Vintage Customs: Customers Beware - Page 2 - Alfa Romeo Bulletin Board & Forums
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post #16 of 178 (permalink) Old 09-08-2016, 04:58 PM
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my heart goes out to your situation, hope it is resolved SOON!

"No chance, no destiny, no fate can circumvent, change or control the firm resolve of a determined soul"

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post #17 of 178 (permalink) Old 09-08-2016, 08:07 PM
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Man, I sure hope this isn't the new 'normal' for our vintage Alfas. I'm having similar issues (though on a much smaller and less frustrating or expensive scale) with a shop I won't name here, primarily because the owner is at least acknowledging his lack of communication as a fault of his, and taking responsibility for the situation. Anecdotally, I know of at least one other experience with Vintage Customs that was not positive. Good luck with your GTV.

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post #18 of 178 (permalink) Old 09-09-2016, 02:41 AM
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Join the club - and yes he is really that bad..........

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post #19 of 178 (permalink) Old 09-09-2016, 06:46 AM
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I could have written this post given some experiences I had - the fall off in communication especially. I does seem to be a pattern with shops as another poster shared. My advice sadly is to get the car back and finish it yourself. I had to do this and got over it in the end. My confidence is so much higher now. I think with the support of this forum almost anyone can do it if they take their time.

I hope this isn't the case for you but the next stage when you get the car back may not be fun either. As you go over the things you paid them to do you may find some were not done perfectly and you will want to redo it. e.g. Radiator rubber mounts weren't used, exhaust heat shield wasn't installed when a new exhaust was installed, parts you gave them are missing and need to be tracked down.

I think if you want it done really well you have to pay a lot more than you want or do it yourself.

68' Parisian Alfa GTV 1750
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post #20 of 178 (permalink) Old 09-09-2016, 06:53 AM
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I cannot find Vintage Customs listed with the BBB, but don't let that stop you from filing a complaint. You can also post a review on Angie's List. It's now free.

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post #21 of 178 (permalink) Old 09-09-2016, 09:50 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you all for the continued support and suggestions.

Surprise surprise, I got no video of a running car and no photos of the installed dash and console as promised.

Other than spreading my experience for the benefit of other Alfisti and BB members contemplating their services, does anyone know of any other recourse available?

Any thoughts on picking up a 90%-completed car? How many headaches will that present?

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post #22 of 178 (permalink) Old 09-09-2016, 10:44 AM
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As long as you and Vintage Customs agree to terminate the job and there are no outstanding bills, you should be ok. Hopefully, your car is not missing any parts.

Maybe a surprise visit might be in order. You can put your eyes on the car and document the condition and any missing parts. You might never see the missing parts, again. Once you document what is on the car, you'll have proof should you go with legal action.

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post #23 of 178 (permalink) Old 02-07-2018, 10:12 AM Thread Starter
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For inquiring minds, I still don't have my car back...a year plus since my last post...

Though I have seen more progress after sending an email calling them out. I do feel bad for Daron as I know he has some health issues but I just can't believe how long it has taken. Below is my email...just to give some perspective on why I am so upset.

January 24th, 2018

Daron...I've been as patient as I think any man can be. I've been as respectful as I possibly can to everything you have going on. I've understood and commiserated with you over illnesses and stress, I've done everything I can to ensure I don't add to that while still trying to keep a handle on my car. So please, do me the respect of reading the following and replying or calling me back.

You've lost parts of mine and charged me for them. At my urging that yes, indeed they were there, you miraculously found them. (brake lines, brake calipers, turn signal stock, etc. etc. etc.) So when you tell me I am missing something, why should I trust you (I have, and I've paid for it).

I've reminded you multiple times when you've FORGOTTEN what you were supposed to do to my car. I had to spend an hour going back through every communication to piece together a build list for you. I have very little confidence that what I initially requested will be fully realized with my car when you keep forgetting what we agree to.

When my 15k budget was blown to oblivion, I understood and paid my bills without complaint on time, every time.

When my 4 month deadline passed, I understood...When my 1 year and 4 month deadline passed, I understood. When my 2 year and 4 month deadline passed, I understood. Because of this I've missed out on cruises with my father, dates with my wife, car shows, car rallies, etc. All of this would have been possible before, which is why I bought the car. Now I have a baby on the way and all of the ways I'd planned to enjoy my car will be different or not possible at all. I missed out on a huge part of my life with this car because of YOU. The way I had you build the car was for me in a different part of my life...now that part of my life has passed. For example, I would have put the back seat back in if I'd known I would have a car seat in my life.

This was the car that I've wanted to use at my wedding since before I could drive, before the car ever existed. Ever since I was a kid I've dreamed of having an Alfa at my wedding...I didn't. In fact, in the time you've had my car I've MET A GIRL, PROPOSED, MARRIED HER, AND AM NOW EXPECTING A CHILD WITH HER. The crazy part? SHE HAS NEVER SEEN MY CAR!

I've spent almost 3 YEARS waiting for my car.

