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Here we go again....VIN Swaping


David Hawkins
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As if Unique Performance wasn't bad enough.............. Classic Recreations is following the same lines..........

 

 

http://jalopnik.com/5582902/police-raid-classic-recreations-over-vin-swapping

 

I would LOVE to be able to build continuation Shelby's and these guys are screwing it all up.........I would start buy buying fully Restored V8 Powered Mustangs that have full documentation on the Restoration. Each Car would then receive Create Engines & Trans, Total Control Suspensions, custom Interiors, Stereos, Wheels & Tires, Shelby Body & Interior Items, ETC. By starting with fully restored Mustangs, the Parts removed would be very sellable. Only base Mustangs would be used, no GT's, no K Codes, etc.......... By using fully Restored Mustangs, you would be cutting Costs and Build Time makin them more desireable. Just my 2 Cents............

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smart thing would be to use dynacorn body's, and no problem could exist.

 

 

Chris

 

 

except for finished Price. The Body is $16,000.00, then add in the cost of all the needed Parts (NEW), then all the Custom Parts (New), then the Custom Paint Work, then all the Labor............ Hummmmmm $300,000.00 :headscratch:

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This is all very tricky. I would say any restorer could be investigated for this to some extent. What parts of a car can be replaced before you consider the car having a VIN swap? It's pretty common to replace floors, quarters, roof panels, doors, shock towers, frame rails, on and on. What constitues the remaining parts of the original car, the firewall? I agree that the owners of Unique performance were probably doing some bad stuff with the money they were making. But were they building cars? Yes. I took many pictures at the auction after the doors were closed. They were in the middle of building probably 50-60 cars. So they were using prison inmates on much of the body work. Is that bad? It was a work release type program. Many companies use this for labor. The investigation made this a bad thing. They had some top body guys involved in that. You say that you would start with a fully restored car with full documentation. How much would you allow to have been changed in the restoration? What are the feds considering illegal VIN swaps? Under some of what they are considering to be illegal is what others would consider restoration. I've talked to some of those involved in the Unique Performance deal. Some of the actual cars that were considered illegal were cars with roof panel, quarter panel, doors, and front fender replacements. They considered over 50% of the car changed, so it was no longer an original car, so the VIN was then illegal. It's a pretty scary deal. Many good companies get the shaft on things like this. A large percentage of govt. would just prefer that the entire notion of old cars, car restoring, etc. just go away. And many are trying to make that happen.

 

Here's a few pics I took at Unique. These were at a salvage yard where the feds took many of the cars. There were some cars just stacked on top of one another. It was all quite sad.

 

Shelbypics018.jpg

Shelbypics021.jpg

Shelbypics025.jpg

Shelbypics034.jpg

Shelbypics031.jpg

Edited by JeffJ
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This is all very tricky. I would say any restorer could be investigated for this to some extent. What parts of a car can be replaced before you consider the car having a VIN swap? It's pretty common to replace floors, quarters, roof panels, doors, shock towers, frame rails, on and on. What constitues the remaining parts of the original car, the firewall? I agree that the owners of Unique performance were probably doing some bad stuff with the money they were making. But were they building cars? Yes. I took many pictures at the auction after the doors were closed. They were in the middle of building probably 50-60 cars. So they were using prison inmates on much of the body work. Is that bad? It was a work release type program. Many companies use this for labor. The investigation made this a bad thing. They had some top body guys involved in that. You say that you would start with a fully restored car with full documentation. How much would you allow to have been changed in the restoration? What are the feds considering illegal VIN swaps? Under some of what they are considering to be illegal is what others would consider restoration. I've talked to some of those involved in the Unique Performance deal. Some of the actual cars that were considered illegal were cars with roof panel, quarter panel, doors, and front fender replacements. They considered over 50% of the car changed, so it was no longer an original car, so the VIN was then illegal. It's a pretty scary deal. Many good companies get the shaft on things like this. A large percentage of govt. would just prefer that the entire notion of old cars, car restoring, etc. just go away. And many are trying to make that happen.

 

Here's a few pics I took at Unique. These were at a salvage yard where the feds took many of the cars. There were some cars just stacked on top of one another. It was all quite sad.

 

Shelbypics018.jpg

Shelbypics021.jpg

Shelbypics025.jpg

Shelbypics034.jpg

Shelbypics031.jpg

 

 

Great post. There a many many different opinions in law enforcement circles as to what constitutes restoration and what constitutes a V.I.N. swap. Just because government does something, does NOT make it right.

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Its amazing waste of are tax money, I think there are more problems they should be chasing !!! Those cars will either waste away in there lot. But, I bet they will auction them off as fast as possible before the company has their day in court. Thank God it wasn't NYPD lot if you guys would see how motorcycles and cars were dropped off. I use dropped off very hard you guys would cry.

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But, I bet they will auction them off as fast as possible before the company has their day in court.

 

 

I'll take that bet!

 

They can not "auction them off before the company has their day in court", and they won't unless they really really REALLY want to lose the criminal case against the defendants.

 

First of all, those cars/bodys/parts are potential "evidence" and as such are subject to examination (direct and cross) by both the Prosecution *and* Defense. They are needed for trial (it's called "disclosure"). Destroying evidence would be a BIG no-no on either parties part.

