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


The Sincere Definition of Numbers Matching

January 2, 2011 · Posted in News · Comments Off on The Sincere Definition of Numbers Matching 

Numbers Matching: From a Legal Standpoint

By:  Bryan W. Shook, Esquire


A seller, an auction house, a broker, etc., all have express duties to not mislead buyers.  It is the presentation that entices and induces a prospective buyer to make an offer or bid on a car.  Often included within this presentation is the phrase “numbers matching”.  Rarely in any field does a single term mean so much; in the field of car collecting, the term “numbers matching” means everything; or does it?

The phrase “numbers matching” was coined an untold number of years ago to describe a vehicle which retained its original driveline (i.e. the driveline that was installed into the vehicle during its initial assembly at its manufacturer’s plant).  Specifically and most important in this definition is the engine; as this is the single most important aspect of a vehicle’s originality.  There are some in the hobby, however that would have you believe that the phrase “numbers matching” has parted ways with its original and understood definition.  These individuals would have you believe that the phrase “numbers matching” means that the driveline, has numbers appearing on its components, that look as though they could have been placed on there during the initial assembly process on the manufacturer’s line.  This is where the issue with restamped engines and transmissions becomes ever apparent.

This disingenuous play on words is polluting our hobby.

Numbers Matching means ORIGINAL; the phrase and the meaning of “numbers matching” have never parted company.  Numbers matching still means, as it always has, that the engine, transmission and rear axle are original to that particular vehicle.  For the phrase to have any other meaning would render it flawed and unnecessary.  The use of the phrase “numbers matching” in a disingenuous fashion opens the seller to a high level of legal exposure.  The buyer who learns after he purchases the vehicle that the vehicle, is not “as advertised”, has the right to revoke his acceptance of the vehicle and enjoys many protections that come along with legal revocation.  For example, these protections could include a statutorily created security interest in the vehicle up to the amount paid for the vehicle, plus certain expenses and other damages.

Any misleading use of the phrase “numbers matching” blackens the eye of the hobby.  The only reason one would use such a deceitful definition of “numbers matching” would be in a calculated attempt to mask the true nature of the vehicle for self-serving purposes.  This ultimately has a negative impact on the hobby. 

For more information on what your rights are in such a transaction, please call or email me, I would be more than happy to discuss this or any other matter concerning car collecting with you.

Bryan W. Shook, Esquire is a licensed Pennsylvania lawyer.  Attorney Shook’s office is headquartered in central Pennsylvania although his practice takes him across the country. During his career, Attorney Bryan Shook has become a powerful advocate for his clients and one of the foremost collector, antique and automotive fraud and misrepresentation attorneys in the country. He has successfully tried as well as amicably resolved cases throughout the United States.  Bryan Shook can be reached by e-mail at or by phone at 717-884-9010. 

Bid with Knowledge; Buy with Confidence – Vintage Automotive

Mid Atlantic Regional NCRS Meet – Gettysburg, PA – May 6-9-2010

April 27, 2010 · Posted in News · Comments Off on Mid Atlantic Regional NCRS Meet – Gettysburg, PA – May 6-9-2010 


By: Bryan W. Shook, Esquire



Call all Corvette enthusiasts, after a long winter’s wait, the Mid-Atlantic Chapter of the National Corvette Restorers Society is hosting the Gettysburg Regional NCRS Meet on May 6-8, 2010.  This is a can’t miss event for East Coast Corvette Enthusiasts.

Several special vehicles are scheduled to be on display including a low mileage, all original, Polo Green, 1994 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 formerly of the Chip Miller Collection.  The car’s current owner, Andrew Saft of Harrisburg, is proud to offer this important ZR1 for flight judging.  Corvettes released from the prized Chip Miller Collection have been known throughout the hobby for years for their quality, provenance and pedigree.  This NCRS appearance represents a coming out of sorts for the current Saft Collection ZR1.  While ANY ZR1 is exciting both to see and drive, this particular all original ZR1 is sure to please the spectators and enthusiasts that get an opportunity to view it at the 2010 Mid-Atlantic Regional Meet next week.

 The NCRS flight process is not a process to be taken lightly, only the best cars are awarded flight awards and any owner who leaves Gettysburg with such an award has surely added much deserved province to his or her beloved Corvette.  Best of Luck!

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.  Attorney Bryan Shook is available throughout the United States for consultation, advice, and information. If you’d like more information about this topic or would like to speak with Attorney Bryan W. Shook please email him at


NCRS # 51181


Bid with knowledge. Buy with confidence. – Vintage Car Law