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Thread: Need help making an offer, 1947 Knucklehead

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
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    10

    Default Need help making an offer, 1947 Knucklehead

    Good Morning,
    Not sure if this is where to ask for advice, but I will give it a try. I have found a 1947 knucklehead engine, no title, looks rough but turns, sitting on a 1949 panhead rolling chassis also rough. Bobbed rear render, rattle can paint, tanks don't look great, no emblems, no front fender, no floorboards, home made exhaust, electrical looks shot. Pretty much everything needs redone from the ground up. Does anyone have an idea of what something like this might be worth, especially with no title? Its been sitting in a garage for the last 20 years and now its part of an estate that will eventually be sold.
    Thanks everyone!
    Eric

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
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    15

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    Do the engine numbers look legit ? Correspond with the belly numbers ? This and the rules of your state will play into the difficulty level and expense of ever obtaining paper. (It can be difficult here in OH)

    And that effects value JMO

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
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    10

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    Thanks for the response. I've seen a picture of the engine number, looks good. I haven't seen the belly numbers yet. I'm hoping to make it out in a couple weeks and look it over. Hopefully the belly numbers check out. Getting a title will be hard, there is a process but it will be hard. I've been trying to work backwards to try to figure out what this might be worth. What's a rebuild engine with a good title worth? How much for a full rebuild? How much of a hassle is the title situation. If I had to throw a dart at it at this point I'd say $4K but I'd hate to be high. The chassis is another tough one, in the condition I'm guessing $2500. Just hoping for some expert opinions, not quite an expert yet. Thanks again!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2018
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    Chicago
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    Quote Originally Posted by underwel View Post
    I haven't seen the belly numbers yet. I'm hoping to make it out in a couple weeks and look it over. Hopefully the belly numbers check out. Getting a title will be hard, there is a process but it will be hard.
    I cannot comment on the value of knuckle parts -- not my scene.

    However, it is not, at all, difficult to get clean paper. Whomever told you that did not understand what they are doing -- and for the record, I grew up in the auto industry in Cleveland, Ohio -- I know my way around a DMV and Ohio is a pussy cat compared to some states.

    Anyways, here you go;

    Steps to Obtaining a Clear Title on no-paper cases


    1) Run the numbers through the national stolen vehicle register to double check they are clean.

    2) Draw up a bill of sale. It’s often easiest to just have a relative or close friend “sell” you the bike/cases. Date the bill of sale within 30-90 days of when you plan to register the bike.

    3) Check out the NADA value of the bike the cases belong to and print the page from the internet showing the model, year, and valuation. Vermont charges tax on the NADA “good” value of a bone stock bike. You are certifying the bike is “road ready” when you register in Vermont – hence figuring tax on the “good” value. Therefore, the amount you actually pay for the bike on the bill of sale is irrelevant to them. That said, be realistic. $500 for a $50,000 bike will likely catch a review.

    4) You need three forms to make your life easy in Vermont. The first is VD119 – the application for title and registration. The second is VT010 – a statement of the VIN to be signed by Local Law Enforcement. The third is a local VIN certification. I use the IL State Police Form; though you can create a version of this for your area.

    5) Fill out all the paperwork as indicated and bring the case(s) to your local PD or cop buddy. Ask for a VIN verification. I usually bring along a copy of how VINs work on old bikes for cops who aren’t in the know (which is all of them I have talked with!).

    6) The PD will run the VIN and sign off on the form once they realize Vermont isn’t asking for a vehicle inspection; just a verification a LEO has seen the VIN.

    7) Make a copy of everything (including the NADA value print out), cut Vermont a check, and mail all the originals to Montpelier. If you really want to take zero chances; obtain dirt cheap insurance on the “bike” and send a copy of the insurance card.

    8) About two weeks later you’ll get one of two things back in the mail: a plate and temp registration; or a letter explaining exactly what you need to do to finish the registration (in one case, I miscalculated the tax by $5 . . . and they sent me back the paperwork.) Vermont’s DMV is exceedingly kind. If you have any questions, there’s a live person to speak with on the telephone!

