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Looking for help from the HAMB community

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Jettback50, Dec 14, 2011.

  1. Jettback50
    Joined: Feb 10, 2008
    Posts: 422


    My father, a lifelong car collector, passed away just before Thanksgiving. He was not sick and his death was very sudden. He loved Oldsmobiles above all others. He traveled all over North America wheeling and dealing, picking up cars, buying old dealer’s inventory, delivering cars to friends, checking out the auctions, and, of course, car shows.

    Unfortunately, he did not leave very good records. There are notes and receipts but it has been a detective story to try and find his legacy. He left me all of this but there are debts that must settled before anything. There are cars stashed all over the country that I now have to find. People he bought cars from that he was waiting to pick up, cars at body shops, mechanics, friends, and storage rentals.

    Around Lake Geneva Wisconsin there are cars stored, just in a friend’s or landlord’s barn that only one of his “friends” knows where it is. On the day my father died, this “friend”, who is not even a car guy, changed the locks, screwed and chained all the doors shut, and drove spikes into the ground at the local storage lot before I got into town, telling me that it was to keep thieves away. He offered to take me to Lake Geneva and told me he had strict instructions that everything was to go to me but when I came into town and asked him to turn over the keys and either take me to Lake Geneva or the other storage lot, he said it was all his and his lawyer had all of the information. (This lawyer was also retained just after my father’s death) I have known this guy for many years but it seems that he is a real slime.

    If there is anyone out there in the area that might know where I can find these cars in Lake Geneva or the surrounding area like East Troy, please let me know. My family has been great but they are not sure where to look and I need to find them soon before they are stolen or crushed. If you heard about a guy keeping some mid to late 50’s Olds in that area or have any tips, please let me know. Anything helps.

    Another car we are looking for is a Maroon 1957 Olds 98 with a continental kit on the back. On the cover plate is a couple dancing in front of a juke box. It has Wisconsin plates. A very big, distinctive car. This is the car he took clients around in and drove to shows. We wanted to use this in his memorial tribute. The last place we heard of the car was after driving it down to Georgia to take my cousin to her wedding, he visited his friend in Nashville. The car had some A/C troubles so he found a repair show just outside of Nashville on craigslist and dropped it off. We believe he flew home after that because he was preparing to head to an auction in Tennessee around Thanksgiving week. The plan was to haul cars down and sell them to make space to bring the 57 Olds home to store for the winter.

    If the good people of Tennessee know anything about this car or the A/C shop that might have it, that would also be greatly appreciated.

    Thank you all and I hope you all stay happy and healthy.

    Attached Files:

  2. sorry about your loss
  3. Jettback50
    Joined: Feb 10, 2008
    Posts: 422


    Thank you very much.
  4. orula
    Joined: May 12, 2010
    Posts: 437


    I too am so sorry for your loss

  5. bobj49f2
    Joined: Jun 1, 2008
    Posts: 1,844


    Sorry to hear of your loss and the problems you're encountering.

    I just recently bought a panel truck from a family whose dad was murdered during a robbery by a person he was helping out by providing a place to live. He also was helping another couple out by renting a room in his house. After his death this couple attempted to take control of his property and all his possessions. They even tried to sell the panel truck, which a son owned, claiming it as their own. Some people are real scum.

    I assume your dad lived in the Lake Geneva-East Troy area. What is your dad's name? Maybe fellow car guys knew him, or knew of him, and might of heard of his penchant for collecting Oldsmobiles. Also, contact the local Oldsmobile club, even if he wasn't a member I'd bet the Olds guys knew about him and his collection. Many might have even been taken to the storage sites by your dad to check out parts or cars.
  6. tubman
    Joined: May 16, 2007
    Posts: 5,852


    I too, am sorry for your loss. However, there must be titles in some central location you can get. If you have them, this is starting to sound like grand theft auto. This should be a reminder to some of us older guys to start getting our stuff in order in case something unexpected like this should occur.
  7. Roothawg
    Joined: Mar 14, 2001
    Posts: 21,969


    The HAMB is full of good people, however, there will be people lurking reading this that will try and capitalize on your loss. With that said, the power of the hamb is very far reaching and I am looking forward to reading about your full recovery of his estate. Good luck and my condolences to your family.
  8. .......Very true. Sad story. Hope that all turns out well and you can locate and secure your father's cars.
  9. Rocket man 88
    Joined: Sep 23, 2007
    Posts: 121

