New member (New Jersey) Need buying tips!

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  • #233273
    Mario
    Participant

    @redd

    Hello all!

    Very happy to stumble across this site. Nice to see how helpful all the members can be for fellow enthusiasts!

    Always loved old cars, and convertible roadsters have always been my favorites. Could never afford/store one though, until now. Originals are nice, but I think the replica/kit car is the way to go, especially if you want affordable parts and service. I’m leaning toward the VW-based variety, as I’ve some experience with Beetles before.

    Was hoping some New Jersey members could steer me in the right direction on some registering/titling questions. (This applies to MG TD’s as well as replicas in general.)

    I haven’t bought anything yet, but I almost did, and it probably saved me some trouble. The car I found was an old Alfa Romeo replica. Very nice and everything, but no bumpers, fenders, or seat belts. Pretty much a custom job, using some kit parts. DMV told me over the phone it was a no-go.

    So now I’m hoping an MG TD will be the ticket. If I buy one that’s already on the road (NJ or elsewhere), can it pass inspection without a strip search?

    Don’t wanna do no messin’ around with VIN #s or what not. Just want to find something nice, get plates, and get on the road.

    Many thanks to all!

     

     

    #243178
    Paul Mossberg
    Keymaster

    @pmossberg

    Hi Redd,

    I received your email. But figured I’d reply here so everyone can see and add their comments. There are a fair number of us here that are crazy enough to still live in NJ.

    Re that old Alfa replica, I believe vehicles titled/registered as Street Rods (an official class in NJ) may run fenderless.

    Other home built or “kit cars” are titled as Reconstructed Vehicles and then registered as “normal” cars.

    For a while, kit cars were eligible for Collector Car status (less than 25 years old, limited use). The Collector Car status was awesome because it exempted the vehicle from safety and emissions inspections. Every two years, you renewed your CC status, and went to a DMV inspection station for a two year windshield sticker. They checked the odometer (made you drive, at least a mile, so they could see the digits turnover). And sometimes would check lights, horn and  wipers. Sadly, a few years ago, the regulations changed and kits were eliminated from the Collector Car status.

    For kit cars, you have to go to Trenton to handle titling and registration. I searched all over the NJ Motor Vehicle Commmission site and can only find this:

    Titles available from Central Office

    Titles for the special vehicles listed below are only issued by mail from the MVC Central Office in Trenton:

    • Reconstructed vehicles-dune buggies, kit cars, etc.
    • Glider kits
    • Vehicles with missing VINs
    • Vehicles registered to the military

    For further information on titles available from the MVC Central Office in Trenton, call (888) 486-3339 ext. 5064 toll-free in New Jersey or (609) 292-6500 ext. 5064 from out-of-state.

    PMOSSBERG40527.5194097222

    Paul Mossberg
    Former Owner of a 1981 Classic Roadsters Ltd. Duchess (VW)
    2005 Intermeccanica Roadster

    If you own a TDr and are not in the Registry, please go to https://tdreplica.com/forums/topic/mg-td-replica-registry/ and register (you need to copy and paste the link)

    #243179
    edward ericson
    Participant

    @edsnova

    Welcome, Redd. Boy are you in luck. Two of our most knowledgable & active members are Jersey Boys. [EDIT: and there he is, posting before I could finish writing this one!]

    I just passed my one-year anniversary of ownership & couldn’t be happier. Perfect mix of good looking car what gets lots of positive attention, economical cost of purchase and ownership, decent performance but not so speedy you’re tempted to take silly chances, and DIY maintenance and improvements (cause everyone needs a hobby in the off season!).

    People on this site have saved me a lot of grief already. I still do stupid things, but with me that’s just unavoidable.

    edsnova40527.5243287037

    #243180
    Mark Hendrickson
    Participant

    @pink-mg

    Hey Mario…I’m the other “Jersey Boy”. I’m in Monmouth County. Both Paul Mossberg and I are former presidents of the now defunct New Jersey Replicar Club. Several other former NJRC members are members here too.

    You did the right thing by inquiring here BEFORE you buy.

    If you are not going to build, buying one that is done or just needs a little work is a good idea AS LONG AS IT HAS A VALID TITLE. That is to say, your VW based kit is not titled/registered as the VW donor car. The same goes for the Chevette and Pinto based cars. NJ will drop the hammer on you for that and insist you produce a Certificate of Origin and go through the whole titling process from square one.

    In most states, kit cars list car make on the title as RECON (reconstructed) and the model MG (or whatever it is, Cobra, Sebring, Bugatti, etc). The title was probably obtained through the proper kit car titling channels of that state. Some even issue a new VIN number and a decal or plate with that VIN is attached to the car.

    If you are building from scratch (unbuilt kit) before the seller has the Certificate of Origin from the kit manufacturer or there will many sleepless nights trying to get your car titled and registered.

    Good luck and don’t hesitate to ask questions

    -Mark H.

    If you have a valid title, getting it insured and registered in NJ is not problem.

    #243181
    Mario
    Participant

    @redd

    Hello again!

