Fayetteville car restoration customers wait for cars
Posted October 21, 2010 2:12 p.m. EDT
Updated October 21, 2010 10:46 p.m. EDT
Fayetteville, N.C. — 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.
"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.