Jump to content

clones in the AACA


nearchoclatetown
 Share

Recommended Posts

I've been wondering about this for a while. Hemming's Muscle Car magazine has been following the story of a clone Hemi Cuda in New York. It was just settled in court that the sale was illegal because the seller did not advise the buyer the car was a clone. I'm not caring whether clones should be built or not, but by current rules this car or others could be shown in AACA. Race cars are documented, why not regular cars? Most cars have trim tags, most giving engine info, color, major options,etc. To put it in perspective for '37gothd. Suppose Model T's body style could be told by the serial number and you changed a homely sedan into a bitchen roadster. Should it be shown in AACA?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body"> To put it in perspective for '37gothd. Suppose Model T's body style could be told by the serial number and you changed a homely sedan into a bitchen roadster. Should it be shown in AACA? </div></div>

My question is why go to the effort of changing the sedan to a roadster? You probably can buy all the reproduction parts to build the car from the ground up. All you need is a title.

With as many reproduction parts that are available for some of these cars, your question has been in the back of my mind just not specfic to clones.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

the Hemi clone was not a "clone" but a car with a fake VIN tag changing the car to a Hemi Cuda.

Clones are already in the AACA, the 71 340 Challenger R/T convertible, that got a "senoir" at Hershey began life has a 318 not R/T convertible.

AACA judging does not verify VINs or the info on a "data tag"

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think the main point/question that Choc has is that AACA makes the onwers of race cars prove the cars is truly the car the onwer claims it is. It's as close to verifing a VIN or data tag as you can get on a race car. So how comes someone with say a 1969 Dodge Daytona or Plymouth Superbird doesn't have to prove that it was truly that, instead of a Dodge Charger or Plymouth Super Bee.

And just a personal thought here:

in that lawsuit, what if that car was wearing an AACA Grand National Senior badge? The buyer may have used that badge in deciding on buying the car. After all, it won the top most award in the largest car club in the world, it should be right. Now that buyer would be upset with the seller AND AACA and you know how tongues wag when someone's upset with someone else (bad PR for us).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think a quick decode of vin tag and other tags on a car would be easy to do. I guess the problem will be that if someone takes the trouble to change a vin they will be willing to forge other documents. It could end up as a paperwork nightmare to actually prove your car is what it started life as.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

<img src="http://forums.aaca.org/images/graemlins/smirk.gif" alt="" /> I guess we could take all of the Model A bodies off of the Chassis so we could see the frame serial number <img src="http://forums.aaca.org/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" />.... but maybe that might be a bit of trouble. <img src="http://forums.aaca.org/images/graemlins/laugh.gif" alt="" /> I think this would be opening up a can of worms that needs to stay shut. <img src="http://forums.aaca.org/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" /> <img src="http://forums.aaca.org/images/graemlins/smirk.gif" alt="" />

Link to comment
Share on other sites

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Amen. This is a nightmare in many regards with no quick fix solutions for a club that allows vehicles from A to Z and cars that span 100 plus years of manufacturing. It is a concern, it is being discussed but it is nothing new in the hobby as even some brass cars are nothing more than clones. </div></div>

In the Brass Car world I don't see any differance restoring a 1904 Oldsmobile that sat outside for 75 years and needs everything reproduced except the engine, and a guy building a 1904 Olds around an engine. However the same can't be said about a vehicle in the Race Car class 24A&B since the vehicles in that car must be proven to be the vehicles thay are.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sparky's statement <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body"> I guess the problem will be that if someone takes the trouble to change a vin they will be willing to forge other documents. </div></div> and MCHinson's <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body"> we could take all of the Model A bodies off of the Chassis so we could see the frame serial number </div></div> pretty much summerizes why it would be really hard for AACA to check the numbers for all the different years and models.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My point exactly....

The Judging system is designed to do what it needs to do. Winning an award does not guarantee that a particular vehicle IS as it left the factory. It is judged against How it COULD have appeared when it left the factory.

