When is a Bentley Speed Six Not a Speed Six?

The High Court in London has recently given judgment in the case of Brewer vs. Stanley Mann, Fortis Lease UK Limited and Stanley Mann Racing Limited. The judgment emphasizes the importance of accuracy when giving sale descriptions of collector cars.

The judge’s finding, heavily in favor of the private buyer and against the seller, raises some interesting issues for dealers, auction houses and buyers. This judgment has caused some waves in the U.K. trade, and is already subject to Read More

A McLaren F1’s Rise from the Ashes

In many cases, insurance adjusters say that all they are required to do is fix the damaged parts, which can create a non-matching Frankenstein car

Pictures of a McLaren F1 that suffered an engine fire were all over the Internet last year. It was an ugly sight—and saddened every car collector who saw it. “Legal Files” is pleased to report that the F1 was saved. In fact, the owner and I just returned from a Read More

Stolen Property

The epic legal battles over a stolen 1954 Ferrari 375 Plus Grand Prix

Karl Kleve was a Cincinnati real estate investor who amassed an impressive collection of over 400 cars. He also designed and built 24 Kleve Supercars. Among the Cadillacs, Rolls-Royces, Kleves and Bugattis was a 1954 Ferrari 375 Plus, s/n 0384AM, one of only six made.

The 375 Plus was the 427 Cobra of its era, brutally fast, with barely adequate brakes, Read More

The Legal Battle over John O’Quinn’s Million-Dollar Cars

He paid world-record prices for some of the world’s rarest automobiles, and he often bought several high-end cars in a single weekend

Here’s a car story that has all the ingredients of a soap opera:  A billionaire dies in a car crash, and his longtime girlfriend is left out of his will. He owned hundreds of cars worth millions of dollars—and owed millions of dollars. To cap it off, all this turns into a high-stakes Read More

The “Jay Leno Special Edition” that Wasn’t

Our sister publication, Corvette Market, reported the sale of a 2007 “Jay Leno Special Edition” Corvette at the Barrett-Jackson Palm Beach auction in April. The well-optioned, 1,873-mile Corvette was in show-car condition. Leno reportedly “handpicked” the car from a Carson, California Chevrolet dealer. The Corvette was autographed on the valve cover by Leno, carried Jay Leno signature exterior badging and a laser-inscribed Jay Leno dash plaque.

The lot also included a selection of Jay Leno Read More

Who Gets the Car – or Boat?

Holding onto the certificate of title until you get paid is no legal protection. Once the buyer pays the broker, that certificate of title is worthless

The Oregon Court of Appeals recently decided a case of interest to car collectors. The case involved a 29-foot Sea Ray boat, but the legal principles apply equally to collector cars.

The boat’s owner, a supervisor at a title and escrow company, kept the boat moored Read More

A Car Guy Judge with a Sense of Humor

The judge started his opinion by pointing out that his “analysis will be swifter than Richard Petty’s race-clinching pit stop at the 1981 Daytona 500”

Here is an unlikely case of Car Guy v. Car Guy, brought, it just so happens, before a car guy judge. It’s the story of a race car owner and race car driver who had been a winning combination for many seasons. Somewhere along the way, it Read More

Dual-Identity Cars

Continuous History Car vs. Original Component Car? You decide

In a perfect world, every historic car would boast a spotless provenance and a documented list of distinguished owners, none of whom ever “abused” the car by changing a major component, let alone by crashing it. The real world is different. Witness competition cars, which in their heyday were used very hard and crashed frequently. The urgency then was to get it to Read More

The Nightmare of Litigation

He learned that the broker and seller were going to be in Monterey that
August, so he made arrangements to serve them both at The Quail

About two years ago, a Los Angeles SCMer contacted “Legal Files” hoping for advice about how to get his money back after a long-distance Ferrari deal went bad, very bad.

“Ed” thought he had done everything right. He had become seriously interested in a 1953 Read More

Who Pays at Russo and Steele?

If the winds were unforeseeable, they would be considered an act of God, and neither the auction nor tent company would be liable for damages

Who would have thought that the wind could blow so hard? That turns out to be the multi-million-dollar question in Scottsdale.

The big story from this year’s Arizona auctions was not the market, but the weather. What was called the worst storm in 40 years-with estimated 80-mph Read More