 

Second, there is that pesky ole' thing called The Bill of Rights, which protects you/them from illegal search and SEIZURE. If they are found not guilty, they are legally the defendants property. If they are found guilty, THEN you *might* see them up for auction....MAYBE (actually, quite possibly).

 

And before anyone brings it up, "Forfiture Laws" are a totally different animal. They don't apply to a criminal case.

 

 

Phill

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I'll take that bet!

 

They can not "auction them off before the company has their day in court", and they won't unless they really really REALLY want to lose the criminal case against the defendants.

 

First of all, those cars/bodys/parts are potential "evidence" and as such are subject to examination (direct and cross) by both the Prosecution *and* Defense. They are needed for trial (it's called "disclosure"). Destroying evidence would be a BIG no-no on either parties part.

 

Second, there is that pesky ole' thing called The Bill of Rights, which protects you/them from illegal search and SEIZURE. If they are found not guilty, they are legally the defendants property. If they are found guilty, THEN you *might* see them up for auction....MAYBE (actually, quite possibly).

 

And before anyone brings it up, "Forfiture Laws" are a totally different animal. They don't apply to a criminal case.

 

 

Phill

 

 

 

Phill, you do bring up some good points, however the government seizes property all the time. In California they can take your car for traffic violations and you may never get it back. The gov't frequently operates in ways that do not follow logic and in some cases even laws. The cash for clunkers program was a fine example of crushing cars and ruining engines that could have been sold (overseas) to offset the cost. Then there was the mustang graveyard here in texas that was crushed and sent to the scrapyard. I would not be surprised it the same fate befell these cars.

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The gov't frequently operates in ways that do not follow logic and in some cases even laws.

 

 

Aw dude, you are PREACHIN' TO THE CHIOR!

 

Believe me, I know full well what the Govt. (local, state AND fed) is capable of.

 

Rights? PSHAW! I've had my civil rights violated *multiple* times. Only one of the times did I take it beyond just bitching.

 

Cops came into my house and searched it without a warrant or invite in. ACLU got involved and the PD involved gave me a written apology, as well as the lead officer in the incident. That's when I was VERY young and my mother was actually the one that took it to another level.

 

I recenty moved ouf of Cali. after being arrested (and eventually charged) for something I did not do. They should have never arrested me let alone charged me. They *also* searched my house (bedroom) without a warrant AND over my objections. They seized all of my guns that they could find, and they didn't find them all. I fought ALL charges against me and in the end I had the judge order them to return my firearms (court ordered return/judgement). When I went to get them the SO refused. I showed them the court order and they said "yes, he said we have to return them but he didn't say when...). It took me two full years and almost $100K to fight the charges. They offered me a chickenshit plea bargain and I continued to refust. I told my lawyer that I have principles and I would NOT capitulate to their plea bargain "deal" because I was not guilty of the charges OR the deal (charge) they offered. It appeared their primary motivation was to keep my guns from getting back out of their possession. They simply tried to outspend me and I proved to be more stubborn then they were and was willing to spend every last dime I had to prove my innocense (innocent until proven guilty? Not hardly!).

 

People have seen me spat legal opinions and advice on this forum and they have tried to either belittle me or shut me up because "I'm not a lawyer". I don't need to be a lawyer to know the law just like you don't have to be a Auto Tech to give tech advice or opinions. I have plenty of first hand experience/knowledge with the law (civil AND criminal) so I know *way* more about it than the _average_Joe_.

 

Like I said, I know FULL well what they (Govt. agencies) are capable of.

 

In my case it was the Monterey County Sheriff's Dept. (MCSO) and the Monterey County District Attorney (DA) office (regional, not City, State or Fed). They are *both* criminal enterprises as far as I'm concerned. They certainly didn't care about "Justice" in my case. It was all about money (my Atty. was the first to tell me that).

 

In the case of these cars we're discussing being auctioned off PRIOR TO TRIAL, I still say it won't happen. Well, that is IF they want to actually criminally prosecute the defendants (they need the cars/parts for evidence).

 

If they drop the charges/case, that's a different story! If they do, I say GOOD LUCK to the defendants with getting their property ("evidence") back. That's damn near impossible and it will cost them a ton of money, like it did me. Usually more than the property is worth.

 

I'm hoping they (the company) have enough money vested in them to fight the charges (IF they are truly not guilty, by the letter and intent of the law). And *if* they are guilty...SHAME ON THEM!

 

I've seen other cases that were CLEARLY illegal or unconstitutional and I've alway said, "until they arrest someone with enough money and motivation to fight them, they will continue to arrest them on those types of illegal charges.

 

Wow, ya got me started off on a tangent and up onto my soap box! I'm *very* passionate about OUR (and my) freedoms and liberties.

 

My apologies to any/all that I may have offended. That is not my intent.

 

 

That's more than enough from me on THAT subject,

 

Phill

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Check out:

 

67mustangblog.com

 

Lots of info on this subject! Sorry....not computer literate enuf to drag it here to the site.

 

 

 

Here ya go..............................

 

http://67mustangblog.com/

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