Screwed in California ... Grey market cars & emissions testing.

When I purchased 9193 I was unaware of grey market cars and how CA. Views them regarding smog and registration. Since It's a post 1975 car it is required to have certain smog devices and a test to get registered. That means I'm shafted with little chance other than " Historical Vehicale " registration. Even that's a big maybe.

Talk about a sucker punch that I didn't see coming. Ouch !

Anyone with ideas or advise please post them. For now I'm just going to continue working my way through the car while thinking and swearing. Been doing a lot of swearing . Am very, very close to road ready and really don't want to sell due to this crazy screwed up state. Who knows, may be an out if you are an illegal ? They seem to get special consideration here.

Original Post

What is your vin again? Looks like a type O. Year? It is not that difficult to pass CARB emissions for a 1983 car unless you are running a raw un-tuned Holley rough idle cammed monster motor. I could get you through it.

FYI the Historical Vehicle thing will NOT work.  I have owned my 76 registered as a Historical Vehicle since 2001.  This year they send me my renewal with a smog check requirement.  I'm now in the same boat you are in.  At this point I am seriously considering selling it out of CA (if I can).

Kirk, THPNZS09193. I have not been able to nail down the year but the previous title and my title have it as 1979.  The engine is a Cleveland 351, probably / maybe from Austrillia. Carb is a 600 Holly which I think may be a replacement from whatever was original. I also suspect that the intake manifold may have been replaced. Not sure about much because the post Ford cars seem to be all different or at the least no standard.  Other than that the engine looks and sounds original (?) with 17,000 miles on it. No large crazy cam for sure.

There is no smog data plate and no equipment other than the PVC valve. That I think is the killer - lack of smog equipment / system. I have been chasing the history of this car with no luck other than what the PO has told me. Contacted the fellow in Switzerland and all he has is the original engine data. I think the car was imported in 1980 to the New York area.

Maybe I can convince the DMV that it's a title error because there were no Ford Panteras made after what, 1974 ?

Italford, You may have a chance since you're already in. Maybe ! I found a DMV memo that basically says that all post 1974 cars regardless of what plates they have must have a biannual smog test. It says to contact the BAR for details. I suck at computers but will have a go at posting it for you. It also says that there are exceptions but does not list them or say where to find them.

I dislike being negative but CA is not at all friendly regarding grey market or modified post 1974 cars. Fact is they hate us. Totally sucks. I've been on this car for months so I can drive it, now this.

Not giving in yet but also not betting on it.

Sorry you didn’t know. Exactly why I stick with my pre 75 modified cars. Had an 85 Maserati Biturbo they almost crushed until I sold it to someone in Florida where they have no smog rules. I just couldn’t ever pass the visual in accordance with the CA smog books although it was clean at the pipes. I sure hope you never get to the point where they make you go to a state referee official. I think after two attempts to pass they shipped me there and I entered pure hell.

What a bummer! Have you already visited a smog shop to get their thoughts? I think you will end up at the referee which is hard because they won't be letting anything slide. At least they would know exactly what's required. Local shop may not be knowledgeable on this situation. Were catalytic converters required in 79? I would imagine smog pump or EGR is required... There is a process in CA to obtain an exemption related to an engine swap. Never gone through it myself. 

What are the visual requirements for C.A.R.B in 79? My guess is EGR, cats, and a pump on the outside. Based on your engine description, it's an easy fix. What type of distributor do you have? Bosh or other? Bosh will mean it's a black Australia engine. Do you know if the engine was original black or blue? Do you have any type of bulkhead reduction kit because that will dictate weather a pump can be mounted easily or not. If not, are you running a SD-508 double pully AC compressor? 

It will take a little money and work to do this but it's not a big issue, don't worry, be happy. OMG did that just come off my keyboard? Really, if you want to drive in daily, no worries. 

If you are near Orange County I have a good "test only" place where I take my LP640 and MBZs, and he does a lot of exotics. He is very knowledgeable and may be able to talk with you about exactly what you need in accordance with the CA books for visual and at the pipes even before you go in for an actual test. One of the few smog guys I have found that will actually talk with you about your car.

That's a great offer and I might take you up on it. Wouldn't hurt.  It's that or seeing If I can take your blond GF to the DMV with me. That could backfire if I get a female DMV person.

I'm thinking of trying to BS them into believing that the date of manufacture on the title is wrong . That someone screwed up the paper work when the car arrived in the US. It's a long shot but it may be my only hope. As is I'm thinking on how to do it. Post Ford Panteras require effort to trace and DMV people are not exactly motivated people. Doubt that they have much info on these cars. Hoping !  Not sure how else to go at it because I doubt I have a hope in hell going the smog route. They hate our cars. Hybrids and alfalfa sprout sandwiches is their thing.

Kirk,  The CA smog equip. requirements on a post 1974 car are more than you would want to do to a Panters. It would destroy the car.

This car is a survivor. 17,000 mile and mostly original - I think so it should probably deserves to remain that way. To smog it would be a sin. Someone somewhere out of CA will buy it. It's a nice one with no rust or damage aside from door dings.

