Live Auctions

The Most Valuable Firewall Ever?

Valuable Firewall

Could this be the most valuable firewall ever? Well, with bidding here on eBay getting close to $9,000, it may just be! Apparently, it came from a 396/4-speed equipped ’69 Camaro RS Convertible. I understand that this was a desirable car, but really? People obviously want the VIN in order to turn whatever they have laying around into something very valuable. Personally, I’d be a little let down to find out that a car I’d purchased was only wearing the firewall of the original. That’s just me though…


  1. MacVaugh

    They have very wisely obscured the VIN, so the internet doesn’t forever know what convertible shell was left to rust until only the cowl remained, and then was used to turn a 6 cylinder 3 speed car into a car the value of my home.

    Like 5
  2. Dan

    I can’t believe what our country has come to…..and a Jo Plumber average working guy can’t even afford a decent car anymore….

    Like 6
    • dave

      Yes they can. You just have to search. Takes work because its not just going to be handed to you.

      Like 3
  3. RonEBee

    disappointed? you would never know. Always look for the paper trail when buying a car

    Like 2
    • Robert Grant

      A smart person will know the VIN is stamped in many different places on a car or truck

      Like 3
  4. Donnie

    should not even be allowed to be sold

    Like 8
    • Bobsmyuncle

      I agree. Really this is conspiracy to commit fraud if such a crime actually exists.

      Like 7
      • Jason Houston

        You both took the words right out of my mouth…

        Like 3
      • Rancho Bella

        Folks………you have no idea

        Like 1
    • dennis

      Exactly!!! Damn Ebay, anything for a buck. If the winning bidder uses this to dupe some dummy with no brains but a huge wallet, Ebay should be liable… You’d see a stop to this right now, for now though anything goes!

      Like 8
  5. Nessy

    Pittyful and fake. The finished car is going to be based on a lie and some poor soul will get stuck. This is uncool. Ebay should drop this listing.

    Like 6
    • Jason Houston

      It took eBay years to figure out that selling titles and VIN plates led to no good. Give them another ten to figure out this is just a spin on the same thing. Dumb idiots at eBay are slow learners.

      Like 7
  6. Donnie

    20 some years from now some guy is going to be restoring his dream car that he just bought its a 1969 Camaro rs convertible with a 396 4 speed and when he is sanding it down and seas the weld marks he ant going to be to happy

    Like 3
    • grant

      They’ll probably just move the VIN tags and scrap this.

      Like 1
      • bob

        you dont just “move” vin tags. They had special rivets that a pro can spot fake ones.

        Like 2
      • dennis

        A very good welder and/or body man can just take out the tag along with an inch or so of the surrounding sheet metal and mig/tig weld it into the new body. I’ll be the first to admit it, LOL I wish I was the guy that bought this at some swap meet 20+ years ago for about $250.00! Now he’s selling it to some crazy fool for over $12,000 Really? This is really out of hand any more! I miss the good old days back in the 80’s when these were just an old or used car we would “fix up” Now it’s just silly!! A rich guys game for a lot of these things.. Sad really!

        Like 5
      • JOHN Member

        Regarding those “special rivets”, the rosette rivets are available for sale.

        Like 4
  7. Art M.

    Is it just me or does anyone else see what appears to be green paint underneath the red. I agree that this should be illegal to even sell. I own a 1970 Chevelle SS that is missing the original engine and I was approached by a guy at a car show who told me he had a set of original GM VIN stamps. He said that if I could find a block with the correct date code he could, for a fee, deck the block and stamp my VIN into it. Said he had done so several times. He even bragged about converting mustang coupes into fastbacks using rusty shells and their corresponding titles. It’s a dirty way to do someone, but it happens all the time. My car may never be all original, but my integrity will remain intact.

    Like 11
    • Dan

      Good answer Art M.

      Like 4
    • leiniedude leiniedude Member

      Bless you Art. In the long run they are just cars to most of us. Cool cars I will say. Keep your integrity, If you have something to sell, I am sure I would feel comfortable working with you. Thanks for your honesty. Happy New Year, Mike!

      Like 5
    • randy

      Good on you Art, and I think I would have gotten the guys contact info and spread it around as well.

      Like 3
    • dennis

      You know it! I bought a totaled 71 Vette Coupe off Ebay. When it’s resurrected with my 79 doner frame and body parts, then the 71 date coded correct Corvette 350 engine I am using for it. I will NEVER lie about what she was, I’ll be proud that I could do such a great job on a car that never got to live it’s life and was lost at 3 years old and 24,000 miles. Now she lives again(someday) just like the tank sticker said she was built as.. But never would I tell anyone it was original.. But it now is a restored almost lost wreck.

      Like 1
      • skloon

        Hopefully the next owner won’t lie either- I worked for a body shop for a week until I found the box of VIN tags and paperwork in the furnace room- reported the place to the cops and went to work elsewhere

        Like 3
      • Bobsmyuncle

        Skloon with all seriousness, you are a little bit of alright with me brother. Good for you.

        Like 3
  8. Lex

    Sadly, where there’s a buck to be made there will always be scammers. Original paperwork, protecto plates, vin tags, block stamps…. All can be faked. Finding a car with a track record of previous owners will be very valuable in the future if original cars are what you like to own.

    As for the green under the paint on this car… That’s moss/plant matter from sitting in the dirt rotting away.

    Someone should buy this, ask for VIN/ trim tag info then back out of deal. That would teach this scammer.

    Like 3
  9. 64 bonneville

    had a former friend buy a 69 Mach I at an auction, to the tune of $18,000. He had always wanted one, and as he approached 65, was in a financial position to buy one. He asked me to decode the door tag and VIN on it. When he found out it was actually a 6 cylinder automatic coupe, according to the VIN, and the door tag didn’t correspond to the VIN codes, he contacted the (very well known) auction company. In the fine print of the bidders contract is statement of the car is presented as the consignor declared it and the auction company is held harmless for any problems. after having his attorney contact the auction company for the name and address of the consignor, found out that the Texas body shop had filed a Chapter 7 bankruptcy petition several days after the auction. they had 10 cars consigned, and all sold.
    I’, not saying don’t buy at auction, but take time to read your bidders contract, and have somebody knowledgeable with you on the make or model you are looking at bidding on. Once again the “buyer beware statement holds true. Be careful out there.

    Like 1
    • Rspcharger Rspcharger

      Don’t even get me started on auctions and the pigs with lipstick that are sold there.

