Legal Files

Shading the Truth

A 1961 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Roadster was produced in an unusual color called Fantasy Yellow, or Fantasiegelb. It was the sixth 300SL to be equipped with disc brakes and was featured by the factory at the 1961 Geneva Motor Show. For unknown reasons, the car was repainted red shortly afterward. Its […]

Piecing Together the Truth

In 1973, rule changes made the iconic and highly successful Porsche 917 ineligible for many races. Porsche developed the 911 Carrera RSR to take its place, which required that the automaker homologate at least 500 street versions to qualify for competition. Porsche ended up selling 1,525 Carrera RS cars and […]

Lawsuit Bankrupts Restoration Shop

My father was normally calm and laid back. It seemed nothing rattled him. But if my siblings and I pushed him too far, watch out! Apparently, Bill Oesterle has a similar temperament. Oesterle, one of the co-founders of Angie’s List, is a longtime car collector. At his apex, he had […]

Slow Grind

The wheels of justice grind slowly, but they eventually get there. This month we have a collection of stories — updates on two old cases, plus a trio of new ones, in brief. C-type-replica litigation “Legal Files” reported in May 2021 that Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) was garnering a lot […]

Online Scam Dealers Multiply

Publisher Martin called and said, “You’ve got to talk to our friend ‘Mark.’ You won’t believe what he’s gotten into now!” Martin had made a huge impression on Mark, telling him how his Mercedes-Benz SL55 AMG was the best thing since sliced bread. So Mark started digging around on the […]

How to Survive an Auction

The 2023 auction season kicked off with big January sales in Florida and Arizona. We counted a total of 5,394 collector cars sold by Barrett-Jackson, Bonhams, MAG Auctions, Mecum Auctions and RM Sotheby’s. (We’ll have full results and analysis in next month’s issue.) What struck me as we watched all […]

Mind the Paperwork

Ahead of the upcoming driving season, “Steve” took his 1958 Porsche 356 “Outlaw” coupe to his favorite local Porsche repair shop for some needed work. Once completed, a short test drive was necessary for the mechanic to verify that everything was working properly. As the mechanic came to a nearby […]

Unredeemable Jackpot

The Dillon County Sheriff’s Office in South Carolina announced that a 1938 Alfa Romeo 8C 2900B Lungo Spyder, valued at $23 million, was stolen during the early morning hours of July 25, 2022. Detective Sara Albarri said that the 8C was inside a 2009 Haulmark trailer pulled by a white […]

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 […]