tv FOX News Special FOX News April 12, 2015 12:00am-1:01am PDT
oklahoma, which is about 90 miles north of oklahoma city, population roughly 50,000. right here in enid they have the third largest storage capacity for grain on the planet. but wedged in between enid's silos lies the tale of a cantankerous legend who heft his grandchildren -- who left his grandchildren with a very entrance. >> my name is stuart, and in 2003 my brothers and sisters and i inherented something pretty unusual from my grandfather. his name was oliver jordan, and he died in '95. he was a child of the dust bowl. grandpa would hold onto just about everything that passed through his life, whether it was a tin can, an automobile, a piece of copper wire. jamie: and oliver jordan kept it all here for 60 years. this salvage lot was his home his sanctuary, his fort knox. >> hi. welcome to paradise. jamie: i found it.
the rusted old cars in this shed, some of them relics of the roaring '20s, are more than 200 that jordan accumulated during his lifetime. born in 1908, jordan was raised on a wheat farm but his real interest was that fabulous new invention, the car. >> grandpa was around machinery all the time, and automobiles were beginning to happen. it was a lifelong passion. jamie: jordan grows up, gets married and then at 34 year wheres old abandons his wife and three kid for a 16-year-old girl in town. >> when my mother and her brother and sister were still children by grandfather left the family for another woman. her name was ruby x that was quite a scanned -- and that was quite a scandal. everybody was hurt by it. ♪ jamie: in 1946 oliver buys a salvage yard in enid where he and ruby lived and where he makes money selling old cars and
parts. oliver runs the salvage yard successfully for seven years, but then in 1953 he gets into a nasty argument with the town of enid over zoning and regulation two words he detests. >> the city came in and told him he had to put in a bathroom and do some other things, and grandpa just didn't like to be told what to do. jamie: he was not a rule follower. >> he was like, fine, i'll close the doors. and that's what he did. jamie: oliver continues to hoard old cars and rarely lets another soul inside the shuttered salvage yard. >> pretty much everybody in this town would drive by grandpa's property and see all these old cars sitting right there and some people -- they thought they were an eyesore, you know? jamie: enid native brad recalls venturing over as a young car buff in the 1970s. >> i walked across the street, and mr. jordan, i'm looking for a starter for a continental six
jamie: when stuart graduates high school in 1984, he decides the take a summer road trip back to enid. >> i got a greyhound bus ticket and went out to enid on my own. he took me over to his shop and for the first time i got to spend some time with my grandfather. this was his grandfather's pride and joy, the centerpiece, the two depression era courts. >> grandpa had a it is fascination with them because they had done some ingenious things under the hood.
>> >> for half a century junkyard owner oliver jordan and accumulates hundreds of cars some are rare in mostly intact the resting as he grows old. in the fall of 2000 his grandson gets a phone call but opus the door to a new relationship to estrange inheritance to make his companion of six years had fallen off of a ladder and broke her hip. she called worried because grandpa was that the house
and was 94 years old and that was the open door. jamie: it took control his nineties? to make he didn't want to lead anybody. >> he hops on a plane to oklahoma not knowing what to expect. >> i knocked on the door 6.4 inches he has a commanding presence even at 94. he is covered from head to toe in for others. one of the dogs had torn of the featherbed. it just commanded respect even covered in brothers. jamie: in a terrible state he decides to stay to take care of his grandfather forgotten know him through the cars he was so proud to show them to me and he was so proud to show them to meet. jamie: becomes immediately clear first he knows he doesn't have much time left and he is worried about the fate of the cars.