      Like 2
    • Wayne

      When you mention this Mike, something just occurred to me. Back around ’84 I purchased an original ’69 Mach I (for $1500.00) and haphazardly “restored” it. After all, back then it was just a 15 year old desirable used car. I must admit however, it was beautiful. Anyhow, one night while I was at a party making merry and partaking in all sorts of debauchery, my Cousin found my keys and took it for a joy ride. When I awoke the next afternoon, I found it in the parking lot with the driver’s side door all mashed. After running back inside and chasing my Cousin all around the “hangout” for the better part of 15 minutes (the little bastard was quick, never DID catch him) I went home and thought about what do about the door. I recalled that a friend near where I worked had a ’69 six cyl. coupe that he used for parts as he had a ’69 Mach that he was restoring also. He sold me the door for $20 dollars plus my mashed door so he could keep the interior of his parts car dry. I took it home, sprayed it, and bolted it on. Never thought about the tag…

      Like 1
      • dennis

        Amazing isn’t it? Just some used car back in the “good old days” I started doing body and paint work for extra money back in 1985, never thought it would get so damn crazy. Hindsight is 20/20 isn’t it. If I had only known! Damn!!!

    • Larry M

      64, if the door was replaced due to accident, chances are the correct tag wasn’t transferred over from the original door to the “replacement”. just sayin…. That happened alot.

      Like 2
  10. Car39

    Saw one of those “Flip this Junk Pile” shows where the expert purchased a rust bucket of a SS/RS Z28 to slap the VIN tag onto a Chinese Camaro. Only lost $20,000 at the auction. Great entertainment.

    Like 1
  11. Rex Kahrs Member

    Wait, you’re all jumping the gun. It’s just like guns…the gun store owner doesn’t know the gun will be used to commit a crime, so is he a bad guy for selling the gun? I know 99% of you would answer no to that question.

    Now, this seller is selling a chunk of a 69 Camaro. He doesn’t know for sure that the buyer will commit a crime with it, so why is he the bad guy for selling the firewall? Nobody will be killed I’m sure if this crime actually is committed.

    • Mark

      If the seller wanted to be truthful about it he should remove the VIN information really from the firewall. That way it couldn’t be used illegally. Also the fact that he obscured that information in the photo tells a lot.

      Like 2
      • Jason Houston

        Aw, c’mon… Selling a gun to any gun fool is no big deal. Selling a hunk of metal with a potentially expensive VIN stamped on it is a different bucket of worms. If the crooked seller just wants to sell a used firewall, list it as a used firewall, and leave OFF the VIN!

        Like 1
    • Bobsmyuncle

      Because morality trumps dollars. And the value that this is being sold for obviates what is truly being sold.

      No personal offense but it is THAT very mindset that is ruining our world.

      Like 2
      • Jason Houston

        I could not have said it better. That’s what ‘online’ has become: a safe-haven for the fraudster.

        Like 1
      • randy

        So, the seller can control what is BID for his product? I do realize he had an idea, because he has a very high reserve. I see a lot of “Americans” have no clue of what freedom is, and how the free market is supposed to work. I assume the offended parties are American.

      • randy

        Hey Bob, morality is supposed to trump all. Our nation lost it’s morality a long time ago. Beanie babies and Cabbage patch kids come to my mind. Thousands of folks got left holding the bag on both of those items. Same thing here, where was your outrage when the 356 sold for one hundred and fifty thousand dollars? Same exact thing going on. This phenomenon will end in grief and probably bloodshed. Not mine, because I know better, and you seem to have a good head on your shoulders as well.

      • Bobsmyuncle

        Randy, you inadvertently gave me a good laugh. My buddies could tell you all about my “outrage” LOL.

        I think the automotive market is ludicrous, so too is real estate. But while there are so many with way too much money the rest of us will always suffer the outcome. That’s mostly another story.

        There is however a big difference between classic car ownership and realty, and Beanie Babies et. Al. That difference is historic trends. When someone buys a classic car, one CAN make an educated guess as to it’s proposed value over time.

        My house isn’t WORTH it’s cost that’s why fire insurance is so cheap. I can rebuild a way better home for less than I paid. But I also know that it’s going to incrementally grow in value with negligible risk. Looking at the real estate market provides me that confidence.

        You can buy gold high or low. But gold will never lose out over enough time, as precedence has shown us.

        ‘Investing’ in Beanie Babies, are like investing in dot coms.

        While this is an anomaly it is interesting;

      • randy

        Hey Bob, I am sure you are a great guy, and I’d gladly share a foxhole with you. The beanie baby market is / was a crash course in market bubbles, and a quick one too. The main culprit in the automotive bubble is inflation. Good products that are relatively scarce tend to beat inflation for a while. I am certain the bubble is going to rupture very soon. I also think gold will retain it’s value better than any other commodity, it is an historic store of wealth, and has always been “money”. Thank you very much for the titillating discussion. We’d be fast friends if we lived within shouting distance I am sure. Just don’t let me catch you absconding with my dash stash!

    • Mr. Bond

      What else would a firewall be used for? If a camaro is so far gone it needs a firewall, I’d bet you would be replacing so much sheet metal, all you’d need is the VIN.

      • Jim

        To be honest Camaro/Firebird firewalls are just as bad and prone to rust as Mustangs and you’re right, when the firewall is gone so is the floor or at least the toeboards. I’ve helped friends replace a few if each over the years, the Mustang is more of a pain because of the unibody, you buy the correct rivets online and swap the vin tags. If they didn’t rust they would be no replacement parts available.

  12. David Frank David Member

    It’s got to be obvious to the seller what a buyer intends to do with it. Why else would they pay $9000 for a rusty yard art piece? I think this situation is more like the bar tender serving a drunk who can hardly stand up. But, this becomes a discussion of civic responsibility and this is not the place to discuss that. It’s simply some of us believe in civic responsibility, some don’t. Again, this is not the place. We all share a love of cars.

  13. Art M.

    If the seller was just selling a “chunk of a 69 Camaro ” he would not provide a title or VIN with the firewall. A chunk of Camaro at the current bid (reserve not met, by the way) really serves no legitimate purpose. Sorry, it walks like a duck and talks like a duck, it’s probably a duck!!

    Like 1
  14. Rex Kahrs Member

    Personally I absolutely do believe in civic responsibility. Probably more than most. I also believe in due process. Innocent until proven guilty, despite what may seem “obvious”. That’s the American way.

    OK, so a guy with a mouth full of gold teeth and bling around his neck buys a gun at the Chicago gun store. Is he guilty of something just because other similar ducks have been guilty of misusing guns? Due process says no until it can be proven, that’s all I’m saying.

  15. Bobsmyuncle

    So the TV Evangelist that takes grandma’s money leaving her destitute is innocent?

    Buyer beware is a pathetic excuse for Capitalist thieves.

    Like 1
    • randy

      He is not taking her money, she is giving it, with the hope of a promise. Is it moral? No way. Humans are like sheep, they will follow who or whatever trips their trigger.

      • Bobsmyuncle

        So leaving her as prey to the immoral is okay? Because human nature is to trust each other that should allow others to over power them using that trait?

        That innate trust is all we have making us ‘human’. I HAVE to trust that walking down the street someone isn’t going to decide to end my life in any manner of methods available to them. I trust that the teacher teaching my child isn’t going to set a fire in the classroom.

        Allowing anyone to breach that trust is our failure as a community to protect our most vunerable.