The system is not broken. It works about as good as it can given the variety of cars it has to fit. <img src="http://forums.aaca.org/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />

Link to comment
Share on other sites

MCHinson, I think you missed my point. '37 doesn't realise they built cars after 1942, my comment about the T was a joke. The clones I actually was referring to are late model 50's and up. One of my last trips to Carlisle there was a vendor with ALL the repro parts to turn a 2 door Tri-5 Chevy into a convertible. This would be OK to show in AACA? I have a problem with that. The fake Yencos and Thunderbolts, as well.The boat may have been missed but it didn't sink yet. The problem should be fixed before there's a load of fake Roush Mustangs on the field. AACA says "as built" but it doesn't really mean it.There are several AACA award winning cars that can't show in their own marque clubs because of modifacations, sunroofs, engines, etc. Why shouldn't the AACA standards be close to the same.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">MCHinson, I think you missed my point. '37 doesn't realise they built cars after 1942,....There are several AACA award winning cars that can't show in their own marque clubs because of modifacations, sunroofs, engines, etc. Why shouldn't the AACA standards be close to the same. </div></div>

Not true Doug! I've actually bought three of them new starting with a 1970 LeMans Convertable.<img src="http://forums.aaca.org/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" /> If the late model clones are a problem then the late model guys will have to fix it. Late model guys would be clueless judgeing Stanley Steamers, and the Stanley guys wouldn't know much about the new stuff. As the flood gates open futher with new cars the club gets more and more less interested members in the judging system.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I can't help but notice the number of "clones" that seem to be rolling across the block at B-J...

Of the "muscle" variety...

Are the folks that build these "clones" trying to win trophies or simply out to make big bucks ?

In the case of my own '41 De Soto, I have been digging into my factory parts book, and have found that there were a number of running production changes regarding various features on the '41 De Sotos, from dashboards to garnish mouldings, to fender welting, to a host of other "minor" changes... and the books lists which version of multiple parts were used up to such & such body-number or serial number... and the change-over points are not the same for every part affected...

So, to judge whether or not a given '41 De Soto were "correct" (quality of resto or preservation notwithstanding), would require that a judge be familiar with all the peculiarities of that particular marque for that particular year... that's a tall order for a show judge...

On the other hand, if a given '41 De Soto were competing for an AACA Senior, I should think that this sort of attention to detail is warranted.

If a car is constructed from parts and/or several vehicles, to represent something it never was in the first place, then the owner/creator should be forthcoming about that.

If not, then wouldn't they be trying to achieve a deception ? ( And for some, I guess the joy is in the challenge of trying to pass-off a fake)

And if the prize-winning example turns-out to be a fake, then doesn't that qualify it as a "replica" ?

At least in the world of "fine art", there are some very, very good "fakes", that are very nice to look at, and are excellent examples of their maker's skills ... but they're still not the "real

Mc Coy"

I agree that this is a can of worms, but perhaps for later-model vehicles, that are more likely to be "faked", is it not so far-fetched to have class-experts armed with the various numbers-books so that things a '70 Hemi- Walleye could be thoroughly checked-out ?

As for somebody recreating the rest of an appropriate body around an extant running gear from say a 1904 Olds or the like, again, as long as the owners offer disclosure, I don't see harm in that effort... but again, it would largely be a "replica", wouldn't it ?

(Perhaps I'm missing the point of all this; a "fake" is something designed to deceive; a "replica" is more of an homage... so I guess it comes down to intent, or motive... <img src="http://forums.aaca.org/images/graemlins/confused.gif" alt="" /> )

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm a Model A Ford owner. Finding a Model A with THE original engine, or THE original shocks, or THE original (insert part of your choice here) is often a tough order. Lots of used parts from other Original Model A's (which might have been on a different body style) are needed to restore the average Model A Ford. (Yes, even some high quality reproduction parts sometimes slip in.) <img src="http://forums.aaca.org/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />

I don't really want to see the frame serial number on my Model A, and that is the only way to actually see if the car is the car as it is titled. What in the heck would I do if it did not agree with the title? <img src="http://forums.aaca.org/images/graemlins/blush.gif" alt="" />

I guess Cloning is too advanced a concept for me to understand or worry about. <img src="http://forums.aaca.org/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" />

Link to comment
Share on other sites

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">

I agree that this is a can of worms, but perhaps for later-model vehicles, that are more likely to be "faked", is it not so far-fetched to have class-experts armed with the various numbers-books so that things a '70 Hemi- Walleye could be thoroughly checked-out ?

