Tim Durham's exotic cars hit auction block

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

The bulk of Tim Durham’s collection of exotic cars will go up for auction Friday afternoon, with a 1929 Duesenberg driven by Elvis Presley in the 1966 movie "Spinout" sure to draw the most interest.

The Duesenberg Model J Dual Cowl Phaeton could fetch $1 million to $1.3 million, according to an estimate from the auctioneer, RM Auctions of Ontario, Canada. It is one of nearly two dozen former Durham vehicles being sold at the auction at the Arizona Biltmore Resort & Spa in Phoenix.

The bankruptcy trustee for Fair Finance Co. scheduled the auction to raise money for creditors of the defunct company, including more than 5,000 Ohio residents who hold more than $200 million in unsecured investment certificates.

The Akron, Ohio, company collapsed in late 2009. The trustee charges in court papers that its owners, Durham and fellow Indianapolis businessman Jim Cochran, “utterly looted” the business, pulling out tens of millions of dollars in insider loans that were not repaid.

But it’s unlikely the auction will put much of a dent in Fair’s massive debts. The bank holds a lien on the Duesenberg, for instance, worth $1 million or more, ensuring it will receive the bulk of the auction price.

Other cars in the auction have much lower estimated selling prices. The collection includes:

- A 1929 Auburn 8-90 Speedster, $120,000 to $160,000.

- A 2002 Lamborghini Murcielago, $110,000 to $130,000.

- A 2006 Bentley Continental Flying Spur, $60,000 to $80,000.

- A 2003 Astin Martin Vanquish, $50,000 to $75,000.

- A 1964 Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud III, $20,000 to $40,000.

Durham, who is the target of civil and criminal investigations, has denied breaking any laws but has acknowledged he owes Fair millions of dollars. He voluntarily turned over the cars to bankruptcy trustee Brian Bash last summer.

Attorneys for Durham say offering circulars that Fair provided to prospective purchasers disclosed the insider loans and other risks.

However, investigators are trying to build a case that Durham duped investors. In a court filing in late 2009, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Indianapolis alleged Durham was operating a Ponzi scheme, using money from the sale of new investment certificates to pay off prior purchasers.

The Durham cars are being sold as part of an auction that includes more than 180 vehicles. Details on all the cars are available at rmauctions.com.



  • Car Auctions
    He may have done worst things to everyone but the good thing is that what he had taken from the people will be returned at last with the help of this auction.
  • Exotic Car Auction
    I am just curious what happened to the case and did it make a successful auction? And all of his riches must be the payment for his debts, good thing an auction is being held.
  • car
    Pretty good post. I hope you create more in the future..
  • Both Vipers were salvage
    look at the descriptions on both Vipers--trashed by Durham and his friends. Allegedly it was Carl Brizzi who crashed the black Viper in a drunken stupor.

  • Very nice job, RM Auctions
    who got more than anyone could have guessed for Tim's pile of junk. GREAT auction, the victims thank you very much.

    Here are the prices--the Auburn sold for triple what the estimate was. Everything else was a few pennies more over the highest estimate, unfortunately this is the bulk of what Durham has left, the rest of the money is in the Dan Laikin houses.

  • Poor Dana and Jeff
    can't catch a break, are they the newest members of the foreclosure club? First Tim, then Jim, then Scott, and now Dana and Jeff. MUST be a lot of stress to spend money that doesn't belong to you.



