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bogus cars came up about once a

month (although in many cases it was

the same car). Now we catch someone,

maybe, once a year. There are just

fewer bad cars out there now than

there once was.

SAAC: Because with the registry and

the increased amount of information

the registrars know, it is harder to get

away faking a car.

LISKA: Maybe you can fake the car

but you can’t fake the history. Federal

law said, as of January 1, 1968, a car’s

VIN had to be stamped on the fender

aprons, engine block and transmis-

sion. These aren’t secret numbers.

However, if they are not on a car the

question is, why not?

SAAC: Do you get involved with the

club’s concours car show at the con-


LISKA: Not with things like part

numbers or the finish on certain parts.

But the concours chairman may come

to me to ask about the history of a par-

ticular car: what was the original color

or original equipment? Other individ-

uals in the club are more knowledge-

able than I am when it comes to part

numbers or the nit-picky questions.

Guys like Ed Meyer or Pete Disher.

They are very knowledgeable and are

happy to answer questions, and own-

ers bringing their cars into the con-

cours are happy to have someone to

turn to who can provide specific an-


SAAC: It is sometimes hard for an

owner to believe that someone who

doesn’t own the car might know more

about its history than they do. Espe-

cially after almost 50 years.

LISKA: A new owner contacted me

about his car to see what I knew. This

guy works for NCIS, the Navy’s inves-

tigative arm, and when I started

telling him things about his car he

said, “

How do you know who the orig-

inal owner is? I have access to the gov-

ernment’s records and I don’t even

know that

.” I told him we have a wide

net. We can tell who an original owner

was because of the warranty records.

But if a car has had ten past owners,

we might not be able to tell who #s two

through six were. A lot of information

surfaces on eBay and we put anything

that has a VIN connected to it into the

registry database.

SAAC: Where do you see the registry

and Shelbys in general going in the fu-

ture? There are really two futures: the

near future and the far away future.

What do you see in the near future?

LISKA: I don’t see things changing

that much. The market seems to be

coming back for Shelbys slowly. Hot

items right now are Chevelles and

MoPars, but we had our hot period ten

or fifteen years ago and now it’s kind

of their turn. I remember the story

about, I think it was a ‘66 L-88

Corvette, and nobody knew how many

there were. Somebody stumbled on a

factory record – and it didn’t come

through GM providing it – and there

were only 20 of them made. I saw more

than 20 L-88s go through the Mecum

auction in one weekend [



Stuff is changing. Cars from the 1950s

were hot at one time, and then resto-

mods. Now, not so much. But I think

the market is still good for Shelbys.

The cars that bring the top dollar are

the ones that are correct: the right

parts, the right VINs, the right detail-

ing and markings. Those are the cars

that bring the most money.

SAAC: Are most of the new owners

who contact you younger or are they in

the 50 to 65 demographic, the one a lot

of us old-timers see when we look at

the hobby?

LISKA: They’re not as old as I am.


Liska recently turned 70.

] They are

younger, and they are anxious to learn

about these cars. Every time I can give

someone some information they didn’t

have before you can hear in their voice

that they are happy to know it. If you

can show someone their car’s VIN on

a piece of paper, it’s something he can

hold in his hand, show his friends, and

put it on a display board that he can

stand next to his car.

SAAC: Naturally, as the registrar you

have combed the files for information

on your car. Have you found anything

you didn’t know?

LISKA: As a matter of fact, I did. Back

when my ‘69 GT500 was new and I

was drag racing it, not that I was es-

pecially hard on it, but every once in a

while the shifter would get stuck in re-

verse. I was still using the car for

work, but it wasn’t more than a mile

away. It got sloppy from racing and

would get stuck between first and re-

verse and it wouldn’t move. The car


Summer 2016 60