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1963 Avanti on ebay has incorrect VIN

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  • 1963 Avanti on ebay has incorrect VIN

    This '63 Avanti in Nevada currently on ebay has "63RQ734" listed as its VIN. I emailed the seller stating that is the body number, not the VIN. As usually happens on ebay he didn't believe me and emailed me a pic of the body plate, stating that is the VIN plate. I copied the description of the '63 Avanti VIN plate from an Avanti registry website and emailed it to him, along with a pic of my Avanti's VIN plate. He replied that "63RQ734" is what is on the car's title. Of course, this begs the question: Is the VIN plate actually on the frame rail or is it gone? And, how did the body number get on the title? Also, what kind of havoc would that cause at the buyer's state DMV when he tries to title the car? As the car's price is "only $9999" it probably won't be going anywhere anytime soon. (((eBay item number: 143278139626)))

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  • #2
    I bought a 63 Lark at a auction in South Bend that had 2 Connecticut bill of sale. Both had the body number on it. I got the production order for the car. That and a police check, the license branch corrected it.

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    • #3
      Does the SNM have the ability to search production orders by body number?
      Jim Bradley
      Lake Monticello, VA
      '78 Avanti II
      sigpic

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      • #4
        Yes, but costs a little more money.

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        • #5
          I don't know whether the SNM can/will do that, but a prominent SDC member (PSM) once did that for me. First the story: Twenty years ago I purchased a '63 Hawk parts car that appeared to be legitimate: PA title number matched the VIN plate. When I ordered the production order from the SNM it turned out to be for a '63 Hawk all right, just not that one. Then the VIN plate fell off. I contacted the PSM and he found the correct VIN number by searching production orders by body number (for a reasonable fee). I re-ordered the production order from the SNM and it perfectly matched the car.

          Another case that provides a cautionary note: Again about 20 years ago I bought a '64 Cruiser R1 from the original farmer owner near here. When I got the production order the body number didn't match (everything else matched). Back to the PSM. He found the Cruiser P.O. that this body number matched. So, evidently, two (or more) '64 Cruisers had their body plates switched at the factory by mistake. The PSM stated that these types of mistakes did happen. Beyond a reasonable doubt this Cruiser came from the factory with the wrong body plate. So, on rare occasions crossing the body number to the VIN can become a "sticky wicket."

          Back to the '63 Avanti for sale on ebay: I would be very worried that I couldn't get the VIN issue corrected by the Virginia DMV.

          -Dwight

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          • #6
            I took a look at the Avanti, as well as the other Avantis listed on Ebay. There is another 63 listed with the body number as the Vin. He has a picture of the build sheet, with the correct Vin number shown. It may just be listed that way, and the title could be correct.

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            • #7
              I emailed the Ebay seller, explaining the difference in #'s and where to find the correct ones. The response was the same.
              64 GT Hawk (K7)
              1970 Avanti (R3)

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              • #8
                It would appear that they dont really care that much and just want to sell the vehicle.

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                • #9
                  I'm far from being an expert, so maybe just muddying the waters. I kind of wonder if it makes any difference as long as the plate appears as factory attached and excepted by a state DMV. As I recall VIN is not even a concept until much later. It was simply called a serial number, and really had no relationship with what would later be called a VIN on later cars. I doubt the any Studebaker ever had what we know today to be a VIN number. Remember many states simply used the engine number for the purposes of registration. This has sometimes proved problematic, but not overwhelming, at time of registration. There was also a program in some states referred to as "guaranteed title states," that would actually remove a serial number plate and attache their own ID plate, at the time an out of state car was inspected. Each state has it's own system and it would behoove anyone bidding to understand what their state requires.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Hallabutt View Post
                    I'm far from being an expert, so maybe just muddying the waters. I kind of wonder if it makes any difference as long as the plate appears as factory attached and excepted by a state DMV. As I recall VIN is not even a concept until much later. It was simply called a serial number, and really had no relationship with what would later be called a VIN on later cars. I doubt the any Studebaker ever had what we know today to be a VIN number. Remember many states simply used the engine number for the purposes of registration. This has sometimes proved problematic, but not overwhelming, at time of registration. There was also a program in some states referred to as "guaranteed title states," that would actually remove a serial number plate and attache their own ID plate, at the time an out of state car was inspected. Each state has it's own system and it would behoove anyone bidding to understand what their state requires.
                    I believe that the answer lies in your own quote. You state that it would be "excepted by a state DMV". I believe this to be true in that it would not be accepted. I agree that there was no true VIN at that time. The big difference is that the Serial Number plate is (nearly) permanently attached to the vehicle and the body number plate is held on with two screws (most Studebakers, I forget what holds them on Avantis) and is easily moved/transferred.
                    Gary L.
                    Wappinger, NY

