforcement who assisted me.

John
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lakeholme
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« Reply #11 on: January 12, 2007, 10:00:49 AM »

I just emailed the Florida DMV. The reply says with the properly filled out form and $15, I can get a 10 year history.  That's because they only keep 10 years of records.  (Back to the problem of what they keep on computer, I mentioned above.)  I spoke of research in my email, because that's one of the reasons they will release info. under their privacy act.  Of course, I don't have the info, yet...
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Phillip
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AACA Southeastern Division Spring Meet Chair
"Charlotte AutoFair, presented by the Hornets Nest Region, AACA, is the largest and greatest Collector Vehicle Event in the Southeast USA."
Adz28
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« Reply #12 on: January 12, 2007, 11:55:53 AM »

Thanks Phil, I will do the same, but if you have the form, can you email it to me (Adz28@wwwebtek.com). It will be interesting if they keep 10 years of records if it was titled outside the state during that time. What part of Florida do you live?
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Rich
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« Reply #13 on: January 12, 2007, 04:14:17 PM »

A couple of suggestions that may or may not work for you in a given state, but worked for me.

1) Microfiche lives forever.  Computer records usually have a limited life, and DMVs will *always* say that they only keep their records for X years.  And I'm not saying that every state has such an office, but every time I hit a dead-end, but was politely persistent and pushed up the chain (you need to be on the phone for this), I was eventually directed to a microfiche storage office that had all back records.  It helps if you specifically refer to microfiche (pronounced micro-fish) records, until you find someone that knows that they are.  In some states this office seemed to consist of only one person n the state, and most of the people you interact with at a given DMV will not even know they exist, so you need to push up the chain of command a couple levels until you find someone that has been around long enough to know where to send you.

2) If you hit a privacy law, you might try to argue your way past a complete dead-end by saying that you really are looking for the earliest reference to a dealer, and don't need to see names or addresses of individuals, and that it would be okay for them to mark through that info with a magic marker (which you can usually see through anyway if you hold it up to the light just right).

Rich
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lakeholme
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« Reply #14 on: January 12, 2007, 05:31:10 PM »

Adz28,

I don't live in Florida, the car came out of Florida a couple of years ago.  I live in NC.
Here's the link for the Florida title request form:
http://www3.hsmv.state.fl.us/Intranet/dmv/Forms/BTR/85054.pdf

Rich,
Both of your suggestions are working so far with Florida.  They say they only have 10 years worth of records, but they do have a microfiche option for a few bucks more.  Going to pursue that... Your second suggestion is exactly what I did (earliest reference to a dealer) and they told me to make a request under the research option in their privacy act.  I now know the Florida owners of the car back to 96, so that's a start...
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Phillip
HNR-AACA, Senior Master
Planning 2016 Sentimental Tour, AACA (and restoring a 40 Buick Special for it)
AACA Southeastern Division Spring Meet Chair
"Charlotte AutoFair, presented by the Hornets Nest Region, AACA, is the largest and greatest Collector Vehicle Event in the Southeast USA."
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