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Discussion Starter #41
Sale gone bad-What would you guys do? Your input is appreciated

Guys, I have some sad and bad news on the Nova front. The deal fell through.

After sending the seller a deposit, based on provided pics, emails and phone conversations, I made the 200 mile trip to pick up the car.

Borrowed a truck and a cousin, rented a tow dolly and hit the road West to the East Tn area. It was a beautiful May day and the drive through the mountains of NC was downright picturesque... then we arrived. The car was nowhere near the condition as described or as the pictures appeared. I was way bummed. The seller felt the car was appropriately described and was unwilling to negotiate.

Reluctantly, I took the car. I'll give you the brief overview of how the car was described and add the pictures I was provided. See following post for the other pictures.

"1971 Nova, no motor or transmission, "Big 10" rear with 4:56 gears. Front end rebuilt with new bushings and shocks etc. Original V8 Auto car. All glass good. Complete car, missing the back seat. "Corvette" Rally's and like new tires." Minimal rust." $2175.00

So, I'm thinking, sounds pretty good. Won't need tires, get a back seat, throw in a motor and trans and I'll be riding. It won't be fancy but I can make it to the local Sheetz in it.

I call the seller. Ask the typical questions. One question I did ask was, "What would it take to have this car on the road?" Seller's response: "With a motor and transmission, and a weekend or two of work, and you'll be riding. That's what I was going to do with it."

So, the seller sent a couple extra pictures via text. I decided to go for it. I felt it was the best "starting" place I'd seen in a long time. That it would take the least amount of time and $ to get on the road. Called the seller back after a couple of day and offered a half deposit to hold the car for up to two weeks until I could make arrangement to get up there. Remember, it's 200 miles...one way.. so it was going to take a full day of getting this thing.

So off I go with my cousin, sausage biscuit and coffee from the local Mom and Pop place and and banana to boot. We get up there and what a disappointment. Here's what I found once looking it over:

The back window was only "laying" in place, the lip where the window rests was rusted almost to the point of not being there. There was a hole in the trans tunnel big enough to put my size 9 shoe through, the emergency brake mechanism was missing, the heater controls were laying on the floor, there was rust in BOTH floor pans...(a new left hand floor pan was thrown up in the car and wasn't mentioned in the ad.) Given the rust on the rear window channel, and the significant rust in the right quarter panel, it would need a full panel on the right and at least a half panel on the left. Beneath the foot-well on the passenger side, there was a dent the size of a basketball that affect the rocker panel, which meant it would best be replaced. The whole "missing the back seat" was missing the following: missing the sail panels, headliner, carpet of any kind, the bench seat was not the original and wasn't bolted in, the dashpad fell off when I touched and the glove box door and box itself was missing. Moving to under the hood, the wiring harness was missing, later found in the trunk, the firewall had been hammered to accommodate something, the steering column was barely attached to the steering box. But it had all been cleaned and painted along with new bushings. The hood latch was missing and the bumper had bolts but no nuts to hold it on. Moving to the trunk, there were various parts, all used with the exception of a new tail panel, which needed replaced as well, and no lock cylinder. The tires were pretty much as described but the wheels were 15x7's and not the "Corvette Rally's" as described, but they were fine.

The seller wasn't interested in negotiating, so I reluctantly loaded the car. We got about 4 miles down the road, just onto the interstate and the truck started "jerking" and we looked back to see smoke coming from the left rear of the Nova. We pulled over and found the rear end lodged up into the wheel-well about 4 inches. The rear end had come loose and off the locating pin and was being dragged! We grabbed a come a long and pulled the rear end into place and got the car off the highway. We hadn't eaten since 7 and by this time it was 1230-1. So we grabbed Arby's. After we pulled out, what happened, you guessed it... rear end again.

Luckily, across the street was an Advance Auto. We pulled in and took a closer look to find the rear end bolts weren't even close to being tight. So we grabbed some tools and some PB Blaster and went to wrenching. While lying under the car, a new revelation about the car, there's no gas tank!!!! (Again, never mentioned by the seller.) And too boot, the brake lines were all cut. You can imagine how I'm feeling at this point. We try it again, get no more than about 100 feet and the back wheels start locking up and chattering, both sides. It chattered so hard that the freaking windshield fell out onto the dash!!!!!

Maybe the brakes are sticking or something? So, we proceed to remove drums. I ready a hammer, expecting to need it...nope, drums slid right off...so that's not the issue.... but the smoke coming from the pinion shaft at this point is concerning to say the least. At that point, my cousin points out that only 2 of the rear end cover bolts were all the way "in" where as all the rest were only threaded in maybe a quarter of the way.

At this point, we've spent nearly 3 hours trying to leave the town we came to. I call the seller and inform of the catastrophe we've encountered. The seller suggests to turn it around and haul it with the front wheels down. Well we had already considered that, but the steering wheel wouldn't lock and the clamp connecting the column to the steering box wouldn't clamp down. I explained this and simply said, "I'm too far from home to take anymore chances, I think the best thing for me to do is return the car. Will you give me my thousand dollars back?" The seller says, I don't know let me call someone. I don't know who the someone is, but about 15 minutes pass and the seller calls back and says, yeah, bring it back. I said "I'll try."

