9:15 A.M. Labor Day.
I get a surprise message on Facebook this morning from a guy who bought an old Volvo 940 wagon from me nearly six years ago.
“That BMW? What did it go for?”
A month ago, I posted this article regarding the grey market Bimmer. It had sold on the block for a mere $2,300 due in part to a broken odometer. I clicked on the Ebay listing hoping for a fair disclosure. Instead I got…
No disclosure of the fact that Carmax had sold it earlier as, “Not Actual Miles” and “Odometer Inop”.
A 16 digit VIN listed instead of the actual VIN number on the vehicle.
From my side of the fence, it’s the dealer that bears the responsibility of telling their audience about any title and mileage issues. It can be a tricky line in our professional world.
Some folks are not willing to hear out anything that someone else may have done in error. The 16 digit VIN listed on this vehicle’s title is obviously not correct. Go to the last picture, and you’ll see that the 10th digit of the VIN is without an ‘H’ that signifies a 1987 model and that the title lists this vehicle as having 6 cylinders, which is also incorrect.
However these were just two small ingredients in the recipe of mistakes and omissions. When I checked for the databases I use for vehicle histories, nothing popped up. I did find out through this decoder that the vehicle was actually produced in September 1986. But inserting a ‘G’ as the 10th digit generations nothing.
As someone who has traveled the country liquidating 10,000 vehicles a year, and even bought grey market cars, I can’t say I have ever seen anything quite like this. 16 digits on the title? A close-up of the VIN on the vehicle would add wonders to this seller’s audience, and perhaps their ability to verify the miles.
Mileage issues are nothing new in the world that is older used cars. Dealer auctions sometimes have to deal with sellers who think that an exempt car, a car that is 10 years or older, doesn’t have to have known mileage issues disclosed.
They do. It’s required by law. Though I don’t believe the folks at Bring A Trailer have anything but the best of intentions for classic car enthusiasts, at least now they have an extra incentive to verify VIN numbers when the opportunity to do so is there.
They have been contacted and hopefully their article and the Ebay listing will be amended.
This saga brings on a more personal question. What was the most misrepresented vehicle you ever saw in your life? Sometimes auctions will get the details wrong as we witnessed in the earlier post about this car. Some of them will go through thousands of cars over the course of the year, so that’s understandable.
But a guy who bought and kept a car like this with ‘True Miles Unknown’ announced on the block, and written on the bill of sale? So many unusual coincidences in one listing? What says you?
Special thanks to John Dillingham, a long-time fellow brick enthusiast and all around good guy, for tracking down the listing.