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Thread: Crooked car dealer issues

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    Crooked car dealer issues

    I bought a 1984 Corvette sight-unseen online from a national used classic car dealership chain. Not a desirable year now, it was the model that saved Corvette. By 1983, Corvettes were so inferior - particularly to their ongoing and losing battle with Porsche, Corvette was completely discontinued in 1983. That is the only year no Corvettes were made.

    The 1984 was a ground-up all new model desperate last-chance attempt to save Corvette, put together quite oddly but cleverly for how horrific that era was for auto manufacturers due to crushing EPA and DOT standards. GM, cash broke like the other USA automakers, has to figure how to make a much more areodynamic body and a lighter-weight car - while having to add more steel to meet DOT crash standards. They had to figure how to get past only having a 4 speed manual transmission, when other makes were offering 5 speeds with a 5th gear for overdrive.

    The oddball 4+3 manual transmission isn't very strong for the weak overdrive unit, making manual transmission models for that year very rare (most people bought automatics to begin with) and the 4+3 transmission quickly discontinued the next year. The bizarre 1st gen screen dash also discontinued quickly - but was spa

    The result was a bizarre, but very creative, way to piece together a car they could call a state-of-the-art technological wonder, calling it a "sports car," rather than a muscle car, due to EPA and gas mileage standards preventing making much horsepower (a mere 205, but that was a 30 hp increase over the 1982 model). They married an odd 3 speed automatic overdrive to their 4 speed, technically making it a 6 speed transmission. Areodynamic drag was reduced a whooping 27% - nearly equally how much the top speed could be increased. A analogue liquid diode dash.

    Much is odd about the car. For example, the front suspension is a fiberglass wishbone spring like a Ford Model T, fiberglass to save weight. However, handling was dramatically improved over the prior C3 'Vettes. Any ounce that could be shaved off of steel was, producing a notably weak drivetrain for which seriously horsepower improvement - or even just wider tires - isn't an option.

    It was Motor Trend Car Of The Year and the NASCAR pace car, with the body style basically used for the entire C4 and essentially C5 models spanning 2 decades. Of course, the state of the art of computer and auto technology in 1984 completely sucks in 2019. Yet it was for those oddities that I wanted it. I had 4 Porsche 928s, which was designed along with the 944 and 944 turbo by Porsche targeting GM and Corvette. So now I had bought the other half of the decades-long feud between GM and Porsche.

    I got it cheap. Real Cheap. Good body. Running drive train. Wonderfully, the prior owner eliminated the primitive fuel injection system no one knows how to work on - and thus also eliminated the primitive analogue computer engine management system. Claimed to have a pristine interior. The sales person did the pressure to buy it sight unseen thing.

    But when it arrived, I knew this was a bum deal and exploring realized it is going to get worse before better.
    Last edited by joko104; 12-23-19 at 02:00 PM.

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    Re: Crooked car dealer issues

    The "excellent condition original seats" - very rare plaid cloth seats no longer available - are complete trash, totally worthless and can not be restored. I learned the owner of the national chain was convicted of federal felony fraud in the past. I have yet to receive a title. Instead, I get excuses. The title is not in the dealer's name.
    Bizarrely, one of their staff sent a copy of a blank affidavit, other than what it stated were photocopy signatures, with a note to a title company in Louisiana - everything on the affidavit blank - to obtain a title on that fraudulent bill of sale for a classic VW they were selling. This is how titles are obtained for stolen vintage cars. They use a bill of sale in states that didn't used to issue titles.

    The lies keep coming.

    Some years ago a small used car dealer did something like this to me for a 1970 Thunderbird with a 429 V8, Gold with black vinyl top and good black interior. But it was all flaky. I took them to court - pro se - and won more than I sued for - plus the jury gave me to car for free. I sent it to a junk yard.

    Here's the problem. I have given away and thrown away vehicles and boats worth more than I paid for this old 'Vette for free. I'm not particularly concerned about money lost. Rather, I know if I put a couple hundred hours into this and a few more thousands of dollars, I potentially could win a massive "common law fraud" lawsuit, even potentially for millions as the punitive damages are to be based upon the worth of the fraudster, not the value of the lose. The ex-con fraudster felon brags online how he is making tens of millions of dollars of all his classic cars car lots. Potentially, the judgment could be for millions. Or for nothing. Or tossed before trial by the judge.
    I know I'd have to hire an attorney for hearings and trial. I'd probably have to drive to Tampa 20 times, put up money for depositions and discovery. Research writing out the petition. At trial I would go both pro se and have an attorney, my wife entering as a 3rd party suing me for half the price - as a technique to be both pro se and having an attorney. I'd have to find an attorney willing to do that (most won't).