      • randy

        Hey Bob, that is what family is for. Trust has to be earned. The problem comes when we start trusting in the wrong thing. I put my trust in The Creator, and his word says “trust no man” for a reason. Not only do we have a trusting nature, we also have a sinful nature that we are born with. I would not let anyone I loved and cared for be preyed upon by any predator, 2 or 4 legged.

        But if someone wanted to pay me 9 thousand dollars for a piece of junk, I’d say how many do you want. My moral obligation at that point would be to make sure the buyer did not use it to deceive someone else.

      • grant

        I can’t reply to your comment below randy, but how is it that you would sell dashes all day I’d you could, but here you have a moral obligation. To make sure the buyer isn’t doing anything illegal with it? You sir, are a demonstration in contradiction.

      • Bobsmyuncle

        Randy, you trust strangers every single day and many times a day.

        Any time you leave your house, you are at the mercy of good will.

        Any time you eat any prepackaged food, or at a restaurant, or drink a pint of draught.

        Any time you take a cab, bus, train or plane.

        Any time you put your loved ones in someone else’s care.

        Trust is the only thing that allows us to live amongst each other. We all have a role to play in defending that trust.

      • randy

        Grant, I don’t think so. The point is quite mute, as I’ll never buy or sell a dash.
        If someone wants to pay me crazy money for any item that can be misused, I am going to make sure I do not sell the item to a person of questionable integrity. I am not a greedy person, but I will gladly accept money from a fool.
        I would put the money to much better use anyway.

      • randy

        Hello again Bob, you are right, I do put my trust in strangers, but not near as often as most. I live on 40acres, 15 miles from the nearest town of less that 1000 people. There is one traffic light in my county. I do not eat processed foods, and I don’t have enough income to do restaurants much. Don’t do trains plains taxi’s or busses. My children were home schooled, and never went to day care. I will have a beer once in a great while. Here’s a pic of my front pasture. Thanks again for the “brotherly” conversation.

        Like 1
    • Woodie Man

      Amen Brutha From Anutha Mutha. While this sale maybe just an optimistic seller with some yard art, chances are its not. Looks like Wall Street has some Main Street competition.

  16. Rick

    Unfortunately, there are lots of valuable muscle cars out there similarly equipped . . .

    Like 1
  17. Frankie Paige

    Wow, the response about this car rivals that of the guy selling the 1969 firebird prototype, a lot of opinions about what’s right, moral. Very interesting.

    Like 1
  18. JamestownMike

    I think this auction promotes CAR THEFT! Someone can steal a 69 RS convertable 396/4 speed show car, swap vins (and “confidential” secondary vins aka. rear frame rail stamped), cowl plate and title for the cost of this ebay auction!……..OR someone is going to take their plain jane 6 cylinder/3 speed 69 Camaro convertible and make it an RS 396/4 speed car!…….OR you could “rebody” that vin/cowl tag and title with a brand new repop body for about $20 grand. Pretty shady!

    Like 1
  19. Dolphin Member

    There is a way for Ebay users to flag potentially fraudulent auctions. You can ‘report an item’ that Ebay does not allow to be sold. Or you can report ‘inappropriate buying and selling’.

    Info on these actions can be found by scrolling all the way down to the bottom of any Ebay page and clicking the words ‘Site Map’ at the bottom. Then scroll to the bottom of the page that comes up and look under the ‘Help topics’ heading for the ‘A-Z Index’ and click on it.

    Then go to the ‘R’ page by clicking the letter ‘R’ near the top of the ‘A-Z Index’ page. On the ‘R’ page, scroll down to the ‘Reporting inappropriate buying and selling’ link and click on it. You can follow the process described there.

    Another way to report things is to click on the ‘Reporting Listing Violations’ link on the ‘R’ page.

    You would need to be sure that the auction actually does violate Ebay listing policies. Reading about that on the page that comes up when you click on that link tells us that Ebay’s policies “are often based on country and state laws”. Given that it is against the law to swap VIN tags to another vehicle, it seems that selling something for that purpose would be an Ebay listing violation.

    Maybe if a few people used these complaint methods in Ebay this auction would be ended.

    Like 1
    • Brian

      I think this is how he’s getting around ebay rules by selling the firewall and not the vin tags. You buy the firewall and the vin tags just happen to come with it.

    • Jason Houston

      Yeah. and maybe – just MAYBE – if eBay ever got serious about discouraging fraud, they’d make it a helluva lot easier to report. Like you said, all that stupid, useless, time-wasting drilldown doesn’t exactly highlight eBay’s dedication to morality. And no matter which way they flow, they always land on the side of the crooked seller with some convenient rubber-stamped excuse.

      Like 1
  20. Donnie

    I bet whoever gets it is only wanting it for there man cave
    I no B.S

  21. Healeydays

    This is borderline illegal. I reported this listing to Ebay as “Illegal items and items encouraging illegal activity”. I can’t think of a legal reason to buy this for the price other for illegal purposes unless you just like it for wall art…

  22. Marty Member

    I’m going to play devil’s advocate here. Cue the Star Spangled Banner:

    Selling a cowl, complete with VIN tag, cowl tag and title, is not illegal. No crime is being committed here, and whoever buys it isn’t necessarily going to commit one either. While the potential for swapping tags with a six cylinder car is possible and likely, what’s also possible is that the next buyer may be a completely upstanding and honest guy who will build legally from that, or has the capability of building the entire car up from repro panels or an entire repro shell, either as some kind of restomod-type vehicle, or even possibly a restoration that is faithful to what this car started out as. Exactly what percentage of a car must be original to still be considered an original (or “real”) car?

    Please note that none of that has to involve the use of deception. It doesn’t necessarily involve him lying to future prospective buyers, or trying to cheat anyone in any way. If he advertised it for sale, and was up front about what it is and what its origins are, it would still be a perfectly sale-able car that people will want to buy – even knowing full well what it is.

    I’m glad it’s legal to build up from a cowl. I’ve never done it. But I’m sure I would resent the government or anyone else telling me that I can’t restore one particular car because it’s too rough. And where would that line be drawn, by the way? How many of us would like being told we can’t do a car because it has rusted away just one inch too high up the front floor board, and the metal is gone there?

    Some countries in Europe have laws like that, where the government can decide for you that your car is too rusty to restore. Well-meaning or otherwise, let’s not wish that kind of system upon ourselves. There are some who will read these words in whom the concept for possible future deception is so deeply ingrained, that the words “no deception involved” will go in one ear and right out the other. It’s the same exact argument in extended form about whether or not a gun will kill someone, that gun being possibly used for such by its first owner, second owner, and so on.

    As long as there are desirable cars with rare and valuable options, there will be build-ups done from cowls. It’s just a fact of life now. Get used to it and adapt accordingly. It’s not fair or accurate to automatically assume that someone who builds up from a cowl is out to screw the rest of the world.

    • Jason Houston

      You raise a valid point. If my grandma bought a white Camaro HT with 6 and automatic, and it got destroyed in a flood, and I wanted to, I could salvage the cowl and rebuild the car.

      • randy

        So, are you good with the sale, or is the seller still a crook?

