tv Trish Regan Primetime FOX Business April 20, 2019 2:00am-3:00am EDT
and certainly professional. that is it for us tonight. we thank you for being with us. -- our guests >> a gangster hideout... >> ma barker had her tommy gun and shot out this window? >> right. [ gunfire ] >> ...an epic gunfight... >> it went on for about four hours. it's the longest in fbi history. >> digging up some bullets fired from that window. >> ...haunting history... >> you'd hear, often, footsteps up and down the stairs, just in the middle of the night. >> ...set for sail. >> this is a lot bigger than any of us realize. [ door creaks ] [ wind howls ] [ thunder rumbles ] [ bird caws ] ♪ >> i'm jamie colby, headed into the town of ocklawaha, florida, 60 miles northwest of orlando,
and i'm on my way to meet a man who inherited a house riddled with gangster history. >> my name is carson good. for more than a century, my family has owned this property here on lake weir, a place for peace and quiet, except for one very loud, bloody day in 1935. >> carson, hi. i'm jamie. >> hey, jamie, how are you? >> carson invites me into his strange inheritance, and the minute you take a look around, you can tell it's just frozen in time. he says everything is exactly as it was back in january 1935, when the fbi surrounded the lake house, with warrants for the arrest of gangsters ma barker and her son fred. >> this is the original fbi picture. >> wait a minute. wait a minute. that's this lamp? >> that's the same lamp, yes. >> and that's that lamp. >> right. >> that's the table that's here. that's still there. oh, my goodness. >> right. >> and it's an exact match.
>> right. >> now, what the heck were two infamous gangsters doing in carson's great- grandfather's lake house? we'll get to that. but first, a little gangster history. >> the 1920s and '30s becomes known as the "gangster era" in america. >> mob historian and author scott deitche. >> you of course had the great depression. you also had prohibition, so you had kind of this perfect storm of socioeconomic factors that led to this sudden increase in violent crime. >> bank robberies, kidnappings, and murders are causing havoc around the country, with big-name criminals grabbing headlines. >> you had machine gun kelly, "pretty boy" floyd, john dillinger, bonnie and clyde. they had these catchy names that people gravitated towards. >> another name on that list -- the barker-karpis gang. >> ma barker was born in missouri to a pretty poor family at the time. she married her husband,
george barker, in 1892. they had four sons. they were living in poverty for most of that time. >> as the barker boys come of age, they take to a criminal lifestyle -- getting into fights, stealing cars, committing robberies. but in their mother's eyes, they can do no wrong. do you think they were just doing what they wanted to do without her knowing? >> i think the boys got in trouble, as a lot of boys do, and, rather than disciplining them, she was constantly covering up, trying to help them out, always defending them. >> they eventually gravitated into larger robberies, into kidnappings for ransom, and other crimes. >> ma's youngest son, fred, is nabbed and sent to a kansas state prison in 1927. while there, fred befriends fellow inmate alvin karpis. when the two are paroled in 1931, they head to tulsa, oklahoma, where ma welcomes her son and his buddy alvin with open arms. >> they form a gang and go on
a crime spree, hitting an oklahoma jewelry store for 5 grand and a minnesota bank for a whopping 250k in cash and bonds. they shoot and kill a security guard in missouri during a car heist and murder a deputy sheriff in arkansas. >> then j. edgar hoover announces open season on gangsters. in the summer and fall of 1934, his g-men shoot and kill some famous crooks -- "pretty boy" floyd, john dillinger, and "baby face" nelson. >> it certainly seemed that the bureau was more than willing to use deadly force when necessary. >> feeling the heat, ma and a few gang members flee the midwest... and head south under the last name blackburn, landing in central florida, in the town of ocklawaha, on lake weir. the area has long been a summer escape for snowbirds and outdoorsmen, including
carson good's family. in 1930, his great-grandfather carson bradford builds this 2,000-square-foot lake house. it's more than just a fish camp for him and his boys. it's furnished to suit his wife, marion. >> this was her house, and she was apparently very particular about it. >> wipe your feet? >> you had to wipe your feet here. you couldn't come into the living room, if you were a kid, except certain times. >> unlike their neighbors, the bradfords don't rent out their lake house during the winter. but in november 1934, a local real-estate agent presents carson's great-grandfather with a very generous offer. >> so, the broker said there's this nice lady and her sons coming down from up north. they wanted to kind of get away from it all for the wintertime. and they were offering a sizable amount of money. and he said the house wasn't for rent. and then the amount of money kept going up and up, and... >> really? >> ...so, finally, he rented the house. >> and so the blackburns -- in reality, the barkers -- move in to the neighborhood.
