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Classic Recreations Shelby GT500CR - Click above for high-res image gallery

Last summer, Classic Recreations, the builder of the Shelby-licensed GT500CR, was accused of VIN fraud and was under investigation by the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation. Fortunately, unlike a previous company associated with continuation Shelby Mustangs, Classic Recreations was absolved of all wrongdoing, although at the time, the methods of restoring classic cars with new parts were still a gray area.

While Classic Recreations may have had to deal with bad PR and worried customers, the whole fiasco has actually led to something that will benefit many of the restoration shops throughout Oklahoma. A bill unanimously passed in the state legislature earlier this month, SB 38, now clearly sets guidelines for the restoration of classic cars with new or aftermarket parts. A company can now use new body panels if:

  • Starter car must have a clean title, not a salvage
  • Replacement panels and/or body must be licensed by the OEM manufacturer
  • Replacement body must be the same as the original body (year/make/model)
  • Builder will have to pay "rebody" fee
  • They will be issued a new title with an asterisk and the word "rebody" on it

The new law seems to be a good compromise that allows for the clearly defined use of new parts while maintaining the spirit (and legality) of the original car.



[Source: Classic Recreations, Oklahoma State Legislature]


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  • 14 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      .........................................I can see how this helps but how it also sucks...
        • 4 Years Ago
        Yeah, exactly the point. Maybe it should just state "VIN swapped" in the title. Would it drive down value? Sure, probably, but the only people who would care about that would be die hard collectors. Personally, I'd rather have a "clone" of a rare musclecar that I could beat the snot out of and drive everyday than something I felt responsible for "preserving".
        • 4 Years Ago
        @ Gruv,

        I get that too - especially when you would like to "restomod" a classic with updated parts (like disk brakes for old drums...), it's just that some schlub will get hurt because some "investment" he made actually wound up being a "fraud" as opposed to a machine to drive and enjoy.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Yeah, I don't get it. If I buy a rusty but complete Cuda AAR, and a worn but solid regular barracuda, take them to my shop, and swap all the parts over, including the VIN, why does that not "count"? I really don't see the harm in swapping vins, if it is done professionally, and not to "fake" a repair like the original gone in 60 seconds.
      • 4 Years Ago
      It was a shame a reputable builder got accused like that. Its supposed to be innocent until proven guilty, but when its splashed all over the news that doesnt happen.
      Thomas Thom
      • 4 Years Ago
      In order to maintain the exact year , make , and model of the original vehicle you must use a licensed by the original manufacture body. I understand completely. You wouldn't want a fake body being called an original. Great job Oklahoma
      • 4 Years Ago
      When Oklahoma legislators aren't out chasing their sisters, they come up with crap like this bill. Don't they realize that there are hundreds of defunct makers, assemblers and coachbuilders who can't certify any swap meet or barn find part? Do we have to dig up Errett Cord to put his bony stamp on a Auburn, Cord or Duesenberg fender?
      May a twister take them all.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Is this just a problem in Oklahoma, or in other states? I'm curious as to how it works, cuz I watch shows like Street Customs sometimes, and recently they had an episode where they took a '69 Camero body and put it on the chassis of a 2008 GTO. How would the problems Classic Recreations had affect a build like that, say if WCC was in OK instead of CA?
        • 4 Years Ago
        Just to be picky, but they didn't make a 2008 GTO. So I'd REALLY wonder about THAT VIN...
      • 4 Years Ago
      I understand that this proposed law is in good spirits, but it's still way too tight IMO. Why must the panels be licensed by the manufacturer? What if the manufacturer doesn't exist anymore? And why does it have to be the same as the original car? That sounds like it'd cause some fuss for the more extreme hotrodders...
      • 4 Years Ago
      I see all sorts of unintended consequences for individual restorers in this. The law may be designed to give legal cover to a company like Classic Recreations, but it could really screw up some poor schmo just trying to build a nice MGB in his garage.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Why doesn't ford just make them again? Make them to meet new safety regulations but keep the same body, engine and feel. The new mustang is nothing compared to the old one anyway.
        mbmorrow4
        • 4 Years Ago
        There isn't much of a way to making a new car that meets all modern regs and safety reqs feel like an old car. Look at the current Dodge Challenger. It looks close to the '70 model, but it has a completely different feel to it. That's not a bad thing really. If you've spent much time driving a 40+ y.o. car, you appreciate the advances of the last 4 decades.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Lets get real, the only reason they passed this is the creation of the "rebody fee".
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