>> he was the man who had everything... >> this has about 750 to 800 horsepower. >> ...but never enough of these. >> he told me he was bringing in about one tank a week. >> i imagine a small country could win a war with these. >> yeah, i hear that a lot. >> my dad started a tradition of getting an old, beat-up car, and then he would crush it with a tank in the field out here. >> his death puts his heirs on a mission. >> is this what your dad would want? >> you push up on that. >> start. [ engine turns over ] >> just like that, she comes to life. >> and talk about sticker-shock and awe. >> was the auction a nail-biter? >> you bet it was. >> $300,000. $350,000. sold. ♪
>> i'm jamie colby, and, today, i'm driving up a long, steep hill in portola valley, california, near san francisco. i'm here to visit the heirs of a man who made the record books with his incredibly strange collection. and if i'm lucky, i may even get to ditch this s.u.v. and take the controls of a serious off-road ride. >> my name is allison littlefield. these are my half brothers, david and scott. >> when our father died, in 2009, we inherited 240 armored military vehicles. >> lots and lots of tanks. >> hi, allison. i'm jamie. >> hi. nice to meet you. >> thanks for having me up. this is a magnificent ranch. the ranch is very nice, but i'm here to see something else. >> come this way. >> these are real? >> these are real. >> this is one of several
buildings on the littlefield ranch where they garage their strange inheritance. some guys collect stamps and coins. their dad, jacques littlefield, collected tanks. in fact, what you see here is part of the world's largest private collection of armored vehicles. allison tells me some of these tanks are incredibly rare, including this world war ii german panzer iv... this 8-ton half track... and this sherman tank. what a collection. >> it is a real preservation of history, and that's what i'm so excited about. >> so, how did all of this get started? well, jacques littlefield is born in 1949, the son of edmund wattis littlefield, heir to a prosperous mining and land-development company called utah construction. at an early age, jacques develops a strong interest in all things mechanical. >> this is him as a young boy,
playing with his model train set. >> he looks almost like he could be in an ad for trains. >> i know. it's such a sweet picture. [ gunfire ] >> in the late '60s, the vietnam war is raging, but jacques is never drafted, due to hearing loss from a childhood bout with encephalitis. he attends stanford university. after majoring in economics, he goes to b-school, then takes a job at hewlett-packard. that's where the 23-year old littlefield meets his new boss, bill boller, who becomes a lifelong friend. he shares with bill his latest passion -- tanks. where did it begin? >> he checked a book out of the library called "american tanks and tank destroyers." and that book attracted his attention so much that he said it all started there. >> jacques' first military purchase -- in 1976, for $3,500 -- is this m3a1 world war ii wheeled scout car, which saw combat both in north africa and the invasion of
sicily. i find it ironic that he collected tanks even when people were anti-war. would he have shown up at a protest? >> jacques was conservative in his politics, so no. he would definitely not have shown up at a protest and probably would have pretty much ignored it. >> 1976 is also the year jacques' father sells the family business empire to general electric, in what was then the biggest merger in u.s. history. his dad's now a billionaire, and son jacques leaves h-p to manage his personal fortune. he takes up residence here, at pony tracks ranch, gets married, and starts a family. scott, what do you remember most about your dad? >> building stuff. we used to go to the woodshop and make things there. i'd have birthday parties, and we'd get to go around on a sherman tank. >> one of my favorite events was our 4th of july party. [ all cheering ] my dad started a tradition of getting an old, beat-up car, and
then he would crush it with a tank in the field out here. >> [ laughs ] >> a truly successful army is one that will not be called upon to fight, for no one will dare to provoke it. >> the timing of jacques' interest in tanks is perfect. with the u.s. military expanding under president reagan, the pentagon is getting rid of a lot of outdated equipment. jacques snatches up a few tanks and then a few more, including this m5a1 stuart tank, built by cadillac back in 1943, a model used in the invasion of normandy. jacques buys it for $20,000. the end of the cold war and then the first gulf war lead to more tank-buying opportunities. jacques pounces. sherman tanks... this m1917 "6-ton tractor"... a russian t-72 used by saddam hussein's forces...
