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aikmanmosquito

Jeep advice

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Hi, I've seen a Jeep I'm interested in buying but there are a few things that I'm not 100% sure about and would appreciate some advice. Now the owner states the vehicle was imported from America but he says it didn't come with any paperwork, US log book etc, all he has is the import paperwork. What I'm concerned about is that he has nothing to verify whether the Jeep is what he claims it to be, i.e. a Willys. Now I've been on the sites that list the differences between the Willys and the Hotchkiss, and although this vehicle does have just about all the relevant points to confirm it is a Willys, the one thing that puts a question mark on this is the lip at the dashboard. It has the notch cut out of it, but also has visible spot welds, one website says that the Hotchkiss has these spot welds and the Willys/Fords don't, however no other site or book mentions this. Would somebody go to the trouble of changing so much stuff to try and make the Jeep into what it isn't. Sorry to sound as if i'm rambling but I don't know much about the Jeep and don't want to end up buying a lemon.

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Regarding the notch usually a spot weld overlaps this on ford and willys where there is no notch on hotchkiss tubs, my advice is to take someone you trust who has a good amount of "jeep" knowledge to give it the once over for you, if its a US import its doubtfull its a Hotchkiss but you never know.

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You need to join the g.503 website and post your question there, that is THE Jeep website where all the Jeep experts live. If it's come from the U.S then I can't see it being a Hotchkiss, but as in everything in collecting if it doesn't feel right there's usually a reason for that feeling. Funnily enough I saw a Jeep for sale recently that looked for all the world like a Hotchkiss, yet it had the notch in the dashboard, so perhaps somebody had altered it? As these vehicles are going up in price I suppose this sort of thing will increase?

 

Make sure you're well prepared and don't be rushed into buying, you can normally find good honest Jeeps for sale. or do what I did and buy a Ford GPW, most parts are F stamped so it's easy to tell! :-D

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Good move asking - I didn't know much about them when I was looking but was able to rely on the excellent reputation of the seller instead - it worked out fine. But now, if in doubt when looking at something about which I do not know much, I take someone along who does know about them and who can look at the prospective purchase with a cool head! It's amazing how much you can miss when a bit 'tempted' :cool2: And I do the same for others so can appreciate what the 3rd party advice is worth.

 

And sometimes they're not as easy as this to spot!

 

Lemon.png

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A few photos would help here. Regarding the lack of paper work the first question that occurs to me is the truck now UK registered? you say there is no import customs forms so if it isn't registered this makes things a bit more difficult but not impossible however you may have to pay duty when you register the vehicle. Someone I know is currently having this issue with DVLC so you need to be aware of this when agreeing a sale price Talk to DVLC/Customs you never know you may be lucky and find someone who is helpful and can advise you on the likely cost and requirements.

 

Your question about the body may be due to a number of factors, it is not impossible that it's a 201, a number were shipped to the states in the 90's by dealers. it may be a 201 body on a war time frame but without pictures it's not possible to tell.

 

The two previous posters have given good advice particularly regarding the G503 forum there's a vast body of knowledge there. You seem to have read around the subject which is always a good thing.

 

One additional thing I suggest is that you make a simple tick list compiled from your reference material and headed Willys, Ford, 201 and then when you view the vehicle go round and tick or cross off the salient points I still do this after 40 years of working on jeeps it's quick easy and you don't need to make a big fuss or get into difficult discussions in front of the vendor. It also has the side effect of letting him know that you know what you are doing..... useful in negotiations over price.

 

regards

 

Pete

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Further to what Pete's said I can give some practical advice here, having been through much of this, and knowing other people that have.

 

When it was imported it will have come in either as a vehicle, or 'parts' If it was incomplete and not running when imported it may well have come in as parts.

 

IF it came from America it is unlikely to be a Hotchkiss.

 

 

You need just one thing - a Customs document ( I think the document is/was a V386 or some number like that ) and that document has to show that it was imported by reflecting the chassis number, AND that chassis number has to be on the jeep chassis stamped / marked / plated. The same document will also show the amounts of import duty and VAT that has been paid.

