Australian Muscle Car Rebirthing Ring Busted

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Australian Muscle Car Rebirthing Ring Busted
Australian Muscle Car Rebirthing Ring Busted

It seems law enforcement agencies all over have lately been making a lot of car theft ring busts. It’s happening Down Under as well, with a recent notable example being a Holden muscle car rebirthing operation taken down. Hopefully these busts will make a dent in the disturbing car theft trend that’s dominated the last few years.

Learn the sad fate of the old Holden Commodore factory in Australia.

From the sound of it, this rebirthing operation targeting Holdens with big V8 engines was pretty sophisticated. Police say they not only found VIN plates swapped on the stolen vehicles but stamped VINs cut out and replaced and the VINs on engines ground off. Most criminals don’t bother with those.


Police were able to recover a stolen Holden SSV Redline ute and a Clubsport. Different Holden parts, including a 6.0-liter V8 engine, were also found during the bust and seized. Drugs and automotive diagnostic tools along with stolen IDs were reportedly at the location, too.

According to a 9news report, the operation was focusing specifically on high-end Holden Special Vehicles (HSVs) which appeal to enthusiasts. Many will pay a premium for such rides, especially since production ceased several years ago.

Rebirthing involves taking VIN tags and other parts from legitimate but usually totaled vehicles of the same make and model and applying them to stolen rides. It’s a way that criminals can pass off stolen goods are legitimate, selling cars to unsuspecting shoppers, who when the truth is revealed then lose their means of transportation.

Authorities pointed out to 9news that the rebirthing process is often done sloppily, leading to potential safety issues with cars. That adds to the risk shoppers face.

Sometimes you can tell if a car has been rebirthed or the VINs swapped by looking closely at the VIN plates. If the screws are marred or mismatched, or the tag itself is bent in any way, that can indicate it has been swapped.

Image via Victoria Police/9news

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