SOURCE: Barrett-Jackson

Barrett-Jackson

January 15, 2010 17:46 ET

Mystery Concerning 1971 Plymouth 'Cuda Reported Stolen 35 Years Ago Solved at Barrett-Jackson

SCOTTSDALE, AZ--(Marketwire - January 15, 2010) - The Barrett-Jackson Auction Company, producer of "The World's Greatest Collector Car Auctions™," announced today that the 1971 Plymouth Hemi 'Cuda Re-Creation listed as Lot #1246 for the company's Scottsdale, Ariz., auction has been reinstated on the auction docket and will cross the block as originally scheduled on Saturday, Jan. 23, 2010. The car was removed from the docket late on Jan. 14 after auction company officials uncovered a VIN issue which led to the discovery that the car had been reported stolen in 1975.

Barrett-Jackson officials uncovered the VIN issue during the final steps of its diligence process when the vehicle and all related paperwork arrived onsite for check-in. During this final step of auction preparation, it was discovered that the VIN on the vehicle did not match the one on the title. The company then contacted the local MVD for assistance in resolving the issue, leading to the MVD's discovery that the vehicle had been reported stolen in St. Louis in 1975. The car was removed from the auction site late in the day on Jan.14, pending investigation by the Scottsdale Police Department.

The Scottsdale Police Department tried to contact St. Louis police to discuss the matter on Jan. 14, but the St. Louis records division was closed for the day. The car was held overnight according to standard department protocol. According to a statement issued by the Scottsdale Police Department the morning of Jan. 15, auto crimes detectives from Scottsdale worked with detectives from the St. Louis Metro Police Department to review the situation. Through this process, Scottsdale detectives learned the vehicle reported stolen in September 1975 was actually recovered later that same month.

A copy of 1975 police report was obtained by Barrett-Jackson officials today, and confirms the vehicle was reported stolen on Sept. 2, 1975, then recovered on Sept. 25, 1975. Unfortunately, when the vehicle was recovered, it had been stripped of its seats, front wheels, license plate and VIN plate.

"Looking back at the 1975 police report and all the other information we've been able to gather about the car, we've attempted to piece the history together as well as we can," said Steve Davis, president of Barrett-Jackson. "We now know that the car itself was recovered quickly, but the VIN plate was obviously missing for some time. The most likely scenario is that the VIN plate was later located by a restorer and purchased for the sake of reuniting it with the vehicle where it belonged."

Barrett-Jackson's consignor, Al Jardine of The Beach Boys, was fully apprised of the situation as it unfolded. Mr. Jardine had no prior knowledge of the VIN discrepancy or any knowledge of the stolen vehicle report dating back to 1976.

"I was dumbfounded by this situation," said Jardine. "We couldn't believe it when we heard yesterday that the car had been stolen, but we are thrilled the story has a happy ending. There's no doubt in my mind that this car has good vibrations!"

Working around the clock from the time the problem was identified on Jan. 14 until the time the good news was received the following morning, Barrett-Jackson's consignment team worked closely with the Scottsdale Police Department and the Arizona MVD in order to resolve the issue and ensure the car could be sold to a new owner with no lingering questions. Scottsdale police have completed their investigation, and the MVD is issuing an Arizona title with the VIN matching the VIN plate on the car.

According to the Scottsdale Police Department statement, detectives confirmed the car is no longer considered a stolen vehicle, and authorized release to Barrett-Jackson for sale. The car and the VIN have both been cleared from the stolen vehicle registry system.

"We'll pass along a copy of the documentation dating back to 1975 to the car's new owner," stated Davis. "In addition to being a fantastic car in its own right and having the great history of being in the personal collection of one of America's original rock stars, this car now has another unique element to its story that will only add to its provenance."

The 1971 Plymouth Hemi 'Cuda Re-Creation owned by Jardine features a powerful 426 HEMI engine, a 3-speed automatic transmission and a bevy of performance parts. The Plum Crazy purple paint scheme blends beautifully with the white HEMI graphics on the side and white interior.

About The Barrett-Jackson Auction Company

Established in 1971 and headquartered in Scottsdale, Ariz., Barrett-Jackson specializes in providing products and services to classic and collector car owners, astute collectors and automotive enthusiasts around the world. The company produces "The World's Greatest Collector Car Auctions™" in Scottsdale, Palm Beach, Fla., Las Vegas and Orange County, Calif. Barrett-Jackson also endorses a "one-of-a-kind" collector car insurance offering for collector vehicles and other valued belongings. For more information about Barrett-Jackson, visit www.barrett-jackson.com or call (480) 421-6694.

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