Mopar Action Article Extra

The Last Hemi

1971 Dodge Charger R/T

CONFIDENTIAL

Final Report

February 18, 2013

DO NOT DISCUSS, COPY, OR DISTRIBUTE

WITHOUT WRITTEN PERMISSION FROM PROVE IT.

Interested Party:

Tim Wellborn

Wellborn Auto Museum

Alexander City, Alabama

Prepared by:

David Burroughs

Prove It.™


Prove It.

Research & Analysis

Bloomington/Normal, IL

HOW IT WORKS

Prove It is a research service designed to determine the validity of claims made about collector vehicles of all types.

Each project begins with a request from an interested party who wants to determine the likelihood of one or more specific claims being true or false. Prove It is not a primary research firm or a single source authority. Prove It is a publisher of witness testimony, evidence, and data leading to a deductive conclusion. The conclusion(s) is stated in a hierarchy of certainty, scaled according to the depth and credibility of the evidence presented. The range of certainty is as follows:

    • Definitive
    • Highly Probable
    • Probable
    • Indicative
    • Inconclusive
    • Improbable
    • Highly Improbable
    • Definitively Improbable

Prove It interviews parties that may agree or disagree with a specific claim and asks them to produce documents, photographs, testimony, or data that substantiates their claim or counter claim. Additional witnesses or references are usually discovered during this process and they, too, may be interviewed for their contributory input. Of unique importance, Prove It’s approach is not adversarial and does not represent either side of a controversial claim. Prove It makes it clear to the client or interested party who commissions the study that the findings may or may not support the interested party’s desired outcome.

Once the situation analysis is completed, a narrative is written complete with a summary of witness findings, exhibits, and initial summary conclusions and then submitted as a Draft Report to 3-5 independent analysts for their review.

The independent analysts are selected according to their professional critical thinking skills and arms length association with the subject vehicles or interested parties. The analysts are not a collaborating panel, but instead solely independent and unaware of the other analysts assigned to the case. Each analyst is responsible to read the Draft Report’s findings, evidence, and conclusions and indicate the degree to which they concur.

If any or all analysts do not concur with the conclusions, they are asked to provide their reasons why not and Prove It will attempt to further research the witness pool to determine if that issue can be resolved.

The Final Report to the interested party simply publishes the findings based on the research and how many analysts agree or disagree with the published conclusions. The client or interested parties may wish to provide more compelling testimony, evidence, photography, etc. in order to present new information that may change the minds of the analyst(s). Until compelling new evidence is presented to alter any or all conclusions, the report is considered complete.

CONFIDENTIAL DRAFT REPORT

The Last Hemi ___________________________________________________________________________________________

February 18, 2013

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

The Case:

On September 10, 2012 Prove It Director David Burroughs and Investigator Frank Pope initiated research regarding two contradictory claims relative to “The Last Hemi” vehicle built / assembled / produced (synomous meanings) by Chrysler Motors Corporation. The effective date of conclusion was February 1, 2013.

The Claim:

On May 21, 2012 in a video entitled The Last Hemi Arrives at RK Restoration, the owner, Joe Angelucci, states on camera, that he is the owner of a 1971 Dodge Charger VIN 192238 that is “The very last 426 hemi to ever be built by the Chrysler Corporation; the very last one ever to roll off any assembly line, anywhere.” Throughout the period of research relative to this project, RK Motors, of Charlotte, N.C. was conducting its restoration and their website claimed, “This Charger has two remarkably well-preserved broadcast sheets and a fender tag showing that it is indeed the last HEMI car produced by any Chrysler plant.”

The Counter Claim:

Tim Wellborn, of the Wellborn Auto Museum, Alexander City, Alabama, claimed to have original paper work indicating that the 1971 Dodge Charger he currently owns, VIN 190774, is the last Hemi Charger built by Chrysler on July 30, 1971. Because of the confusion about which car may actually be the last one built, Wellborn commissioned Prove It to research both claims for probable accuracy.

The Final Conclusions:

  1. Neither vehicle can be definitively claimed to be The Last Hemi vehicle built.

  1. VIN 192238 is definitively among a group of year-end Hemi Chargers; however, it is definitively neither

the Last Hemi vehicle nor Last Hemi Charger produced, built, assembled, or released by Chrysler Motors.

  1. VIN 190774 is definitively the Last Hemi Charger completed by Chrysler Motors and evidence is indicative to

probable that it may also be the Last Hemi vehicle completed by Chrysler Motors.

SUMMARY FINDINGS

  1. A limited number of Hemis were produced in 1971. According to records assembled by Galen Govier plus records obtained from Chrysler, about 400 Hemi vehicles were produced between four assembly plants—Hamtramck and Lynch Rd in Detroit, St. Louis, and Windsor, Canada. Charger R/Ts and Super Bees accounted for about 100 (25%) of all U.S., Canada, and export sales.

  1. The The Last Hemi is a nearly meaningless statement without a qualifying definition. There are at least 40 different variations what this could mean. (See page 8) The only one of implicit value is, The Last Hemi Charger or Last Hemi vehicle to be produced or completed to the public by Chrysler Motors.

  1. Another Hemi Charger VIN 195362 was discovered that is 3,000 units higher than VIN 192238.

  1. Although counter intuitive, VIN sequence is not necessarily a reliable predictor of Mopar production sequence. It is definitely possible for lower VIN vehicles to be produced, completed, or released later than higher VIN vehicles according to a consensus of independent Mopar witnesses.

