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(CBC)   "Can you restore my '57 Chevy?" "Sure, that'll be $20000 down payment and it'll be 6 months." ** Six months later ** "Hey, where's the steering wheel??"   (cbc.ca) divider line
    More: Asinine, Toyota MR2, Chevrolet Camaro, Small claims court, Money, owner Curtis MacLean, Marc Dooley, Maurice Pommerville, classic car enthusiasts  
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4472 clicks; posted to Main » on 21 Jul 2021 at 11:35 AM (13 days ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook



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2021-07-21 10:54:12 AM  
Sounds like a repair Ponzi scheme.

Uses or sells parts from one car to fix another.  Another customer brings in a car, he uses or sells parts from that to fix the car he previously used or sold parts from.
 
2021-07-21 11:14:18 AM  
I'm amazed the shop hasn't burned down for insurance reasons yet.
 
2021-07-21 11:20:26 AM  

stilted: Sounds like a repair Ponzi scheme.

Uses or sells parts from one car to fix another.  Another customer brings in a car, he uses or sells parts from that to fix the car he previously used or sold parts from.


Yup. Same thing consignment dealerships do  But this has stretched on so long, I think the guy got old and he decided yo stop working entirely. They really should be treating this as a crime
 
2021-07-21 11:41:13 AM  
Classic car people are weird.
 
2021-07-21 11:41:42 AM  

Pats_Cloth_Coat: stilted: Sounds like a repair Ponzi scheme.

Uses or sells parts from one car to fix another.  Another customer brings in a car, he uses or sells parts from that to fix the car he previously used or sold parts from.

Yup. Same thing consignment dealerships do  But this has stretched on so long, I think the guy got old and he decided yo stop working entirely. They really should be treating this as a crime


That kinda doesn't work too well with classics and resto - no way to tell what's gonna be coming in and what you'll need.  Something else is going on here.  That being said he's lucky it's Canada I guess?  A lot of classic car freaks in the U.S. are the types that will show up and collect their car and your ass if you fark around.
 
2021-07-21 11:41:49 AM  
See, this is real drama, unlike the manufactured drama they show on those car-renovation TV shows.

/only ever seen them when they were on at the gym
//boomers are weird about cars
///three-slashies-on-the-tree
 
2021-07-21 11:44:55 AM  
Out of a couple hundred or so people I've met who were in the classic car business, I think there were maybe half a dozen who weren't scumbags.

"wull that's what they go'in fer on Ebay"

Well then sell it on ebay and stop wasting my time. Enjoy packing up all your shiat at the end of the day, moron.

But this was years ago. Parts have seriously dried up since then.
Unless you're looking for stampings of 32 Fords or the tri-5 Chevys. You can build any of those from the ground up with new parts these days.
 
2021-07-21 11:45:43 AM  
Dooley said MacLean refuses to return the vehicle, and has asked for more money. Dooley has contacted both the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and the RCMP.  The BBB informed him, he said, there was nothing it could do. He said the RCMP told him they could offer to help mediate the situation but nothing more.

Well that explains it, the guy's a complete farking moron.
 
2021-07-21 11:46:04 AM  
Rob (RJ) McConnell, a former employee and bookkeeper at the shop, provided Pommerville with a list of nine names he said were people owed money because their parts were sold or they paid for work that was never completed. He alleges the sum of the list totals more than $150,000.
McConnell said in an interview he is also owed about $130,000 related to a business arrangement he made with MacLean during the time he worked there involving parts purchasing and rent payments.


So the bookkeeper, who knew the financial situation of the shop and was watching him blatantly steal parts and money from customers made a business arrangement related to buying parts?  Is he just pissed he got cut out of the racket?
 
2021-07-21 11:47:18 AM  

Pats_Cloth_Coat: stilted: Sounds like a repair Ponzi scheme.

Uses or sells parts from one car to fix another.  Another customer brings in a car, he uses or sells parts from that to fix the car he previously used or sold parts from.

Yup. Same thing consignment dealerships do  But this has stretched on so long, I think the guy got old and he decided yo stop working entirely. They really should be treating this as a crime


I began learning  car repair when I was 14 years old and 40 years later I'm still learning.   The reality is that restoring an old car is not like repairing a new car.   In many cases it's impossible to tell how long a wheels up restoration can take.   I know of cars that have been at some shops literally for years.   The shop owner disassembles the car only to find out that it needs a lot more work than anyone bargained for.  The owner of the car still wants it restored but doesn't have all the money, so he gives the shop owner $500 or a thousand here and there and the project stretches out for years.
 
