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tv   Strange Inheritance  FOX News  January 31, 2015 5:00pm-5:31pm PST

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brian said dr. ben carson. you don't got to buy me dinner but you can tweet me. i reached 50,000 twitter followers and we'll keep the conversation going. >> a world record car collection. >> he just kept going and never stopped. >> one of every car ever made. >> and driven to leave a mark. >> he went to a wrecking yard. >> and his family promises to carry out his grand plan. >> there was a feeling of dread and relief and excitement and enthusasm. >> and it is blowing and top down. but can they fulfill the dying wish? >> none of us wanted to be said we split it up. >> we don't want the car oil in your hand.
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♪ >> i am jammy colby and today i am driving outside of ta comma, washington on the way to meet the heirs of a man who started with nothing and built an empire and left his heirs enormous wealth and an overwhelming task. >> i am doug, and my father passed away in 2000 at the age of 81 and left us with a world record collection that is a full- time job. >> doug invited me to the family house where his father lived two decades and where he lives and works. >> hey, doug. >> hi, jamie. glad you can come. >> i can't figure one thing up. is this a house or garage? >> it is a five bed room house with a throw hundred car garage. >> 300?
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good thing it i have the whole day. >> as doug shoes me around. it is not only a home but his father's reflection of automatic automobiles. >> i have been to car shoes that didn't have this many. >> and everywhere you look. there is a collector car. and what is your dream ride? >> 1930 cadillac or 52 convertible? or daimler and 1961 metro pollit an. it is probably here somewhere. and rooms filled with the same model or manufacturer. >> they are all packers. >> this is packards, yes. >> so many. am i allowed to touch. >> you can have a seat. >> oh, my goodness. look at the steering wheels. >> i think it has my name written all over. so many do. >> and the fascination with cars
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started before he could reach the pedal. this is harry's widow. >> his mother said from the time he was born he loved cars and anything with wheels. >> harold was born to marie lemay. and single mother caring for throw young children and when harold is just throw. marie placed him in the custody of friends to help take care of him. they are driving a 1914 baby grand chevy. >> harold was apprehensive and he hadn't met them before. he is only three and he described, port lehman behind the wheel, said harold, you need to sit on my lap and drive the car home. >> little harold puts his handed on the wheels of the chevy and
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fuelling a lifelong love affair with the obviously. harold returns home and builds up a garbage and scrap collecting business. it may the not be glamorous. but the trash moves profitable. >> how successful was his business? >> very successful. it grows to be the 10th largest private trash removal in america and annual revenues topping $100 million. >> and in 1963, harold marries nancy and has a life changing moment. >> a friend of his was in a model t club and thought it would be the great thing to get intoochlt >> a light bulb goes off. harold wants to collect classic cars and begins with american models and chevy and fords and every day cars and trucks.
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he would find them himself. and harold's hobby revs up and grandson eric so did his wish list. >> and it doesn't matter where the car was. go for a drive and you are crossing from oregon to california. ands passion growing. and harold buys every car he came across. >> grandpa was a car safer and he saved cars. >> harold couldn't stand to so a car crushed. >> he went to's wrecking yard auction in idaho and bought the whole wrecking yard. >> harold's collection of cars totalled in the thousand. he just kept going and never stopped and never said to him, honey enough already. we could use that money for a vacation. no. when we did go on vacation,
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there was always a car in the route. as horrald's fleet expands he runs out of room in the 300 car garage and he snapped up over 50 properties to stock pile the collection. >> he would rent the house but the not the garage. >> and bought the 87 acre former catholic boarding school called merry mound and we'll circle back here later. >> how many conversations did you have about what should happen with the collection when he passed. >> he never thought about passing. >> but the question is on the heirs agenda. they are thinking of the huge challenge rumbling once harold is gone? >> you have to decide while you are alive what you do with the stuff. that is a confrontational thing and it is a burden on everybody else.