even a scud missile launcher. jacques builds these barns to house them all. >> this is him working at the tank-restoration shop here on property. he was very involved in the process. he really enjoyed it. >> so it's a professional operation. >> oh, yeah. i mean, he had a great team of people who would rebuild these things down to the nuts and bolts. >> i remember i was in ukraine and i saw a tv show starring my dad. >> this has about 750 to 800 horsepower. >> it was a strange experience. >> in 1999, at the age of 50, jacques is staggered by a colon-cancer diagnosis and goes into treatment. >> i was in a bit of shock when i first found out. >> did he tell you or did he hide it to himself? >> he was very good at hiding it. >> he always had a really positive attitude. >> and a life's-too-short outlook that, as his cancer goes
into remission, sends his tank-buying into overdrive. >> he told me he was bringing in about one tank a week. >> do you have any idea how much money he spent? >> [ laughs ] >> a lot. >> yeah. i prefer not to think about it sometimes, but, yeah, definitely, it was his passion. >> coming up, the tank -- and the challenge -- jacques littlefield was most passionate about. plus, it's my turn at the controls. okay, i'm up. how do i get in? >> any way you can get down in there is fair game. >> but, first, our "strange inheritance" quiz question. how did these armored vehicles become known as "tanks"? the answer in a moment. this is your daughter. and she just got this. ooh boy. but, you've got hum. so you can set this.
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>> the answer is "c." during world war i, the british coined the term as a code name to keep their development a secret. >> i try not to have too many duplicates of what other collections would have lots of. >> in the early 2000s, jacques littlefield, the world's foremost armored-vehicle collector, seems to be beating colon cancer. the fight lays him low,
physically, but it only revs up his passion for tanks and more tanks. he asks his dear friend bill boller to help restore them. >> he told me he was bringing in about one tank a week, every week for the last several years. >> by 2007, jacques' shopping spree gets him into the guinness book of world records for the largest private collection of armored vehicles, with 229 of them. only a year later, he has 240. but his cancer returns with a vengeance, and in january 2009, he tells bill he's just hoping to finish one thing before he dies -- the ongoing restoration of a super-rare german panzer v panther. jacques considers it his greatest find. >> the story, as we understand it, was -- it had to retreat, and on its way through poland, it attempted to cross a frozen river. and the tank broke through the ice and fell to the bottom. it sat under this river for
about 50 years. >> it's not in good condition. >> this particular restoration started off looking worse than this turret right here. it was remanufactured here in its entirety. >> just in time for a fast-fading jacques littlefield. >> we had a discussion about it, and although the turret had not been put on it, he smiled and he said, "i'm satisfied". >> look at it now. how long does this take? >> the total restoration took seven years. it's one of only two that are really restored to this degree. >> how much did he pay for it? >> this is a fairly valuable tank. there are multiple millions of dollars in it. >> on january 7, 2009, just days after he tells bill boller he's satisfied, jacques littlefield passes away at the age of 59. [ bagpipes playing ] >> there was a procession, and the coffin was carried on the
back of a tank. >> the mechanics he'd been working with thought that would be a fitting way to send him off. >> jacques wills the entire tank collection to his children. >> it was really scary to lose him so young. i turned 20 a month before he passed away, and it kind of went from being in college to having to take on a lot of responsibility very quickly. >> so, what do you do when you've inherited a collection of 240 armored vehicles? in keeping with jacques' wishes, there's a trust for the tanks, controlled by allison and her half brothers, but no instructions on what to do with them. >> he never left me with any sort of message regarding the tanks, specifically. >> so the siblings call jacques' friend bill boller back to active duty. he'll lead the littlefield heirs through the quagmire ahead. >> the objective was to find a long-term solution. >> in the short term, i'm
wondering what it's like to drive one of these things. >> why don't you climb up and get in the driver's seat? >> right on cue. bill says it's an m551 sheridan, one of jacques' favorites. okay, i'm up. how do i get in? >> any way you can get down in there is fair game. >> i can always get new knees, i suppose. >> [ laughs ] >> if you look on the floor, you'll see there's a great, big single brake in the center. >> got it -- brake. >> and there's a foot throttle on the right. >> probably no texting at this time. >> probably not a good idea. >> okay. >> we're not gonna turn on anything else other than, now, the starter, which is the next lever over. you push up on that. >> start. [ engine turns over ] >> just like that, she comes to life. >> oh, my gosh. >> okay. so... >> are you belted in? >> i've got a great, big handle i can hang on to here, and if i get in trouble, i'll just jump. put your other foot on the accelerator and let the brake off, and we're out of here. go for it. ♪
