Was informed on Friday that the frame for my 1963 Sedan DeVille was on its way and that this summer would be it's final voyage before it makes the trip to the salvage yard. The car has always been a project for me and I enjoy the looks it gets from people that have never seen such a land yacht before. So my question that is being posed is this, is it possible to buy another frame for the Caddy Sedan from someone like Mr. Edge and mate it to the body I have or is best to keep this one for parts and buy another one. My wife and I drove this car on my wedding night and holds a special place in my heart for that reason; her suggestion was to buy another one and research out another frame and restore this one from the ground up since I do enjoy working on them. Your thoughts please. 

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Comment by Jason Edge on February 14, 2016 at 7:19am

Matthew, The thing about switching frames is you will more or less be doing a lot of the work you would do with a "frame off" restoration regardless if you do any restoration work.  If swapping out just the core frame you not only have the front clip and main body to move over, but probably have considerable more work in swapping over the chassis suspension, steering, front and rear end components, drivetrain including engine, transmission, all of the supply lines including fuel, brake, etc.  Point being there is a lot of work involved, probably more below the body than above!  Also consider the size and weight of a frame. If you want one I'll have one ready for you in about 2 weeks if you can come to NC and pick it up. $200 and will have you a very nice core frame.

As far as title, if the car is already titled you should have zero worries, especially if you have a VIN # on either the service plate on the door jamb, or stamped on the engine. Many Cadillac owners don't even know about the VIN # stamped on the #1 frame cross members, much less the DMV folks. Unless you march into your DMV office and announce your frame VIN# no longer matches the VIN on the engine and/or service plate, and already have a current title, I would not be concerned, whatsoever. Usually, from what I have been told, it works the other way in that it is often a HUGE undertaking to get a car's VIN changed with DMV's. It varies state to state but in NC you have to have national checks run to make sure the VIN is not reported as stolen, has liens against, etc,; have DMV inspect the car to their satisfaction, and have special indemnity bond insurance for 3 years as I recall. Got a good title, keep it. Someone asks, show them the service plate, or point it out on the engine block.  If you ever sell the car, be up front and honest with the car's history. Buyer, should have zero problem titling the car since there would be no existing issues with your DMV.  If you have the time and fortitude to deal with the DMV to get a title matching the frame VIN... go for it. I started going down that path with a 63 Eldo Convertible about 15 years ago and couldn't stomach the red tape and ended up parting it, which of course meant it went on to help restore many other Cadillacs.

Comment by Tony and Ginny 429 on February 13, 2016 at 11:04pm
Why are you of the mind set that you need a new frame ?
How was that established ,and what exactly is failing on your cars frame ,for you to be considering this job?
Comment by Russ Austin on February 13, 2016 at 10:49pm

You can put another frame under the body, but the VIN is stamped on the frame.  You would get another title, but your memories in the actual car would be intact.


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