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Buying & Selling

Seller of Fake L88 Caught by Corvette Community

by Keith Cornett on January 1, 2006

1967 Shriner Corvettes at the St. Louis Factory

You got to love Corvette people. They are the backbone of this great hobby and it’s great to see them rally around a cause. What’s the cause you ask? After spotting an apparently fraudulently represented 1967 L88 Corvette for sale on eBay, the message boards on both the CorvetteForum.com and NCRS.org started lighting up with news and information about this Corvette and its checkered history.

The 67 Corvette in question was listed with a reserve on eBay December 21st. The description lists the car as a real L88 Corvette – one of 20 in existence. The ad also has 17 photos showing different angles of the car, engine pad stamps and documentation including the dealer bill of sale and protect-o-plate.

As word spread of the L88 Corvette’s eBay listing, details slowly emerged that put the originality of the car into question. First, many users on the Corvette Forum started sharing photos of the stamped engine pad from the L88 and comparing those with other known L88′s and big block Corvette engines. The eBay L88′s stamp looked straight and flawless. The etchings were shiny as well and looked nothing like the other examples being shown.

And then came a post from GL Anderson whose father was the dealer that received the Corvette from the St. Louis factory and drove it in parades with the Shriners as one of their Patrol Corvettes. GL says when his dad picked up the car, it was originally a 350 small block and that everything the about the ’67 being represented as an L88 is false.

“Well he only got maybe 3 things right in his eBay ad. He did talk to me, it was sold to a William Neeck and it is a 1967 Corvette. Not only was it a 350hp small block car when produced and we picked it up at the factory, but it was also my Fathers Shrine Corvette Patrol parade car. Since my dad was the dealer and also in the patrol he never had to license his Shrine car but rather drove it on a dealer plate. The first true owner would have been Mr. Neeck. There are several photos out there showing the 67 Shrine cars and members standing by their car. I can point out that exact car in the pics. It had a blue interior from the factory. Everything about it being an L88 is a fake. The buyers invoice is fake, I don’t know about the repair order so maybe he got 4 things right. He came to me in the early 90s and wanted me to back his story about the supposed L88. I told him no way. By the way I was 21 in 1967 and between my twin brother and I put several thousand miles on that exact car. As to paperwork no I don’t have the factory invoice but I do have other documentation on that car. I don’t hang out on other Corvette boards but if anybody wants to know the truth, let them know it is a fake. I will be happy to provide the documentation I have and point out a number of errors he has made in his paperwork, but only to someone I trust won’t take that info back to him so he can do a better job next time.”

Gar Anderson, GL’s twin brother also was heard from. Gar had accompanied his father to the St. Louis plant when the cars were picked up in person. He said the documentation pictured in the listing is a fake as well. He said the seller tried to get Gar and his brother to collaborate with him on trying to sell this car as original, but Gar refused.

“The car is a complete fake. It was originally one of the Order of Shriner’s cars. All were white with blue interiors and all were small blocks. The L88 option wasn’t even available until January of 1967. This car was built in October of 1966. GL Anderson is my twin brother, and he and I were very involved with Anderson Auto at the time. The Ebay seller tried to minimize that fact. As a matter of fact, in 1967, my brother and I purchased our grandfather’s Buick, Pontiac and GMC dealership which was located across the street from Anderson Auto. Although we were in college and owned the Buick store, we continued to work at the Chevy store. If we would have sold a real L-88, you’d think we would be helping the seller, not trying to stop him.”

So being Corvette people and not content to just let an apparent fake be sold to an unsuspecting buyer, GL went to eBay and posted an auction that would show up if someone was searching 67 Corvettes and L88′s. The item for sale was a photo showing the Shriner cars being picked up at the St. Louis assembly plant. (See Photo) In the photo GL claims that his Dad is shown standing next to the Corvette in question and has other documents that will prove the Corvette is a fake.

So did the Corvette sell? In the closing minutes of the auction, the bid jumped from $185,000 to $450,000. While speculation was that the seller upped the price to save face, the high bid was placed by another Corvette guy to make a point:

“I bid on it knowing it was fake. Mainly I did it just to cost him some more money or at least the hassle of getting a refund through eBay. I figure if he wants to misrepresent the car then he deserves to have to spend some extra money and/or effort on his advertising. If the seller actually expects me to buy the car he will first have to present evidence which proves the car is not one of the Shriner’s cars. If he can do that then I’ll gladly pay his reserve price.”

What can we learn from a story like this? If you are going to clone a ’67 L88 Corvette, advertise it as such. Otherwise, seller beware! The Corvette community can and will police itself whenever possible.

