Following the various threads on this subject has been quite disturbing to me. I was taught early on to trust people unless they prove otherwise. It always bothers me though when I come upon a life lesson such as what has been discussed here that again tells me to be skeptical of everything.
Yet, I am amazed at some of the things I see in my hobby that I enjoy so much. While I have owned a number of Z-28’s my main experience has been in the corvette World. In that world when someone says that something is certified the image of Bloomington Gold and a thorough vetting of the car by experts comes to mind. Yes, it can be either Bloomington Silver or Gold certified which anyone that has been around the hobby for any period of time knows means two quite different things. If there is any question about a engine pad the best it will earn is silver. I had assumed that certification by Jerry McNeish, when used to market a car, was similar to Bloomington Gold Certification. Based on Jerry’s reputation I thought certification in this sense meant that the drive train was at a minimum original. Otherwise, I still cannot think of any reason why it would be called certified. I am guessing many others that are not as well versed in the Camaro hobby as most of you would come to a similar conclusion. With Jerry’s well deserved reputation the loose use of “certified and documented by Jerry M.” and dropping it at that could lead someone not as experienced as most on this forum to a very expensive lesson. My assumptions are my mistake as I should have been more skeptical.
It is also very troubling to me that the restorer would post what Jerry M says is the initial report as the report in the manner that he did on his web site assuming he has the final report. Reading Jerry’s comments about when the final report was sent leaves me with only one conclusion, which is that he received the final report. We have not heard from the restorer and there very well could be another side of this story that has not been told. I then re-read the auction description provided by the owner and my personal decision is to add this name to others that I have learned to give a wide swath away from if they are offering cars for sale until I know more. Just my opinion which means nothing, but I would guess others have come to a similar conclusion.
I have learned many expensive lessons through the years that have taught me to be very skeptical of car descriptions provided by owners at auctions. This thread has taught me to be even more skeptical and the neat thing is it cost me nothing more than my time. If you are not comfortable in your knowledge you need to have someone much more experienced look closely at the car and tell you exactly what it is. The only time that I have not practiced this is when the car has been thoroughly vetted in competition judging and I can personally view those sheets. My new skeptical self says still look very closely because some of the rare expensive components might have been removed since judging. I had also placed great emphasis on expert certifications provided by the seller, but thanks to this thread that mistake will not be made again.
It was said several times in some of the threads that there are “seller” reports and “buyer” reports. I sure hope this practice does not exist. If the report is to mean anything and the experts opinion to be relied upon it needs to say the same thing regardless of who is paying for it. I would be very surprised if this practice exists.
I have been an active buyer and seller of collector cars at most of the auctions. I have the utmost respect for Barrett-Jackson. My personal experience is that Barrett Jackson goes to great lengths to verify cars. If you are claiming that your car has special awards, documentation, etc. you must send copies of your documentation to them before they will accept a consignment. Based on the information that you give them if they feel there is anything amiss in the description it must be changed. This is very impressive in my view, as I personally do not know of any other auction house that goes to this length. However, I am not inferring in any way that this happened in this instance as I have no dog in this fight and have no real knowledge of what actually happened other than what I have read on the internet, what would happened if Jerry was issuing two reports and a seller sent only the initial report to Barrett? Would it not be fair to assume that they would conclude what most concluded after reading the first report for this car that the car was the real deal? Without additional information the assumption could easily be made from what we have heard on the threads that the first report was used to market this car.
I greatly respect Jerry M. and all that he has done to improve our hobby. Without the help of such dedicated people the hobby would not be what it is today. I am hoping that he and the other experts will learn from this as all of us have. At a minimum, if two reports are issued the first should read DRAFT. Further, the negative aspects of the report should be more clearly noted.
Whatever comes of this and irregardless of who is at fault here it makes those of us that are trying to be honest in our dealings have to work a lot harder to gain others confidence. Perhaps this is the way it should be, but I sure liked it better when I could assume everyone was being honest until they proved otherwise.
I grew up on a small farm. At an early age Dad taught me what a spade was. He taught me to never call that spade anything but a spade and to apply this lesson to life. He said “people can and will trust you if you always call a spade a spade and nothing more”. He also said “It is OK to call it the nicest spade in the world as long as it truly is”. If it has it’s original sharpness to the blade it is OK to tell others of this, but if you have sharpened it or placed a new blade on the spade you need to tell others about this when you are trying to sell it. He then pointed to a hoe and said that if anyone ever tries to tell me that that a hoe is a spade I need to give that guy a wide berth. He would be shocked today that they are even trying to pass off a new item which they call a Ho as a spade. I doubt that he would be real pleased with this turn of events.