And now a little salty food for thought.
In the case of most American muscle cars, when you talk rebody, we’re not talking about recreating a hand-built Hispano Suiza body of which only 3 were built. We’re talking about identical bodies that numbered in the tens to hundreds of thousands. With few exceptions, all were production cars built on the same assembly line having the identical body, frame and most of the mechanical parts in common with grandma’s 6 banger with the addition of a few special parts bolted, welded, sprayed, screwed or glued on. In other words, our blessed Holy Grail muscle cars now going for 6 to 7 figures, are a set of options and nothing more. There are many “VIN Swapped” cars out there that are done so well, not even the best expert could tell the difference from the original. Other than the swapping of the VIN stamping, The process is identical to restoring a car with it’s original parts. Think about it. No car that has had a nut and bolt, rotisserie resto is original as it rolled off the assembly line. I mean, is that Tonawanda 396 you just completely tore down really still a Tonawanda motor anymore? In the case of the American muscle car, sure there are things like torque boxes, brackets, gussets etc. whoopee. You have undone everything that made the car original and unique, which was its hand assembly. For all intents, a carefully built VIN swapped car using a pile of numbers-matching OEM parts is every bit as authentic as a completely and correctly restored hemicuda other than the set of stamps the guy at the factory smacked your core support and drip rail with. But oh! There’s something magic about it coming from the factory with that stamp and bolted together that way that makes it twice as valuable as a “rebody”, right?
But alas, I jerk your chain. I agree whole heartedly with the article. Rebodying for any reason is really risky business and in many cases, illegal or at the very least unethical. It hurts our hobby. Don’t do it and buyer beware.