>> at one point he said thank god for you thank god for you he was so worried about what would happen. jamie: he is no car expert but he does his homework to confirm the centerpiece of a whole collection is the cord from the 30's that he remembers from the high school road trip. >> maybe only 400 or 500 were ever made i am thinking best case scenario restored maybe 300,000. jamie: now leads him down a road that takes more than a decade and will cost him plenty and he lays out tens of thousands of dollars to ship in secured containers to build a storage facility. >> is his life's work so why are they just brought in a way? somebody has to do something
jamie: august 2003 he died at the age of 95 leading his collection to stewart and his siblings to read the original windows, the 1924 is a personal favorite it was popular among the bootleggers during prohibition as director our toggles to turn off the tail lights if they were being followed. jamie: it is just a snippet of the collection for or have never seen anything like this. >> is a "strange inheritance". jamie: before he dies against him business of vice >> don't sell all those cars and parts all of one's but one at a time you make more money. jamie: but then he realizes it would take the rest of
his life to sell one by one. just getting the title for these takes months. jamie: you had to get title to every single one? how to do that? jamie: you have to find the id number. jamie: of ye gods period we had to polish it off but we could get titles for the majority of the cars. >> years? by and he keeps spending more to authenticate and protect the car plane trips to san francisco and back for public 2013 he has invested $400,000 getting the collection ready for auction. it is time to sell. contacting yvette to appraise the collection is he sitting on a of a pile of
junk or a gold mine? undred 20 american cars before the war before 1942 very rare because they started to limit production usually get one from rations' direct aid make plans for though one day auction of a lot. work begins to spread and stuart learns that is not a good thing. >> we found somebody cut a hole in the side of the building and they stole over 250 anti-greeters, a chrome parts to meet those along were worth $40,000 but the biggest loss is the theft of the beloved harley-davidson possibly worth several hundred thousand dollars.
vintage cars his grandfather's lifelong obsession and has become his own investing 13 years and $400,000 in the collection i catch up with him at the association rally in oklahoma city. >> did you know my grandfather? ricky works the crowd i will see if i can get behind the wheel. hello. tell me about the car. >> 37 chevrolet 77 years old. jamie: part of the family? >> digest bought becky's. let's go.
is ensured? called on. to eric the auctioneer is also here. jamie: and yet you see the shiny red cars and you could tell there must be some value but some look like junk. >> there not junk there is said different trend in the car collecting have the -- hobby. jamie: the factory original page shows the ravages of time some rubbish and have a clear coat of varnish shot atop to preserve it spirit that could be good news. accords from the '30's but if you are like me wonder
what they might look like restored. i didn't have to go far to find out. spending over 30 years restoring this car it is a stunning example of what it looks like in all of its glory. >> we went through the engine, painted it, a fixed the interior to restore history not just a nice paint job. jamie: june 7th, 2014 finally the big day the auctioneer welcome as the crowd of released 300 people jamie: his sister crosses her fingers.
jamie: you have to be quick in this game they can go with less than a minute. sold proposal proposal proposal. sold proposed directive is going pretty good. jamie: cautiously optimistic good to beloved cars are about to go up for bid. if fully restored each worth six figures but how much in this condition? it will need every little piece restored spirit 40,000.
with the 400,000 that he invested in the profit of 140,000 jews split with the siblings. it is no windfall. but then again watching the grandchildren makes you wonder was that 13 year-old enterprise ever turning that into gold or was it a different kind that restores broken ties into a strong lifelong bond. >> we did not get to know her parents sat well so this brothers closer. jamie: what would grampus say? record i am proud of you.
jamie: is that important to hear? direct definitely. i wanted to do right by him. jamie: he sold all the cars and regretted only boozing won the 1924 car that was a favorite of the prohibition bootleggers and 86 ruling came just to see it and explained her grandfather had driven it to the hospital the day she was born for of all the stories about the strange inheritance this may have been his favorite. he asked the man to let him know if the ever resells the. you might want to buy it back. thanks for watching "strange inheritance". and remember, you can't take it with you.
>> the veteran of the battle live -- squirrels away enough military gear for a platoon. >> aconite leaving get access to the master bathroom it was so clogged with the stuff. >> it was once-in-a-lifetime >> plus plenty of surprises. >> this is worth $50,000? >> usually wrapped in of blanket in a bathtub. jamie: i am jamie colby.