george albright, a lifelong lake weir resident, remembers the stories his grandfather told about the tiny town's newest residents. >> the blackburns immersed themselves into the community very quickly. they got to know people around town. she went to church here, apparently gave very generously, so the locals embraced 'em. >> but two months after their arrival, up in chicago, on january 8, 1935, the g-men get a bead on ma's whereabouts when they arrest her older son and fellow gang member arthur "doc" barker and search his apartment. >> they actually found a map that had ocklawaha, florida, in it, and they determined that that's where ma barker and fred barker were holing up. ♪ >> eight days later, january 16th. 15 armed fbi agents surround the lake house. what are they prepared to do? >> they were prepared to take
>> so, who was j. edgar hoover's original public enemy number one? it's john dillinger. g-men shot and killed the bank robber in 1934 outside chicago's biograph movie theater. >> it's january 1935, and fbi agents have tracked infamous gangster ma barker and her gang to this house on lake weir in central florida. it's owned by carson good's great-grandfather, who has unwittingly rented it to the notorious gangsters. around 6:00 a.m., 15 agents surround the house. then they call for those inside to surrender. >> and a woman's voice -- it was ma -- yelled, "who is it?!" >> i'm on the edge of my seat. >> and they said, "we have a warrant for your arrest, and please come out," and she said, "hold on a minute. let me see what son says." and then the firing began.
[ gunfire ] >> now, law enforcement has no idea who's in the house. there are shots coming from upstairs, downstairs. they think it might be multiple people. they're not sure. it becomes kind of this free-for-all. >> wielding a thompson submachine gun with a 100-round drum, ma barker fires from one bedroom window while son fred fires from another. [ gunfire ] >> everybody wanted to come and see what was happening. in one of the pictures that the fbi took that day, you can see there are several dozen people right on the fence line of the house. >> then, around 11:30 a.m., silence. afraid that they might be walking into a trap, the g-men send the house's caretaker, willie woodberry, inside. >> willie told me he came in the door, saw the house just torn to pieces, yelled out for them. and there was a pool of blood right here, a big pool of blood,
and he said he saw it led right up the stairs. you can see the bullet holes here, bullet hole here, here, here, bullet hole here, bullet holes there. >> wow, big bullet holes. what a scene! he was pretty brave to come in the house at all. >> he said he was a little bit scared. >> i am, too. willie follows the blood trail to this bedroom. >> he said he came right in this door. as he pushed the door open, he found the bodies right there. fred had taken seven bullet holes in the chest, and she had one shot in the head. >> bullet holes in the wall, bullet holes in the door, bullet holes in that chair? >> right. >> wow. i'll tell you, bullet holes, blood and bodies -- i think i've seen enough for now. all 15 fbi agents walk away unscathed. nearly 2,000 shots were fired over four hours that day. >> this is a 100-shot machine gun used by ma barker. >> it remains the longest shootout in fbi history. >> whether they like it or not, carson and marion bradford's
lake house becomes known as "the ma barker house." >> the family wasn't really that talkative about it, but, as a kid, i would hear the story. i remember being, you know, really young and being intrigued with the story. >> adding to the intrigue, some people swear the place is now haunted. >> you'd hear, often, footsteps up and down the stairs, just in the middle of the night. >> elizabeth cockrell is carson's younger sister. >> i was always told of how ma barker and her sons -- they'd all play poker at the dining-room table. in the middle of the night, there'd be these sounds of people playing poker and the glasses chinking and people, you know, yelling at each other and laughing. >> even if you don't believe in ghosts, you won't be surprised ma barker at least lives on in popular culture. a tommy-gun-toting mom is irresistible to hollywood, which has told her story again and again. >> she's in television shows and movies, most notably the great low-budget cult movie