 

Oldest Corvette to be Auctioned at Barrett-Jackson

by Keith Cornett on November 17, 2005

#003, the oldest 1953 Corvette in existence, is expected to drive across the auction block at the Barrett-Jackson Auction in Scottsdale, Arizona during their “World’s Greatest Collector Car Event” January 14-22nd. The #003 convertible wears VIN plate number #E53F001003. As #001 and #002 were assembled and delivered to the Chevrolet Engineering Center for testing, #003 took a different path which is how it escaped the fate of the first two Corvettes. #001 and #002 served as test cars for the engineering center and were eventually destroyed. #003 also served as an engineering car for a shot time but was sold in the fall of 1953. Eventually it turned up at an auction in 1987 unpainted and not running where two collectors noticed many of the characteristics of an early production car including the hand-made ignition shielding and center grille bar. As the oldest survivor of the early production Corvettes, #003 underwent a meticulous and well documented 2-and-a-half year restoration. Completed in 1990, Corvette #003 earned Bloomington Gold, Corvette Hall of Fame and NCRS Duntov awards. It was last displayed at the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, KY. As part of the Barrett-Jackson auction, the #003 Corvette will be joined by approximately 100 of the rarest Corvettes in what the company calls the Most Comprehensive collection of Corvettes to be offered at a major auction at No Reserve. “It is hard to find a better selection of ‘America’s Sports Car’ than at America’s collector car auction this year,” said Craig Jackson, president of The Barrett-Jackson Auction Company. “We’re proud to celebrate our 35th anniversary with an unprecedented collection of Corvettes that symbolize this country’s automotive heritage. The collection ranges from the affordable, as represented by a 1977 T-Top Coupe, to the most desirable, like the 1969 L-88 Coupe and 1963 Z06.” Other Corvettes include: A NCRS Top Flight, award-winning original 1969 L-88 Coupe will also be sold. One of only 116, the numbers matching Corvette is among the top 1969 L-88s in condition, restoration and provenance. The one original owner, numbers matching, 1963 Z06 Coupe is a fuel-injected stunner that is one of only 199 Z06′s built. Restored in 1980 using original parts, it has won many awards including the NCRS Top Flight and NCRS Duntov award. Click here for a partial listing of Corvettes to be auctioned at the Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale event.

Red Tagged Corvettes?

by Keith Cornett on November 15, 2005

Faced with slowing sales and growing inventories, GM is launching yet another incentive plan combining the two elements car shoppers like the most – one price shopping and employee pricing. Called the Year End Red Tag sale, the incentive runs from Nov 13 through Jan 3rd. It’s not quite employee pricing – but close. The GM Red Tag Sale is offering the “What you see is what you pay” on MOST 2005 and 2006 Chevrolet, GMC, Buick and Pontiac models and the price is based on GM Supplier (GMS) discounts which are generally 2% above the GM employee price. Once again, the offer doesn’t extend to Corvette. Funny how the two elements that consumers love: one price shopping and employee discounts are the two elements that keep Corvettes from being including in these type of promotions. Manufacturers/dealers won’t discount the car that makes them money whatever the price and why offer flat rate pricing when you have the ability to negotiate pricing based on availability.

No Rebates for Corvette

by Keith Cornett on November 8, 2005

GM is following Chrysler and Ford by introducing new rebates designed to increase sales. The moves comes as GM reported a drop of nearly 20 percent in October sales. GM added $1000 rebates through Nov 13 on remaining 2005′s but the offer doesn’t extend to Corvette. The lack of rebates for Corvette is a good sign though as 2005 inventories are low enough as to not worry the GM bean-counters. No word yet if any rebates will be extended to 2006 models.

Katrina’s Corvette Flood

by Keith Cornett on September 10, 2005

You just the knew this topic was coming. Thousands of vehicles sitting submerged in the streets, driveways and garages of New Orleans. What will happen with all those cars including Corvettes that were damaged by the flood waters of Katrina? Automuse has an excellent legal analysis on the laws of Louisiana and how automobiles are branded as “flood” cars. For a vehicle to receive the “flood” brand, it must be declared a total loss by the insurance company and issued a salvage title. The “flood” brand on the salvage title indicates the car was totaled as a result of water damage. However, for a car to be considered a total loss, it must have sustained damages equaling 75% or more of the market value as determined by the NADA handbook. But what about all those cars, including Corvettes that sustained “some” water damage, but did not reach the 75% threshold? While the good news is that Louisiana law requires disclosure to the buyer of a vehicle if it sustained water damage, the downside is that cars that sustained some water damage but not enough to be a total loss, will have clean, unbranded titles. Unfortunately Mississippi doesn’t require buyers to be notified of a car’s water damage, but does require cars that are total losses to be re-titled as a salvage vehicle. So what will happen with all those Corvettes that were damaged? C1′s to C3′s may be had at some decent “restorable” values from insurance companies or brokers who resell salvage vehicles. C4′s and above? Forget about it. With all the electronics that post ’82 Corvettes contain, they are more likely to have costly damage to those key components and aren’t worth the cost of repairs. One of the lasting effects of Katrina may be the public’s avoidance of purchasing pre-owned Corvettes from the Gulf region as well as the sales boon that I am sure Carfax and other title reporting sites will have. Caveat emptor…