 

Bottom line is that if the current owner cannot show you import document with duty and VAT paid, either from the US or anywhere else outside the EC, or that document is not directly traceable to the jeep by stamping / marking / plating, then you are buying a complete unknown.

 

I've been through this a couple of times myself with vehicles that I have imported in poor condition, one of which I sold on, and the new owner had grief getting it registered. Bottom line in that instance was that I had the customs document with the chassis number showing duty and VAT paid, so it was just a tedious paperwork exercise.

 

 

 

 

I'd have to add here - not applicable to your case - that if I was buying anything direct from a US seller I'd need to know it had a 'title' ( US equivalent of a V5 ) as otherwise your purchase can get dockside US and then US Customs can refuse to let it out. I'm aware that you can get vehicles out of the US without a title, just pointing out that there are considerable risks.

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Good advice Gordon, the individual that came to my mind is having a similar problem and is being given the paper chase run round by the authorities. Worst case outcome could be a Q plate and a hefty trumped up customs bill :(:(

 

Buyer be aware is the watch word I'm thinking

 

Pete

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And sometimes they're not as easy as this to spot!

 

[ATTACH=CONFIG]82288[/ATTACH]

 

:rotfl::rotfl::rotfl::rotfl::rotfl::rotfl::rotfl::rotfl::rotfl::rotfl: seen a few of those over the years, mostly painted OD in varying shades and belong to the 101st AB.

 

Pete

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Good advice Gordon, the individual that came to my mind is having a similar problem and is being given the paper chase run round by the authorities. Worst case outcome could be a Q plate and a hefty trumped up customs bill :(:(

 

Buyer be aware is the watch word I'm thinking

 

Pete

 

Too true,

 

the snag is that if you force the issue you can always find a way round, but worst case is that HMRC will assess what you have for value, then add something for shipment, then add 20% VAT to the lot. If you have a complete jeep which is (now) valued at £15k, the calculation would run something like;

 

£15k vehicle, plus £2k assumed freight and insurance cost, times 1.1 for 10% import duty, and then the total times 1.2 for the VAT, so regardless of how inaccurate that detail is, there is a bill of about £5500 between that theoretical case and getting a registration number.

 

Pleading that it was imported in bits, valued at £500 total, will get you nowhere with HMRC, and rightly so, even if that was the case.

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A few photos would help here. Regarding the lack of paper work the first question that occurs to me is the truck now UK registered? you say there is no import customs forms so if it isn't registered this makes things a bit more difficult but not impossible however you may have to pay duty when you register the vehicle. Someone I know is currently having this issue with DVLC so you need to be aware of this when agreeing a sale price Talk to DVLC/Customs you never know you may be lucky and find someone who is helpful and can advise you on the likely cost and requirements.

 

Your question about the body may be due to a number of factors, it is not impossible that it's a 201, a number were shipped to the states in the 90's by dealers. it may be a 201 body on a war time frame but without pictures it's not possible to tell.

 

The two previous posters have given good advice particularly regarding the G503 forum there's a vast body of knowledge there. You seem to have read around the subject which is always a good thing.

 

One additional thing I suggest is that you make a simple tick list compiled from your reference material and headed Willys, Ford, 201 and then when you view the vehicle go round and tick or cross off the salient points I still do this after 40 years of working on jeeps it's quick easy and you don't need to make a big fuss or get into difficult discussions in front of the vendor. It also has the side effect of letting him know that you know what you are doing..... useful in negotiations over price.

 

regards

 

Pete

 

The owner claims he has the 386 import form, but no other paperwork from America. Now further information has come to light. The Jeep was imported by him as a unfinished restoration, (it still is unfinished) Maybe I picked him up wrong, which I will need to clarify but I am sure he stated that he had new data plates made and the number was one digit out? To my now reflecting it sounds as if this particular Jeep had the identity of another? again I may have picked him up wrong. I can supply photos of the Jeep, to those of you who asked to see some.

