A Truckload of Trouble

Mark Oberholtzer is the owner of a successful Texas plumbing company: Mark-1 Plumbing. One of the company’s plumbing trucks, a 2005 Ford F-250 pickup, had reached the end of its useful life. So Oberholtzer took it to the nearby AutoNation Ford Gulf Freeway dealership and traded it in on a new 2012 Ford F-250 pickup.

Fourteen months later, Oberholtzer was traveling when he received a frantic call from his secretary. She reported that the company’s old 2005 F-250 truck was Read More

Is There a Ferrari Odometer Rollback Hack?

So how does a seemingly innocuous firing of a car salesperson turn into a public-relations disaster for Ferrari? Easy — all sorts of unexpected consequences can arise when a Legal File is created.

(Note: No one contacted by “Legal Files” was willing to speak on the record. Consequently, we drew heavily on court filings — mostly Bud Root’s at this stage — for the story.)

Bud Root has spent 22 years happily and successfully selling Ferraris. He started at Shelton Read More

A Wakeup Call for Smartphone Users

Finally, someone is doing something about it.

We’ve all seen the telltale signs. We look at the driver in the next lane and see one hand on the wheel, head down and making furtive occasional glances up and then back down.

At night, it’s even easier to spot, as the glow of the cell phone lights the driver’s face.

To those of us who appreciate and take pride in the skill required to properly drive cars capable of high performance, Read More

Will Taxes Get Trumped?

Ihave to think I was in the clear majority of the country — I didn’t see much chance that Donald Trump was going to be elected president.

What may have been even more astounding was that the Republican Party gained control of both chambers of the Congress. That sets the stage for some pretty major changes to our tax system that will have substantial effects on car collectors.

Before getting into details, one important qualification Read More

Dude, Where’s My Car?

When you pull up to a restaurant or hotel and valet-park your car, it is reasonable to expect to get that car back in the same condition as when you dropped it off.

Unfortunately for Mr. Carlo DiMarco, that is not always the case.

According to a case filed in the District Court of Harris County, TX, Mr. DiMarco valet parked his 2014 Porsche Panamera at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel & Suites in Houston, TX.

The hotel charged him Read More

Matching Numbers in Court

Put yourself in Gary Duncan’s shoes. He had owned this great, numbers-matching 1970 Pontiac GTO for over three years. He’d had some good fun with the GTO, but he owned a lot of cars and it was time for this one to move on.

So he consigned it to an auction, expecting to even make a little money on it. The grim-faced auction staffer approached and said, “Gary, I’m sorry, but your car is not numbers-matching.”

Read More

Write Off Your Racing

Auto racing is expensive at any level. Often, a racer looks to reduce the cost by treating it as a business activity to deduct the expenses.

Racers who do this have encountered mixed results when the IRS challenges their returns. If you are going to give this a try, it’s a good idea to understand how the tax rules apply, so your racing activity stands the best chance of being deductible.

Is it a business?

A Drug-Fueled Car Auction

It’s safe to say that SCM has never before reported on an Apple Auctioneering Company sale — until now.

Apple Auctioneering Company is an affiliate of Apple Towing Company, Houston’s largest towing company, and it bills itself as the “nation’s leader in seized asset management & government liquidation.”

Apple seemed to hit the jackpot on July 7, when it completed the sale of 10 high-end vehicles that had been seized from convicted drug kingpin Alvaro Lopez Tardon. Top sales were Read More

A Soft Market and Hard Tax Choices

By now, everyone knows the collector car market has softened. The harder question is what will happen next.

If you liken the collector car market to the stock market, you should be bullish. Every time the stock market has lost substantial value, as it recently did after the Brexit vote, it has quietly bounced back to regain the lost value — and then some. To you, today’s collector car market is a buying opportunity.

If you see the collector car Read More

‘Real McCoy’ Races to Judgment

Legal Files” previously reported (May 2014, p. 38) about a lawsuit filed by Domenico Idoni concerning the “Real McCoy” Corvette. This March, the lawsuit came to an end, with judgment entered in favor of Chuck Ungurean, the owner of the Corvette.

The Real McCoy is a 1956 Chevrolet Corvette SR prototype that Chevrolet built to race. John Finch ran it in the 1956 12 Hours of Sebring, finishing 1st in class and 9th overall. That victory cemented the Corvette’s position Read More

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