Now I don't think I even want to drive it as it would only piss me off.

Adding the necessary smog equipment will have little or no effect on the performance of the car and will not permanently modify anything that can not be put right back to original. The old bead cats from the early 70s were horrible but the ceramic cats I used flowed better that the GTS mufflers and sounded great.  If you just want to sell the car,  understood but the mods are not that difficult and if some time is spent on a dyno properly jetting the carb and tweaking timing, it will most likely gain power and be clean. I did  this 40 plus times, and the California test we ran at the smog station was , by the owners confession, the cleanest car he had ever tested. I should still have the results in my files and may post them someday.  I do not remember what the CO was but the HC was 7ppm.  I'm not blowing smoke, it's not that bad to make the changes. 

punkdog posted:

I'm thinking of trying to BS them into believing that the date of manufacture on the title is wrong . That someone screwed up the paper work when the car arrived in the US. It's a long shot but it may be my only hope. As is I'm thinking on how to do it. Post Ford Panteras require effort to trace and DMV people are not exactly motivated people. Doubt that they have much info on these cars. Hoping !  Not sure how else to go at it because I doubt I have a hope in hell going the smog route. They hate our cars. Hybrids and alfalfa sprout sandwiches is their thing.

I'm in the opposite predicament my 1981 GT5 was titled as a 1974 when entering the US, but I think ultimately that will negatively impact value. Why not just register it out of state with no smog requirements?

Kirk, If you could tell me what exactly we would have to do I would consider it. For a CA registration on a post 1975 car the equipment requirments are a lot. Smog pump with plumbing and exhaust mods ( air injection system ) , EGR valve, charcoal canister, carb pre heat tube and maybe more. Where or how does one fit  the smog pump ? 

I'm listening and saying thank you for the input.

Joules, I would love to know how that was done. My old 1976 TR6 was registered as a 1974 and that is exactly what I need to do with my Pantera. I think that if I go the legal smog way I'll get slaughtered by their laws.

Registering a car out of state gets weird with insurance requirments. I have family in NV so I'm considering the idea but not sure I can work it and feel safe with the insurance crowd. Lots of fine print and law there.

I do want to say thank you to all for the ideas. Anything no matter how far out is to be considered.

I think my best game is to take advantage of the lack of records on the post Ford cars and use that to get the manufacture date corrected to 1974 or 75. How to use the the lack of traceability / records in my favor is what I need to figure out.  What can I put together to convince them ? It has to be a good first time sell and I'm banking on the reality that many DMV employees are not really or exactly real world job motivated. 

I really think that I may be able to pull this off and that it's worth a try. I think !

 

punkdog posted:

I do want to say thank you to all for the ideas. Anything no matter how far out is to be considered.

California DMV works hard at finding cars driven in California but registered out of state.

Not all counties in California require bi-annual smog inspection, only those near the bay area and those in the greater southern California area. For instance my brother lived in San Joaquin county & never had to smog his vehicles. There's a post office in the desert east of San Diego that was once very popular for guys to have a PO Box where all their DMV stuff was mailed. Borrego Springs I think, or Mount Laguna, Mecca, somewhere like that. A place that rents postal mail boxes would also work, and you could give them a call every once in a while to check for mail. BUT ... that might be one of the loopholes California has closed-up.

Got a relative in Redding California?

Most guys who own cars with modified engines have a particular smog station they do business with. I'd advise you to go to local car gatherings, like the gathering every Sunday in the San Fernando valley. Talk with the guys there ... they'll have the names of the smog stations where the operators are willing to "work with you". They might not be forthcoming with information right away ... because they don't know you. You might have to hang out there every weekend until they get to know you.

But don't name names publicly because big brother scans the internet.

Yeah things are not like the old days where I hear you could bring your favorite test guy a fresh $100 bill and slip by, or register via another geographic area or PO box, etc. Technological changes have also made it almost impossible to fiddle with at the shops, plus they now send the smog guys to prison as a deterrent when trying to beat the system. When I was working on getting my 85 Maserati passed the guy told me some of his buddies down the street got 6 months prison. Probably not federal pound me in the ass prison, but still.

I need a few more details. intake type (picture), carb list number, exhaust type/headers/GTS?, AC compressor type/SD508?. You will need to replace the mufflers with cats, add an egr valve, and air pump beside the compressor driven off the inside pulley. You should have an e-vap can attached to the vent or rollover valve on the car but??? There are some application details but this will get you passed if the car is properly tuned and will have no effect on the car performance. 

Question from anyone?

Good luck .. the smog police here in NorCal leave little opportunity for sneaking thru.  I got my Audi smogged two weeks ago and the shop owner said he is so protective of his business that he will not smog a car that has been  tweeked and modded just to pass.  The old days of bribery are long past ..  maybe someone who knows someone who knows someone can get it dry labbed .. but renewal every 2 years makes all of that a real PITA.  I think your approach of trying to get the year changed is your best bet.  

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