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'74(ish) VW Dune Buggy Build

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Mod edit: Moved, combined, edited... now back to this regular scheduled thread.

 

So I'm looking into getting a parts donor for my VW Dune Buggy. I've had the fiberglass body for about seven years now... it was a high school graduation present from me to me! Since then, it's been stored under my parents deck way too out of sight and out of mind. The plan is to use this car for the frame, drivetrain, and title. Here's the problem though: the guy who has the car has had it for a couple years now, he has the title for it, but he never sent it in saying that he bought the car from the previous owner. Now, the previous owner did fill out their part, but the current owner did not. This would be a perfect candidate for my next project. The price is right, it's in my area, the car is complete... everything on the car would just work.

Would there be any problems if I just filled in my name as the buyer on the title? I know that it would be "skipping title", but I really want this deal to work. Would he need to fill out his end of the title before I can work with him or is this more of a moral decision over what the state needs to know?

What do you guys think?

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I do it all the time. No biggie in Il. Normally, when I buy a vehicle, I tell the seller to sign, but not date it. I never know if I am going to keep it, or flip it. Longest I have gone is a year or two on a dated title. Turned it in, the people at the dmv didn't bat an eye.

 

If I keep it, ill date and sign it when I transfer, if I flip it, I just tell the new owner to do the same.

 

Besides, what's the worst that can happen, they say no?

Rob L.

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I've done it on a car or two with no questions asked.

 

The only thing that I was worried about was that the price on my 'hopscotched' title was real, real low and I knew they were going to send me a letter asking me to pay more tax on it according to the NADA book value. Someone once told me that they also send a letter to the previous owner of the car (and on a 'hopscotched' title, that's the previous previous owner) asking to verify that the price of the sale was correct. This document also lists the person whom the title is being transferred to, so if they remember who they sold it to and they see your name, it might be odd.

 

However, I have received two such letters asking for more tax money on a couple of Jeeps I've purchased in the last year and neither PO of the vehicles got anything in the mail from the state...just me.

 

I say go for it...you'll be fine. The only thing that will happen is that the state will be pissed they didn't collect tax from the previous owner, but I certainly wouldn't tell them you 'hopscotched' it because they'll likely ask you to get the PO to transfer the title just for the tax dollars they get.

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Ive done it in Michigan too, as long as the prev owner didnt date it, its fine, I'm holding onto one in North Carolina now too for my 86 MJ....no date on it, and working at a dealer I can get it notorized without the prev owner being here.... what the state don't know don't hurt them!

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Ive done it in Michigan too, as long as the prev owner didnt date it, its fine, I'm holding onto one in North Carolina now too for my 86 MJ....no date on it, and working at a dealer I can get it notorized without the prev owner being here.... what the state don't know don't hurt them!

 

Agreed. The less the state knows the better.

 

I have been battling the DMV for two days now.

 

In my unlucky run I got a person who decided to basically arbitrarily reject my paperwork yesterday(for paperwork that I know is just fine). Then today when I went back I got unlucky to get the same woman again.

 

Anyone else and I would not have had any problem. I got the same person twice. What a load.

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I've hop scotched so many titles I've almost forgot there is any other way. Usually if I get a dated title and don't transfer it in the allotted 45 days I just tell them it was an inoperable vehicle and I just got it fixed. For some reason that makes it OK.Also in Colorado you can only transfer a title to a private citizen only once. To get around that I made good friends with a small lot dealer and for a couple bucks he puts his name on it. As Volare said "It is the duty of all citizens to find ways to avoid onerous taxes" I really don't know if he said that or not. But I bet somebody did. Jim

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Agreed. The less the state knows the better.

 

I have been battling the DMV for two days now.

 

In my unlucky run I got a person who decided to basically arbitrarily reject my paperwork yesterday(for paperwork that I know is just fine). Then today when I went back I got unlucky to get the same woman again.

 

Anyone else and I would not have had any problem. I got the same person twice. What a load.

 

Oh, I could go on and on about the arbitrary rejection of paperwork at Motor Vehicles. My most recent case was with my '91 Wrangler I picked up from a friend of a co-worker. The PO couldn't find the title and had to get one reissued to him. He told me things couldn't have gone smoother...he showed up with an old registration card, his license, $60 and he was out the door in 10 minutes with a brand new title ready to be signed over to me. I never felt so confident walking into a DMV knowing that I had all of my paperwork and everything was legit and signed in the proper place only to be rejected by an older, pig-nosed woman dressed in a racy outfit who held her chin up high like she was hot $#!&. Her reason? She didn't believe the mileage was correct and was altered by me because one of the numbers looked darker than the others.

 

End result: Use vacation time from work to meet with the previous owner so that we could go to a bank and have a written odometer statement signed and notarized. I then had to leave work early the next day to make it to the DMV to finally get my new title.

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The smaller a person is in real life, the more they throw their weight around when they get a two bit government job.

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The smaller a person is in real life, the more they throw their weight around when they get a two bit government job.

 

That's what I'm trying to avoid!

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Is your buggy a Meyers Manx, or is it one of the multitude of copys.... not that theres anything wrong with that.... but all of us VW people know that the Meyers was the original, and thus more desireable. Just wondering! Someday when I get a garage built, I REALLY REALLY REALLY want to build a rail buggy. I had a collection of parts going to build one, but recently took them all to a VW swap and sold everything... I just don't thave the room to keep it all yet. Especially now that I'm collecting Jeep parts! Youve got a great start there... keep it going!