    • dennis

      I’ve restored cars for the last 30 years. If a guy takes a new $12,500 body Camaro Convert and build the thing with all the correct parts as the tag indicates what difference is there between it and an original? Problem is when they market the Frankenstein as all original now it’s totally immoral. But in our anything for a buck society the buyer needs to do his homework or hire someone that can tell it’s a fake. If some rich guy gets taken then so be it, they are the ones that have made the collector car hobby into such a huge biz that people can do this and will. The true car person that appreciates these for the right reasons usually cannot dream of buying his dream car. They’ve become toys(investments) for rich people like oil speculators. I hope to see the day when these rich jerks lose their asses on a lot of these cars and it return to the people that deserve them. Rich guy gets taken? Good I’d be happier than crap to see it!

      Like 1
    • Dolphin Member

      You say that the potential for swapping tags with a six cylinder car is possible and likely. I think it’s a virtual certainty that the tags from this cowl will be used to fraudently increase the value of a lesser Camaro.

      I also think that the chances that someone will build a complete Camaro RS based on this cowl are very unlikely when they could just swap the tags to another car. But even if someone did build a whole car from this cowl, what do you think the chances are that the builder will tell buyers that he did that and that the car that he’s selling is not actually the real thing? Slim to none. Why would someone go to all that work and expense and then sell the resulting car as a pretender?

      Either way, the opportunity and likelihood of fraud down the road are just about certain if this cowl sells. That’s why it’s been bid over $10K, with a reserve over that amount. So although no crime as such is being committed in this auction, I think there will some kind of fraud down the road if the cowl sells, and it will be one more black mark in the hobby.

      • randy

        I will try and make this my last comment on this BF, The VIN will be easily traceable, it’s not like a person that loses their memory. It is not a magical VIN. It will have a history, easily traced by anyone that has the sense to trace it.
        I am sure The Camaro club or whomever has heard of this “Parts car”, as the buyer bought it at a swap meet. Potential for fraud is high, but it cannot be hidden.

        Like 1
      • Dolphin Member

        Excellent point.

        In fact, even if a guy builds a complete car around this cowl and then tries to sell it as just a RS clone to avoid bigger problems from nearly all of the components being from other cars, some people will know that it’s fishy because it has a real RS VIN (according to the seller). So there is no way this deal could work without questions / problems / potential lawsuits cropping up.

  23. JW

    Our car hobby was bought and sold to the highest bidder after the turn of the century and it’s only getting worse.

  24. Donnie

    it would have ben better if the guy would have not cut it off and just sold the car itself even if it was totaled and beyond repair

  25. Rex Kahrs Member

    And Marty has brilliantly stated exactly what I was driving at.

    I don’t condone illegal activity, and I especially don’t want to get burned again when buying a classic car. But “buyer beware” has to be a better alternative to the government deciding how cars/parts can be sold and used. And that’s the reason I started this discussion…to point out that the system’s best regulation is self-regulation, not jumping to conclusions and getting 3rd parties involved in private transactions, just because it “looks” shaky. The 4th Amendment is my favorite.

    Bravo Marty, well said.

    • Bobsmyuncle

      I couldn’t disagree more.

      VINs cannot be bought and sold. The fact that this is attached to a part is simply a play of the system and will without doubt result in someone down the line being ripped off.

      There are COUNTLESS overdramatic analogies I could make to clarify this but I’m trying hard to refrain.

    • Marty Member

      Thanks Rex.

  26. Gary I

    Dynacorn makes replacement bodies licensed by GM that are available for 13,500. The vin could be used on a licensed body and titled as such. As long as the owners and sellers are honest with each other no fraud is committed. With the restoration efforts that go into saving cars during the lives they live this would still be a major effort to restore whether restored or built from the cowl with new parts. I personally would rather have a new body over a saved and restored rust bucket. In the end it’s a brand new and better car! Value is set by the market and as long as it’s not presented as a survivor car or any thing close to that who gets taken?

    • Loco Mikado

      I too would like a new one. Build it the way I want and a car I can drive and enjoy. The modern improved chassis, better brakes & steering and all the other things that would make for an enjoyable car to drive.

  27. Nessy

    We all know very well what the seller is doing here and anyone who is bidding a stupid amount of money on this hunk of metal is planning the very same thing. It’s dirty in every way. How ticked off would anyone of us be if we spend a fortune for a car that is not what we first thought? It’s a big court case waiting to happen. It’s a stupid body tag, it does not turn another lower model car into a more wanted car, only in our minds. These are the kind of people who turn the car hobby into mud. It’s not always about the money. I could not sleep at night knowing that I had something to do with this. It always comes back to bite us in the butt someday. To the seller and the bidders? Shame on you all.

    Like 1
    • randy

      Hello Nessy, there is an old saying, “you cannot legislate morality.”
      As long as there is some type of money, there will be folks trying to get more than they deserve. Yes karma is a pain in the butt for folks that are crooked.

      The world is a jungle, you just have to watch where you step.

  28. DRV

    Great comments on this one. I like barn finds sight more and more.
    I would always want pre restoration pictures for proof of it all.
    If you don’t do that for an expensive purchase, you are not a victim.

  29. randy

    My opinion is that this proves that we are at the top tip of the classic car bubble.
    This piece of car is not worth 20 bucks. When the buyers are in such a frenzy that a part like this will bring 9,000 dollars, we are very near the cliff. Up is down, down is up. I’d sell dashes all day long if I had them. If someone is stupid enough to buy them, it’s not the sellers fault, or responsibility if the part is used in an illegal manner. When there is money to be made, the crooks will come out. It is not the sellers fault. Greed kills.

    • Bobsmyuncle

      Remind me never to do business with randy.

    • randy

      Please explain yourself.

      • Bobsmyuncle

        Unless I’m somehow misunderstanding your words,

        “I’d sell dashes all day long if I had them”

        It sounds like you’d do the same thing as the seller.

      • randy

        Yes I would. Are you in the market for a 69 Camaro dash?
        Probably not. I would never be in a position to buy or sell a part such as this.
        To assume I would sell a misrepresented item is a knock on my integrity, which I do not take lightly.

        You guys are bashing this seller who has done nothing wrong, Next time any of you guys sell something that could be misused, and make a profit, remember this discussion. It takes buyers to create an insane market, and we have an insane market.

      • Bobsmyuncle

        Misrepresentation is not the issue at hand.

        Perhaps more correctly it is conspiracy to commit fraud. If the seller was upright, the sale would be for a cowl WITHOUT VIN.

    • grant

      The point is, it IS the sellers fault. They are offering a useless piece knowing full well the value is in the vin. And as good as a sound bite as it makes, how exactly does does “greed kill?” I’ll play devils advocate all day, but it really seems like you don’t understand the inherent dishonesty at play here. (I’d sell dashes all day…)
      Furthermore, going along with what you said, when there is money to be made, the crooks come out. Like this seller. You state yourself that the piece isn’t worth $20. So to try and act like you don’t know what the sellers intent is… come on, Randy. Nobody’s buying what you are selling!