    Rocket man 88

    sorry to hear of your loss...when my grand father passed away he left a 65 chevelle body with no title but was in his name...we called the secretary of state and they cleared it up for us with my grandmothers help..34$dollars later my grandmother had a title in her name giving proof she was his wife....try calling the secretary of state and have proof of relation, and maybe with a death certificate you should be able to have these cars transferred possibly. It is where I would start and I hope you can find these cars...I love a good 1950's Oldsmobile, your father had good taste.
  10. Mopar Jack
    Joined: Jan 24, 2010
    Posts: 1,363

    Mopar Jack

    I hope you find it all,and im sorry for your loss..
  11. Jettback50
    Joined: Feb 10, 2008
    Posts: 422


    Thank you all very much. There is so much for me to wrap up right now, turns out I lost my financial aid and work study at school because I had to go and take care of my father and his affairs.

    I am already working on some of your suggestions. I do have a number of titles but they were not all in one area or even all in the house. More titles than I know where cars are.
  12. Man, I am sorry for your loss. It's terrible that you have to go through all this pain to get what is rightfully yours.

    Guys, this is why it is vital to document everything you own - cars, homes, stuff - and let someone you trust without reserve know where to access these records; whether it be a relative, lawyer, or a trusted agent of some sort. You never know when your time is up.
  13. bobj49f2
    Joined: Jun 1, 2008
    Posts: 1,844


    Pat66, sounds like his dad did do what you're suggesting, somewhat, unfortunately it sounds like he picked the wrong person to be his agent.

    The documenting part is really the best piece of advice but unfortunately most of us car guys are pack rats and accumulate a lot more than we can keep track of. I know if I'd die tomorrow my wife and kids would have a fire sale and sell everything car related item I have for pennies on the dollar. They don't realize what I have and don't care, it's just old car junk to them. I won't care once I'm gone, I only hope someone deserving gets to buy my "junk".
  14. bobwop
    Joined: Jan 13, 2008
    Posts: 6,099


    wow, what a story. sorry about the challenges you face and certainly about your loss.

    I am a big Oldsmobile lover myself. I will keep my eyes/ears open.

    East Troy and Lake Geneva are close by, so if you discover something and need help to get it moved, please contact me.

    best wishes as you try to put all this together.
  15. Ob1
    Joined: Jan 21, 2010
    Posts: 411


    Just finished up a 4 year run my my father's estate; a bit messy, but not compared to yours.

    My suggestion...pick your battles.

    Sometimes when folks leave us, they leave problems as well. You will do the best you can, I know, but understand that that is all you can do.

    Karma is a bitch, hope your father's associate gets his visit real soon.
  16. Gator
    Joined: Dec 29, 2005
    Posts: 4,016


    Don't know anything about the car or shop, but I'm in middle-Tennessee if I can help in any way just ask.
  17. Roothawg
    Joined: Mar 14, 2001
    Posts: 21,969


    I would suggest guys watching the public notices sections. Ifa guy is planning on doing a Title 42 mechanics lien, that's where they would post it.
  18. 54 savoy
    Joined: Jan 10, 2009
    Posts: 424

    54 savoy

    i'm in and around nashville all the time so i'll be on the lookout,shoot you a pm if i see it.
  19. Jay Tyrrell
    Joined: Dec 9, 2007
    Posts: 1,631

    Jay Tyrrell

    Sorry for your loss. Please keep us updated man!
  20. davidbistolas
    Joined: May 21, 2010
    Posts: 962


    You mentioned that there are debts to be paid. Understandable, and that certainly adds stress. However, depending on your dad's relationship with his creditors, it may be possible to have them (or, perhaps the estate itself) issue a llen against all of the vehicles in question. That would prevent/hinder sale/transfer of ownership in some cases.
  21. daddio211
    Joined: Aug 26, 2008
    Posts: 6,002


    Work with the police department. If they think its appropriate they might list the cars as stolen since you have the titles and are the seemingly rightful owner. The family friend has likely already filed for the titles, and you may be able to short cut him.

    He will have to produce (falsify) some paperwork to get the titles, and if he has a prior record the police may be extra interested in helping you.
  22. I agree, treat and report all of the vehicles as stolen, and let it go from that point. Thing is, unless your dad had a dealer license, it's likely that if any of the cars did not have titles transferred to his name, those may not be reportable as "stolen". BUT, reporting all of them you know about and have documentation on, will help your cause greatly.

