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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-01-2017, 11:39 PM Thread Starter
 
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68 gto vin

Hi guys

I know vin questions have been asked a million times but my searches came up empty. I'm contemplating purchasing a 68 gto that's in less than good condition. I want to make sure it's not been stolen or had the numbers tampered with. The dash vin corresponds to the info on the body tag as far as assembly plant and it being a convertible. The body tag also matches color and interior. For peace of mind, are there any locations on a 68 where a hidden vin or partial vin might be that aren't on the engine, transmission, or frame. I am hoping for something I can see easy unlike a frame and something that's not commonly swapped like motor and transmission.

I'm being extra careful because this car is coming from one of the "no title" states where old cars don't have titles. It will have a bill of sale but I want my due diligence done.

Second, the dash vin is heavily surface rusted. It's readable just surface rusty. What's it supposed to look like and how do you guys restore those without removing it from the car. I want to make sure it's savable before I buy the car. I'm assuming a light treatment with a wire brush and some satin black paint would do the trick but what do you guys do?
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-02-2017, 12:12 AM
 
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I didn't find partial VIN stamps on any of the body panels on my 68 convertible (Arlington plant). The only place for partial VIN numbers are the frame, engine and manual transmission.

I did find what appears to be date stamps on nearly every individual body panel part that was used to assemble the body at the Fisher plant. However I wasn't able to locate or read hardly any of the date stamp until after the body was stripped and epoxy coated....then they stood out and were easy to identify.

The date stamp on the frame is readily accessible. Located very close to the LH tailpipe hangar. I think the date on my frame was about 6 weeks before the invoice date on the BHC.

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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-02-2017, 10:49 AM Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by Shake-N-Bake View Post
I didn't find partial VIN stamps on any of the body panels on my 68 convertible (Arlington plant). The only place for partial VIN numbers are the frame, engine and manual transmission.

I did find what appears to be date stamps on nearly every individual body panel part that was used to assemble the body at the Fisher plant. However I wasn't able to locate or read hardly any of the date stamp until after the body was stripped and epoxy coated....then they stood out and were easy to identify.

The date stamp on the frame is readily accessible. Located very close to the LH tailpipe hangar. I think the date on my frame was about 6 weeks before the invoice date on the BHC.

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Thanks that's very useful. If there are no hidden or partial vins on the body then I won't run the risk of finding two different vins and not knowing if the tags were swapped in the past. This car is from the Baltimore plant but I'd think it would be similar in respect to vin locations or lack of.

What does your dash vin look like on your 68? This one is all rust covered.
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-02-2017, 03:25 PM
 
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The VIN tag on my car is in good shape. Not sure what the original finish was though....maybe someone else can help with that question...

It sorta looks like it had a dark grey phosphate finish originally. That is what I went with. It looks good and has good contrast next to the black painted dash.

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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-02-2017, 07:37 PM
 
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Garage
OK, here is the location of the VIN number found on the left rear frame rail. I blanked out my VIN to hide it, but you can easily see where it is found.

The VIN may be a little faint due to age/corrosion. What I did was clean up the frame, painted it black, then put some white paint over the numbers and wiped it off leaving the numbers visible. "Parrish" is the manufacturer of my rear frame section as there were a couple companies that made these. The last 7 digits of the VIN are stamped below "Parrish" and then below the VIN is what appears to be the date - mine is a 1968 Lemans.

This should clear it up for you and confirm your car. My home state of CT did not have titles until around 1970, so a bill of sale is legal and the motor vehicle department should know this and accept a bill of sale as a legal document even if you live in a state that has used titles for all their cars - each state can be different.
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-02-2017, 11:22 PM
 
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That is interesting that Jim's partial VIN is stamped on the side of the frame....I thought the partial VIN was always stamped on the top of the frame rails....I guess the location varies. My car has it on top of the frame rail. If Paul Zazarine and Chuck Roberts are correct...then all convertible frames in 68 were made by A.O. Smith. The convertible frame number should be 3908665. Frame assembly date would be below that number. Month/Day.

I agree with Jim....the partial VIN stamp is very faint. Here is a photo of my frame stamps.
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-03-2017, 09:34 AM
 
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Is there not a vin stamp on the firewall under the heater box cover? Or is this just rumer?

