by John Linhardt
Longtime members like Rich DiFiglia and Ron Demeiri will tell you how many 20’s – 30’s cars were “altered” in later years, especially Cadillac and Packard. Suddenly a V-12 or V-16 came into existence from an 8 cylinder original factory delivered or body style changed.
Now, in present day, the “latest” hoax. You heard the term “C.O.P.D”, a factory special order? Well it is much worse. China and other countries are “duplicating” to order, the aluminum firewall factory ID of some cars to “custom” paint order changes, trim tag, body numbers, sequence code, accessories, etc. The newly re-made cowl firewall tag is carefully “riveted’ like the original, so no one knows. Beware! But if it is a GM, Ford or Chrysler product, you can still get the original factory build sheets. To make it “worse”, the serial ID number at dash outside view, ID can also be special ordered to change whatever (New ID). All of the above are “Federal offenses” and if caught by Auto Theft Investigations Squad, someone can go to prison. Major auction companies are now looking at car ID serial numbers on chassis frames and places the auto manufacturer hides from the general public. Do your homework carefully when buying any car as a “car fax” does not cover all years. It is only a guide and not the final factor should your car be listed by serial number.
If you see any problems on titles, fraud documentation, re-stamping engine ID or auction misrepresentation, call a specialist lawyer for “all” collector car fraud. Just be very careful when purchasing any collector car. Examine carefully the term “numbers match” you hear so often. The answer is, Does it match the factory work order when the car was built?
Also, New York Penal Law articles 170.65; 170.70 and 170.71 make it illegal to be in possession of a vehicle on which the serial number, VIV, Parts Markings or Parts Labels attached by manufacturers have been removed, altered, defaced or tampered with.