The Ones That Got Away

-Dig through your garage.

-Dig through old file cabinets/safes/drawers

-Search old tax return paperwork

-Contact the agency that insured the car

-Contact the state DMV (worked for Jeff!)

-Try to locate the person/place you bought the car from (including dealerships)

-Try to locate the person who sold the car (if you have a name, sometimes a google search can assist)

-Ask your local police (ever get a speeding ticket?)


When you are asking around, share the story of WHY you are searching for the car.  A guy just "trying to find a VIN" is suspicious.  A guy "searching for the car that he took his wife on their first date" is more personal and will likely gather a larger interest.  If they tell you their computers don't go back that far, ask them if there is a paper archive.  If you've gotten this far, then your foot is in the door.  If you have to, offer them a couple hundred dollars if they are successful.  While unethical in some agencies, you may get someone who realizes you are serious and will work a little harder to help. (and yes, some people will take the cash bounty... off the record)

Tips for locating documentation:

Are You Still Looking???

Anyone who has ever sold a classic car has wondered... where is it now?  For some, it wasn't a classic when they sold it, but today it is their hearts desire.  

 The Hot Rod Research Group was founded by author Jeff Goddard who himself was struggling to find a few classics that his father, Mike Goddard had sacrificed when Jeff was a child.  The search led him to write a book aptly titled "The Ones That Got Away" and it gave him a great deal of insight of tips and tricks to locate those long lost classics.

 When you bring your search to us, we are going to give it our all.  Because we have been down the road as well.  NOW, not all cars will be located.  Some have been wrecked, dismantled, or stolen and will forever be lost.  But, our goal is to get you the most information possible.

Our most commonly asked question is, do I HAVE to have the VIN #?  Well, it improves our chances of finding the car by around 90%.  Without the vin, we may be able to access old DMV records, or your family insurance records, or you may just have to dig deep into the family file cabinet to locate anything related to the car.  With a little digging a car can still be located without the VIN, but the VIN # GREATLY reduces the size of the haystack we are looking in.

Check them out online by clicking this link::