R&J Corvette and OC Vette

In 1980 I first sold my reproduction parts to Joseph Marlow when he was the owner of R&J Corvette Parts in Dublin, California. That shop then near Oakland, in northern California closed. Subsequently, R&J Enterprises, also called R&J Corvette was opened in Anaheim, in southern California. I continued to sell my reproduction parts to Joseph Marlow, who was also that owner and Rod Olsen was the employee. Previously Rod Olsen had been affiliated with TMCS West in Burbank which closed and then LA Corvette Parts in Burbank, California which also closed. Together they operated R&J Corvette Parts, which also closed. It went Chapter 7 bankruptcy - complete liquidation - belly up, POOF gone. The same month the R&J closed, a new company was started called Orange Coast Corvette in Anaheim, California or OCVette. However, now the titles were reversed with Rod Olsen as the owner and Joe Marlow as the employee.

I was an unsecured creditor of R&J Corvette, meaning I had little chance of being paid unless there were assets available. The bankruptcy court sent me many documents, some of which are shown here. I have always wondered how and why R&J went belly up. In one of the court documents, it stated they had $4,518,875.24 in inventory in 1988. Note that inventory is evaluated at cost - not the list price you sell the items at. They claimed an internal theft of $90,000 over a 10-month period caused them to go bankrupt. However, the individual allegedly responsible for this theft was never prosecuted. I still wonder how a theft of 2 percent could have cause a problem of this magnitude.

In 1990 an appraiser was required by the court to evaluate their assets. The appraiser valued R&J assets at a $33,500 in 1990. Now I wondered even further. How could a business that had 4 and 1/2 million in inventory assets, only have 33 thousands two years later.

Even more remarkable, if 4 and 1/2 million inventory was sold or somehow disposed of, how could R&J have debts of $930, 940 in 1990 to 450 bankruptcy creditors? That figure does not include taxes of $69,079 owed to the federal, state and county government. If they were not paying their taxes or bills - and the decimated 4 and 1/2 million inventory was gone -where did the Green money go? Poof, what happened to it?

The charade finally ended and they went belly up bankrupt, i.e. liquidation. Note that 1n 1993 R&J had no assets for $695,940 owed to the unsecured creditors Coincidentally, the same month a new Corvette shop called Orange Coast Corvette a.k.a. OCVette opened. Guess where? Right in Anaheim, California.

In the initial R&J bankruptcy filing documents, they also claimed that a problems with their printer caused their catalog to not be available and contribute to their difficulties. Remarkably, after OCVette opened, they started using the R&J catalogs with a sticker glued over the R&J name on the catalog cover.

At this time Rod Olsen and Joe Marlowe exchanged positions and titles. Ex R&J President Joe Marlow became an OCVette employee, and R&J employee Rod Olsen became the OCVette president. If you go bankrupt and owe the federal government taxes, you still will have to pay them if you have assets - i.e. become successful and start another business. However, if you don't own another company, you can escape paying those federal taxes. You can draw your own conclusions why their positions were exchanged between owner and worker.

Apparently about 1994 OCVette ran out of the old R&J catalogs with their OCVette sticker on the cover and began to use another catalog. If it were not for my attending the Houston Corvette Expo that year, I would have not discovered whose catalog they were now using - it was mine. They had reproduced my catalog, cut off the top line with my company name and phone number. They even had a 50 foot long by 4 foot tall display using my catalog as a sales draw.

I asked Joe Marlowe and Rod Olsen to stop using my catalog and he flatly refused. He stated that I should call my warehouse and check on all the orders he had placed. I called and he had placed no orders. Joe Marlowe and Rod Olsen was simply a THIEVES and FREELOADERS. I contemplated forcefully removing them, however I after I returned home, it required that I spend my money to have my attorneys prevent them from again using my catalog at this and other Corvette exhibitions for their economic benefit. It was completely illegal, not to mention unethical for them. But after 20 years of experience with him, I realize anything is possible. I would not be the least bit surprised to see these same two fellows reincarnated in another Corvette "business" now that OCVette has apparently had all their phone numbers turned off.

Geoffrey Coenen