  1. A vehicles final production date cannot be determined by either factory broadcast sheets (build sheets), stamped fender tags, or door tags. The official production date is coded on the bottom of the vehicles window sticker, referred to as the Monroney sticker. Scheduled production dates (SPD) or order dates are assigned by the Chrysler assembly plants once it is confirmed that needed components are in stock. Assembly of the vehicle customarily begins on or after the SPD.

  1. Once on the assembly line, vehicles were customarily completed within 2-10 days and the window stickers were customarily applied right before being driven off the assembly line according to Mopar authorities.

  1. A six week gap exists between the 611 (June 11) SPD date code on the vehicle order number and the 0730 (July 30) date code printed on the Monroney window sticker for VIN 190774a significant deviation from the customary 2-10 day period vehicles are on the assembly line.

  1. Although the Vehicle Order Number on the broadcast sheet may indicate a June scheduled production date (or order date), evidence exists that proves some vehicles may not actually go on the assembly line until much later. (e.g. 1970 June order, August SPD, October Monroney)

  1. According to documents, published data, and customary automotive production schedules, it appears highly probable that Friday, July 30 was Chrysler Motors last official day of 1971 production.

  1. According to a 1976 Letter from Chrysler Motors, VINs 190771 and 190774 respectively were next to last and the last Hemi Chargers built.

  1. Due to so many complexities of the Chrysler production process, multiple assembly plants, and lack of documents or authorities with arcane knowledge of either, it is the consensus of numerous Mopar witnesses that there is likely no way (they know of) that such claims as Last Hemi vehicle “built” can ever be definitively documented for any Mopar. However, compelling circumstantial evidence exists that 190774 is that vehicle.

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SUMMARY CONCLUSIONS

    1. The six week gap between the June broadcast dates and July Monroney dates for 190771 and 190774 does not appear to be due to the cars being pulled off the line after assembly was begun. The more plausible scenario is that end-of-year Hemi orders (likely a very low quantity) were all held and batched together for assembly at the end of the production run in late July 1971 in order to gain production efficiencies. Since VINs are not necessarily predictive of assembly line sequence, it appears highly probable that 190771 and 190774 were randomly located as the last two on the line behind other year-end batched Hemis-- even though they were ordered six weeks earlier than the other two subject Hemi Chargers, both with higher VINs.

    1. No compelling testimony or evidence has yet been discovered, presented or deduced that VIN 192238 is either the Last 426 Hemi vehicle produced by Chrysler Motors or even the Last Hemi Charger produced. Due to evidence discovered pertaining to not only VIN 190774, but also to two other Hemi Chargers VIN 190771 and VIN 195362, it is definitive that VIN 192238 is neither the Last Hemi vehicle, the Last Hemi Charger, the Charger with the highest VIN, the last to be ordered, nor last to be produced, completed, or released. The historic significance of this vehicle appears to be limited to being among a batch of late production Hemis.

    1. Based upon three Chrysler Motors documents, vehicle photography, credible testimony, the unrestored condition of the vehicle and lack of compelling evidence to the contrary, it is probable that VIN 190774 may be the Last Hemi vehicle built and released by Chrysler Motors. However, based upon the evidence, official Chrysler paperwork, and witness understanding of the 1971 Chrysler production process, it appears definitive that 190771 was the next to last and 190774 was the Last Hemi Charger completed” by Chrysler.

    1. Based on the testimony and evidence presented to date, it appears improbable that any other Mopars will have more compelling documentation than the 1971 Dodge Chargers VIN 190771 and 190774 that they are either the Last Hemi Chargers or Last Hemi vehicles completed by Chrysler Motors.

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Analysts Opinions

Five out of five independent analysts reviewed this report

and concur with the published conclusions.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

LIKELIHOOD OF CLAIMS

It will be unlikely that any definitive statements can be made about the claim The Last Hemi “Produced”. Therefore, based on the evidence, documents, testimony, and deductive logic presented to date, the preponderance of evidence (or lack of it) leads Prove It to the following conclusions until/unless more compelling evidence is presented.

Potential Claims The Likelihood The Reason

The Wellborn Hemi

190774 the Last Hemi Charger ordered Definitively Not Unequivocal Certainty

190774 the Last Hemi Charger produced anywhere Highly Probable Virtually Certain But With Limited Data

190774 the Last Hemi Charger produced at Lynch Highly Probable Virtually Certain But With Limited Data

190774 the Last Hemi Charger completed at Lynch Definitive Unequivocal Certainty (Letter and Monroney)

190774 the Last Hemi Charger completed anywhere Definitive Unequivocal Certainty (Letter and Monroney)

190774 the Last Hemi completed anywhere Indicative/ProbableSome Supporting Evidence. No Refuting Evidence

190774 the Last Hemi produced anywhere Indicative/ProbableSome Supporting Evidence. No Refuting Evidence

The Cheshire Hemi

190771 the next to Last Hemi Charger produced Highly Probable Virtually Certain But With Limited Data

190771 the next to Last Hemi Charger completed Definitive Unequivocal Certainty (Letter and Monroney)

190771 the next to Last Hemi completed anywhere Indicative/ProbableSome Supporting Evidence. No Refuting Evidence

