Thinking I’d probably never see the car again, I posted a story on a local Datsun club website as it was just too good not to share. Of course, many in our club commented how fortunate I was not to have ended up in the same box as the ill-fated couple. The discussion amongst the local Datsun enthusiasts went on for a week or two and that was it… until someone, not a member of our club, made a post claiming he had more information to add to my story, as detailed below.
In July of 2016, a gentleman named Gerry posted the following:
“I think I can add a little to your story. My friend Tom owned the house where the shootout happened with the SWAT team. He told me the house was so badly damaged from all the rounds of ammunition shot into it that he decided to sell it. Ironically, his insurance would pay for the bullet holes caused by his tenant, but not those by law enforcement. In addition to the bullet holes, SWAT used a robotic tank to rip the entire garage door out of the frame at the rear of the home during the firefight. The overhead garage storage was also damaged and needed repairs. After the house was repaired, the new owners started the landscaping, which is when the bodies were found.”
“My friend was interested in the cars and offered to buy the Chevy convertible but they wouldn’t sell it to him. He did however manage to acquire the Scarab. His intent was to restore it to its former glory but life got in the way. He did make a few mechanical improvements, but lost interest. The car has been sitting since then. He told me about it a while ago and I was anxious to see it. He left it in the care of someone else and didn’t know where it had been stored. He talked about selling the car and I agreed to help him. I finally got a chance to see it last week for the first time. We agreed that we couldn’t leave it where it was because it was just too hard to access. As of yesterday afternoon (July 9, 2016), Scarab #160 is sitting in my garage and available for sale.”
“Tom (the owner) does have a title for the car. He had some connection to the family. I think he was dating, or had dated, one of the family members (Alan’s sister). He bought the car from the wife of the deceased father (Alan’s mother). He told me after the bodies were discovered he was questioned by the police, who told him they had always suspected Alan and were getting ready to charge him with murder anyway. Tom knew Alan well and was called to testify against him at the trial.”
“I’ll have to clarify with Tom what he did in terms of improvements and when he made them. I think he told me he put a cam in the engine and a new carb. He also had the gas tank and fuel lines cleaned. They tell me it starts right up and drives, but it didn’t have a battery in it and I didn’t hear it run so I can’t verify that. Your story was great and needed a conclusion, so maybe this is it. I have some current pictures of the car but I’m not sure how to post them.”
Armed with this fresh information, a couple phone calls later, I went down to look at the car which was being stored in Gerry’s garage. Unfortunately, I was unable to open the garage door or see the car in good light, but did do a cursory inspection taking a few pictures in the process. I was told by Tom that Gerry, who would be doing any negotiating, would be back from his primary residence in Canada over the Labor Day weekend. I set a date to do a more complete inspection at that time. In the meantime I did some more homework and gave thought to what I’d be willing to pay for the car. Until now the only numbers mentioned were $10,000-12,000, which I indicated was beyond what I was willing to pay for the car in its current condition. Tom and Gerry admitted they really didn’t know what the car was worth. However, I knew a rusty, but complete, 240Z Scarab had sold on Bring a Trailer a few weeks prior for $17,000.