Missouri Man's HOA Overlords Say Vintage 1965 Ford F-250 Pickup Truck Must Go or Lose His Home
Andy Lipka's patina'd truck is causing a commotion, and now the f-word is being thrown around: foreclosure.
Many automotive enthusiasts keep old cars around for a variety of reasons: some like working on a particular platform, and others enjoy not having a car payment. However, some develop a strong attachment to their beloved car and take pleasure in the nostalgia that it brings to them. Andy Lipka is one of those people, but he's facing a tough battle with his Homeowner's Association: lose the pickup truck or lose the home.
Lipka's 1965 Ford F-250 is his pride and joy. He describes it as well-running and "pretty close to perfect," despite the fading Tropical Turquoise paint and its bouts of surface rust which peppers the entirety of the truck. The owner says that he doesn't mind the blemishes, nor does he considered it to be damaged; it's simply way it "evolved over the years." In the automotive culture, this finish is called "patina" and has a very niche following which considers the mix of a dulled paint job and rust to be a badge of honor.
But one man's treasure is another man's trash. In this case, it's Lipka's HOA that considers the truck to be unfit for his neighborhood in Chesterfield, Missouri. The HOA has ordered Lipka to remove the truck, citing bylaws which prohibit vehicles with "moderately severe body damage" to be parked at the driveway of any home which resides in the Woodfield Homes Association's footprint.
You might be wondering why Lipka doesn't just move his truck inside of his garage – that's because it houses two other vehicles, creating a dilemma for the vehicle lover who has racked up nearly $3,000 in fines and penalties for storing the truck in view of the neighbors. The HOA has now filed suit against Lipka, specifically targeting the legal petition at foreclosing on his home should the fines remain unpaid.
Lipka has filed a counterclaim against the HOA. He feels that the organization has gone too far and that the bylaw should be targeting inoperable vehicles, or perhaps cars with flat tires – just not his beloved truck due to the finish.
The truck itself is, according to Lipka, mechanically sound. Its body isn't covered in dents or rotted, nor are any of its major facets a major concern to other road-goers. It's difficult to walk the line that considers the patina trend to be "moderately severe body damage" considering that the paint job is largely the issue in the eyes of the HOA. Fortunately, a car-loving lawyer named Steve Lehto has already spent a good deal of time doing just that in the video below.
In short, Lehto argues that the HOA has the burden of proving that the patina finish falls under having severe body damage. Some insurance providers would argue that Lipka's truck does not fit this particular category, Liberty Mutual, for one, considering "moderate" damage to be large dents, stuck doors, and deployed airbags (which the truck would not have due to age).
But realistically, this is how you end up with residents deciding to buy tanks just to spite the HOA.