icaneat50eggs
icaneat50eggs Dork
6/7/18 4:46 p.m.

One thing I've always liked about the various car scenes I've been into is the great camaraderie, often with people you don't even know.  I've been four wheeling a ton and if you are stuck or broke down almost everyone stops to help, even if it takes them hours to do so.

I was BLOWN away last summer when I did my first organized kart race.  My dad and i were rolling chicane compared to the US national shifter kart champ and his competitors out there, and all they said was that it was awesome that my 66 year old dad was out there.  when he ate a tire barrier they showed up with a new steering shaft and helped us put it on.

 

Then there are guys like this.  I posted before that a young lady who works for me found out her dad has terminal cancer.  His plan had been to retire in a few years and then put back together his beloved 67 camaro.  When he got the diagnosis his one goal was to get the camaro restored and running and cruise it with his 2 kids.  over a year ago they gave it to a local restoration guy, over the course of the year they've given him almost $40,000.  Long story short he has done absolutely nothing on it, and is so far behind on rent at the shop the car is at that he has been locked out by the landlord.  However, he managed to go on several very nice trips to vegas and the caribbean over the last year, each time a few days or weeks after they gave him more money for the camaro. 

 

If I stop posting its because I'm either in jail for killing this guy or had to flee the country. 

mad_machine
mad_machine GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
6/7/18 4:49 p.m.

somebody deserves a special place in hell for that

yupididit
yupididit GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
6/7/18 4:59 p.m.

I think saying 99.9% are awesome is very generous. 

barefootskater
barefootskater HalfDork
6/7/18 5:02 p.m.

That guy is not a car guy, he is just a common thief. Guys like that are the reason why so many people have distrust for mechanics. Sorry to hear about the situation.

John Welsh
John Welsh Mod Squad
6/7/18 5:26 p.m.

They have gambling in those two places. Just saying... 

MazdaFace
MazdaFace Dork
6/7/18 5:32 p.m.

That's pretty well berkeleyed. People like that are the worst kind of people

TheRX7Project
TheRX7Project Reader
6/7/18 5:42 p.m.

I'm not sure what the correct GRM censorship term is, but I'll try:

Berkeley that guy, and the Berkeleying horse he rode in on.

Kreb
Kreb GRM+ Memberand UberDork
6/7/18 5:53 p.m.

Yeah, 99.9 speaks to your youthful naivete. Some of the top names in the business are known snake-oil salesmen (Cough-Hennessey-cough). Where I live, the top Bentley restoration guy was recently found to be pulling similar stunts. But he was also cannibalizing one customer to restore another, while leaving the first guy's car  out in the rain.

Just remember, whenever you look at an shiny happy person, it's only on occasion. The shiny happy person on the other hand has to look at himself constantly.

icaneat50eggs
icaneat50eggs Dork
6/7/18 10:17 p.m.

Kreb 

you will always be my friend for referring to it as youthful naïveté.  I sure don’t feel youthful.  

 

Good point on Hennessy.  The shop my brother used to work at had a customers ctsv brought in after he took it to Hennessy and they made it the worlds worst dyno  queen.  1 billion horsepower 2 rpm before redline and not squat before that.  Was the most disappointing ride for me since I got to ride in a delorrean in high school

Spoolpigeon
Spoolpigeon PowerDork
6/8/18 6:49 a.m.

Really, only about 5% of “car guys” are actual car guys. The rest are brand guys or specific model guys. 

 

And berkeley that guy. I hope he gets space aids. 

GameboyRMH
GameboyRMH GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
6/8/18 9:47 a.m.
icaneat50eggs said:

over a year ago they gave it to a local restoration guy, over the course of the year they've given him almost $40,000.  Long story short he has done absolutely nothing on it, and is so far behind on rent at the shop the car is at that he has been locked out by the landlord.  However, he managed to go on several very nice trips to vegas and the caribbean over the last year, each time a few days or weeks after they gave him more money for the camaro.

Sounds a lot like the guy who did the initial swap work on my Corolla. He's also been evicted recently. Except he at least did easy jobs for big-money customers while farting around with my car at the speed of molasses in a Siberian winter. At least I only lost my chance at the local autocross championship in the years that he wasted rather than most of my remaining lifetime.

"Car guys" are dicks in about the same proportion as the general population. Most racers are cool, but that's a small subset of "car guys."

Aaron_King
Aaron_King PowerDork
6/8/18 10:07 a.m.

 That sound a lot like a car buying experience I had last year.  Was not really looking for a car but came across a good deal on a 2010 SAAB 9-5 Aero, good like half price good.  It was at a small dealer that had been around like 10 years.  I go look at the car, it needed some love but was nice over all so my wife and I bought it, paid cash.  The guy did not give me the title, said he had to get it from the back and in Ohio dealers have 30 days to get you the title so I thought nothing of it.  10 days later at midnight we hear screeching out in front of the house.  Looked out to see a tow truck pulling the SAAB into the street.  Long story short, the owner of the dealer was getting cars at auction on credit but not paying for them so the Auction house was repoing all the cars, about 30 in total.  We were able to get our money  back from the State but shiny happy people are shiny happy people.  Sorry man.

Brett_Murphy
Brett_Murphy GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
6/8/18 10:37 a.m.

The guy should be able to get his car back without any issue, since he holds the title to the car and (hopefully) has receipts for the money he paid to the shady dude.

He'll probably never get that money back, but he should absolutely show up with the sherriff to get his car back, before it miraculously becomes part of the shop assets in an auction. 

stuart in mn
stuart in mn UltimaDork
6/8/18 1:23 p.m.