190771 the next to Last Hemi produced anywhere Indicative/ProbableSome Supporting Evidence. No Refuting Evidence

The Kanellis Hemi

195362 the Last Hemi Charger ordered Highly Probable Strong Supporting Evidence. No Challenging Evidence

195362 the Highest VIN Hemi Charger produced Highly Probable Strong Supporting Evidence. No Challenging Evidence

195362 the Last Hemi produced Highly Improbable Some supporting evidence. Stong Challenging Evidence

195362 the Last Hemi Charger produced Highly Improbable Somesupporting evidence. Strong Challenging Evidence

195362 the Last Hemi Charger completed Definitively Not Unequivocal Certainty

195362 has the Highest fender tag date Probable Some supporting evidence; Some Challenging Evidence

The Angelucci Hemi

192238 the Last Hemi Charger ordered Definitively Not Unequivocal Challenging Evidence

192238 the Highest VIN Charger produced Definitively Not Unequivocal Challenging Evidence

192238 the Last Hemi Charger completed Definitively Not Unequivocal Challenging Evidence

192238 the Last Hemi completed Definitively Not Unequivocal Challenging Evidence

192238 the Last Hemi produced Highly Improbable No supporting evidence; Strong challenging evidence

192238 the Last Hemi Charger produced Highly Improbable No supporting evidence; Strong challenging evidence

192238 has the Latest fender tag date (618) Highly Improbable No supporting Evidence. Strong challenging evidence

To date, 190774 is the vehicle with the greatest Chrysler documentation as the Last Hemi Charger “officially produced”. However, officially produced or completed does not necessarily equate to the last one actually assembled. (e.g. A vehicle could be mostly assembled in one month and the final 1% completed weeks later). Although it appears highly likely the subject vehicles were all assembled in roughly the same time period, the certainty is unknowable.

DEFINITIONS OF CONFIDENCE LEVELS:

Definitive Unequivocal Certainty

Highly Probable Virtually Certain But With Limiting Factors

Probable Strong Evidence to Support

Indicative Some Evidence to Support

Improbable Little evidence to Support and Some to Refute

Highly Improbable Strong Challenging Evidence

Definitively Not No Evidence to Support and Unequivocal Evidence to Refute

Indeterminate No evidence to Support or Challenge

DETAILED FINDINGS & EXHIBITS

Researching the Angelucci Claim / VIN 192238:

On May 21, 2012 in a video entitled The Last Hemi Arrives at RK Restoration, the owner, Joe Angelucci, states on camera, that he is the owner of a 1971 Dodge Charger VIN 192238 that is “The very last 426 hemi to ever be built by the Chrysler Corporation; the very last one ever to roll off any assembly line, anywhere.” Exhibit 1 VIDEO: Google- The Last Hemi, Segment 1. (Quote is located between :47-:55 in the video.)

As of this date, RK Motors, of Charlotte, N.C. is conducting its restoration and their website claims, “This Charger has two remarkably well-preserved broadcast sheets and a fender tag showing that it is indeed the last HEMI car produced by any Chrysler plant.” Exhibits 2 & 3

From Prove It interviews along with other published documents, RK Motors appears to have based their claim on inductive (rather than deductive) logic relative to four assumptions. The first assumption is that since the 1971 Dodge Charger VIN 192238 is higher than VIN 190774 (which had already been “claimed” by Chrysler to be the Last Hemi Charger) it would follow that the higher VIN should be the Last Hemi Charger built. The second assumption is that the “official build date” is indicated on the factory broadcast sheet and vehicle fender tag. The third assumption is that the last Hemi Charger would also be the last Hemi vehicle produced by Chrysler. The fourth assumption is that there is only one definition of “The Last Hemi”.

Assumptions appear flawed

1. According to Mopar enthusiasts, historians, and factory production personnel present in the 1970’s, it appears that VIN sequences do not necessarily jibe with actual production sequences. In other words, for Mopars, the VIN is not a highly reliable formula for determining production sequence. As Frank Badalson explained, “VINs are assigned prior to actually taking a position on the assembly line. Also, cars may be pulled out of line for various reasons such as heavy damage, paint or engine problems, option shortages, etc. and can therefore postpone final production of an individual car until the problem is resolved off-line. This explains why it is not uncommon for lower VIN vehicles to be completed after higher VIN vehicles.” Multiple assembly plants also created different “sets” of VINs. Unfortunately, even if the RK assumption was correct that “the highest VIN wins”, the RK Charger would ironically be trumped as the last one, because Prove It was made aware of another 1971 Dodge Charger Super Bee with VIN 195362 --over 3,000 units higher than the RK Charger. This vehicle, located in Ottawa, IL has impressive credentials, local ownership since day one, and an unbroken provenance of only three owners.