2021-07-21 11:50:15 AM  
Is there some rule in Canada where he can't just sue them? He was contracted to do work, he didn't do the work but received payment.
 
2021-07-21 11:52:20 AM  
Gee Canada, you're getting to be quite dickish.
First murdering thousands of First Nation children and burying them in unmarked graves.
And now this.
 
2021-07-21 11:53:39 AM  
Ah yes, the classic "craft expert sucks at business" case. Doesn't matter if its a bike shop, auto mechanic, gunsmith, contractor, etc, they can all run into the same issue.

These people know their craft, but aren't great at managing money or handling a business. Often they start the business as a hobby or side gig and get in over their heads. At some point they get behind, take too many orders or have to pay too much for parts, and suddenly they have to become a ponzi scheme to stay open. Inevitably this fails, they're ruined, tons of people are out tons of cash and equipment, and shiat sucks for everyone.
 
2021-07-21 11:55:11 AM  
Also known as the Hennessey Performance business model. 15K is nothing compared to what they've stolen from people.
 
2021-07-21 11:58:40 AM  

Sail The Wide Accountancy: Is there some rule in Canada where he can't just sue them? He was contracted to do work, he didn't do the work but received payment.


He went to the BBB, the RCMP, and the media. The guy's too stupid to call a lawyer.
 
2021-07-21 12:02:58 PM  

Fissile: Pats_Cloth_Coat: stilted: Sounds like a repair Ponzi scheme.

Uses or sells parts from one car to fix another.  Another customer brings in a car, he uses or sells parts from that to fix the car he previously used or sold parts from.

Yup. Same thing consignment dealerships do  But this has stretched on so long, I think the guy got old and he decided yo stop working entirely. They really should be treating this as a crime

I began learning  car repair when I was 14 years old and 40 years later I'm still learning.   The reality is that restoring an old car is not like repairing a new car.   In many cases it's impossible to tell how long a wheels up restoration can take.   I know of cars that have been at some shops literally for years.   The shop owner disassembles the car only to find out that it needs a lot more work than anyone bargained for.  The owner of the car still wants it restored but doesn't have all the money, so he gives the shop owner $500 or a thousand here and there and the project stretches out for years.


Yep....totally true.  My father-in-law had cars that had been at his shop so long the owners died.  He went out of his way to make sure the family got the cars, and all associated parts, back when he shut down the shop to retire.

I built a '67 Plymouth Satellite and it took me 10 years.
 
2021-07-21 12:03:58 PM  
I'm interested to know why the shop refusing to return the vehicle doesn't qualify as theft.

Also if you get work done and take your car back without paying, that's theft of services. But if the shop takes your money and doesn't do the work, why isn't that also theft?
 
2021-07-21 12:09:05 PM  
My brother has a cherry 89 RX7 with popped rotary seals. While we lived in Michigan, it was parked on a pad in the backyard with a car cover on it, awaiting rebuild.

Enter the local scrap man, who apparently thought I (short and AFAB) was an easy mark. My brother had car parts that needed to go to scrap so he reached to to Scrap Man and told him to just come get them (scrap man would pick up metal trash for free and scrap it himself).

So Scrap Man shows up and picks up the stuff, I'm the only one home so I go out to meet him and point out what needs to go. This asshole looks over the back fence, sees my brother's RX7.

Him: What's with the car?
Me: My brother's baby. Needs a rotary rebuild.
Him:  You know it's only worth scrap price right.

I laughed in his face.

This man really tried to swindle my brother's car out of me.

/yes, barely related CSS
 
2021-07-21 12:12:22 PM  
After so many victims and so much money I'm just surprised nobody has stripped him far parts yet.
 
2021-07-21 12:14:07 PM  

nytmare: I'm interested to know why the shop refusing to return the vehicle doesn't qualify as theft.

Also if you get work done and take your car back without paying, that's theft of services. But if the shop takes your money and doesn't do the work, why isn't that also theft?


It would depend on the contract terms. And that is for the courts to work out not the police.
 
2021-07-21 12:14:56 PM  
I had a situation like this happen to me years ago, on a much smaller scale. I contracted with a body shop to do a resto of my Corvair, paid 1/2 up front with the rest to be paid upon completion.

About two weeks after he had my car completely taken apart and scattered around his shop, this assclown started demanding more money to 'keep the project moving,' saying things like "if I don't pay my guys they won't work" and "you can just leave it here as long as you want, I don't care."