"bloody mama," with shelley winters playing ma barker. the mythical figure of ma barker has definitely -- definitely survived the decades. >> each flick, of course, climaxes with the epic shootout at the bradford lake house, which, in real life, is handed down from one generation to the next for the following 50 years. but, as time goes by, it's getting less and less use. was there a family meeting at this point to decide what to do? >> yes. we struggled over what exactly to do with the house and the property between those of us that wanted to keep it in the family forever and those that just wanted to get cash and wanted to sell. >> eventually, carson and his relatives agree it's time to cash out. but first they want to explore if there's a way to somehow preserve the house because of its historical significance. lucky for carson, he has an old friend with lots of connections -- longtime lake weir resident and former
florida house of representatives member george albright. >> so, he came up with the idea of going to the state of florida, getting them to buy the property, and keep it as a park and a museum. >> there was a little bit of pushback that we were honoring thugs. we, in no way, are honoring these people. these are cold-blooded murderers. what we are honoring is the success of the fbi, of removing the gangster movement that had run rampant in america. >> george is able to get $230,000 for the house into the proposed 2015 state budget. that's not enough to buy it, but it would go a long way to turning it into a museum. how'd that go? >> it was vetoed. a whole bill that was giving money for these kind of parks got vetoed by governor scott, so that killed that idea. >> but our heirs aren't ready to surrender. coming up, a discovery in the
sand... >> looky there -- .38-caliber casing. very cool. >> ...and a groundswell of support. >> 1,000 people showed up. everybody was blown away. this is a lot bigger than any of us realize. >> here's another quiz question. oscar winner shelley winters spoofed ma barker in the television series "batman." what was her character's name in the episode? the answer when we return. ♪ limu emu & doug what do all these people have in common, limu? [ paper rustling ] exactly, nothing. they're completely different people, that's why they need customized
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greatest mother of them all," features winters as ma parker. >> back in 1935, this lake house in central florida was the scene of the fbi's infamous shootout with ma barker and her son that left both gangsters dead. now carson good and his relatives are looking to sell the home and surrounding property that's been in their family for more than 80 years. but there's one condition -- they want to see their strange inheritance preserved because of its historical significance. after the governor denied a $230,000 proposal to turn it into a museum, the family is scrambling to figure out what to do. then a neighbor stops by. >> a next-door neighbor came to us, and he made the offer to buy the property at $750,000. >> just the property, or the house? >> he came, and he wanted to buy the house and the property. >> the buyer isn't as committed
as carson is to preserving the ma barker hideout as a landmark but will allow it to be moved to another location. sounds good to carson, but where do you put it and how do you get it there? local politician george albright has an idea. he arranges for an open house here at ma barker's old hideout and makes sure bigwigs in the county government are there. >> 1,000 people showed up. everybody was blown away. and i think that cemented the situation where the county said, i think this is a lot bigger than any of us realize." >> marion county officials set aside 235,000 bucks to move the house across lake weir to a conservation area. as part of the deal, carson and his family agree to donate the house in exchange for its preservation as an historical site. but you got to remove the house. it's not an easy thing to do.
you don't just, like, put wings on.>> carson said, "wt we just put it on a barge and float it across the lake?" i said, "you're out of your mind." >> and then another surprise. >> we knew that the pinky rings were what the gangsters wore. you see that in the movies. >> what's your "strange inheritance" story? we'd love to tell it. send me an e-mail or go to our website, strangeinheritance.com.
♪cry for it? ♪die for it? ♪i believe ♪believe we're still worth the fight♪ ♪you'll see there's hope for this world tonight♪ ♪i believe, i believe ♪ >> now back to "strange inheritance." >> it's 2016, and carson good's strange inheritance, this central florida lake house, the site of a bloody shootout in 1935 between the fbi and infamous gangsters ma and fred barker, is getting ready to be moved to a new location. after selling the 9-acre tract of land for three-quarters of a million dollars, carson and his family agree to donate the house itself to the county.
