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What constitutes a REAL car?

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  • What constitutes a REAL car?

    There is an article in the latest Sports Car Market magazine (perhaps my favorite magazine now) which describes a situation where a fellow has a Porsche 904. One day he is at a car show and finds another 904 with the same chassis number. It is represented as a "Real" car, not a replica. So he investigates and tries to find more about the car.

    He knows the providence of his car but the past on the other car is not complete.

    It turns out his car was wrecked heavily back in its early competition days and rather than fixing it they pulled the drive train and presumably put it in another car. I suspect that this original drive train will be found to be from his car (taken after it was wrecked.)

    Perhaps the original drive train sat in a storage until the new car was built around it.

    It is a two part article so I have to wait until next issue to find out how it all was resolved.

    The question is which is the original car?

    In my mind building a new car around a drive train seems ok to me as long as the car is never misrepresented. The rub is which car now is entitled to the serial number?

    Some time ago there was found to be three D type Jags with the same number. Turns out there was one car to begin was wrecked heavily and parted out. When Ds became million dollar cars one fellow started with part of the chassis, another with most of the body and a third with the drive train and part of the chassis (approximately). Unbeknownst to each other three cars were built all claiming the same serial number. I cannot remember how it was resolved. I would suspect an out of court settlement.

    Another time there was found to be two Ferrari SWBs with the same number. One was an original car which had had the engine changed back when it was racing. The other was a replica with the original engine. This case was settled by a fellow buying both cars and putting the original engine back in the original car and putting the other engine into the replica. He came out head in the deal but I don't know how much.
    Diesel loving, autocrossing, Coupe express loving, Grandpa Architect.

  • #2
    Sort of like "rebodying" one of our rusted out hulks. My car is a "special" car but the p.o. scrapped the original body and used a decent body from a different year. So is my car really a valuable unit or just another "redo"? I'm still working on it and it is modified (the p.o. started the mods), so I'm making it the way I want it to be. We'll see how it "fairs" when it's done. Bill


    • #3
      This is one of the reasons that states/provinces stopped using engine numbers for registration and went with serial number plates on the chassis and/or the cab/body. And the advent of emissions and safety laws made it illegal to change the ID of a vehicle. Now, of course, the VIN is stamped in multiple locations to enable tracing of parts from stolen cars.

      On older, valuable cars like the examples cited, all of them may be the real car -- assuming that all of the car builders were doing their work in good faith and not with fraud in mind. In that case, they may end up in court -- in front of a judge and jury completely unqualified to render a sensible decision.
      Skip Lackie


      • #4
        Likely to be settled out of court.

        I used to hang around on a Ferrari forum. One fellow had an old fifty or sixty something car. It was a bitsa. Frame from one model, body from another, mismatched engine and tranny and cosmetically a driver.

        A lot of the Ferrari guys were turning themselves inside out saying he had to change it to one model, or another. None of that would have given him a car worth the investment to put it back to whatever.

        My comment was to take the car, keep it up mechanically and have fun driving it. Eventually many of them agreed.
        Diesel loving, autocrossing, Coupe express loving, Grandpa Architect.


        • #5
          You have all said a lot only to explain the one word that answers the question ! Documentation.


          • #6
            Yes, of the end if it ends in court you'll want it.
            Diesel loving, autocrossing, Coupe express loving, Grandpa Architect.


            • #7
              There is a Ford Gt 40 which wrecked at Lemans years ago sounds just like this , It recently made it as far as a big auction house when it was pulled when it was found that 2 cars had the same serial number , Ed


              • #8
                Diesel loving, autocrossing, Coupe express loving, Grandpa Architect.