When we finally sold our 1966 Wimbledon White convertible Mustang back in February, and collected our check, we pretty much thought that was the end of the story (see here).
Kim and I were excited because we found out the car was bought by a person in Maidstone, Kent, England. Cool.
Happy ending, right?
Not even close.
About a week or two later, Ellen Kelly, the office manager from Streetside Classics in Charlotte (where we had taken the car for consignment) called to give me a heads up.
"There's a bit of a problem with the VIN (vehicle identification number) on the title," she said. "There's nothing you have to worry about. I'm trying to straighten out the paperwork with the DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles), and it's possible they might accidentally send the correction to your house instead of to us.
"I'm calling just in case it comes to you, could you please forward it to us?"
Sure, no problem. She went on to tell me there was some kind of typo in the VIN on the title. Meanwhile, the car had been relocated to the port for shipping, but because of the paperwork snafu, it was back in Charlotte. Otherwise, Streetside Classics would have to pay for storage.
Anyway, I thanked her for keeping us informed, and thought that was the end of it.
Until she called again, a couple weeks later.
"I'm emailing you a document to sign that gives us power of attorney to represent you," said Ellen. "It's a big hassle. We're still trying to get this straightened out."
Holy smokes. All I could think about was that poor buyer in England who'd already paid for his classic 1966 Mustang more than a month previously and had yet to see his car.
I also got curious about the VIN on the title. Kim, fortunately enough, had taken a picture of the VIN plate on the Mustang. We compared it to the one on the title, and sure enough, there it was: in the middle of the long row of numbers and letters, the correct VIN had three ones — 111 —consecutively listed. The title, meanwhile, only had two of those number ones listed.
Yikes. You mean we had the Mustang for more than 20 years with an incorrect VIN on the title? Thank you, DMV.
I thought that was the end of it, that Ellen had finally taken care of everything.
Until I called her a few days ago.
"Ellen," I said. "I can't stand it anymore. Does this story have a happy ending?"
"It does," she assured me, telling me that the car had been shipped to England in April, a couple of months after it had been purchased. The buyer had been completely understanding about everything. Not sure I would have been.
But calling Ellen gave me a sense of relief, knowing that everything was where it should be: the car was correctly retitled and the new owner was delighted, happily driving his classic Mustang with the top down and on the wrong side of the road.