</div></div>

Even if the judges were armed with decoding books and the likes a real problem is that guys are buying total wrecks of a valuable car just for the VIN numbers. They cut them out and weld them on a different body. Or better yet stamp there own VIN. For Mustangs at least the data plates that had a lot of option information on them were reproduced for years. So anyone could stamp what they wanted.

The other thing is how far are you going to go? I believe the AACA has always said that as long as it was an option for that model and year it was ok. Are we going to start saying that now you have to have the exact paint color the car started with?

The building around a VIN issue has been a hot issue since so many reproductions became available. Isn?t it Dynacorn which is reproducing an entire car? Its a big question with no easy answer. I don?t know if there is we can do to catch everything but maybe we can find ways to discourage some of it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">The other thing is how far are you going to go? I believe the AACA has always said that as long as it was an option for that model and year it was ok. Are we going to start saying that now you have to have the exact paint color the car started with?</div></div>

What about the "weight" that a given organization's credibility carries? If you are serious about buying a Corvette, for example, you might look at if a car has achieved NCRS certification versus an AACA Senior or Grand National, or whatever, award. Not all marques have thier own organization such as this, but if it does, I would say that there is where these details are meaningful versus an all-inclusive stage.

The fact that mis-represented cars are able to get through at AACA events is indeed unfortunate, but because of the wide range of stuff that is included I have to believe that it would be impossible to get that personal with each car that shows up. As the viewers, we'll just have to take these cars with a grain of salt.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

What about the guy who has a rusted out '58 Chrysler convertible and restores it using a 2dr hardtop donor car to replace the main frame, quarters, rockers, doors, floorpans, etc. - all stuff that is not reproduced - will that be considered a clone, or a legitimate car? I've sold a number of cars to guys to be restored in this manner, the wrecks we find up here it's usually the only way to save them.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The muscle car Mopars are really a shaky area on this--the build sheets exist up to the '67 model year, and are gone after that. The cars that are really hot now are 68-71 Hemi-powered cars, and E bodies, and there is a little cottage industry out there popping out fender tags (that say what you pay them to say) and one self-appointed expert whose every word is taken as gospel truth. B-J likes what happens when these cars cross the block, and that is going to tempt a few souls. The same thing has been happening to Schwinn Phantom bikes (clones from lesser models) and Lionel immediate postwar F-3 Santa Fe Diesel A-B-A combinations--you have to know your product before putting your precious $$$ down.

The ultimate award of a given vehicle usually comes from the marque club that knows that make and year and model, down to the fastener heads, hose clamps,underhood finishes and QC man grease paint marks. No car restored without strict adherence to originality score high with most of these groups.

The AACA judges are good, and know a great deal about many cars, but none of us knows everything about every given make and model down to minutia. I remember showing an Auburn at Hershey, and Madame judge wanted to dock us points because "we moved the battery from under the seat to under the fender". We politely pointed out that all Auburn models in this year-series-type have their batteries under the fender, with a cover. She insisted that "all cars from the thirties had the batteries under the seats". We were able to pull another well-known Auburn owner into the discussion, he affirmed what we said, and the points were not knocked. That would not happen at a single-marque judging meet--those guys live,eat,sleep and breathe that particular car, and know where, and how everything is supposed to be. On the other hand, they might know something completely arcane about "how your car is supposed to be" that you did not find when you got it to restore, and the deduction of points can be a shocker.

Not to slam the AACA and their judging--any group that promotes the caliber of restoration we see at the Hershey show every year must be doing something right.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Quote; "The ultimate award of a given vehicle usually comes from the marque club that knows that make and year and model, down to the fastener heads, hose clamps, underhood finishes and QC man grease paint marks. No car restored without strict adherence to originality score high with most of these groups."

That would be nice however there are a few marquee clubs that aren't even close to judging perfection. The one large club in particular like many has one national convention a year, no experienced judges or training and knowingly allows false data plates if the owner wants to change colors to either stock or wild. I have had food vendors judge my vehicle as they were that short on judges.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It helps to read your magazines! <img src="http://forums.aaca.org/images/graemlins/blush.gif" alt="" />

Last week's <span style="font-style: italic">Autoweek</span> (which I just got around to reading this afternoon) had a feature on an allegedly cloned GT40. Along with the story was a reference to a service by the FIA for certifying high end classics as authentic.

