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When a Patch of Classic Car Rust Nearly Ruins Retirement Plans

A classic car tells the tale of not just where we’re going, but where we’ve been. But the threat of classic car rust can put the brakes on that story. In the case of one disabled veteran who loves to take scenic rides in the right lane with his service animal, rust is threatening to potentially upend his remaining retirement.

According to the Las Cruces Sun News, the former combat vet/stuntman purchased a brand new Chevrolet El Camino in 1983 in a small Kentucky town. He named her Consuela, and she’s been his main mode of motor transport ever since. However, he’s hit a bump in the road since moving from Florida to New Mexico to try to register it – and rust is reportedly to blame.

The newspaper reports the motor vehicle division in his new home city can’t verify the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) on the car. The primary numbers are faded, but the secondary display, located on the frame of the car, is obscured by rust. There’s no sticker to verify the VIN on the dash, and the car was made before auto manufacturers were required to maintain onboard diagnostic VIN readers. He found the original purchase documents, but the city says that still doesn’t help him solve the VIN issue.

Although most classic car owners don’t typically share this same sort of headache, almost all are familiar with the risk of classic car rust.