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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I know the chances of a hit are about zip point nada, but I can't help asking. I bought my 72 Spider in August of this year. I've been able to trace down all the past owners (all Oregon locals who knew each other so not so hard), back to its purchase from an auction house in San Jose, Ca in 1976.

So, if you traded in your pagoda (piper, prototype) yellow 72 Spider to a dealer back in 1976, maybe somewhere in the south Bay Area, I'd be really pleased to hear from you.

Oh, if you have a really incredible memory, the VIN is AR*3040679.
 

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I know the chances of a hit are about zip point nada, but I can't help asking. I bought my 72 Spider in August of this year. I've been able to trace down all the past owners (all Oregon locals who knew each other so not so hard), back to its purchase from an auction house in San Jose, Ca in 1976.

So, if you traded in your pagoda (piper) yellow 72 Spider to a dealer back in 1976, maybe somewhere in the south Bay Area, I'd be really pleased to hear from you.

Oh, if you have a really incredible memory, the VIN is AR*3040679.
Nice job tracing it back. You should send an e-mail to Alfa and have them trace the origin. Most likely it will show the original importer, but who knows, you might get lucky and find something with which you can trace from the other end.

You will also get some other information, build date, initial sale date, etc.

You might also try the California DMV. Who knows, maybe they'll have a helpful moment!

bs
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the reminder on alfa storico. Since the build date is on the door jamb and I know the original color and they all had black interiors I didn't think I'd get much, but I just sent off an email anyway. I think they'll add who it was sold to, but that always just seems to be the importer. But all data is good, so thanks for the reminder.

I got on the Calif DMV site. They actually have forms for requesting record of owners, which really surprised me, since I thought that would be a deadend. They don't say how far back they go (just current and past 3, if available); I'll be shocked to get anything from 35 years ago. And they cite state and federal rules that limit disclosure to certain reasons, I guess to prevent stalkers, etc from taking down your license # and figuring out where you live. Which is a good thing. Anyway, one of the valid reasons for which they'll release information is "research." Sounds like what I'm doing. But you have to swear not to publish or redisclose the information or use it to contact anyone. (I guess stalkers don't lie,right?) So if I do have any luck, it will just be for my own information and not to contact the original owner.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
And now that I think about it I'd guess that the buyer of a new spider would most likely have been middle aged in 1972, so would now be over 70 or 80, making it all the more unlikely to find him. I'll see what DMV provides.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Got a prompt reply from Centro Documentazione Alfa Romeo [[email protected]] today. As I thought it would, it just said the car sold to the American market. But I got the exact build date, so now I have an excuse for a party on July 11!
 

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Got a prompt reply from Centro Documentazione Alfa Romeo [[email protected]] today. As I thought it would, it just said the car sold to the American market. But I got the exact build date, so now I have an excuse for a party on July 11!
Whoo hoo!

One interesting tidbit you might glean is the port of entry. I think there were two, one on the East coast, one on the West coast.

bs
 

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I'm not sure how far back they go, but a CARFAX vehicle history report usually shows all purchase dates with mileage and state of registration at the time of purchase. You may be able to find something useful.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Carfax reports are only available for cars made since 1981.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Update

Well, I submitted requests for records to Calif DMV and Oregon DMV. Oregon (for $25) promptly sent me title and registration application documents, including those from California, back to 1975, with some info relating back to 1972. The names and addresses are blocked out, but I got some fascinating info, nonetheless. (Cal DMV sent me a printout saying there was no information for that VIN). All put together, it makes a fairly complete (if sad) story, which ultimately turned out for the best:

From Alfa storico: Date manufactured July 11, 1972
From Calif title: date first sold: Sept. 20, 1972 (to owner #1)
Sold under a sale contract dated Mar 22, 1975 to owner #2 in SF
Repossessed from owner #2 for nonpayment by Bank of America, October 30, 1975.
B of A sold to Melody Toyota, Nov. 10th 1975
Melody Toyota released its interest Jan 27, 1976 (Breaks my heart to think of my lovely little Alfa sitting, un-wanted on a Toyota used car lot for 2 months, after the shame of being repo'd.)
Sold to Bay Cities Auto Auction of San Jose (arrrghh the glue factory! NOOOO!)
Bought by owner #3 of Portland Oregon, April 1976, who owned the car for 17 years. (SAVED!!) [Owner #3 is a fine Alfista, a long-time AROO member, renowned builder and driver of Alfa race cars and a fine gentleman. His wife drove the car every day! During his ownership, the car got new rockers, floor repair, dellorto carbs, euro cams, high comp pistons, headers, Rugh springs, panasport wheels, a new interior and was painted bright Corvette yellow!]
Sold to owner #4 February 1993.
Sold to owner #5 April 7, 2001
Sold to owner #6 Jan 14, 2003
Sold to curent owner, August 2, 2007.

So it may be worth your time to get your state's DMV records. You never know what you'll find.
 

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Prev Ownership!

Roger,
Neat story. Sounds like a valuable history you can now put together for the car's birthday party! Maybe you'll get lucky and find someone who can put together the early days!

Which forms did you have to submit to OR DMV to get the records?

Thanks
neil
 
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