An FIA Heritage Certificate would be a very expensive prospect, especially for a car in the U.S. It might be a good idea for someone with an easily/frequently cloned valuable car like a GT40 or early Ferrari.

Perhaps it would be a good idea for someone in the U.S. to start up a service like this for muscle cars and Full Classics.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

OK; say I have a 1914 Model T, a year for which many reproduction parts have become available. Say the car has an original chassis, with only a few reproduction parts, but the body is about 80% repop(all wood and most sheetmetal).

Do I then have a "clone," a "replica," or a "restoration?"

<img src="http://forums.aaca.org/images/graemlins/confused.gif" alt="" /> <img src="http://forums.aaca.org/images/graemlins/confused.gif" alt="" /> <img src="http://forums.aaca.org/images/graemlins/confused.gif" alt="" />

Link to comment
Share on other sites

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">OK; say I have a 1914 Model T, a year for which many reproduction parts have become available. Say the car has an original chassis, with only a few reproduction parts, but the body is about 80% repop(all wood and most sheetmetal).

Do I then have a "clone," a "replica," or a "restoration?"

<img src="http://forums.aaca.org/images/graemlins/confused.gif" alt="" /> <img src="http://forums.aaca.org/images/graemlins/confused.gif" alt="" /> <img src="http://forums.aaca.org/images/graemlins/confused.gif" alt="" /> </div></div>

IF you have a touring, or roadster body it would be viewed as a restoration in my eye. IF it had a Depot Hack or Pie Wagon body at first glance from 30 feet away I'd say it was an modern/repop.The whole Model T aftermarket bodied chassis topic could have its own thread. I still say an ORIGINAL built in the 1920's Mercury Speedster bodied T chassis is more correct that the pile of oak some one built a Depot Hack body from last month. The Hack will have an AACA first Junior plaque while the AACA rules BAN the Mercury Bodied car from National competition. Something that has bothered me fow a few years. <img src="http://forums.aaca.org/images/graemlins/smirk.gif" alt="" />

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Food venders judging your car?? I didn't think a stove and the kitchen sink were options on your pontiac. I know you have everything else that goes with the car, but I bet that's why they were over there judging your car.

....either that or they needed a shave <img src="http://forums.aaca.org/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" /> <img src="http://forums.aaca.org/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" /> <img src="http://forums.aaca.org/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />

Link to comment
Share on other sites

A reasonable question...

One of the variables with the "full classics" such as the Duesenbergs, K-series Lincolns, etc, as that many of those cars were "coach-built" to begin with, so there may be more lee-way with a "re-body", which sometimes happened to a given car during its time with the original owner...

But, trying to "fake" a high-dollar [for the moment] muscle car is not something to be encouraged.

At the Hershey swap meet, I saw the remains of a mid-to late '20s Kissel chassis on a trailer... judging by the velour upholstery and robe-cord on the back of the front seat, I would opine that this car was originally a sedan. The only body that was left was from the cowl forward...

I would further opine that it would be far more costly to recreate the sedan body for this car than it would be to re-create the "Gold-Bug" speedster body ( and far less saleable as a closed car)... but if someone were moved to so, that car should be disclosed as a replica... not passed-off as a true "Gold-Bug"...

My philosophical concern about "clones" and the AACA is that folks might try to use AACA awards to build a "provenance" for a clone, and then try to use that "provenance" to justify an astronomical selling price for their "Franken-Kar"...

(which I think was stated in the previous post... sorry to be redundant!)

<img src="http://forums.aaca.org/images/graemlins/confused.gif" alt="" />

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Your point on classics is well taken. Even in those circles however, the ultimate selling value of the rebodied vehicles is far less than those that house their authentic coach built body. A great example is a local collectors early Mercedes wood bodied skiff. The vehicle was often referred to as an original creation but later determined to have been borne a closed vehicle that was "re-created" in the style of the latter coach builder. Its value proportionately dropped when it recently sold at auction earlier this year.

