Title Considerations When Building a Spit6

by Mike Ross

Mike lives in Ohio and while you state laws may vary, it's best to ask the DMV of your state some questions concerning titling a car you constructed.

Mike writes:

Just thought I'd share this information for those who were assembling their project cars from different sources.

Since I am planning to mount my '68 Spit body tub to my '69 GT6 frame and install a TR6 engine, I was wondering how to legally title the car and if it would change my exemption status for E-check in Ohio.

I called several agencies and this is what I found. First you must make an appointment with the division of the Ohio State Highway Patrol that oversees fraud and stolen vehicles to inspect the assembled car so they can verify that none of the assembled and numbered parts (engine, frame, transmission, differential, and body) are stolen. Then you make duplicate copies of both titles you might have for the body source car and the chassis source. This is for your records only. Take both original titles to the title office where they will be surrendered and a new title written for the newly assembled car (Spitfire-GT6, GT6 convertible, or whatever you want to call it). Here's the kicker. The new title says the automobile is manufactured in this year. So my 1968 Spitfire now becomes a 1999 Spitfire-GT6.

You can install any engine, transmission, differential, etc. without changing the title as long as they were purchased from another vendor as a separate part. If they were taken from another titled car, that car's title would also need to be surrendered with the body source car's title. That implies that if you bought a chassis from a salvage yard, you could retain your original title; I would need to check this out. Since it didn't apply to my situation, I never asked about that scenario.

In Ohio, if your car is over 25 years old you aren't required to submit it for E-check (emissions testing). Now that my Spitfire-GT6 was titled as a 1999 car, I wondered how that would affect my E-check exemption. I called the Ohio EPA and was told that if I could provide copies of the original titles and some proof that the year the engine was manufactured was over 25 years ago, they would provide me with a permanent exemption from E-check testing. They said it didn't matter what I did to the engine to modify it (different carbs, EFI, Turbo, etc.) as long as the engine # proves the block was made over 25 years ago.


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