Macy’s Heir Sues Leno; Angelo Asks Why?

According to the Associated Press, Wendy Lubin, daughter of John W. Straus, the grandson of the founder of the Macy’s department store chain, has sued Jay Leno and others over the value of cars sold by Straus when he was ill. Among those cars sold was the F.R. Wood & Son-bodied town car sold to Leno and featured elsewhere on this site and a 1930 Rolls-Royce.

The famous unrestored Bugatti Atalante coupe that has been making the concours rounds was also part of the Strauss collection and was sold around the same time, but it’s unclear if that car was included in the lawsuit. The law suite contends
the "Tonight Show” host was illegally sold the scion’s 1931 Duesenberg automobile. All of the cars were garaged in Manhattan for more than 50 years.

Court papers say Straus paid all that was owed to store the cars, but they were auctioned off in 2005. They say Leno bought the Duesenberg and someone else bought the Rolls-Royce.

The lawsuit says the two cars were worth $1.7 million. It says the auction was a sham designed to illegally take the cars while Straus was ill. Straus died May 18 at age 88.

A Leno spokeswoman did not immediately return a call for comment.

Click here for OCW Editor Angelo Van Bogart’s opinion on the situation, which includes values for the car before and after it’s been restored.


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