    A friend died several years ago, leaving several very desirable and expensive '30s through '50s cars. After his funeral, there were three people that showed up with car haulers, expecting to take home vehicles they claimed were "promised" to them. Thankfully, the executor was on to their little play, and they got zip.

    Your Dad's "friend" is a turd. As stated before, Karma has a way of getting people like that. I truly wish you the best.
  23. t5stang91
    Joined: Dec 20, 2008
    Posts: 300


    not far from lake geneva /east troy either, maybe a little more then a half hour away. any pics of these cars or a barn? i can help look for something. if bobwop needs help i also have a trailer and can assist or help in any way. sorry for your loss.

    name of the "friend" ? maybe we pay him a visit ?
  24. k9racer
    Joined: Jan 20, 2003
    Posts: 3,091


    If the people you are dealing with have a lawyer by all means get your self one.
  25. Don's Hot Rods
    Joined: Oct 7, 2005
    Posts: 8,319

    Don's Hot Rods
    from florida

    Sorry about the loss of your Dad. You really have a mess on your hands from the sounds of it. I think in the matter of your Dad's "friend" I would contact the local police and have a talk with them. If you have titles to the stuff stored there he simply can't claim it for his own. You sound young and he might be taking advantage of that youth.

    The rest of the stuff is going to be very hard to track down from what you say, unless you can find notes or something your Dad kept.

    Good luck with your hunt.

  26. lowkroozer
    Joined: Jun 1, 2006
    Posts: 601


    Sorry for your loss,,,,,,,,,,
    You mentioned your father was into Oldsmobiles .Try checking in your area for Oldsmobile clubs.Maybe some of the people in the club new your father and where he stored some of the cars.Good luck,,keep us posted.
  27. Willy301
    Joined: Nov 16, 2007
    Posts: 1,426


    So sorry for your loss, I lost my parents, Dad was kinda expected, but Mom was a total suprize.

    I would suggest you also call the Wisconsin DMV, incase any titles suddenly come through being transferred from your Dad to others. I assume you have an estate attorney, if not, get one! They can be invaluable at a time like this, and can enforce your rights of ownership even before the title snafu is all worked out. They usually base fees on the value of the estate, so it sounds like they won't come cheap, but worth their weight in gold, if you get an honest one.
  28. Jettback50
    Joined: Feb 10, 2008
    Posts: 422


    Roothawg, Is this in the local paper?
  29. Jettback50
    Joined: Feb 10, 2008
    Posts: 422


    Here is a picture I have from earlier this year for the storage. Worst part about it, before I got there and saw the financial mess, I was planning on thying to give this "friend" a car.

    But after two weeks of cleaning, trying match up paperwork, and making final arrangements, he didn't help, didn't contribute, didn't do anything but make the whole event harder. Two days before the funeral is when he told me that even though he had been telling every one around, he was left very specific instructions by my father that everything was to go to me, the storage and everything in it is his. One day before the funeral he came to the house to give me his lawyer's cards. He said he didn't want to tell me or my family earlier because he thought he wouldn't be invited to the funeral. He even had the balls to write an obituary that spoke of only him and other friends, no mention of the family who had been there every day doing the hard work.

    Just so you know, I was the bigger man and still invited him to the funeral but he didn't even have the balls to show up to remember someone he told me he was close to.

    There was talk of just turning over the whole estate to him and let him be ruined by it instead of me.

    I contacted the WI Olds club but have not heard back, I even had the WA Olds club president contact them but nothing. My only issue is that I do not know them and am not sure who to trust in WI. Just because there were in the Olds club doesn't tell me what kind of people they are. Know I might have the same kind of issue here but there is a lot more vouching for each other and Ryan kind of keeps his eye out too. Plus they are a lot of HAMBers that have done a number of good things for other people.

    OK, end of rant. Thanks all again.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Dec 16, 2011
  30. 64LeSabre455
    Joined: Dec 29, 2007
    Posts: 779

    from Adkins, Tx

    I don't know where to start, except to tell you that I am sorry for your Loss.
    It is tough to lose your father, I went through a little of the same situation, when I lost my father.
    My brother was named executor of his estate, because he was the closest to him.

    I hope you gain some information from this post! Take care buddy, and call me!

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