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Discussion Starter #1
I have been searching for a salvaged defender for a few months now and finally found one, but here is the catch. It is in Georgia and halfway rebuilt but it was totaled in North Carolina and without a salvage title and I live in Alabama.

Is there a way to get even a salvage title for this vehicle from any state so that I can finish the rebuild and tag it?

I would love to buy this thing but if I can't tag it then there is no way I want it. Any advice would be great. The research I have come up with is:

1. Alabama can do nothing with it without a salvage title to start it.
2. A bonded title has to be given in the state where it was totaled.


Thanks guys.
 

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The title has to come from the state in which it was registered. The first thing I would do is run a carfax to determine who the paying insurance company was. From that you can tell if the title was branded by the insurance company (they do this, not the motor vehicle dept) as SALVAGE ONLY, or, hopefully, SALVAGE REBUILDABLE. If it was branded the first way, it can not be re-registered in the US, at least under that VIN number. A few have learned this the hard way, and have ended up selling them in Canada.
If it gets branded SALVAGE/REBUILDABLE, then it may be rebuilt, but must then go through your states DMV Salvage Title Inspection, where they are very critical of every aspect of the vehicle, not just the area of the repair.
As an aside, there is a guy in GA who goes to every auction where a Defender appears, and buys them for resale. His name is Wayne Gayer(sp?) who has a website. Chances are better than not, he was the original buyer, at the salvage auction. He knows the title game (and plays it pretty looesly, from all accounts)
Have you tried following the trail backwards, to see who has the title? It an insurance company paid out on it, the owner would have had to surrender the title. Then, title and wreck go to auction. High bidder gets both
 

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Discussion Starter #3
State farm was the insurer but they wouldn't tell me anything about the vehicle or circumstance due to privacy laws. I have followed the trail around and can't seem to get answers concerning the title in question.

I will try to find this Wayne gayer and talk to him. Thank you.
 

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There are many ways around this.

First off, I'm never worried about buying a vehicle with just a bill of sale, IF the seller is reputable and can be found if ti goes awry.

Secondly, do not buy a vehicle if it is the lest bit hinky until it has had a police VIN check conducted to determine if it's stolen. If it's proven not stolen, obtaining a title is pretty easy, again, there are many ways to title a vehicle under these circumstances.

If it was totalled (and, some states have situations that require the title to be surrendered to the state to have a salvage title issued-Indiana does this for water-damaged vehicles fewer than seven years old) and partially rebuilt, if you can come up with receipts for the parts that were used to rebuild it, and an invoice for the rebuilding, you can obtain an "assembled vehicle" title.

Lastly, if you buy the vehicle and cannot obtain a title using reasonable means within 30 days (at least in Indiana) you can apply for several different titles through a mechanic's lien, garagekeeper's lien, or even an abandoned vehicle lien. There are folks who provide services to obtain these somewhat specialized titles, but I have found it to be amazingly easy to obtain a legal title for vehicles where the title was not forthcoming. It required a very limited amount of time and less than $100 to begin the process and when it was over, the only additional expense was paying sales tax and the titling fee-this is how I got the title to my wife's DII.

I have inadvertently bought several vehicles where the person who took the money an gave me a bill of sale were not in a position to do so. In every case, I was able to get a legal title with minimal hassle.

The title services make it seem hard to entice you to spend money with them for something you could do yourself if you knew how.

Bear in mind that a Defender with a salvage title or an assembled vehicle title will have next to no resale value. Buy carefully.
 

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I can understand State Farm not willing to give you the insured's name, but it would be a lot easier for you if they could at least tell you how the title was branded (Salvage Only, or Salvage Rebuildable). A CARFAX could tell you al this too. Without any other hints, start with the guy who owns it now, who did he get it from, and work backwards. Someone has to have the title, because the insurance auction yards won't sell it without one.
 

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If the VIN is available, CarFax will give you the status of the title and the state in which it was last titled. From that you can pursue a title.

Indiana has a process through which it costs $4.00 to obtain last owner's name and address. A certified letter to that address begins the process. If you don't have a response, or a title witin 30 days, a lien can be obtained and the title is then only 15 days away.
 

