Go Back   Corvette Forum > C1 & C2 Corvettes, 1953 - 1967 > C1 & C2 Corvettes
Sign in using an external account
Register Forgot Password?
Register Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read FAQ Vendor Directory
Search
C1 & C2 Corvettes
General C1 Corvette & C2 Corvette Discussion, Technical Info, Performance Upgrades, Project Builds, Restorations Sponsored by
Flaming River
Industries

Welcome to Corvetteforum.com!
Welcome to Corvetteforum.com.

You are currently viewing our forum as a guest, which gives you limited access to view most discussions and access our other features. By joining our community, at no cost, you will have access to post topics, communicate privately with other members (PM), respond to polls, upload content and access many other special features. Registration is free, fast and simple, join Corvetteforum.com today!


Corvette Store
 
 
C7 Parts & Accessories
C6 Parts & Accessories
C5 Parts & Accessories
C4 Parts & Accessories
C3 Parts & Accessories
C2 Parts & Accessories
C1 Parts & Accessories
Wheels & Tires
Sponsored Ads
 
 
Vendor Directory
  
Reply
 
 
 
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 07-30-2012, 11:12 AM   #1
Corvette Mike Ca
CF Member
 
Corvette Mike Ca's Avatar
 
Member Since: Mar 2011
Location: Anaheim California
Default 1966 Chevrolet Corvette: Restoration Fraud

Click the image to open in full size.NORTH TONAWANDA - A car collector's complaint has led to criminal charges against a man who sold him a 1966 Chevrolet Corvette, alleging that the Vehicle Identification Number plate on the classic sports car was forged.

Robert C. Ernst, of North Tonawanda, who said he found about the problem when he and his car were disqualified from a car show in Ontario, is accusing Ronald A. Ellis, of Wilson, of ripping him off.

"I'm out $75,000," Ernst said. "He knew the value of the car [on the collectors market] wouldn't be there without the original VIN tag on it."

Ellis' attorney, Herbert L. Greenman, said Ellis had nothing to do with the replacement VIN tag.


More Here.
Corvette Mike Ca is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-30-2012, 11:18 AM   #2
Tossin
CF Senior Member
 
Tossin's Avatar
 
Member Since: Oct 2005
Location: Mason, MI
Default

Caveat Emptor

I really don't know if the guy suing has much ground...but I only married a lawyer and I didn't stay at a Holiday Inn last night, so I'm probably wrong.
Tossin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-30-2012, 11:30 AM   #3
ifitgoesfast
CF Senior Member
 
Member Since: Apr 2012
Default

He said he was out the $75,000 he spent restoring it, but this is misleading. He owns the car, he restored a real car, and he has the car and parts. Though it has diminished investor value, the only thing wrong with it is that it no longer has the original VIN plate, which was obviously tossed when whoever stole it in 1966 removed it. But it looks to have a valid title. Not sure why he thinks he's out the money.

Fine to go after the seller or whoever for claimed forgery of the VIN plate, but the number is the actual car's VIN. I'd say get the new Georgia recovered plate put back on and that's all. Still has value. Beautiful car.
ifitgoesfast is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-30-2012, 11:58 AM   #4
Rich Yanulis
CF Senior Member
 
Rich Yanulis's Avatar
 
Member Since: Feb 2011
Location: Syracuse, NY and Clearwater, FL
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by ifitgoesfast View Post
He said he was out the $75,000 he spent restoring it...........but the number is the actual car's VIN..........Still has value
This is how LAWYERS make money.
Not a Black or White issue, but a Grey area.
Rich Yanulis is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 07-30-2012, 12:17 PM   #5
1974purchase
CF Senior Member
 
1974purchase's Avatar
 
Member Since: Oct 2011
Location: unrestored 435 "born with drivetrain" **FOR SALE** ILLINOIS (Chicago Area)
Default

i wonder if the buyer paid a price "too good to be true" when they made the purchase.
1974purchase is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-30-2012, 12:27 PM   #6
ifitgoesfast
CF Senior Member
 
Member Since: Apr 2012
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by RYanulis View Post
This is how LAWYERS make money.
Not a Black or White issue, but a Grey area.
Ah, but you left out the part where I said to go after the seller or whoever forged it. The point I was making, is the guy is claiming he lost everything, which isn't true. He's not out the $75,000... this comment he made was for civil court in the eventual lawsuit. What he has is the real car, but forged VIN metal plate of the actual car's real VIN number.