2. The second flaw in the RK theory is the assumption that the date on the broadcast sheet and fender tag is the actual production date. It is not. According to a May 21, 2012 article published on the RK website, it states, “On June 18th, the Bright White Charger left the Lynch Road assembly plant.” Exhibit 4. The 618 (June 18) date code printed on the vehicle’s broadcast sheet (an internal factory document) and also stamped into the fender tag is not the actual date of production; it is the scheduled production date (SPD) assigned when the order/production process begins-not ends. Here again, even IF the RK assumption was correct, the date on the fender tag of a recently discovered Charger VIN 195362 is 628 (June 28th)-- ten days later than June 18th. Further, since this vehicle is equipped with a sun roof, it would have been shipped to American Sun Roof for installation and then back to the Lynch Road assembly plant for final assembly and shipping. Therefore, Charger VIN 195362 would have been likely produced long after VIN 192238. However, this still is not enough evidence to claim Charger 195362 is either the last Hemi ever produced or that it was even the last Hemi Charger produced. However, the odds appear higher for this vehicle than for VIN 192238. Numerous other Mopar witnesses are familiar with the Charger with the highest known VIN 195362.

Most Mopar witnesses agree that the Monroney window sticker is the only document that specifies a MOPAR vehicle’s actual production date. Unfortunately, neither vehicle VIN 192238 nor 195362 appear to have either document. Both Hemi Chargers VINs 190771 and 190774 each have two documents; the Monroney window sticker and a letter from Chrysler documenting a July 29 and 30 production dates respectively.

3. The third flaw is within the inductive logic that assumes the Last Hemi Charger is also the last Hemi vehicle of any model. Until credible documents are presented that codify the final day of Hemi Charger production, the number produced that day, the VINs of each, along with corresponding data from all the other Hemi assembly plants, that assumption is unsupported speculation at best and is likely unknowable—regardless of which car makes the claim.


4. The fourth flaw lies within the ambiguity of the words “Last Hemi” and interpretations of dates and VINs. The illustration below illustrates 40 different possible interpretations of the claim “The Last Hemi”.

The Last Hemi Charger

  1. to be ordered to be built at a specific assembly plante.g. Lynch Road, et al?
  2. to be ordered to be built at a any assembly plant?
  3. to roll off the assembly line of a specific assembly plant?
  4. to roll off the assembly line of any assembly plant?
  5. to be completed (but not the last mostly assembled) at a specific assembly plant?
  6. to be completed (but not the last mostly assembled) at any assembly plant?
  7. to be fully assembled from beginning to end at a specific assembly plant?
  8. to be fully assembled from beginning to end at any assembly plant?
  9. to receive a window sticker at a specific assembly plant?
  10. to receive a window sticker at any assembly plant?
  11. to be released from a specific assembly plant?
  12. to be released from any assembly plant
  13. to be shipped from a specific assembly plant?
  14. to be shipped from any assembly plant?
  15. to be sold from a specific assembly plant?
  16. to be sold from any assembly plant?

The Hemi Charger with

  1. the highest VIN from a specific assembly plant?
  2. the highest VIN from any assembly plant?
  3. the latest Scheduled Production Date from a specific assembly plant?
  4. the latest Scheduled Production Date from any assembly plant?

The Last Hemi Vehicle of ANY Model

  1. to be ordered to be built at a specific assembly plante.g. Lynch Road, et al?
  2. to be ordered to be built at a any assembly plant?
  3. to roll off the assembly line of a specific assembly plant?
  4. to roll off the assembly line of any assembly plant?
  5. to be finished (but not the last fully assembled) at a specific assembly plant?
  6. to be finished (but not the last fully assembled) at any assembly plant?
  7. to be released from a specific assembly plant?
  8. to be released from any assembly plant
  9. to be fully assembled from beginning to end at a specific assembly plant?
  10. to be fully assembled from beginning to end at any assembly plant?
  11. to receive a window sticker at a specific assembly plant?
  12. to receive a window sticker at any assembly plant?
  13. to be shipped from a specific assembly plant?
  14. to be shipped from any assembly plant?
  15. to be sold from a specific assembly plant?
  16. to be sold from any assembly plant?

The Hemi Vehicle of ANY Model with

  1. the highest VIN from a specific assembly plant?
  2. the highest VIN from any assembly plant?
  3. the latest Scheduled Production Date from a specific assembly plant?
  4. the latest Scheduled Production Date from any assembly plant?

Joe Angelucci, the owner of Charger VIN 192238, states on camera, “This is the very last 426 hemi to ever be built by the Chrysler Corporation; the very last one ever to roll off any assembly line, anywhere.”

To the owner’s credit, he leaves no doubt about his definition. He claims definition #30. Although his claim clearly offers the largest bragging rights, it presents a daunting challenge to prove ANY of these claims. The dynamics of 1971 Chrysler production processes compounded by the vagaries of multiple assembly plants and the currently unknown existence of many/any credible Chrysler records makes claim #30 a very steep hill to climb, indeed. Prove It studied the claims of both owners and conducted in-depth interviews with the owners and subject matter witnesses to separate data from opinion.

