• Jul 9th 2010 at 1:28PM
  • 48
Classic Recreations Ford Mustang GT500CR – Click above for high-res image gallery

The crew from Classic Recreations, LLC is in hot water. The shop has been cranking out amazingly clean reproductions of the Gone in 60 Seconds "Eleanor" Ford Mustang and other sharp ponies for years now, but according to the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation, the company may also be guilty of VIN fraud. According to the city's KOCO TV station, officials are charging that the shop has been pulling VIN numbers from older cars and then attaching them to new chassis. That process is illegal to begin with, but investigators claim that Classic Recreations then presented the new cars as the original articles – something that amounts to fraud.

The owner of the shop denies all wrong doing. Either way, the OSBI has begun towing certain vehicles from the shop in order to discern which ones are shady. No one has been arrested just yet, but we're guessing it won't be too long before charges, civil or otherwise, are filed against the company.

Classic Recreations has been turning plain fastback Mustangs into updated versions of their most high-strung iterations for a good while and charging heady figures for the work – up to $200,000 in some instances.

UPDATE: Classic Recreations has issued a press release concerning the allegations. Owner Jason Engel said,
"The quote attributed to Jason Engel in a single local Oklahoma news report is second hand information that was misquoted by the local media outlet. Classic Recreations denies any and all wrongdoing. Like thousands of other restoration shops and hobbyists across the country, Classic Recreations builds vintage cars with original and aftermarket parts - the restoration marketplace should pay attention to what is happening here. The shop has built a reputation for building the highest quality vehicles and delivering unrivaled customer satisfaction and will continue to do so in the future."
Click past the jump to see the full text.

[Source: KOCO]

Show full PR text

The following statement is from custom car builder Classic Recreations regarding recent news reports from Oklahoma City based media outlets.

Yukon, Okla. (July 9, 2010) – Classic Recreations has an excellent reputation and has always provided its customers with a quality product that is among the finest in the world. We are working with local authorities and are anxious to clear up any misconceptions and erroneous information currently in the news. We are a family-run business that is proud of our hard-earned reputation for honesty and superior craftsmanship, and are confident that this misunderstanding will be cleared up quickly.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      Didn't Boyd Coddington get nailed for the same thing? Anything for a buck........
        • 5 Years Ago
        No ..what he was doing was building cars at a cost of 100 thousand and the owners were telling DMV thay paid 10 thousand....you will go to jail for that.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Yes, the late-not-so-great Boyd did indeed get a visit from the authorities for that.
      • 5 Years Ago
      "didnt know it was illegal" LOL. weak excuse. he shouldve just said no comment.
      Laura Lynn
      • 5 Years Ago
      The only one I would trust with my classic car is Chip Foose.
      • 5 Years Ago
      it should be illegal to spend 200K on this ugly movie car.
        • 5 Years Ago
        OK, I'll agree with the $200k part, but the ugly part? That car is hot.
        • 5 Years Ago
        its lame and done to death ...and it looks like a 60s Mustang with a modern fiberglass bodykit, which it is, I guess.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Ohhh, you mean kinda like a mini is like an old mini, but with an updated motor, suspension, handling and some new body panels. Got it. it is getting a bit old isn't it?
      • 5 Years Ago
      He didn't know it was illegal?!?!?

      Is that a joke?

      Wow...just wow. I'd be pissed if I purchased an automobile from them.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Yes, it is a joke, that's why it's crossed through in the article. AB writers do this a lot. Adds a humorous line of subtext that's not as played out as *cough* *cough*
      • 5 Years Ago
      I'm in OKC, and know this company over the years, over many TV interviews and national coverage. They had an idea of rebuilding existing chassis, to zero time with fords permission and adding new production numbers to the ford mustang roles, not swapping them. Basically coming out with a hand built ford "Eleanore" from the movie. why the heck it took OKC what?, 5-8 years to figure a way to screw with somebody that makes a heck of a lot of money. I have no idea, other than pure greed for the court system. Its a "duh" move, the people who buy these cars KNOW they were original POS.
      • 5 Years Ago
      "The owner of the shop has admitted to knowing that the VIN swapping was going on, but claims that he didn't know that the move was illegal."

      Riiiiiiiiight. Unfortunately for him ignorance of the law does not excuse you.

      Of course I shot him officer, but I didn't know it was illegal!
        • 5 Years Ago
        How does a guy running a car shop not know this? Either this is complete BS (most likely) or he's really, really stupid. Anyone, even non-car folks, with half a brain would know swaping the identity of anything is most likely wrong.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Serious question: Do all of you guys read AB on your cell phone? All these comments based on a joke the writer crossed out in the article. AB writers do this all the time. Why did everyone take this one seriously.
        • 5 Years Ago
        @ Corner49

        It was not struck out when I read it.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Well, innocent until proven guilty. Let's wait until the investigation turns up conclusive proof instead of just crucifying them.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Was the VIN physically pulled from the old machine I wonder? Or did they just find a database of defunct VINs or something.

        If it's the former then it'd seem to bring up the "ship of Thesius" philosophical paradox. It poses the question of having two identically-designed ships--an old original, and one new--where you swap every single part until the old ship becomes the new. Is the old ship no longer the original?

        In other words, how much of the old, original chassis do you need for it to not be considered VIN swapping? Can you swap out everything else but the chassis? It's a question that always interested me with respect to old/rare cars.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Heck, I learned that VIN swapping was illegal as a child when I first saw "Gone in 60 Seconds". The 1974 original, I mean.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I have restored a couple of cars, by the time you get done restoring a 60's car you have a new car anyways. when do you call it too much? Believe me, all the good, rust free, classic muscle cars are picked over, that is why they make every panel available for them. my current 68 fastback mustang is getting new floors, quarter panels, fenders, hood, bumbers, roof, doors, drive train, dash, etc. etc.. And yes I HAD TO PULL THE VIN TAG OFF THE DASH WHEN I REPLACED IT! does this mean I am committing a crime because I had to replace all the rusted out metal????
      If you have never restored a 60 year old pile of rust you should not be so quick to hang someone.
        • 5 Years Ago
        The issue is most cars have federal regulations it must meet to be roadworty.

        A VIN is the first step to showing the car is roadworthy.

        Do I want to be on the road with a 5 ton RV that some joker that THINKS he know's what he's doing builds?

        Same thing with a ground up car. I'm all for wrenching on a car, but we are way beyond building backyard cars.

        Anyone that can afford one of these cars can afford to buy one from someone that follows the regulations.
        • 5 Years Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      Is this what they did in the original Gone in 60 Seconds with that Orange Challenger? so now, they just need to get a tow truck, steal all the fraud cars, and bring them to the crusher. Hopefully huge bad ass car chases will follow.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Recreations or reproductions themselves are kind of a fraud.
      Trying to turn an everyday grocery getter into the performance model by installing the performance parts doesnt make it the performance model. I think it has to be factory born to be real.
      Swapping vins still doesnt make it real.
      Once a fake always a fake.
      Dan O\'Hara
      • 5 Years Ago
      I heard from one of Bob Toto's employees in Tampa Fl that they have been orderes by Bob to dothe very same thing.Also they take your new part and relace it with old parts.See Rip off Reports .com or just Google Bob Toto
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