Stolen Ferrari Nets $16.3 Million in England: Who Gets the Money?

This may be the most expensive stolen Ferrari tale and sale to date! The extremely rare 1954 375 Ferrari Plus Grand Prix Roadster 0384AM pictured below was stolen and languished in a field for many years. Now that it has been found and sold for a gratuitous $16.3 million dollars, there is question as to which parties are the rightful recipients of that money.

stolen FerrariThe saga of this Ferrari is somewhat difficult to follow, but here is a rough outline of the situation:

  • The rare Ferrari was purchased by Westwood resident Karl Kleve for $2,500 in 1958. He bought her from Cadillac dealer Howard Hively in Cincinnati, of all places.
  • The Ferrari was basically a charred chassis and parts at the time of sale, following a wiring issue that led to the beast catching fire.
  • It was stolen from Kleve and sold to Jacques “Jack” Swaters in Belgium. There it was restored and displayed in the Ferrari Museum in Maranello. This is how it caught the attention of Kleve’s heirs.
  • Now a judge must settle the proceeds of the auction. It has already been ordered that half of the proceeds go to the estate of the deceased Swaters, who was a Belgian racer and Ferrari importer/distributor.
  • The remaining proceeds will be the issue of much debate at a trial. Parties fighting for a slice of the money include Joseph Ford and Kristie Kleve Lawson and Christopher Gardner. All relationships to the car are unclear save that of Kristie Kleve Lawson.

stolen FerrariFun fact: The 1954 375 Ferrari Plus Grand Prix Roadster 0384AM packs a 12-cylinder 4.9-liter capable of catapulting it up to 180 miles per hour. 

Just four other 1954 375 Ferrari Plus Grand Prix Roadster 0384AM cars exist in the world. This one was owned by Kleenex heir Jim Kimberly, and one of the others is owned by exotic car collector and sometimes clothing connoisseur Ralph Lauren.

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