      • randy

        Is this any different than a “clone” that someone misrepresents? A person can lie, or tell the truth when he sells an item. That is where the problem lies.

        I have been convinced that this seller may be promoting this item to a buyer that might build a car to deceive a potential buyer. If I were to sell this dash, and I would, I’d follow the trail and make sure it was not used to steal or cheat someone. I bet there is a way to report the VIN to a federal agency.

        Greed is one of the seven deadly sins, that is how it kills.

  30. Vince Habel

    It is not legal to build with just the cowl. You need the frame too.You can use replacement body panels but you are still fudging on the real thing.

    • JamestownMike

      The 69 Camaro isn’t a full frame car. It’s a unibody with a front sub-frame.

      Like 1
      • Vince Habel

        I know that but there is no sub frame or other parts of the car that have a vin stamped in them. Using this vin on anything is fraud.

  31. CBD

    Its against ebay policy to sell vin tags which is essentially what this seller is doing. He knows full well what he is selling and for what purpose it will be used… for deceit. I hope listing gets pulled.

  32. jim

    I could make a car from that section of cowl. How much of the original car do you have to have to call it that car? I think a cowl section with it’s tags is enough to say its that car. I have saved basket cases with less good parts. You do not have the right to guess at intensions or skills the restorer has.

  33. A.J.

    As previously posted. You are an idiot if you buy a musclecar based on a few numbers stamped on the firewall. Paperwork, verifiable ownership history with discussions with said owners, etc, are even more important.

    Like 1
    • randy

      All depending on the price of course.

      • Donnie

        Hi Randy would you happen to have a 1969 z28 dash id like to build a z28 from long as its a real z28 dash its ok

      • randy

        No, but I have a complete ’73 F250 with rusted floorboards, I’ll sell you for $1500.00.

        As far as the GM dash, I know where you can get one, it ain’t cheap!

      • Mark S

        I think you guys are beating up Randy a little unfairly. If I’m understanding this correctly all you guys think that the original folded sheet metal must stay with the tag. If that is true it should be illegal to build and sell reproduction car bodies and water pumps and brake drums and fuel pumps and wheel bearings I think you get my drift. to me a body shell is just another part, component. Let’s face it the rest of the car that went with this tag no longer exists, so you guys are telling me that if I add a NEW component to this tag and put all the other needed components together to make a car conducive to the equipt original car, then I have committed a crime…..??? Really ….??? You guys are arguing over folded sheet metal. If every thing is correctly documented and reported there is no crime. The money and effort to bring this car back to the road would tell me that this is a hell of lot of work to commit fraud. Get a grip guys.

      • randy

        Thanks Mark S, that means a lot to me.


      • Mark S

        Your welcome

  34. leiniedude leiniedude Member

    Well a lot going on here. Buy what you like and drive the Hell out of it! Do your research if you are buying a collector. I like to wail on my vehicles. If you are a Pebble Beach Dude , so be it. Like what’s his name says, motor on! Have a great year to all and I hope to see you on the road. Take care, Mike.

  35. Rex Kahrs Member

    You guys do realize that what you’re advocating is consumer protection, right? Mr. Nader tried this with the Corvair and is still being vilified for it.

    I like a lively respectful debate on car issues.

    Like 1
    • randy

      You guys who? ;>)

  36. Mike Di IULIO

    If buyer is going to reuse the vin on another Camaro it could be very costly. Reminds me of an article in Hemming’s ( I think) about a very rare Ford purchased for a considerable sum. New owner took possession of the car and had the firewall x rayed. Vin plate had been welded in. Went to court, seller repaid buyer plus court costs.

    Like 1
  37. Donnie

    this has ben fun /may be time to move on to another car our truck

  38. Coventrycat71

    Great discussion. I think the probability is high that this will be used for a misleading build – if so, I hope the person with that kind of money to consider buying it would do some thorough research. Sadly, in my experience if it’s an older person they have the cash and they want it, period. Not a thing you can do but shake your head.

  39. dave

    Been a very interesting topic to say the least. Auction keeps coming up as the rich has ruined it for the common guy. I disagree. If anything, they have saved many rare cars that the common people couldn’t afford to restore to the top notch level, They put thousands of dollars into these cars to bring them up like new from the factory. I worked at the Detroit Auction in Detroit in the 60s. Even at that time, rare cars were going for big bucks. You still can buy the rare car for a decent price. Don’t believe me?? Go to one and find out 1st hand. Maybe not that L88, boss 429,302 etc. Your not going to buy that nut and bolt resto but a decent car that will need work.

  40. Marty Member

    Also please note the distinction between building up from a cowl which is perfectly legal, and removing a VIN tag from a cowl, which is a felony!

    Like 1
    • Dolphin Member

      Marty, you’re right, it’s not illegal to sell this cowl. But Ebay allows users to suggest that Ebay stop “inappropriate buying and selling” that is not necessarily illegal.

      In most states it would be illegal to simply remove the VIN tags from a car. I’m guessing that the seller knows this and is selling the whole cowl for that reason.

      Lots of people on Barn Finds know how it works: you can make a car way more valuable to car collectors if the car has a special, rare build—-and the right VIN to go along with the build.

      It’s pretty easy to see what the seller is doing and why he’s doing it. So if others who know the collector car world see it too, there is no reason why they should not do what is their right: raise the issue with Ebay. It’s then Ebay’s call whether they pull the auction listing. Ebay’s pulling the auction isn’t illegal either. It’s their show. Ebay has millions of auctions, and they can’t examine every one of them in detail, so it’s reasonable for them to take suggestions from users.

      There are arguments on both sides, but I’m with those who, seeing this auction, think it’s OK to at least at least suggest to Ebay that it pull the auction. That’s one small thing that people can do to stem the tide of fakes out there. And I say that because I think it’s WAY more likely that someone would use this cowl to fake the build on another Camaro than it is for someone to go to the trouble and expense of building a whole car around this cowl.

      I think that both outcomes from using this cowl or the just VIN tags would likely involve some amount of deception and financial fraud, unless the builder revealed the truth about where the resulting car came from. And with all the time and expense involved in those builds, what chance does anyone think there is of the builder revealing the whole truth?

  41. dennis

    I like things a lot better back in the 80’s and early 90’s when things were almost same! It’s too crazy anymore, not at all what it used to be. I hope I can hang for another 10 years. After that I hope the bottom falls out and they lose their asses.. Double edged sword, I’ve made a lot of money off people doing their resto work and intend on making even more on a few flips. The more they get for their “rare” heaps just means more I’ll get for mine… LOL Only thing is it’s going to cost me more to get what I want..

  42. recar

    In the last decade or so, there have been a couple of high-profile situations in GB/ Europe vis-a-vis “cloning” rare and valuable autos from a single,almost-authenticated piece…[regular & erudite BF readers step up now] At the last second, the “reputable” auction houses over there have said “we can’t go along with this…” Just sayin’.

