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Car for stars

Folks in the Jonesboro area are buzzing about a recent auto trade on eBay.

Randy Teitloff, a custom furniture maker, recently sold a 1940 Lincoln Zephyr two-door coupe on the web. He wouldn’t disclose the price, but since the car had less than 6,000 miles and was in reasonably good condition despite sitting in a barn for nearly 60 years, it was lofty. Bidding jumped by $8,000 at one point, Teitloff said.

Teitloff, who uses old cars in his business, Playhouse USA, acquired the Zephyr from a Missouri dealer eight years ago for $3,500. He was on a trip looking for 1957 Chevys to convert to furniture and art installations.

The buzz is mostly about the buyers — actress Sandra Bullock and her husband, Jesse James, famous for the cable TV show “Monster Garage. “

Bullock and James hired a transporter to pick up the car. Teitloff, who’d once hoped to restore the car, said he didn’t know if it was slated for restoration, conversion to a street rod or maybe slated for customizing on James’ show.

Back story on the car: It was purchased by a Missouri farmer in 1940, one of fewer than 400 of the “three-window” coupes built that year. After the farmer’s son was killed in World War II a year later, his health deteriorated and he stopped driving. The car was put in a barn and forgotten until a tornado uncovered it eight years ago. Thousands of people viewed the car on eBay and 26 bidders went after the car in an auction that closed with a flurry of last-minute bids.



Hillcrest overlay

A group advocating a design overlay district in Hillcrest is holding public meetings on its proposals Thursday, Sept. 21, and Oct. 5 at 6:30 p.m. at the Fletcher branch library.

The overlay would impose new zoning restrictions from University Avenue east to Woodrow Street, and A Street north to Evergreen Street and Allsopp and Knoop Parks. Those restrictions would govern the style and scale of new residential and commercial construction, including setbacks, landscaping and signage. The entire draft proposal is at www.savehillcrest.org.

Earlier efforts to create a design district in Hillcrest failed. But one of the leaders of the current movement, real estate agent John Selva, says the group is taking a more conservative approach by focusing mainly on restricting the ratio of square footage to lot size, capitalizing on increasing concerns about teardowns and “big-box” construction in the neighborhood. “We’re trying a baby-step scenario to get something enacted,” Selva said.

After feedback at the meetings, the group will take the proposal to the Hillcrest Residents Association. The city planning department would review it next. To be enforced, it would have to be adopted as an ordinance by the city board.



Real estate note

Owners of the old Little Rock Expo Center on Interstate 30, sold to Pulaski Tech, may be getting back into the flea market business in Little Rock. A spokesman for American Park ’n Swap in Memphis confirms the company is planning to buy the former Levi Strauss distribution facility south of Little Rock.


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