pull hard as you can. pull real hard. give it lots of gas. [ tracks screech ] right there is just fine. >> i think that's good. [ engine shuts off ] oh. enjoyed it so much. i can't wait to do it again. [ laughs ] can i come back tomorrow? >> well, we've got 80 more that you've got to try. they're all different. >> i should test-drive them before i make a decision. >> [ laughing ] yeah. >> after their father's death, the littlefield heirs retain a skeleton crew of mechanics, just to keep all those tanks in good shape. did you ever say to yourselves, "let's just sell it"? >> no. >> i was hoping that we could maybe keep the collection somewhere locally, but after all those options were explored, there wasn't any way we could
keep the collection together here. >> then, in 2013, a visitor from the east drops in. rob collings represents a well-to-do family in massachusetts that's devoted to military history. >> let's go for a flight. >> he tours the country with world war ii planes, like this b-17 flying fortress. collings is looking to maybe buy a tank or two, when bill boller takes the conversation to a whole new level. >> bill said, "you know, i don't want to sell you a tank." i thought to myself, "what did i say?" he goes, "i want you to have the whole collection." >> in short order, the two men draw up a plan to create a jacques littlefield tank exhibit in massachusetts. >> we would grant all the assets to them, and they would take the responsibility to provide the plans for a building, the land for a building. >> but just because you're willing to give away a fleet of tanks doesn't mean you can just hand over the keys and be done
with it. is a family that inherits something this vast responsible for also raising the finances to do it? >> i don't know of any museum, even those that are well-funded, that would volunteer and come in and take on this type of a responsibility. >> for this entire scheme to work, the littlefields must accept an arrangement to raise a certain amount of money. did you know what that number was? >> yes. >> and it's a big chunk of change. can they do it? >> sold. >> that's next. >> here's another quiz question for you. this german personnel carrier from jacques littlefield's collection was driven by lee marvin in the world war ii classic film "the dirty dozen." what's this model of half-track called? is it a... the answer when we return.
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built for speed. built for business. >> so, what's this 12-ton vehicle used in the world war ii classic "the dirty dozen" called? it's "a," a prime mover. lee marvin drives it, playing an insubordinate officer on a top secret mission to assassinate a group of nazi generals. >> it's july of 2014, and the littlefield family is nervous. they've agreed to donate their strange inheritance -- the largest private collection of armored vehicles in the world -- for a new museum to be built by the collings foundation, in massachusetts. the foundation cannot house all 240 tanks in the museum, just the cream of the crop. >> we had a methodology going into this of what vehicles we wanted to present, and that boiled down to 85 tanks.
>> they're jacques littlefield's greatest treasures. they include the personnel carrier used in "the dirty dozen" and the german panzer v panther tank that jacques littlefield finished restoring right before he died. littlefield's kids wish collings didn't have to split up their dad's collection but know some must be sacrificed to fund a permanent home for the rest. and museums cost a lot of money. so, along with bill boller, they gear up for a barn-burner of an auction on their ranch outside san francisco. it's not easy to put a collection together and have the funds to open up a museum. did you know what that number was going into the auction? >> yes -- around $10 million. >> $10 million dollars, and failure's not an option. if the numbers fall short, some of their father's most prized vehicles that they dearly want in his namesake exhibit must go.
>> we picked out five very, very rare vehicles and we put a high premium on those. >> valued at several hundred thousand dollars each, the five include this sherman tank, the last of its kind... a german 8-ton half-track, just as coveted as the 12-ton used in "the dirty dozen"... an american amphibious assault vehicle... a german panzer iv... and this jumbo sherman, one of just eight in the world. what was that day like? >> i don't even know how to describe it. it was a little bit nerve-racking, like, "oh, are we gonna raise the amount of money that we need?" [ auctioneer calling ] >> the auction seems to get off to a strong start. this 2s7 self-propelled gun fetches $92,000. this humber armored car -- $97,000. amphibious tank -- $172,500. grant tank -- 276k.
