By Patsy R. Brumfield/NEMS Daily Journal
TUPELO – The so-called Elvis Bus waits in Tennessee for its owner.
It may wait a little longer.
Wednesday, Chancellor Talmadge Littlejohn continued the case over its title, held by owner Bill Kinard of Tupelo.
Kinard insists he never wanted to sell the bus and that Tupelo bus rehabber Larry Michael stole it when he moved it to busforsale.com near Nashville.
Michael claims Kinard owes him $134,000 for paying the bus’ promissory note and for its retrieval from Washington State in early 2009. He also wants to be paid for certain “restoration” of the vehicle.
“We just want our day in court,” Kinard said before the Lee County hearing was set to begin Wednesday morning.
Three hours later, Michael’s attorneys – Tommy Cadle of Booneville and Ken Coghlin of Oxford – emerged from private talks with Littlejohn and Kinard’s attorney, Ben Logan.
“Our part’s continued,” Cadle said, meaning they’ve agreed to delay a hearing on their own motion to force Kinard to turn over the bus title.
John Spelling at busforsale.com said when the March 31 sale deadline passed, Larry Michael’s bid was the only offer for the 40-foot long, eight-foot wide 1976 MCI 8 vehicle with the Elvis trademark “TCB” logo blazing its flanks.
Before court Wednesday, Kinard backed off a bit from his certainty that the King of Rock ’n’ Roll actually owned the bus, saying instead that Elvis gave its purchase money to music colleague J.D. Sumner to tour with his Stamps Quartet.
Kinard and Michael have been fueding over the vehicle at least two years.
Kinard said he wants to keep the bus and take it on tour to make a living away from his Legacy Hall of Fame museum in Tupelo.
In court documents, Michael denies Kinard’s allegations and countersued for the money he claims he’s owed.
On Dec. 12, all sides apparently agreed to a court-filed compromise to put the bus up for sale.
But Kinard said he was under a doctor’s care and should not have signed anything, which was told to Littlejohn on Wednesday.
Spelling says he expects Michael to take possession of the bus “as soon as that other fellow relinquishes the title.”