MA Inspection of an antique car

I just moved to Boston and I need to get my 1966 Ford mustang inspected. I was turned away from the local ford dealership because when I was asked the mileage, I responded with “Odometer exceeds mechanical limits”. Because I could not come up with a number, I was turned away, but I did not receive a Turnaway Document. What should I do?

Turn Away Document???

How about NOT going to the dealer. Find a local garage that can inspect cars.

Sppeak with the Mass Bureau of Motor Vehicles.

Just go to any local inspection station with your registration card. Don’t say anything other than you want a sticker. They’re not going to ask you anything about the mileage, they’ll just record what the odo reads.

Unless one is selling a vehicle, I really don’t understand what the odometer reading has to do with a safety inspection. In the case of your 42 year old Mustang, I don’t even think the odometer reading would be all that important if you were to sell the vehicle.

As the other posts suggested, just let them read off the digits that appear on the odometer. My state used to have a state inspection. I had a 25 year old Chevrolet pick-up truck. The speedometer and odometer hadn’t worked for years. The digits were faded and hard to read, but the inspector just wrote down the digits that appeared.

What local garage is going to know how to inspect an antique car? This dealership was recommended by the local mustang club, so it was the only thing I had to go with. If someone knows about a Boston garage that specializes in inspecting antique cars, I’m all ears.

As for the turnaway document, it is in the MA regulations, 540 CMR 4.04 1 (b)

A Turnaway Document must be given to the operator of any vehicle refused for inspection due to an incorrect vehicle identification number, registration number, or for any reason a vehicle is otherwise refused for inspection.

Though I do find it amusing there is nothing in the document about mileage at all.

Mustangs aren’t exactly exotic cars. Same brakes, glass, engine, lights, exhaust, etc. as any other car. Any competent inspection station or mechanic would do fine.

Make me feel old, go ahead…“antique”, is it? Of course, in 1966 a 42-year old car would have been a 1924, which was an an…oh, nevermind!

On an antique car, the odometer reading is important because in many states, an antique car does not have to be inspected for safety or for emissions if it is operated less than X number of miles per year.

The procedure in my state, NJ, is for the owner to first obtain “QQ” license plates, indicating that the car is registered as an antique. Thereafter, the owner goes to the back door of a state inspection station annually in order for them to note and record the odometer reading.

If the car has not exceeded X miles (I think that it is 7k, but I could be mistaken) in the preceding year, then the QQ registration’s exemption from inspection remains valid. If the mileage limit has been exceeded, then the car needs to undergo a safety inspection.

In NH it’s 5,000 miles.

ANY authorized garage can easily inspect a 66 mustang. There is nothing special about inspecting a 66 mustang. In fact it’s easier then a modern car because there is no emissions to test.

Yeah, I feel your pain. I was a teenager then.

ALL cars in MA must be safety inspected every year regardless of their registration type.

What would you inspect on a '29 Model T?

In 1961, I had for a while a 1936 Chevrolet, a real fun car. It seemed so ancient it is hard to imagine it was only 25 years old, the same as a 1983 car today would be. And, today a 1983 doesn’t seem that old at all.

When you’re 16 25 is 156% of your entire life. When you’re 65 it’s 38%. Big difference in perception.

I was in a grocery store a while back with my USAF Operation Linebacker (bombing of Hanoi) hat on. A young fella at the counter looked up all excited and said “you were in Operation Linebacker? I’m in ROTC and we studied that!” Wow, talk about feeling old.

What would I inspect? Nothing. I don’t believe the inspection program as a whole is beneficial to anyone other than special interest groups. However, the state has a list that is published on their web site explaining all of the things they will inspect, if the car is originally equipped with those things. There are common parts that even a '29 Model T must have like brake lights, head lights and so on. They will still jack up the body and check to make the wheels aren’t in danger of falling off, the exhaust system isn’t going to asphyxiate the operator or passengers, the windscreen is intact, etc.

My father had a '48 Plymouth until 1968 (when I was 8). It stuck out like a sore thumb. My older brothers would hide in the back seat so their friends wouldn’t see them. Dad got a $30 paint job from Earl Scheib and a $200 motor from Sears. He intended to get his money’s worth. Eventually frame rust did it in so he gave it to a friend in rural Virginia. The friend put it on jack stands and attached a saw blade to one of the rear hubs.

Today, my '88 Accord blends right in with the crowd.

I think antique is being way over-used these days. A '66 can’t even participate in our local cruise-in, it’s too new. I am in to '80s Honda motorcycles (CB series, particularly) and people are always saying “I bought my first “vintage” bike”, and I just have to think, if that’s vintage, then what are all of these '30s and '40s-era Harleys called? Artifacts?

Yes, designs aren’t changing near as much as they used to. Who in 1968 would have designed a car to look 40 years old on purpose? Nobody. But this worked great for Ford today, with the current Mustang.