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Have a question for y'all. I am currrently building a 57 210 post in NJ with plans to move to SoCal in the very near future. My plan is to use a TPI 302and turbocharge it. My questions surround the issues I may have with registering the 57 Chevy in California with a non-stock engine combination. CA DMV website really doesn't give me any info. Will the DMV Check under the hood? Will I run into CARB or EO issues regarding the Turbo? Any help or info is very much appreciated. I know in NJ i can get a QQ tag and they don't check the engine combination or check emissions, but it doesn't appear that Cali has anything like that. Thanks!
 

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John due the age of the vehicle they don't require a smog or inspection for emissions, its considered a classic:) As with all government agencies don't volunteer any extra info, but then they will not ask either:rolleyes:

If you have it currently licensed you will just need to transfer it to Ca license. Its one of the few easy things we have in this state.

Randy
 

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In california you will have no issue with it. I brought my '57 from Arkansas and the DMV never had to see my car. I just had to have a my vin# verified and that was it. A police officer did my vin verification. Your car will be exempt from smog tests as '74 and older vehicles are exempt. :happy0030:
 

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:hello: hi john and welcome. good to have you here. sounds like that will be one of the easier things with your move. :anim_25:
 

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Are you sure you want to move to california? high taxes insurance lack of good jobs HIGH house prices and a welfare system that gives everything to people who never earned any thing . I'm looking to get out :eek:
 

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California has its bad points, but its still a great place overall and coming from NJ, I bet the winters here will be enough itself to make the other problems seem trivial! You can cruise year round in sunshine down where your going:tu

Randy
 

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I have to say I love it here - born and raised and don't plan on leaving. :)
of course Randy and I are in northern California... :D
I found that the only time the California DMV wants to check on a classic car's setup is during a sale/purchase. Even then, I think the biggest concern is you can't have open breathers on your valve covers.
 

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You will most likely be waiting in line for at least two hours at the DMV. It pays to have all your paperwork filled out before you go. Here is what you will need:

An application for title or registration Notice the line that states “I purchased this vehicle for the price of $________” Be aware that you will pay a one time use tax on the amount you put down. ;)

You will also need to take your NJ registration and title.

The car must be insured and proof of current insurance will be required.

The vehicle must be inspected by an authorized DMV employee, law enforcement officer, or a licensed vehicle verifier.
As long as the VIN tag is legitimate and matches the NJ title you won't have any problem with the inspection. You can have any engine you want in a ’57 Chevy. They won’t even check the engine. In fact the morons at the DMV wouldn’t know what engine you have if they looked right at it. No smog check is required on pre 1976 vehicles.
 

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Good to have another tri-five coming to southern California. I would suggest if you have AAA, have them register it for you. They do a quick inspection of the VIN and no waiting in line.

I agree with most of the former comments, however, California law does say that a car needs to meet the smog requirements that pertain to the engine in it, not to the body year. That said, I don't think you would run into a problem because they probably wouldn't look under the hood, especially if you have AAA of California. Might even be worthwhile signing up for their basic road service program and have them register it then. I got the premium program which allows two 100 mile flatbed tows/year.

Where abouts are you moving to?
 

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Hey Chevyman. I tried to keep my initial posting simple. I actually already live in San Diego, but i am originaly from NJ. I am finishing it up there since I have free storage and full use of a world-class garage.

Your quote about the smog requirements on the engine and not the body: do you know where I could find that law? Right now, the motor is not complete. I have a few different engine blocks i can use. The one i was planning on using is a 1976 since its already been redone. If redoing an earlier block would keep me out of potential problems, then I'd like to do that.
 

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John,

Looking at your question, I've spent some time trying to find the applicable codes. In California, cars of years 1975 and older do not require smog checks. They however, must retain original smog equipment.

Then it becomes a gray area. I found a CHP forum which argues both sides of whether it matters if you put a later model engine in it. The link is at http://www.chpforums.com/forum/showthread.php?t=4510 . I believe it was Hot Rod magazine that had an article on registering a modified car a year or two ago. It specifically said that it is the year of the engine and not the car. Look at the forum, make your own judgement, but it sounds like not many DMV or CHP inspectors would squawk with your engine and never look at it. All California cars of all years were required to install PCV valves somewhere back in the 60's so I would have one of those. I would use one anyway because it draws moisture out of the engine, greatly reducing sludge buildup.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Thank you sir. I appreciate your efforts. This really is the core of my question. It all seems very convoluted and vague.
 

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spend the money and join AAA the best cash you will ever spend they have their own registration dept @ their offices . it is as easy as pie. If you should choose to go the dmv route (foolish) IMO don't tell them anything except it is all stock. don't invoite problems for yourself. just my .02 worth:happy0030:
 

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Are you sure you want to move to california? high taxes insurance lack of good jobs HIGH house prices and a welfare system that gives everything to people who never earned any thing . I'm looking to get out :eek:
boy you got that right. as soon as i can retire iam outta here. rick
 

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I was lucky enough to have already escaped California a year and a half ago. California is something of a dichotomy it is without a doubt one if not the most beautiful places, the weather is almost always good, and there is nothing car related that is not there. The bad side is the state is a complete mess, politically it is beyond belief and complettly out of touch with what the USA is supposed to be about. It is bureaueracy ridden and that pertains directly to the California DMV. It is so bad in some regards that there was a state bill proposed HB something that would outlaw Black Auto's because they used more energy to cool than lighter colors, thats how political it "CAN" be in California, and how stupid. But it is beatiful...

You have recieved very good advice on registering your car. Remember though do not volunteer any information, dont give them something when they don't ask for it. And yes DO join AAA if it is only for the single purpose of registering this one car. The DMV clerks are usually, read that usually, Magna Cum-Laude graduates of Mean school. If there is any way avoid that if at all possible.

Roland
 

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Calif.

I was lucky enough to have already escaped California a year and a half ago. California is something of a dichotomy it is without a doubt one if not the most beautiful places, the weather is almost always good, and there is nothing car related that is not there. The bad side is the state is a complete mess, politically it is beyond belief and complettly out of touch with what the USA is supposed to be about. It is bureaueracy ridden and that pertains directly to the California DMV. It is so bad in some regards that there was a state bill proposed HB something that would outlaw Black Auto's because they used more energy to cool than lighter colors, thats how political it "CAN" be in California, and how stupid. But it is beatiful...

You have recieved very good advice on registering your car. Remember though do not volunteer any information, dont give them something when they don't ask for it. And yes DO join AAA if it is only for the single purpose of registering this one car. The DMV clerks are usually, read that usually, Magna Cum-Laude graduates of Mean school. If there is any way avoid that if at all possible.

Roland
GEE, know I know why I have been meeting a bunch of retired folks FROM Calif. that have moved to Texas:confused0006:
 
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