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Thread: Fiero based Replica Registration-leave as Fiero or Register as Composite-Kit Car?

  1. #1

    Fiero based Replica Registration-leave as Fiero or Register as Composite-Kit Car?

    Hi guys

    I'm in the Northeast, and own a Countach Replica (based off an 85 fiero), not currently registered. It has a Florida salvage title, and has chassis rust, and needs restoration.

    I also have an 86 Fiero that is currently registered (clean title) and on classic plates (Smog Free) that I ocassionally drive.

    I was thinking that it would be a lot easier, for me to just pull the Countach body off the other car and put it on the one already registered rather than having to go through the whole Composite-Kit Car Registration process, especially with a Salvage Fiero title.

    Curious to your thoughts on this?
    Of course I would have to have the car appraised and additionally insured for cash value.

    Wondering what the experience has been for others on this forum that kept/are driving their Fiero based replicas titled still as a Fiero.
    I imagine the cops have a field day pulling over the lamborghini/ferrari kit cars that run up on their systems as Pontiac Fieros.
    Any regrets to going this route? (Pros-----Cons)
    I've heard from others that have kept their Fiero registration to keep a Photo Album of the build to show the officer when you are pulled over helps.


    Thanks
    D

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by n_tensetuning View Post
    Hi guys

    I was thinking that it would be a lot easier, for me to just pull the Countach body off the other car and put it on the one already registered rather than having to go through the whole Composite-Kit Car Registration process, especially with a Salvage Fiero title.

    Curious to your thoughts on this?

    D
    I'd say you better do some homework and find out what it takes to mount ANY lambo body to a fiero. If you're a welder and bodyman, you'd STILL probably not want to do it.

    Quote Originally Posted by n_tensetuning View Post
    Hi guys

    Wondering what the experience has been for others on this forum that kept/are driving their Fiero based replicas titled still as a Fiero.
    I imagine the cops have a field day pulling over the lamborghini/ferrari kit cars that run up on their systems as Pontiac Fieros.
    Any regrets to going this route? (Pros-----Cons)
    I've heard from others that have kept their Fiero registration to keep a Photo Album of the build to show the officer when you are pulled over helps.

    Thanks
    D
    i can't imagine ANY cop giving 2 shakes about a photo album. He'll check the VIN, your license and registration and decide what to do. If you have liabilty insurance only, i wouldn't worry too much. If you have comprehensive coverage, i'd think you'll have a hard time getting the insurance company to fix your countach if you have it registered as a fiero.

  3. #3
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    I can say first hand that carrying the photo album helps if you get pulled over. I was pulled over in my diablo kit and tried to explain to the officer that I built the car, after showing him the photo album he was more interested in how the car was built. He then told me the car was cool, and to enjoy driving it.

    As far as the insurance goes: Both my kit cars were registered and insured as fieros. My first car had only liability, and I lost it in a flood, pretty much a total loss on my end. After I built the second car, I wanted to get an "agreed value" policy so I would have comprehensive coverage, but my insurance would not cover value for "modifications" so I still only have liability coverage on it.

    Swapping the body onto another chassis will be a ton of work, but would probably be worth it in the long run in my opinion. Just be prepared for the amount of fabrication required.

  4. #4
    Senior Member murcie-me's Avatar
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    I've never felt the need to carry a photo album, its easy for me to pop the rear hatch and show them the fiero engine in back (seriously, how many REAL Lamborghinis are driving around with a Fiero V6 in back, and why would I go through that tremendous expense just to save a couple hundred dollars on registration and ruin a $400K car in the process?). I've had alot of Police find it hard to believe it was actually a fiero, I even had one cop say he was going to impound my car so it could be examined to determine if it was actually a fiero lol. Needless to say, that didn't happen.
    As far as Insurance is concerned, you can value your car for any amount you want, as long as you have a certified car appraiser submit an appraisal justifying the amount. It doesn't matter if its built on a $1500 fiero or a $30K boxter, what matters is what its worth. My car is registered and insured as a fiero with a value of $81K. I have full coverage and pay $214 for a 6 month premium. If my car is determined to be a total loss in an accident that's my fault, my insurance will pay me $81K (less $1K for the deductible). If someone else hits my car and totals it, their insurance will have to pay me $81K. As long as you have the documentation to prove the cars worth (appraisal), you're in the clear. Building your car on a fiero has nothing to do with the worth of the car, meaning just because you built your Countach on a fiero doesn't mean its only worth what a fiero is.
    Also, since there are no replacement parts for these cars (other than John Watson, who is not making parts anymore anyway), if my car gets hit and is repairable the only supplier for parts would be a Lamborghini dealership for OEM parts. I asked my insurance about this also, and they confirmed that it would be my choice where the car would be repaired, all I would have to do is submit an estimate from the dealership and they would honor it. I told them most of the parts on my car were OEM anyway and they asuured me it would be fixed accordingly.
    Bottom line here is, once your car is done GET AN APPRAISAL FROM A REPUTABLE APPRAISER. Mine cost me $350, but I never have to worry about arguing with my or the other guys insurance over the worth of the car.
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    Last edited by murcie-me; 09-21-2015 at 02:03 AM.
    Without talent experience is worthless

