• Oct 30th 2006 at 10:03AM
  • 3

Musclecar collecting is as speculative as the oil market. Prices on the same model can vary as much as 1000% depending on how they are optioned. HEMI, Boss, Shelby, RS/SS, Z/28, COPO, Cobra Jet, L89. To the musclecar enthusiast, these legendary nomenclatures are musclecar gold.

With the vast array of information available today, the unscrupulous among us have become quite adept at building "clone" cars. These cars began life as an entry-level model and are transformed, quite accurately, into the fire-breathing monsters that bring the big bucks. That's where the website http://www.decodethis.com steps in.

From any Internet connection, even mobile phones and PDA's, they can decode the VIN for many of the hottest musclecars. 1965-73 Mustang, '67-'71 Camaro and Firebird, '53-'74 Corvette, any 1966-70 Chrysler (Dodge, Plymouth or Chrysler), '60-'69 Fords, and '60-'65 Chevrolets, quite a comprehensive list.

Take a minute to check this out. You guys at the auctions now have one more tool to be sure that the Hemi Dart you are bidding on wasn't born with a Slant-Six! Wherever there is money, counterfeiters will surely follow and as we all know, money doesn't always come with brains attached.

Thanks to Richard Brown for the tip!

[Source: decodethis.com]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 8 Years Ago
      There's also not a whole lot of info in the VIN number. The real meat is in the body tags.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Wow, I was wondering how long it would take for someone to FINALLY gather all this info and put it into something that can be easily accessed. I have a Camaro and a Mustang "red book" but suspect these pale in comparison to what is available at this website. Kudos to the creators, and I wonder how long it will take E-Bay or Barrett-Jackson or Kruse to buy them out?
      • 8 Years Ago
      Numbers are practically useless at this point, unless you're at Barrett-Jackson looking for a priceless display piece. Restamped engines are common in the Corvette world. You can buy repro trim and VIN tags on eBay now, as well as repro dated parts.

      As for cloning: In a world where a top example of a freaking 1970 Challenger costs half a million dollars, how unscrupulous is it for a person to want to build a clone, as long as they don't try to pass it off as genuine? 99% of Hemi Cudas are advertised as clones, at prices over 75K-100K.

      Entry-level prices for Challenger, Cuda, or Corvette convertibles are in the mid 40K's. At some point, almost every base-model muscle car will probably become a clone of a more desirable model.

      $20K base model + $30K resto + $15K Hemi = $115K "tribute" car