by Mike –
We have read on My Car Quest recently about a couple of classic car selling scams. They have both been Ferraris (a Dino 246 GT and a Ferrari 330 GTC). This is a coincidence because I saw these same type of schemes many years ago on eBay for non-Ferrari classic cars.
Aston Martin DB5
Once there was a beautiful Aston Martin DB5 listed on eBay that looked liked it would be welcome at any Concours d’Elegance with a buy it now price of $10,000. The wheels were worth more than that.
I reported this to eBay and the listing was soon removed but eBay never let me know what happened, it is their policy. They do not want the bad publicity that goes with having a selling scam.
1965 Shelby GT350
In another eBay listing there was a beautiful 1965 Shelby GT350, chassis number 5S 046. Wow, I thought a “double digit” 1965 GT350!
The seller insisted that all bidders send an email to him first and get his permission to bid. I thought this was odd so I ignored this request and placed a bid.
As he had promised he deleted all bids, even though there was one $500,000 bid. Someone else had figured out that this was not a real seller and now I was sure too because $500,000 was well above what this GT350 was worth.
I sent him an email and received a story similar to the stories we have seen in the two bargain Ferrari ads. It went like this:
“I bought the car in the US and had it shipped to Germany to use as my daily driver because I am in the US military and I moved to Germany. Now that I am here I have decided to sell the car and it is best to sell it to someone in the US.”
I asked “can you send me copies of any documents, like the title?”
“No, the car is locked in a shipping container and all of the documents are with the car”.
This is a clear sign of a hustle.
So, naturally I started bidding and won the bid at $110,000 which is close to one-third what this car was worth at that time.
I then received elaborate instructions on how to pay for the car and how there would be a guarantee and return privileges if I did not like the car and so on.
I reported this to eBay and this listing was soon removed.
The real Shelby GT 350 No. 5S 046
About two weeks later I went to the Palo Alto Concours d’Elegance where there were several Shelby GT350s on display. I looked at all of them as usual and I always look at the VIN tag if the hood is up.
Maybe you have guessed by now that Shelby GT350 No. 5S 046 was at this event and the photos here are of 5S 046 taken on that day. What are the odds?
I had a talk with the wife of the owner and told her that I just bought this car on eBay, although I had not yet paid for it. I would be happy to pay the $110,000 now and drive the GT350 home, she laughed.
She then said that a friend had told her that this car was listed on eBay but they did not know what to do.
What can we do?
Report these scams to the owners of the listing site as I did with eBay and the recent Dino 246 GT listing. They want to know if there is anything improper on their sites.
Remember if the deal seems too good to be true it likely is, be careful out there and buyer beware. And oh, don’t be stupid, I don’t know what else to say.
If you have seen a classic car scam or been caught up in one let us know about it in the Comments.
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