Alfa Romeo Forums banner
1 - 20 of 56 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
476 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
In good conscience I feel I have to share my experience having a GTV6 revived and painted by HMA with the greater BB community. My purpose isn’t to throw Glenn under the bus, or to undermine his business certainly, as I’ve always appreciated his dedication to Alfas, but rather to give people a data point for consideration when weighing the risks and benefits of doing business with Glenn. In my industry, which is a “high reliability” industry, we evaluate every single supplier for capability, risk, and record of performance. An identified risk does not preclude the use of a supplier, but we need to understand the risks in order to arrive at a proper scope of effort and implement needed mitigations. So that future customers of Glenn’s better understand the risks of doing business with Glenn, I offer my experience for you to make of it what you will.

The short version, as short as I can manage, is that on September 3, 2014 (not a typo, 2014) I gave Glenn the money he asked for to start prepping/painting a 1981 GTV6. This was a car that was in Glenn’s collection and I had already given him over $11K in money and parts to restore over the preceding three months. The car was not supposed to have needed a repainting, but because both the hood and hatch were going to have to be either repaired or replaced, and therefore repainted, it was clear that the whole car would need to be repainted. It is worth noting that the car was sold as not needing repainting, the original paint being “good with a patina.” There was no up-front mention of the needed hood or hatch work.

He said the paint job would be done about mid-October to account for completion of his paint booth, in addition to prepping and painting the car. I had expressed a concern about the coming winter, and wanting the car finished and in Maryland before snow and salt hit the roads, with him being in Maine. He assured me that absolutely it would be done before snow came, and in fact had asked for, and received, the remainder of the money needed to complete the paint job by mid-October.

October came and went and Glenn said that the car wouldn’t be ready until the end of December. By the end of December the car was still not painted and Glenn stated that he wouldn’t be able to finish the car until the winter has passed, so I demanded my money back, not just for the paint job but the all the money I had in the car. After seven months of misrepresentations and delays I had lost my taste for the process; not necessarily the car considered in the abstract, which remained very appealing, but rather the daunting prospect of completing an enormously frustrating process of procuring a ready-to-drive GTV6 from Glenn. Seven months with no end in sight had been enough for me; the cosmetically as-is car was supposed to have been done by July, then October with paint. Now I was looking at some time in the Spring of the following year.

After demanding my money back Glenn told me that he would need to sell the car in order to return my money. I do believe he was/is telling the truth on that matter so I indicated I would wait. We agreed on an end of April deadline. April came and went and the car was still not being painted, despite many other projects moving through his shop as documented on Facebook and occasionally here on the BB. Glenn convinced me to wait a little more. With the June Alfa event in R.I. offering ideal exposure in helping to sell the car, and being sympathetic to Glenn’s desire to use the car as an example of his shop’s capabilities, I consented. As well, being forced to wait this long with no chance of getting my money back in the meantime, I still held out some wavering hope I might want the car after all, as soured as I had become on the process. Like trying to save a bad relationship, it was hard to throw away all the emotional capital I had thus far invested.

The June event came and went. Glenn said that they worked hard to get the car done for it but didn’t pull it off. That was three months ago and the car is still not done. On Aug 7, after being asked for status, Glenn sent a text saying “Final sand today, buff Monday, then pics”. No pics came so on Aug 24 I sent a reminder and received the apology “…sorry for the delay, I had to stop and do an engine job…” On Sep 10 I got a message that he’ll be back to work the following week on my car, and “The last part of a killer finish is the hardest.” Apparently it’s very hard as I have not heard anything since and I’ve still got no pictures.

So, I do hope the car is finished soon and is as nice as Glenn promises. A Concours paint job (so he claims) on a 42K mile Texas car with an overhauled 3.0 engine, un-cracked dash and leather door cards is pretty sweet, and why I went into the deal originally, but I’m no longer interested. No matter how nice the car might turn out to be, sixteen months of waiting and frustration is too much for me.

All told, including the interest on the $7K loan (now unsecured as I was never able to produce a car for the bank), the $450 trip to Maine, and $700 I put in the Alfetta doors I intended to use before I soured on the deal, I have spent nearly $16K on this process, and only intend (at present) to ask for the $14K I actually have in the car returned. Nearly $2K lost and never saw the car in my driveway. And to think I contacted him originally about a $2,500 Milano. If only I’d stuck with the Milano. Glenn’s a great guy, a charming character, and, God love him, a huge Alfa enthusiast, but let the buyer beware.