For whatever reason it seems like a lot of restoration shop owners, while they may be good at their craft, are terrible businessmen.  I had a vehicle in a similar situation once, I had to drop everything and get a trailer to haul it out of the shop before the IRS showed up to lock the doors.

 

(Note that I didn't say all shop owners.)

dean1484
dean1484 GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
6/8/18 3:41 p.m.

My dad got bourke on a replacement septic system for his house.  Short of it was he was into the guy for 20K and the only thing that happened was a back hoe was parked on his property for 6 months.  But being my dad he spent another big pile of $$$ to pursue and prosecute they guy and then went after his home (very nice house in a very nice town here in metro west Boston) forcing him to sell at auction.  I really have no clue if Dad got the $$$ back but when I ask him about it all he said was that he felt much better knowing that guy will be in jail for a very long time. It turned out that my dad was one of about 20 people that this guy did this to.  It was just that my dad had the means to go after him.  What I learned form this was don't piss off my Dad.  For my dad 20 or even 40K is really nothing at the end of the day. He has done well and loosing this type of cash had zero impact on his lifestyle. This was personal to my dad it was not about the money.  He was board (retired) and I think it gave him something to do.  Something to get up in the morning for.  

The short of it is sometimes the good guys do win.  

Tom1200
Tom1200 HalfDork
6/8/18 9:09 p.m.

I just posted something similar to what I'm about to post here on another site.

I make my living administering contracts for a 2.2 billion dollar organization. Before I list a few things I want to be very very clear that I am in now way saying people bring this upon themselves, there are some fast talking scumbags out there. The top flim flamers seem to concentrate in the construction, automotive and computer software segments........I don't know why but that's what we encounter. What I'll list below applies to any project whether it's restoring your car or installing a new A/C unit in your house.

First, references references references, get three quotes at a minimum. 

Next look them up and see if they've had any judgments against them. Talk to their suppliers, if the company is having cash flow issues you'll get an earful. Lots of companies experience cash flow issues and it doesn't automatically make them bad you just don't want to get caught up in the middle of it.

Do not,  do not, do not pay up front. Make arrangements to pay as you go. If they need money for parts get receipts for said parts. Set up regular intervals to review/ get updated on progress and set up realistic time tables (your dented rusty Ferrari 250 can not be restored in 5 weeks nor can a guy install that new house A/C in an hour)

Get everything in writing, a real business person won't have a problem with doing this even if it just a basic work order, it protects both of you, if they have a real problem with this they're are not a business person and shouldn't be in business. Again it's not unreasonable to list a set of deliverables.

I routinely encounter educational consultants who are flabbergasted that I'm asking very a complete list of deliverables (many smaller school districts don't ask for this) I kindly explain that as a large organization we are heavily scrutinized and I need to be able to explain in a single sentence, how, why and where we spent our money. After that 99.9% get on board.

In the case of a car restoration one could easily say my wife wants to see the why and where of the money being spent or simply do like I do with various transactions in my personal life, I forewarn them that I'm a purchasing analyst and  that I need certain things to be comfortable. For non purchasing people just tell them your anal.

Have a bail out plan, if they start to go off the rails pay them for actual expenses and get out. We have termination clauses at work, on personal deals I ask companies what happens if I turn out to be a total PIA and you don't want to deal with me anymore, how do we part ways satisfactorily?

Finally these are my red flags: 

vague broad answers to specific questions.

To much marketing hype (a certain Italian chain restaurant comes to mind)

Bragging out of proportion to the organizations status (combined with name dropping)

One everyone should know but doesn't "hey this is a great deal, don't you want a great deal" type salesmenship read anything where someone is trying to treat you like you're not smart. They usually brush off your concern and change the subject. Run

Incrementally racheting up the bill with predictions of doom and gloom if you don't spend even more money. If you get this line and they can't concisely  explain why it's not good to paint over those rusty floorboards, bail out. 

 

wspohn
wspohn Dork
6/9/18 5:38 p.m.

I don't know why people let themselves get into that sort of situation - too trusting perhaps?

I'd give anyone a $5,000 deposit and would tell them that when they bill the time spent on the car and I verify the work was done, they get more. That way you never get more than $5,000 behind the 8 ball.

I've actually done that for a couple of clients - had them bring $5 or $10K to me in trust and then sent the garage a letter saying that I had it, and outlining the conditions on which I'd release it, and confirming that I anticipated delivering either a cheque or a writ (lawsuit) to them in pretty short order.   It always worked - I guess they decided to try and take advantage of more gullible customers.

Sadly, I've seen several people who unaccountably seemed to ignore their cars once they delivered them to the shop. In one case when they finally went to see the car they found that the garage owner had been evicted six months before for non-payment of rent and everything including his car had been sold.  He then had to spend a bunch of loot setting that sale aside.

Brett_Murphy
Brett_Murphy GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
6/9/18 8:04 p.m.
wspohn said:

In one case when they finally went to see the car they found that the garage owner had been evicted six months before for non-payment of rent and everything including his car had been sold.  He then had to spend a bunch of loot setting that sale aside.

This is exactly why I said this guy has to go get his car immediately. 

Appleseed
Appleseed MegaDork
6/10/18 6:00 p.m.

People are too trusting. I am too trusting. My car spent 10 months in paint jail, only to come out with a paint job that my Great Grandma could have done better, and she's been dead for 17 years. Good thing it was a $3,000 beater. 

No one will ever have it that easy again. 

Justjim75
Justjim75 Reader
6/11/18 12:59 a.m.

In reply to TheRX7Project :

I hope the horse rides the Berkley out of him!

Recon we can get Edd China over to help?

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