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 An E-Type True Story

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PostSubject: An E-Type True Story   Fri Feb 05, 2010 8:45 pm

How could someone do this:-

" I decided to recount this story for several reasons – firstly so that others learn from my mistakes (and there are many reading through the story it’s embarrassing!), secondly don’t ever rely on the law in this country to be able to differentiate between right and wrong and thirdly, if you’re offered a 1969 series 2 FHC E-type chassis number P1R27233, don’t touch it with a bargepole!
In 1992 I bought my dream car; a 1969 E-Type FHC from Ivydene garage near Crewe. I had previously restored numerous Minis, MGs and Triumphs and felt I was ready for a real challenge! It had recently been imported from the States and was not rust free, but was complete, exactly the spec I wanted and needed total restoration. Over the next 16 years it was stripped to its last nut and bolt and survived 2 house moves in boxes; as I saved up a bit from buying and selling other cars in my spare time so I got a little more done on the E-type. Finally I had the bodyshell sprayed in 2008 and started putting everything back together, all it needed was the interior fitting out and an MOT and I could get it registered in the UK. Unfortunately it was at this point that a change in my circumstances meant I had nowhere to store the car and so a very close friend who I thought I knew very well offered her domestic garage as storage for 1 month. When the month was up I had sorted an alternative arrangement and was in a position to be able to move the car to my own property, so I got in touch. I was told it ‘wasn’t convenient’ to pick up the E-type. Over the next few weeks I tried to arrange to pick the car up twice and each time was told it ‘wasn’t convenient’. Eventually I received a recorded delivery letter informing me that she required a weekly storage fee for the car. A drawn out argument ensued through emails and letters as I felt not only was it unreasonable to charge a storage fee when I had been trying to collect the car but the amount was way over the top for a domestic garage in a small village in Worcestershire! Everybody who knew the situation was telling me to just go around to the property and take the car back, however, being a law abiding citizen I went to the police where they informed me that whist the car remained where it was it was a civil matter but if she attempted to move the vehicle or sell it then they would become interested. Following this I sought advice from a solicitor who wrote several letters at enormous expensive, all of which were ignored – even the recorded delivery ones were sent back! By this time I was completely fed up with the whole situation and wrote to her informing her that I agreed to pay whatever she was asking (remembering that all this time the weekly storage was adding up to quite a substantial sum). Shortly afterwards the car appears for sale on ebay from a seller purporting to be a Jaguar specialist in Telford; I immediately got in touch with the seller whereby the car disappeared from ebay within half an hour! I subsequently discovered from the ‘friend’ who had been storing the car that she had sold it whilst we were arguing over the storage fee and I assume that due to the speed it disappeared from ebay the ‘Jaguar specialist’ seller knew there were issues with its ownership. Following its discovery on ebay I went back to the police who decided to change their mind and told me they couldn’t do anything about it. I didn’t have a registration document since the car wasn’t registered (and foolishly I’d left all the paperwork, receipts etc in a box in the car) but I did have letters from the ‘friend’ admitting the car was mine and asking for a storage fee! My only option was to spend vast amounts of money on civil litigation and even then I couldn’t be guaranteed to get my car back. Shortly later I learned that my ‘friend’ was vacating her house to go off travelling around the world – guess how she managed to afford to do that?!
Anybody know a solicitor willing to take on this type of case on a no-win-no-fee basis!"

"I have eventually managed to track down a number for the garage and I'll try and contact them to see if they have a copy of the original receipt. I have been in touch with Customs and Excise as there were import documents with the car proving that duty had been paid but they don't keep records going back that far! I thought that the letters admitting it was my car and trying to charge me a storage fee would be enough to prove ownership but I couldn't even get the police to look at them - it was only after visiting the police station for the sixth time (after the car had been sold) that they eventually looked at the paperwork I had and said 'sorry' - it was unlikely I would be able to get the car back unless I knew who had it now. The solicitor said pretty much the same, that I can go through civil litigation for damages (for the value of the car), but at the end of the day I'm not interested in trying to get money out of somebody - I just want to try and get the car back - I can only do that if I can find who has it. The solicitor said I have a good case but I'm a bit cynical that they say that - they will get paid whatever the outcome. She doesn't have any proof of ownership which is why I'm surprised (and the police were surprised) that anybody bought it - it was for sale on ebay for £13,000, needless to say if I still had the car somebody would have to offer a lot more than that for me to sell it. It seems that, unless anybody can come up with any other options, I have to forget about it or start a civil legal action against somebody who, at the moment, I have no address for as they are renting their house out and travelling around the world."

awman That is an awfull story Exclamation Sad
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