Bear in mind, I'm expecting all my money back at this point, not just my $1000 deposit, but the remainder of payment made that day. We make it back to the seller's house and return the car to the exact point we found it. The seller handed me the $1000 but not my entire investment..... I didn't fight it at that point and especially not on the owners property.

So we leave, and head back East to Winston Salem and drop off the dolly at the UHaul place.

So, in summary I found the car to need the following:

Full right rear quarter, left quarter, tail pan, full floor pans and trunk pan. Gas tank, full interior, wiring harness reinstalled and sorted, right rocker replaced and one door skin that I forgot to mention above. Front and rear windows installed properly and the rear side windows and regulators reinstalled as they weren't installed either. All brake lines fixed and emergency brake cable assembly reinstalled and a trans crossmember sourced.

Here's where I stand at this point. $2175 price on the car, sent $1000 deposit, and then subsequent remaining $1175 (reluctantly) when I arrived. My initial $1000 dollars returned to me, but not the remaining $1175. $110 for gas, $30 or so for food etc. $50 for the tow dolly. And I'm sure I'm forgetting something.

After I got home, I was lying in bed and couldn't sleep due to the situation. So I got up and emailed the seller. I contacted the seller to express my belief that I had held up my part on all fronts and felt the seller should return my remaining $1175 purely from a moral standpoint. That I sent the deposit as I promised and arrived etc when I said I would etc. But that the product was in no way as described. (All by email.) I've yet to receive a response. And note, that on the way back home, the seller had already reposted the car on Craigslist. After I sent my email at 3:30 AM, (remember I said I couldn't sleep?) I checked to see if the car was still listed, and it was.

At noon the following day, the car was no longer posted and I've still not heard from the seller.

Now, after all that above, and I do greatly appreciate all of you who plowed through it, I would like to see where you guys stand on this?

Although there is the saying "Buyer be ware..." I feel this car wasn't presented as it actually was, and that morally I feel this seller should return the remaining money. Note as well, the seller gave me back about $70 for gas once the car was loaded. And also note that the seller gave me a "quick reference" for the Bible along with the title when I gave the money over at time of pick up.

Where do you guys stand on this? Look at the pics I was provided and tell me what you think? Am I unreasonable to think someone should return the remaining money? I couldn't live with myself if I were in this sellers shoes.
 

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That just plain old sucks! Hopefully you get your money back, but doesn't look too good. Best of luck to you. :(
 

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I just saw something like this on Judge Judy. lol If you have enough documentation and pictures to prove fraud, you get your money back. Jack
 

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This just goes to show you can't trust any one. I would be mad as hell. Any more I can't send a deposit to any one, after hearing many stories like this. I just tell people I will show up with the money. I call the person before I leave to go see the car. If it is sold or some one has put a deposit on well my bad luck, but I have not lost any money on it. Only way to protect your self. Sorry that you went through that. Good luck you will find a better one.
 

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thats a bad story looking at those pics i wouldnt of spent more than 500 bucks and thats just if i needed some parts way too many out there you can get for a good price i pick up my running driving nova for about 3000 wanted to pay 2800 but i really wanted it just hold off and youll get what you want. good luck hope you get your money and the car you want
 

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Discussion Starter #48
I appreciate the input, but that's not a realistic price in my area. I running car in my area will run you at least $6k for a car that runs and is "decent." And that is often a car that needs paint and body work at least. The only running car in this area, even remotely in my range, came available recently, AFTER I had committed to the one in this post. It is $3k, no interior, original 350 and does run. But absolutely no interior. The floor pans have been done etc. But isn't close to a viable ride as there isn't one thing in the interior.

So, although I hear where you're coming from, it's just not realistic in my area.
 

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After buying and selling cars for 50 years (Not a dealer) I have found and fought off all types of scams. I'm sorry to say I have to leave the fault with you for not just walking away after seeing the car. If this was your first foray into buying a car on line, it's a shame. I have bought a LOT of vehicles stuff on line for rebuilds of both cars and bikes and have had pleasant experiences. Except for all the new Chinese sellers on e-bay it's been generally good.
The seller gave you your deposit back. He received the returned car. He should have given you ALL your money back. Reading between the lines it would seem there was another party on the seller's side calling the shots. Who knows what goes on in east Tn. I have some friends there and have visited often. Its a different world. Did the seller have all his teeth?
 

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Hello All!

After 28 years, I'm finally getting back to a classic car. My first was a family owned, 71 Rally. Cranberry Red with Black interior... 307 and TH350 etc.

I was in the process of "building" it when I wrecked it when I was about 16 or 17. I had a small block 400 etc in it, hadn't gotten around to paint etc. But it was mine!

Years later, many years.... family, jobs etc I've been able to make a space in my life for another. I've bought a 71 "roller". I've not gotten it home yet, but the deal is done.

I'm reading over the posts and I'm stoked at the enthusiasm here! I'll be reaching out to you guys I'm sure. Thanks in advance! You guys clearly know your stuff!

Mac
Winston Salem NC
Welcome. Glad to have you back with us.
 
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