1970 Cougar VIN number question.

Finally after years of just small things left to do, my brothers 70 Cougar XR7 convertible that I is done and ready for the road. :smiley: The only thing needed now was to get it inspected and registered and then get the plates. My brother made an appointment at the local DMV, but when he told me that he planned to go there I warned him as these guys at the local place are known for harassing classic car people and to make life miserable for them. But my brother was eager to get the car on the road asap, and he told me that it was where he could get an appointment first, (for a reason I replied) so he decided to go there, despite my warnings. On the other hand I was also thinking the car is about as perfect as it gets, so what can go wrong…

Well, everything went wrong. Those guys are specialists in one department, and that is when they can’t find anything wrong they make up something. So my brother called me during inspection and told me they did not accept the VIN plate on the car and then claimed that it had tampered with and that it was sitting in a wrong place on the dash. :think: I talked with them on the phone and told them that the only thing untouched on the car is in fact the VIN tag on the dash and the windshield. Of course those guys always know better than everyone else and talking common sense with them is pretty much like smashing your head in a brick wall. :wall:

Next they asked me if there are any hidden numbers, and I told them, you know there are, which he admitted.(this is not the first time I have had something to do with these guys, and I know when they are trying to make problems for the car owner). So then they told me the front fenders had to be removed so they could inspect and confirm the stamped numbers on the top of the inner fenders. I said that is just out of the question, we have a perfectly legit car with a legit VIN in the windshield matching the title and the customs papers, and we are not taking off the front of the car just because you don’t know what a a 70 Cougar VIN plate is supposed to look like and where it is supposed to be located. To try to make this ahe happy I told him I had both pictures of the stamped VIN on the inner fenders,and pictures showing that the car had the VIN in place during restoration. I also told him I actually took these pictures while I restored the car just to avoid at the inspection. Yes, they have asked for it before, so I thought I should be aware up front. He told me to send the pictures by email and so I did.

Did it help? No, of course not. :angry: I am not sure what the problem was but he did not accept the pictures as proof of identity. I got a strong feeling that what really made his day was the fact that the stamped numbers did not match the VIN tag in the windshield and the title as the VIN is 0F94H547888 and the stamped number showed 0F547888 So now he is convinced for real that this cars VIN is a fraud and the numbers are altered with big time. I tried to tell him this is how it is supposed to be, and that he also could find the same shortened number on the matching engine block if he took his time to check it.

So there we are at the moment and we really could need some help here. Hopefully some of you guys with 70 Cougars have some information or pictures that I can use to back up the fact that the windshield tag is legit and located where it should be and also that the stamped VIN on the inner fenders and engine are supposed to be shorter than the VIN in the title.

I am posting a few pictures. Let me know what you think.


Wow, the inspectors are unqualified to inspect older vehicles from a foreign country. All your pictures are indeed factual.

Good example why (at least in the US since its available in most states) its best, if your restoring and have the car apart, to get the VIN verification while the car is apart.

Best advice I can offer at this time is that you try and establish with the inspector what organization or individual9s) they would consider expert and set up an opportunity for them to call them as a disinterested third party. Might be someone in the National Club, a large business who’s focus is Cougars or an individual recognized (one that the inspector can find on their own with a little help on the internet to confirm) as a subject matter expert.

Distance it too great (though have heard of some that have traveled from the US to the Middle East and Europe to inspect cars) to bring someone in

Best I’ve got at this juncture. Most of these people don’t know what you know but don’t want to be reminded of that. Most are just promoting up the ranks and don’t specialize in the area. With all the bad information out there it might be a good thing :naughty:

Hope this helps in some way

Funny thing is, I am the technical advisor of the Mercury Club of Norway and I am supposed to be the expert that take care of problems like this. Since I don’t have other 70 Cougars at hand right now that is why I asked for a little help on this one. I just need good photos that shows where the VIN tag sits in the windshield and how it looks on other 70 Cougars. I found some good information in the latest WCCC video on youtube, but the pictures from the screen dump did not come out too good.

