I bought my 71 spider with no title, but it was registered in CA 12 years ago. To get a title, the car has to be inspected by a third party (certified with the state I believe) who looks over the serial numbers in the door jamb, the engine bay, and the tab that sticks up the windscreen, and certifies that these are original and not altered. He signs a form to this effect. He then goes into some database and checks to see if the car was either stolen or salvaged. If neither of those, you are good to go to DMV with his signed form, and fill out a 'missing title' form, pay the 25 bucks or whatever, and they mail a title. At least that's how it just worked for me last month in San Diego.
74 GTV with 10548's and Ingram pump
71 Spider 1750 BOMBER ; 1995 LS 78K tight fast car