While he lives the enviable life of a rock star, from time to time Maroon 5 singer Adam Levine has proved that he’s still human after all. And this time he claims that he got scammed with a fake classic car.
It recently came out that Levine is launching a $950,000 lawsuit against California collectible automobile dealer claiming the dealer sold him a fake classic car.
And to make matters worse, according to the lawsuit, Levine traded in two of his bonafide classic Ferraris for the one fake car! This is a great cautionary tale for all of us luxury car lovers. It could happen to any one of us.
So how, exactly, do you avoid buying a fake classic luxury car?
Let’s take a look at what the experts are saying about how you can avoid such a fiasco.
Buying a pre-owned luxury car can be a great investment. However, if the car is counterfeit it can wind up being virtually worthless in terms of what you paid for it.
Richard Reina, product training director at CARiD.com, recently spoke to Yahoo News about how to spot a fake luxury classic car.
Here’s what he had to say about handling various instances you might encounter:
The seller claims the car is a high-performance model.
High-performance cars are those that offer speed and power. They’re sleek, aerodynamic, and very much in demand. It’s not out of the question for a seller to tell you that a car is a Shelby, a classic Pontiac GTO, or a Chevy SS and expect you to just take their word for it,” according to the article. Keep in mind that the burden of proof is on the seller, he suggests, and also do your own research. “It’s up to the seller to show you that their car is truly what they claim it is, Richard Reina of CARiD.com said. But it’s important that you know what to look for. Reina suggests asking for all identifying numbers from the car, including the VIN, data plates, and engine stampings, along with any other identifying info. “If you’re just starting your classic car collection, you should know there are reference books for you to check out and organizations like the Antique Automobile Club of America and the Classic Car Club of America that you can join to get assistance in your research,” he told Yahoo News.
Moral of the story: If you can’t prove that the car is truly the model the seller claims it to be, let it. go.
The seller claims that an older car is all original and has never been restored.
Cars that have never been worked on (and worked on again) are, of course, worth more than those that have been, Reina told the out. But keep in mind that if something seems too good to be true it probably is, he says. If the seller can’t point to specific evidence that the car is still in its original condition, that’s a big problem. It may be time to take a closer look. “On newer cars — built roughly after 1980 — obtain a CarFax or similar report, which should document repair history,” Reina said. If the car is older than that you may have to dig deeper. “Examine the paint for tell-tale signs of a repaint, such as overspray. Look at all the glass: the manufacturer’s mark should be the same on every piece and should be as original. Upholstery should match what the car’s new brochure would show,” Reina said. A car from, say, the 1960s, is not going to look factory fresh. “Expect to see normal wear-and-tear commensurate with the vehicle’s age,” Reina added.
Moral of the story: Always take a closer look.
A seller claims that the entire Drivetrain has been upgraded.
If you have a passion for power and speed then an upgraded powertrain may sound like a good thing. But if you also want something that is “untouched” then an upgraded classic car may not be feasible. Another problem is that the upgrade not be real or be done correctly, according to Reina. The solution according to Reina, is to get documentation. In other words, ask for the paperwork. “Unless you perform your own teardown, you can’t see inside these components [that make up the drivetrain],” Reina said. “What documentation does the seller have to prove such work was done? If none, be very wary.” He also suggests looking at the engine and seeing if it looks rebuilt to ensure you’re not getting scammed with a fake classic car. “A shop which takes pride in its work will show via fresh paint, new gaskets, and not a drop of fluid leakage anywhere.”
Moral of the story: Always be willing to walk away.
From our perspective, the best way to acquire a pre-owned luxury car — not to mention peace of mind — is to make it a Brand Approved Certified Pre-Owned Vehicle.
Take, for instance, Porsche Approved Certified Pre-Owned vehicles. They are inspected by factory-trained technicians who conduct a 100+ point mechanical and visual inspection, using original Porsche parts. Each vehicle must pass this rigorous inspection before it can be eligible for enrollment into the Porsche Approved Program. Current model year vehicles and those of eight previous model years with less than 100,000 miles are eligible for enrollment.
Porsche Approved Certified Pre-Owned Limited Warranty covers up to 6 years with Unlimited Miles* from the original in-service date if the vehicle is still under the new car limited warranty at the time of purchase.
For vehicles no longer under the new vehicle limited warranty at the time of used retail delivery, Porsche Approved Certified Pre-Owned Limited Warranty coverage extends until the earlier of: 2 years from the date of used retail delivery with Unlimited Miles.* The program also provides Unlimited Miles 24 hour Porsche Roadside Assistance and no deductible.**
Additional warranty features include:
- A Porsche Approved Certified Pre-Owned vehicle has a clean vehicle history report.
- Your Porsche Approved Certified Pre-Owned vehicle has been inspected by factory-trained technicians who conducted a 111+ point mechanical and cosmetic inspection.
- Porsche Approved Certified Pre-Owned vehicles have had all repairs and reconditioning carried out in line with the strict quality inspection standards.
- Porsche Cars N.A. will repair or replace with a new or remanufactured part any factory-installed part that is faulty in material workmanship under normal use.
- Your Porsche Approved Certified Pre-Owned Limited Warranty is honored in the continental United States and Canada.
- Your Porsche Approved Certified Pre-Owned vehicle also comes with Unlimited Miles 24 hour Porsche Roadside Assistance, for the duration of warranty coverage.
- Porsche Approved Certified Pre-Owned vehicles. The Porsche experience at a price that might surprise you. For more information, contact us.
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