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I would have labeled this a straight up scam but I went to the website for the auction house and searched the lot numbers individually and found the car there. I also searched by the VIN and saw it linked back to the auction house on five other websites. What strikes me as odd though is the VIN format/number is inconsistent with a VW VIN from 1965. I suspect that it was given a new VIN when it was registered wherever it was first registered, likely through some type of SPCNS registration process. It is likely a bill of sale only because it is part of a trust or probate sale and the title can not be located. You use the BoS to get a surety bond to make sure there are no liens, and after you get the bond you can take it to the DMV or registering agency and complete the transfer.

They also had this for sale:

1952 MD Two Seat Roadster Barn Find

Last edited by Robert M

One would think I would follow this but it isn't as rosy as it seems....Reading the "Auctions Terms of Sale " aka the fine print: Buyer’s Premium on all items purchased in this auction is as follows....The buyer’s premium is 17% for live, absentee, and phone bidders. The buyer’s premium is 20% for all internet bidders. The way I read it they charge 5.5 sales tax even if the Buyer resides in another state the only exception seems to be a business ( both Maine and out of state) that has a resale certificate.  So doing the math  and wishful thinking the car sells for the low end of $15k add in your 20% Buyers fee ( $3,000 ) and 5.5 sales tax on the total amount of $18,000  ($990) You arrive at $18,990.  add in a low estimate to transport say $1,200. sub total now at $20,190 and you have not started to do the fixes and upgrades ..At a minimum we'll add another $2,000 to cover what can be seen that needs to be addressed. All this and you still, have those  "unknowns" . However, you're all in is now at  $22,190.  Certainly no longer a super deal.

One would think I would follow this but it isn't as rosy as it seems....Reading the "Auctions Terms of Sale " aka the fine print: Buyer’s Premium on all items purchased in this auction is as follows....The buyer’s premium is 17% for live, absentee, and phone bidders. The buyer’s premium is 20% for all internet bidders. The way I read it they charge 5.5 sales tax even if the Buyer resides in another state the only exception seems to be a business ( both Maine and out of state) that has a resale certificate.  So doing the math  and wishful thinking the car sells for the low end of $15k add in your 20% Buyers fee ( $3,000 ) and 5.5 sales tax on the total amount of $18,000  ($990) You arrive at $18,990.  add in a low estimate to transport say $1,200. sub total now at $20,190 and you have not started to do the fixes and upgrades ..At a minimum we'll add another $2,000 to cover what can be seen that needs to be addressed. All this and you still, have those  "unknowns" . However, you're all in is now at  $22,190.  Certainly no longer a super deal.

Almost all auctions are a scam. Add shills bidding up prices to all the above.

^^^What @DannyP said^^^- In the USA in 1968 the swingaxles made the track the same width as the yet to start irs and were a 1 year only thing, being longer than 1967 axles and tubes (which were longer than '61-'66).  I believe there's 1¾" difference between the early and late axles, which is why if you're running the early parts on the back of your Speedster wheel/tire choices aren't nearly so critical.   Here in Canada (and other markets around the world) the swingaxle suspension was in some Beetles until '73 or '74.  Al

If this is a "factory built" Vintage Speedster, the year of the pan will have nothing to do with the number of lugs on the wheels or anything else pertaining to running gear. If you remember from the old VS website, Kirk had "frames" (napoleon hats, tunnels, and rear torsion tubes-- without pans) stacked up like cordwood at the shop, waiting to be built out into cars.

IRS frames were converted to swing axle in the interest of standardization. Standard cars got 4-lug wheels and drum brakes, other drillings (late Porsche or wide-5) were optional. Unless I'm badly mistaken, all beams were ball-joint, regardless of the year.

In short-- the year of the pan will have almost no bearing on anything pertaining to the running gear.

I know that some of the earlier(?) VS cars Kirk built were King pin front ends.

Al and Heidi Gallo have one and I seem to remember a few more on here but can't remember who had them.   Nothing wrong with a KP front, other than they're slightly harder (more involved) to service than Ball Joints.

And about titles in Maine:  They didn't start titling cars until the end of 1994.  From the maine RMV: "A vehicle is required to have a title in the State of Maine if it is a 1995 model year or newer."

All of the New England states (and virtually all of the other states) communicate with each other at the RMV level and all know how to handle this (although it may take a supervisor to know how).  That's how I learned the early history of Pearl's Ohio donor that ended up in Cambridge, MA after living in Virginia and New York.  It belonged to a grad-student.

Last edited by Gordon Nichols

@Gordon Nichols, I am just replacing the boots, not the ball joints themselves.

The boots were replaced just a few hundred miles ago by a shop that was doing other things at the time.  They told me they were using the "good" boots.  They were marked Germany.

I purchased upper and lower boots.  The upper boots are smaller than the lower ones. The upper boot I took off is the same size as the lower.

So far, I have been unable to get the top of the top boot into the groove.  Maybe it is because it is the wrong size. Also, I put grease inside the boot and it got all over everything.  That made it easier for the boot to slip out of the groove.

So, should both upper and lower should be the same size, or is the upper really smaller?

Mike, it's been 20 years since I last installed a set so I have no idea what they have for boot sizes.

