With the rising values in collector cars, the importance of accurate documentation for a specific car is becoming more and more important. Bloomington Gold founder David Burroughs recently introduced a new service for collector car owners. Prove It is a process which establishes the truth about vehicles presented for authentication. The goal is to determine the authenticity of specific claims relating to the history of a particular collector car.
Consider this scenario: Say 1953 Corvette VIN 001 shows up on Ebay and is asking $12 billion dollars for it. He also claims to have all of the paperwork clearly showing it’s VIN 001. A potential buyer chimes in with evidence that it’s actually a different early 1953. Who’s right?
This where Prove It comes in. A research team will determine which claims are true, false, or inconclusive. They’ll sift through the paperwork, talk to people from both sides of the story, review the information with experts and analysts, and ultimately determine what can be proven, disproved, or what remains unsettled. The final findings are published and provided to the owner in report form. If new evidence is found after the investigation is closed, it can be introduced at any time.
The Prove It team consists of Moderator David Burroughs, Senior Investigator Frank Pope, subject matter witnesses, and over 20 analysts. Throughout the process, there is no one single authority.
The process proved itself recently on a rare 1963 Corvette Z06. The car had been billed as the Mickey Thompson Allstate Tire test car. Using historical photos and testimony from expert witnesses, the car was actually determined to be Mickey Thompson’s personal Corvette, but not the Allstate car which it was previously thought to be. That car sold for $450,000 in August at Mecum’s Monterey auction.
In short, here’s how Prove It works:
- Someone has a “claim” to prove relative to a Corvette or other collector car
- Client meeting to explain
- Discovery Phase
- What is the owner’s claim?
- Review evidence, testimony, interview witnesses, review photographs, and relevant facts; collect adverse witnesses/evidence
- Develop the plan for how to confirm, reject, or expand the evidence
- Investigation Phase
- Interview witnesses on both sides; conduct lab tests on paperwork if required
- Define the “one thing” that would convince everyone
- Initial Report (written summary of findings / initial conclusions)
- Distributed to client and all witnesses to confirm accuracy
- Conclusions rated by strength
- Definitive, Highly Probable, Probable, Indications, Inconclusive
- Final Draft – Initial Report updated with any corrections
- Distributed to 3-5 unpaid analysts; unknown to client and other analysts on case
- Final Report distributed to client
- Summary of evidence supporting /rejecting the claim
- Statement of conclusions including level of strength based on the evidence
As you can see, the process is very detailed and considers all available evidence. It engages some of the industry’s top experts, and doesn’t use one single-point authority.
The cost for Prove It is $125 per hour.
You can see David Burroughs’s powerpoint presentation on Prove It which covers the process in greater detail. It is also available ProTeam Corvette Sales.
Click here to download the Prove It Powerpoint presentation.
David Burroughs / Prove It