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Old 09-02-2007   #1
Fourthkid
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Significance of No Windshield VIN Plate on Canadian GTA

At the Trans Am Nationals last week there was an 1987 Flame Red GTA with paddle mirrors and a 350 CID engine that the participant (with Ohio plates) said was factory original. [ He had the car for sale on Saturday and that was his reason for attending the show.] When I pressed him on documentation he showed me the center console sticker with the RPO codes that contained Y84 and matched a VIN number that was on the underside of the trunk lid. When I asked him to show me the original window sticker, he said that he didn't have it. When I looked on his drivers door jamb I saw that his car was made in January 1987 and contained a blue Canadian Transport Union sticker so I know the car was for export use and not a US Federalized vehicle. [BTW: There is no database of statistics that I am aware that tracks any of the GTA's that GM exported.] This car also had its metal windshield VIN plate missing. Interesting that this guy and his girlfriend packed up the car and left the show soon after the judges came by. Obviously there are a lot of questions that come to mind about this situation.

My question centers around the missing metal VIN plate - these items just don't fall off. What would be the reasons why this plate was not on the car. Do we have any forum members who would know the answer? I am sure that we can have a lot of discussion about the apparent dishonest approach that was taken with a car that may be /may not be legitimate.
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Old 09-03-2007   #2
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Re: Significance of No Windshield VIN Plate on Canadian GTA

I'm curious..Iis the missing VIN tag is even legal, in the states? I'd be leery of it being a stolen car, or just another body being used, to pass off as the VIN he had a title to, just so he could sell it.

If he loaded up and left right after the judges came, that sounds odd. If you were there to sell, wouldn't you stay until the end? To maximize the number of potential buyers?
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Old 09-03-2007   #3
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Re: Significance of No Windshield VIN Plate on Canadian GTA

It's possible that the VIN plate rusted off, I have seen a few third gens where the tag just disentegrated from rust. Very hard to say though.
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Old 09-03-2007   #4
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Re: Significance of No Windshield VIN Plate on Canadian GTA

There can be a lot of reasons, but IIRC the Vin plate on the dash of all GTA's is aluminum. The earlier Firebirds had a metal vin with the letters stamped in. Whenever GM went to an engraved VIN like on the GTA's I believe it was aluminum.

It could have been a theft recovery vehicle. Depending on the state and the year of the recovery it might jive. But it is odd that there is nothing there. Usually they will use another plate or in the case of my 89 GTA, a sticker to identify the car so that it can be properly tracked by other states and in Canada, other provinces.
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Last edited by intake68; 09-03-2007 at 11:38 AM.
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Old 09-03-2007   #5
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GTA Year: 1988
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Re: Significance of No Windshield VIN Plate on Canadian GTA

If you're talking about the FRM car with the 350 and factory T-tops.... I know the guy you're talking about personally, and the car is legitimate.
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Old 09-03-2007   #6
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Re: Significance of No Windshield VIN Plate on Canadian GTA

What I fail to see is how a Canadian car can be sold in the United States when it's engine doesn't meet US emission standards - it seems to me that this is a gray market car at best. This car appeared to be in great shape, so it seems unlikely to me that the VIN just fell off its rivets.

That someone has the balls to bring a GTA to the Trans Am Nationals to unload it with a least this documentation issue is just amazing. I suppose this guy thought that no one would notice. As I said before, let the buyer beware!
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Old 09-03-2007   #7
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Re: Significance of No Windshield VIN Plate on Canadian GTA

I would have loved to have been there. It would have been cool to see how many other paddle mirror cars were there. Real ones of coarse. It is just to far for me to travel. Did you see other 87 paddle mirror cars other than this one or was that the only one???
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Old 09-03-2007   #8
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Re: Significance of No Windshield VIN Plate on Canadian GTA

Hey Fourthkid, whats the difference between Canadian export GTA's and a US market GTA's in regards to emissions???
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Old 09-03-2007   #9
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Re: Significance of No Windshield VIN Plate on Canadian GTA

All Canadian emissions cars surpass the US standards for emissions except for CARB, but the canadian and california emissions regulations are very similar.

