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past, almost 50 years, he has no idea.

SAAC: Back between the 1987 and

1997 copies of the registry, we began

putting together a computer database

for each registrar. Each of the cars

were different but the layout of the

separate databases had to be consis-

tent. Doug Waschenko was doing the

1968 cars and he probably had the

most difficult time.

LISKA: Yes, because he had the most

cars. He had the most owners trying to

tell him he was wrong about specific

details of their car (he had the wrong

color or the original engine was a

427 – all things easily refuted by the

factory documents). This was when

faxes were popular and emails were

just becoming widespread but they

had not yet replaced the telephone.

The sheer volume of cars made 1968s

the most difficult to deal with. Be-

tween his job as a contractor, a wife

and two kids and trying to find time to

work on his own car, Waschenko was

finally against the wall. He had to give

up the registry.

SAAC: Where it started as a hobby, it

slowly changed into a responsibility

that had a way of taking over your life.

LISKA: It can be rewarding. Telling

an owner something about their car

they didn’t know always makes you

feel good. But on the other end, some

owners are not happy to hear that

things they thought about their car –

like the original color, mileage or op-

tions, do not agree with factory infor-

mation. And they start arguing.

SAAC: When ‘68 registrar Doug

Waschenko reached the point where it

was impossible for him to continue

making the commitment of time and

energy, he asked us to find a replace-

ment. We were not looking forward to

conducting a search, because if we ac-

curately described what was de-

manded of a registrar – and expecially

the 1968 registrar with 4,451 cars – no

one would agree to do it. We were sur-

prised when you stepped forward to

take it on.

LISKA: Well, I knew what was re-

quired. It was doubling my workload.

I had to spend another three years en-

tering the 1968 cars’ warranty service

information. But I have to tell you,

every time you get to fill in a blank

about some piece of information it

made you feel good. You get that much

closer to assembling the entire puzzle.

It is still rewarding to me, today.When

I go back and look at some of the mi-

crofilms, when an owner requests ad-

ditional information, I am able to look

at them a lot closer than I did origi-

nally. And I’m seeing things I had not

noticed. For example, there were

memos about the 1969 GT500s that

caught on fire because of the exhaust

backfires. Now I pay more attention to

the small tidbits, whereas before I was

focused on pulling out only specific

types of information.

SAAC: So, you are still able to go

through those reels of microfilm?

LISKA: Yes.As a matter of fact, I’ll be

going to the library tomorrow to copy

some information for an owner. I’m

glad the library still has that micro-

fiche machine. I looked up on line to

see what it would cost to purchase one

that printed the image out. I was

thinking it might be a couple of hun-

dred bucks. It was $15,000.

SAAC: Just off the top of your head,

how many cars are still “owner un-

known” today?

LISKA: When I got the files from

Doug I think there were about 800

owner unknown cars. Today I’m down

to less than 200. I’m sure there are

about 100 owners who, for whatever

reason, don’t want to tell us that they

own the car. There are still people who

are afraid that once they tell us their

name and where they live, they will

have people showing up at their front

door wanting to see the car. If someone

wants to keep their information confi-

dential, we won’t print it or tell any-

one, but they still don’t believe us.

SAAC: We don’t know of one case

where someone claimed somebody got

information on them or their car from

the registry and were prowling around

their house.

LISKA: I haven’t, either.

SAAC: With the present interest in

auctions – on-line or live – has the

request for information increased?

LISKA: Yes. As an example, three cars

were recently entered into the May

Mecum auction in Indianapolis. I was

contacted by someone who knows that

two of the cars are not real.

SAAC: By “not real” what exactly do

you mean?

LISKA: “Not real” means a Mustang

which is converted into a Shelby by

the addition of Shelby-unique parts

and Shelby serial number VIN tags. In

this case, these two cars were already

in the registry, owned by entirely dif-

ferent people. The original cars ex-

isted. One owner is the original owner

who has all of his registrations, war-

ranty service records. And yet a car

with the same serial number is trying

to be sold at an auction. Frank Mecum

called me and said that someone

called him saying that they had three

cars that may be in question. I asked

him to give me the VINs. I have a

question on all three. They have been

rumored to be somewhere else and

someone had access to the facility and

took pictures of the VINs. I told him

that I have an original owner who can

prove he has owned his car since Day

One. And yet someone in another state

is selling it at auction? Something is

wrong. I gave him the phone number

of the two owners we had on file. One

was the original owner and the other

was presently at the Charlotte Auto

Fair showing his car. I suggested he

call them and speak to them himself.

An hour later all three cars were re-

moved from their catalog.

SAAC: It really does not make any

sense for someone to refuse to provide

a registrar with information on their

car. Someone could have their car safe

in their garage without any question

of their ownership, and unbeknownst

to them, another car with that same

serial number is being auctioned off

2,000 miles away. All the security in

the world cannot stop that from hap-

pening. With the values of these cars

increasing – today they are selling for

$100,000 or higher – potential buyers

are naturally asking more questions

about them. Do you think the high val-

ues result in more bogus cars or ones

whose VINs have been tampered


LISKA: I don’t see this as a major

problem today, at least not as much as

it was twenty years ago. Back then,


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