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and you got to have a plan. >> and up next, harold makes that plan. >> and so one car he really wants and never gets? >> and our strange inheritance quiz collection. what was the first white house car. packard for mckinley or a white steamer for ta ft or piro for wilson or a cadillac for hoover. the answer when we return. welcome to the most social car we've ever designed. the all-new nissan murano. nissan. innovation that excites.
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>> so what was the first official white house car. b, the 1909 white steamer. congress passed legislation on behind of william taft for an official white house automobile. nnearly four decades businessman harold lemay amasses cars in ta comma, washington. he doesn't know the exact number. but there is one car he misses out on. >> he pished to get a tucker. >> preston tucker was an entrepreneur who designed the tucker sedan and concieved as the car of the future. >> it was so ahead of its time and sleek.
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sales were doomed after tucker was investigated for stock fraud and only 51 cars were made before the chicago company folded. with or without a tucker. the vintage car collection is the world's largest and in the 1998 world records. it encludes true classic such as the 1910 roadster. and 1930 did you sayenburg and 1936 a uburn. horrald starts to worry about his beloved automobiles when he is gvenlt >> what did harold want to happen with the collection? >> he wanted to see the collection preserved and he felt bad when we would go to car auctions and he would see a life collection dispersed. >> and easy for harold to feel that way.
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it is not hoo e he but his haers that will have the enormous burden of housing and maintaining all of the cars. >> did he think about what he had amassed and what his family would face as he godolder? >> he had made the decision that they were going to create a museum. >> a museum. just for horrald's cars. the family starts by requesting land from the city of ta comma. but they asked harold of a donation of 300 cars to get the going. ten percent of the collection. is that hard for him in >> he had a document that he had to put a signature on saying he was not going to own this stuff at some point and i remember his hand shaking and he took a deep breath and signed it. and stormed off back towards
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home. on november 4th. he had a massive heart attack at the age of 81. >> heirs inherit the grand car collection and grander dream of a museum to house it. >> i think there was's feeling of doctored, relief and excitement and enthusiasm. >> two questions arise, how many cars are there? and what are they worth? >> the family calls in larry baton, owner of the autoappraisal group in charlottesville, virginia. >> it was a massive operation. they were located in 53 different cloaks. and his filing system was a trash bag and he had no intention of selling or marking a vehicle. we worked seven days a week. >> it was a six month appraisal.
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there is classic cars. >> we would open a dorthat hadn't been opened in decades and full of cars that it were there for years and covered with the cottonwood flour and there were bumble b fords and pierce arrows and cars, that were so unique. >> in all, larry and the team locate number and value. 2973 cars. not including the countless rusted relics hulks. >> he had a goal to have one car. >> they are not allowed to say what it is worth. but it is pegged the at hundred million at the time was larry's death by estimators. >> the family starts hitting road blocks. >> creating a museum is like
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watching sausage get made. it is ugly and hard. >> and they are not the only ones with car trouble. >> get me a car that works. >> that's next. can which classic american sports car came first? chevy corvette or ford thunderbird or dodge charger? our eyes they have a 200-degree range of sight. which is good for me. hey! and bad for the barkley twins. your brain can send information to the rest of your body at 268 mph. three times the speed of a fastball. take care of your most important parts with centrum. multivitamins expertly designed with nutrients people don't get enough of from food alone. centrum. for the most important parts of you.
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>> so which classic american sports car came first. the chevy corvette. from the intersection in 1953, chevy produced over 1.5 million of them. >> in the early 2000.