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There is a nationwide database which all states are linked to that carry's the VIN numbers of stolenvehicles and vehicles branded Salvage Only. You can use a title service, and you may get one, but be aware that if the VIN shows up at the time you go to register, as being on that database, you can basically wipe your hind quarters with a title supplied by a title service. Lenny Torres learned this the hard way after completely rebuilding his burned NAS110. He ended up driving it on a dealers plate for a few years and eventually eneded up exporting it, though he did get $35K for it.
Withing the SADISCO system alone, over 50 Defenders have been sold for salvage. Wayne Gayer bought a lot of them. Two 110s, so badly burned, they were little more than chassis with a roll cage brought $11K each. They were, amazingly, branded rebuildable, and were bought more for the title than the parts contained. ECR can tell you loads about this. D90s values are depreciated by nearly half, but of the 11 NAS110s I know of, at least three were totally rebuilt by professional restoration companies, and brought well withing the range of those sold without damage history. The ultimate sales price is pretty much a result of the pedigree of who did the rebuild. I lucked out with mine; a truck that had a light top end engine fire. It was completely rebuilt to new in 2002, and given a clean new title by CT. I doubt Land Rover's own quality assurance dept. goes over a truck with as fine a comb as some state's DMV. Schram's right; you need receipts for virtually every componant you burchase for the rebuild, including the vin numbers from vehicles where used body parts came from. Many states issue new titles which clearly indicate the vehicle is rebuilt. Other's, including CT only issue one title, but the history is always there in CARFAX.
 

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There is a nationwide database which all states are linked to that carry's the VIN numbers of stolenvehicles and vehicles branded Salvage Only.
This is curious. I have VINs checked regularly to insure I do not have stolen vehicles on the shop property. The method that Indiana LEOs use requires me to know the state in which it was last titled to run a stolen check on it.

I suspect it is part of the Spillman service, but the affidavit I receive also states that it was checked through NCIC and IDACS.

Salvage titled vehicles are listed on CLUE, but only insurance companies have access to that database (my wife used to be an adjuster).

Again, I've never had a problem getting a title, but I've always made damned sure I had my ducks in a row as getting busted doing shady things with titles is a good way to never be able to earn a living in this field.

Several years ago, I was offered a title for a '93 110, along with the divorce decree that showed the truck belonged to the ex-wife. The truck showed up on an internet vehicle sales site with a '67 109 VIN plate. My wife found out I was planning to have the truck seized as it was stolen by the husband, VIN-swapped and sold to a probably unsuspecting buyer. Sad to say, if I wanted to stay married, I had to give up on the idea of a $500 110.
 

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Sad to say, if I wanted to stay married, I had to give up on the idea of a $500 110.
Sometimes, even the unluckiest of us find ourselves with all the stars and planets alighned just right. My second wife, who I occasssionally refer to as my 'present wife' was the ony daughter of a man who loved to play with cars. In her eyes, he was a god-like figure, so, as a consequence, I almost never get the 'nix-no-nay" on a potential vehicle purchase.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I have both he Carfax and the Accucheck, the Carfax says Junk Title but no mention of rebuildable status. The Accucheck has three things listed on the salvage day: a junk title, a rebuilt/rebuildable and a Insurance title transfer.

This is what is confusing me about it.

Schram, Alabama is apparently one of the strictest states with rebuilt vehicles for some reason. Kind of ironic since there are no emmision tests done ever and with all the farm equipment and trailers riding the roads here. I really want to buy this thing but if I have no chance of getting a title then it doesn't do me much good. As for the resale, I am really not concerned. I want a project to work on and learn from and just a cool truck to take over to the lake and beach instead of my P38. Plus once I get this finished, I can tear apart some of my P38 and get the rest of the bugs out of it.

What am i looking for exactly on a Carfax that would tell me it is not rebuildable?
 

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A junk title is the same as a salvage, non rebuildable title, but the fact that AccuCherck says a rebuildable title was issue leaves some glimmer of hope. Whoever bought the truck from the insurance co at the auction must have that rebuildable title, so how you go about tracking him is leg work, working backwards from the guy who presently owns it. Keep trying. P38s are lovely to look at, and drive when they're behaving, but D's are alot more fun.
 
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