All of us have bought vehicles before. What I'm wondering is when you get a title, it clearly lists the vehicle's VIN on the certificate. A stolen/recovered vehicle then titled missing its VIN plate would note the GA7558 state assigned number on title. The buyer would most likely check this with the car.
ifitgoesfast is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-30-2012, 12:27 PM   #7
ifitgoesfast
CF Senior Member
 
Member Since: Apr 2012
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by 1974purchase View Post
i wonder if the buyer paid a price "too good to be true" when they made the purchase.
$49,700
ifitgoesfast is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-30-2012, 01:20 PM   #8
capevettes
CF Senior Member
 
capevettes's Avatar
 
Member Since: Oct 2004
Location: Cape Cod Mass.
Default

The burden of proof will be on the District Attorney's Office to prove the seller knowingly removed the Ga. assigned VIN and affixed the fake VIN and did it with the intention to defraud the victim. That won't be easy, unless the person that sold the car to the defendant can testify that the GA assigned VIN was intact when he sold it to the defendant.
capevettes is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-30-2012, 01:28 PM   #9
ifitgoesfast
CF Senior Member
 
Member Since: Apr 2012
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by capevettes View Post
The burden of proof will be on the District Attorney's Office to prove the seller knowingly removed the Ga. assigned VIN and affixed the fake VIN and did it with the intention to defraud the victim. That won't be easy, unless the person that sold the car to the defendant can testify that the GA assigned VIN was intact when he sold it to the defendant.
It's really tricky, legally. The VIN # is not fake, but the actual car's VIN #. It seems that whoever installed the new/forged VIN plate using the actual car's true VIN # didn't do it to say this vehicle is another vehicle, but is most likely guilty of faking the originality of the metal plate itself, whatever charge that is, and then representing as original if he did.

But I don't know. Like I said, a recovered car with a new state issued metal plate (which was sometime removed and replaced with fake VIN metal plate) should show that number on the new title. And the buyer should have looked at the title and noticed it, especially a reseller who has repeatedly bought and sold a few Corvettes already.
ifitgoesfast is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-31-2012, 12:41 AM   #10
jimmies63
CF Senior Member
St. Jude Donor '12-'13-'14
Support Corvetteforum!
 
jimmies63's Avatar
 
Member Since: May 2011
Location: Lewiston NY
Default

Wow. This is right my backyard. I guess I will do some asking around. My car is being restored right here. Maybe I'm next!
jimmies63 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-31-2012, 01:13 AM   #11
AZDoug
CF Senior Member
 
AZDoug's Avatar
 
Member Since: Oct 2005
Location: Camp Verde AZ
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by ifitgoesfast View Post
It's really tricky, legally. The VIN # is not fake, but the actual car's VIN #.
IIRC, the VIN tag matches the trans number, but the frame number is toast. Or maybe I mixing up threads, but with no frame number, there is no way to verify.

Doug
AZDoug is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-31-2012, 10:15 AM   #12
robert miller
CF Senior Member
 
robert miller's Avatar
 
Member Since: Jan 2007
Location: cookeville tennessee
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by RYanulis View Post
This is how LAWYERS make money.
Not a Black or White issue, but a Grey area.
Lawyers are just like ever one else cant believe them. Robert
robert miller is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-31-2012, 10:31 AM   #13
ChattanoogaJSB
CF Senior Member
 
ChattanoogaJSB's Avatar
 
Member Since: Oct 2009
Location: Chattanooga Tennessee
Default

As others said- How is he going to prove the last guy is the forger? The car is old and the theft is almost as old. The title is legal and the PO may or may not have anything to do with the tag.

