Barrett-Jackson Pulls Stolen Car From this year’s Arizona Auction

Written by Michael Sheena

Automotive auction giant Barrett-Jackson has pulled two cars from next week’s auction in Scottsdale, Arizona. After investigation by the company, one vehicle turned out to have been stolen in 1976 and another vehicle have provenance issues.

A 1971 Plymouth Hemi ‘Cuda Re-Creation scheduled to be sold as Lot #1246 initially had vehicle identification (VIN) number issues. Upon further investigation by the auction company, it was discovered that the Plymouth had been reported stolen all the way back in 1976. The car’s consignor, Beach Boys guitarist Al Jardine, is not suspected of having any knowledge that the Plymouth had once been stolen.

“There are a number of legitimate reasons why a car’s VIN may not match the number listed on a title, particularly with older model vehicles that have been around for many years,” said Steve Davis, president of Barrett-Jackson. “There is a chance that a clerical error may have been made on a title transfer at some point or that a door or body panel may have been replaced during the life of the vehicle, which resulted in the original VIN no longer being in place. It’s also not unusual for a VIN plate to be lost or damaged during restoration. We don’t immediately assume there is an insurmountable problem when a VIN doesn’t match up.”

The vehicle has been released to authorities by Barrett-Jackson for further investigation. This story brings to mind the fully restored 1965 Volkswagen bus that was recently intercepted by authorities as having been stolen in 1974 and returned to the Allstate insurance company decades later. An unwitting German collector ended up $20,000+ in the hole while homeless women and children benefited when Allstate auctioned the van off for charity.

A 1958 Chevy Impala that supposedly once belonged to rock ‘n’ roll legend Buddy Holly, was pulled from the auction block as well over concerns about its authenticity.

“While we were disappointed to have to pull such a high-profile car from the auction, this was a decision we were willing to make in order to ensure all our customers are provided with a fair, trustworthy forum for buying or selling a collector car,” says Steve Davis, president of the Scottsdale-based auction.

The Chevy’s provenance has not been completely discredited, but the car’s owner will either have to provide more research or find another outlet for the car’s sale.

Coverage of the auction, something this author never misses one moment of, begins on SpeedTV on Tuesday, January 19, 2010 at 4PM PST.

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