However there was not really a Dale. There was a wooden mockup with the same kind of engine that runs portable electric generators, and a lawn-mower carburetor. The district attorney from Los Angeles explains: 'The car would break after driving a few yards. I don't mean that it would quit running. I mean that it would break. Major stuff'.
After a few months the California authorities investigated, and Carmichael disappeared. She resurfaced several months later in Dallas, Texas, and announced an expanded and improved market plan. The California authorities issued warrants. She disappeared again.
With all this attention, it took a further two months before it was realized that Ms Carmichael was also Jerry Dean Michael who had five children, and a wife, or at least no-one made the accusation publicly. A year later Ms Carmichael was found in Miami. Tried in Dallas, she was found guilty of grand theft. She explained her gender in that she had been undergoing sex-change operations for eight years.
She spent three years appealing the sentence in that she would not fit into either a men's or a women's prison. The appeals ran out in 1980. Carmichael never showed for sentencing. In 1989 she was identified after being featured on television. She was living near the town of Dale (same as the car) in Texas. Note that Carmichael is Michael (her real name) with 'car' added.
She was sent to a men's prison in California. Other aliases: Jerry Barrett, Mike Moran, Mike Morgan, William Tracy Parker, William Richard Raines, Katherine Elizabeth Johnson.
- “Libertarian Ripoff of the Month Dept”. The Libertarian Forum. May 1975. Online at: http://www.automotivechronicles.com/articles/2005/dec/02/1975_05.pdf.
- Steven Cole Smith. “Three Wheels, Two Sexes, One for the Books” Car and Driver. October 1990.
- Sharon McLellan & Mona Nath. “The Mysterious Dale”. The Automotive Chronicles. Dec 2005. www.automotivechronicles.com/articles/2005/dec/02/index.php. Mainly interested in the car. Mentions Carmichael as a transsexual, but only as a rumor.
- “Dale (automobile)”. “Liz Carmichael”. Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dale_(automobile). en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liz_Carmichael. Both articles have recently been altered to remove all mentions that she was transgender.
She will be out of prison now. Could it be her who has been altering her Wikipedia articles?