  5. #5
    Hi Guys

    I appreciate all your responses.
    It seems to me that keeping the car titled as a Fiero and then getting it appraised for cash value is the way to go.
    I checked with some other kit car forums and as you guys said, the car needs to be appraised... If you don't get it appraised, when you get into an accident you will only get the fiero value vs what you have invested into your car.

    Just one more thing. When you get pulled over, how does the cop verify your vin# if you have a different dash and the tag plate that was under the driver's speaker grill/dashboard beam is gone...... I still have the RPO sticker that shows the vin# on the front driver's side wheel well..... but that's it.
    Also no longer the stock Fiero V6 but a V8 SBC 355.

    Thanks
    Dave

  6. #6
    Also came across some further interesting info.
    Most states allow a kit car made off of a donor chassis to keep the donor car's vin#.... however if a tube frame chassis is used, then the Kit Car must go through a Kit Car Composite Car Inspection and Registration process.

    The states also allow the car to be registered as a Fiero (IF) using the chassis and not moving the VIN plates from stock location.

    So that would mean that you have to keep the dreaded Fiero Dash and the tag near the steering column must be on there... : (

    On another note I read on an old post here on Madmechanics that you can sometimes have the insurance co. (ex: Grundy Worldwide Insurance), put on insurance card FIERO-CUSTOM REPLICA LAMBORGHINI. (AFTER) you get appraisal.

    This would help out.

    D
    Last edited by n_tensetuning; 09-21-2015 at 10:40 PM.

  7. #7
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    You have to identify what your concern is - insurance or getting license plates /registration .

    If the fiero isn't registered or has a salvage title or was from a junkyard you may need to get a kit car registration

    If the fiero had a clean title you might want to leave it as a fiero

    In some states there are benefits to a kit car registration like no smog checks, so in some states
    That's the way to go if you have an engine swap
    In some states

  8. #8
    Senior Member murcie-me's Avatar
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    Yes, but that title (fiero custom replica Lamborghini) would only exist on the insurance policy, not the title of the car.
    As far as the VIN number goes, if you are going to register it as the fiero that it is, it better have the fiero donors VIN number. Usually they want to see it in 2 places, one on the dash (can be attached to the instrument pod like on Murcielagos) and the other on the door (NOT the door jamb). Mine has the VIN numbers in those locations. The rule generally is that the VIN plate cannot be easily removable, which means it cant be just a sticker and if its a plate it cant be screwed on it must be riveted instead.
    Without talent experience is worthless

  9. #9
    Senior Member murcie-me's Avatar
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    Also, the floor pan of the donor car is all that's required to maintain the donors VIN. Meaning, as long as you have the original floor pan from th donor car, you can have a tube frame in front and in back and have it still considered the donor car. My car is just that way, it has the Fiero cockpit, but a tube chassis in front and in back around the engine cradle.
    The reason they do this is because the potential for damage in an accident. The front frame and suspension can get ruined in a crash, so it can be replaced with the same or something better and still maintain the original VIN. Same goes for the back of the car. If a floor pan is severely damaged or crushed, the car is usually considered a totl loss anyway. They like you to keep the donors cockpit because that is where the VIN number is usually attached to.
    Without talent experience is worthless

  10. #10
    Correct...the "fiero custom replica lamborghini" would only exist on the insurance policy, not the title of car.
    Again, this would still help during episodes of getting pulled over.

    So Murcie-me, your car has a vin plate on the door? did you make it? I don't recall the fieros having a vin# on the doors....maybe a sticker, but that's it.

    Cutlass442, my concerns are with both (insurance & registration process)
    The Countach replica (86 fiero based) that i have has a salvage FL title....hasn't been registered since 1995 in FL and needs major restoration due to frame rust/cheap build.
    My other occasional driver is an 85 fiero, already registered, insured, etc...
    Easiest route is to swap the body onto this car and junk the other one.

    D

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