Forensic Vehicle Fraud Investigations Available by Bryan W. Shook, Esquire

July 8, 2014 · Posted in News · Comments Off on Forensic Vehicle Fraud Investigations Available by Bryan W. Shook, Esquire 

Forensic Vehicle Fraud Investigations conducted by Bryan W. Shook, Esquire

  • VIN Research (Numbers Matching, Rebodies, VIN swap, etc.)
  • Fraud/Misrepresentation
  • Breach of Contract
  • Auction Misrepresentation
  • Prior Owner Research
  • Title History
  • Acid Etching (macro-etching) to raise obliterated stampings
    • Engine Numbers
    • Confidential Vehicle Identification Numbers (VIN)
    • VIN derivatives
    • Serial Numbers
    • Chassis Numbers
  • Body Panel Date Codes/Run Numbers
  • Data Plate and Trim Tag/Cowl Tag Decoding
  • Pedigree/Provenance
  • Race History
  • Restoration Quality
  • Production Characteristics

Often times the true identity, authenticity, original options, RPO, VIN, production date, or assembly manner of a vehicle is unknown or perhaps it is called into question. Bryan W. Shook’s methodology and extensive network of resources assists with the accurate identification and authentication of vehicles. This same approach also aids in the identification of questionable vehicles and vehicle’s attributes, provenance, pedigree, options or characteristics.

To find the fakes and answer the questions raised by the vehicle takes time, diligence and most of all an extensive exploration of the vehicle itself and the supporting documentation, if any. Bryan Shook painstakingly researches the pedigree and provenance of the vehicles for which he is contracted to investigate or authenticate. If something is amiss, he will likely find it. Bryan Shook is available on short notice to forensically investigate or document your single car or entire collection. Many times Mr. Shook insists upon an in-person evaluation of the vehicle so that the nuances of the vehicle can be studied and recorded.

Authentication is proving (or disproving) what that the classic car is what the owner or seller says it is. To a layperson, the car’s body and presentation is what makes it recognizable. To successfully authenticate a vehicle the minutia must be evaluated such as aberrations in the font used to stamp vehicle identification numbers.

As a practicing licensed trial attorney and award winning vehicle restorer, Bryan W. Shook, relies upon his unique training in evaluating and weighing evidence when scrutinizing and interviewing locatable past owners. The final product and opinion of Bryan W. Shook is presented to the owner with all supporting documentation which can be merged into the vehicle’s dossier. If necessary and requested all communications and discoveries will be held with the strictest confidence.

Bryan W. Shook has also assembled what is believed to be the most complete database of information surrounding Pennsylvania Certificates of Title and historical title information. This knowledge base has proven invaluable in the research of historically important Pennsylvania vehicles.

Selected Projects to Date:

  • 1905 Thomas Model 27 60-horsepower (1st known U.S. produced 6cyl automobile)
  • 1912 Packard
  • 1913 Alco
  • 1913 Pierce Arrow
  • 1924 Rolls-Royce
  • 1929 Packard
  • 1930 duPont Model G (only known duPont with the optional aluminum cylinder head)
  • 1931 Chrysler
  • 1953 Corvette (sold for near world record price after research was completed)
  • 1961 Corvette
  • 1967 Camaro Z28 (proved early ownership history by Pennsylvania Title records)
  • 1967 Chevelle SS L78
  • 1967 Jaguar E-Type
  • 1967 Shelby GT500
  • 1969 Corvette L88
  • 1970 Chevelle LS6 convertible
  • 1972 El Camino
  • 1976 Corvette Stingray

For more information on how Bryan W. Shook, Esquire can assist you with your vehicle or collection, please call him at 717-884-9010 or email him for more information on Bryan W. Shook’s collector car practice, please visit


Rebodied Cars … what to do …

June 29, 2012 · Posted in News · Comments Off on Rebodied Cars … what to do … 

What’s the big deal???

(By: Bryan W. Shook, Esquire)


I’ve been getting quite a few calls lately seeking information on re-bodied vehicles.  The term “rebody” is a term of art used throughout our hobby to denote a vehicle whose original factory body has been replaced with another “donor” body.  The donor body is then given the original body’s VIN, serial number, data card, trim tag, cowl tag, etc. and then usually and most unfortunately sold to an unsuspecting buyer as the original, real deal automobile.  This problem is complicated when the rebodied car is an “air car” which did not exist prior to the rebody.  Specifically what happens is someone dreams up a car or has the paperwork from a desirable car and makes it from “thin air” using the donor body as the starting point.  All of a sudden, the car has pedigree, provenance and history if the builder can dream up a good enough story.  This is problematic as you can plainly see.

There are several legal issues when it comes to a rebodied automobile.  The most important issue is whether or not the rebody was disclosed to you when you purchased the vehicle.  If the rebody was not disclosed to you how can it be said you negotiated with the seller on equal footing.  Another issue comes from the fact that rarely are rebodys done properly.  Were the police notified of the body replacement as required under some state laws?  Did the seller give you two Certificates of Titles?  (Remember the best bodies come from good cars and in today’s day and age, good cars get restored … was the body stolen and the subject vehicle the product of a “chop shop”)  Did the seller give you photographs of the original body to evidence the condition of the original body?  Do you have confirmation that the original body has been destroyed? (This is usually where the State Police come in as this is where the stories start about two cars registered under the same VIN)

Without the safeguards outlined above, you can never been shore that the vehicle you purchased truly belongs to you.  Under the law you would have a breach of the warranty of title claim if any third party were to ever come after you claiming you own the body to their car.  The problem is  that if you know the car has been rebodied and you can’t provide the above information to a new purchaser you could be just as liable as the seller who sold the car to you should you not disclose what you know to a prospective purchaser.

If you have a rebodied car or think you do, this is a serious matter.  Rebodied cars can be nearly unsaleable and always have questions.  There was way to rectify the situation and there are ways to unwind the transaction which unknowingly left you with the rebody.  In any event, please call me and we can discuss your options and to what extent your car may have been rebodied.

Attorney Bryan W. Shook is not only a devoted automotive enthusiast, but is also an experience litigator who devotes a large portion of his law practice to helping other collectors and hobbyists understand today’s market and protect their automotive investments. Attorney Bryan W. Shook is a seasoned automotive collector and restorer and as such brings real world experience and firsthand knowledge to the table for his clients throughout the world. Although Bryan Shook is headquartered in Camp Hill, Pennsylvania (close proximity to Carlisle and Hershey), Attorney Bryan Shook is available anywhere for consultation, advice, and information, most times, on as short as a day’s notice. If you’d like more information about this topic or would like to speak with Attorney Bryan W. Shook please email him at or by phone at 717-884-9010.  More information can be found at Http://

Bid with Knowledge; Buy with Confidence – Vintage Car Law