    Thanks to all who replied. Still doing my research on this, but figured best

    to lay the groundwork in advance.

    Paul: I believe the engineer at NJ DMV mentioned something about street

    rods lacking fenders, but will have to double check.

    Found a guy that was selling an MG TD kit on ebay. He was based in NJ

    but the title was PA. Checked with him and he said the process takes

    about two months NJ. I can live with that, so long as I start before the

    spring.

    Also checked with Lance Motors in NJ, which specializes in replicars, but

    they never got back to me.

    Been poking around the Internet in my search. Looks like there’s more

    genuine TDs available than kits! Some are fairly priced, but I don’t wanna

    hunt down expense or scarce parts when something small breaks down.

    Happy holidays to all and thanks again for your helpful input. Will keep

    you posted on my (hopeful) success in finding something in time for next

    driving season.

    #243182
    Mark Hendrickson
    Participant

    @pink-mg

    IMHO…avoid Lance Motors.

    As far as I know, if the car you buy was titled out of state as a Replicar (RECON, etc.) you can just transfer the title to a NJ Title.

    I did this with the BCW that is now Larry Murphy’s. It had a Connecticut RECON title that I simply transferred to a NJ RECON title back in 2004.

    #243183
    Mario
    Participant

    @redd

    Hey Pink MG,

    Thanks for the heads up on lance. Though, may I ask why? Drove past their place and it seemed seedy enough.

    As for the out of state RECON titles, that seems to make sense. But the car I was originally considering (before finding this site) had no fenders, wipers, bumpers, seat belts, and who knows what other “safety” stuff. And even with an existing SD title, the NJ DMV guy told me it wouldn’t fly. Never got around to looking into the whole street rod angle, but the car may be sold by now.

    So far, my ongoing hunt hasn’t turned up anything promising. These replicas seem to be scarcer than hen’s teeth, at least here in the north east. Probably just the wrong time of year for this area.

    I noticed Mr Gocart here on the forum recently posted one for sale. But it’s all the way down in chattanooga, and I don’t know the first thing about how I’d get it up here.

     

    #243184
    Mark Hendrickson
    Participant

    @pink-mg

    PM me for data on Lance Motors.

    There are plenty of TD replicas available if you look. Again IMHO, if you can find a British Coach Works (BCW) or Classic Roadsters Ltd. (Duchess) they are the top of the line replicas.

    The BCW is came VW and Chevette based. The Duchess came VW based for sure, but Paul would know better if they came in a front engine version.

    As far as buying from distance, there are tons of shippers that will transport your car to your house. If it’s not more than a day round trip, some sellers will meet you halfway too.

    The VW based kits can be flat towed VERY easily with VW tow bar. I’ve got one and have used it innumerable times. All you need is a trailer hitch. Only draw back is that you can’t back up with the car attached.

    The front engine cars can be towed with a dolly or a small trailer…these cars are all under 2,000l lbs.

    Where in NJ are you located?

    #243185
    Paul Mossberg
    Keymaster

    @pmossberg

    Classic Roadsters Ltd.’s Duchess was available in VW and front engine versions.

    At one point, Classic Roadsters Ltd. was even demoing a front engine V6 Duchess, although I don’t recall if they ever produced any.

    Paul Mossberg
    Former Owner of a 1981 Classic Roadsters Ltd. Duchess (VW)
    2005 Intermeccanica Roadster

    If you own a TDr and are not in the Registry, please go to https://tdreplica.com/forums/topic/mg-td-replica-registry/ and register (you need to copy and paste the link)

    #243186
    Montie Henderson
    Participant

    @montie

    Redd there is a VW based TD on craigs list in Dayton Ohio.. Not bad lookin red with black fenders.  Montie 

    The ad reads:

    “1952 MG TD, This car has been fully restored from the ground up this past year. Has new paint, interior, and chrome parts. This is a Fiber Fab kit from the late 70’s. the frame and motor are from a 1975 VW BUG. Great car for Summer rides!! (NO EMAILS. NO TEXT, I WILL ONLY TAKE PHONE CALLS) Call 502-525-9379″          

    #243187
    Mario
    Participant

    @redd

    Thanks guys.

    Believe me, I’ve been looking everywhere. Samba, autabuy, autotraderclassics, hemmings, ebay…. Most everything’s either in CA or FL. Guess I just don’t feel comfortable buying unseen. Run across too many horror stories about inaccurate descriptions, etc. Not looking for perfect. Actually, probably prefer something that’s NOT close to being a show car. A little age patina would actually add to the charm, IMHO.

    Maybe I might trust an established dealer who’s had experience shipping, etc. But I’ve also run into a lot of dead ends with those, mostly expired ads posted on unrelated (data mining?) sites. In particular there was a beautiful black MG TD replica at Gateway Classics (you could probably find it with a search) that was long since sold.

    #243188
    newkitman
    Participant

    @newkitman

    Redd,

    There is a TD listed on the samba clasified site that’s located in PA. Hopefully it’s not too far from you to take a look at. Here’s the link:

    http://www.thesamba.com/vw/classifieds/detail.php?id=1054835

    You may have seen it already. If noy, here’s hoping!

