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Ask a Car Nut - Part Deux

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by Formaldehyde, Jul 13, 2012.

  1. danjuno

    danjuno Keeper of Ancient Memes

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    So, I'm getting my license this summer, so I go to Ebay Motors, list all offers from Cheapest to Most Expensive, and then, for the lulz, vice-versa. When I do this, at the top of the list is a "Porsche P 911 Prototype" for 16,000,000. http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/Porsche-911-/171033662823?pt=US_Cars_Trucks&hash=item27d2669567

    I immediately get my Dad (who has been a motor-head for most of his 50+ years) and he is completely unable to decipher the description, which appears to be a cluster of Bold Red and Black word salads. He then went out and found this thread of the Thunder Bay Motoring forums : http://tbmotoring.com/threads/568-16-000-000-00-Porsche-911-Prototype and concluded this guy is either a scam artist, a moron, or both.

    What's your take?
     
  2. Formaldehyde

    Formaldehyde Both Fair And Balanced

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    It looks like a rusted out 911T that someone converted into a slant nose, which was typically only done to 911 Turbos due to the cost.

    There is more info at his website:

    http://www.porscheprototype.com/
     
  3. danjuno

    danjuno Keeper of Ancient Memes

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    So it is or isn't a prototype? I already saw the website, it's as confusing as his post.

    And if it is, is it really worth the 16 Million he's asking?
     
  4. Formaldehyde

    Formaldehyde Both Fair And Balanced

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    No, it's not any sort of a prototype. Slantnose conversions used to be quite popular for a number of years.


    Link to video.

    From the Thunder Bay posts it appears to have been used as a model outside of a body shop, which would help explain the amount of rust.

    This isn't even a nice conversion. He would be lucky to get $1600 for it from the photos.
     
  5. Formaldehyde

    Formaldehyde Both Fair And Balanced

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    No more camshafts, lifters, timing chains, or gears. Heads are less than half the current height with 25% more power and torque, and 20% improvement in fuel efficiency at present. They are projecting it can eventually develop 30% more power and fuel efficiency as well as 50% less emissions:


    Link to video.
     
  6. Borachio

    Borachio Way past lunacy

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    ^ nice.
     
  7. hobbsyoyo

    hobbsyoyo Warlord

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    So I am not sure where to put this question, but this seems the best place given you have probably dealt with a lot of mechanics over the years.

    My question is how do you deal with a mechanic who is clearly trying to screw you over?

    Spoiler tl;dr :
    My first car had bad breaks. We took it into a mechanic who advertised free brake inspections. It turns out that the break booster was bad and as it was a foreign car (1985 Jaguar XJ6 Vanden Plus - saved for two years for it) they had to special order the part. They gave me an estimate for the part and the labor and it was right around $300. They had it in the shop for over a week and ever single day I called to ask if it was finished and if the estimate had changed. Every day they told me they hadn't been able to get to it and the estimate hadn't changed. I did not have this in writing but I did call every single day.

    Finally they called and told me to pick up my car. I hand them $300 in cash and they took it and said I still owed over $600 on it. Thing is, we were moving in two days time and I couldn't haggle or hire a lawyer. They knocked off a measly $100 but it was still nearly $900 total. I had to sell everything I owned to pay it off.

    I've never known how to react to this situation in the future. Obviously, time was a crucial factor in this case due to the impending move. However, in the future, assuming time isn't a pressing issue, how should I go about dealing with a mechanic who gives an estimate and despite frequent follow ups, suddenly vastly inflates the price at delivery? I didn't have anything in writing as I said. Should I always ask for an estimate in writing? If I don't have an estimate and only my word that I called repeatedly and asked and was never told of the price increase, am I just boned?


    Thanks Form
     
  8. Borachio

    Borachio Way past lunacy

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    I'd say in principle a verbal contract should be as binding as a written one. You'd have a hard time proving that the contract was as you tell it, though.

