Do Your Homework Before Bidding

A recent Federal District Court decision in Illinois should be of serious concern to auction bidders. If it stands, we might all have to take a full coterie of mechanics and consultants with us to each auction.

Our plaintiff, “Ted,” was a successful bidder at a 2011 auction. (“Legal Files” won’t identify the auction company because, as will be explained later, it isn’t particularly unique in this regard.)

Ted purchased a 1967 Corvette 427/435 coupe at a hammer price of Read More

The Public Execution of a Mini Cooper

We all know that it’s going to be windy when a low-pressure area bumps up against a high-pressure area. The difference in air pressure sucks air into the low-pressure area until the pressures are equalized.

“Legal Files” recently reported (June 2014, p. 54) how this same principle applies to economic disequilibrium, resulting in an industry that buys new cars in the United States and exports them to countries where the same cars typically sell for much more due to manufacturers’ Read More

Trading Cars to Avoid Taxes

Legal Files” gets a lot of questions, but the most frequent is: “How can I do a 1031 exchange with my collector car?”

This is not much of a surprise. Many readers who have owned their collector cars for some time have realized significant appreciation they want to cash in on. Then they discover that income taxes will take a very large bite out of the successful sale.

Fortunately, for those who have owned their collector car for at least Read More

The Frankenstein Mercedes-Benz 280SL

George felt his time was coming. He was through with his studies and was just getting established in his career. Unburdened by a wife or kids, he had been able to save up some money and he was ready to have some fun with it. His interest in collector cars beckoned, and he was quite a fan of the Mercedes-Benz “Pagoda” cars.

A lengthy Internet search led him to the website of a dealer a long airplane ride away. The Read More

When Your Hobby Becomes a Business

One unexpected consequence of today’s hot collector car market has been that many SCMers have been buying and selling more cars more quickly than ever before. They — and their accountants — have wondered if they have crossed the line from a collector to a dealer, which would carry some significant tax and legal consequences.

Dealer licensing

All states require car dealers to be licensed. The most obvious consequence of dealer licensing is the cost. Not only do you have Read More

’Cuda Surfaces, Bugatti Drowns

Courtesy of KATU News

Earlier this year, Portland, OR, residents Rick and Jackie White were stunned to find a very technically worded legal notice in their mail. A lien service company was informing them that a local towing company was auctioning off their 1970 ’Cuda to satisfy its unpaid storage bill.

They weren’t stunned because of the substantial unpaid bill. They were stunned because the Hemi ’Cuda had been stolen in 2001, and they had given up on ever finding it.

Rick White ordered Read More

Car Damage, Insurance and Agreed-Value Policies

Two recent cases that attracted a lot of attention seem to involve different issues, but they actually have a lot in common. In one, SCM and ACC contributor John Stein brought to our attention a recent fire in a Sacramento repair shop that destroyed a number of Porsches. In the other, SCMer Joel Gardner shared a very lengthy Internet chat-board thread about a Ferrari FF that was damaged while being driven by a dealer’s employee.

Two calamities

The Sacramento shop Read More

Litigation Breeds More Litigation Regarding Ferrari 375 Plus

Several years ago, “Legal Files” reported about the litigation surrounding 1954 Ferrari 375 Plus, s/n 0384AM (October 2010, p. 30). The 375 Plus, one of six made, was well-known in the hands of Jack Swaters, the Belgian former race driver and Ferrari importer.

Karl Kleve, an atomic scientist who worked on the Manhattan Project, claimed that the 375 was stolen from him. Both men have since died. Kleve’s position passed to his daughter, Kristine Kleve Lawson in 2003, and Swaters’ Read More

Finding Fakes, Stolen Cars and Corvette Lawsuits

Last month’s Legal Files suggested that there are epidemic proportions of “matching-numbers” Corvettes (and other cars) that really aren’t matching-numbers cars.

That attracted a lot of attention and comments, but what people say is not as important as what they don’t say. No one said the suggestion was sometimes wrong.

First, let’s put “matching numbers” into perspective. Say we have a 1965 Pontiac LeMans with a 4-speed transmission. We source a correct 1965 Pontiac 389-ci GTO motor, a Tri-Power setup, Read More

Matching-Numbers Blues

“Joe” wanted to get into the collector car hobby. After kicking a lot of tires and spending many hours on the Internet, he came across a Southern California dealer offering a car that he had always wanted — a 1962 Corvette Roadster. The car was a matching-numbers example with 48,000 miles, a 327-ci, 360-hp engine, factory fuel injection and a 4-speed. It also looked great in Tuxedo Black. He went to the dealer, test-drove the car, and thought it fit Read More

Page 4 of 11« First...23456...10...Last »