By the way, if anyone thinks I am not being nice, this is the nice (and relatively succinct) version of the events. I put this off for a long time hoping that Glenn would yet come through, but as the months and missed deadlines (October, December, April, R.I. Alfa event, end of summer) go by, there’s still no car for sale, and here I am with winter approaching, again.

I wish Glenn success, and the guys who work with him, both of whom I very much liked (though I believe one just moved on); I don’t wish to attack him, I simply want to make people aware of my experience so that they can figure this into their decision making. If someone has posted a cautionary tale before me, then maybe I wouldn’t have been as trusting.

I also hope this might light a fire under Glenn as nothing else has it seems, including the threat of litigation on two occasions. My initial concern was getting the car to MD before the first snow of 2014. We are now almost into October of 2015 and the car still isn’t finished! It’s just unbelievable to me but I am past the point of exasperation and anger (and there’s been plenty of both). The wait has become so surreal I no longer know how to react. It’s like something Stalin might have observed, in that a one month delay is frustrating and aggravating while a one year delay seems like just a number: a number beyond any measure of practical significance, so that even while it continues to grow, in growing it remains no more or less unreal. Yet, though surreal, the real costs as well as opportunity costs of that in limbo-$16K has been very real over the last year. In any event, I will update this thread when I get back the money I have invested in this car so at least people might trust that their money is safe in future deals with HMA. Hopefully that will be soon.

Lastly, in the interest of fairness, HMA performed a timing belt job on my ’84, incl water pump, for less than half of what my local mechanic would have charged. No complaints there and I’ll give credit where due. To keep things in perspective though, I might also add that the t-belt service savings are more than offset by the $2K I will lose even after getting reimbursed for the $14K in the ‘81. So at any rate, if there’s a lesson in light of the two cars – the ’84 vs the ’81 -- it would be to stay within the scope of a supplier’s capabilities.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
108 Posts
Well... since no one else has said anything I will: That really sucks.

There are several trite expressions that apply, though I think "The road to hell is paved with good intentions" is probably the most apt.

I had a similar experience with my old mechanic, but luckily out a lot less money (though I did write the vehicle off as a loss). I totally get the weird duality of the situation "I know he means well and is a good guy" vs "Seriously *** is going on?!?"

Anyway, I wish you luck and thank you for the story.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
434 Posts
Well I figured something was going on by questions that were being raised on some of his other posts and wondered if other comments were being deleted because he is a moderator here. I hope he makes good on his word from a recent post and things get resolved soon.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
133 Posts
I just went through a similar experience with a Ferrari 328. I thought a paint job would take a month and it took a year. In the end I got a great result, but it was a bit frustrating. I also didn't pay upfront !!!!!
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
23,938 Posts
Got a request from someone to comment, moderators are aware of this and we're discussing.
Andrew, moderator
 

·
Push hard and live
Joined
·
11,546 Posts
Got a request from someone to comment, moderators are aware of this and we're discussing.
Andrew, moderator
Seems a reasonable vendor review to me. There is room for interpretation, and is not a personal attack. To the extent the facts are accurate, it is just a report that might be useful for others considering similar work from the same vendor.

I enjoy Glenn, and look forward to continued exchanges. Vendor reviews are a valuable part of this forum, however. His well-considered response might balance the scales and make lemonade, as it were.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
18,190 Posts
I... wondered if other comments were being deleted because he is a moderator here.
Speaking as a moderator, this is NOT the case - to the best of my knowledge. This situation is under review/being discussed by the moderators.

