Legal Files

The Case of the Buried Benz

Readers often ask where I find “Legal Files” column ideas. Many times, they come from suggestions from SCMers, so if you spot something interesting, feel free to email a tip. This story came from my first and most loyal reader, Publisher Martin. Not usually a man of few words, his […]

The Case of the Stolen Talbot-Lago

A 1938 Talbot-Lago T150C-SS Goutte d’Eau Coupé “Teardrop Coupe,” serial number 90108, one of 16 believed to be made, is at the center of a complicated case that recently took a new turn. In June, the purported mastermind of its 2001 theft, Chris Gardner, was extradited from Switzerland. The car […]

That Sinking Feeling

Longtime client “Pete” called recently with a problem. He was selling his boat, and what he thought was a simple deal had started to go sideways. The situation resembled some scary car deals we’ve seen over the years. Pete had found a buyer who was willing to buy both his […]

The Collision of Auto Repair Laws and Restorations

Al and Deb Poller enjoyed driving their 1931 Chevrolet in vintage-car events, but it showed its age. It was time to restore it, so the New Jersey residents searched for a restoration shop. They settled on Okoboji Classic Cars LLC (OCC) in Iowa. In 2013, Mrs. Poller sent an email […]

Gotta Sue Somebody

Picture this. You take your manual-transmission Jeep to the local dealer for an oil change. While you’re reading a car magazine in the waiting room, you hear a commotion. Apparently, a 19-year-old dealer employee who not only did not know how to drive a manual-transmission car, but didn’t even have […]

The Beginning of a Beautiful Friendship?

Just in case you’re one of the few SCMers who haven’t heard about it, RM Sotheby’s set a new world record for the highest automobile sales price ever achieved. On May 5, it auctioned a 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300SLR Uhlenhaut Coupe that was part of the Mercedes-Benz Classic Collection, selling it […]

Title Trouble

“Legal Files” recently received a call from a distressed longtime friend and client. “Mark” had moved to Arizona and tried to register his 1972 Ferrari Daytona. Mark had owned the car for many years, and presented his clear title issued by his former state. To his surprise, the Arizona DMV […]

Sticky Goldfingers

The Aston Martin DB5 driven by Sean Connery in “Goldfinger” — modified with weaponry suitable for use by James Bond — is thought by many to be the most famous car in the world. It has also been one of the most amazing automotive mysteries of all time. The Bond […]

Pay to Hold

“Legal Files” gets interesting letters from all sorts of sources. Here’s one from none other than Publisher Martin: If Bring a Trailer is the Tiffany of online sales, then Facebook Marketplace is the armpit. No vetting, no uniform description, no trolls. I don’t know how these deals find me, but […]