    Do I really want to tie up 2 to 3 years of my life on this? I COULD literally win a judgment for millions of dollars and put that rotten outfit out of business. Or a year from now the judge could throw out the case, for which I spent thousands more dollars and 100+ hours on it, while the 'Vette just sits.

    My current stance is that they must produce the actual title holder/seller with an original title to physically meet with me with his ID to prove he is the titleholder. I refuse to give them my power of attorney to do this remotely because it is a fact they use fraudulent documents and fake or photocopy signatures - which is specifically illegal.

    What would you do? I don't want the 'Vette anymore.
    Last edited by joko104; 12-23-19 at 02:05 PM.

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    Re: Crooked car dealer issues

    Invoke the lemon law, return it, get your money back.


    In future, drive before buy.
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    Reports indicate that everyone knew he was hauling a bunch of guns up there. But, since you brought it up, there's something which should be illegal: guns that breakdown.

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    Re: Crooked car dealer issues

    Find a lawyer who does these things as a niche practice and let him have at it. We have a local guy who does that. He files throw everything at the wall lawsuits and usually forces settlements because in 98 pages of alleged boiler plate facts, one of them may be true.

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    Re: Crooked car dealer issues

    Quote Originally Posted by joko104 View Post
    The "excellent condition original seats" - very rare plaid cloth seats no longer available - are complete trash, totally worthless and can not be restored. I learned the owner of the national chain was convicted of federal felony fraud in the past. I have yet to receive a title. Instead, I get excuses. The title is not in the dealer's name.
    Bizarrely, one of their staff sent a copy of a blank affidavit, other than what it stated were photocopy signatures, with a note to a title company in Louisiana - everything on the affidavit blank - to obtain a title on that fraudulent bill of sale for a classic VW they were selling. This is how titles are obtained for stolen vintage cars. They use a bill of sale in states that didn't used to issue titles.

    The lies keep coming.

    Some years ago a small used car dealer did something like this to me for a 1970 Thunderbird with a 429 V8, Gold with black vinyl top and good black interior. But it was all flaky. I took them to court - pro se - and won more than I sued for - plus the jury gave me to car for free. I sent it to a junk yard.

    Here's the problem. I have given away and thrown away vehicles and boats worth more than I paid for this old 'Vette for free. I'm not particularly concerned about money lost. Rather, I know if I put a couple hundred hours into this and a few more thousands of dollars, I potentially could win a massive "common law fraud" lawsuit, even potentially for millions as the punitive damages are to be based upon the worth of the fraudster, not the value of the lose. The ex-con fraudster felon brags online how he is making tens of millions of dollars of all his classic cars car lots. Potentially, the judgment could be for millions. Or for nothing. Or tossed before trial by the judge.
    I know I'd have to hire an attorney for hearings and trial. I'd probably have to drive to Tampa 20 times, put up money for depositions and discovery. Research writing out the petition. At trial I would go both pro se and have an attorney, my wife entering as a 3rd party suing me for half the price - as a technique to be both pro se and having an attorney. I'd have to find an attorney willing to do that (most won't).

    Do I really want to tie up 2 to 3 years of my life on this? I COULD literally win a judgment for millions of dollars and put that rotten outfit out of business. Or a year from now the judge could throw out the case, for which I spent thousands more dollars and 100+ hours on it, while the 'Vette just sits.

    My current stance is that they must produce the actual title holder/seller with an original title to physically meet with me with his ID to prove he is the titleholder. I refuse to give them my power of attorney to do this remotely because it is a fact they use fraudulent documents and fake or photocopy signatures - which is specifically illegal.

    What would you do? I don't want the 'Vette anymore.
    I had a problem very similar to yours a long time ago. They would not give me the title to a Honda CRX hatchback I had paid for. I eventually got my money back by sending my brother to collect the money for me. He was a "collector" for a time in another type business altogether. They were very "pleased" to return the money and take back possession of the vehicle in question.

    I would advise getting advise from an attorney on your options, and start with a nasty gram on their letterhead and go from there. Or you can just part the vehicle out. Or another option is have a title company do some research and title it yourself then keep it yourself or sell as you wish. I didnt know about the last option when I was younger.
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    Re: Crooked car dealer issues

    Everyone appreciates your honesty, until you are honest with them. Then you are an asshole. - George Carlin
    I know, everybody funny, now you funny too. -George Thorogood

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    Re: Crooked car dealer issues

    Quote Originally Posted by Rexedgar View Post
    I've given away more running cars, trucks and boats (on trailers even) for free than I can remember. They pile up and when there are too many I give some away to make room for more. (Think compulsive spender who loses interest fast. LOL). However, I think most charities are generally frauds, pocketing 90% for themselves.