still, there's one small detail to be worked out. they need to find a way to move the house to a county park on the other side of lake weir. >> carson said, "well, why don't we just put it on a barge and float it across the lake?" i said, "you're out of your mind." >> a house on the lake, really? >> right. so that's what they decided to do. >> the decision means the notorious ma barker's final hideout will be preserved, though the plot on which that epic shootout occurred will be redeveloped... which raises the question, is there anything on this land also worth preserving? one group of floridians suspect there is, and they call carson about it. >> those types of locations are the types of places where the history causes all of us to want to go hunt. >> alan james is a member of the central florida metal detecting club, and they offer carson a deal -- let them search his land
for artifacts, and they'll give any they find to the future ma barker museum. they shoot this video as they canvass the area. >> looky there -- .38-caliber casing. very cool. and they were shooting from here to that corner window. >> moments later, there's more. >> digging up some bullets, the actual bullets themselves they fired from that window, fired from the barkers. >> but the biggest surprise comes when alan gets a hit about 50 feet from the front door. >> i ran my detector coil over a real scratchy signal, and i popped out a little 10-karat gold ring. it took a little while before we realized what that ring was. >> the ring's engraved with the initials f.g.b. those initials belong to fredrick george barker, the infamous gangster who was killed, along with his mother, in the shootout.
then, on october 27, 2016, the 86-year-old structure is lifted from the ground. oh, my goodness. that sounds treacherous. >> they took tracks from the beach all the way up to underneath the house and then rolled the house down the tracks, right onto the barge. >> it's one thing to put a house on a barge that's grounded. it's another thing to move it. by the grace of god, it didn't fall over, and the whole time, i was sitting there thinking, "lord, please don't let this house fall over." >> and that calm morning, the old house makes its 3-mile journey across lake weir and onto this bluff. >> it really works out great. it's gonna stay in its same state, on the same lake, on similar land. i mean, this is the best. >> now the infamous ma barker house is almost ready for visitors. >> we look forward to the public enjoying this house. there's been a constant interest in the ma barker story and for it not to die, and i think this
is going to become a real destination for a lot of people. >> do you ever think about what your parents, your grandparents would think about what you've accomplished? >> i think they'd be very happy. it's very important for our family to preserve the history of the house. >> remember those old stories about the lake house being haunted by the spirits of ma and fred barker? well, since the county took possession of the home in 2016, they've received dozens of requests from ghost hunters looking to test it for paranormal activity. they're all excited about this photo of the ma barker house published in a tampa newspaper which true believers say shows the ghost of ma barker. now, look closely at the front door. some say that shadowy figure is ma holding her trusty machine gun. funny how these paranormal photos are always just a little too fuzzy and out of focus. i'm jamie colby. thanks so much for watching
"strange inheritance." and remember -- you can't take it with you. [ gunfire ] >> an automotive classic... >> oh, my. it really moves. >> well, it's pretty quick. >> what is it about the corvette that has captured america? >> you have lamborghinis, and you got ferraris, but the american sports car has always been the corvette. >> it's the dream that keeps a soldier going... >> do you think that helped him get through very difficult times at war? >> absolutely. >> ...the decision that vexes his heir... >> it was the most difficult thing i've ever done in my life. >> ...the ultimate for vette collectors... >> it was an urban legend that there was this impeccably original, pristinely kept 1967 corvette. >> we got three, four... >> ...and a mystery on wheels. >> something is fishy because that's not there.
[ door creaks ] [ wind howls ] [ thunder rumbles ] [ bird caws ] >> i'm jamie colby on the outskirts of chicago on my way to meet a guy whose strange inheritance takes us back to a time when american cars rule the road, america herself leads the free world, and a working-class kid from the midwest just dreams of making it home. >> my name is matt litavsky. my father meant the world to me, and he left me a very special car that meant the world to him. he chose me to preserve it, but there came a time when i had to let it go. >> hi, matt. i'm jamie. >> hi, jamie. it's nice to meet you. >> i know i came here to see your inheritance, this magnificent car, but when we're done, you got to take me for a ride in this. >> all right. we'll see about that. >> i'm on my best behavior. >> okay. >> to appreciate the car,
says matt, you first need to know about his dad and why his 1967 corvette meant so much to him. keith litavsky is born in lisle, illinois, in 1944. world war ii is drawing to a close. the cold war is about to begin. america is leading the charge, and nowhere is the country's muscle bolder than on american roadways, which gm, ford and chrysler are pumping with some of the coolest cars on earth. >> now it wasn't all about just having a four-door family car like it had been in the past. >> auto analyst john kraman. >> the manufacturers jumped on board with a variety of high-performance cars, wild colors, the styling really affected by the aviation theme with the big fins and and the wild, futuristic styling. >> no wonder keith loves cars from boyhood.
