I would contact your father's lawyer and accountant from 1980. The records are more than 30 years old if they still exist. Check and see if the professionals are still practicing and if the records exist. If you and your mother are lucky, the file might be in storage. At the same time, reach out to Texaco's real estate and franchise departments. They may be able to help you or your lawyer locate the transactional records you are searching for. Good luck.
This answer is provided for information purposes only. It should not be relied upon as legal advice which can only be offered to clients in an office consultation setting when all the facts and circumstances can be fully considered and reviewed.
Before I respond to your inquiry, I must state that we have not spoken, I have not reviewed the relevant documents and facts, and I do not represent you. Therefore, my discussion below is not a legal opinion, but is informational only. Finally, my discussion applies only to issues to which Pennsylvania, New Jersey or Federal law apply, unless otherwise specified.
That being said, it sounds as if your father's corporation sold its assets to the buyer's corporation. There is generally no formal repository of documents for such transactions; if the corporate records do not record when the business was sold, the tax records would show the financial result of the sale, and the year (if not the exact date) of the sale.
If the company was closed down, the department of state, corporations bureau, should have documents showing when the company was closed; but closing the company is different than selling the assets/business, so the dates are likely not the same.
If you would like to discuss this matter further, please feel free to contact me at the below address(es) or telephone number.
/Christopher E. Ezold/
The Ezold Law Firm, P.C.
One Belmont Avenue,
Bala Cynwyd, PA 19004
There is no central location for records of all business sales in NJ. If the sale was done properly, your best bet is Texaco's franchise department. Most gas station franchisors like Texaco would not allow a transfer or assumption of a new franchise agreement without reviewing the Contract of Sale and some sort of proof that monies changed hands. A copy of this Contract would show the relevant parties and at least approximate date of the sale. In addition to the attorneys and accounts who handled the sale, you neeed to contact the Bulk Sales Section of NJ Division of Taxation. If the Sale is reported they may have further correspondence and copies of sale documents.