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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2013

    Default Dealer Sold Me a "Numbers Matching" Classic Car Which Isn't Numbers Matching

    My question involves a consumer law issue in the State of: Virginia

    I bought a 1979 Pontiac Trans Am from a car dealership in Virginia. It was listed on eBay, and described as a rotisserie restored, numbers matching collector car. I bought and paid for it by sending the dealer a cashier's check, and he arranged to have it shipped to me at my home in Chandler.

    Now, four months later, I have decided to sell the car. I listed in on eBay, and was contacted by the previous owner, who restored the vehicle. He informed me that it was NOT a numbers matching car, which is significant to the value of classic collector cars. He further stated that he saw the dealer's listing on eBay that stated "numbers matching", and informed the dealer that it did not have the original engine.

    Obviously this is all hearsay, but I responded to this previous owner's email, and received a response with further details about the car, written concisely and intelligently, so I have no reason to doubt his legitimacy. Of course I can and will verify his claim, but I expect to find it to be accurate.

    Assuming that to be the case, I really don't want the hassle of taking an out-of-state car dealer to court. But I'd like to know what course of action to take to motivate the dealer to compensate me for the difference in value between numbers matching and non-numbers matching, which I fairly and conservatively estimate to be $2150 (10% of my purchase price). Which actions should I threaten the dealer with in order to convince him to compensate me?

    Thank you in advance for your consideration and advice

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2011

    Default Re: Dealer Sold Me a "Numbers Matching" Classic Car Which Isn't Numbers Matching

    You will likely find you have no case due to web site disclaimers, including the one likely on the dealers web page.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    NW of KSTL

    Default Re: Dealer Sold Me a "Numbers Matching" Classic Car Which Isn't Numbers Matching

    If you don't want the hassle of an out-of-state lawsuit, any "threats" would be quite empty and pretty much a waste of time. And, once the seller realizes you're not gonna follow through, your horse is pretty much dead at the gate.

    Looks to me like it's a case of fraudulent misrepresentation wherein the logical course of action would be to somehow get the seller to take the car back and refund the purchase price.

    But then the seller counters with the four months that have elapsed and (theoretically) you could've done anything to the car. So one has to prove that the car was misrepresented, while the other has to prove that the car has been unmolested during the course of possession.

    You're gonna need a lot of Excedrin!

    - - - Updated - - -

    Point of curiosity: How exactly was the original owner/restorer able to make the determination that an auto on EBay, allegedly in another state, was his baby to begin with? Then, what prompted his contact with you to discuss the discrepancy?

    Jus' curious.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2013

    Default Re: Dealer Sold Me a "Numbers Matching" Classic Car Which Isn't Numbers Matching

    My intent is to be knowledgeable about what course of legal action one would logically pursue, so that when I talk with the owner he might be more likely to offer me compensation to avoid the legal path. Who doesn't he want me to contact about this issue? The BBB, The state licensing board, and every website that has ratings and reviews of his dealership would be a good start...

    So, which other legal entities would govern this situation? Who would he LEAST like to hear that I'm reporting the situation to?

    Dave- As to your point of curiosity- It's a very distinctive car that 's easily identifiable in photos, and he contacted me because he saw that I was misrepresenting the car as a numbers matching vehicle, and politely told me that it wasn't, and that I shouldn't advertise it as such.

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