Shady Mechanics Pt. 1
(Sometimes it’s the people closest to you that burn you)
If you’ve been in the car game long enough, chances are you’ve run into a shady mechanic or two. They come in all shapes and sizes. Some work for reputable shops and other’s are alleged friends that you have had dinner with at your house.
Unfortunately I’ve had more than one run in with a shady mechanic. I’m not a mechanic by trade, but can perform the basic car repairs such as changing a spare tire, radiator flush, oil change, replacing hoses, along with a few other things. I could probably expand on that list, but I have far too much on my plate to delegate the time to. I love cars and have always had a fascination with the way they look, sound and drive. Whenever I get a car, I like to go through it and throw my own personal touches to the car to make it unique.
My first bad experience was with a mechanicI had initially met off of craigslist. I know what you’re thinking, craigslist, but he had a small shop and were very knowledgeable. Initially he had done some basic repairs on 1970 Chevelle I had and I was very pleased with his work. From the Chevelle I brought him a 1969 Porsche, 1994 BMW 840, 1966 Mustang Coupe, 1965 Mustang Fastback, 2001 Mercedes E55 and the list goes on. His repairs had always been to the highest standard and he always stood by his work.
It was around the time I brought him my 1982 Porsche 928 and my 1979 Porsche 928 that things started to go down hill. I was having a resto-mod build being done to my 1982 928 and a restoration build being done to the 1979 928. I made the mistake of giving him around $19,500.00 to complete the resto-mod build thinking it would get done faster and another $8000.00 towards the restoration build for parts and labor. Now mind you, I had been doing business with this guy for a couple years already and we had spent holidays together. He even invited me to attend his wedding.
Well only about $3000.00 went towards the resto-mod build, the rest I think he spent on his wedding. Little did I know, he had stopped paying rent on his shop shortly after his wedding and picked up daily drinking habit of Whiskey? I had spent almost $100,000.00 with this guy over the years and it had come down to this. Every time I would ask him about the engine build on the 1982 Porsche 928, he would place the blame on the engine builder. I would stop by the shop randomly to check on my cars and both Porsches would appear in the same condition they were in the previous shop visit. It seems like he was always working on someone else’s car, but wasn’t touching mine. To make matters worse, the cars he was working on were people I had previously sent to him on referral.
At one point he had the nerve to ask for more money and I had to lay out all the receipts for him and break down the accounting. He’d taken my kindness for a weakness and I’d made the mistake of trusting this individual to be a man of his word. Eventually I had to have both of my Porsche’s towed from his shop. I had gotten word from another source that his doors were going to be locked for failure to pay almost six months worth of back rent. One thing about bad news in the car circles is it travels fast. When you burn a bridge it doesn’t’ take long for other people to find out about it. I had entertained the thought of suing him for the balance of money owed, but the more I thought about it, I realized it would just be a waste of my time. This loser had nothing to go after. I later found out from someone who knew the engine builder that the mechanic never finished paying the engine builder for the work he had completed. So this mechanic had been lying to me the whole time about engine builder.
Just goes to show that so called friends can also be your worst nightmare. I had always given people the benefit of the doubt, but this person really changed my perspective on how I dealt with mechanics in the future.