Speaking personally, if the above were true, I'd be very upset.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
205 Posts
Always a tough situation. I had a really great guy do the work on one of my MBs. He had restored hundreds of the same model. Car came out great. I was so happy I sent a 2nd car (different model) to him. Absolute disaster. Something always took higher priority and the work quality was much much lower. Great guy and I'd like to catch up and have some beers...but I would have a really hard time using or recommending him again.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,990 Posts
Wow, thanks Jim.
To start, I have never deleted a post, I don't know how.
Yes, it has taken a lot longer than I had planned, several things kept me from finishing my spray booth,
then a seriously brutal winter.
The engine job I had to take on, was because I needed money to finish your car, I didn't charge enough and I did a substantially better paint job than the $3k would have accomplished. As you have refused to spend a penny more than first estimate,
and I wanted it to be a great job, it cost a lot more. My bad. I learned from this too.
You did forget to mention that you changed your mind a dozen times about stuff we were going to do to it,
I had to keep backtracking.
You also don't mention a lot of the other work I did, brakes, etc,etc,.
Installed a 3.0 that I bought, did custom wiring for you,
And a LOT of small details.
And don't forget, some of the money you spent went to goodies you bought for the car, intake, tires, etc.

I guess you do a hundred jobs that work out and people are happy, and you don't hear from them,
only the one that took too long.
You also forgot to mention your wife won't let you keep the cars, and you have shifted from one to another as the one you will keep.

Well, to summerize, I guess I am not the perfect Alfa guy some people think, I am human, and slightly flawed I guess.
My apologies to you on the length on time, and I promise to not let this attack on me make me lose my enthusiasm
for the final buffing I am doing right now, and will have finished in 2 days.
Oh, and I won't let it deter me from doing a great job assembling the car,
or from taking out the rug and finding an appropriate dye to match it so the interiour will stand out.
And have the seats restitched.
Again, my apologies to Jim.

To any one looking for an outstanding GTV6, one that will stand out at any gathering, I guess I will be offering it for sale
at what Jim says he has invested. I am willing to take the loss of my extra effort and costs to make him happy.

I suppose having taken too long, and having people think it is possible I abused my position as moderator,
I should resign from the Board?
 

·
Registered
1979 Alfetta MM
Joined
·
2,088 Posts
I suppose having taken too long, and having people think it is possible I abused my position as moderator,
I should resign from the Board?
I don't see that as necessary.
At this point you and Jim will probably never agree but you didn't delete his post so I don't think you abused your position.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
476 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
Glenn, I thought the proper response from you would have been a "mea culpa, no excuses, I'll make things right." After all, you have the money, and have had it for over a year, but I don't have a car. There's been no changes of scope, or questions of configuration, that's resulted in any delays. That's nonsense. In any event, a quick reality check re some of your comments.

"Yes, it has taken a lot longer than I had planned, several things kept me from finishing my spray booth, then a seriously brutal winter." -- Glenn, neither the paint booth completion nor the winter should have ever been allowed to be a factor. If either of those were at all a question then you had no business pitching the (paint) job and making those promises. I'd have taken the car as it was, needing paint, back in September and we both would have been happier. Besides, re Winter, that was how long ago?

"As you have refused to spend a penny more than first estimate, and I wanted it to be a great job, it cost a lot more. My bad. I learned from this too." -- You received $10K for the car before and on top of the money for the paint job, just how much do you think a GTV6 is worth on the market today? This was supposed to be a "near time capsule car" (your words) that you described as needing only a new engine and refreshed rubber. If the car was as you had pitched it, I can't see how you would have had all these issues. Besides, this was a "firm fixed-price" job, not "cost-plus". Clearly you were not going to sell a car site-unseen if the buyer was on the hook for all the stuff you might fail to foresee (or fail to disclose). I wasn't bringing you my car to restore, you were selling a car in your collection for $10K: I've no control over, or responsibility for, its starting point. Again, if the car was what you had described initially (and this issue might be a good topic for another thread as I've really only addressed the schedule aspect of things), you would have made out nicely, I would think.

"You did forget to mention that you changed your mind a dozen times about stuff we were going to do to it, I had to keep backtracking." -- Please, this is pure *#. Any questions of configuration were in the initial three-month build period. The only aspect of the build beyond that in question was the Alfetta doors, and they haven't been a question for many months, going back way before you started painting the car. Nothing outside your own prioritizing kept you from waiting until the end of this summer to start this paint job. Clearly. And I might add that the only reason there was even a question about the doors beyond last November was because the car was sitting completely idle for so long. If started on time, or nearly so, the door question would have been decided no later than that time.

