The first picture in the article shows the car inside the Ferrari Classiche department in the Ferrari factory. Last May I observed an identical 375 Plus, owned by "a Belgian", that we were not allowed to photograph. Seems to me this is the same car.
Jacques Swaters is of course very famous and the founder of the Ecurie Francorchamps racing stable. He has owned, raced and imported Ferraris since the 1950's. Can't say who is to blame her but it seems to me that the defendant is more likely to be in the right. After all, the claim for the original purchase of $2.5m seems to have come up only after the seller's death, who undisputedely signed the transfer of title. Why would you do that if you weren't paid?
Directly behind the car is incidentally a 250 SWB that Ferrari Classiche hope will win the Pebble Beach concours for best restoration project.
Originally Posted by Marcel Massini on FerrariChat 26 Jul 2006
NOT stolen in the 1950s.
January 6, 1986 trailer with the original chassis, body, radiator, gearbox and rear axle STOLEN from Karl Kleve in Cincinnati/OH/USA. Car was quite derelict and missing its engine. The two fellows who stole it plea bargained in federal court in Atlanta/GA and got off with light sentences and restitution of the money they received. The broker was Guy Anderson in Atlanta who sold the hulk to Europe. He was tried and got off - not acquitted, not found guilty, hung jury and the feds declined to prosecute further. This car was known to be the ex-Kimberly ex-Hively car and for years historians had identified that car as S/N 0394. But the data plate from the hulk in Ohio definitely identified it as 0384 plus the factory confirms that 0394 AM was NOT a 375 plus but only a 2.5-liter engine built for Vandervell. When the car was restored in Europe it at first took on the identity 0394 AM, whether because that's what it was believed to be or whether because that hid it's true identity is unknown. But the car was tracked down by the authorities and for a number of years Mr. Kleve tried various legal means to retrieve the car. A settlement was finally reached and Mr. Kleve surrendered his claims against the car. The fact that the car is now publicly acknowledged to be 0384 AM lends a certain credence to such claims. The story includes a scam in 1985, the whereabouts of the original engine, the involvement of the FBI, and supposedly underworld figures in the south of France.
1989/1990 car completely reconstructed in Italy for Jacques Swaters and Philippe Lancksweert, new engine block built by Nueva Lunelli in Modena. Today the original engine 0384 AM is still in USA (with same owner since 1970).
There is a lot more on the FerrariChat thread on #0384AM/0394AM seems there is quite a lot to this story.