Shoddy Repair Costs Shop $42m

A lot of people will be surprised to learn that a dealer body shop’s shoddy repair work resulted in a $42m negligence verdict. And it wasn’t even the shop’s customer who sued, but a downstream purchaser of the car.

Matthew and Marcia Seebachan purchased a used 2010 Honda Fit from a Texas Kia dealer in August 2013. They told the salesperson that they were looking for a low-mile, high-condition, accident-free car. With a clean CARFAX report, the Seebachans were confident Read More

Neighborhood Battleground

Houston attorney Tony Buzbee found himself in a war of words with his Homeowners Association — the River Oaks Property Owners. For some reason, the HOA isn’t very keen on his authentic World War II Sherman tank.

In Buzbee’s words, “This particular tank landed at Normandy, it liberated Paris… and ultimately went all the way to Berlin. This is a piece of American history. But for this type of vehicle, we would not have won the war.”

Buzbee purchased the Read More

Racing Blues

I’m a racer, but I’m not a historic — or vintage — racer. My observations are definitely unscientific, but it does appear to me that historic racing has grown more crash-prone than before.

It seems that historic racers have grown more competitive, take more risks, and suffer greater damage to their and others’ cars than before.

We all know that European historic racers have always raced hard — with less regard for bringing straight sheet metal home. They have seemed Read More

Who Pays for Short-Lived Cars?

We’ve all been here before. You’ve just bought a new collector car — one you’ve wanted for some time.

You write the check, sign the paperwork, shake the seller’s hand, jump in the car and take off for some immediate fun.

Unfortunately, most of us don’t stop to think that we might be in a risky situation.

$4,800 per minute

At the end of July, a British enthusiast took delivery of a new Ferrari F430 Scuderia and gleefully left the Read More

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

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