While I'm not a clone proponent, I also don't want to be the clone police either. People will be people. Some will undoubtedly try to cheat others and misrepresent their vehicle. I would simply like to keep the liability and burden of doing so where it belongs..... on the owner.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I agree that in the end the responsibility rests with the owner. I don't have too much trouble with an owner that decides to upgrade his car as long as he doesn't decide to pass it off as something it isn't when it is sold. For example, it is possible to make a 1965 Mustang into a Mustang GT without anyone being the wiser, as long as the data plate indicates an "A" or "K" code engine. Making the change does not harm the car in any way, but it is still not a real Mustang GT. He may remember to mention that it is not a real GT when then car is sold, but will his heirs who sell it after he is gone?

Of course there are a number of people who go into this with malice in there hearts from the start. Another example was on eBay within the last 2 years. Someone sold a data plate for a 1957 T-Bird for over a $1000. Why was it that expensive you might ask? It was because it was for an "E" Code Bird, one that had the dual four barrel 312 cid engine. It is obvious that this was bought by somebody that intends to make a counterfeit "E" Bird. The problem is that a person might not know this until they bought the car and then checked the vin number on the dataplate against the serial number on the frame and found a mismatch. I also don't have a problem with taking two semi-basket case cars and making one good car out of them. It does stand to reason that if the data plate does not match the frame the car is worth less than one that does.

AACA may want to consider having some kind of a disclaimer that indicates that the cars are judged as presented and no effort was made to ensure authenticity of the car relative to the data plate if so equipped. Some variation on this may be necessary to ensure that AACA's good name isn't brought into the inevitable lawsuit when one of these clones is exposed.

Regards

Link to comment
Share on other sites

To legally protect the AACA from documenting the fact that a car is or is not a "clone" (I really hate that word in our hobby) AACA's legal department shoud have a disclaimer in the front of the judging manual acknowledging the fact that they do not state any car is 100% authentic with respect to any VIN or Cowl lettering or numbering.

Anyone can go on the Web and have a Cowl plate made but the same is not true for a VIN unless you produce the State Registration card or other documentation.

Additionally, with many 50's classics it is a simple task to take out a smaller engine and replace it with a period correct larger big block to increase value with no car ID necessary other than the fact that the car had a V8 in the first place.

It is all about $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ and BJ has not helped this hobby but severly hurt it. Just my opinion.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

In the realm of the classics (I'm using the term per the CCCA definition) There are many clones there--there may be more clone Duesenberg Derham touristers now than there were originally (there were 4 built by Derham in the 30's). The big difference there is that the numbers are so low on most of those cars that most well read buffs know what is what. When you start talking Lemans into GTO, Barracuda into HEMI 'cuda and the multitude of Chevy SS "badge" clones it gets real sticky--these were mass produced cars. I don't think the AACA positions themselves to be the "authenticity police", and any lawsuit brought against them would be hard to pin on the group--although today there are lawyers who would include them in a "buckshot" complaint. Sad that something that is supposed to be fun can deteriorate into a legal fracas.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I understand your point regarding the production number differences between the classic "clones" and muscle "clones". The point that I was trying to make is that a Duesenberg Derham Tourister would be treated identically to any high performance muscle car as far as authenticity is concerned, under AACA meet rules.

To my knowledge neither have their engine numbers, body numbers, or trim tags interrogated for originality or authenticity by AACA judges. Therefore using your example, ANY Duesenberg Derham Tourister could theoretically achieve its Junior, Senior, and Grand National awards regardless or it being authentic or original.

By the way here is one of the four originals... http://ckautollc.photosite.com/DetailingWork/31Tourister/

I don't think that the argument is that different between the two. I've had the pleasure of attending several auctions during the past two years with a noted collector of Duesenbergs, Auburns, Packards, and Pierce Arrows. He has identified several Duesey's (he owns 8) crossing the block as "fakes" according to the factory documention of their body and engine numbers. He cringes when they bring over $1M, just as I do when I watch B-J and see muscle clones pulling huge money.

The reality is that where there is big money involved, there are people who will do anything to get it. I just don't want to see the AACA assist them in any way if possible.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I cast my vote with those who feel that AACA should continue to judge as to the vehicle being correct to the year and not the build sheet, build plate, or whatever. In addition to all of the reasons already stated it would also be inconsistent to do otherwise because for many cars there are no build sheets, original records, or build plates, or the build plates are vague or contain minimal data. The owners of those vehicles could therefore do whatever they wanted as long as their vehicle was correct to the year, where-as owners of vehicles with documentation available would be held to a more rigorous standard.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...