After completing a situation analysis to understand existing data and process, research began on Mr. Angelucci’s claim. In the May 21, 2012 article on the RK Motors’ Website entitled The Last Hemi – Segment 1, it was printed in the third paragraph that their claim was verified Mopar expert, Galen Govier as “the final HEMI car ever produced”. Exhibit 4 Through an email exchange between David Burroughs and Galen Govier between September 28, 2012 and October 4, 2012, Mr. Govier was asked to comment on any relevant data he had that would contribute to a conclusive determination that 192238 was the Last Hemi. Mr. Govier’s October 3 email response provided a short but rather ambiguous answer. Therefore, in a final letter to Mr. Govier on October 4, Burroughs wrote, “Is there any way you know how to remove this uncertainty or is it unknowlable? Please let me know your charges for your services or research.” No further communication has since been forthcoming from Mr. Govier. Exhibit 4A

When interviewed on November 28, 2012, RK’s Joe Carroll was asked by Frank Pope and David Burroughs how he concluded June 18, 1971 was the last day that any Hemi car was built. He responded, “We did exhaustive research and Galen Govier wrote an article in 1998 and said it was.” Mr. Carroll was asked if Mr. Govier gave him any written report to support what he is stating. Mr. Carroll said, “He (Govier) indicated that he would not get involved.” Mr. Carroll then recanted the claim that Mr. Govier verified the car as such. July dated window stickers from Chargers 190771 and 190774 clearly contradict the claim that June 18 was the last day that any Hemi was built.

In an immediate follow up call after being briefly disconnected, Pope again asked how RK concluded VIN 192238 was the Last Hemi. Mr. Carroll stated to Pope and Burroughs, “Cliff Gromer (Mopar Action Magazine), has friends at the plant that have access to the records and told me that we had the Last Hemi built”. However, when Cliff Gromer was questioned by both Pope and Burroughs the next day on November 29, Mr. Gromer stated unequivocally, “I never told them that they had the Last Hemi built. I agreed to do a story, but nothing definite.” Gromer added, “It was RK that sent me information stating it was the Last Hemi.”

As of January 3, 2013, no other documentation, evidence, data, or testimony had yet been discovered or forthcoming from either Mr. Angelucci, the owner, RK Motors the restorers, or any other sources to substantiate the claim that 1971 Charger #192238 is either the Last Hemi vehicle or even the Last Hemi Charger produced.

Therefore, in an effort to provide the owner and restorer of Charger 192238 the courtesy to present newly discovered facts or compelling documentation, Prove It (Frank Pope) contacted RK Motors on January 3 requesting that Mr. Angelucci call him to discuss. No call was received, so on January 4, Pope placed a second call to RK Motors with a request for Mr. Angelucci to call. On Monday January 7 Frank Pope called RK once again and spoke to Jennifer Pullen (713-855-9312). Hearing no response after three attempts to contact Mr. Angelucci, Frank Pope and David Burroughs once again called RK Motors on Tuesday, January 8 requesting to speak with Mr. Carroll in order to offer (for the fourth time since November 28) the opportunity to produce compelling data or testimony from credible production sources to substantiate their claim or to point out any data errors regarding the four subject vehicles. Prove It assured Mr. Carroll that his evidence would be respectfully considered along with any data or testimony from other sources lending to the credibility of their claim. Mr. Carroll alleged Charger VIN 195362 as being a fake and thereby countered that it was not a later production Hemi. Upon being told that the owner would sign a legal affidavit certifying it was not a fake, no further discussion ensued from Mr. Carroll relative to that vehicle. Mr. Carroll then mentioned that Rick Ehrenberg (a writer for Mopar Action magazine) stated that VIN 192238 was the Last Hemi produced; however no other evidence was mentioned in this final conversation with Mr. Carroll. Within minutes after the conversation with Mr. Carroll on January 8, Pope and Burroughs contacted Mr. Ehrenberg to corroborate the statement that he had data proving 192238 was the Last Hemi produced. Mr. Ehrenberg stated, “Well, that’s not really true. I don’t know how anyone could do that due to the lack of any significant Chrysler records post-1967.” Mr. Ehrenberg clearly and repeatedly denied any knowledge to support that claim whatsoever. Ehrenberg did suggest two other people who may be able to help. He first suggested Galen Govier who he believed to be very knowledgeable about production data. The other person he suggested was someone he believed had more experience on Dodge Chargers than anyone else. Ehrenberg stated, “You need to call the guy who owns 50 of these Mopars in Alabama ; he’d be the guy I’d ask—his name is Tim Wellborn.” (Note: Mr. Wellborn is the owner of Charger VIN 190774—one of the subject vehicles.)

Therefore, based upon contradictory testimony from each of the sources referenced by Mr. Carroll (Govier, Gromer, and Ehrenberg), no further interviews with RK Motors or the owner appear productive to continue. However, Prove It will gladly revise this report upon receipt of compelling data or other evidence supporting Mr. Angelucci’s claim if and when it is discovered.

Researching the Wellborn Counter Claim / VIN 190774:

Although not yet forensically documented, VINs 190771 and 190774 have broadcast sheets Exhibit 5 & 6 and window stickers Exhibit 7 & 8. The date code on the bottom of the window sticker indicates a build date of 0730 (July 30, 1971). Exhibit 9 In addition, a 1976 letter from Chrysler signed by W.C. Tiahrt states that the last two Hemi Chargers built by Chrysler were VIN 190771 and 190774 built on July 29 and July 30, respectively. Exhibit 10

The W.C. Tiahrt letter from Chrysler and its statements have been corroborated by David Burroughs in an October 4, 2012 phone interview with Mr. Warren C. Tiahrt. Mr. Tiahrt affirmed that he remembered writing the letter and stated, “I got this information calling a guy in (Chrysler) production with the records”. As of this date, Chrysler’s retiree, Mr. Tiahrt, has not changed his story over the 36 years since writing the 1976 letter to Mr. Charles Cheshire, owner of Charger VIN 190771. Neither of the other two subject Chargers have documentation that challenges these Chrysler documents. However, such documents as Mr. Tiahrt’s letter can still be subject to internal anomalies in both production processes and administrative record keeping that could make them accurate by definition, but inaccurate in reality. Although Prove It has no reason to suspect a Chrysler error, it is unclear exactly what data (or lack of it) within the Chrysler production records triggered “a guy in production” to report that 190771 and 190774 were built on 7/29 and 7/30 respectively and that they were the last two Hemi Chargers built. Mr. Tiahrt’s later quote, “…these are the last ones we have any record of” has not been credibly challenged by any other data, witness testimony, or evidence after 4 months of research nor 36 years of history.