    In the UK, it's now a requirement for a garage to ring and inform you if the cost of a repair is likely to substantially exceed the estimate before going ahead with a repair. I guess as a result of exactly the sort of thing that happened to you.

    I don't expect there's anything you can do. Except not deal with them in future, and tell everyone you know the same story. You could take them to litigation, but unless you've a very good lawyer (or you're one yourself), and the garage has more assets than most garages, it's probably not worth it, for you.

    It's best to establish a good relation with your local garage and keep going back to them until they let you down.

    I also think your experience has been affected by the garage repairing an unfamiliar vehicle. Which can produce unexpected costs. .(Perhaps.) They gave you a generic estimate which turned out to be wildly wrong. And they didn't value your future custom highly enough to cover the cost themselves.
     
  9. Formaldehyde

    Formaldehyde Both Fair And Balanced

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    I agree.

    Most states have laws that written estimates must be provided and that you be informed if the costs are going to exceed that estimate.

    Any sort of unusual car like a Jaguar is also a major problem, as Borachio mentioned. Unless you take it to a specialty shop, the mechanic will not be familiar with it. If it takes him 4 times longer than the book rate to fix your car, he probably isn't going to want to settle for the original estimate and eat the difference. This may very well have been what occurred here, and it is part of the reason why I have done a lot of work myself on my imported cars in the past.

    It is also not a good idea to tell a shop that you are planning to move. You didn't mention if you did so. But they have far less incentive to be honest and fair with you if they know you won't ever come back, won't be in a position to give them a negative review with others, and will likely not be able to sue them.

    It has been my experience that it can be quite difficult to find a fair and honest mechanic who charges reasonable fees. This has caused me to do much of the work on my cars myself in the past. I pay through the nose for work on my Porsche because I only take it to specialty shops, but I haven't ever had a problem with a dishonest mechanics. They also know I am a member of the Porsche Club of America and my negative opinion could have a massive impact on their future business.
     
  10. rugbyLEAGUEfan

    rugbyLEAGUEfan Chieftain

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  11. hobbsyoyo

    hobbsyoyo Warlord

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    Thanks guys. I will keep all of this in mind in the future. I really didn't know any better as I was 19 and it was my first car and my first mechanic experience. I do think I remember telling them I was moving and I know that had a negative impact as they specifically told me if I didn't pay they'd put a lien on the car which I didn't have time to fight. I should have waited to fix the car on the other end of the move but as I said I didn't know any better. The move put an artificial timer on everything which meant I couldn't sort things out legally. I think I would've had a case as I had called every day and my entire family and all my coworkers knew about the situation as it was unfolding so under oath the mechanics would be up against a lot of witnesses and would have to resort to lying on their part to win.
     
  12. Borachio

    Borachio Way past lunacy

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    Plus, I believe, the Jag is one of the most expensive (mainstream) cars to run and maintain, and depreciates like wet cheese.
     
  13. hobbsyoyo

    hobbsyoyo Warlord

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    Well that's not a problem for me anymore. I totaled it the day after I paid off the repairs. :sad:

    It was already old though it had a newer Chevy 350 small block engine in it.
     
  14. Cutlass

    Cutlass The Man Who Wasn't There.

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  15. Formaldehyde

    Formaldehyde Both Fair And Balanced

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    Very nice! Is it the same AWD model or FWD? What was her previous car?
     
  16. Cutlass

    Cutlass The Man Who Wasn't There.

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    AWD. Pretty much the same car as in the photo, except no sunroof. She had a 2003 Altima before that. But it was getting old.
     
  17. Formaldehyde

    Formaldehyde Both Fair And Balanced

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    That would make a superb skiing car. Does she live where it snows.
     
  18. Cutlass

    Cutlass The Man Who Wasn't There.

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    Yeah. But I don't think she's skied in years.
     
  19. Borachio

    Borachio Way past lunacy

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  20. hobbsyoyo

    hobbsyoyo Warlord

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    Yeah apparently it's a pretty common modification. I guess the Chevy 350 is more powerful and easier to maintain or something. :dunno:
     

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