"Legalizing" the 73Z for the Road

Discussion in 'The Great State of Texas!' started by BillyDean7173, Dec 18, 2020.

  1. BillyDean7173

    BillyDean7173 Spirit In Black

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    Thought I would share some info about getting the 73Z legal for the road earlier this month. Keep in mind that I live in Williamson County, so your county may be different. Check with your county tax office.

    Here are the steps I took in order.

    1. Insurance - I went with Hagerty for several reasons such as having a local Farmers agent who sells Hagerty about seven miles away from me, Guaranteed Value, and a feature called Cherished Salvage. If the car is totaled, I get the guaranteed value less my deductible and no deduction for salvage. In other words, I get my car back. Period. No trying to buy it back from the salvage company or at an auction. Some of the other insurers I checked out were pretty vague about what would happen to my car if it was totaled. Hagerty also covered my 71 as a project under construction. As FYI, your homeowners insurance policy may cover the car parts in your house, but may not cover the car or parts on your car. I went many years thinking both of my Camaros in the garage were covered by my homeowners insurance. Nope. If my house was damaged by whatever and the cars were damaged (or stolen), they would not be covered. At least that was my case.

    2. Inspection - I went to my local Chevy dealer up the road. I asked the guy doing the inspection if there would be a problem since my car did not have the stock exhaust. He said no and that they only check for safety issues like turn signals, horn, brakes, etc. The inspection was $7.00 since they don't run an emissions test on cars more than 25 years old.

    3. Year of Manufacture (YOM) License Plates - I had four sets of Texas 1973 plates and was hoping to at least use one for the car. I called the Specialty Plates Section of the TxDMV at 512-374-5010 to check on availability. I gave them all four plates. They asked about color and layout and then did their check. All four sets were available for use. Three had expired in their system and one was 100% clear (not sure what that meant). I used the set that was clear since that's the one my wife and I wanted anyway. I may sell the others; I don't know yet.

    4. Registration - My wife and I went to the county tax office since she's on the title, too. I brought the title, insurance, inspection, license plates, and driver licenses. I also brought the title application receipt with no registration from when we titled the car in our names back in 2013 but didn't need it. The clerk looked over the plate for condition and then had us complete a special plate application. After that was done, we got the windshield registration sticker, cash receipt, and the special plate receipt with the plate letter/numbers on it. The registration was $75.50 total. We registered the car as a classic which requires an annual inspection and annual registration. To register the car as an antique was too restrictive for us because we will be driving the car at least once a week. Registering a car as an antique requires the car to be used for "exhibition, club activities, parades, and other functions of public interest" blah, blah, blah. I think you only have to register every five years as an antique and I don't know about inspections, but do your own homework if you want to go that route.

    So now I'm almost legal. I say that because although I have the license plate on the back, I need to use some spacers for the standard license plate bracket on the front because the top of the plate is hitting the hood release latch. I passed a DPS officer and a sheriff the other day without the front license plate and I didn't get stopped, but I know they will bust me sooner or later.

    Hope this helps and good luck!
     
    sandlapper, Chuck71RS, xten and 2 others like this.
  2. wnmech

    wnmech Veteran Member

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    Billy
    You would of saved money and annual inspection costs if you would of registered your car under the antique category. My 71 is registered under that category and the plates are 5 year renewal for $50 dollars. Texas claims that the antique category should only be driven too and from car shows and parades and maintenance runs. I’ve never had any issues from the DPS officers or the local police when I drive my car. I do have the 71 license plates on my vehicle. From what I read on your post sounds like you are ready to go and put some miles on the car. Enjoy you will get lots of thumbs up and looks.
     
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  3. BillyDean7173

    BillyDean7173 Spirit In Black

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    Thanks, wnmech. Feels great. I've already had people take pics, want to race me, and just chew the fat when I get gas. The last time I felt that pride is when I drove my 71 back in the early 2000s.
    Your choice about the antique plates and I see what you're saying, but that might be considered fraudulent and I don't need the headache, the questions, and possible issues with my insurance, especially if I get wrecked. Besides, if I wanted to save money, I picked the wrong friggin' hobby, LOL! :D
     
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  4. wnmech

    wnmech Veteran Member

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    I can definitely understand what your saying. I only get mine out every couple of weeks since they canceled all the car shows and car guy social gatherings up here in the Dallas area.
     
  5. 351maverick

    351maverick full time Ebay seller/hustler/car killer

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    we slap antique plates on anything 25 years or older & drive em...no inspections/registration ever again...one time fee
     
  6. xten

    xten Veteran Member

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    Congratulations on the milestone! It's a good feeling for sure Billy. I make sure I'm not in a big hurry when I need to get gas. Thumbs up makes me smile every time. 10-4 on the "wrong friggin' hobby"!
     
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  7. bodymanbill

    bodymanbill Veteran Member

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    Congrats Billy i know what a great feeling it is to finally get behind the wheel after all the years of hard work but we need some dam pictures
     
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  8. Chuck71RS

    Chuck71RS Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

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    Congrats Billy. I would like to drive your way some weekend to see your 73Z
     
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  9. BillyDean7173

    BillyDean7173 Spirit In Black

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    Here's some pics that the owner's wife at the shop took the day we revealed the car to my wife, Cynthia. This will be her car. She hadn't seen the car in a couple of years until that day.
    It was a five year project, of which about 3 1/2 years was actual build time. I'm relieved that the car is done for the most part. I say that because I'm already starting a list of some things I want to change/upgrade/add, lol.
    The whole process, being the first build, really consumed my life. I need a break to take care of things I've been neglecting like house repairs, landscaping, making music, etc. Then I'll start on the 71, which for the most part, will be a family and friends project and a lot more fun and freedom. No more numbers matching stuff. Once was enough for me. We're fortunate to have one car we can drive now for inspiration while we bring another one back to life (again).

    129849597_4221043121255829_5822717985478418130_o.jpg
    129958884_4221043154589159_4414338587453218334_o.jpg
    130096664_4221043087922499_8112540519740123434_o.jpg
     
  10. xten

    xten Veteran Member

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    I'd say it was worth the time and effort. That car is beautiful Billy.
     
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