stuart tank -- 310k. and that scud missile launcher goes for $345,000. they're north of a million, heading toward 2, but still a long way from 10. will they have to sell any of those rare tanks to reach their objective? >> that was the million-dollar question. >> the answer next. what's your strange inheritance story? we'd love to tell it. send me an e-mail or go to our website, strangeinheritance.com. liberty mutual stood with me when i was too busy with the kids to get a repair estimate. liberty did what? yeah, with liberty mutual all i needed to do to get an estimate was snap a photo of the damage and voila! voila! (sigh) i wish my insurance company had that... wait! hold it... hold it boys... there's supposed to be three of you... where's your brother? where's your brother? hey, where's charlie? charlie?! you can leave worry behind when liberty stands with you. liberty stands with you™
>> now the conclusion of "strange inheritance." >> for all their lives, the children of jacques littlefield watch their dad collect tanks, tinker with them, and deploy them in the coolest birthday-party entertainment ever. after he dies, they decide to share their strange inheritance with the world. what's it gonna be like to go into the structure and not see
tanks anymore? >> i don't know if it's so much as seeing tanks as it's the smell of the diesel and the grease that i really love. >> $200,000 to start the bidding. $200,000. >> having agreed to donate the collection to the collings foundation, allison and her half brothers must watch some of their dad's tanks be auctioned off in order to raise $10 million to erect a museum in his honor. [ auctioneer calling ] but as the auction nears the end, it appears receipts are still short of that target. at least one of five super-rare tanks the littlefields fervently hoped to see in the museum may have to be sold, but which one? >> sold. >> the bidders get to choose. only one of the five tanks attracts a bid above the confidential reserve. it's the 8-ton german half-track, a hot ticket from world war ii. and it goes for $1.2 million. the auction passes the $10 million mark.
for the littlefields, it's mission accomplished. is this what your dad would want? are you convinced? >> i think this is definitely the best option that we have available to keep the core collection together and have his name attached to it. >> when we are through with the collings museum, this will arguably be the finest collection of its sort anywhere. >> and it'll be the littlefield collection. >> it'll be the littlefield collection. remember how we told you about jacques littlefield's july 4th tradition, when he would haul out an m60 patton tank and stage a fight between the tank and a civilian car? it's so much fun, we thought you might like to see another of jacques confrontations. [ all cheering ] >> [ laughs ] >> all right in your own backyard. what a dad.
i'm jamie colby for "strange inheritance." thanks so much for watching. and remember, you can't take it with you. ♪ >> she's raised in daddy's junkyard... >> you would play here? >> this was the best playground any girl could ever ask for. >> ...that he fights city hall to save. >> john was absolutely the "hell, no, i won't go" center of the resistance. >> a one-man wrecking crew -- in more ways than one. >> i'd wished him dead so many times 'cause i was so angry with him, but i never wanted that for john, never. >> i honestly still have a scar on my knee from sinking to the ground so quickly. >> he leaves her a mess. can she make it her dream? >> the wedding was here on the junkyard. >> excuse me? >> [ laughs ] [ door creaks ] [ wind howls ] [ thunder rumbles ]
[ bird caws ] ♪ >> i'm jamie colby, and today i am driving through a rough-and-tumble part of dallas, texas, called rock island. you know, some inheritances come crashing down on heirs just when they least expect it, like today's story, where a violent crime suddenly leaves a young woman in a big fix. >> my name is hannah hargrove. in 2013, my father was killed in a bar fight. i was only 23 and inherited his struggling junkyard business that i thought might be a diamond in the rough. >> i meet hannah at the strange inheritance she received three years before. that was a tragedy, but time heals. hi, hannah! today she's a beaming expectant mother. but this place is clearly her baby, too. you inherited a wreck. >> i like to refer to it as my queendom of junk. >> can we take a look? >> let's do it. >> come on.
