Registering Danger

As we work with many car collectors, our firm has run across a lot of errors on titles and registrations.

They run the gamut: incorrect VINs, incorrect models, incorrect model years, engine numbers shown as the chassis numbers, incorrect manufacturers and so on.

Almost everything on the registration can be a product of a mistake. And just when you think you’ve seen them all, a new error surprises you.

It’s a great idea to take a look at your ownership Read More

Damaged at the Concours

“Bob” was pretty excited about showing his car at a concours. His 1967 Alfa Duetto Spider Veloce was in exceptional condition. Never wrecked, it still sported the shiny, original red lacquer paint with no significant flaws from the car’s 120,000-mile life. It was highly original — all the way down to the hose clamps and the Dunlop disc brakes.

Bob staged the Alfa on the field the night before. Concours organizers told him they would have security overnight and that Read More

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

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