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FAMILY FILES CLAIM TO SUE STATE OVER RACE CAR

The son of Ab Jenkins, the late Mormon Meteor III driver, has sent the governor and attorney general a notice of claim to sue the state for refusing to turn over the historic race car to the family.

The notice of claim was mailed by St. George attorney R. Clayton Huntsman on behalf of Marvin Jenkins, son of the race-car driver and one-time mayor of Salt Lake City.The Jenkinses "merely insist that the memory of Ab Jenkins be honored and that their inheritance be preserved and not wasted or exploited," Huntsman wrote Gov. Norm Bangerter.

"Like good Republicans, they believe that as individuals they can preserve and protect their own property with at least as much care as the state can take in the waste, neglect and conversion of that same property," the letter said.

The notice of claim is the latest volley in the controversy between the state and the Jenkins family over control of the car that Ab Jenkins sold for $1 to the state in 1943.

The car has been on display at the State Capitol for nearly five decades, but officials plan to move it to the old Denver & Rio Grande Western Railroad Depot that houses the Division of State History and the State Historical Society to become part of a transportation museum.

The car must be moved because of extensive renovation at the Capitol, according to state officials.

Jenkins contends the state violated the terms of the sale, which required that the state keep the car enclosed in some type of casing to protect it from damage from the public.

Jenkins has complained that the car has been unprotected in the past and has suffered dents and scratches from the public. He said he now wants the family to have control of the car so he can make sure it does not suffer further damage. But he said he would still like to have the car publicly displayed for the benefit of Utahns.