Gathering Pricing Knowledge

by Keith Cornett on August 22, 2005

Now that you know which model year you’re interested in purchasing, you’ll want to gain as much pricing knowledge as possible. I start with pricing first because if you can’t afford it, it’s not worth spending your time learning the other factors involved in making an informed buying decision. One of the tools needed for making an educated purchase is one or more Corvette Price Guides. Price guides for Corvettes can be found online at a number of sites. VetteFinders.com uses data published from Vette-N-Vestments that is based on actual sales figures from auctions held around the Country. Why we like this guide so much is that appreciation and depreciation figures are tracked for One, Two and Five years allowing you to spot multi-year trends. Other price guides worth noting are Kelly Blue Book and the NADA Guide. Lastly, most of the Corvette magazines usually publish an annual Price Guide issue. Currently we are in a hot market so review the published date of the guide carefully. If it is older than six months, its accuracy may be off somewhat. Another source for gathering pricing knowledge would be from visiting websites that contain Corvettes for sale, either through classified and auction sites like VetteFinders.com and Ebay.com to searching online dealer inventories for your sought-after model year. Armed with this information, you will have no trouble educating yourself as to what the model year of your choice can be obtained for. An education in pricing will help to ensure that you will not be overcharged as well as being able to spot a good buy when it comes along. Click here to purchase the Vette-N-Vestments Corvette Price Guide Price: $15.00

Overseas Buyer Scams Abound

by Keith Cornett on August 10, 2005

The most common scam we see on our classified ads site is from “buyers” requesting information from our sellers in an attempt to scam the car from the owner using counterfeit bank checks. Usually you can spot these scams based on the “buyers” poor use of the English language as well as a request for the sellers photos, location and the “last price” of the car. Many times the “buyer” will come right out and ask if the seller will take a “certified bank check drawn on a US bank”.

The “buyer” almost always uses a yahoo.com, yahoo.co.uk or other free email service and may post an international phone number.

Here is an example of request received buy one of these “buyers”:

MESSAGE:
Hello, please back to me if the vehicle is still for sale with present location, pictures and last asking price. Thanks

IP Address: 196.3.60.17

My Name is: carlos todd
My Email is: carol_autos@yahoo.com
My Telephone is: +4478976098767

I did a geographical lookup of the IP address and found the “buyer” to be located in Lago, Nigeria.

My favorite type of scam request is when these scammers cut and paste from a script that was given to them and either don’t realize what they are requesting or simply don’t care. After the above user sent through about 20 of these requests to our sellers (all of which were blocked), he sent this request to the seller of a 1985 coupe:

MESSAGE:
Hello, thanks for urgent reply accorded to this transaction. In reply state the total cost of our reservation bill for the whole periods of the delegates stay. We wish to inform you to state the cost in Euro currency to enable us to know the exact amount we are paying. Thanks

IP Address: 196.3.60.17

My Name is: carlos todd
My Email is: carol_autos@yahoo.com
My Telephone is: +4478976098767

Sellers should carefully scrutinize all communications from potential buyers and if there is something that doesn’t seem quite right, it probably isn’t.

Buying a Corvette – Select Year

by Keith Cornett on August 6, 2005

I hear from many who are contemplating buying their first Corvette and invariably one of the questions I get is “What year is a good model to buy?” Well, that is really a personal decision and the fact that the Corvette has been around for over 50 years doesn’t make it any easier.

You should first focus on the one of the generations that divide the Corvette years based on the body style. These are now usually referred to as:

C1 Corvettes: 1953-1962
C2 Corvettes: 1963-1967
C3 Corvettes: 1968-1982
C4 Corvettes: 1984-1996
C5 Corvettes: 1997-2004
C6 Corvettes: 2005-

Determining what make and model you are seeking will really help narrow your focus. From there you can decide what models within the chosen generation appeal to you. While some generations have fairly small body style changes from year to year like the C2′s or C5′s, others, like the C3′s and C4′s have major changes between their starting and end points. The 1968 Stingray and the 1982 Collector’s Edition are both from the same generation, but the styling and technology are vastly different.

Once you have narrowed your choice down to one or two model years, you will need to determine what your budget is. Then decide whether your choice is realistic for the amount you have to spend. Having $15,000 to spend probably won’t get you into a 1967 Convertible, but it would get you a fairly nice 1974-75 Convertible.

Next, we will look at where to find sources for researching the model year(s) that interest you so that we can develop a checklist to assist us when reviewing potential Corvettes to purchase.

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