Gry - Don’t know if this helps but the 1970 Workshop Manial - Volume 1 Section 10-01-01 has the description of the Vin tag and where it should be located.


Gry, message me your email address. I can snap a few pics of my own car later tonight, if you need (I don’t have any currently that show the placement well). I’ll go through my Eliminator files and see if I have some other good examples that I can send your way.

Here’s a pic from my 1970. VIN is in original location. Hope that helps.

Thanks everyone, it seems like things will (hopefully) be OK next week. After some heavy arguing, showing pictures and then some more information they told us to take the car back on Wednesday for a new evaluation, and that is usually their way to say OK, we changed our mind, you were right all the time. :slight_smile:

Boy I hope that works out for you. Very nice ride by the way!!

The Colorado State Patrol is the only authorized VIN inspection in Colorado. The state approved emissions testing stations can view the VIN, but I was warned by the CSP that they are not very accurate nor approved fully to do inspections. Guess that’s the “gray area” in the laws!.

So, I had a customer Cat that the dash VIN was missing. We took it to the CSP (on a trailer) and had the inspector( with a holstered hand gun!) look over the car. Despite the door tag, the fender VIN visable, and the original owners manual, they insisted that a state issued ID tag must be applied for.

That all took over 3 months. Multiple trips to DMV for VIN research on the state & federal databases, local lookup for last registered owner, and a final return to the CSP for a plate installation. We now have a legal Cougar w/ the door tag still in place.

I learned that the requirements for a “Public” VIN vs. a Private VIN are as follows.

  1. Dash VIN is a public one. All others are considered private VIN. IE: Can it be seen w/ out opening anything.

  2. The stamped VIN was moved outboard of the notch in the fender where part of the VIN can be seen. This was done in 68 by Federal law. This explains why all the VIN #'s can almost be read, but not fully. This was explained by the armed CSP officer!

  3. My only question (and I was NOT about to ask Mr. CSP) is why he installed the “State issued ID tag” in the door jamb and not somewhere it can be seen by the public!

So, ask if there is any other place to have this inspection done, and maybe a letter explaining to the State why these so called experts are no where near experts.

The Colorado State Patrol is the only authorized VIN inspection in Colorado. The state approved emissions testing stations can view the VIN, but I was warned by the CSP that they are not very accurate nor approved fully to do inspections

Any local Police Dept. can perform a VIN Inspection. You should check with them to make sure they do. When I needed to have the title for my cat reissued, (I either lost the original or it got destroyed or ???) I did some research on the Colorado DMV website and after a few inquires, found out what forms were needed and who to contact. The forms needed were-

  1. Verification of Vehicle Identification Number (DR2698)
  2. State of Colorado, Motor Vehicle Bill of Sale, For Purged Colorado Record
  3. Signature Statement
  4. Proof of ownership ( I had a copy of the original title)
    I then contacted the Thornton Police Department and a officer came out and verified the VIN on the dash and reviewed the paperwork. After that, I went back to DMV and filed the paperwork. A couple of weeks later, I received the new title and registration and went back to get the 5 year collector plates. She is now registered legally and licensed/insured under Colorado Law.
    This went fairly easy since the car was never registered anywhere else since I have owned her, so no research or vehicle history search was necessary.
    P.S. Keep in touch once in a while ok?

I was told by the CSP the only the CSP was allowed to do the required inspection. I don’t think the local police have the man power nor the ability to do this work. Think about it. How can each one of them know the details of location, type & etc. of each make & model.
My guess is they can do a “verification” and not the CSP “inspection”?

The CSP has a trained specialist the do the inspection & fill out the legal forms they send directly to the DMV. These forms are NOT avail to the public.

Anyway, we did as required by the CSP, DMV, and now the new owner is legal with insurance & 5 years collector plates.

BTW the CSP main headquarters is in Golden and only a few miles away so all is good!

Been the busiest working on Cougars that I have ever been, Dave.

FoMOCo picnic this Sunday 6-26-2016 @ Arapahoe park Lots of Cool cars & Cats. Maybe stop by?