"You also don't mention a lot of the other work I did, brakes, etc,etc,.
Installed a 3.0 that I bought, did custom wiring for you,
And a LOT of small details." -- brakes etc. etc. was part of the deal; you asked for $10K for a completely refreshed car, mechanically, incl the 3.0 engine. That was your sale price; it's not my fault if you had to do more to the car than you expected (if that's the case). Custom wiring? The battery cables I provided. Ok, I'll make you a deal; I'll reimburse you for the time it took to run those cables and you can reimburse me for the loan interest and we'll call it even on that score.

"And don't forget, some of the money you spent went to goodies you bought for the car, intake, tires, etc." Glenn, I bought the CSC exhaust because you didn't have a good stock exhaust to put on the car. Same with the tires. When asked what kind of tires are going on the car you admitted that they would be just good enough to get the car to MD. Pretty lame for a $10K car. I had no choice but to buy tires if I didn't want dangerous junk on the car. Re the air intake; you pitched that hard, I hadn't brought that idea to you. You act like you did me a favor by installing these options but you are the one that pushed them. Besides, you'd have had to install tires, an air intake, and an exhaust regardless. You didn't have to remove parts and replace them. Give me a break. At any rate, I have twice stressed that you can remove any items I provided and I'll take them back, with me paying for shipping, so that you don't have to reimburse me for those items. The offer still stands. Supply your own exhaust for example; I'll use the CSC I drop shipped to you from Centerline on the '86 I've got. Would be happy to have it. Supply your own tires and send me the Pirellis; would be happy to take those back as well. Your choice.

"You also forgot to mention your wife won't let you keep the cars, and you have shifted from one to another as the one you will keep." -- Yup, my wife thinks the GTV6s are not safe, esp for the kids; my original master plan of having two GTV6s -- one for cars n coffee and a driver for fair weather commuting -- has bit the dust, and it looks like if I want to stay in Alfas I'll have to jump back into a 164, or Giulia, eventually. Yet, she's ok with my keeping the '86 for another year until it's a good time to sell. Point being that if you had delivered the '81 within any reasonable time frame, I would have been enjoying that car for the last year, and maybe another year yet. As it is, I'll never see the car as I have the '86 already, which was bought at the beginning of January after I had given up on your car in complete exasperation. If the '81 had been delivered last year, the '86 wouldn't be in the picture and I'd have had the '81 for at least a year, maybe two.

Lastly Glenn, you characterized my post as an attack. Call it what you like but your reaction begs the question, just how long should I have remained silent about the situation? How long am I to let you sit on an interest-free loan that was used, ostensibly, to restore a car that was never delivered?

Peace Glenn, I wish you the best, sincerely, but at this point I just want my money back. Jim
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,031 Posts
Hope Glenn makes it right for you. Sounds like time stands still up in Maine. Who else are you going to get to work on a GTV6 in the northeast US? Didn't know Glenn was known for his paint jobs, only keeping alfa's on the road. Lots of paint guys in the northeast but not Alfa people.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
24 Posts
Hope Glenn makes it right for you. Sounds like time stands still up in Maine. Who else are you going to get to work on a GTV6 in the northeast US? Didn't know Glenn was known for his paint jobs, only keeping alfa's on the road. Lots of paint guys in the northeast but not Alfa people.
Are you kidding? Paul Glynn Motorsports in Rowley MA., Their reputation is very good with Alfa's. I have all my GTV6 work done by them. Not to be confused with Glenn at HMA.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,990 Posts
Glynn's is a great shop, definitely send your business there.
Or DiFatta, another great shop.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,783 Posts
Interesting thread having been thru an "issue" with a vendor regarding parts supplied. Smaller scale. I see no attack in the initial posting and things seem to be somewhat civil. I am curious tho, what motivated you to buy/pay for a car and it's subsequent work up front as opposed to giving him a deposit and balance due upon completion? How did your thought process work in this project? ciao, chris
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
476 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 · (Edited)
Good question. Understand that the original scope of work was to bring a long-idle GTV6 back to life mechanically for $10K, and though it was a rocky three months (understatement), Glenn ultimately came through on the mechanical part. So with Glenn having the $10K he did earn to that point (though I donated many parts: tires, rear exhaust, brake and fuel lines, fuel pump), I went up to Maine at Glenn's request to perform what amounted to a pre-delivery inspection.

