Those who have swapped a body shell...

Steve V

Steve V's Automotive 757 560 2782
Joined
Jan 5, 2004
Just aquired an 87 T top GN rust bucket. I am leaning towards a full restoration vs parting it out. I have access to a nice 86 regal shell hardtop. If I did this it would no longer be a vin 7 nor an X for t top. Just a regal body on a GN frame powertrain. This probably will tank the value. I will sell it after the rest already have 2 gns don't need anymore. Thoughts comments on value when it's done. Or I could keep the tops and replace floor pans and all the T metal. It's rough but I need to pull the complete interior to see how bad.
 

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That's a tough one. I had a body donor swap but they were both GNs. (See link in my sig) Mine wasn't nearly as bad as yours either. Rusty body was driving with great drivetrain and new interior. I wouldn't have done it if I wasn't swapping into a GN. Even if well documenting and taking pics of everything as you go, you are still left with a standard Regal with a good motor. Would be great on insurance though!
I'd think the value of keeping it a real GN would make it make sense to cut the roof off the Regal and make the GN a hardtop. Replace the floor pan and you are in business. Be a shame to part the GN out completely.
 
You need to check with you local state laws for what you need for this VIN alteration.

The frame is where the VIN is recorded, and needs to match the dash VIN.

You are not allowed by federal law to alter or change the dash or any VIN plate, but your local MVD can help with this situation. In AZ, they remove the dash VIN, and install a new plate on the door jamb.

Done properly, it should not de-value the car, just keep records and pictures of doing the work.
 
You need to check with you local state laws for what you need for this VIN alteration.

The frame is where the VIN is recorded, and needs to match the dash VIN.

You are not allowed by federal law to alter or change the dash or any VIN plate, but your local MVD can help with this situation. In AZ, they remove the dash VIN, and install a new plate on the door jamb.

Done properly, it should not de-value the car, just keep records and pictures of doing the work.
Thanks Nick. I will look into it. Good info.
 
I spent few hrs this afternoon taking stuff apart, found more holes in trunk pan and firewall. I think this shell maybe beyond salvageable
 
This is going to be long - Sorry. E-Bay often has Regals that have had the GN powertrains swaped into them - there is no real resale cause its just another Regal.
With switching the body - Yes, it can be done & kept as a Grand National vin 7. To do it proper & legit is a LOT of work. Example ... Dynacorn makes reproduction bodies for older muscle cars. The body does not come with a vin. If you already have for example a 1970 Chevelle SS. You would Transfer over all the original parts over to the new body & use the original vin. Or if you build a new car from the body it is classified a kitcar & gets its own vin assigned.
Now, what you would have to do with this GN to do it legit is ... Transfer the body & have to keep the t-tops, transfer over ALL the components that make it a GN & make sure that everything corresponds with the spid label & door sticker information. If the Regal body has C68 climate control, column shift, 60/40 seats ... you would have to ditch it & put the GN's original C60, console, correct seats, door pannels etc. Lots of work & can be done. On a Hemi Cuda, GNX ... its worth the work. On our cars, not really unless what is being transferred over is in like new condition to begin with.
Sadly, looking at the photos above. It would be far more reasonable to find a really good condition GN than restore what is there. Now, if you have the space to keep it as a personal parts car or make some $$ selling off what is salvageable to fund for another GN - There is no shame in doing that! Wish I did just that with my 69 Camaro rather than letting emotion over rule reason. Never recuperated 1/2 what was spent resurrecting the dead.
 
Short version
Swapping bodies/ vins is very bad for resale value.
Installing new sheet metal onto a body doesn't hurt the resale value. But hurts tour profit margin if you still have one.

Btw you can undo T-Tops and still have a legit GN.

Personally I would consider a parts car any car that has had a Vin or body swap.
Don't care if it was a GNX or a Cobra. It's a worthless parts car.

Also that shit with buying a "1970 Chevelle" body and installing a Vin tag is bs.
 
Turbopowered68 - Curious? Wouldn't one of these GM licence reproduction bodies qualify it you already have a rotted-out 1970 Chevelle SS?
http://dynacornbodies.com/body-shells/chevelle/
We are seeing this done by the restoration shops nowadays. If this was not legit .... they wouldn't be building GM Linsenced Restoration parts.
Not to upset you or start a war. After all the metal that was replaced on my old RS/SS 396 - wish I did go this route. But thats only my opinion.
 
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