The guy bought a good (and LEGAL) car, made it a nicer car apparently in hopes of making a return, and didn't verify the originality of that plate. He's out a bit of money- probably not as much as he's trumping it up to be- and wants to blame the last guy. He could have bought the car with a faked block stamp and not known enough to catch it...too bad. Same deal. I think he's a whiner.
ChattanoogaJSB is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 07-31-2012, 10:46 AM   #14
Dan Hampton
CF Senior Member
 
Dan Hampton's Avatar
 
Member Since: Sep 2008
Location: Menomonie Wisconsin
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by ChattanoogaJSB View Post
As others said- How is he going to prove the last guy is the forger? The car is old and the theft is almost as old. The title is legal and the PO may or may not have anything to do with the tag.

The guy bought a good (and LEGAL) car, made it a nicer car apparently in hopes of making a return, and didn't verify the originality of that plate. He's out a bit of money- probably not as much as he's trumping it up to be- and wants to blame the last guy. He could have bought the car with a faked block stamp and not known enough to catch it...too bad. Same deal. I think he's a whiner.
Am I missing something? I didn't see that there was any indication that the car was stolen; rather, a replacement VIN tag was affixed. Please clarify.
Dan Hampton is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-31-2012, 10:51 AM   #15
hope2
CF Senior Member
 
Member Since: Jan 2006
Location: Atlanta Georgia
Default

original vin number is now fake. the correct vin # is the state assigned #. "Ernst said the Georgia Department of Motor Vehicles then placed the GA7558 sticker on the car because the original VIN plate had been removed."
This is criminal, no question, you can't just change vin numbers cause you want to.
This plays like dominoes, back to who did it.

Last edited by hope2; 07-31-2012 at 10:53 AM.
hope2 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-31-2012, 10:52 AM   #16
Thomas66
CF Senior Member
 
Thomas66's Avatar
 
Member Since: Mar 2004
Location: Wellsboro PA
Default

If the car changed ownership so many times in the immediate area, in recent years, then the vin would have been recorded with each title transfer. If the seller took possession with the Georgia vin plate, I would say the present owner has a strong case.
Thomas66 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-31-2012, 11:05 AM   #17
ChattanoogaJSB
CF Senior Member
 
ChattanoogaJSB's Avatar
 
Member Since: Oct 2009
Location: Chattanooga Tennessee
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan Hampton View Post
Am I missing something? I didn't see that there was any indication that the car was stolen; rather, a replacement VIN tag was affixed. Please clarify.
I may have read it too quickly...I understood the car was stolen and recoved in the '60's and has been carrying a GA replacement vin tag that was the original VIN sequence, at some point that individual GA tag was replaced with a poor reproduction/fake "somewhat stock" appearing piece but the number was the same as always.

EDIT: it does appear the assigned VIN was a state issued sequence which does indicate the trail of the VIN should point to the owner who changed it. I'm corrected.

Last edited by ChattanoogaJSB; 07-31-2012 at 11:10 AM.
ChattanoogaJSB is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 07-31-2012, 11:14 AM   #18
65 fi
CF Senior Member
 
Member Since: May 2006
Location: Santa Barbara California
Default

I remember an article in the NCRS magazine regarding a recovered car on the East Coast (I believe NY). The VIN plate was removed but the owner (not wanting a funky VIN plate issued from the DMV) approached G.M. about making a new plate and had it installed by a Chevrolet service tech. This idea seems like a possible "good solution".

It seems to me that if the car is not being represented as a model it was not (i.e. Big Block v. Small block, or F.I. v. base h.p.) then what is the issue? I also wonder why Ernst would be disqualified if he could show documentation the VIN was original (regardless of the originality of the plate)?

Last edited by 65 fi; 07-31-2012 at 11:21 AM.
65 fi is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 07-31-2012, 11:39 AM   #19
ifitgoesfast
CF Senior Member
 
Member Since: Apr 2012
Default read the article instead of guessing

Let's break this down. Ernst bought the Corvette with a clear title. In that title is the car's original VIN with the state's sequence added GA7558 to record the number assigned to bird cage in lieu of VIN plate missing to ID the car. This was not a bill of sale, but a title transfer which clearly shows the car's real VIN given that the investigator were able to perform a title history search of the actual VIN #. No authority, nor is the buyer claiming the car was sold with a VIN # not that of the actual car's as reflected in title history. The buyer Ernst and authorities complain that seller probably put a reproduced VIN metal plate on the car with a forged VIN # of the actual car's real VIN # from original manufacturer GM.

