owner history

Started by Doc Torman, March 26, 2012, 05:04:27 PM

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Doc Torman

Are there any records kept of previous owners of our Cadillacs ?
Doc Torman
CLC#17468

1994 Fleetwood Brougham  (currently)

Eric DeVirgilis CLC# 8621

#1
Unless you're lucky enough to have gotten a paper trail with your car, you're SOL. These days, all the privacy regulations have pretty much eliminated any possibility of tracking ownership history through official channels. Even when you pay $50.00 for a build sheet, Allied Vaughn now blocks out build information of all the other cars on the sheet as well as the key codes for your own car.

To answer your question, some information definitely exists depending on how long a car's registration was kept current and while not available to the public, is still in the public domain. Access to any documentation retained by dealerships would also off limits to the public. 
A Cadillac Motorcar is a Possession for which there is no Acceptable Substitute

Mike Josephic CLC #3877

Doc:

Kept by whom?  Did you mean by the Club?  The answer is no.

If you want to trace ownership you have to try the rather tedious process
of researching the title transfers over time state-by-state.  This often
doesn't work (been there) since many states don't keep records over
20 years.

Also, with today's legal concerns about privacy some states no longer will
give out the information even if they do have it.

Mike
1955 Cadillac Eldorado
1973 Cadillac Eldorado
1995 Cadillac Seville
2004 Escalade
1997 GMC Suburban 4X4, 454 engine, 3/4 ton
custom built by Santa Fe in Evansville, IN
2011 Buick Lucerne CX
-------------------------------------
CLCMRC Museum Benefactor #38
Past: VP International Affiliates, Museum Board Director, President / Director Pittsburgh Region

Doc Torman

Well, sounds like I am outa luck.... Carfax picked up a mileage discrepancy and I was going to try and find out because there is a big difference  - - My odometer is reading about 124,000 miles but according to the report it could be about 180,000  - - The car is truly in beautiful condition and I just can't see almost 200,000 miles of wear on her. Even the steering wheel is pristine. I guess the actual mileage will remain a "mystery of the ages".  According to my brother who is an avid Triumph fan (Tr3, Tr8, Stag) if it runs well and looks good and you are happy with it  - -  "Don't Worry- Be Happy" - -I guess I will have to take his advice... Thanks for the responses guys !!!!
Doc T
Doc Torman
CLC#17468

1994 Fleetwood Brougham  (currently)

Cadillac Nut

Hi,
If the car was originally from California, you can do a registration search.  I don't know if other states will do it.

Regards,
Garrett

Doc Torman

Garrett - - the car was originally registered in Michigan and after sixteen years moved to Virginia where it lived for one year. Then it moved to Massachusetts and then I bought it. I believe I am the fifth owner.
The problem with the odometer was in 2003 when the Carfax found a mileage of 164,000 miles, and then in 2010 the mileage was reported as 102,000. Carfax said there was no way of proving tampering. The mileage at 164,000 could be accurate if the car was used to commute so I am not exceptionally worried about it, just curious. And then again there is the fact that IMHO the car is pristine for it's year at any mileage. I was just wondering if any organization could shed some light.
Thanks for the information.
Doc T
Doc Torman
CLC#17468

1994 Fleetwood Brougham  (currently)

Eric DeVirgilis CLC# 8621

#6
Quote from: Doc Torman on March 26, 2012, 11:19:49 PM
Well, sounds like I am outa luck.... Carfax picked up a mileage discrepancy and I was going to try and find out because there is a big difference  - - My odometer is reading about 124,000 miles but according to the report it could be about 180,000  - - The car is truly in beautiful condition and I just can't see almost 200,000 miles of wear on her. Even the steering wheel is pristine.

It is truly remarkable how some people can keep a car like brand new while racking up 6-figure mileages while others can ruin a car within a couple ten thousands. Theoretically it's possible to keep a car virtually perfect regardless of mileage but few and far between are those willing to expend the amount of time/money/energy to do it. I know if I got a brand new car, I sure could make it happen but that's the exception when compared with the average car owner. One of the most perfect cars I've ever owned was a 1986 Triple dark blue Fleetwood Brougham owned by a retired TWA pilot who bought it new. It had 103,000 miles and was 99% as worthy as anything in Matt Garrett's collection. It was new.

As to your "mileage discrepancy" issue, truthfully I wouldn't worry about it. The more times a car gets registered- particularly in cases of multiple states, the more likely it is for errors to arise out of people "guesstimating" mileage rather than physically going to the car and verifying before commiting to documentation. Nobody in their right mind is about to fudge 40,000 miles or whatever on a ~10 year old car that already had well in excess of 100,000 miles to begin with. There just wouldn't be enough financial incentive to do so and the way modern cars are designed, odometer tampering is extremely difficult. Although I have no direct knowledge of your particular case, I'm 90% confident the mileage as shown on the clock is actual judging from similar cases of which I am aware. It is what it is and if the car is everything you claim it to be, it isn't going to weigh heavily on the value, one way or the other.
A Cadillac Motorcar is a Possession for which there is no Acceptable Substitute

Cadillac Nut

Hi Doc,
Perhaps Michigan will search their registration archives for you.  Car is a '94?  I would tend to agree with you that the correct mileage is lower of the two.  However, what Eric said is very true, some people drive their cars a lot, but baby them,  so they look better than their mileage, while others trash them.  The proverbial "little old lady car" isn't always a super low mile car as it is a car that has been treated like a family member.   Eric--I know a few people who could ruin a car in under 10,000 thousand miles, heck, I knew a guy once who was capable of damaging an interior in a few drives! 

Garrett

Eric DeVirgilis CLC# 8621

Quite right, Garrett. I don't know what I was typing- I meant to say ...some people can ruin a car in a couple thousands- not a couple TEN thousands of miles.
A Cadillac Motorcar is a Possession for which there is no Acceptable Substitute

Richard Sills - CLC #936

Many mileage discrepancies on titles result from careless title clerks, or careless owners, writing down incorrect information. 

In some cases, an owner gets to the motor vehicle bureau to title a newly acquired car, and does not realize that one of the questions he will need to answer is, what is the odometer reading on the car?  Being unprepared, but not wanting to take the time to go out and check (and then wait in line again), he makes a guess, which may well be inaccurate.  The inaccurate mileage information is then forever recorded as part of the car's history.

Another mistake I have seen several times is that the owner writes down the tenths figure when stating the odometer reading.  Titles do not show tenths, so a car with 14,651.8 miles may wind up with a title showing 146,518 miles. 

This is frustrating to a subsequent owner, but it is difficult to correct the error.  A correction effort is most likely to succeed if the person who made the error is the one who gets it corrected, but this is not always possible.   Fortunately, cars over 10 years old can indicate "exempt" on the title, which may make the actual reading less important.