FARMERS BRANCH, Texas —Texas-based Unique Performance, maker of the Shelby-designed Mustang GT500E Super Snake replica and other specialty muscle car creations, has found itself on the wrong side of the law — and many of their customers.
Amid a flurry of public complaints from impatient customers who have fronted hefty fees to get on the waiting list for the company’s pricey creations, which carry a starting price tag of $200,000, the Farmers Branch Police paid a visit to the car builder earlier this week.
According to local media reports, police found 61 vintage cars (mainly Mustangs) in various stages of construction. The problem is, most of the cars appear to have been given fake VIN plates; other Mustangs in the company’s possession have had their VIN numbers scraped off entirely.
On Nov. 5, police confiscated all 61 cars from the company and are currently in the process of investigating how the cars were obtained. At press time, no arrests have been made at this point, according to police. However, authorities believe that the company may have been involved in title-washing, an illegal practice where VIN numbers are altered in order to conceal the car’s origin or classification as a salvaged vehicle.
Earlier this year, Carroll Shelby’s licensing arm began steps to end its professional relationship with Unique Performance according to a recent AutoWeek article. The article also states that a number of Unique Performance customers are currently in the process of filing suit against the company, claiming that the auto builder has bilked them out of approximately $7 million in deposits and has around 50 to 60 orders that it has yet to complete.
In addition to the Shelby designed Mustang, Unique Performance is also involved in building the Foose Stallion for auto creator Chip Foose.