long before he gets his license, he settles on his dream ride, the american beauty that first rolls off the assembly line in 1953 when he's 9 years old, the chevy corvette. >> the corvette just reset the bar totally with innovative styling and a fiberglass body, which at the time was unheard of. >> a decade later, in 1963, when keith is saving up for his first new car, chevy reintroduces the corvette with a new body style and renames it the stingray. keith wants one more than ever, but the vette's 4k list price is way out of reach, so he settles for a little less. >> the plymouth belvedere was his first car he bought new. has a 426 wedge in it, was what he could afford at the time. >> he doesn't have it long. >> in 1965, the war in vietnam is heating up,
and uncle sam calls keith's number. >> he gets drafted, and he sells the plymouth belvedere to his brother. >> soon, he's in the line of fire with no guarantee he'll return. >> he was in reconnaissance, so he went through a lot of difficult situations there. he made a lot of good friends and lost a lot of good friends. >> if keith does get back home, he's making sure a big reward awaits him. in each letter to his family, he encloses his combat pay with a specific goal in mind, a brand-new corvette. do you think that was a dream that he hung onto that helped him get through very difficult times at war? >> absolutely. a lot of guys would flip through the flyers from the car dealers and pick out a car, and i think, psychologically, it helped them get through to know that they'll have that car there, so it was something to look forward to. >> here is a "strange inheritance" quiz question...
it robs a person of their ability to walk, to talk and to eventually breathe. it's also fatal, usually within a few years. and it is emotionally and financially devastating to thousands of families across america. it's truly a brutal and nasty disease. but, we're making progress thanks to many of you. since the ice bucket challenge, we've seen new als genes discovered, new technology developed that helps people with als, and new potential treatments in the pipeline. we still have a lot of work to do. i'm no scientist but i can tell you this, if we can cure als we can cure anything. please join me in the fight against als. ♪
>> vietnam, april, 1966, keith litavsky is praying he'll making it home to illinois and the dream car he's saving for, a chevy corvette. one day, as keith's unit is searching for the enemy, shots ring out in the jungle. a firefight erupts, bodies dropping everywhere. >> he carried his wounded commanding officer out. >> literally carried? >> literally carried him out of this firefight. >> corporal litavsky makes it home in the winter of 1967. >> still had shrapnel in his leg... >> amazing. >> ...but came home with two purple hearts and a lot of interesting stories. >> and that car of his dreams is waiting for him -- this '67 chevrolet corvette, fresh off the assembly line.
>> we actually had ordered the car while he was in vietnam, then came home and picked up the car. >> marina blue finish, bright blue interior, sweet, plus red pinstripe tires and a black stinger, poetry on wheels. keith even keeps the sales sticker from the dealer. how much did it cost? >> it was around $5,500. >> so he had to save for a while. >> mm-hmm. it's a lot of money back then. >> what the heck? he's 23, just out of the army, single, handsome, buff. this ride perfectly fits his life but just for a fleeting moment. keith enrolls in college on the g.i. bill and marries crystal kierien. she's divorced with five kids. life had thrown crystal a curveball and keith was right there to catch it. >> young guy, marries a woman with five
children. >> yeah... >> five of you. >> five of us >> how old were you when they got married? >> i think i was about five. >> what kind of a father was he? >> if i could be half the man he was i'd be a success. he was the best. >> and so were his wheels. >> one of my first memories takes place in the corvette. me and my two brothers climbed in the back, and he gave us a ride. >> meanwhile, chevy is working up big changes for the corvette, changes that will have profound consequences for this "strange inheritance" story. in 1968, the stingray body style takes on a kind of pre-'70s vibe. some folks love the new vettes. some hate them. either way, those earlier corvettes quickly become collectibles, and the '67, the last of the old body styles, would become the ultimate. >> those cars are regarded today as some of the most desirable
and valuable corvettes of all time. >> he knew he had a car that might be worth some money some day and decided to not drive it as much. every time he drove it, he would write stuff down and log it in a logbook. >> like what? >> well, if he started it up, he'd say, "july 5th, 80 degrees outside, started the car, revved it up to 3,500 rpms three times and shut it down," or "changed oil." >> according to keith's log, the odometer shows just 2,600 miles when he marries. he won't put very many miles on it after that. even if he wanted to, he won't get the chance. when he's just 30 years old, he's diagnosed with testicular cancer. >> he was sick, in and out of the hospital a lot. >> the disease makes a long, slow march through his body. in 1992, at age 48, keith's prognosis becomes dire. matt, now 28 and living on his own, moves back to his childhood home
in suburban chicago to help his mom take care of his dad. >> you could just see that, from such a strong guy, that the cancer was just eating him alive, literally. >> on nights when keith is in too much pain to sleep, matt stays up with him, and they talk all night. >> he kind of opened up a lot about his time in vietnam, and it was difficult for him. >> and he entrusts matt to drive his prized car for the first time. >> he knew the car had to be driven. he could no longer shift the car, so it just about killed him to say, "go ahead." >> keith knows the car he dreamed of in the vietnam jungle, bought for $5,000 in combat pay and meticulously maintained ever since is now worth a lot more than that, six figures, easy, so as death nears, he must decide what to do with it.
