5 On Your Side

Fayetteville car restoration customers wait for cars

Posted October 21, 2010

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— Several customers say a Fayetteville car-restoration business has taken their money without completing the work on their vehicles.

Brian Clark, owner of Classic Chassis, promises a quality restoration for car owners willing to pay. However, a number of customers say that, after they paid him thousands, work on their cars is progressing slowly, if at all.

Roger Gann bought a 1968 Shelby GT 500E Clone – nicknamed "Louise" – from Clark in December 2006. He paid about $60,000 for the car and restoration work by Clark.

"He was doing great work on the car. It looked tremendous. I was over there inspecting it. It looked good," Gann said.

So in mid-2007, he paid Clark $160,000 for two more Ford Mustangs.

Fayetteville restoration customers wait for cars Fayetteville restoration customers wait for cars

"It was right after that that everything started going to pieces," Gann said.

Each car was supposed to take about a year to complete. More than three years later, Gann said, the Shelby GT needs work and the two Mustangs are nowhere near finished.

A calendar that Clark made to show his plans to restore the cars shows that one of the Mustangs, a 1965 Fastback, was supposed to be done on June 6, 2008.

Gann is one of nine people who have complained to WRAL's 5 on Your Side about Clark and Classic Chassis.

"He gave me the run around over a dozen times," customer David Smith said.

"The body work was awful. It still has rust and dents," customer Teresa Masouras wrote.

RipOffReport.com lists complaints, including one from a man who says he is "eight years later and $30,000 poorer with nothing to show for it."

Dozens of unfinished cars were at Classic Chassis when the 5 on Your Side team visited.

Clark said in a phone interview that some delays were caused by a tornado that damaged his business in March 2009. He said that he also had surgery last month and had to fire some problem employees

As for Gann's cars, Clark blamed the delay on changes and upgrades that Gann wanted. He said that work on the Shelby GT was finished long ago.

"I'm not out to steal or defraud anyone. I'm just trying to run a business," Clark said.

Gann said that he and Clark recently met, but they didn't work anything out.

 "I'd love to have my money back, but my main thought is he not be allowed to do this to anybody else," Gann said.

Clark said that he hasn't taken on any new work in the past four months and that he would close down after he finishes work on the more than 40 cars he already has at his shop. He said he expects to finish those within a year.


This story is closed for comments.

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  • james25 Oct 25, 2010

    To everyone who has a car at this shop. My name is James G. and I run a BioMedical company in Raleigh for the past 18 years and am a car collector.
    Because I too have had this issue of being taken, I opened a well funded restoration shop for my cars and other clients. It is located in the Lillington area; it is Classic & Custom cars, LLC. 910-814-4246. We are by East Coast Classic Cars @ 303 E. Cornelius Harnett Blvd. Many cars have come to us from other shops that TOOK their money and did little to nothing. We offer a special rate for victims of this type of scam. Please call my shop if you are in need of moving your car to a safe, reliable shop. Please ask around, I have a sterling reputation and a passion for cars.
    Did you know, 80+% of restoration shops do this type of bad business to their clients!!!
    James G.

  • gregw2 Oct 25, 2010

    This guy has been doing this for years. Many of the same excuses i see here, he gave to me as well back in 2003. You have to wonder at what point will the authorities step in and do something about him. To cheat so many over so long a period has to be criminal.

    To cheat a deploying soldier is about as low as you can get.

  • pyranna Oct 22, 2010

    Car restoration, DIY you might learn something. Same thing with old houses. They're a money pit.

  • sharoningram Oct 22, 2010

    The reason that he had problem employees is probably because they weren't getting paid and if they were given a paycheck it bounced!

  • Raptor06 Oct 22, 2010

    One of my co-workers cut his loses and picked up his car about two weeks ago. The car was supposed to be available the summer of 2009. Like others, the car is no way close to completion. Too bad, though. I'm looking for someone to do some work on my classic Thunderbird. I guess I'll use that money to purchase a new Boss 302 Mustang when they go on sale next year.

  • paunderwood Oct 22, 2010


  • stickkens Oct 22, 2010

    Add me to the list! I drop off my 1972 Datsun 240Z at Brian's shop on Oct. 03, 1905 for restoral. The car is still setting on the lot with little work done to it. In 1909 he told me the car would be finished by the summer, it is still there just as it was about six months after I dropped it off. I am out of $7,350 with nothing to show for it. First his excuse was the damage to the shop from the storm now his excuse is he has been sick. Stickkens!

  • Pseudonym Oct 22, 2010

    What's the fun in having an old car if you don't work on it yourself? One of the fun things about restoring old cars is knowing every nook and cranny of that vehicle and learning new things about how cars work.

    It's bad enough we're outsourcing our careers, now we're outsourcing our hobbies!

  • lallard101 Oct 22, 2010

    Why and how is this guy still in business. We need to get the word out. He was suppose to restore a Mustang for us. Took our money and kept saying oh yes next week , but next week never came. He ofcourse still has our money and we got back a car in worse shape. He wrecked the hood. The orginal hood to the Mustang. Never told us and could care less. They backed into at the shop. We are out thousands of dollars that my military husband worked hard for. He doesnt care. Don't go there!!!!!

  • BubbaDukeforPresident Oct 22, 2010

    I think this business owner is not a good business man. The worst thing that a business can do is cheat customers. Word of mouth is lots more effective than television and radio ads. I've never bought anything just because of a commercial, but I've purchased and avoiding purchasing because of customer ratings. It's a shame too - I'd like to have a muscle car again some day.