  • Wow
    These cars were run through that crashed exotic place downtown I am guessing. Tim was an owner of that place too. It is quite something how bad they actually are. I mean, a VIN tag missing? How can they even determine who owns it? I bet that car won't bring 10 grand. And if a late model, low mileage car has something so ridiculously wrong with it, how nice can the other, more expensive cars be? I wouldn't touch these with a 10 foot pole, and I sure others won't either. Good luck to the lawyers on this, there probably isn't a million dollars in the whole lot.
    • Crazy Stuff
      Thanks for the tip on reading the descriptions on RM Auction website. Almost every car associated with Durham has some fine print disclaimer like "salvage", "rebuilt", "severe damage" etc, etc, etc. Is everything this guy touched a complete disaster? Makes for some entertaining reading though.
      • Shouldn't this get reported to the proper authorities?
        Greg, I think you have an obligation to report the comments from Porter and D&C for investigation as these involve possible very egregious criminal acts. At least flag the auctioneers so they can do their own due diligence.
      • Bugatti Veyron
        What became of the $1.5 million Bugatti Veyron Durham so famously had filmed rolling off the back of the delivery truck????
      • How about Cochran
        Durham is getting so much publicity that it seems like Cochran is getting a free pass. He's as dirty as Durham!
      • re
        he's not in jail because Tim Morrison called off the dogs.
      • The cars are mostly junk
        the Duesenberg and Auburn and maybe two others are the only cars worth anything. The SLK was wrecked and should have a salvage title and frankly should be the subject of a separate arrest for Tim and another person associated with him if the FBI ever got off their as* because you cannot rebuild a salvage car without disclosing it. Match the VIN on the engine to what's on that title, someone.

        As for the rest, many like the Viper were also wrecked as they were driven by Tim's gang of mooches, and in some cases like the Viper by an allegedly very drunk Carl Brizzi, another of the mooches in the gang.

        But, hey, hand it to the mooches--live off of millions of dollars and watch no one prosecute you. Only in Indy can the finest live off of someone else's life savings.

        Thanks, Greg, for continuing to keep this scumbag in the news.
      • Durham
        Why his not in jail? He is a sleeze just like Money Manger Marcus Schinker.
        • Off the Top
          I agree. Creditors rights lawyers make obscene amounts of money and get paid per approval by the court, before the real creditors get anything, and all of those people are an incestuous bunch of thieves.

          Ever try to collect a debt from a bankruptcy?
        • attny fees
          lets see how much of this money goes for attny fees,I will bet this is not disclosed

          Post a comment to this story

          We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
          You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
          Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
          No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
          We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.

          Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

          Sponsored by

          facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

          Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
          Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
          Subscribe to IBJ
          1. How much you wanna bet, that 70% of the jobs created there (after construction) are minimum wage? And Harvey is correct, the vast majority of residents in this project will drive to their jobs, and to think otherwise, is like Harvey says, a pipe dream. Someone working at a restaurant or retail store will not be able to afford living there. What ever happened to people who wanted to build buildings, paying for it themselves? Not a fan of these tax deals.

          2. Uh, no GeorgeP. The project is supposed to bring on 1,000 jobs and those people along with the people that will be living in the new residential will be driving to their jobs. The walkable stuff is a pipe dream. Besides, walkable is defined as having all daily necessities within 1/2 mile. That's not the case here. Never will be.

          3. Brad is on to something there. The merger of the Formula E and IndyCar Series would give IndyCar access to International markets and Formula E access the Indianapolis 500, not to mention some other events in the USA. Maybe after 2016 but before the new Dallara is rolled out for 2018. This give IndyCar two more seasons to run the DW12 and Formula E to get charged up, pun intended. Then shock the racing world, pun intended, but making the 101st Indianapolis 500 a stellar, groundbreaking event: The first all-electric Indy 500, and use that platform to promote the future of the sport.

          4. No, HarveyF, the exact opposite. Greater density and closeness to retail and everyday necessities reduces traffic. When one has to drive miles for necessities, all those cars are on the roads for many miles. When reasonable density is built, low rise in this case, in the middle of a thriving retail area, one has to drive far less, actually reducing the number of cars on the road.

          5. The Indy Star announced today the appointment of a new Beverage Reporter! So instead of insightful reports on Indy pro sports and Indiana college teams, you now get to read stories about the 432nd new brewery open or some obscure Hoosier winery winning a county fair blue ribbon. Yep, that's the coverage we Star readers crave. Not.