1G4GJ117XHP433997 --87 T-type Davison (Flint), MI => Re-bodied??? Re-VIN'd???

Anthony P

sharing knowledge with those who care to listen
I've been helping a fellow TB member review TB's for sale of interest. This Craigslist posting looked really clean, i.e. re-paint & body work/lines. reviewing the car in person revealed quite a different story. A buyer has to do their homework and can't rely on the seller for anything. If you come across this car, learn from our research and investigative efforts. The TB community is a small and helpful community. Hopefully the next potential buyer will read this posting via an internet search of the VIN and choose wisely. Seller played dumb at first, claiming not to know much about the car. Only when questioned about the irregularities did he suddenly become a TB expert (NOT) reciting RPO codes to attempt to explain the car's problems.

Craigslist ad:
Craigslist ad.png

body lines looked good. AC line to accumulator/dryer looked to be hit with hatchet but can be replaced. Buyer went to inspect car in person.
more pics....


VIN on engine and trans matched but did not match car's VIN on dash

SPID label VIN matched VIN on dash.
From my build records database, the VIN sequence of 433997 should be an early March 1987 build and specifically before Monday, March 9th. The sequential build # of 083675 is an appropriate # for this VIN sequence. Without the original window sticker, there is no other way to confirm the sequential build # on the SPID label.

The Fisher body (cowl) tag should confirm the early March build and the driver's door sticker should show the matching VIN and March build date. Driver's door sticker was faded original but checked out OK . Cowl tag date showed 1987 March, first week (H 03 A)


It's an 87 but the T-Tops are non(key)-locking. Post February 1986 built and later G-bodies had locking T-tops. there is a thread here with a member noting his July 1985 TB order was delayed because of the lack of availability of locking T-tops. He then asked for non-locking in order to not delay delivery of his car.

For this car, perhaps something happened to the original T-tops and these from 84-85 were sourced and used instead. Not a big problem. Find keyed ones or transfer glass to keyed - not a deal breaker. These are GM factory T-Tops and not the aftermarket ones. Look at pic of where roof was cut. Aftermarket ones by Cars & Concepts had roof cut about 4 inches further back. Kirban's
02-02-2011 InnerCircle shows a pic of the aftermarket T-Tops as well as noting the Product Bulletin for locking T-Tops was dated February 28, 1986. See it here.

So, non locking T-Tops on an 87.:confused: SPID does not show CC1 coded for T-Tops(Hatch Roof). Bottom of cowl tag also did not show CC1 code. BUT THESE ARE FACTORY GM T-TOPS.

Buyer obtains carfax report. while this VIN has a clean title now, it once had a salvage title. Seller claims to not know much about turbo buicks.

It does not make sense that someone would transfer a GM T-Top roof, cut at the A, B, and C pillars to a hard top. But is does make sense that this car was reconstructed post that SALVAGE title.

Can't check VIN on frame unless cut floor pan in correct location.

When asked about the lack of the CC1 code on SPID and the possibility of a body swap with a T-Top Regal, Seller suddenly becomes a turbo buick expert citing the Y56 option code contains the T-tops. Oh boy, time to walk away.

So this 87 T-type that came from GM as a hard top, now has GM factory T-tops but no CC1 option code on SPID or Cowl tag.

Rebodied as a GM T-top, possible replacement frame but transferred VIN on dash to new T-Top body and transferred cowl tag. Installed VIN matching original driver's side door and original deck lid with VIN matching SPID label. Sourced a turbobuick powertrain to replace original #'s matching engine and trans.

Seller becomes argumentative once he is schooled about his problem car.
Not that it mattered at this point but seats were recovered in the wrong material. The "Encore" velour plush cloth for the regular Regals was used instead of the T-type correct "Empress" cloth. Too bad as the Encore front seat covers from OPGI are $590 while the correct T-type Empress frontcovers are $350 AND include the headrests. The headrests are the original ones and show the diamond pattern of the Empress cloth. Also, the headrests show the gray seat regular Regal Encore velour does not match the T-Type Empress gray headrests as shown in the pics above.

Buyer Beware...seller claims he'll lower price and re-list somewhere:eek:
Thanks. It looked really promising from the ad and the pictures. Glad I was around to help the buyer avoid this mess of a T-type. Thought the only item for the buyer to address was this....
Tommy Turbo loosing T-tops.jpg

figured that would be done with a simple call to @Intercooled88s for locking T-tops. What a potential disaster for the unknowing buyer to discover it's a reconstructed, re-bodied, illegally re-VIN'd turbo Buick.
As time goes on more of this shit is going to be done. There will be some very disappointed buyers out there.
good job Anthony your very helpful and knowledgeable
thx for sharing
Anthony, awesome debunk! Once again shows that this forum is full of knowledge! Kudos Anthony hopefully the potential buyer bought you a beer.
In the FWIW dept: My 8T6 T had the vin on the dr side frame, and it was also clearly stamped on the back side of the rear crossmember, to the left of the upper a-arm mount. I discovered this, when I was doing the frame reinforcements.
If this is SOP, then, the ft frame vin access, is not so important.
Hi Mr. Leeper. We've never met in person so it's Mr. Leeper for now. Thanks for sharing that info. I'll slide under my GN to take a look - finding it would be really useful going forward in today's world.
Hi Mr. Leeper. We've never met in person so it's Mr. Leeper for now. Thanks for sharing that info. I'll slide under my GN to take a look - finding it would be really useful going forward in today's world.

I'll look thru the pics I have, of the frame build, and see if I have one.
I asked him a few questions about the car through Emails,he told me I was mistaken about these mentioned issues.When I stated I was looking at pics of the car and this being talked about on TB.com he just disappeared and answered nothing anymore.At least he knows it’s out there now.
I’m glad I came across this as I saw this car posted on Facebook marketplace and the car looked pretty decent in the photos. I never went to go see the car because I got the sense from the get-go with this seller that he wasn’t on the level. Everytime I asked for more photos and specifically the SPID label he went radio silent. Big red flag for me and after I asked for the photo of the label twice with no response I knew there was a reason why...the car is shit.

Thank you for the extensive write up! You want to come with me to look at my next potential TR?! LOL. I’m serious though....
He replied back to me saying he can’t find anything on here about the car.Really, it isn’t hard to find.
seller is lurking on TB.com without signing in. If you don't sign in, you cannot view the Marketplace forums of Parts for Sale, Parts Wanted, Cars for Sale, Internet Frauds, etc.

seller notes in craigslist ad screen shot in post 1 "has all the desired RPO build codes" but buyer only got to see SPID label when he viewed car in person.
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@Darkstar72 , glad you saw this thread and did not pursue someone else's problem - the whole reason I did this write up.

I appreciate sharing of information to help out others especially with something as shady as this whole thing was. Like I said, my gut was telling me that something had to be wrong with the car when the seller was very late to respond to any questions I asked about the car and he was unwilling to share a single photo I asked for of the vehicle.