My fresh paint job I paid so much for...isn't fresh. My tires I bought are now a year and a half older than they were. My wheels that I scraped money together for...I haven't seen and god knows how they're doing after sitting for three years in a shop.

And all along through this process I've kept my cool as much as I can. All I've asked for is honesty, transparency, and communication.


Do I need to be an *******? Do I need to contract my lawyer to dig through all of the various communications we've had? Do I need to be a millionaire who you're intimated by? Do I need to be a guy with a race season coming up? Because I'm sorry, but I'm not. I'm a guy who has money for one car...one car that you have had for 3 years come April.


You told me on December 13th to give you two weeks to provide me with a delivery date for my car. I've now called weekly ever since. I've talked to Jacob and left a message, I've talked to Ariel and left a message, I've left voicemails...and never a call back. How on God's earth do you run a business like this Daron?

Please...please Daron. Tell me when I can have my car back.

Chris

1972 GTV- Terry Tinney-built motor/transmission, Custom 1750 Interior, and a whole lotta love
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post #24 of 178 (permalink) Old 02-07-2018, 10:53 AM
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Heartbreaking.

It's experiences like this that make me keep doing my own work.

I hope you can come to a satisfactory resolution.

Bob

Everyday is a school day. Learning something new all the time

View my '74 GTV restoration at:
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View my '91 164s adventure at:
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But wait there's more: View my 164LS thread:
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You're kidding, another one?! 1984 GTV6 Maratona
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You didn't...oh yes I did. '73 Berlina graduate course in rust repair. No thread yet, don't want to piss off the GTV

You didn't...oh yes I did II. Deposit down on another vehicle...stop the madness!!!
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post #25 of 178 (permalink) Old 02-07-2018, 11:16 AM
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You're a patient man!...

Go get it, throwing good money after bad is never fun. if it truly needs a professional hand to finish, try santos.
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post #26 of 178 (permalink) Old 02-07-2018, 12:09 PM
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This is so sad, Chris. IF you haven't paid them a visit, please do. If you pay them a visit, you will be able to see exactly how good or bad things are at that shop.

You really should consider a visit. Phone calls and emails are not sufficient.

If your car is painted, you really should just go get it.

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post #27 of 178 (permalink) Old 02-07-2018, 12:14 PM
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This was a excruciating read! You are well beyond patient.

I can't imagine this happening. I spoke with Daron a year ago and he seemed well and ready to take on my GTV project had I been ready to go.

I agree with kpc, fly up, grab a one way truck & trailer, have proof of ownership, maybe even inform the local authorities (should you think there may be a issue) prior to traveling.

Are you sure your car is actually there?

Good luck!
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post #28 of 178 (permalink) Old 02-07-2018, 12:23 PM
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Sorry to hear about the saga- it's the stuff nightmares are made of but surprisingly common with shops that do this sort of work. Shop owners get in over their head for one reason or another and can't complete the work.

Since they've not made any moves towards getting their act together, I'm going to agree with others to say that at this point you should probably just go get your car regardless of what state it's in. As someone who recently did the newborn baby thing, I will say that you CAN continue to make progress on your car. Even if it's slow, you know the work is getting done.

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post #29 of 178 (permalink) Old 02-07-2018, 01:12 PM
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Hi Chris,

So sorry to hear about this. 3 years on a car that was 80% finished when you took it to him is just completely unacceptable. You really need to do one of three things: Go visit them yourself and see if progress has been made; have someone on this board go pay them a visit and check the car out for you; hire an attorney to write them a demand letter and be prepared to follow up on it. (I would only do the last one after you have done one of the first two).

Two custom shops in my area have relatively recently been closed due to fraud and their owners sent to jail. Both were highly regarded shops prior to this happening. One was in the VW community of guys; you can read about it on the Samba board under Robert Kalstrom or Endless customz. The other was a shop preparing pro stock and pro touring cars. I helped get back the 66 Chevelle that was at the pro stock shop. After being told for two years and $50,000.00 that the car was near completion the owner flew over here from Sweden. What we found when we got there was body in primer, no engine and no interior. There were a few miscellaneous parts but nowhere near a complete car. The shop owner disappeared while we were looking for the car. He was later arrested working at another shop 3 hours away. What got him arrested was that he began bragging on another board about what a great job he had done on this particular car. Riverside police arrested him and they prosecuted him for theft and fraud. Last I heard he is still in jail.

Good luck, I think your going to need it.

Ventura Alfa
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post #30 of 178 (permalink) Old 02-07-2018, 01:30 PM
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Sometimes a little sleuthing can possibly help. If yours is the burgundy 72 with the gold rims and 69 interior there are 4 current pictures of it on instagram. You say he doesn't contact you, well they seem to find time to post on instagram on a regular, almost daily, basis.

If you haven't before now google "Vintage Customs, llc." You will find an instagram account and 4 pictures of a burgundy 72 GTV like I described. The copy with the first picture says the car will be leaving them "very soon".

Hope this helps.

Ventura Alfa
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