i am driving along the southern california coastline said diego. old woman says her stranger years is to occur on a jury to meet someone she never really got to know when she was alive. her own father. >> readiness nancy and my father our third left a collection and that took him lifetime to accumulate. >> for starters she asked me to check out the oldest item in the collection for guy keeping in the bedroom that could be dangerous. [laughter] jamie: it is beautiful. >> it is handmade probably circa 1776 or a little later still used in the battle of
1812. it means a lot to me. >> having a history of military service going back to the revolutionary war war, one of dozens of fire arms of war relics left by hern 2010. for 1922 in a small town along the route hudson river as scholar the boy grows up fantasizing about military ventures. >> we have pictures of makeshift world war i uniforms. i into stand from a friend they were called credo's army and my father was always in charge. she had an interest in history and she got some of
that from her she was all dressed up in full civil war regalia. i am guessing he is about 16. >> a cost of less than $20. >> when world war ii breaks out in touring the famed civil though college there that he falls in love with a vivacious 18 year-old named janet. >> mother was attended university of south carolina and they met at a dance. >> they get serious and tie the knot. shortly after he is shipped off with the final push to defeat nazi germany. you could tell how excited he was sent mickey was very proud that was the most
important thing he was under patent and he admired him enormously. >> he gets his chance to head the real are made during the battle of the bolts american troops hold back a counter offensive. >> 500 min are killed in action he receives the of marksmanship award and the medal for bravery in decides to pursue a career in the military. war comes calling again if he is ordered to korea as a company commander. >> then he was on until i was one-year-old. to more children follow as they move from one post to the next.
>> for a while to write a scholarly papers on civil war artifacts but during this period trouble develops on the home front as his wife starts to show signs of bipolar disorder. >> there were weeks she could not get out of bed. >> he was working full time and doing laundry. jamie: your dad had to much to handle at home did collecting become an escape? >> it was his collection. >> keeps a receipt for just about everything for a few hundred dollars he buys of freer -- are rare item made for the confederate army. he is able to turn the serial numbers into the stories behind them. >> was like a good mystery novel he had to know the
answer to was this person? where did he serve with battles has he been in a? gimmick so he buys the pennsylvania of belt buckles he paid $5. $10 per car you can see in the receipt of a cheap paid semitic cost less than $100 it is a tree trunk scarred with civil war ammunition stick it was usually wrapped with twine in a blanket in a bathtub. that is where it sat. >> he served his country in france, belgium high in korea and thailand he and janet said a family on the coast of caramel. the connection - -
collection continues to swell with other military gear. if he doesn't notice because her mother was starting to hoard then nobody knows what is in the house. >> after her mother dies in 2003 she comes to see a size of -- decided for father she never preceded the curious intellectual the writer or war historian my dad's memory he just knew it. she will help the father catalog his collection but she will have to call in reinforcements. >> there will open the trunk
jamie: in 2003 retired colonel is 81 years old and has been into war memorabilia since chou lahood but the extent of his collection is hidden from his daughter nancy. he doesn't talk much and his wife was the quarter and things get out of hand. nancy assumes the haphazard stacks of boxes in his house are basically trash bassoon she and her husband learned there are historical treasures civic they encourage their dad to recall the history of the collection it was wonderful to watch the two of them that became a project and to
themselves. >> it was a fantastic experience to sit down with my dad to go through the garage. i had 200 items between gore at -- guns and swords and that was the tip of the iceberg. >> dash she bonds with her dad he asks her to deal with his stuff when he is:. key name is nancy trustee of the estate. >> you to tell how much she cared about his items they are like his children. >> in june of 2010 he died from complications of pneumonia at the age of 87 and of military center -- ceremony he was outfitted in the dress blue uniforms. >> the last time i saw him i said goodbye dad.
i knew it would be the last time i would see him. he reached out and said thank you and shook my hand it was a formal handshake of an officer and a gentleman. >> he interviewed all these men from history. i hope he knows the answer now. >> did she tell you don't sell the collection? >> no. but i could not until he died. >> now she has to figure out what to do. it will be a lot harder than she shot -- when she thought >> it was amazing the amount of items that he had from the revolutionary war through a gun used in a row for tarot and his brand new
and stored away in a way when dash and where house 50 years. >> estimating he spent $10,000 on the collection but what is it worth now? nancy realizes she needs help and reaches out to to an auctioneer in sacramento and he said this collection will affect it and suv? i said no. >> it was overwhelming just folly of closets. we were on to a fine to that you get once-in-a-lifetime. jamie: how much work prepared for the auction? >> maybe 14 hours a day five straight days and we photographed for another week after that then put everything together.
