: Tracking Down a Car?

11-09-12, 09:12 PM
Anybody know anything about doing this? SOMEONE here should have some kind of a clue.

I have this dream... I want to find my dad's old Cutlass and bring it back home. I miss that car. That car started it all, my whole hobby. When we sold it, I remember I cried. I'll never forget that day, or some of the memories dad and I made with that car.

The problem is... I don't have the VIN. I found the son of the guy we sold it to on Facebook and sent him a message, but I don't know if he remembers. This was 11 years ago. I found the guy himself on FB too, but I want to see if the son knows anything first, in case the car is destroyed/gone. I don't want the full story if that's the case, I'd be sad.

I'm going to call dad tomorrow and see if he has the VIN anywhere, or any type of record of ever owning it, or if there's a way to get it.

I realize it's probably a pipe dream, but hey. People have done it. People have done crazier things. So yeah. Anybody have any ideas?

11-09-12, 09:48 PM
Not any help here, but I know that there is an editor of Hot Rod that had a car stolen from him decades ago, and he has the vin written down in his wallet. Whenever he sees the same model at car shows, he checks vins. Like you said, probably a pipe dream, but weirder things have happended.

Hmmm. How far back does carfax go? Might be a good way of checking if the vin is still in circulation, or seeing if it's still out there.

11-09-12, 09:52 PM
I don't know if Carfax goes all the way back to '84.

11-10-12, 12:29 AM
See, this is a nice thing.

This is the Thread of The Year.

Anyhow, while my expertise and business usually involves finding people by their cars, which they do a GOOD job of hiding, I do have experience with this matter as well!

If you can get the VIN, it can be very simple. You can contact the DMV via letter and send what is called a Public Records Request Form. In fact, most DMV's have a form already made out and they will mail it out to you to be returned to them. They'll want a detailed description of why you desire the information and you'll fill it all out, sign it, seal it and send it back. Not sure (Varies by county/state) if you will have to pay a small fee for the service or not.

There are also sites that are supposed to specialize in this like VinAudit.com, which are meant for tracing vehicle history, but I believe they have title registration info.

Anyhow, if you can find the last registered owner (Who will most likely be the present owner) this whole conundrum becomes far less complicated.

11-10-12, 04:31 PM
Good luck Ray. I hope you find it.

One of these days, when I have the funding, I sure as heck hope I can find the 99 Concours we used to have. I hope she hasn't been visited by the HG reaper yet :(

11-10-12, 05:39 PM
Love Cutlasses, good luck finding it, id love to find the 59 Ford my dad sold

11-10-12, 05:45 PM
I'm going to try and find some photos of the car. It looked like shit, because mom wrecked it and dad and I pieced it together with a parts car that was a different color (mostly dad, I was tool hander because I was only like 7? maybe 8?)

I miss it. So much. :(

11-10-12, 06:12 PM
Man, I may have to track down that old Suburban and that 90 DeVille we had. I guess I always was a car guy, just never knew it until now.

cadillac kevin
11-10-12, 07:17 PM
I always wondered what happened to dads 93 silverado after it got totalled out (got creamed by a ram) in 01. It was only 8 years old and was pretty well optioned, so I imagine someone put it back on the road (it would have been well worth fixing back up as resale on it was 10k).

I also wonder what happened to dads 91 S10. It was literally driven over by a bus in '97. His body guy bought it, pulled the frame, put new sheetmetal on it, and repainted it. It was repainted 2 tone (ala factory scheme) black (top and bottom) and purple/ green/ silver chameleon paint (middle) with a matching flat top campershell and aluminum diamondplate running boards. His body guy sold it in 00 to a mexican (who didn't speak english) and it was never seen again.

11-11-12, 05:05 PM
Stingroo-2 ideas!

Did your dad use an old-fashioned insurance agent? They might have a record of the VIN.

Did he finance the purchase? A local lender that's still in business might be a long-shot but they might have the documentation that would include the VIN.

11-11-12, 06:03 PM
Depending on how far back your Dad keeps records, he might still have it.

11-11-12, 07:56 PM
Stingroo-2 ideas!

Did your dad use an old-fashioned insurance agent? They might have a record of the VIN.

Did he finance the purchase? A local lender that's still in business might be a long-shot but they might have the documentation that would include the VIN.

He would have had to. We sold this in 2001. I don't think new fangled insurance agents even existed.

Not sure about finance, he bought the car way back in 1991.


11-12-12, 08:03 AM
I was actually on a jeep forum once a couple years ago, and was browsing thru other jeep owners pictures, and low and behold I see my very first jeep on one of the members post. I had to study it a little because it had been changed a little. A bigger lift. Bigger tires, the soft top was on it that I had with it, although I only ever had the hard top on so that thru me off for a sec too. But once I starter studying the body panels, I knew she was it. Had the exact same small dent in the left front fender. The "jeep" decal by the bottom of the door was pealing in the exact same spot. On each side of the hood was the same "wrangler" decal mine had which was a very rare style font. Couple other markings as well.

I asked the guy if he'd be interested in selling it, but he was having to much fun with her. Out of the 6-7 jeeps I've owned since 2003, that's the one I'd really wish I had back. A 95 Wrangler with the legendary 4.0 straight 6. All my jeeps, with the exception of my 04 grand cherokee which had the 4.7 V8, had the 4.0.

I had thrown a LOTTA money into that jeep. A rebuilt transmission. A rebuilt rear end. Some engine work. After I was done with all that, she ran perfect! Not a single bit of rust on it which is rare to come by on an older style wrangler like that. But, I had just bought a 98 grand Cherokee, fully loaded and was really getting into the luxury aspect, even tho I 4-wheeled that jeep as well. Lol. So I traded the wrangler in on a 98 Lexus GS400.

Anyways, it was just really cool to see my old jeep looking as good as ever.