Andrew Donald Proudfoot, ex-owner of Titan Motorcycle Co. is charged in a 3rd-degree felony case of VIN fraud (altering or removing an original VIN number). Known as “Donn” Proudfoot, Andrew was arrested March 3rd in Volusia County, Florida during Daytona Bike Week. He was bonded out of custody the same day. He was arraigned August 20 and pled not guilty. Judge Edward J.Volz Jr will preside the trial set to begin December 17. Below, some background history regarding Titan Motorcycle.
The original Titan Motorcycle company began production in 1995 and was the first custom motorcycle company to produce in volume. At this time, you remember that there was a shortage of brand new Harley-Davidsons, and those who were lucky enough to get a new one would quite often disassemble them and add lots of chrome custom parts. There was a market for fast available mild customized bikes. These bikes had a valid VIN and were easy to finance & insure. Titan owners went public on the NASDAQ in 1997 and some would say that was the beginning of the end. The management failed, then dealer and customer support failed and Titan filed for bankruptcy in 2001. Andrew Proudfoot owned the largest Titan dealership in Florida and stuck with a lot of inventory went to events sell it. He also went To Titan’s headquarter and bought the company in July 2001. It is not clear if he paid anything to acquire the remaining assets. Titan number 2 was born but was never very successful due to inferior products, new competition from companies like Big Dog, American Iron Horse and many other Harley clones companies, and also because of a declining American motorcycle market since the beginning of 2006. In January 2007 Titan Motorcycles Cie (TMC) had filed a voluntary petition for relief under Chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code. In August 2007 an asset purchase agreement was signed between TMC (Titan Motorcycle Cie) debtor in-possession and Arizona Motorcycle Works as buyer where all assets of Titan were sold to Arizona Motorcycle Works. An Arizona bank called FNBA filed an objection to the proposed sale of now-bankrupt Titan’s assets to Arizona Motorcycle Works claiming it has a first rights lien on Titan’s assets and that the sale price undervalues the fair market value of the property. The bank also claims that Titan’s owner Don Proudfoot and Hope Smith, a principal in Arizona Motorcycle Works, have a personal relationship and that the latter company is subtenant of Titan’s and that this relationship has not been disclosed. These two allegations called into question that the proposed sale represents a good-faith, arms-length negotiation" between the two entities, the complaint claimed. FNBA stated that Proudfoots’ company, TMC Acquisitions, owes the bank about $813,000 on a $1.5 million business loan that the company took out in February 2006.