jamie: walk me through some of the specialties. >> this is a nice example with the original label inside. hello. hello. hello. you can see the tank that was written from virginia. >> this is what he paid for a few hundred dollars for in the 1950's. >> guess what the appraiser thinks it will sell for at auction? >> $50,000. he assures me that after more than 150 years it still does but by far the most unusual item is the log and where does it come from?
jamie: is said diego in 2010 dnc is looking to unload her strange inheritance that she has long considered the award of uniforms and other military memorabilia. after all her father paid so little for its. >> she knew there were important to her dad but the record shows he paid $2.50 or $7 suggest hedging from that you would not know the significance. >> he knows there is a method to his obsession. >> from the scholarships and point you wanted a comprehensive collection that encompassed virtually every aspect of u.s. military life. >> betting underscores that more after going from home
to home sometimes it was wrapped in a blanket in the bathtub. >> how you value a tree log that has ammunition and battle wounds? >> it is based on how much ammunition. >> thank goodness he kept his paper work it came from a dealer who verified that the timber was retrieved from the battlefield from the pennsylvania court house in virginia. in the bloody battle union troops tried to take the ground but the rebels held on. at the end of two weeks 31,000 soldiers on both sides were dead. he knows some of his regular customers will be a bitter.
>> said he might be interested in this but it was a cool relic. >> but after he publishes a fancy color catalog he gets an offer from another client to a hundred thousand dollars for the entire collection that was paid no more than 10,000. should they take it? they think card but decided not to. >> we want to let the market decide what it is worth with comparative bidding that is the most competitive way to his heirs. >> it is a big risk. >> i tried as best i could. jamie: find out
jamie: it's january 2011, art's huge hill military collect has 3 weeks to sell, the pressure is on turned down a $200,000 offer for the catalog. when bidding gets off to a slow start, it looks like it could be a disaster. on the final day february 4 it all changes. >> seeing the final bid price amazed me. >> biggest selling item is that congetconfederate. a collector paid $48,000. and belt buckles they pull in over 6,000. this group of insig insigniass 8
thousand and a sharp civil war rifle, 5500, campaign hats 5,000, cartridge boxes 2500. and guess who paid 3,000 for that union arm cap which art bought as a kid? augustthe auctioneer brian. >> i wanted a memo to remember that. jamie: grand total almost half a million. did you imagine that dad had a half million dollar collection. >> i don't think in his dream he would imagine that. jamie: in case you are wondering about that battle log. >> my success furl bid successful bid was 20 odd thousand bucks and the battle of the courthouse is recognized as one of the 5 major battles in
civil war this log is in nice shape, with projectile on it from confederate state and the united states, there is a lot of romance going on. a key piece of my collection, i enjoy it. >> listening you almost think that art old battle of the bulge vet turned military historian hand-picked a fire with a fashion that rifling his own. >> of all of items from the various wars, nancy will neff sell this one. a pennsylvania long rifle. over 4 feet long, it is a relic of the revolutionary war era a beloved artifact that helps keep the memory of her fa this father alive. >> that is a piece of my dad.
jamie: what have you learned from looking through the amazing collection that he left behind? >> he was committed. he didn't give up, he didn't back down. and he did the the best job he could. >> for the 50th anniversary of battle of the bulge in 1994, art pen a leter to the local paper it was about christmas eve 1944, his squad perched on a ridge above a town filled with german tanks of relieved of duty, the next day they got their first hot meal in weeks yes art wrote, they had to dodge incomeing german motor fire to get to the kitchen, but awaiting them was a real christmas dinner with all the trimmings, i am jamie colby for "strange inheritance," thank you for watching and remember, you can't take it with you.
>> do you have a story you would like to share with us? we'd love to hear it, send me an e-mail or go to our web site >> hello. welcome to "justice." i'm judge jeaninepirro. tomorrow hillary rodham clinton healthing announces her candidacy for president of the united states. i want a woman president. given our current president and all that we've been through, i want someone who says what she means and means what she says. i want someone who stands and respects the judeo christian ethic. iment someone who cares about us, someone who cares about the american people. hillary clinton is not that person. she