Apart from needing paint and the interior needing more work then Glenn had let on, I really liked the car. Really liked it in fact. With a deserving paint job it would be a special car, a very special car I thought (and still do if it were ever completed), so when Glenn confidently insisted he could give it a great paint job for $2-3K, being a former professional painter and about to complete a paint booth, I accepted the offer. I already had over $11K in the car so it seemed a shame to not go all the way at that point, and apart from the paint and a tweak to the rear brakes the car was essentially done. This was September 2, 2014.

I gave Glenn money for the paint in increments, based on continued reports of progress in prepping the car and making progress towards completion of the paint booth. By the time I gave him the last of the money for the paint in mid-October, I had been told that the finish line was right around the corner and the remainder of the money would allow him to finish the paint booth and spray the car. In hindsight I certainly wish I had withheld money until I saw the car complete, but at the time I would have never foreseen, never guessed in my most paranoid imaginings, that Glenn was going to take another year from that point (still insisting that I would get it before the first snow). I really believed I would see the car within two or three weeks. Was not to be.

Short of it, have you ever heard of the "frog in a kettle" syndrome? I am the frog.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,990 Posts
Actually JC, he had the bank send me a check, I had to cash it and send back the balance. I hadn't asked for all of it up front.

Bottom line is, yes, I have taken too long. It has been frustrating, as I went overboard and beyond budget.
I should have done a driver paint job last fall, but we both wanted it to look amazing.
Bummer that as I clear my slate, and finally start the buffing and assembling, this happens,
takes the wind out of my sails.
But, regardless, it will be finished soon, and I will start advertising it.
So as not to give Rob any more ammunition, I will insist on as is, you come here, inspect it and drive it, or I won't sell it.
BTW, I am not looking for work, don't advertise here or anywhere, and have asked to be removed from moderator status.
Then I won't have to be pc, and can be myself.
Like me or not, all good.
 
  • Like
Reactions: alfaloco

·
Registered
Joined
·
476 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 · (Edited)
"Actually JC, he had the bank send me a check, I had to cash it and send back the balance. I hadn't asked for all of it up front."

Glenn, you are referring to the original money for the build, not the paint work. In any event, it's a misleading statement, implying I eagerly offered all the money by my own volition. The ONLY reason you received all the money up front is because of a false premise before the job began. $6K of that original money was sent to you up front because on the last weekend of May, 2014, you said that you needed the money for the GTV6 right away as you would have shop time free the very next week and you need the money to turn your guys on to the project. So, I sent you that money via Paypal. I would have rather sent you money from the bank against a car loan, but you claimed you needed the money immediately. So I accomodated with the intent of following up with loan money. The claim that you were ready to start right away was completely false, you actually didn't start working on the '81 until the week of June 17, after you had finished and delivered a Balocco, meaning it was THREE WEEKS after receiving the $6K down payment on May 27, ostensibly because you needed money to begin immediate work, that you actually began work on the car.

At any rate, on June 5, one week after sending you the money you claimed was needed urgently, I sent you a bank check from the $7K car loan taken out to offset the money out of pocket. I could have asked for the entire $6K back, but I needed some of that money back quickly, and you had said that I would have to wait for the check to clear to send back the entire $6K! This was amazing as you hadn't even started on the car, but never the less I asked for only $3k of that money back so as to expedite things. As it was it was still June 19 until you returned the $3K, two weeks after receiving the bank check! That was like pulling teeth to get even that back. Anyway, that is why you got the $10K up front, because I had accomodated your request for fast up-front money, and then didn't demand all of that back when I replaced it with a bank check; both because it just seemed like too much trouble, and also as I thought the car was going to be done quickly anyway. After all, as you said, all it needed is an engine and the rubber bits replaced. If only.

So no, you didn't demand all the money up front, but it was your illicit (being based on the false claim -- intentional or not -- that you were ready to start on the '81 that week) demand for a quick payment up front, meaning out of pocket, followed by a reluctance to return that money after receiving the bank check that landed the full $10K with you before you had even begun work on the car. That is why you got the build money up front. BTW, I was content in my preceding post to simply say that you had earned the $10K, attempting to give you some credit and just leave it at that, but I feel your statement needed clarifying.
 
1 - 20 of 56 Posts
Top