>> he was nervous that my brother might sell the car. he wanted to keep the car around as long as he could. >> when keith finally succumbs to cancer in 1993 at age 49, he leaves the corvette to matt alone. >> i think that was kind of his way of saying thank you. >> but matt senses the rest of his family feels left on the side of the road. >> it left a little animosity with my brothers and sisters because my dad loved all of us the same, but because i inherited the car, there was always some tension there. >> that tension worries him. one day, he'll have to pass on this strange inheritance. what'll he do when he hits that fork in the road? we're really going to go for a ride? >> we're going for a ride. >> i'm ready. >> here is another quiz question for you...
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♪ >> it's arctic white, which made up 18% of new vettes sold, but if you guessed red, you're close. if you combine torch red and long beach red, the two shades add up to 20%. >> this 1967 corvette is the gift that vietnam soldier keith litavsky gives to himself for returning home alive. he buys it with his combat pay, maintains it meticulously, and drives it a mere 8,500 miles until his death in 1993.
>> he added a lot to the documentation of the car and the validity of it. for me, it was more sentimental just going through it and seeing in dad's handwriting how cool it was and how special. >> absolutely. his son matt knows he's inherited much more than a 26-year-old sports car but isn't sure what to do with it. >> it was years of prayers and, you know, saying, "hey, god, what do you want me to do with this car?" >> so he just maintains the classic even more fastidiously than his father had. >> the car has never been to a car show, you know. my neighbors didn't even know i had the car. >> oh, my. why would they? in the 2-plus decades after his dad dies, matt marries, starts his own family but racks up just 30 more miles on the corvette. he takes it out rarely for a quick drive around the block just to keep all the parts working. ah, sounds good, matt.
>> oh. >> ah, that smell, too. >> i just love that. >> it's a beautiful thing. >> smells like america. >> i love the way it looks. it looks like the day it came out of the showroom. >> i've done my best. >> but while matt's neighbors don't know about his strange inheritance, rumors abound in corvette world. >> i think you're right about that. >> it was sort of an urban legend for a long time, that there was this impeccably original, pristinely kept 1967 corvette. corvette enthusiasts, in particular, go crazy over mint-condition, unrestored, original cars. >> really big-money enthusiasts like former racecar owner gary runyon and his wife, jackie, of carmel, indiana. so what is it about the corvette that you think has captured america? >> you know, you have lamborghinis, and you got ferraris and all types of european cars, but the american sports car has always been noted as the corvette.
>> like the runyons' super-rare 1957 airbox, only 43 of them were made, and their serial number 001, the first off the assembly line in 1965. couple are always ready to add to their collection. what is your criteria? >> a real, unrestored, original engine, transmission, original interior and a story behind it. >> well, there's certainly a great story behind matt's corvette unless everything he thought he knew about his strange inheritance is wrong. >> original, unrestored '67 corvettes, there's a little, tiny dot. >> i don't see it. >> and something is fishy because that's not there. >> what's your "strange inheritance" story? we'd love to tell it. send me an e-mail or go to our website, strangeinheritance.com. ♪
"strange inheritance." >> in 1993, vietnam veteran keith litavsky dies and leaves his son, matt, his '67 corvette stingray. off we go. since then, it's hardly left matt's garage except for short drives to keep it running right. what's this? >> that's a st. christopher medal for the patron saint of travelers. >> yeah. >> so he kept it in here because he felt like it would keep the car safe. >> oh, really? >> and, yeah, so i thought it should stay with the car. >> it's wonderful. but by 2016, matt is in his 50s and wondering about what would happen to the corvette if something were to happen to him. he knows a pristine, unrestored '67 is worth a fortune and recalls the tension among his siblings after his father left the car solely to him. >> i have two boys and a daughter, and splitting a car three ways is not easy.
