[Healeys] RE vin plates on ebay

Tom Felts tomfelts at windstream.net
Tue Jun 27 13:27:37 MDT 2017

And with a screw on VIN plate, how can one ever be sure?

---- BJ8Healeys <sbyers at ec.rr.com> wrote: 

>From the point of view of someone who is interested in identifying the current status (existing or not) of all the BJ8s originally built, I have no basic problem with anyone returning a car to use that would otherwise be just a rusted-out yard sculpture.  However, using the plates from one car on another car can mask the status of both of them.  As long as the buyer of the car is made aware of what was done, that's fine with me.  

However, I know that one of the "professional restorers" sold a car that made its way to a buyer who was very upset when he learned from the registry that the VIN plate, while it appeared to be a valid number actually wasn't (it said HBJ8U/42505G, which is a number for an American-spec car, whereas the original 42505 was German-spec and was HBJ8L/42505G).  The body plate was from HBJ8L/34404, the engine from HBJ8L/38063, and the number found on the shock tower was from another car.  The buyer was so upset that he had that car up for sale a few days later (not mentioning any of the discrepancies, of course).

Another well-known restorer, when the owner learned from the registry that the numbers weren't compatible and complained to him, removed the original VIN from the shock tower without any direction from the owner to do so.  Fortunately, it was recorded in the registry before he removed it.


When it comes to reusing plates and changing identities, a lot of things have been done in the past and are still going on that new owners don't know up front.  Prospective owners would best be served by checking with the BJ8 Registry before deciding to buy a BJ8.  There are simply an incredible number of cars that no longer have the identities that they left the factory with.


Steve Byers


BJ8 Registry

AHCA Delegate at Large

Havelock, NC  



From: Healeys [mailto:healeys-bounces at autox.team.net] On Behalf Of Larry Varley
Sent: Sunday, June 25, 2017 7:41 AM
To: healeys at autox.team.net
Subject: Re: [Healeys] RE vin plates on ebay


Absolutely agree with you Mike, this string of carrying on about ID plates is probably one of the most stupid performances I have seen on the list for quite some time. For goodness sake get over it. Apparently most of the Professional Healey restorers should be in jail for their misdemeanors. As Patrick Quinn put it quite correctly, if no one is attempting to misrepresent the car for gain there is no problem. What you are doing is saving a car that would be lost. Go for it Mike!


Larry Varley


On 25/06/2017 8:41 AM, Michael MacLean wrote:

What I am doing is taking a chassis ID plate from a car that was cut up, cannibalized and no longer exists due to rust and other damage and just replacing everything behind that plate.  I am in effect, restoring the car with the number on the chassis ID plate I acquired.  Otherwise maybe you think the chassis ID plate should have been destroyed with the rusted out car.  The parts are coming from many BN1s and BN2s.  The donor, almost rolling bare chassis  (the rear end was held in with a come-a-long) had virtually no chassis ID plate, (see picture below) body numbers anywhere on the car.  We were only sure it was a BN2 body due to the rear trans mount.  So what is wrong with using this ID plate to restore a car with a new frame and sheet metal, a new drive train, a new rebuilt suspension, etc.?  Don't some people buy Jule frames for their restoration when rust or accident damage destroys the old frame?  Maybe the sheet metal had to be replaced along with a new inner frame too.  Is that now fraud because the original owner replaced most of the car behind the chassis ID plate?   These days when you can replace almost any part of a Healey with a reproduction or original part and just about build a car from parts available I don't see what is wrong with what I am doing.  When I sell the car, I will be happy to tell the prospective buyer exactly how the car was built.  I am sure the new buyer would rather have an original Healey chassis ID plate on the firewall rather than some digits stamped into the frame by the state.

Mike MacLean





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