    Allen Caron
    VW based 53MGTD - "MoneyPenny"
    "If one thing matters, everything matters" - from the book The Shack

    #243189
    Paul Mossberg
    Keymaster

    @pmossberg

    Redd,

    Street Rods can be fendered or not fendered. And whether they are or not has nothing to do with being eligible for the Street Rod title in NJ.

    It is actually the reverse that is true, you can not title or register a “normal” car with no fenders.

    Buying sight unseen is never recommended, in particular with a car that may have been built 30 years ago, by an amateur in someone’s backyard, using Krazy Glue to hold the fenders on.

    If you see something that interests you, post it here and ask if anyone is nearby and willing to take a look.

    Barry Meguiar is right. Car people really are crazy! My bet is, if anyone is reasonably close, you will get help. And the definition of “reasonably close” may surprise you!

    And guys and gals, if you see a request like that, consider it an excuse to take a drive in your own TD! It goes like this, “Hey honey I have to do my friend Redd a favor. Wanna go for a ride?” Just don’t admit up front that it’s a two hour drive to take a look at a car for sale for a guy you’ve never met! Unless he or she is as car crazy as you are!PMOSSBERG40559.5651041667

    Paul Mossberg
    Former Owner of a 1981 Classic Roadsters Ltd. Duchess (VW)
    2005 Intermeccanica Roadster

    If you own a TDr and are not in the Registry, please go to https://tdreplica.com/forums/topic/mg-td-replica-registry/ and register (you need to copy and paste the link)

    #243190
    edward ericson
    Participant

    @edsnova

    Roger that, Paul. And Redd– right on re the “patina!” I’m a big believer in the theory that a little pitting on the chrome and even a little rust on the bumpers gets these cars tons of unearned authenticity points. It also makes it easier to drive them without getting too worried about what might happen. Win-win.

    #243191
    Mario
    Participant

    @redd

    Okay, guys. Here’s two in Phoenix, AZ that look somewhat interesting. Any members located in that area?

    They’re both MiGi’s. Any thoughts?

    http://www.thesamba.com/vw/classifieds/detail.php?id=1032955

    http://www.thesamba.com/vw/classifieds/detail.php?id=720574

    (Newkitman: Saw the ad in PA before. Wasn’t too inspired by it being incomplete and sitting for so long. But, in any case, I appreciate the suggestion.)

    #243192
    Mario
    Participant

    @redd

    Paul,

    Yes, car people are nuts. I drove 200 miles (round trip) today to check out a classic dealership (Black Tie, in Strathmore, NJ) that was closed! Of course, we “visited” a couple of other places on the way. 

    #243193
    Paul Mossberg
    Keymaster

    @pmossberg

    Over the years, while on vacations, I’ve made my family visit people I was “thinking” about buying cars from, classic car dealerships, out of the way car museums, in at least a half dozen different states.

    Yes Barry Meguiar….I’m car crazy

    PMOSSBERG40559.9831828704

    Paul Mossberg
    Former Owner of a 1981 Classic Roadsters Ltd. Duchess (VW)
    2005 Intermeccanica Roadster

    If you own a TDr and are not in the Registry, please go to https://tdreplica.com/forums/topic/mg-td-replica-registry/ and register (you need to copy and paste the link)

    #243194
    Mark
    Participant

    @mglondonroadste

    I realize that I’m six months late on this thread, but once I’m back in Phoenix, the location of those cars (one is considered sold) is very close to where I live.  I’d be happy to go take a look at the one left for anyone.  The price seems a bit high for the current market of MG TC replicas

    MGLondonRoadste40728.4927430556

    #243195
    Mark
    Participant

    @mglondonroadste

    I did stop by the Top Shop in Phoenix last month and there was a VW based MG TD for sale.  I wasn’t in the buying mode, so I just briefly looked at it. I’m going back soon to get my top repaired properly, which will require them to stitch the frame bars to the top.  I hope the stitching won’t leak in the rain, but than won’t be too much of a problem anymore. My Miss London will be a fair weather driver almost all of the time now.

    #243196
    Tom Martin
    Participant

    @tommartin

    Not quite on theme but we have been selling the TD2000 in Europe for some years and I have been telling Edward Teo (MD of TDCars) that the USA should be a great market for him. Now that he has agreed with Toyota to supply a drive-train that is approved for use in the US will it be difficult for him to sell there in “kit form” and are there any associations, manufacturers that he should be making contact with?

    Several of the TD2000s have been purchased by people who already own original MG TDs but see it as the natural successor to the original

    #243197
    Tom Colello
    Participant

    @gunfighter

    Why not import into the U.S. and sell complete cars as opposed to kits???

    #243198
    newkitman
    Participant

    @newkitman

    Look in the UNFINISHED KITS FOR SALE here in the forums. There are two listed on eBay that Larry posted recently. Never know…you might get lucky.  Good luck and Welcome aboard.

    Allen Caron
    VW based 53MGTD - "MoneyPenny"
    "If one thing matters, everything matters" - from the book The Shack

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