Paintings are not the only objects that provoke fights over their title. Bloomberg tells the detailed story of a Leslie Wexner’s Ferrari which he bought last year from Bonhams for $16.5m but turns out not to have clear provenance:
Now, after 16 years of lawsuits and ownership claims from Paraguay to Switzerland, the fate of the roadster […] is finally coasting toward resolution in a London court. Ferrari made just five 375 Plus models that year and only four of those gleaming symbols of motor racing’s golden age remain. Fashion designer Ralph Lauren and candy billionaire Giorgio Perfetti have two of them.
“This vehicle, along with a number of others, has entered into the realm of fine art,” Dave Kinney, publisher of the Hagerty Price Guide for classic cars, said by phone from Great Falls, Virginia.
The last undisputed owner of the 330-horsepower 375 Plus was Karl Kleve, the army engineer-turned designer, artist, serial tinkerer and author – of a book linking baldness to blood circulation.
Trailer Heist Kleve, who died in 2003 at the age of 90, bought the car’s damaged body from the heir to the Kleenex tissue fortune, Jim Kimberly, to add to his collection. It languished on a trailer outside his home near Cincinnati, Ohio, for three decades before it was stolen sometime between 1985 and 1989, according to court documents. That’s when things started to get weird.
1954 Ferrari Racer Pits Lingerie Tycoon Against Bonhams (Bloomberg Business)