It changes province to province up here but a rule of thumb is, if it's built for use in Canada, it's going to be a little better on emissions than something from the US. That's why we have none of the new GTOs released in Canada or the 2000-2004 Thunderbirds for example. They don't meet safety/emissions standards for Canada's roads.
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Old 09-03-2007   #10
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GTA Year: 1988
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Re: Significance of No Windshield VIN Plate on Canadian GTA

Quote:
Originally Posted by tandy806
I would have loved to have been there. It would have been cool to see how many other paddle mirror cars were there. Real ones of coarse. It is just to far for me to travel. Did you see other 87 paddle mirror cars other than this one or was that the only one???
Tandy, as a multi-year attendee in the past... I can tell you that the 1987 paddle mirror GTAs are not often seen in Dayton.... or at any other show. This fellow being disparaged in this thread that I know has it out with the Tech Line judges each year regarding the mirrors being OEM; each year they argue and then each year he gets put in the Light Modified class for the pinstriping!

At least they don't have to look at his valve stems like they do on my car...
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Old 09-04-2007   #11
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Re: Significance of No Windshield VIN Plate on Canadian GTA

Quote:
Originally Posted by FrankieRider2
Tandy, as a multi-year attendee in the past... I can tell you that the 1987 paddle mirror GTAs are not often seen in Dayton.... or at any other show. This fellow being disparaged in this thread that I know has it out with the Tech Line judges each year regarding the mirrors being OEM; each year they argue and then each year he gets put in the Light Modified class for the pinstriping!

At least they don't have to look at his valve stems like they do on my car...

Sounds like a pain. Do you have any idea how many paddle mirror cars would still be around. I realize this would be an educated guess at best. I have only seen two for sale in the past two years, Tandy
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Old 09-04-2007   #12
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Re: Significance of No Windshield VIN Plate on Canadian GTA

Obviously, there was a difference in engine certification back in 1986 since the 350 CID was not available for USA market cars on Trans Am's until after January 1987. In addition, 1987 USA market cars were not available with GM factory t-tops or the subwoofer. in conjunction with the 350 CID. This situation was more than just that GM didn't want domestic market buyers to have 350 engines between August 1986 and February 1987. I would think that Frankie and his GM contacts can fill in the reason.

BTW: The reason that OEM paddle mirror cars are not often seen is that most buyers didn't want to buy a new domestic market GTA (at $19K or higher) with a 305 engine. [GM stopped application of paddle mirrors to GTA's before 350's were domestically available.]
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Old 09-04-2007   #13
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Re: Significance of No Windshield VIN Plate on Canadian GTA

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fourthkid
BTW: The reason that OEM paddle mirror cars are not often seen is that most buyers didn't want to buy a new domestic market GTA (at $19K or higher) with a 305 engine. [GM stopped application of paddle mirrors to GTA's before 350's were domestically available.]
Hmmmm....By that, can it be surmised, that ALL paddle mirror GTAs, have 305s? From the factory, of course.
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Old 09-05-2007   #14
tandy806
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Re: Significance of No Windshield VIN Plate on Canadian GTA

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stephen
Hmmmm....By that, can it be surmised, that ALL paddle mirror GTAs, have 305s? From the factory, of course.

There is a paddle mirror car in the owners gallery with a 350. That is one rare beast......Tandy
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Old 09-05-2007   #15
FrankieRider2
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GTA Year: 1988
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Re: Significance of No Windshield VIN Plate on Canadian GTA

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fourthkid
BTW: The reason that OEM paddle mirror cars are not often seen is that most buyers didn't want to buy a new domestic market GTA (at $19K or higher) with a 305 engine. [GM stopped application of paddle mirrors to GTA's before 350's were domestically available.
Fourthkid, I'm not sure where you get your info, but this comment is not one I've heard before anywhere. There is nothing in any GM literature I have about your claim whatsoever, nor is there any availability restrictions listed for the 350 engine. All the press cars for 1987 had both the 350 and the DD9 mirrors, so I'm inclined to think that the 350 was available in the GTA from the start of the run.