    9) Once you get the VT plate; it will be another 5-10 days before they send an annual sticker and the “official” registration.

    10) At this stage, you’ve got clean paper. The registration is valid and street-legal. Most states give you 30-60 days to “legally” transfer the VT registration to a title if that’s the route you want to go. Otherwise, the registration is Vermont’s legal “title” for vehicles more than 15 years old, and with a bill of sale you can transfer the cases to another party. All they have to do is take the signed over registration and bill of sale to their state – and either receive a title or a new registration.

    11) I’ve only run into one buyer who was afraid of registrations vs. titles. This is when I used Alabama. They had an Alabama reg once that their DMV refused to transfer. It was a misinformed clerk. I had the same issue in IL with an Alabama reg. Once I produced a copy of the Bill of Sale; it went right through.

    12) If you want to run it on the street; no problem. VT sends you a mail reminder to renew stickers even if you live out of state and I’ve had zero problems with the "longest" serving VT plate now being 7 years old.

    13) Flipping the registration to a title has not been an issue for me, save for the Alabama example noted in 11. I’ve gotten several stares and a few questions; but generally a nice demeanor and talking with a supervisor sorts out the “why do you have Vermont plates registered in Illinois?” Of, if I really want to avoid hassle, I use the currency exchange. I pay another $60 in fees; but the folks there really don't bat an eye.

    14) It normally takes me three weeks to get clean paper.

    The only challenge you might run into is that some states, like Ohio, require a physical inspection of the VIN when a vehicle is brought in from out of state before a title is issued. This isn't an issue on a running bike, but on cases it presents a challenge. When I did run into the problem, I usually tossed the motor in a spare chassis and took the whole lump in the truck to the DMV for the inspector to see. They don't care whether the bike is running yet -- just that there is a bike.

    You may also run into some clerks who just won't believe a state doesn't issue titles. Ask, patiently and kindly, to speak with a supervisor. I've even had supervisors who were clueless and had to look up no-title states to figure it out.

    On the flip side, I've also bought many bikes very, very cheaply because of no paper or people being terrified of bill of sale and registration. It can be confusing and the DMV scares people. It really ain't scary if you sort your stuff, have your paperwork in check, and understand the relevant requirements. Remember, a clerk is a clerk -- not a LEO. Don't get into legal arguments with them -- they just follow policy and you're coming in with ANCIENT history not really covered by those policies.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
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    10

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    Thanks for that! Hopefully it comes in handy.

  6. #6
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    Aug 2004
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    Beautiful Northern New Mexico
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    2,650

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    I look at the market and recent sales. Look at completed auctions on Ebay for cases, frames, heads, etc. Make an inventory list of what is offered to you, price that list piece by piece, add it up, cut that figure in half, and you have a baseline where you know you could part it out and not get stung. It is all quite simple, just time consuming. That kind of research is real information, not internet opinion.
    Robbie Knight Amca #2736

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Posts
    10

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    Quote Originally Posted by eight View Post
    Do the engine numbers look legit ? Correspond with the belly numbers ? This and the rules of your state will play into the difficulty level and expense of ever obtaining paper. (It can be difficult here in OH)

    And that effects value JMO

    Belly numbers do not match. VIN side is 47, right side is 41. I’m also in Ohio so titling would get interesting

  8. #8

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    So maybe at one time in this motors life it had to have a case half replaced due to? I have a 71 XLCH with different belly numbers but no other odd numbering and was told by Dealers as well as MoCo numbers/history people mismatched case halfs were not uncommon, had no effect on registration, titling, but I suppose a serious restorer might find that to their dislike.

  9. #9
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    Jul 2010
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    Vermont
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    Quote Originally Posted by chuckthebeatertruck View Post
    8) Vermont’s DMV is exceedingly kind
    just like anywhere else....not all of ‘em! I wonder how much revenue we get from out of state registrations like this, hope it’s a healthy amount....we need the bucks $$$!
    Pisten Bulley is Harry Roberts in Vermont.

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