Unique Performance Mustangs Allegedly Built By Prisoners, Used 13 Gallons Of Bondo

Just when we thought there would be a break from the Unique Performance Saga, we get word that things were even more rotten in the city of Farmers Branch. First, an investigation by CBS11-TV has turned up solid evidence that unskilled Texas prisoners were used to do the bodywork on the replica "Eleanor" Mustangs, including removing the VIN plates (which is illegal). Second, the poorly built cars cost upwards of $200,000 yet were built using approximately 13 gallons of Bondo each. Third, the U.S. Secret Service and Texas Department of Public Safety (state police) have launched investigations. Fourth, this may impact the way the prison system work program is implemented. Finally, according to authorities charges are imminent (probably fraud and title-washing to start). More pictures from the evidence locker (everything comes from Taiwan), a statement from Unique Performance owner Doug Hasty's lawyer and a quick primer for those that haven't been following the case below the jump.


History<\/strong><\/p>

After the success of Gone In 60 Seconds<\/em>, Unique Performance with the blessing of Carroll Shelby started building "Eleanor" replicas. Turns out that most of those replicas may have been built with salvage or otherwise questionably titled Mustangs<\/a> and, despite taking huge deposits, weren't being delivered. After being raided by police and shut down, the company filed for bankruptcy<\/a> and refused to pay Unique Performance employees<\/a>. That's where we stood before these latest revelations.<\/p>

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Statement From Doug Hasty's Lawyer<\/strong>
<\/p>

Every customer that has received a car has ultimately been satisfied with the quality of the car they received. Farmers Branch Police are continuing their witch hunt. They continue to leak false accusations to the press knowing that we have not had an opportunity to have access to the cars to rebut their claims. There were no title issues or criminal problems with the titles and no one has been defrauded. We are eager to address these cases in a court of law, on the record, where people will have to be responsible for their conduct. And I'm referring specifically to the Farmers Branch Police Department.<\/p><\/blockquote>



That's the information we have to date. <\/p>

Special thanks to 67Mustangblog<\/a> for following the story so closely.<\/em> [All information via CBS-11 TV<\/a>]<\/p>

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DISCUSSION

weatherman
wætherman

First, 13 gallons of Bondo is not 13 lbs. More like 117 lbs.

That newscast is about as slanted and hyperbolic as I've ever seen - pure local schlock. That bit on using inmate labor ("convicted of such crimes as aggravated assault, aggravated robbery and MURDER!") was over the top. It was a sponsored jail program that let inmates learn a skill - what's the big deal with that?

And the claim that they were "replicas" is, near as I can tell, has no basis in fact. Any restoration these days involves getting replacement and fabricated parts. These might not have been high quality restorations, but using the original frame certainly is a good start to a restoration by definition.

As for the filing of VIN numbers, there seems to be something shady going on but with all the other bs in these reports it's hard to separate fact from mudslinging.