If you have other reliable info, please fill us in on it.
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Old 09-05-2007   #16
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Re: Significance of No Windshield VIN Plate on Canadian GTA

http://www.thirdgen.org/techboard/hi...birds-cc1.html

The thread on thidgen about '87 model cars with L98 and CC1.
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Old 09-05-2007   #17
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Re: Significance of No Windshield VIN Plate on Canadian GTA

Frankie~
I get my information from my expereience with my factory order. Acknowledged in July 1986 with a 350 CID, t-tops and paddle mirrors [plus every option then offered on the GTA] In Fall 1986, order cancelled by the factory because 350's not certified for US sale and told to reorder by the General Manager of the dealer. Up until the time of 350's being Federally certified for US sale, the only engine available was the 305 with a credit applied for the "non-standard" engine. I could have bought a 305, t-topped, paddle mirror off of the dealer lot in December 1986, but wanted a real GTA. In fact, my GTA came into the dealer before the GM's 350 car --- interesting telephone calls from the dealer offered me money to give my car to the GM and then reorder -- of course said "no way".
[ BTW: Have yet to see an original window stickered domestic dealer delivered GTA for public sale with a 350 built before February 1987. Original documentation means everything when it comes to establishing a cars credentials.]

As for the press cars, do you really think that General Motors would preview their reintroduction of Pontiacs high performance car to the public without the "standard" 350 engine? Do you know what became of those press cars? Since the engines were not certified for US sale, my guess is that they were either crushed or exported to another country. Would think that only the folks that were involved with the product info would know the answer.
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Old 09-06-2007   #18
gtayumiko
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Re: Significance of No Windshield VIN Plate on Canadian GTA

Well, it may just be a honest thing, but personally if there was a car that I was interested in to purchase and it did not have the vin plate where it should be, I would not want that car no matter what. Because who knows really what is going on with it regardless of what the person selling it says. Like the lady who purchased one of those 1950s ThunderBirds on e-bay. She paid something like $30,000 for it did not have a vin number either. So when she went to register it, the DMV would not do it. So she ended up to go to the police department because they said that the police know where the secret vin number is on the car. She went to the police and they found out that the car had been stollen 31 years ago. The police gave back the car to the original owner and she lost her $30,000.00 but it is now up to her to sue the person she bought the car from. But it was on e-bay and she can not find the guy. Story below. Yumiko

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/articl...AG14QJU561.DTL
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Last edited by gtayumiko; 09-06-2007 at 10:58 AM.
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Old 09-06-2007   #19
Klortho
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Re: Significance of No Windshield VIN Plate on Canadian GTA

Quote:
Originally Posted by intake68
There can be a lot of reasons, but IIRC the Vin plate on the dash of all GTA's is aluminum. The earlier Firebirds had a metal vin with the letters stamped in. Whenever GM went to an engraved VIN like on the GTA's I believe it was aluminum.

It could have been a theft recovery vehicle. Depending on the state and the year of the recovery it might jive. But it is odd that there is nothing there. Usually they will use another plate or in the case of my 89 GTA, a sticker to identify the car so that it can be properly tracked by other states and in Canada, other provinces.
My '87 is a metal tag, I know someone with a '91 that has a metal tag as well. The Aluminum etched tags didn't go in until '93 with the 4th gens.
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Old 09-09-2007   #20
intake68
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Re: Significance of No Windshield VIN Plate on Canadian GTA

Here is the VIN off my GTA. I took a quick picture of the car. Not quite a 93. Are you sure that the tag was different in 1991??? I had a theft recovery GTA with a VIN plate from a 1990 GTA. I was pretty sure it was like the one on my 1992. I will have to ask a few friends with 91 GTA's and Trans Am's to see exactly what year they switched.

http://img.villagephotos.com/p/2003-...nnumber001.jpg

http://img.villagephotos.com/p/2003-...nnumber002.jpg
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Last edited by intake68; 09-09-2007 at 08:58 PM.
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