hannah's junkyard has a little bit of everything... doors, cabinets, sinks, wheels, windows, tubs. a home depot where nothing's new. do people really buy doorknobs? >> people really buy doorknobs. >> it even has random odds and ends like this old adding machine. we made two dollars today on a doorknob. >> there's actually a old cable box beside it. >> oh, my gosh. wait, there's only 36 channels. >> i know. >> ooh. >> i would not have done well. >> where do you find this stuff? >> first and foremost, we do demolitions. we go down and actually take apart the house piece by piece. we get it cleaned up, put it on the yard. by doing that, we keep things out of the landfill, so there's a big recycling factor. and then the other way is we have people show up with trucks. i mean, 85% of the time it's crap. last week i had someone show up with a truck of futons. >> [ laughs ]
>> but i'll typically give 'em five bucks and just throw it away because granted, their ten loads might suck, but that eleventh load, it might have the killer of all killers. >> from there, it's up to hannah to turn that junk into gold by selling it to home builders, antiques vendors, contractors, or anyone who walks through her gates. >> it's kind of my life. >> a junkyard life that starts for hannah in 1993, when she's just a toddler. it's then that her father, john, makes an offer to buy the orr-reed wrecking company. >> my father was the only one who wanted to keep the business open for the business and not just for the land. >> john is not the highest bidder, but he impresses the owner, charles orr, says john's ex-wife, michelle. why is it that mr. orr decided john was the right guy? 'cause he probably could have sold this land for a pretty penny. >> absolutely. i think for him it was this little cute young
family that wanted to keep his legacy going. >> while 31-year old john has no experience running a salvage yard, he has the most important skill in spades. >> john could sell ice cubes to eskimos. >> what kind of salesman was your dad? >> watching him was like watching magic. the air around him would become electrified. >> i sense hannah inherits that ability, too. >> people would buy things they never thought they would. and they'd leave happy doing it. >> the junkyard is a family affair. mom does the books. dad handles sales, while little hannah models for newspaper ads. you were a little junkyard princess. >> that's what i like to refer to myself as, yes. >> you would play here? >> i would. this was the best playground any girl could ever ask for. i would go find candlestick holders, and i'd set up areas in the woodpiles and have tea parties. when you've got giant lumber piles to crawl on, it's a lot more fun -- probably not as safe -- but it's a lot more fun
than just going to go swing on a swing set. >> we were all a little family, and we stayed together every day. whatever we did, we did together. ♪ >> but there are two sides to john hargrove. >> the dad i know and the dad that people knew up here are two very different people. my father was very good at playing the character of john hargrove. >> what was that? >> vivacious and always happy. >> that was the character? >> yeah, but he had his own demons. >> his family suffers from his alternating bouts of depression and binge drinking. would you say your dad was an alcoholic? >> yeah. he would be sober for long amounts of time, and then he'd go off the wagon...and realize that he screwed up and go back on the wagon. >> when he was left to his own devices, he got into a lot of trouble. there were more than one occasion where somebody that he'd gone to school with would meet me and say, "oh, we thought he'd either be dead or in jail
by now." >> he brought a lot of pain to this family. >> absolutely, and a lot of anger. >> by 2002, michelle has had enough. she files for divorce, kicking john out of the house and away from teenage hannah and her sister and brother. >> that was hard. the man was no saint, but he was still my hero. he was still my best friend. >> did the divorce affect the business? >> yes, because his heart wasn't in it. i mean, it was a family business, and without my mom, without me, without any of it, i mean, he just didn't love it as much. >> in 2007, when hannah's a senior in high school, john promises to dry out, and reconciles with hannah's mom. >> it was kind of like an ongoing soap opera. >> by then, hannah's life plan no longer revolves around daddy's junkyard. did you think you were going to follow in your father's footsteps? >> my goal was to go to college and get my doctorate.
i wanted to be an art therapist. >> meanwhile, the city of dallas launches a campaign to rezone rock island, which actually is an island in the middle of the trinity river. >> the idea is that all of this area will be converted to fancy shops and condos and so on. >> jim schutze is a local reporter and friend of john's. >> there was a concerted effort to paint this area as dirty. and the threat was that the city would use eminent domain to force these people to sell. >> i was like, "no, no, no, they're not doing that. you know, you're gonna have to fight this. we're not buckling." >> john leads the fight against city hall. >> john was absolutely the "hell, no, i won't go" emotional center of the resistance. >> not that the salesman won't bargain at all. he and his fellow business owners promise to beautify the area. >> i saw their cause as hopeless
because so much power and money was in play, and people in their position just don't win. >> but surprise -- the little guys do win! the city council sides with them. fresh off his david vs. goliath victory, john falls completely off the wagon. michelle leaves him a second time. >> and at that point, the business kind of fell on the wayside. my father, i think, was overwhelmed. >> even for a junkyard, the place becomes a chaotic mess. john neglects the grounds, loses customers, and piles up a mountain of debt. how much are we talking about? >> i want to say like $800,000 worth of debt. >> [ gasps ] in the spring of 2012, hannah returns home to save the family business... or is it the family itself? >> part of the reason i came home to take over the business was to make sure my dad was okay.
>> over the next year, things slowly start to improve. john gets back on the wagon... and the two land a major restoration deal with a swanky new hotel. >> we did all the woodwork. we did their restaurant, their bar. it was a huge job. >> and there's even more reason to celebrate. hannah is engaged and sets the date just a few months away. >> how excited was he about the wedding? >> thrilled! he went and picked the wedding dress with me. >> but john never walks his daughter down the aisle. >> when you put yourself in dangerous situations, i mean, you're basically playing russian roulette. [ siren wails ] >> that's next. >> but first, our "strange inheritance" quiz question. in 2012, a scrap metal dealer almost melted down this $33 million object before discovering where it came from. was it thrown out by martha stewart's handyman? lost by russian tsars?