Apparently, it's illegal to reproduce the VIN metal plate. Even if your Corvette is stolen and the GM VIN metal plate was removed and you recovered your car, the state would require a new state metal plate and # assigned. If you never sold your car, it would be illegal to reproduce the GM VIN metal plate with your original GM VIN #.

If you still disagree, follow the points:

Ellis is the seller

Ernst is the buyer

excerpts:

Quote:
Ernst bought the ’66 Corvette from Ellis after encountering the battered car at a Riverside collision shop in 2008.
Quote:
Ernst, a petrochemical designer, said he paid Ellis $49,700 for the car and spent an additional $75,000 over the next two years restoring it to its original luster.
Quote:
the judge came back and told Ernst he was disqualified because the VIN tag was counterfeit. He said that the number was right for that car but that the lettering font and the die marks on the tag were different from the ones that General Motors would have used in 1966.
[my thoughts: we have to wonder how the judge figured the VIN was correct, frame check?]

Quote:
Somewhere along the line, the car might have been stolen and recovered,” Ernst said. “It had this weird sticker on it, ‘GA7558.’?
[emphasis added by me... my thoughts: Ernst admitted there was a sticker which looked weird to him. Weird being a descriptor for an observation from the first person point of view]

Quote:
Ernst said the Georgia Department of Motor Vehicles then placed the GA7558 sticker on the car because the original VIN plate had been removed.

That ruined its value for high-end collectors, he said.

Ernst contends that the Georgia tag was on the car when Ellis bought it from a previous owner.

He alleges that Ellis removed it and made a new one, forging it using a number from the Corvette’s transmission. “Apparently, the transmission never left the car,” the collector said.
Quote:
The original VIN also would have been stamped on the car’s frame behind the left rear wheel, but Ernst said the car apparently was driven through many Western New York winters, and he thinks that the number would have long since rusted off.
[here, Ernst makes a theory that the frame VIN rusted off because of the NY winters, what a strange way to explain this given the $75,000 resto which had to include the frame work. I go back to the Corvette judges determination that the VIN was correct, but plate reproduced]

Last edited by ifitgoesfast; 07-31-2012 at 11:41 AM.
ifitgoesfast is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-31-2012, 12:13 PM   #20
ifitgoesfast
CF Senior Member
 
Member Since: Apr 2012
Default

OK, over lunch, I read up on Georgia DMV and state law regarding titles of this sort.

In Georgia, a vehicle which was stolen and then recovered years later go through the process of being declared a total loss by the insurer to pay out the insured. The original title is surrendered as processed by the insurer. When the vehicle is recovered, years later, the person possessing the vehicle can apply for a salvage title (as long as original title was surrendered earlier). But you cannot sell the vehicle. In order to sell it, a licensed rebuilder has to restore the vehicle as per state guides. At this point, the person possessing the vehicle can apply for a rebuilt (or reconditioned) title.

Here's the kicker: you cannot remove any of this designation from the title. Whoever buys the vehicle will know.
ifitgoesfast is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-31-2012, 12:13 PM
 
Go Back   Corvette Forum > C1 & C2 Corvettes, 1953 - 1967 > C1 & C2 Corvettes
Reload this Page 1966 Chevrolet Corvette: Restoration Fraud
 
 
 
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Click for Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
2015 Corvette Z06 Engines To Be Built In Tonawanda, Bowling Green Z06Ronald C7 Z06 Discussion 11 06-27-2014 10:39 PM
Anyone else having problem assembling history on an old competition car? TCracingCA Autocrossing & Roadracing 25 04-05-2014 11:13 PM
Building The LT1 Engine - Touring Tonawanda Z06Ronald C7 General Discussion 3 03-03-2014 02:52 PM
GMs Tonawanda Plant Retooled for Gen-V Engines BlueOx C7 General Discussion 21 09-11-2013 01:04 PM
1980 Corvette VIN / Engine Serial shota C3 General 6 08-30-2012 06:29 PM


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 11:43 AM.


Emails & Password Backup

Search Engine Friendly URLs by vBSEO 3.5.2