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I wish I would've known about this when I bought my two cars in Arizona, and exported them to Canada.

The Orange one was complete except for a trans tunnel. But it had no title.

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The Yellow one had a title, but was rotten except for the trans tunnel and firewall/cowl. And it had seats, lights, headlight cable, better doors, and some other easily poached stuff that the orange did not.

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The idea was obviously, buy both, cut the trans tunnel out of yellow one for later adding to the Orange one, and bring the Orange one home.

The "seller" was dead, and being handled by his estate. They could only find the paperwork for the Yellow one. I wasn't worried about anything being stolen, there just wasn't paperwork and the estate was sending them off as scrap metal at the end of the week because he wanted the garage empty.

Before leaving, I called the exact border officer who would do the exporting paperwork and inspection to hopefully get some clarification and leniency for rescuing a 50 year old pile of sheet metal. Instead I was straight up told "You're not getting this car out of the country" if it didn't have a title, a dash with a VIN, etc.

So, to have a hope of exporting it back to Canada, I had to have a title, and that meant, the Yellow (rusted through) car had to remain "the car", without removing the VIN, and the Orange (good) car had to be "replacement parts" for the Yellow one. The VIN being on the cowl in the engine bay, meant it had to stay.

First up, with a sawzall, cut most of the Yellow car away from the VIN. Had to remove the whole dash, steering column, trans, engine, wiring harness, everything out of the way. I hacked and chopped and skinned and chopped and cut away most of the rot. I kept a core chunk that remained of the firewall, cowl, the trans tunnel, and 3/4 of the floor pans as "the car". About 5x as much as I planned on keeping (was going to just cut out the trans tunnel and some of the floor pans).

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Then, over on the perfectly good Orange car, had to cut the rubber to remove the windshield. Then remove the dash, steering column, wiring harness, etc etc. And then start chopping the reverse image of what I kept from the Yellow car. Then mash it all together.

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This "4 hour" job of running a sawzall around the trans tunnel for a bit of sheet metal and tossing it into the tow vehicle, became a 4 day job, with lots of help from SLRacer and GTRoy.

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We halfassedly fit the Orange car around the remaining core of the Yellow car, and into roughly car-shaped place, got the title for the Yellow car transfered to me in Arizona (which the border guard couldn't argue, like he could if I showed up with title not-in-my-name and a bill of sale... as that had already been decided in Arizona), and then drove it home.

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It was probably 5x as much welding, months of work, to patch the two together. And it has still not, in 3 years since, ever been as much of a car as the Orange one was right when I bought it.

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None of the research I did, no import specialists I paid to handle the paperwork and drilled for alternative solutions, no forums, nothing... told me it was this easy and convenient to get a title for an old vehicle that didn't have one. I even tried the angle of the seller having a court order recognizing the estate as the owner of the cars and giving him permission to sell or dispose of them however he wished, to get a title to the Orange car. Nadda.

I wish I'd known this back then. It would've saved me months of work and a not inconsiderable amount of stress about pulling it off.

Great video too, I loved how foolproof he was marking out whole sections and telling exactly what to do with no ambiguity.
 
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