Making Old Cars Safer

You’ve probably seen news reports about comedian Kevin Hart’s car crash and his extensive injuries. Despite Internet reports that all involved have “lawyered up” and that a “lawsuit’s almost certain,” we haven’t seen an actual lawsuit filed.

Maybe it’s getting filed as you read this, but the lack of a lawsuit doesn’t mean we can’t use this as an example of how insurance and legal liability work.

In case you’ve missed the hubbub, Hart is a very popular 40-year-old actor Read More

From Auction House to Courthouse

Falcon Woods LLC, a Nevis, West Indies, limited-liability company, was about to cut a fat hog. It had consigned its 1954 Ferrari 250 Europa GT coupe, chassis number 0379GT, to Gooding & Company for its 2018 Scottsdale auction. The estimated sales price for Lot 116 was $1.6m to $2m. Just before the auction started, Falcon Woods received an alarming phone call. Gooding had been contacted by a Peter Piper, who claimed that the Ferrari still belonged to the estate of Read More

Trailer Insurance Woes

SCMer Lee Cross, a Shelby enthusiast who organizes the annual GT350 Tour, shared a very interesting story:

I am passing along an incident as something that might present a topic with wide relevance to your audience; i.e., the legal technicalities that arise when a collector attaches a trailer to their tow vehicle.

I usually trailer one of our Cobras across the country when I depart Delaware for Monterey. This year was a little different. My 289 Cobra was already in Read More

When a Friend Crashes Your Car

You’re a trusting soul — a nice guy. Your best friend Tom tells you how disappointed he is that his Ferrari is in the shop for an extended stay and he has to miss the next Ferrari Club weekend drive. You have already agreed to spend that weekend with your in-laws, so you tell your friend, “Don’t sweat it. Take my 488 — just be careful with it!”

Tom is as careful as you would hope — attentive driving, no Read More

Auction Wars in Scottsdale

Leake Auction Company has big plans for its first-ever auction in Scottsdale, AZ, in January 2020. But the welcome mat is not out.

Immediately upon announcing its new auction, Leake got hit with a lawsuit filed by Russo and Steele alleging interference with contractual relations. Of course, Leake knew it was coming.

The cast

Drew Alcazar and his wife, Josephine, own and operate Russo and Steele. Russo prides itself on being family-owned and -operated — and on its signature “Auction Read More

Menacing the Highways

Before you read any further, let me make one point crystal clear — this column has absolutely nothing to do with the SCM 1000 Tour. Feel free to participate. I’m going.

At the other end of the spectrum, participants in the Eurorally 2019 were met with a huge surprise as they traveled the A20 east of Wismar, Germany — they all got busted!

German police were not pleased by reports from other drivers that the Eurorally participants were driving dangerously Read More

Where Should Your Cars Live?

As Baby Boomers ease into retirement, they are becoming a very mobile generation. Many are migrating to other states, not just in search of a sunnier climate — but also for tax planning considerations.

We’ve just seen federal income tax rates drop to historic lows, with ordinary rates peaking at 37% and capital gain rates at 20%.

But there is an important understory — your deductions for state and local taxes are now limited to $10,000 per year.

Tax refugees

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The Stealth Claim

Legal Files” has written many times about the concept of diminished value — where even a perfectly repaired car is still worth less than it was before the damage occurred.

This month, I’m enlisting the help of Mike Shoemaker, a Houston-based attorney who conducts a national practice representing car and aircraft owners when their vehicles have been damaged in crashes and casualties. Shoemaker will give us a new spin on this subject.

But first, a little refresher on diminished value.

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New Tax Opportunities

Collectors lamented that the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act eliminated our ability to do 1031 Exchanges with our collector cars. After 2017, 1031 Exchanges are limited to real estate. This also means that doing a straight exchange with a car dealer doesn’t work either. That is, going to a Porsche dealer and trading your Ferrari for a Porsche is now a taxable transaction.

But the new law also produced an unexpected new planning technique that is attracting a huge Read More

Jerry Seinfeld Sued Over ’58 Speedster Sale

Alawsuit has been filed against Jerry Seinfeld, alleging that the 1958 Porsche Speedster he sold for $1,540,000 at the March 2016 Gooding & Company Amelia Island Auction is a fake.

Seinfeld politely and sensibly declined to comment on the litigation, as one would expect, so we have to rely upon the complaint filed in the lawsuit and reports in the press for the story.

Special car and occasion

The Speedster was one of 16 Read More