by Mike –
Like in the traditional art world collector cars have appreciated in value and developed a large enough following that it is profitable for unscrupulous people to create fake cars and sell them as real cars.
Assuming you are inclined to pass off a fake collector car as a genuine real car, you have a fake car that looks close to real and you have created documentation that supports the story you want to tell – here are some methods to promote and help create a false history and sense of security for the unsuspecting buyer.
Naturally, I am not suggesting this be done by anyone, I am trying to help honest buyers be aware of how they might be fooled.
How To Promote A Fake Car As If It Were Genuine
Create a fake history that seems plausible.
Publicize the fake history in publications like classic car web sites and car magazines that in the future will provide some “credibility” for the fake car.
Write your own book and include the fake car.
List the fake car at an auction company that does not check the history very closely and even if the car doesn’t sell you have the auction catalog with your history written down (anything in an official publication adds credibility to the story).
Have the fake car shown at a well known Concours d’Elegance – the more prestigious the better. No need to win a prize – just be there with a description and photo in the catalog. I call this “laundering” the fake car. It is being authenticated by a prestigious organization.
Advertise the fake car in broadly read publications like Hemmings, or many of the classic car magazines – not for the purpose of selling but for creating a history trail.
Advertise the fake on eBay with a very high reserve and pull the ad before the auction ends. This helps create a “buzz” around the fake car.
Create a YouTube video publicizing how important this fake car is and work to have it published by collector car web sites.
Comment in popular classic car forums and blogs and mention your fake car and have some way of identifying your car and use this many times so when the car comes to market it will be remembered. Something like “this car was found many years ago on Cyprus”.
Find a way to have your fake car featured on a television show. This is not easy but certainly adds credibility.
Advertise your fake car at a price that is 30% to 40% less than a real version is worth which will be much more than the fake car is really worth.
Advertise a car for sale that you don’t really have but is close to the fake you do want to sell. When prospective buyers call tell them the car has sold but you have another one they may like (known as bait and switch).