Donald A. Proudfoot, ex-owner of Titan Motorcycles (second era), was shot in the head and killed this Monday morning in his girlfriend’s home near Anthem (north Phoenix), Arizona. His girlfriend Hope Smith was not injured and called 911 at 4.30 AM. The Maricopa County Sheriff’s Homicide Unit is still investigating the shooting in the 300 block of West Irvine Road. The Sheriff’s Office said it was not clear if the incident was a home invasion. At this point, Hope Smith is not a suspect and nobody has been taken into custody. As the homicide investigation progresses I will post more details when they become available.(see local Arizona News Video).
The original Titan Motorcycle company began production in 1995 and was the first custom motorcycle company to produce in volume. Original 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. Donald 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) 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 claimed that Titan’s owner Don Proudfoot and Hope Smith, a principal in Arizona Motorcycle Works, have a personal relationship (girlfriend) and that the latter company was subtenant of Titan’s and that this relationship had 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. At the time, 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. At the time Don Proudfoot commented in my Blog to answer accusations formulated against him by some of his vendors, dealers and clients.