The Mystery of Order Dates (scheduled production dates) vs. Production Dates

The code printed within the Vehicle Order Number on the “build sheet” for Chargers 190774 and 190771 is 611 or June 11 Exhibits 5 & 6 and is also stamped into the fender tag of all vehicles. Exhibit 11 illustrates this stamp in the second line from the bottom of the tag. A commonly perceived interpretation of this code is the date that Chrysler expected to begin production on these vehicles. On December 27, 2012, David Burroughs interviewed Walt Redmond, a retired Chrysler computer programmer who coded the build sheets in 1971. Redmond confirmed that production would not be started nor would a scheduled production date be assigned until the factory was certain it had all the components/options in stock to build the car. Once the inventory was in stock, then the production date would be scheduled and the car produced. According to Redmond, “…95% of the cars were produced between 2-5 days of their scheduled production date (or once they were on the line). Occasionally a car may take up to 10 days.” Mr. Redmond further stated, “Six weeks would be an extraordinarily long time.” Redmond could not think of any reason why a car (let alone two) would be delayed so long. Therefore, why would two cars scheduled to be built in early June not be completed until the end of July; a full six weeks later?

In December, 2012, David Burroughs emailed the same question to Patrick Krook, an associate of the owner and representative of Charger 190774. “Why would two cars with such comparatively lower VINs (vs.192238 and 195362) and with early June scheduled build dates take six weeks (until July 30) to complete when according to Chrysler production witness Walt Redmond, 95% of Mopars were completed within only a couple days of production?”

Mr. Krook’s December 27 email response submitted the following thesis:

1) “It is most probable that the car was set aside (until it could be batch painted)due to the high-impact color, FY1 Bannana Yellow--a common practice for special up charge color options”. Mr. Krook believes this is a much more likely scenario than a “re-issue” window sticker that is coincidental with last day of production.

2) Further, Mr. Krook points to a build sequence number of 190818 on the Chrysler broadcast / build sheet which is 44 unit numbers higher than the actual VIN sequential number of 190774. He states, “This means that the unibodies (shells) were being built faster than the line was putting cars together.”

Both of Mr. Krook’s theories have merit, however, neither provides adequate insight or documentation why production would be delayed the extraordinarily long period of six weeks. Let alone for two cars of totally different colors; one of which was a non-high-impact color—FE5 Bright Red.


Some theories examined:

Q. Were both Chargers set aside awaiting batch painting of high impact colors?

A. Unlikely, since Chrysler allegedly did not assign SPD if there was a pending assembly line problem.

Furthermore, since 190771 was Bright Red (FE5) and not a high impact color, the paint theory seems unlikely

Q. Were both Chargers damaged within the assembly plant and required extensive rebuilding before sale ready?

A. Unlikely, however, it is a possibility and may be a plausible reason, but highly unlikely for two vehicles.

Q. Were both Chargers set aside as “unsold” orders and held in a “sales bank” for end of the year distribution to

either VIPs or internal Chrysler employees if not sold before?

    1. Unknown, but this may be plausible scenario. To that end and according to the Monroney of Charger 190771,

it was sold to Chrysler Motors Corp with the name J Redmond Field -- printed at the end of all options.

However, 190774 was NOT a company car, so that theory is not wholly sound, either.

Q. Were both Chargers actually sold in June but due to damaged window stickers, Chrysler re-issued Monroney

stickers at the end of July for both cars? And did the re-issued window stickers carry “print dates” on the bottom

which were different from their original production print date?

A. Unknown, but strong testimony indicates this is not the case. Forensic testing may be suggested, however,

forensic testing is probably not sensitive enough to discern a six week variation in 40 year old paper or ink.

Q. Were the 190771 and 190774 Monroney stickers reproduced by hobby-vendors and are they only replicas?

A. No.The Cheshire Monroney sticker copies are definitively original according to Frank Badalson who will sign legal

affidavits that he acquired the copy of sticker 190771 long before accurate reproduction stickers were being produced. According to Badalson and the documents he retains from the Lynch Rd assembly plant, the Monroney stickers and the date codes at the bottom of each are authentic and document the date the vehicle was released from Chrysler Motors. This is also evidenced by many original documents corroborated by paperwork in the files of Mr. Norm.

Although Mr. Krook’s paint thesis “why” the extraordinarily long delay may be partly or totally inaccurate, his overriding argument shifted to a letter from W.C. Tiahrt (on Chrysler letterhead). That letter remains an important corroborating factor of the Monroney dates for both VIN 190771 and 190774. Mr. Krook paraphrases the Chrysler letter, “…the build date on 190774 is July 30th and is the last they have any record of. Again, refuting any idea that the window sticker is a re-issue. According to Mr. Krook, “The letter citing original factory production records and the window sticker corroborate with one another”. Mr. Krook’s argument remains more compelling than arguments presented by any other owners or sources to date.