Since it's been more than seven years and the statute of limitations has long passed, I don't mind admitting that the only reason this asshole finished my car at all was because I showed up at his shop with five friends and threatened him with serious bad craziness. I recited his home address and said that my friends and I were going to stop by his house and destroy everything we could get our hands on, and then we'd do his shop next. Since this was well before the era when everyone had a surveillance camera in their doorbell (and this guy wasn't on good terms with the police) it was a more than credible threat.

The jagoff even had the balls to ask for a tip a month later after he finally got the job done and I was paying him. I told him "I got a tip for you... I still know where you live."

It's a lot easier for a single guy in his 20s with a BS job and no kids to engage in that sort of extra-legal chicanery, so I can understand why all these adults haven't resorted to it with this guy. But he's definitely got it coming.
 
2021-07-21 12:18:06 PM  
Damn ... didn't need this story today.
Stopped by the paint & body shop that's working on my Land Cruiser.  Nothing major - clear coat is trashed, repair some rust which was evident & in the quote.  Only scope creep was a door that the weep holes got blocked and was rusting out on the bottom - I brought them a replacement the next day.

Shop has good reviews, recommended by someone I trust.  Guy told me two weeks.  We're approaching four and and they haven't made progress for at least 2 weeks.

So one of the guys takes me in to the paint booths where they're masking up a classic Volvo and says - "that ain't nuthin - we've had this one for 8 months"

fark me.
 
2021-07-21 12:18:36 PM  

Ringshadow: My brother has a cherry 89 RX7 with popped rotary seals. While we lived in Michigan, it was parked on a pad in the backyard with a car cover on it, awaiting rebuild.

Enter the local scrap man, who apparently thought I (short and AFAB) was an easy mark. My brother had car parts that needed to go to scrap so he reached to to Scrap Man and told him to just come get them (scrap man would pick up metal trash for free and scrap it himself).

So Scrap Man shows up and picks up the stuff, I'm the only one home so I go out to meet him and point out what needs to go. This asshole looks over the back fence, sees my brother's RX7.

Him: What's with the car?
Me: My brother's baby. Needs a rotary rebuild.
Him:  You know it's only worth scrap price right.

I laughed in his face.

This man really tried to swindle my brother's car out of me.

/yes, barely related CSS


Don't know that the FC is worth that much these days.  Now if it was an FD...
 
2021-07-21 12:19:22 PM  
Who the hell would spend $30,000 fixing up a Lincoln pickup truck?
 
2021-07-21 12:19:22 PM  

Sail The Wide Accountancy: Is there some rule in Canada where he can't just sue them? He was contracted to do work, he didn't do the work but received payment.


Uh they say in the article that he's been successfully sued.
 
2021-07-21 12:20:11 PM  
30 years messing with cars and this common case not a one time occurrence.

Do it yourself or don't do it.
 
2021-07-21 12:23:34 PM  

Sail The Wide Accountancy: Is there some rule in Canada where he can't just sue them? He was contracted to do work, he didn't do the work but received payment.


I'm sure he can sue them, but he may be better off with police mediation (personally, I'd ignore whatever the BBB said, but that's all the replies had to say about the article (what?  No, I'm not going to RTFA, this is fark after all).

I'm guessing that he is paying time and materials (as somebody mentioned, there's no way to tell how long this will take) and whatever he paid may have been used up.  Why he doesn't have the car back is another story.
 
2021-07-21 12:25:50 PM  

SumoJeb: Who the hell would spend $30,000 fixing up a Lincoln pickup truck?


People who consider this a classic??
Aren't Nova Scotians Canada's rednecks?

Fark user imageView Full Size
 
2021-07-21 12:26:39 PM  

SumoJeb: Who the hell would spend $30,000 fixing up a Lincoln pickup truck?


Yeah that makes no sense.  The Lincoln Mark LT is probably worth about 15k in good condition.  It is not a collectors car.  Here is the thing, Lincoln didn't make a 2005 Mark LT.  They made the LT from 2006-2008.  I don't know what truck these guys are talking about.
 
2021-07-21 12:28:10 PM  

PaceyWhitter: SumoJeb: Who the hell would spend $30,000 fixing up a Lincoln pickup truck?

