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.

Read More

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

Corvette Litigation Hits the Finish Line

After five years of “Legal Files” columns about this case (December 2013, p. 40; January 2014, p. 42; September 2015, p. 73), the legal battles over the #1 Cunningham Corvette seem to have come to an end. On December 21, 2018, Porter County Indiana Superior Court Judge Jeffrey W. Clymer appointed Indianapolis attorney William Baten as receiver, directing him to take possession of the Cunningham Corvette and sell it at a no-reserve auction.

To refresh your memory, the Corvette we Read More

The Other Side of the Stolen Ferrari Case

Recently, “Legal Files” wrote about the end — or perhaps temporary cessation — of the litigation involving Barney Hallingby’s 1957 Ferrari 250 GT (October 2018, p. 50).

The Ferrari was once the property of Andreas Gerber and Bernhard Friedli. They claimed that it was stolen in Spain in 1991. Friedli litigated the matter in Spain and lost, with the Spanish court deciding it was a civil business dispute and not a theft.

Fast forward to this year, and Hallingby was Read More

What Could Possibly Go Right?

If you are a lawyer who works in the collector-car field, you get a lot of clients who are disappointed with cars they purchased from Internet ads.

They aren’t all stories with unhappy endings, but they are a treasure trove of legal work.

A recent victim, “Frank,” purchased a Porsche 930 from a dealer 2,000 miles away. The Turbo looked perfect in the many photos on the website, but Frank knew that little pictures can lie.

So he called the Read More