A New Jersey woman who donated a Jaguar once owned by singer Frank Sinatra to an auction benefiting Sept. 11 victims now wants the car back and refuses to give it to the couple who placed the winning bid.
Michael Pakruda of Cape May, New Jersey, made a $20,000 bid for the green 1986 Jaguar sedan on Nov. 26, hoping to give it to his wife Angela, a Sinatra fan, for Christmas.
Instead, the bid has landed Pakruda in a courtroom after Pakruda said the car's owner, Anna M. Capelli of Wyckoff, backed out on the deal. The proceeds raised by the auction, held Nov. 26 by the Rose Hill Auction Gallery in Englewood, were to be donated to the Bergen County United Way's relief fund for survivors of the Sept. 11 attacks.
Pakruda's attorney, Edward A. Jerejian, said Capelli agreed to sell the car as long as a minimum price of $20,000 was met. The bidding began at $10,000 and ended with Pakruda's bid of $20,000.
"The bid was binding, it was accepted. They had second thoughts overnight," Jerejian told The Record of Hackensack for Wednesday editions.
Capelli has refused to comment. According to Judith Lipton, co-owner of the auction house, Capelli said after the auction that she didn't want to sell the car because it hadn't brought in enough money.
Pakruda's lawyer said his client knew he was getting a good deal because last year, a 1976 Jaguar owned by Sinatra sold by the famous auction house Christie's for nearly $80,000.
On Tuesday, a state Superior Court judge told Capelli she couldn't do anything with the car until the case is settled.
As for Angela Pakruda, she's counting on getting the car.
"I told my husband I want to be buried in it," she said.
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