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No matter how hard you try, you can't out run the Internet. Just ask Bobby Patton. The man thought he could pull a quick one by representing a 1965 Chevrolet Chevelle as an incredibly rare, incredibly valuable Z16.

For those of us who aren't soaked in obscure General Motors model history, Z16 models featured brakes lifted from full-size sedans of the day, a unique rear axle, a stiffer boxed frame borrowed from a convertible and a uniquely trimmed L37 396 V8. Other details like special trim work, badges, VINs and various engine and axle stampings help identify the hopped up Malibu models from their kin.

Patton missed the memo on those details, apparently, opting instead to slap some 396 badges on the fender and call it a day. While that may have been enough to fool a local car show judge, it became an issue when he listed the coupe on an auction site for $100,000. Jeff Helms, the owner of a site dedicated to nothing but Z16 models, quickly pointed out that the Chevelle boasted a fake VIN copied from a photo on his website. Patton then attempted to defend himself, saying he bought the car that way.

Patton closed the auction after four days, but not before the Ohio State Patrol got wind of the suspicious '65. Officers contacted the previous owner, who proved the car had been sold with 327 emblems. It didn't take long for Patton to face charges of Tampering with Records, Possessing Criminal Tools, Telecommunications Fraud and Attempted Simulation. He pleaded guilty to the first charge and received two years of probation. Head over to Hemmings for the full tale, and remember, the Internet is watching.


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  • 44 Comments
      • 3 Years Ago
      [blocked]
      • 3 Years Ago
      [blocked]
        EXP Jawa
        • 3 Years Ago
        He didn't simply swap VINs from an existing car, he fabricated the VIN tag, making up the number by changing the code identifiers, and it didn't fit in the GM sequence. The body number was what was copied from the website photo, but those are sequential as well, so it was another red flag since the car it specified was known. It sounds like he had host of details wrong too, so folks figured out the scam real quick.
      svntsvn
      • 2 Years Ago
      dumb ass. enough said
      1STH
      • 3 Years Ago
      oh no! 1st world problems!
      stclair5211
      • 3 Years Ago
      We have a president with a fake birth certificate and nobody has moved on that, but a fake car gets state police attention? Amazing. It's been proven folks. Different typewriters, pixels are off, words not lined up right. Incredibly obvious forgery if you just drop the politics and actually look at the evidence.
        downshift
        • 3 Years Ago
        @stclair5211
        You probably also think the earth is flat don't you? You are nothing but white trash more than likely. Go back into your bubble where you belong.
        Michael James Halone
        • 2 Years Ago
        @stclair5211
        no only things thats been proven is nut cases like you should be on there meds or locked up
      breakfastburrito
      • 3 Years Ago
      I'm used to getting ripped off. Why just this afternoon, the picture of the hamburger on the wall at Mc'Donalds was this big, giant, moist, beautiful picture of carnivorous delight. I ended up with a brown sponge between two wooden dowels.
        EXP Jawa
        • 3 Years Ago
        @breakfastburrito
        Yet, that was your choice. You knew what you were getting for your money, thus, you were not defrauded of it.
      Al Terego
      • 3 Years Ago
      Well-well-well, where are all the pro-American, anti-Chinese trolls now!?!? Just goes to show you all that counterfeiting isn't limited to a certain group... 'Merka, F**K YEAH!!
      DC Mike
      • 3 Years Ago
      Now, if only we could start pressing charges on dumba__es with "TypeR" badges.
      jake
      • 3 Years Ago
      I always laugh when I see a fiero decked out in Ferrari trim or an A4 with S4 badges. This guy, though, took it to a whole new level.Although, I must say, they did seem to throw the book at him a little harshly.
        EXP Jawa
        • 3 Years Ago
        @jake
        Well, the difference is that trying to profit by passing off a fake as a genuine article is fraud, no matter whether its a car or some other collectible or antique. Fraud deserves to be punished.
          jake
          • 3 Years Ago
          @EXP Jawa
          I agree, I just don't think you guys understand the implications of the charged pending. Which could, if the prosecutor is harsh, put him away for quite some time. It just seems a little heavy for something that could've happened, but was caught before it did. In no way am I arguing for his innocence.
          EXP Jawa
          • 3 Years Ago
          @EXP Jawa
          Well, I can't be certain, but I would think that fraud is fraud; the act of perpetrating it is the unlawful part, even if he didn't actually sucker anyone. By representing the car as something it wasn't, offering it for sale as such, and trying to defend his claims, he committed a criminal act, fraud did occur. The only thing prevented was someone getting sucked into it. but that's just my interpretation of it. Either way, he got off relatively light. He could've been imprisoned, but rather got off with probation.
      mikelee
      • 3 Years Ago
      I'd have the car scrapped(!)
      AcidTonic
      • 3 Years Ago
      Back when I had 1997 Mustang Cobra before falling in love with the Evo, nothing was more irritating than finding some V6 Mustang with Cobra badges. Hell in the hood they put those badges on just about anything... Impala, trucks, you name it. Too bad those people aren't being prosecuted for slapping fake badges on their cars. As someone who paid good money for the real thing, it's annoying. But since then I've found much better cars to obsess over and no longer even care about looks or sound. Raw performance or go home for me.
        EXP Jawa
        • 3 Years Ago
        @AcidTonic
        People can dress up or deck out their personal cars anyway they want, why should it matter to us? If it makes them happy, even if you and I think it makes them look like a wannbe, all the power to them. Even though I think that "Type-R" Cavaliers are silly, the only issue I take with it is if they try to pass it off as something legit, like this guy did. You see the same with vintage bicycles, people trying to pass off a Typhoon as a Phantom or Jaguar, etc. But otherwise, whatever. I've more important things to worry about...
      jake
      • 3 Years Ago
      Ahhh, can't even say one fuckin thing before all the trolls come out and give their two cents. Go eat ****.
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