>> in 2013 in dallas, hannah hargrove is helping to revive her father's junkyard business. john hargrove is an alcoholic who's long suffered from depression. but things are finally starting to look up for him and his salvage yard. >> he had been sober for about six months. orr-reed was on the way up again. >> but things never stay good for john hargrove long. january 26. >> hannah came to my house crying. she couldn't find him, he wouldn't answer phone calls. >> for my father to not pick me up for work that morning, it was very strange. >> hannah contacts local hospitals, but there is no trace of john. by evening, the family reluctantly calls the morgue... and has their worst fears confirmed. >> i honestly still have a scar on my knee from sinking to the ground so quickly. >> were you with hannah? >> and my son. i'd wished him dead so many times cause i was so angry with him, but i remember going, "i
didn't mean it, i'm sorry, i didn't mean it," you know, [crying] but...you know. i never wanted that for john, never. >> or for your children. >> or for my babies. [ siren wails ] >> the police open a murder case. it turns out john got drunk and hit an east dallas nightclub with a history of violence. >> give us another -- another one. >> yeah! >> my first impulse was to think, "oh, man, walking in there is a death wish." >> y'all want a beer? you gotta love this place! >> when you put yourself in dangerous situations, i mean, you're basically playing russian roulette. >> around 3:00 a.m., a fight breaks out. witnesses say john is beaten with a chair and a pool stick and kicked multiple times in the head. >> my dad liked to say he had ten good seconds' fight in him. well, that night i guess he just didn't have the ten good seconds in him. [ siren wails ] >> an hour later, john hargrove is dead at 50 years old.
a known criminal, 24-year-old frederico prado, turns himself in. after witnesses refuse to testify against him, he's offered a plea deal. in her anger and grief, hannah embraces her strange inheritance as the place to rebuild her life. >> my uncles came in, and they were ready to start liquidating everything. and i was over there, going, "no! this is his legacy. this is my legacy." >> she wanted to make it work, and she wanted to rejuvenate it. >> but the business is not quick to embrace her. how'd the customers react? >> not so great. she's had to face some comments about "you little girl, why aren't you out shopping? this is a man's business." >> one of the first calls hannah takes as boss is a demolition client backing out. she loses three more jobs over the next two weeks. >> that was the struggle, dealing with customers, dealing
with the just running of a business. >> not to mention that crushing debt. that became hannah's problem. >> yes, it did. she was strapped with a big, big, big financial burden. i mean, there were some days in the beginning when i'd come down here with hannah and we might stay 30 minutes and just say, "we can't. i can't. we got to go." >> and then there's that other thing on hannah's plate -- her wedding, just weeks away. >> she didn't know if she wanted to do the wedding, and i said, "don't postpone this wedding, because that's not what he would want." >> mm. >> i mean, everyone that knew john would say, "no! you're going go for the gusto. go for it!" >> plus she already has the venue picked out. >> the wedding was here on the junkyard. >> excuse me? >> [ laughs ] >> that's next. >> here's another quiz question for you. set in a south central l.a. junkyard, the tv series "sanford and son" was nbc's answer to what cbs hit show?
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under, she's also ready to move on in other facets of her life. her wedding is set to take place just six weeks after her dad's funeral... in the junkyard! >> at the end of the day, i wanted it to be at the place that i, my heart was. and my heart was here. >> describe the dress. >> so, silk chiffon, strapless, sweetheart neckline with a blue bow. >> how did you feel in it? >> like a princess. i felt beautiful. >> with the help of a lot of people, we made this junkyard look like a magical place... ♪ ...with draped chiffon. and i made a 70-foot train. it was beautiful. >> and then... [ thunder crashes ] >> it poured the day of the wedding, but it stopped raining about 15 minutes before the ceremony, and i just say my father was up there blocking the rain. >> with the memory of her father hovering above, hannah's three uncles walk her down the aisle. and she's thinking, "yeah, everything's gonna be all right." >> i'm a part of it, and it's a part of me.
