Tag Archives: AZ

ICA Auction head sentenced to 3+ years in prison

On Friday August 16, 2013 Stanley Torgerson the head of International Classic Auctions (ICA) was sentenced in Maricopa County (AZ) Superior Court to 3.25 years in prison.  Torgerson previously pled guilty to three counts of fraudulent schemes and artifices and theft.  He also will serve seven years of probation and will be required to pay restitution of up to $1.5 million in restitution to his victims.

Torgerson was originally indicted on 101 counts of fraud, theft and illegal control of an enterprise.  ICA started in 1989 with Torgerson and was known in Arizona for hosting two classic car auctions in Gilbert, Arizona at his headquarters.  The firm held auctions on Thanksgiving and St. Patrick’s weekends.

Where did the ICA money go?

So what happened?  His car sellers complained that the proceeds from their cars weren’t delivered to them.  Typically auction houses have the owners sign the titles and then transfer the title to the final buyer after the money is paid.  Generally the auction houses take their cut of commissions and fees and then pass on the proceeds to the seller.  Most contracts (written by the auction houses) give the firms up to 21 days to make the final transfer of funds.

When ICA started to have problems they stopped having their Arizona auctions.  Silver Auctions stepped in and had a Spring Auction in Fort McDowell, AZ this year.

So the auction house, without any escrows in place, has large sums of monies in their hands and some lag time before they need to dispose of it.  And when the economy started to tank, some buyers were slow in making good on their winning bids.  In fact some slippery souls have been known to flip the car to a third buyer before they were required to even pay the first original seller.

Buyer beware

So for those thinking of using an auction house to sell your classic car, remember what happened to ICA.  Read your contract, understand your terms and make sure your auctioneer is reputable.  Ironically ICA’s website is still up and running today!

Interior driver seat

Green Day’s Mike Dirnt offered his 56 Ford Panel Truck at Silver Auction’s Arizona in the Spring

The bass player for Green Day, Mike Dirnt, was recently offering up for sale his 56 Ford Panel Truck.  It was for sale March 15-16, 2013 at the Silver Auction held in Fort McDowell,AZ (Phoenix metro area).  It drew some interest but never approached the actual reserve (the required minimum bid needed to buy it).  It might have been a deal if the bidding reached $60,000 or so.  Instead it went back on the trailer.

Here is some background on the build from Custom Classic Truck’s June 2012 issue.  http://www.customclassictrucks.com/featuredvehicles/1206cct_1956_ford_panel/viewall.html   My understanding is he invested $160,000+ in the restoration.

Seems that Dirnt bought this panel when a struggling band member and after they hit it big, he had the truck restored to how it was when he first bought it.  It was funny to hear the auctioneer explain who Green Day was to this “mature” set of buyers.  They probably never heard American Idiot.  Not sure why he decided to sell it, but I’m sure another place and time it’ll sell.  The panel is nicely done but a bit of a plain jane.  A little pin striping

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NHRA at Phoenix, AZ – End of an era or a new begining?

Drag racing
Erica Enders-Stevens NHRA Pro Stock driver

This weekend marked the 29th annual National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) meet at Phoenix’s Firebird Raceway.  But is it the end?  The dragstrip is on leased land owned by the Gila River Indian Community and was once out in the middle of nowhere on the southeast edge of the Phoenix area.  The 30 year lease expires at the end of March, 2013 and while the president of NHRA is optimistic, one can only hope that a new management team can keep NHRA coming back in 2014.

Phoenix is blessed with not only being the site of all four major sports – baseball, football, basketball and hockey – but also hosts two NASACR races and the Arizona Nationals for the NHRA.

Hopefully we’ll see NHRA back for more action like Erica Enders-Stevens’ win this past week.  What do you think?