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Is your buggy a Meyers Manx, or is it one of the multitude of copys.... not that theres anything wrong with that.... but all of us VW people know that the Meyers was the original, and thus more desireable. Just wondering! Someday when I get a garage built, I REALLY REALLY REALLY want to build a rail buggy. I had a collection of parts going to build one, but recently took them all to a VW swap and sold everything... I just don't thave the room to keep it all yet. Especially now that I'm collecting Jeep parts! Youve got a great start there... keep it going!

 

Thank dude!... but, no, it's not a real Manx. I actually have no idea what it is and neither does anyone else! From the front, it looks kinda like an EMPI Imp but is over all too short, a manx from the rear but comes down too low, and something completely unique from the side. I've found a spot by the battery box that at one time had a manufacturer's plate but is now just a shiny spot with broken off rivets. At one time, I did find another just like it online but he was trying to find out who build it too. Should be a fun build though... even if I build up a stock 80 horse 1600cc for it, these cars still only weigh around 1200 pounds! :driving:

 

On a side note, talking to the guy on the phone was a little to "parallel universe" for me! His name is Ben (same as me), started off being into VWs (same as me), and now has shifted more towards Jeeps but still loves these little cars (der... same as me)!!! I asked if he'd be interested in my 33s for sale but he asked, "What for? I run 38s on my DD!!". Needless to say, he wasn't into it but the tires are for sale regardless.

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The smaller a person is in real life, the more they throw their weight around when they get a two bit government job.

This is the truth. Especially if they're small vertically but not circumferentially.

 

Pretty sure my 98 is a double-hopscotch... what the RMV doesn't know can't hurt them. It WAS inop when I got it, so the gap should be fairly easy to explain, I've got a pretty large list of things I had to reassemble and/or install to make it roadworthy.

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as long as you're not transferring titles and vins to complete cars, it's legal.

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Everything worked out without any issues... ON TO THE NEXT PROJECT!!!

 

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Everything worked out without any issues... ON TO THE NEXT PROJECT!!!

 

 

Nice solid donor! Judging by the looks of it, it appears to be between 1973-1977 standard Bug. Am I right?

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'74... the body is unbelievably solid for being a Minnesota car. There is just a bit of surface rust on the roof, the spare tire well is rotted in the front, and the quarter panels behind the doors are kinda soft right above the running boards... a good body for someone anyhow! I'm going to separate the pan from the body right away just to get rid of what I don't need. There's a local guy too who I've delt with in the past that I'm hoping to trade the body for a good engine.

 

Can't wait to start on this one!

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My grandfather built one of these, though not this particular one, as I don't have any images scanned from it, but the one he built is the same color with the same striping. Wild little thing on a VW pan shortened I think either 22-24 inches. My dad has it now. Theres no telling if Ill ever get it because there is a lot of controversy in the family as to who should get it next, as it was my mothers father who built it, not my dads dad. can't wait to see your project make progress!

 

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Thanks dude! I'll be posting as it starts going together. It'll probably start out fairly quickly (my type of quick anyhow) as I'm at a good hold point on my Eliminator and I want to get rid of the body so I've got less stuff just sitting in the way... actually got the body off of the pan this morning and is currently for sale! I'm going away for the weekend and I'm hoping I can come back to someone wanting this thing.

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The body sold yesterday and next was to run over the whole works with a shop-vac. The findings?... rust, lots of it! Nothing structural though. The floors are in terrible shape, but they need to be shortened for the body to fit. Getting back the MJ to finish it up, I'm not sure when I'll start cutting this little thing up. Right now I'm just enjoying the little bit of progress and seeing the biggest skateboard ever!

 

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Alright... I was going to wait to really get into this thing after my Eliminator was done, but I didn't have the parts to finish the exhaust and I needed something to do today. Why not shorten a frame?

 

Started with cutting the rusty old floors out and marking the tunnel for the cut:

 

 

And the cut and squaring:

 

 

Then some welding:

 

 

This was a huge step but now comes all the rest of going through every little part and replacing, cleaning, modifying... should be fun anyway!

 

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I'm waiting on shocks for the Eliminator so I figured it would be a good day for some mock up on the dune buggy. The old seats out of the truck worked out well for working out head room for the future cage (thus the sledge hammer and masking tape). I also put the tires and (6 lug) wheels in place to try and figure out backspacing. The wheels are 8" wide with 4" of backspacing and it'll work out that future wheels need to come out a half inch to comfortably clear in the front.

 

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Been a little while since I've updated this, but stuff has been getting done! Floors are done as well as modified brackets and stock seats out of a 2003 Sunfire. Pedals, completely custom shifter, and an engine are in place as well. The engine is a stock 1600cc that I picked up from a guy who had it mounted behind his trike. Fortunately, he let the exhaust go with the engine so I can start to figure out all of the tube work.

 

 

Seats are very comfortable and have deep side supports.

 

Now that it's starting to look and feel like a car, I'm totally guilty of sitting in it and just looking at everything more than I should. Besides that, it's like sitting in a space ship looking over the hood!

 

Engine... gotta love those trumpets!

 

Very proud of the groovy shifter and center console.

 

All in all, I'm into this project $760.

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Maybe someday... for now the stock 1600cc is all that it is going to need. Besides, 48s on a 1600? The poor thing would drown!!! :yes:

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as long as you're not transferring titles and vins to complete cars, it's legal.

In case somebody comes across this thread in a search, possessing an unassigned title (open title) is a felony. To clarify, a title signed by the seller but not the buyer is an unassigned title.

 

So if you wish to risk a felony charge, by all means, possess all the open titles you wish.

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