Reconciling Contradictions

During an October 24, interview by David Burroughs, Mopar authority and chief judge for International Chrysler Collector Authority, Dave Wise, suggested that the ink date at the bottom of the Monroney window sticker is the “print date” of the window sticker. Extending that logic, Burroughs asked if the original window sticker was damaged at the dealer and the dealer requested a re-issued sticker a month after production, what date would be indicated on the re-issued window sticker; the original production date or the date the re-issued sticker was printed? The answer to this question would impact the credibility of the two window stickers dated 0729 and 0739. Although not definitive, Mr. Wise believed re-issued Monroneys would indicate the re-print date rather than the original vehicle production date. However, when asked again in a subsequent interview with Burroughs on December 21, 2012, Wise still believed this was true but lowered his confidence level to less than 70% certainty that this was the actual practice.

Conversely, during a November 16, 2012, interview between Frank Pope and Dave Walden; the only person licensed by Chrysler to reproduce Monroney window stickers, Pope asked the same question. “If a dealership requested a Monroney to be re-issued by the factory, would it have a different date than the original?” Walden emphatically stated, “Absolutely not! The duplicate would be just that; a duplicate.” Pope pressed Mr. Walden further and advised him of a contradiction he had heard. Specifically, another witness stated that when a Monroney was reissued by the factory, the date on the bottom would be the print date of the re-issue rather than the print date of the original issue. Walden stated, “It‘s just not true!”

On January 8, 2013 Frank Pope interviewed Dave Walden for a third time and posed these specific questions:

“If a Charger was produced on June 15 and the dealer later requested a factory re-issued Monroney, would the re-issued Monroney carry the same 0615 (June 15) code on the bottom even if it was re-issued 45 days later?” Mr. Walden’s response was, “I can’t be 100% certain of anything.” But it is a fair assessment that Walden was over 95% confident that his statement accurately reflected the Chrysler process.

Upon further questioning by Pope, Walden revealed that he believed re-issued window stickers were printed at a Central Office instead of the assembly plant.

IMPORTANT INSIGHT REACHED IN JANUARY 2013:

After discussing at length with numerous Mopar authorities, it seems that the most likely explanation of the mysterious six week gap between scheduled production date and Monroney date is the following: These cars did not go on the assembly line on their scheduled production date, but their orders were batched with other year-end Hemi vehicles and went on the line at the end of the July production run.

Frank Badalson provided evidence that clearly documents a 1970 Mopar ordered on July 6 with a scheduled production date of August 29 and a Monroney date of October 2. This clearly illustrates that the gap between order and Monroney dates is not a unique thing for VIN 190774.


Researching the Kanellis Hemi / VIN 195362:

Frank Pope and David Burroughs inspected a fourth Charger 195362 that could possibly be the last hemi produced due to its highest known VIN. All the pertinent VIN stampings under hood Exhibits 12 & 13 and the VIN tag on the left dash Exhibit 14 were photo documented by Frank Pope, Jr. and corroborated by Mopar authorities as legitimate. Important to note, the fender tag indicated a scheduled production date code of 628 (June 28)—significantly later than any of the other three subject Hemi Chargers. Exhibit 15 With the exception of the Certification Label located on the driver door, all other stampings and tags including fender tags were claimed by the owner to be original.

However, several Mopar authorities, Frank Badalson and John Bober question the authenticity of the 195362 fender tag due to the following anomalies:

  • N96 Fresh Air Pkg (Air Grabber) is not stamped. All Hemis should have N96.
  • No inspector marks on either tag. Inspector markings are typical.
  • 408 needs to be 407. 408 indicates a Hemi engine configured for an automatic transmission.
  • VIN repeats on top line. Witnesses have not seen frame line sequence match VIN
  • 1/8 space between bottom line stamping and rib. (Typical of early reproduction tag)

Regardless of the anomalies above, Mr. Kanellis stated that he would sign a legal and binding affidavit relative to his claim that the fender tags have been neither reproduced nor replaced. Regardless, the authenticity of the fender tag is not a critical element in determining whether or not it was the Last Hemi Charger or vehicle.

Although the Certification Label was reproduced according to Mr. Kanellis, he stated that he had the Certification Label reproduced per the original which he claims had the date code 6-71 (June 1971). This would suggest that the car 195362 was scheduled to have been produced in June-‘71. Exhibit 16 Some witnesses might speculate that it is a mystery how a vehicle with a June 28 scheduled production date could be completed before June 30 since it was equipped with a sunroof option. Such vehicles pose a unique issue. It would be difficult to complete production within two days for a sunroof equipped vehicle. According to Chrysler production witnesses Dave Wise and Walt Redmond, they both maintain that sunroof cars were removed from the assembly line, transported to American Sun Roof and then returned to the assembly plant for completion. Could this entire operation from assembly line to ASR and back again happen within two days? Realistically, it could not. However, according to Frank Badalson, “It is not unusual to see cars with Certification Label dates a month before the final assembly month.” In fact, the original Certification Label date of Charger 190774 is also 6-71 even though its Monroney sticker is coded July 30. Exhibit 17 As stated earlier in the report, Mr. Badalson supplied Prove it with examples of other Mopars with door tag labels as much as two months apart. E.g. July 6 order date, scheduled production date August 29, door label 8-70 and Monroney sticker date October 2, (1002).