Yeah that makes no sense.  The Lincoln Mark LT is probably worth about 15k in good condition.  It is not a collectors car.  Here is the thing, Lincoln didn't make a 2005 Mark LT.  They made the LT from 2006-2008.  I don't know what truck these guys are talking about.


started production in 05. his probably is stamped 05 manufacture
 
2021-07-21 12:28:30 PM  
I have seen classic cars come in and need repairs and the shop is told "well see what all it needs then call before you do anything to make sure I want to go ahead" SO they promptly look it over the next couple days and then without calling do some real repairs and some imaginary then call the owner and tell them some huge ass number to pay for it. Owner usually cant come up with that huge amount hence the "dont do anything until I know what its gonna cost" And then the shop starts charging like 100 bucks a day storage. While they argue back and forth. Eventually the shop files a mechanics lien and he just acquired a nice car.

This happened to an older man I know. He took in a 67 camaro because he was having trans issues. Basically the turbo 350 trans was having shifting issues. 3 weeks later mechanic calls and said he rebuilt the transmission and it was 900 and change for parts. Then he hit him with the 100 bucks an hr labor for 47 hrs. So its bad enough he was hitting him for 5600 for supposedly rebuilding a transmission that can be rebuilt for 150 in parts and 5 hrs labor. He then added a new torque converter for 550 and since they were in there he had a rear main leak so they dropped the pan and put new seals front and back etc etc. When in reality he probably put a new filter and fluids in the trans at most. But it came out to 8200 and change. Then as they fought it out he accrued 35 days of storage fees at a 100 a day. Finally the old guy just walked away. He didnt have proof he didnt tell them to do all of it and they didnt have proof that he did etc. The bill was more than the car was worth.
 
2021-07-21 12:29:12 PM  
I tell folks that one of these days I hope to sell my 1964 Ranchero and make a profit of  -$10k, considering all I have put into it

Fark user imageView Full Size
 
2021-07-21 12:31:06 PM  

JK8Fan: I tell folks that one of these days I hope to sell my 1964 Ranchero and make a profit of  -$10k, considering all I have put into it

[Fark user image 425x286]


that is a beauty ride!
 
2021-07-21 12:33:26 PM  
I've always been tempted to buy a car from 70's or 80's.  Since I don't do repair work myself, I guess this story and thread is a reminder not to go into this serious money pit.
 
2021-07-21 12:35:10 PM  

SumoJeb: PaceyWhitter: SumoJeb: Who the hell would spend $30,000 fixing up a Lincoln pickup truck?

Yeah that makes no sense.  The Lincoln Mark LT is probably worth about 15k in good condition.  It is not a collectors car.  Here is the thing, Lincoln didn't make a 2005 Mark LT.  They made the LT from 2006-2008.  I don't know what truck these guys are talking about.

started production in 05. his probably is stamped 05 manufacture


That is probably it, but it is weird to call a car by its year of production rather than its model year.  For instance, the 2022 models will come out in the fall, no one would call them 2021s because there will be updates in the 22s that were not in the 21s being sold now.
 
2021-07-21 12:36:38 PM  

JK8Fan: I tell folks that one of these days I hope to sell my 1964 Ranchero and make a profit of  -$10k, considering all I have put into it



When I restored and eventually sold my '70 Torino convertible, I calculated I made about $.05/hr on my labor.
 
2021-07-21 12:42:41 PM  
One of my coworkers brought his truck to a shop for a trans rebuild.  A month goes by. Not done yet. A couple more weeks, guys not answering the phone.  A couple more weeks, he drives by the shop and sees a sign on the door, "Gone to Florida.  Don't know when I'll be back"
He goes around back and sees his truck with the transmission in bed.
He comes back the next weekend with a buddy. They clip the lock, open the gate and steal back the truck.
He never heard from the guy.
 
2021-07-21 12:46:50 PM  

gunther_bumpass: Out of a couple hundred or so people I've met who were in the classic car business, I think there were maybe half a dozen who weren't scumbags.

"wull that's what they go'in fer on Ebay"

Well then sell it on ebay and stop wasting my time. Enjoy packing up all your shiat at the end of the day, moron.

But this was years ago. Parts have seriously dried up since then.
Unless you're looking for stampings of 32 Fords or the tri-5 Chevys. You can build any of those from the ground up with new parts these days.


I don't know what's up with eBay and classic cars anymore. Sure they've gone way up, a car I paid $1000 for seven or eight years ago is going for $5000 now but it's $10,000 on eBay and there's no reason for it. Plus there's usually delivery on it while the $5000 car I can drive a couple of hours and drive it home.
Are boomers really scooping up old AMCs for an investment? Farkin' demo derby guys love 'em though because they're indestructible but they're not paying top dollar for them either.
 
