Skip to comments.Chevelle, Corvette cloners busted, charged with felonies
Posted on 08/02/2012 8:53:43 AM PDT by Impala64ssa
Two purveyors of fake Chevrolet muscle are looking at trials on felony charges after their respective scams fell apart.
In Columbus, Nebraska, it was a 1970 Chevelle SS 396 which the seller, Mickey Dush, allegedly bought from a Florida collector-car dealer for $37,500, equipped with a fake build sheet he bought online and a 454 of unknown vintage, and then sold as an LS6 to an Iowa man for $87,000. It wasnt until after the sale that the buyers wife found a VIN decoder and determined the cars true origins. According to the Columbus Telegram, Dushs lawyer will claim the buyer failed his due diligence in researching the car, but right now Dush is looking at theft by deception, a Class III felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison.
Investigator Gene A. True from the Nebraska State Patrol Auto Fraud Division said that its difficult to sell such white-collar crimes to prosecutors used to seeing violent crimes. When I first got this case, I told the victim it was a crime, but were going to have to sell it to a prosecutor, he said. There are shysters out there who know its safer to steal money with a pen than with a gun.
(Excerpt) Read more at blog.hemmings.com ...
I owned a ‘66 full size Chevy with the L-78 motor. It was a 396 rated at 425 horsepower at the time. Probably closer to 500 HP...
1) I didn’t realize Chevy was still selling the 396 in 1970.
2) I believe GM’s fastest car was the Buick GS455 Stage 4.
3) I had a friend who had a 454 in a land yacht 4 door Impala and it still moved along.
4) When you buy a classic car, the first thing you do is check the VIN. Ideally, you want the engine serial number to match the VIN although if you deck the block, you can punch in any number you want. The VIN tells you the trim level, the engine, the paint code, year and of course serial number. I don’t have much sympathy for someone who failed to check the VIN against the numerous Internet sites that will decode it for you. I would laugh if the engine code showed it actually came with a six cylinder.
Now that Chevy’s a divison of 0bama motors, if I ever buy another new car, I seriously thinking of going Korean, Hyundai or Kia.
I had one of those... it was amazing
Put a bullet in each knee cap, then start discussing getting totally repaid or you move to other joints. /S
Not that I am condoning that.
I believe the 396 was never rated over 400HP and the LS78 was 375.
I don’t know what year they changed the HP rating, it was rated at the crankshaft and now is real wheel HP.
I think (from memory) the 427 tri power was rated at 425. The Mopar 426 Hemi was only rated at 425 as well and the 440 6-pack was 420.
You’re right about them not releasing the real horsepower, they tried to fool the insurance companies by de-rating their engines. Didn’t work.
Yes, many car clubs know how to read the VIN’s, cowl tags and broacast sheets that were usually placed in the rear seat coils, thought oftentimes they pratically disintegrate with age. My 64 Impala was originally a 283, like most of them. A previous owner dropped a 327/250 engine in it. It looks like it came out of the factory that way, but AACA members know what to look for and can tell it’s not original.
Yeah, my '70 Chevelle had a 307, but I still loved it...
IIRC, the L-78 was rated at 425hp in the Corvette but 375hp in every other car Chevy offered it in.
I’d imagine an L-78 Vette would be rather valuable, as it was only offered in 1965...
From 1970-72 it was technically a 402, but the ones that went into the Chevelles and Camaros were still called the 396. In t he big Chevys they were called 400 big blocks. My uncle had a 71 Impala with that engine. It moved nicely for a 4500lb+ car.
“1) I didnt realize Chevy was still selling the 396 in 1970.”
Well, sort of. There was a “396” sold in Chevelles, Novas and Camaros that actually displaced 402 cubic inches. This same motor was called a 402 in their full-size cars.
“sold as an LS6 to an Iowa man for $87,000.”
“Sure, it’s a GEN-U-INE ROLEX!”
“A Fool and his money are soon parted”
I know Chevy put Big Blocks in Novas, Chevelles, and Corvettes. I don’t know if Impala (even the Super Sport) had a Big Block option. I remember trying to drop a 396 into a 66 Super Sport that had a factory 327 and finding some compatibility problems.
It used to be it wouldn’t be worth the money to try to make that conversion look legit. Nowadays the 454SS are huge dollars, especially the convertibles. When I bought my ‘70 Chevelle 25 years ago the SS were barely cracking $10-15K. To me it is the ultimate musclecar.
Unfortunately, a lot of people consider the 396 to be a second cousin compared to the 427 and this is unfair.
I forgot about the 402 big block. Anytime someone mentions a 400 Chevy I think of the 400 small block with the Siamesed bores that had a reputation for overheating although the reason was people using the wrong head gasket.
I had a truck someone dropped a 396 in. It was awesome. I love the 60s-70s Chevy trucks.
Any mid year Vette is worth a lot of money while the C3s small blocks still go for a reasonable price.
A guy with find a totally rusted out rare car that is just gone or an old race car that had everything cut out of it. Instead of repairing it they will find a rust free small block car and transfer everything over including the vins...the really smart ones will also transfer hidden, welded in vins as well but guys now are starting to remove the heater cores etc and see if the vins show signs of being welded in.
There are experts out there faking build sheets, engine block stamps etc etc.
