With the quality of the workmanship on some of the muscle car clones, it's tough to know if your getting ripped off or taken advantage of, but you can still be smart about it, by learning about the car that you want to buy, getting ripped off will make you hateful and sour about the whole car industry, and it's not all of the industry that's trying to rip you off, just a small portion of the very weak ones.
Now if your looking at buying a classic cars you should learn all you can about the model that your buying, and learn about the person who's selling it, check out the car and be sure it's what it has been represented to you as being, get some references on the guy, or the company selling the car, first and foremost is that you know that the seller or his company is reputable.
You can do this by going to places like http://ussearch.com on the net, or the Better Business Bureau located at http://bbb.com on the net, or you could use a private investigator to find info about the seller and his business, your looking for info, like his criminal record, and from the bbb look for things like, has anybody got a complaint against his business at this time, and what are the complaints, a complaint can be frivolous and have no merit, look for the serious stuff.
Now as to the car it's self, this can be very tricky, you need to look at the vin number, and make sure that it claims that the car is what the person sell it said it was, on GM cars you also need to look at the rpo number, this number will tell you if the engine and transmission are the correct one for the car your buying, or if things have been changed, the rpo code must match what the vin plate says, you can also look at things like rear end tags and transmission tags. Use this desoder for GM & Mopar http://muscle-car-resto.com/vin .
On mopar products you need to look at this like the trim tag, usually located on the left inner fenderwell, you also need to look at the vin plate, this will tell you things like the make or manufacture of the car, the body style, the price class whitch is what the car was built for, what engine should be in the car, what assembly plant it was built at, look here for a mopar vin decoder http://muscle-car-resto.com/mopar-vin.html you'll want to match the vin up to the codes on the engine and transmission
For more info on these sujects check out our muscle car community, loated at Muscle car community .
About the Author
David C. Atkin owner of Red Line Restoration, I've been in the automotive business for about 20 years, and I love the old cars, and want to see them stay on the road.