    I can get a title for it if I wanted one. However, I don't want to keep it. The trashed out seats are a BIG deal for how rare and irreplaceable that particular seat cover is.

    I've had a hobby of watching classic and vintage car prices, trying to predict when the next big jump will come for what models? I'm right 95% of the time. For example, just a couple years ago, I was telling others that the 1972 - 73 454 big block 'Vettes" with 4 speed were going to radically increase as the last year of the big block. Manual transmission a must. Those in running, fairly decent condition were going for $15 to $20k. That has doubled and tripled.

    No one really wants '84s for how odd they are. But they are historically very significant and their low value means more and more are parted out or otherwise wrecked-out. Only 25,000 were made. Of those, about 9,000 had the weird 4+3 manual transmission. If hot rodded, the 3 speed overdrive blows out easily. So will the rear differential. If wider tires are put on an '84, it will come to blow out the rear trans axles.

    Probably the total produced with the 4+3 manual transmission with the odd checked/plaid seat with the emergency brake leather wrapped in the same style is probably under 2,000. Of those where they didn't replaced the 4+3 manual with a later 5 speed and with original decent seats of this style, in the ever popular red with otherwise black interior? The often major mechanical failures, being unable to be turned into a true fast muscle car and low resale value is what eliminated old cars. They then bottom out in value - until recognized as unique and rare - and then the prices go up - always - when it comes to cars in the category of a "Vette," Porsche, Camero, Mustang, etc. This red '84 with the 4+3, rare cloth seat covers and otherwise black interior - plus dealership chrome wheel upgrade might be the only 1 like it still in existence - or could have been if the seats weren't trashed.

    They only made 1 model 'Vette that year - no convertible nor hardtop coupe (all have a removable center roof section) - so this specific '84 is THE most desirable for that currently undesirable year. I like the reliability of the horrible old fuel injection system being replaced by a simple Holly 4 barrel on an aluminum intake - saving me the trouble and expense of doing so - though I was going to put on Webber cross ram carbs for the looks of them. Inherently, by today's standards a 1984 'Vette is a no-go showboat anyway.

    It isn't about $$ value to me, though. It is what I wanted. I could afford whatever I wanted. So it would be like you wanted some specific rare gold coin, one was sold to you claiming it was certified as in perfect proof condition - but then in fact is so worn you can barely even read the date. It is therefore worthless for your goal and swapping it for some other year gold coin would not solve the problem. While I could put on black leather seat covers for about $1,500, there are many reasons that really is not a good alternative.

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    Re: Crooked car dealer issues

    Quote Originally Posted by joko104 View Post
    I've given away more running cars, trucks and boats (on trailers even) for free than I can remember. They pile up and when there are too many I give some away to make room for more. (Think compulsive spender who loses interest fast. LOL). However, I think most charities are generally frauds, pocketing 90% for themselves.

    I can get a title for it if I wanted one.
    However, I don't want to keep it. The trashed out seats are a BIG deal for how rare and irreplaceable that particular seat cover is.

    I've had a hobby of watching classic and vintage car prices, trying to predict when the next big jump will come for what models? I'm right 95% of the time. For example, just a couple years ago, I was telling others that the 1972 - 73 454 big block 'Vettes" with 4 speed were going to radically increase as the last year of the big block. Manual transmission a must. Those in running, fairly decent condition were going for $15 to $20k. That has doubled and tripled.

    No one really wants '84s for how odd they are. But they are historically very significant and their low value means more and more are parted out or otherwise wrecked-out. Only 25,000 were made. Of those, about 9,000 had the weird 4+3 manual transmission. If hot rodded, the 3 speed overdrive blows out easily. So will the rear differential. If wider tires are put on an '84, it will come to blow out the rear trans axles.

    Probably the total produced with the 4+3 manual transmission with the odd checked/plaid seat with the emergency brake leather wrapped in the same style is probably under 2,000. Of those where they didn't replaced the 4+3 manual with a later 5 speed and with original decent seats of this style, in the ever popular red with otherwise black interior? The often major mechanical failures, being unable to be turned into a true fast muscle car and low resale value is what eliminated old cars. They then bottom out in value - until recognized as unique and rare - and then the prices go up - always - when it comes to cars in the category of a "Vette," Porsche, Camero, Mustang, etc. This red '84 with the 4+3, rare cloth seat covers and otherwise black interior - plus dealership chrome wheel upgrade might be the only 1 like it still in existence - or could have been if the seats weren't trashed.