Buyer beware especially when forking over $150-250K
I friend of mine had a 4 door ‘66 Impala he got original from his granfather that had a 396. I rebuilt the quadrajet for him and helped replace the starter.
I missed out on the musclecar era; I wasn’t old enough to drive back then, having been born in 1967. And these days I can’t afford one now that the really good ones have appreciated.
The only V8-powered car I’ve owned so far was a ‘80 Cutlass sedan with a 260 under the hood. It made less power than the 1.6L four-banger in my Miata (although it did make a lot more torque), and it still only managed about 16mpg on the highway. This car holds the dubious distinction of being the only car I’ve ever owned that caught fire. Unfortunately, we saved it from burning to the ground...
I’m pretty sure the original Impala SS could be ordered with a 427...
After doing a bit of research, it appears I misspoke. The 427 wasn’t offered until ‘66; prior to that the top engine option in the Impala SS was a 409 (through mid-’65) or a 396 (mid-’65 to the end of ‘65).
I once bought a used GMC 3500 pickup & 33’ 5th wheel RV. The truck pulled the big camper well, but I didn’t think much of it. The Jimmy had a 402 Big Block, dually’s, 11,000 lb axle, etc.
One camping trip I dropped the camper (for the first time) at the campground and went to town for groceries.
Whoooeee, that puppy would get down the road!
It's not about a Chev but a great car song nevertheless:
There was a sticker on the air cleaner that said 396/425.
The 396/425 was not uncommon in ‘65 Biscayne sedans used as drag racers.
I’m not certain, but I think my ‘66 was built in ‘65 based on the motor. It had the massive 4 bbl, solid lifters and turned in an honest 8 miles per gallon.
Seriously, I know what you mean, There are probably more ‘67 “Shelbys” and ‘65 “GTOs” on the road now than were built. Who says you can’t turn lead into gold.
My 396/425 was in a ‘66 Caprice. I was the second owner.
The first owner had ordered it in bronze/red with white buckets and automatic on the floor. Full mufflers, resonators and white wall tires completed the “dad’s car” look. Until it was fired up and the herky-jerky idle gave it away, that is.
Ah, the sweet sound of a big-block with a big cam...
The owner of a particularly nasty GTO “Judge” found out.
As long as the subject has been changed from Chevys...
I had a girl friend (as opposed to a girlfriend) back in 1966 who went with her mom to the Plymouth dealer to buy a new car. Ended up talking her mom into a 4 door 426 Hemi Fury III. (Her dad had a few word when they got home, IIRC)
Suzi was a cute strawberry blond who would delight in pulling up next to some guy at a light, smile sweetly, and proceed to blow his doors off.
We called her the “Little old lady from Pasadena”.
With fake VIN tags and fake build sheets, it’s really hard to tell what is fake and what’s genuine. Once something becomes expensive enough there will always be talented crooks who will create a fake that is pretty much as good as the original.
The early Pontiac GTO was just an option package on the Tempest, so there are no special VIN numbers for those GTOs. One automotive expert once mentioned that out of the original 32,000 1964 GTOs there were only 100,000 still in existence. Caveat Emptor indeed.
Those were the days.....
Hey, it’s 2012! Never mind the HPs, how did it rate for CO2 emissions? /sarc (I think)
whats most embarassing is that the guys wife decoded it after the sale - can you imagine the fireworks - You spent 87k on a fraud, honey - sleep on the couch
I had a girl try to blow my doors off, but she didn’t get past my rocks.
Yes, I came in here just to say that and leave. Sorry.
The 427 with three two barrels was rated at 435 hp. I had one in a ‘67 Corvette. The thing destroyed the multiple U-joints in the independent rear suspension on a regular basis, along with the left motor mount.
Hyundais are great, reliable cars.
Now that I think back, the 427 that was rated at 425 hp may have been the one with a huge Holley four barrel carb. I seriously thought of converting my 3-2 barrel to that, as the outboard carbs got constantly gunked up from lack of gas passing through. It was just too violent on city streets to be kicking in those secondaries very often. I would literally chirp the tires when they opened in 1st or 2nd gear with 60’s tires.
Once upon a time, I had a ‘67 Malibu someone had resurrected from the junkyard and did a partial “SS” on it. I still miss that car....but I hit a hard spot and had to sell it...
Yes, my lovely daughter has an 05 Accent, nothing fancy, but it’s good basic transportation, 120k miles on it and runs good as new. And I’m impressed with how smooth and comfortable it rides for such a small car.
Yeah, plenty of “womenfolk” who know a thing or two about cars. There’s some members of Girlie Girl Racing who show up at the local cruise nights from time to time. These ladies have some pretty impressive rides.
Most of the HP ratings back in the muscle car days were plainly made up.
Some over rated and some under rated.
The Dodge 440 Wedge, 426 Hemi, Ford 427 SOHC and 429 SCJ were not rated anywhere near what they would actually do.
GM rated their engines based on a hand-built blue printed engine not just something that was randomly pulled off the line and thrown on a dyno.
I was always impressed with the 396 (and 454) as torque engines but sure liked the way a small block revs and makes HP.
Not to mention the big block’s predesessors, the 348 and 409. My dad had a 59 Impala convertible w/a 348, nothing short of a Vette could beat it. But he sold it before I was old enough to drive :(