2021-07-21 12:50:55 PM  
Yeah, around here that kind of stuff would result in an ass kicking and more. People are serious about their fancy old cars.
 
2021-07-21 12:53:56 PM  
Who pays for repairs before the work is done?

I've NEVER had a shop ask for money up front.   You pay after the work is done.   It's not like you're gonna run out on them, they have your car after all.
 
2021-07-21 12:57:02 PM  

zbtop: Ah yes, the classic "craft expert sucks at business" case. Doesn't matter if its a bike shop, auto mechanic, gunsmith, contractor, etc, they can all run into the same issue.


I have a few mechanics and contractors in my family alone that would be absolutely ruined if their wives weren't handling the business stuff. I guess these sort of businesses tend to see big lump sum payments and if you aren't disciplined in planning you tend to blow big wads of cash on booze and toys without thinking about it.
 
2021-07-21 1:03:33 PM  

justanotherfarkinfarker: Also known as the Hennessey Performance business model. 15K is nothing compared to what they've stolen from people.


Came here for Hennessey reference. Leaving satisfied.
 
2021-07-21 1:03:46 PM  

Ringshadow: My brother has a cherry 89 RX7 with popped rotary seals. While we lived in Michigan, it was parked on a pad in the backyard with a car cover on it, awaiting rebuild.

Enter the local scrap man, who apparently thought I (short and AFAB) was an easy mark. My brother had car parts that needed to go to scrap so he reached to to Scrap Man and told him to just come get them (scrap man would pick up metal trash for free and scrap it himself).

So Scrap Man shows up and picks up the stuff, I'm the only one home so I go out to meet him and point out what needs to go. This asshole looks over the back fence, sees my brother's RX7.

Him: What's with the car?
Me: My brother's baby. Needs a rotary rebuild.
Him:  You know it's only worth scrap price right.

I laughed in his face.

This man really tried to swindle my brother's car out of me.

/yes, barely related CSS


Like I said... they're mostly scumbags. 

I was looking at getting an engine rebuilt and the farkin' guy casually told me a story about how 
he and his pals down at the loading dock "accidentally" killed a supervisor with a pallet of gas cylinders. 

Yeah.. I'll just be moving along, thanks.
 
2021-07-21 1:04:19 PM  
Eaten by snakes?
 
2021-07-21 1:09:58 PM  

Porous Horace: Eaten by snakes?


Tanks - whattaya got shiat in yer ears?
 
2021-07-21 1:12:30 PM  
And yet, these same older car enthusiasts would look at you sideways and call you delusional if you suggested they take their wife of 30 years to a plastic surgeon and have her restored as a 19-year-old virgin in a bikini...
 
2021-07-21 1:18:55 PM  

gamera1: Who pays for repairs before the work is done?

I've NEVER had a shop ask for money up front.   You pay after the work is done.   It's not like you're gonna run out on them, they have your car after all.


When you do rebuilds you should get the cost of the parts up front, a complete restore and engine rebuild on a 40-50s car can be several thousand in just hard to find parts. A good shop won't charge you any labor up front, but people walk away from custom or classic rebuilds without paying all the time.
 
2021-07-21 1:37:16 PM  

JK8Fan: I tell folks that one of these days I hope to sell my 1964 Ranchero and make a profit of  -$10k, considering all I have put into it

[Fark user image 425x286]


First car I ever restored was a '64 hardtop.
 
2021-07-21 1:43:20 PM  

Watubi: When I restored and eventually sold my '70 Torino convertible, I calculated I made about $.05/hr on my labor.


In the classic car world, that's called "winning."
 
2021-07-21 1:45:04 PM  

gamera1: Who pays for repairs before the work is done?

I've NEVER had a shop ask for money up front.   You pay after the work is done.   It's not like you're gonna run out on them, they have your car after all.


This isn't the repair shop on the corner where you fix a fender or get your oil changed.  This is a professional car restoration business.  More similar to a professional contractor installing a pool or building an addition on to your house.  If the job is large, get a significant down payment.

ESPECIALLY for large scale classic car work.  Most classic car rebuilds are out of love, not value.  The final product is worth a lot less on the market than what you put into it.  This is the way it is with more custom car or motorcycle work.  People wanting large scale restorations who bail midway can leave a small business with tens of thousands of dollars of debt and a product worth only a fraction of that.
 
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