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harold's family is struggling to honor the dying wish, the cre s creation of a car mu soum. one that is featured the black beauty obsession. henrow ford model t. i meet with eric and mike for a driving lesson. step one hand crank the car to start it. >> i don't know, what do you think? >> i think you are pup for it. >> i do. >> good crank. not quiet. ouch. >> wait, is this a trick. come on, get me a car that works. hey, there you go. >> right on. the model t is considered the first afford automobile and not
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easy to drive. it has throw pedals and the brake is the right. nstay clear of the streets. >> and it is easy to it see why harold fell in love with the classic. >> feel the hair blowing and top down. big tree. brake, brake, brake. that is forward. brake, brake. oh, yeah. that thing on the right. tloelths up. oh, my gosh. perfect. not a scratch. but a collision is in store for the family as it tries to get the museum into drive. >> you need building unit and fund-raising and all of the next step. >> the family donated 600 cars to the project and 15 million. and they hire a fundraiser who
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tells them they have to court corporate sponsors for more big bucks and that means they will have to sacrifice their control and vision of the museum. and the family agrees but soon find themselves just two of the board of around 30. >> you want to see the legacy preserved and you can't control once it is in a museum's hands. nexact le. >> the museum has cars from other collections to attract national attention and then fund-raising runs tight captain board tells the family they don't have the budget to preserve all of harold's car ands many of the ones he donated are redundant. they decided to sell some of his cars. >> if you could have controlled it, would you have asked them to sell other cars? >> i don't sell many cars.
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>> harold only solid three collector cars in his lifetime. >> family members are dismaid. and none of us would want to be the one who said we split the stuff up. you don't want that car oil on the hand. >> if you didn't want them why ask for them. they wanted to sell them? >> and the museum auctions off 145 donated autos and well in the millions estimated value. >> 1940 packard convertible victoria sells for 113 k. and roll's rice for 65 grand. that helps the museum keep going and when the sleek building opens in 2012, the name was changed from harold lemay to lemay america car museum.
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that reflects the shift in focus to cars from other donors as well. >> that's discourage to the heirs. because his wish was for a museum devoted to just his collection. but the family believes there is a chance to keep his vision alive. >> would you believe a second museum just minutes down the road from the first? that's next. and aleve is proven to work better on pain than tylenol arthritis. so why am i still thinking about this? how are ya? good. aleve. proven better on pain.
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school property that harold bought. >> this is the other part of the equation that was our family learning how to save the word's largest car collection. it is a museum. >> another museum. >> why two? >> we wanted a museum that was more about the family and our taste in collecting. we may only be six miles apart we are different. >> and the family considers merrimound the little brother. and the dirty fingernails that celebrates his cars and nobody else's. >> the museum depends on loyalest. tour guyeds and car repair man is a vol tore. >> not to take off on a car color are you in the black or
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red? >> some point approximate this will be a self sustaining business. it looks like it is going to be healthy for a long, long time. there is one last car eric tells me to see. 1948 tucker. >> wait a minute, i thought he never got a tucker. he did not buy. it my grandmother bought it after he died. we went to an auction and grandma bought the tucker that he couldn't have before he passed away. >> he left but it was that important to have. >> we anyhow it was important. >> what would harold say? >> he would love it. if grandpa would look how hard we tried to do, he would be proud of it. it took a community and a lot of
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volunteers and family that never got off track with each other. that's his legacy basically. one last harold story. back in the '80s in a garbage convention in chicago, he caught wind of a car for sale. a 1914 baby grand chevy, the same model he tooled around in as a three-year-old, the day he said good by to his mom. >> horrald bought it on the spot and loaded it in the back of the fancy garage truck. he and nancy hauled that old chevy back here and there is sits to this day. he never let it go. i am jamie colby. thank you for watching strange inheritance and remember. you can't take it with you.
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>> do you have a strange inheritance story you would like to share with us? we would love to hear it. send us an e-mail and go to the website. strange >> found in grandpa'satic. >> it was a dirty dusty old box and i don't know what it is. >> it is a discovery that makes the baseball world flip. >> ty cob. and cy young and christie mathison. >> i have a million dollar signature. >> is it almost to which of a good thing? >> it certainly changes the market in a negative way. >> i am jamie colby and today i am in


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