Will the real 1967 Chevrolet Corvette please rev up?
The owner of a classic Sting Ray has won a legal battle in his on-going attempt to prove his 1967 Corvette is the real deal and that another C2 with a matching VIN in Canada is a fraudulent copy.
Robert Bonanno of Florida considers his vintage Corvette to be the authentic one and has been trying to make Saskatchewan Government Insurance give him the name and address of the owner of a Sting Ray registered with the same VIN in Saskatchewan.
Actually, the Saskatchewan Information and Privacy Commissioner told SGI in March 2017 that the name and address should be given to Bonanno, but the insurance company did not comply, citing privacy reasons under Canada’s The Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act.
That non-compliance eventually forced attorney Bryan Shook of Shook Legal, which is representing Bonanno, to take the case to the Court of Queen’s Bench, which ruled Aug. 31 in Bonanno’s favor.
Bonanno found out about the duplicate VIN while showing his Corvette at a car show in Florida but believes the owner of the other Corvette doesn’t know his vehicle is a fraud.
“We believe the present owner of the cloned vehicle … he or she is an innocent bystander,” said Shook, a vintage car law specialist. “The car was created many years ago, probably 20 years ago.”
Shook says a replica vehicle is usually advertised as being a clone, “but then as it changes hands so many times, that story starts to fade and people start to believe that the clone is the real thing.”
Bonanno doesn’t accuse anyone of duplicating the car but just wants to have his Corvette declared as the authentic one. As Shook pointed out, having duplicate VINs has decreased the value of Bonanno’s Corvette, which he said would otherwise be valued at $250,000-plus.
At the time the case was filed in 2017, Shook wanted the information about the Canadian owner to help with two court cases filed over ownership of the vehicle in Bedford County, Pennsylvania. Because those cases have now been settled, Shook says it’s not as important to have the Saskatchewan owner’s name and address.
However, Shook says the Florida owner would still like to reach an amicable agreement with the other owner – “to sit down and talk about and figure out and resolve – if a resolution needs to happen.”
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