IMPORTANT CONCLUSION

Regardless of 195362’s Certification Label date or the authenticity of its fender tag, since Chargers 190771 and 190774 have Monroneys with 0729 and 0730 date codes plus a letter from Chrysler corroborating these vehicles as the last two Chargers (officially) produced at Lynch Rd assembly plant at the end of Chrysler production—in July, 1971, it appears highly improbable that 195236 was the Last Hemi released from the assembly plant. However, it is highly likely that it was one of the very last Hemi Chargers produced.


CLOSING COMMENTS

Disregarding the Tiahrt letter from Chrysler, how else is it known that July 30, 1971 was the last day of production?

In response to this email question posed by David Burroughs on October, 2012, Patrick Krook quoted Galen Govier’s “Chrysler Corporation Production Option Code Book 1969-71” Sixth Edition July, 2001.

  • Chrysler model year began August 1 and usually ended the 2nd week of July.

Mr. Krook therefore, deduced that since July 30 was Friday, it was highly probable it was the last day of 1971 production of a very limited number of Hemi cars in the first place. Accordingly, Mr. Govier’s published statements lend significant credence to Mr. Krook’s argument and further increase the probability that no other Hemi Chargers (or possibly Hemi vehicles) would have been built or finished after Friday, July 30, 1971. The date printed on the 190774 Monroney.

How is it known how many cars (if any) were produced that day?

Prove It doesn’t know. However, per an interview with John Bober, who maintains the best known 1971 Mopar database, he claims that he has never come across any cars built in July. Nor over the five months of this investigation (from September through February) have any documents of July production Mopars been discovered or presented other than those related to VINs 190771 and 190774. This supports the argument that a very limited number of Hemi’s were produced in July 1971.

How is it known that the subject Monroneys are legitimate and not reprints or replicas with inaccurate date codes?

Evidence was accidentally discovered which raises the credibility of the Monroneys by a magnitude. During a December 12 interview with Dave Walden, a re-manufacturer of reproduction Monroney stickers, Frank Pope asked Walden what he believed was the last day of production for 1971 Dodge Chargers. Pope asked this question to corroborate John Bober’s statement that he has never come across any cars built in July. Walden stated, “I have seen build dates as high as the last days of July.” When asked if he could provide an exhibit of a July production Hemi, Walden forwarded a surprising and coincidental document to Prove It. It was a copy of the Monroney sticker for Hemi Charger VIN 190771 Exhibit the same Charger referenced by the Chrysler letter written by W.C. Tiahrt. The Monroney supplied by Mr. Walden corroborated the date quoted by Mr. Tiahrt; July 29--indicated by a 0729 ink code on the bottom line of that Monroney. It is important to note that Prove It had never disclosed to Walden that this VIN Charger was one of the four subject vehicles being researched. It is also important to note that this Monroney has unique visual characteristics that match the Monroney sticker for 190771 on file with Frank Badalson.

This is compelling evidence leading to a conclusion that not many (or possibly any) other Hemi Chargers have Monroney published build dates later than VIN 190771 and 190774; even if other vehicles may have higher VINs. This piece of corroborating evidence from a totally independent witness (Dave Walden) who had never seen the Monroney for VIN 109774 (The Wellborn Charger) creates a very compelling case that the late July dates printed on both 190771 and 190774 are authentic. Rationale: The fact that re-issued window stickers are not only uncommonly ordered, but also the odds that two would be ordered by two different dealerships (one in Knoxville, Tennessee and the other in Welch, West Virginia) for two cars with identical SPDs seems unlikely. Further, that they would have been reprinted almost exactly at the same time (six weeks after their production) seems highly improbable. Furthermore, since 190771 was sold by Chrysler Motors to Chrysler Motors, why would Chrysler Motors need yet another Monroney re-issued? They sold it to themselves, not to a retail customer. Therefore, deductive logic leads to a reasonable conclusion that Monroney’s for both vehicles are not re-issues. Since it is likely that production was delayed six weeks for numerous year-end Hemi orders, two existing original Monroney stickers, plus a corroborating letter from Chrysler Motors, it appears Definitive that Chargers 190771 and 190774 were the Last Hemi Chargers officially “released”. It appears Indicative to Probable that they were also the last two Hemi vehicles officially “released” by Chrysler Motors. The 1976 Chrysler letter from W.C. (Warren) Tiahrt lends convincing corroboration.

It is important to understand that completed or released are not necessarily synonymous with the last assembled or produced. For example, the cars may have been 95% produced (assembled) in June and not completed or released until July. However, the consensus of witnesses believes that it is much more likely that the year-end Hemi orders were delayed (or batched) until the end of the production run in July, 1971. Therefore, deductive logic would interpret the July 29 and July 30 date codes on both Monroneys and the 1976 Chrysler letter as “the last officially produced” vehicles since the Monroney sticker is applied to the vehicle before it rolls off the final assembly line. Although Prove It understands this implicit public interpretation, Prove It is unable to make that claim because it is unknown if any non-Charger Hemi’s were released from any other assembly plants on or after July 30, 1971

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