1968 Chevy Chevelle SS 396: Desirable VIN

chevelle396

There are some cars that clearly have little value left to offer besides the VIN numbers of what it once was. This 1968 Chevrolet Chevelle here on eBay is a genuine SS 396 car that the seller acknowledges is quite a project. However, that’s not deterring bidders as there’s already 8 bids up to $1,250. At this point, it probably makes sense price-wise, but I’ve never quite been able to justify spending money solely to get a VIN number; then again, I’ve not played in the sandbox of vintage American muscle cars (or Porsche 356s, for that matter) where a VIN attached to a once highly-optioned car is worth its weight in gold. For me, the lack of a numbers-matching engine and transmission sucks a lot of the desirability out of the project, but since it’s impossible to buy a new one, I suspect a car with the right VIN plate is the next best thing. This Chevelle SS 396 will need everything, and my question to you is this: is it worth it?

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Comments

  1. booger

    There’s a possibility moving the numbers to another body could be illegal. Depends on the state IIRC. There’s a certainty of unethical behavior related to it too, even if the first guy is totally above board abut it, there’s going to be someone down the line who starts calling it an original car and everyone that follows takes it in the shorts.

    Always good to note down the VIN number on cars like that when you find them, if you’re a potential buyer of a restored car in the future (138378A115474)

    • Horse Radish

      Any auto detective would take that car and crush it, (or both new and old one)
      Any VIN tampering is highly illegal here in California.

      I don’t know where t wouldn’t be, except maybe Russia or Nigeria, but anything that is made to seem what it really is NOT would be fraud in my eyes anyway

  2. JW

    I may be a big fan of modified cars but I’m not a fan of rebodied cars using other vehicle vin’s as it is dishonest. When I sell a car the new owner knows every detail of that car as to the best of my knowledge. Americans are sue happy anymore so that alone keeps me honest.

  3. jim s

    i too think the bidding is for the VIN plates and title. i do not like the practice at all. seems like there is a big market for it and stronger controls are needed. interesting find.

  4. A.J.

    Except the one little issue is now the VIN has been published to the world which makes it worthless.

  5. RoughDiamond

    IMO swapping VINs is wrong. First I think it’s illegal, because I thought the VINs were stamped elsewhere on cars from that era. Second, it devalues people’s cars which are legit. Third, you’re messing with the production numbers especially if you take a Malibu and turn it into an SS.

    • St.Ramone de V8

      Well said, Rough Diamond. I’ve been to shows where every Camaro was an SS or RS or both, and some owners are truthful about creating a “tribute” car. No problem there, but what if a guy picks up a VIN, and re-creates that “tribute”. Is that why VINs of hulks are getting the money? I guess it’s an ethical discussion, but I agree with you. It’s wrong.

  6. gunningbar

    Agreed. Fake VIN = Fake car.

  7. don

    someone might be buying to save it, but probably to far gone and the original engine is missing also, you all are probably right about buying it for the vin number. sad

  8. Chris

    SOLD!! $1300 Unreal…

  9. AMCFAN

    OK so someone buys the car as someone aparently did. Who is to say he is going to swap the vin? Why would he have to? Hello everyone. This is a Chevrolet Chevelle only second to the Camaro. The most popular project car in the world. All he would have to do is grab an NPD catalog or any other that specializes in Chevelle parts. Or just look on ebay where the car was purchased. He can get any repair panel needed as well as core parts needed for the build. Date coded 396 no problem. Etc. etc. There are many people that have built worse just because they found their first car. Is it smart? Not up to me to decide. I have seen alot of guys that have the talent that can build it back into a car and not have to mortgage their house. Not my cup of tea but the vin has all the right elements to revive the dead carcass. Just look around GM don’t make them anymore.

  10. Bren

    In Ireland we have no such hangups, if a car is pre-80 then it doesn’t require a roadworthniess test and if it’s 30+years old it gets Euro90/year road tax sticker, so there is quite a market in ‘Brown log books’ and chassis plates (Pink slips / VIN no’s).
    We’ve seen the US Customs crushing Land Rovers that are not what the paperwork would make you believe but in Ireland we see 1990 SL Mercedes with 1979 licence plates etc etc because neither the cops or Customs know how to ID a ringer, and probably care even less once it’s not involved in a major crime.

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