>> mm. >> splitting money three ways is a lot easier. >> after a lot of soul-searching, matt decides it's time to sell. >> so it was a decision that, honestly, i prayed for, for years. >> matt brings the corvette and his father's story to mecum auctions in wisconsin. remember john kraman? he's their director of consignments, and they discover a big problem. >> part of the build process of the very unique fiberglass body of the corvette has a little mold dot that's just part of the normal manufacturing process. you know, imagine our surprise that that little hood-channel dot is missing. >> it's about the size of the tip of a ballpoint pen. >> david burroughs, mecum's automobile authentication expert, pinpoints the problem for me. >> so if you count in 13 of these ribs, it would be right about in the center t's missing.
>> so restored cars, that gets all sanded off to make it look pretty and shiny, and then that little fingerprint gets obliterated, and so that implies that this car has been either restored, or at least something is fishy. >> i knew what i had, and i knew everything i had was genuine and real. >> that one little dot could be the difference between someone believing you and not believing you. and a difference of hundreds of thousands of dollars at auction, but how do you prove what was or wasn't done to a 50-year-old car? the mecum team scrambles. they track down other '67 corvettes manufactured around the same time. >> we were able to collect photos of unrestored cars in this vin range and the serial numbers where this car fits in that vin range. >> all '67s? >> oh, yes, and none of them had the dot. >> dot mystery solved. >> it's a home run in the world series.
>> may 20, 2017, the '67 corvette, along with all of its documentation, hits the auction block 50 years after it was sold to corporal keith richard litavsky, who gave himself a present for returning home from battle alive... >> the 1967 corvette is making its way into the building with matt litavsky behind the wheel. >> ...and with a heartfelt tribute in honor of matt's father. [ "taps" playing ] >> they just really paid a great tribute to my dad and the car. >> and here we go. start the bid! >> befitting a classic american sports car, would-be buyers maneuver fast and furiously to own the corvette with the classic american story. the bidding starts at 100k. >> three, four,
$ 300,000, on the bid... >> it's off to the races. >> five, now $500,000, anybody? >> it blows through the half-mil mark in seconds. >> got 75, 25, go 25! >> and then... >> sold, $675,000! >> you may recognize that gentleman there in the checked shirt. that is gary runyon with his wife, jackie. >> that same husband-and-wife team, the rare-car collectors we met earlier in indiana. >> it was totally unrestored, absolutely gorgeous. i gave a thumbs up and a head nod, and gary said, "you just purchased that car." >> i see tears of joy. it appears that this story is going to have a happy ending. >> it will. yes. >> matt was a great caretaker for his dad's vehicle, and to be frank with you, i believe that's exactly what jackie and i are. >> again, god answered my prayer. i didn't pray for money. i prayed for it
to go to a good home. >> of course, that $675,000 will go a long way, but the values inherited from his dad will go even farther. what are you thinking? >> i was just thinking about how he... i think he instilled in all my brothers and sisters a lot of perseverance and just getting through anything. didn't matter what it was, you'll get through it >> what did he teach you about america? >> you know what? it's the land of the free, home of the brave, and there's no bs there. >> even though the corvette has been around now for more than 60 years, it's nowhere near retirement. in fact, it's become a verb. corvette lovers like to say they're "vetting," an apropos phrase for matt's father, the vet who loved his vette. i'm jamie colby. thanks so much for watching
"strange inheritance." and remember -- you can't take it with you. ybe send a copy to robert mueller. have a great weekend everyone! and a wonderful easter. maria's wall street week begins right now. maria: hello and happy easter weekend to all! welcome to the program that analyzes the week that was. andpositioning you for the week ahead. i'm a reader -- i am maria bartiromo. coming up this weekend, my exclusive interview with a titan of the business world. jamie diamond is here. breaking news on his optimistic view of the economy. he said growth should continue for the