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The owner claims he has the 386 import form, but no other paperwork from America. Now further information has come to light. The Jeep was imported by him as a unfinished restoration, (it still is unfinished) Maybe I picked him up wrong, which I will need to clarify but I am sure he stated that he had new data plates made and the number was one digit out? To my now reflecting it sounds as if this particular Jeep had the identity of another? again I may have picked him up wrong. I can supply photos of the Jeep, to those of you who asked to see some.

 

My advice to you is short.............walk away there are plenty more without the pitfalls and costs this one may bring you.

 

Pete

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Good advice! you have time on your side do don't rush into buying one until you are perfectly happy with it. This one does indeed sound like it could be a can of worms!

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To update. I've just spoken with the owner, and his story goes that he imported this and another 'basket case' together as a restoration project. this jeep was apparently in bits and although supposedly the better of the two had bits missing which he cannibalised off the other one. He had identity plates for one of them, which he claims was for the better one (this one) so it appears he made one vehicle out of two! The mix up seems to be that when he had new data plates made the company in Holland stated they had a Jeep that was one digit of a difference to his Jeep, so were able to confirm the DOD date for him. Now he says that the V386 form has the chassis number matching the one on the Jeep. All I am concerned about is after I buy it and bring it home Mr Plod appears at the door claiming the Jeep had been stolen etc. He claims his reason for not having it registered yet is because it isn't finished, (which it isn't).

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Well it is moving forward, a Customs form is a start.

 

If the Customs form has a chassis number on it, and that matches the number on the jeep ( should have plate on the chassis if an MB ) then it is possible.

 

On the other hand, if he is rebuilding TWO jeeps, using copies of the same Customs form, and he finishes his first, it is excrement river with no propulsion system.

 

It is still worthy of consideration, but frankly, I'd only look at it if I was getting BOTH chassis. The other one was for parts and broken up as 'yours' was the better chassis - then let him throw in the other chassis in the deal.

 

If he brought in two, but only one chassis number, potential hazard. I brought in two Carryalls on one C386 form and had no problem with BOTH chassis numbers appearing on the form for that shipment, duty paid, etc, etc

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The owner claims he has the 386 import form, but no other paperwork from America. Now further information has come to light. The Jeep was imported by him as a unfinished restoration, (it still is unfinished) Maybe I picked him up wrong, which I will need to clarify but I am sure he stated that he had new data plates made and the number was one digit out? To my now reflecting it sounds as if this particular Jeep had the identity of another? again I may have picked him up wrong. I can supply photos of the Jeep, to those of you who asked to see some.

yes put pics up mate ,

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Yep sounds a muddle to me, walk away as there is the right one out there for you around the corner, It took my old mate bill a while but when he found the right jeep for him it was worth the time, effort and travel to get the jeep he was happy with.

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I'm going to try and put some photos on here so hopefully someone can shed some light on the Jeeps originality. With regards to it's identity, my real concern and it probably sounds daft, but there is a niggling thought that this guy is trying to disguise a stolen Jeep with the ID from a dead imported vehicle. I just need to know if this is common, i.e. vehicles being imported, in need of restoration with no id tags or chassis plates? How do you upload photos onto to this site, it keeps saying they're too large.

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I'm going to try and put some photos on here so hopefully someone can shed some light on the Jeeps originality. With regards to it's identity, my real concern and it probably sounds daft, but there is a niggling thought that this guy is trying to disguise a stolen Jeep with the ID from a dead imported vehicle. I just need to know if this is common, i.e. vehicles being imported, in need of restoration with no id tags or chassis plates? How do you upload photos onto to this site, it keeps saying they're too large.

 

Use a free download, I use Photoscape, that will allow you easily to reduce the files to a size the Forum will acept.

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My spidersense is tingling... as with all the others.. WALK AWAY!!! Its not worth it. There will be other, better, more complete jeeps.

 

Your question about would someone try to palm off a hotchkiss (in this example) for a MB/GPW (even though its come from the US)... yes!

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