    • Bobsmyuncle

      Indeed, there is a famous Ferrari that seems to exist as a pair. The circumstances there pose a special conundrum.

  43. RoughDiamond

    “Anything transferred from one vehicle to another, whether it’s only the VIN tag or a complete cowl with the VIN tag attached, is fraud. I’m so glad I will never be in the market for another old car again. Regarding eBay’s policing policy, they police what they want to. I put “Epiphone ‘Les Paul’ Model Electric Guitar” in the listing heading and they pulled the listing because even though Epiphone is a Division of Gibson, eBay said “Les Paul” is a Gibson model.

  44. Brakeservo

    Reserve not met??? What kind of shill situation do we have here?? Seller really thinks that someone is going to outbid all his friends and neighbors bids??? Not likely.

  45. alfred

    it’s none of our business what this person does with his legal property. I’ll never get this thirty minutes back

    • Bobsmyuncle

      Great input!

  46. Howard A Member

    WOW, I’m #96, got to be a BF’s record. I think everyone got in on this. Perhaps Jesse threw this in there to see how many people visit the site. :) This is pretty silly, but hey, it’s America, where some slick salesperson could sell air conditioner’s to the Eskimos.

  47. Dave

    Nothing in the vin or the trim tag indicates it is a big block. It only says V-8 so it could be a small block car too, And the transmission is also not listed on the tags either, so it could be an automatic too ! Only the Protecto Plate has all the information on it to verify the originality of the drivetrain.

  48. Joe

    Yes, legal at this point according to the odd story that is given in the EBAY description, but if the 90 plus posts here on BF have a theme, the practice of selling the cowl area with plate seems like a way of bypassing the law and unethical. Perhaps we need an American Car Collectors Society in which there are a set of ethical guidelines. If a member wants to remain in good standing, sales like this are discouraged and membership is jeopardized unless full documentation is permanently attached to the VIN. This seems needed (there are at least 2 of these sales at one time on EBAY, see link 3 posts up). There is no reason why permanent documentation tracking can not be done in today’s internet world.

  49. Marty Member

    Lots of people seem to think this is no longer legally a car because it’s been cut through the rocker panels and floor. But the potential for dishonesty doesn’t begin with the cutting of a car’s floor. If someone decides to slather a gallon of filler on a dented, rusted quarter panel, is it ok because it’s original? Can it still be misrepresented? Of course it can. Several gallons of bondo, some primer and paint are all that’s needed to start a far greater deception than could occur here.

    GM has licensed several of the companies who reproduce body parts, including the complete Dynacorn body shell.

    In other words, building up from a bare reproduction body shell now has GM’s blessing.

    Who is doing the building? A tired or disinterested assembly line worker who has been going at it for eleven and a half hours and had sixty seconds to do his job on this car as it moves past him….or a Camaro enthusiast/aficionado, someone who loves Camaros and has made restoring them his life, working carefully at a normal pace in a well-equipped shop.

    Many of the car builders who use these GM and Ford licensed shells are very up-front about what they’re doing. They have no inclination – and no reason to deceive anyone. Some of the clientele who have $40,000 to spend on a crate engine and high-end suspension parts, choose very carefully what they’re dropping it in to, and they don’t all share the same enthusiasm for acid-dipped and repaired original metal.

    Building legally from a cowl is not dishonest. The potential for deception is all in how it’s presented to the next owner.

    • Vince Habel

      If you used a totally new body and this vin in PA you would need a reconstructed title. It would then lose that high value put on that vin.

    • Dolphin Member

      Marty, I think most people would agree that GM has the right to license recently built bodies of its older car models for sale today, and that most or even all of those cars are honestly offered for sale.

      But I think this RS cowl is a different set of potential problems, and I think problems are almost certain to crop up at some time in its life if it’s sold on Ebay.

      Nobody can control how cars are described and sold by subsequent owners. With a car built up from a real RS cowl with authentic RS VIN tags, I think it will be just about inevitable that down the road an owner will be tempted to offer it as a real, whole Camaro RS complete with an authentic VIN. And somebody is likely to buy it for big $$ on that basis. Then, when the next buyer finds out from some RS expert that the only part in his car that’s a real RS part is the cowl/VIN tags there will probably be a big lawsuit. Read some of the accounts of lawsuits that John Draneas talks about in his ‘Legal Files’ column in SCM magazine. There have been big lawsuits over less.

      So you’re right if you are saying that each and every next owner would need to present a car built up from this RS cowl in a completely honest way for this Ebay auction to be OK. What I think many of us are saying is that down the road this RS cowl will in one way or another trigger a bunch of problems for some people, and that the problems won’t be good for the hobby.

  50. Joe

    Marty, I think we need to draw a line here. Otherwise someone can simply build around any car part, say a hood ornament, or an ignition key, and lead future buyers down a misleading path. If purchased shells are used, crate motors, suspensions etc then it seems more like a complete recreation of a classic, a replica similar the Porsche 356 replicas. So, a VIN tag indicating that it is a “replica” with DYNACOM or some other designation would seem more appropriate. In fact DYNACOM tags should be displayed on these almost complete shells when sold to prevent the possibility of their misleading or illegal use. (Maybe they are already marked in such a way).

    • dennis

      Great point! A recreation or maybe more like a restomod! Just watch the myriad of t.v. shows now… Only thing original about the thing is the cosmetic sheet metal or fiberglass as in the case of my all time favorite 2 seater..

  51. RoughDiamond

    First I know nothing about the “licensed” GM dynacorn bodies and what can be transplanted to them. I am referring to two older vehicles, one legit and one that is not. I work in the medical profession so I see this transplanting of the VIN or VIN on a cowl like a heart transplant. Being an organ donor, if I am brain dead, but my heart survives and is donated to someone else through a heart transplant, I am gone and Rough Diamond no longer exist. While someone else may be walking around with my heart they are not the original Rough Diamond. What made him unique and who he was, the good and the bad, no longer exist. What makes many of these cars valuable today is how few there are of some models left that were ordered new with limited and desirable or a combination of options. Taking a VIN or cowl with the VIN attached and moving it to another vehicle is keeping a car alive that was for all intents and purposes dead. It is messing with the original production numbers and skewing them. So John Doe’s vehicle, which is legitimate and rare and was low production from new, is now lumped in with an identical pseudo model vehicle “body” with transplanted VIN or cowl supposedly equipped with the same rare options. Since supply and demand equates to price, someone has falsely added to the supply pool. So John Doe’s legit vehicle and the rarity of it is now compromised due to a VIN that is still being kept alive, but that came from a similar optioned production vehicle that was destroyed in some way. That should be illegal and is certainly unethical.

    • randy

      It does not add to the supply pool, it more like using a defibulator on a dead patient. There is only ONE vehicle in the world with this VIN #. The main point is it is just a thing, not living, with a history easily learned.