I do remember tearing a boot when I was working on something and could not find just a boot to replace it so I ended up buying a complete ball joint assembly and swapping just the boot and it fit right in.  I just stumbled across that naked BJ while looking for something unrelated and wondered why the heck I kept it.

I struggled with getting the boot into the groove but don't remember exactly what did the trick - I think I rolled the larger opening of the boot completely down /inside out while it was on the spindle, pushed the narrow end of the boot up a little above where it should be, then unrolled it, if that makes any sense.

I remember that I opted to ignore the spring retaining clip and just used a zip tie in the groove - I was pretty frustrated at that point but was pleased that the boot was seated properly.

I know that some of the earlier(?) VS cars Kirk built were King pin front ends.

Al and Heidi Gallo have one and I seem to remember a few more on here but can't remember who had them.   Nothing wrong with a KP front, other than they're slightly harder (more involved) to service than Ball Joints.

And about titles in Maine:  They didn't start titling cars until the end of 1994.  From the maine RMV: "A vehicle is required to have a title in the State of Maine if it is a 1995 model year or newer."

All of the New England states (and virtually all of the other states) communicate with each other at the RMV level and all know how to handle this (although it may take a supervisor to know how).  That's how I learned the early history of Pearl's Ohio donor that ended up in Cambridge, MA after living in Virginia and New York.  It belonged to a grad-student.

Good to know. That's how motorcycles are here, up to a point. (Mid-90's). Titling/licensing them is pretty straightforward, although I have had to explain to a few youngsters that 17 digit VINS didn't start until the 90's. I think my 74 Alpina's serial number is 99-004-349 or something.

I hope you have an arbor press, Mike.  Otherwise, replacing BJs is a super-major PITA.

OTOH, with KPs you also need the arbor press to get the old bushings out and the new bushings in, and then have to ream the new ones over and over til you get the right fit.  Just more time consuming than BJs.

Auto parts stores have BJ tools you can rent, for free. I got a tool from oreilly's.  I ended up not using it because I was going to replace the ball joint when I did my aborted front disc brake upgrade, but I have no reason to believe it wouldn't, based on the YouTube videos I watched of the process.

I think that 17 digit VIN thing might only be for manufactured vehicles.

South Carolina required something like 11 (I know that because my made-up trailer VIN was my last name and birth date)

And this is from the MASS RMV site:

"Massachusetts-assigned Vehicle Identification Numbers contain the prefix “MA” followed by five digits."   That's what Pearl's VIN looks like.

http://freevinsearch.net/state...chusetts-vin-search/

So I think there could be a lot of leeway out there in "assigned" VIN numbers and the local RMVs take it all in stride (more or less).

Last edited by Gordon Nichols

I think that 17 digit VIN thing might only be for manufactured vehicles.



Anything less than 17 digit wreaks havoc on the UT DMV computers. I'm glad they let me register as a 55 because it's emissions-free, otherwise I'd have hell to pay every year when I tried to get my emissions tested.

I had a heck of a time with my 968 in NV because, for obvious reasons, they no longer use O, Z, and maybe another letter because of the similarity to 0 and 2. Problem was, my 968 Serial number started WPOC. I had to make an appt and talk to the head VIN inspector in Las Vegas to have my title changed to WP0C. Now, I can't use the bar code to access the DMV emissions testers because the bar Vidder still reads WPOC and my registration is WP0C.  

If I learned one thing from re-registering my car as a replica, it was that there seems to be a lot of leeway afforded to the DMV folks in doing a lot of stuff.  The general thinking is "well, nobody else knows what the hell to do, so I'm gonna do it this way".  

Their supervisors can often guide them into a posture where they won't all get into trouble and that's the direction they take and then figure, "nobody's gonna dig into this in the future anyway, and, if they do they'll never trace it back to me(us)".

Don't get me wrong - Everyone I've dealt with at various RMV/DMV offices in several states want to do the right thing, but there is often so much ambiguity in the rules (especially for a car like ours that they might see once every couple of years) that they end up doing the thing least likely to cause trouble down the road and I'm OK with that.

If I learned one thing from re-registering my car as a replica, it was that there seems to be a lot of leeway afforded to the DMV folks in doing a lot of stuff.  The general thinking is "well, nobody else knows what the hell to do, so I'm gonna do it this way".  

Their supervisors can often guide them into a posture where they won't all get into trouble and that's the direction they take and then figure, "nobody's gonna dig into this in the future anyway, and, if they do they'll never trace it back to me(us)".

Don't get me wrong - Everyone I've dealt with at various RMV/DMV offices in several states want to do the right thing, but there is often so much ambiguity in the rules (especially for a car like ours that they might see once every couple of years) that they end up doing the thing least likely to cause trouble down the road and I'm OK with that.

I'm sure that's exactly how the process went when the clerk went to ask her supervisor about registering mine as a '55.  That's UT.

My experience with the DMV in NYS over the four years I lived there leads me to believe it would have never happened there. As I've posted before, I had a handwritten BoS and a Florida title in someone else's name. I suspect it would have taken several trips to different agencies before I had all the proper documentation to register it.

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