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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-03-2017, 10:48 AM Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by PontiacJim View Post
My home state of CT did not have titles until around 1970, so a bill of sale is legal and the motor vehicle department should know this and accept a bill of sale as a legal document even if you live in a state that has used titles for all their cars - each state can be different.
Minnesota is ridiculously and they love to split hairs. MN requires both a notarized bill of sale and a current registration card if registering from a non-title state. Thats the problem with this car. Problem 1 is that it doesn't have current registration because its been off the road so many years. Problem 2 is that the car was sold with notarized bill of sale to a guy in Wisconsin. WI issues titles but that guy never registered the car and just let it sit. Now he is selling it and will give a bill of sale. So the car will have a series of bills of sale to establish ownership but it won't meet the MN requirements. That means I would have to do a bonded title. MN is really picky on these too. To get a bonded title the car must be drivable (hence why I want to run down any risk factors before I buy and put work into it, the sheriff can check for theft history but I need to make sure the vin is legit). Once the car is drive-able it can go through a state vin inspection and if it passes I could get a title after buying a bond. The whole thing is such a pain in the butt so I want to make sure all my I's are dotted and T's are crossed before I decide to purchase. The price is right otherwise I wouldn't bother. Its a complete 68 gto 4 speed convertible in black, just not drive-able and pretty rusty.

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Originally Posted by Shake-N-Bake View Post
That is interesting that Jim's partial VIN is stamped on the side of the frame....I thought the partial VIN was always stamped on the top of the frame rails....I guess the location varies. My car has it on top of the frame rail. If Paul Zazarine and Chuck Roberts are correct...then all convertible frames in 68 were made by A.O. Smith. The convertible frame number should be 3908665. Frame assembly date would be below that number. Month/Day.

I agree with Jim....the partial VIN stamp is very faint. Here is a photo of my frame stamps.
I am guessing that neither of those locations are visible with the body on the frame, right? I would also suspect the light numbers to be hidden under rust scale with the condition of this car being the way it is.

Thanks for the help so far guys. I really want this car and am hoping to buy it after I sell my 59 corvette but in the meantime I need to get educated so I can properly check the car out and make sure everything is good to go.
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-03-2017, 12:43 PM
 
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Is there not a vin stamp on the firewall under the heater box cover? Or is this just rumer?

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There were no stamps under the heater box on my car. .that was the first place I checked because I had read there might be a partial VIN under there but no luck. I have no reason to suspect anything fishy regarding the authenticity of my car though....I have owned it for 30 years and know some of it's previous history so I am fairly confident with what I have. I just figured since I had it down to it's bare nothings...it would be a good time to document stuff for later.

And I am naturally curious and am interested in is this sort of stuff.

As best as I can tell....there appears to be two basic stamp conventions....one for the individual stamped panels that were welded together to make up the Fisher Body portion of the car and another type used on the panels bolted on the car at the final assembly plant. The Fisher Body panels were stamped with a letter followed by a 2 digit number (sometimes 2 letters and two numbers). I think the letter(s) corresponds to a stamp or die department and the 2 digit number is the week of the year. Panels that have left and right versions also carry a separate 5 digit number that appears to be a part number since they different by one digit at the end.

Almost every panel on my car body was stamped in the 17th, 18th or 19th week. My car was assembled during the 21st week so the dates work out well.

The off body parts...fenders, hood, core support etc have a different code it seems. The code on the fender is 5A15M. Not sure how to decode....the 5 could be month of May...the A could be the assembly plant (my car was assembled in Arlington)...the 14 could be day of the month and perhaps the M could be a die code? Just guessing though....not really sure what it all means.

Here are some photos of the body panel stamps that I found.

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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-03-2017, 12:46 PM
 
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Minnesota is ridiculously and they love to split hairs. MN requires both a notarized bill of sale and a current registration card if registering from a non-title state. Thats the problem with this car. Problem 1 is that it doesn't have current registration because its been off the road so many years. Problem 2 is that the car was sold with notarized bill of sale to a guy in Wisconsin. WI issues titles but that guy never registered the car and just let it sit. Now he is selling it and will give a bill of sale. So the car will have a series of bills of sale to establish ownership but it won't meet the MN requirements. That means I would have to do a bonded title. MN is really picky on these too. To get a bonded title the car must be drivable (hence why I want to run down any risk factors before I buy and put work into it, the sheriff can check for theft history but I need to make sure the vin is legit). Once the car is drive-able it can go through a state vin inspection and if it passes I could get a title after buying a bond. The whole thing is such a pain in the butt so I want to make sure all my I's are dotted and T's are crossed before I decide to purchase. The price is right otherwise I wouldn't bother. Its a complete 68 gto 4 speed convertible in black, just not drive-able and pretty rusty.



I am guessing that neither of those locations are visible with the body on the frame, right? I would also suspect the light numbers to be hidden under rust scale with the condition of this car being the way it is.

Thanks for the help so far guys. I really want this car and am hoping to buy it after I sell my 59 corvette but in the meantime I need to get educated so I can properly check the car out and make sure everything is good to go.
I don't think the partial VIN would be visible with the body mounted.....the other stamps would be easily seen though. You may have to remove the LH tailpipe hanger and move the exhaust aside to see clearly but they should be visible.

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