  52. HeadMaster1

    Talk is cheap gentlemen, DO something about it. I have reported it to eBay, and I have also BID on it. I always keep a secondary eBay account just for this purpose. Sometimes you have to fight fire with fire………Let’s bid this cowl up $50k+ and see the seller get stuck with it…

    • randy

      And I was bashed. And folks wonder why no one likes school. The seller is already stuck with it, it is his. So, you keep a shill acct on ebay, maybe someone should report you.

  53. randy

    One other aspect that has not even been touched on is, when this is used on a dynacom body, the car would only have to meet 1969 standards, making it much easier to get passed the epa and dot.

  54. Healeydays

    Wow, it’s up to $12,100.00

  55. Donnie

    Has any one seen that there is another 1969 Camaro rs firewall that is also a convertible and 396 4 speed /scroll up to JOEs comment . something funny going on

  56. Vince Habel

    Supposedly one is in TN the other in CA. One red one orange. They both look like the same one.

  57. Marty Member

    The ultimate goal here, is really a paradox. Whether you’re fixing a tiny dent left by a shopping cart in the mall parking lot, or transplanting the top section of the cowl from a rusty Camaro convertible to a new body, the goal is the same: a truly undetectable repair. You want it to look like the hour it left the factory.

    When it does, that’s where the uncertainty creeps in. If this repair has been completed, either on the door-ding of a daily driver or the cowl transplant on a big block muscle car, and it’s truly successful, no one can tell it’s been done.

    And it’s SO easy to be tempted to not tell anyone about it. The better the repair, the less likely it is that full disclosure would take place. I guess that scenario is what everyone is afraid of.

    At the same time, if you have a $75,000 restored muscle car in your garage, I applaud you. But I would resist anyone who tried to tell me that I have no right to restore my version of a similar car, up from a rough cowl. Or that it had no value to someone else who thinks it’s worth more than I do.

    Bringing a car back from the dead, no matter how far gone it is, as long as it’s done legitimately, does not artificially add to the gene pool. “Rare” means how many produced, and how many saved. What exactly is done to save it is where it gets interesting.

    Several have mentioned that a line needs to be drawn. Exactly where? Not many seem to have too much of a problem with cars that have had floors replaced, floor braces, inner and outer rocker panels, trunk floor, both quarters, inner wheel houses, fenders, doors, glass, drive trains, etc. What original parts are left on a car like this? Where should that line be, exactly?

    • Joe

      Marty, I am not sure exactly where the line is, and your point is well taken, but a cowl transplant does seem to be over the line. Again, not saying you can’t do it, but it would be potentially misleading for future buyers if they were only getting a data plate and some rusted surround from the original car and that was not spelled out with some sort of additional permanent data base tracking or a data plate or VIN indicating it was a fabricated replica.

      This way no one is misled down the line. A builder may have good intentions but an expensive build will usually outlast the owner and the history may be lost.

      If I found just the signature section of a lost Piccasso painting and if I seamlessly stitched it into a replica of the original painting, I would not want it passed off as an original. I think in some sense the Camaro in question is similar to a Picasso. Some repairs to the painting seem OK, some chipped paint replaced OK, a full restoration of the colors OK, but the whole thing built around a signature or data plate or vin plate…seems over the line, at least to my mind.

      But I do respect the opinions of others and freedom to build as one pleases. I just suggest an additional plate next to the VIN or data plate would be all that is needed to prevent future frauds. Full transparency is good for all of us.

      • Marty Member

        That is something most of us could probably agree with: that a build-up from a bare cowl like this should be well-documented, in both words and pictures, in hopes that future generations would know what this car’s origins really are. If it were mine and I passed it to my son, and he to his grandson, even though it wouldn’t be an issue of money in that scenario, posterity would still benefit. I’d be proud of the work done.

        Otherwise, it’s not hard to imagine it becoming similar to a 350 year old oil painting in a musuem; “well, it’s attributed to daVinci, but we’re not really sure…”

    • Mark S

      One thing you guys are forgetting is say there is a donor car involved and this cowling is welded in and then all the options are added does it not still exist as the car that was part of the cowling. What about the donor car the cowling was cut out and scrapped because it was a base model that no one wants does it not cease to exist. So when you really think about it all we have done is swap some sheet metal, YES SHEET METAL. This sheet metal came from the same company and was formed by the same press and made into a car on the same assemble line. And the only reason there is a vin. Tag really is so it can be registered so we can identify who owns it. I find this whole conversation hilarious. We are arguing over which piece of sheet metal is behind the ownership identity vin. Tag……….. WOW.

      Like 1
      • Vince Habel

        You are swapping the vin from one car to another when you swap the cowl. It is the same as just swapping the vin tag. ILLEGAL.

  58. William H

    I did send a message asking if he had a clear title and asked for the VIN so I could decode and check history. He replied but only that he had a clear title, didn’t send the VIN.

  59. Marty Member

    For future reference, it ended at $12,655 – reserve not met. Immediately re-listed by seller.

    Like 1
  60. Pete

    Well there are folks out there that would think nothing of removing that vin tag and placing it on one of those brand new crisp camaro bodies you can buy. Marking all the running gear to match and call it a ground up resto. Then selling it for less than current market value because some greedy guy could see another 5 to 50K left in the car. The end buyer will probably never know unless some forensic car expert sticks it under a microscope. Just so you know genuine rivets can be purchased and if you have the right tools folks will never know the difference. Ok so lets say you actually own an original Camaro SS/RS with a 396/4sp. It has never been resprayed has the original everything. except the gas, and air in the tires that came with the car. It has less than 25 miles on the clock. Then you can call your car original a survivor if ya will. But as soon as you change the oil, spark plugs, points, brake shoes etc. It just left being completely original behind. Lets say ya changed the fenders and welded up the rust holes, replaced the grill, rebuilt the engine and tranny. But all the numbers match just like the paint. But it has never been wrecked. See where I am going with this? If you did a ground up resto of the same car, you would be doing almost exactly what the buyer of this firewall is gonna do if ya bought a rust bucket. Personally I would like a nice camaro with a new body or 57 chevy convertible with a new body and drive train that I could enjoy for the rest of my days. But even that is beyond my budget. But hey people still build them. Soooooo all in all if the seller of a finished car was honest about what he built with this firewall would he still be wrong?

  61. Tyler

    While I agree that this will end up being used to separate some unsuspecting fool from his money, if this cowl had been born on a certain 69 Z/28, I would buy it in a heartbeat. At $12,000 I might think for a second, but I would still write that check.

    As a 16 year old kid in 1981, I convinced my dad to let me “throw away” $1,800 on a 69 Z/28 that needed painting instead of buying the ready to go 68 SS that we had gone to look at for$1,500. Fast forward a few years, in 1986, while home on leave from the Navy, the car has an unfortunate incident with a tree, then forever being known as “tree Hugger orange” Camaro. I ended up acquiring a base 69 hull from a junkyard & planned to use parts of it to fix the Z. Well, life got in the way. A couple years later I was out of the Navy, married, new baby, etc. with 3 cars (my 67 283 4 speed Nova) taking up space in my dad’s garage, when I ended up parting out the Camaro’s.