    They only made 1 model 'Vette that year - no convertible nor hardtop coupe (all have a removable center roof section) - so this specific '84 is THE most desirable for that currently undesirable year. I like the reliability of the horrible old fuel injection system being replaced by a simple Holly 4 barrel on an aluminum intake - saving me the trouble and expense of doing so - though I was going to put on Webber cross ram carbs for the looks of them. Inherently, by today's standards a 1984 'Vette is a no-go showboat anyway.

    It isn't about $$ value to me, though. It is what I wanted. I could afford whatever I wanted. So it would be like you wanted some specific rare gold coin, one was sold to you claiming it was certified as in perfect proof condition - but then in fact is so worn you can barely even read the date. It is therefore worthless for your goal and swapping it for some other year gold coin would not solve the problem. While I could put on black leather seat covers for about $1,500, there are many reasons that really is not a good alternative.
    your answer will be found above

    you acknowledged you don't have much in it and it will never have any significant value

    get out from under a bad deal the best - cheapest - way you can

    the only way to legally pursue the crook who sold it is to hand the case over to a hungry, motivated attorney, who is willing to pursue the matter for himself, agreeing to provide you the $X amount you paid when you will have to sign off on the return of the vehicle. you will probably have to be available to the lawyer periodically to give him direction. and if such a legal hound cannot be found, dump the ride and save yourself a lot of time and trouble. LOTS of legitimate deals to be had where your time would be more productively spent
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    Re: Crooked car dealer issues

    Quote Originally Posted by justabubba View Post
    your answer will be found above

    you acknowledged you don't have much in it and it will never have any significant value

    get out from under a bad deal the best - cheapest - way you can

    the only way to legally pursue the crook who sold it is to hand the case over to a hungry, motivated attorney, who is willing to pursue the matter for himself, agreeing to provide you the $X amount you paid when you will have to sign off on the return of the vehicle. you will probably have to be available to the lawyer periodically to give him direction. and if such a legal hound cannot be found, dump the ride and save yourself a lot of time and trouble. LOTS of legitimate deals to be had where your time would be more productively spent
    Generally that is what I'd do. The question is should I do the crap shoot of a lawsuit? As I stated, I took on a car dealer before in a court of record ("big" court) and even pro se up against an independent dealer who had a dealer. The only difference in facts is it is FAR WORSE for this national scale dealer. For example, I can prove absolutely they use completely fraudulent bills of sale to obtain titles on vintage cars that can be title in another state solely on a bill of sale. Plus that dealer had not been convicted of federal felony fraud in the past, nor told as many provable lies. Remember, used car salesmen continue to be THE least trusted and more hated profession of all.

    In that other trial, the jury awarded me actual damages, triple deceptive trade practice damages, even greater "common law fraud" damages and even gave me the car for free. However, I had not sued for that much, so only got about 10 times what I paid plus the car for free (plus court costs). That was a small independent dealer with maybe $500,000 in car inventory. This dealer has about $50,000,000.00 in current inventory and brags of making $10s of millions off this.

    Thus, it can be argued to the jury that even though he literally knows he's been caught on this car sale, noting I can prove he's done so on other cars, and that even sending him to federal prison didn't make he stop with the frauds - how much money do the punitive damages have to be to make certain he never does so again - nothing the extreme difficulty for people who are having his cars shipped to them out of state or even out of the USA to sue? Since he's making millions and millions of dollars, obviously it would take more millions and millions lost to stop him. That is the basis for determining damages in a "common law fraud" lawsuit. (Most lay people have never heard of that.)

    If I could win tens of thousands pro se before a jury pro se against a dealer who deals in hundreds of thousands of dollars a year, how much could I get against a dealer who deals in tens of millions of dollars - and I am BOTH pro se AND have a hungry newbie lawyer, ideally with a really big local law firm so the judge doesn't go squirrelly and just dismisses the case because a lot do against pro se plaintiffs. Basically, the lawyer is not to win before the jury, but to hold off the judge. I know I an talk 12 jurors into absolutely totally hating the car dealer owner because I've done so in the past. In fact, in that trial it almost was a hung jury because half the jury wanted to give me LOTS more than they all agreed upon.

    But damn, this type legalities is incredibly time consuming. In that other lawsuit, just the discovery and pleadings on my part probably was 2 feet thick in paper.

    For now, I'm just seeing how this plays out. If they can't come up with a title, I'll definitely take it to court as that is a certain win.

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