                    SDC member since 1968
                    Studebaker enthusiast much longer

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Hallabutt View Post
                      I'm far from being an expert, so maybe just muddying the waters. I kind of wonder if it makes any difference as long as the plate appears as factory attached and accepted by a state DMV. As I recall VIN is not even a concept until much later. It was simply called a serial number, and really had no relationship with what would later be called a VIN on later cars. I doubt the any Studebaker ever had what we know today to be a VIN number. Remember many states simply used the engine number for the purposes of registration. This has sometimes proved problematic, but not overwhelming, at time of registration. There was also a program in some states referred to as "guaranteed title states," that would actually remove a serial number plate and attach their own ID plate, at the time an out of state car was inspected. Each state has its own system and it would behoove anyone bidding to understand what their state requires.
                      (1) Perhaps I should have called it a serial number plate, but the difference is just a semantics issue, not a legal one. The older serial number plate is just as serious as the newer VIN plate to Virginia's DMV--believe me. Why wouldn't it be? At the time of manufacture all the car manufacturers supplied relevant info to all the state DMVs regarding serial number plate location, hidden serial numbers on the cars, the meaning of parts of the S/N (the "64" in 64V12345 is a '64 model, for example), etc. The buyer might keep a straight face at his DMV and get the car titled in his name using the body number. After all, the agents at your local DMV don't know much about old cars. When I bought my '64 Cruiser it was titled as a 1963-64, having been sold in the fall of '63 in Virginia. The clerk lopped off the 64 part and handed me back a new title listing the year as 1963. I told her it was a '64 Studebaker, not a '63. She sent the title to Richmond and 2 weeks later a new title arrived in the mail, listing the year as 1964.

                      Anyway, the serial number plate on the frame is the only legitimate vehicle identification number for an Avanti. Getting the car titled with the body number might go without a hitch, but then again, it might bite someone in the butt now or down the road. I wouldn't buy that '63 Avanti with that error on the title. A novice buyer who doesn't know about Avanti S/Ns might get a rude surprise later.

                      (2) For a car that has no title Virginia's DMV will attach its own vehicle identification plate on the car and issue a title with that number. There has to be some history of ownership of the car in order to avoid, in effect, laundering a stolen car.

                      (3) In the early '50s Virginia, too, used the car's engine number on the title, but they haven't done that for a long, long time.

                      -Dwight

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                      • #12
                        I think the biggest issue is when someone lives in a different State than the current Title State, then you are totally at the mercy of THAT State's rules, regulations and Law which as has been mentioned, varies a LOT!
                        StudeRich
                        Second Generation Stude Driver,
                        Proud '54 Starliner Owner

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by StudeRich View Post
                          I think the biggest issue is when someone lives in a different State than the current Title State, then you are totally at the mercy of THAT State's rules, regulations and Law which as has been mentioned, varies a LOT!
                          Good point!
                          -Dwight

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                          • #14
                            That issue is as bad as the one created when Calif. and Studebaker came up with that crazy plan to sell left over '63 Avantis as '64 Year Models!

                            The Dealer had to get the correct Alpha Dies to stamp an "A" or a "B" onto the end of the Serial Number down there on the Frame!

                            What I have to wonder is, WHY only Calif.?

                            My late '63 R1 63R4275 is a Calif. Title "Body Type" = "Sed64R" and has the Calif. and Studebaker approved "A" at the end of the Serial Number on the Plate.

                            Calif. has the added advantage that probably few or no other's do, they have a provision on their titles for a "Year Sold" as well as 'Year Model" so when you buy a left over last year's Car it can be noted First Sold in the following or ANY year.

                            I would think that process would have handled this issue without all the craziness.
                            Last edited by StudeRich; 06-06-2019, 01:41 PM.
                            StudeRich
                            Second Generation Stude Driver,
                            Proud '54 Starliner Owner

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                            • #15
                              I think the biggest issue is when someone lives in a different State than the current Title State, then you are totally at the mercy of THAT State's rules, regulations and Law which as has been mentioned, varies a LOT!
                              Indeed, Rich - and in Kansas, the Highway Patrol does the inspecting who has equipped themselves with brand specific books for older stuff, and they KNOW the diff between serial numbers, VIN's, and all the rest. They know to crawl under a Studebaker and look for the number on the frame. It's a real pain for modded Studebakers when the owner wants antique tags. They want it stone stock (not even radial tires) to issue an antique tag. To add to the confusion, many HP stations allow some leeway, and others don't. There is a big fuss right now in Kansas, and SEMA is about to get involved in an attempt to settle it once and for all.
                              The only difference between death and taxes is that death does not grow worse every time Congress convenes. - Will Rogers

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