    I had ended up buying a different 68 SS by this time, & several of the pieces ended up on that car, cowl hood & system, seats & molded door panels, shifter, console & gauges, front spoiler. The rear end is under a good friend’s car, & the engine/tranny ended up in a race car. And a guy bought the 2 hulls, doors & front flip to build a complete car.

    I still have that 68 SS, as well as the original protec-a-plate, owners manual, other paperwork, & all the original emblems. I occasionally do an Internet search on the VIN too see if it pops up anywhere for sale, but have yet to find it.

    The guy that bought the engine, still has it, although the transmission is long gone. It would cost me, but I could get the rear end & driveshaft. Even after all these years, you can still make out the stripes on it, lol! So yea, I would pay big bucks for THAT cowl, to rebuild. Would it be the original Z/28? Nope, but it would be a huge piece of my youth & memories that would mean more to me than any original car that I can go buy…

  62. William H

    Well, apparently he didn’t get what he wanted for it. It’s been relisted and bidding is around $8500.

  63. Joe

    Philosophers in the group: our differences on this issue can be explained by a similar paradox that has been around for a couple of thousand years:

    “The Ship of Theseus Paradox”

    Is it the same ship if the boards are replaced over time? See:

    Interesting that Tyler (2 posts above) may really be talking about a different sort of object identity which is more like Shinto Shrines in Japan (see bottom of Wiki article) that are re-built every 20 years out of some very special sacred wood harvested from a particular forest. The physical structure is replaced but the spiritual nature remains because of the origin of the sacred wood.


    • Marty Member

      Thanks for the good reading about the ship of Theseus. I also liked Hobbes’ addition to the concept about “what if the planks removed from the original ship were used to build a new ship. Which one is the original then?”. Loved it. Also liked “George Washington’s axe”, although I had read that one before.

      • dennis

        Going through the same scenario, sort of?, with my totaled 71 Corvette Coupe I bought from the one and only original owner that smashed it with 24,000 on it around 1974-75. Been stored inside by him for almost 40 years and he finally sold it. Still has the tank sticker but missing the engine and trans and entire front end. I am using a 79 vette for major doner parts, front clip, bird cage and frame. I have a date correct 71 Chevy 350 4-speed long block for it. Just what do I use as a classification on my Vette when finished? I will never let anyone believe this is an original 71 coupe. I’ll keep a complete album of pics and information during the restoration. After it’s all said and done it will be a 1971 Corvette coupe for all intents and purposes, just about 50% of the parts on it will be the original parts date coded as they were on it when assembled.

    • dennis

      Going through the same scenario, sort of?, with my totaled 71 Corvette Coupe I bought from the one and only original owner that smashed it with 24,000 on it around 1974-75. Been stored inside by him for almost 40 years and he finally sold it. Still has the tank sticker but missing the engine and trans and entire front end. I am using a 79 vette for major doner parts, front clip, bird cage and frame. I have a date correct 71 Chevy 350 4-speed long block for it. Just what do I use as a classification on my Vette when finished? I will never let anyone believe this is an original 71 coupe. I’ll keep a complete album of pics and information during the restoration. After it’s all said and done it will be a 1971 Corvette coupe for all intents and purposes, just about 50% of the parts on it will be the original parts date coded as they were on it when assembled.

  64. Bill McCoskey Bill McCoskey Member

    I owned & operated a restoration shop for over 25 years, most of our work was considered “driver” condition restorations, but we did create a couple of AACA Hershey 1st place [Jr] vehicles. I was asked to do major work to a 1969 Road Runner GTX, a big block car, but not a 440 Hi Po car with a “K” frame up front. As we got into the work, we discovered the car had been badly rusted and repaired incorrectly, and there was no repairing the cowl. It was so bad that with the front clip off the car & the doors opened, the cowl was now over 2″ behind the original point where the top meets the windshield frame. Both doors could not be closed. The car needed a new body shell.

    The owner found a replacement cowl with subframe attached, plus the entire front floor area was included, all the way back to the front seating area. The body was rust free as it had come out of Arizona. Also part of the deal was the original title [because it had the original VIN plate in the windshield area]. The back half of the Arizona car was long gone, so we could only get the front half.

    On arrival, we examined the new part carefully, and quickly realized it was originally a 440 equipped car with the optional Hi Po “K” frame, as used in the 426 hemi cars. The owner decided to create a clone, so we tried to find an affordable 426 hemi engine [an impossible task!], but finally settled on a 440 with the correct numbers for the car/date.

    Once the car was complete, I had the good sense to make a note on the restoration paperwork, of the changes [we also had pictures] including the new front cowl & subframe, as well as the new drive train.

    Within a couple of years the owner went thru a divorce, and put the car up for sale. It was listed not as a clone, but as an original car. I found out about the sale of the car when the new owner brought it to me for work. I sat down with him and asked him if he knew it was a clone [nope]. As part of his attempt to get his $ back, I put together a copy of all the work we did, with photos & all the info from the restoration. He took the car to the State Police who examined the car in detail & found the original VIN info on the back frame area. I believe the seller was charged with fraud, but I don’t recall a trial [I wasn’t contacted as a witness]. The car was re-titled as a rebuilt car. I don’t know if the buyer ever got his cash back, but he did keep the car for a long time.

    The State Police detective who I dealt with on this case agreed with me that the only illegal acts were;
    1 – The seller claiming the car was original, and
    2 – The seller used the Arizona title instead of contacting the State Police about changing the VIN on the windshield area to reflect the original VIN.

    • dave

      Poor guy. He spends a 100.000 plus? to get his car built,restored. Then he gets a divorce then the guy that made good money to restore rats on him. And makes money with the same car from the new owner.

      • Joe

        Dave, I am sorry to disagree. If I understand the story correctly, sounds like Bill did the right thing. He avoided legal problems by being transparent with the paperwork notation and honest in his conversation with the new owner (think avoiding conspiracy to commit fraud).

      • dave

        He sells the car for 35.000?
        A 65.000 loss.
        Taken to the cleaners with the divorce.
        Talk about Karma! That guy got it.

    • Joe

      Bill, great story. Thanks for sharing.

      • dave

        What do you disagree with? I was just giving the events of what happen when you do something shady. You think all these resto shops work 100% legit?. Do they have receipts for every part that comes through their door? With the vin numbers from the cars that the parts came from? This is no high dollar car. These cars are plentiful. On the other hand, if he sold the car and made a dollar, different story. You never make money flipping a car when you have it done for you unless it’s a super rare like a 68 Hemi Cuda. If the owner had to sell because of divorce, you know he lost big time. Probably lost 65.000 on this deal I’m just guessing on figures because I don’t have the facts in front of me. Just giving worst senerials.

  65. David Sutton

    I have a 1969 convertible with cowl data plate st69. 12467 nor2400190 burgundy car with white hounds tooth interior . But vin is lost some how through media or sheet metal repair. What can I do except register it now ?
    There’s no way to recover vin production number .

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