it's my life, you know. it's not something i could ever see it being another way. this is what i love. and when you love something, it's -- >> what do you love about this? it's junk! >> it's my junk. i mean, it's my kingdom. ♪ >> with the support of her mother, hannah dedicates herself to turning the junkyard into a money maker. the first step -- attracting a new client base. >> so my goal was to really market it to the younger generation because i knew that the way to survive in this world was to bring in a younger crowd. >> how? by turning orr-reed into an upscale junkyard. reporter jim schutze wonders if such a contradiction in terms will catch on. >> i had some concern. i didn't get where she would have the business acumen to run something like this. >> retooling the wrecking business. >> that's the goal. it's to change people's perception of what a junkyard is. >> find out how hannah does
it, next. >> what's your "strange inheritance" story? we'd love to tell it! send me an e-mail, or go to our we'd love to tell it! send me an e-mail, or go to our website, strangeinheritance.com. whythen get worse?nks taste chalky? introducing protein shots from 5-hour energy. protein shots from 5-hour energy are smooth and tasty, and still deliver 21 grams of protein with 100 calories. they're great for workouts, no matter how you work out... whether you're going for reps...
[ wind howls ] >> now back to 'strange inheritance." >> by 2015, hannah hargrove has completed the transformation of this junkyard on rock island in dallas. all the junk is arranged neatly in departments, along scrubbed and swept concrete walkways. and that old storefront, once stuffed with just rusty tools and hardware, is transformed into a boutique with artisan crafts and collectibles. >> it's definitely more organized. it's "girlified." i mean, i definitely put that feminine touch on it. >> so, when you drive up, you think "junkyard," and then, i have to say, the minute you walk through those doors, it's a magical experience. >> it is because i feel like you're entering a whole new world when you come in here. >> another inspiration -- hannah
invites artists to work on site, using materials gleaned from the yard. [ saw whirring ] johann is the yard manager here who also makes custom furniture. today... a barn-style gate for a pet. where did this stuff come from? >> most of this is all reclaimed, actually out of the same house that we just took down not long ago. it's just 3 1/4 antique pine. it's probably over 100 years old. >> and these hinges also reused? >> yeah, old hinges off a cabinet probably from inside the house. >> can i... >> yeah. >> johann tells me the wrecking company saves up to 90% of the materials from the houses it demolishes. and so, where would this wood go if not to be used again? >> more than likely, into a landfill. >> and you're preventing that. >> we're doing the best we can. >> [ chuckles ] so, folks, in the end, it's gonna look like a barn door. >> yeah. >> for a dog. >> for a dog. >> i've really tried to market
to a younger clientele. >> does it work? [ chimes ] thanks in part to the reclaimed-materials trend, the "girlified" wrecking company does becomes the go-to place for artists, designers, and diy-ers to find that perfect antique wood, claw-foot tub, or porcelain sink for their project. >> this business has been rejuvenated. she gets the new market for this stuff. the fact that she's younger has given her a sensibility that i think has really helped her give this place a new life. >> meanwhile, hannah and her mom chip away at that $800,000 debt that came with her father's estate. >> we did sell the house and, you know, sold off some of the things that needed to be done, and it's definitely decreased it. >> by 2015, it's cut nearly in half, and that's far more manageable. to you and me, it may just
be junk. but to hannah, this place is a still a playground, plus a second home, and perhaps in the future, a strange inheritance for the next generation of hargroves. >> it's all about family. i mean, it's my sister and my mom and soon-to-be little one. >> well, i have to say, you have made a beautiful place out of junk. >> why, thank you. >> what would dad say? >> i think he'd be pretty pleased. my goal is that 30, 40 years from now, this place will go on without me, too. this is an institution. and i get to be a part of this institution's history. it's more than me. it's more than my dad. it's a part of dallas. >> before we leave rock island, remember how business owners here promised to beautify the area? well, each owner chipped in, adding sculptures and murals to their exteriors. hannah has taken the junk of her past and her father's junkyard and redeemed both.
i'm jamie colby. thanks so much for watching "strange inheritance," and remember, you can't take it with you. >> two proud texans with a passion for old west guns, guts, and glory. >> i do see bullet holes. >> two strange inheritances -- one a lone star mystery... >> i'm roy roberson. >> i don't think he wanted anyone to have the combination, because that was his control over the pandora's box.sized challenge. >> this may be financially one of the dumbest things that i have ever done. >> together, can they make history? >> fire! [ explosion ] [ door creaks ] [ wind howls ] [ thunder rumbles ] [ bird caws ] ♪